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Esri (/ˈɛzriː/, a.k.a. Environmental Systems Research Institute) is an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. Esri creates the proprietary GIS software ArcGIS. Esri is a corporate member of the Foundation.

Esri allowed the usage of Esri World Imagery (and its variants) in OSM mapping, without restrictions and requirements. Even attribution is not legally required.

Esri partnership

On June 22 2022, Esri announced the beta release of OpenStreetMap 3D buildings and trees scene layers hosted in ArcGIS Online. These 3D scene layers feature global buildings and trees, with trees presented in two styles (realistic and thematic). They can be used in Scene Viewer, ArcGIS Pro, and other ArcGIS apps that support 3D visualization. The layers are created using the Daylight map distribution and are updated monthly.

On April 01 2020, Esri announced the beta release of live OpenStreetMap data that is hosted and maintained by Esri using a live replica of OSM data in ArcGIS Online. The hosted feature layers are available for different types of OSM features (e.g. buildings, highways, amenities, landuse, etc.) and for different regions (e.g. North America, Africa, Central America, Antarctica, etc.). As a replica of OSM data, the hosted feature layers are provided under an Open Database License (ODbL).

As of Mar 20 2019, Esri announced the general release of an OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap that is hosted and maintained by Esri using OSM data and cartography. The Esri hosted basemap is provided under a Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license[1] so it may be used freely and without transaction limits. The map is currently updated every ~3 weeks[2] with the latest OSM data stored in a replica hosted by Esri.

Subsequently on Jul 01 2019, Esri announced a few enhancements to the OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap that include additional map styles and the ability of users to more easily create custom styles of their own. Esri also announced the availability of the OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap in a GCS WGS84 tiling scheme for users that prefer to use that coordinate system.

Previously on Aug 21 2017, Esri announced availability of satellite imagery to the OSM community directly through their existing World Imagery Service.

Esri World Imagery provides one meter or better satellite and aerial imagery in many parts of the world and lower resolution satellite imagery worldwide. The map includes 15m TerraColor imagery at small and mid-scales (~1:591M down to ~1:72k) and 2.5m SPOT Imagery (~1:288k to ~1:72k) for the world. The map features 0.3m resolution imagery in the continental United States and parts of Western Europe from DigitalGlobe. Additional DigitalGlobe sub-meter imagery is featured in many parts of the world. In the United States, 1 meter or better resolution NAIP imagery is available. In other parts of the world, imagery at different resolutions has been contributed by the GIS User Community. In select communities, very high resolution imagery (to 0.03m) is available down to ~1:280 scale. You can contribute your imagery to this map and have it served by Esri via the Community Maps Program. View the list of Contributors for the World Imagery Map.

Esri also offers an image service called "World Imagery (Clarity)" which has what may be older images which are chosen for the sharpest detail. As Clarity may contain dated imageries of different years, some obvious offset/distortion can be identified.

Two different imageries merged

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

Using Esri imagery in editors

The easiest way to do this is to select either “Esri World Imagery” layer or "Esri World Imagery (Clarity) Beta" as an option in either iD, JOSM or Vespucci.

Esri terms allow to use their imagery also in other OSM editors.

Legal permissions

Esri and its imagery contributors grant Users the non-exclusive right to use the World Imagery map to trace features and validate edits in the creation of vector data. Users that create vector data from the World Imagery map may want to publicly share that vector data through a GIS data clearinghouse of its own or through another open data site. This public sharing could be achieved through ArcGIS Open Data or the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Initiative. For ArcGIS users that want to contribute such vector data to OSM, Esri provides applications and services directly accessible from ArcGIS platform. Users acknowledge that any vector data contributed to OSM is then governed by and released under the OpenStreetMap License (e.g. ODbL).

Except for the additional limited rights granted above, any and all other uses of the World Imagery map remain subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Esri Master Agreement or Terms of Use, as applicable. Esri and its imagery contributors retain all right, title, and interest in and to their respective imagery data contributed to the World Imagery map. (source)

For More Info, visit:

Esri Imagery Date Finder

Esri has a story map set up to check the date of the imagery.

Interested in using Esri World Imagery in your own application?

Esri announcement pertains specifically to non-revenue generating applications that are entirely centered around editing OpenStreetMap. If you are interested in using Esri basemaps in a commercial application please take a look at developer pricing. Esri World Imagery can be used free of cost when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. You have signed up for a free ArcGIS Developer account
  2. You are not generating revenue from your app (in the form of advertisements or subscriptions)
  3. Your users request < 1 million tiles/month
  4. You properly attribute both Esri and all of our data providers (reference:

have more questions?

Note that for OSM editing (for example, for use in editors) most of this requirements do not apply. See section above.


According to user jgravois on Github who seems to be an ESRI employee, the imagery can be used in OSM even if the mapper does not use ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap:

the updated document @cloveman shared grants the community permission to use our World Imagery to trace features and validate OSM edits even when ArcGIS tools are not being used.

As always, it is a good idea to mention source of your edit. Attribution should be in either source=Esri or imagery_used=Esri tags on a changeset. Helpful information about Using Imagery to be aware of.

External Links