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Flickr wordmark.svg
Author: Yahoo!
License: Proprietary (free for 1000 photos)
Platforms: Web, Android, and iOS
Language: English

Online picture sharing

Flickr is a photo sharing website which was acquired by Yahoo on March 20, 2005, and was later acquired by Smugmug in 2018. Flickr hosts full-resolution, geolocated, open-licensed images (note that not all images are open-licensed). Flickr also uses OSM data for some parts of the world, for example in Beijing and Baghdad.

Privacy settings

Mappers who use Flickr might like to set a few defaults in the privacy settings, to make their photos more useful for OSM purposes:

  • Who can download your images (including originals)? Anyone
  • What license will your content have? Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Who will be able to see your stuff on a map? Anyone

Of course, these can always be changed for individual photos or when bulk-uploading.

Relation with OpenStreetMap

Some OpenStreetMap applications and users host their pictures on Flickr. As Flickr offers a machine tags system, you can mark a picture with openstreetmap tag, to make it easy to find. You can also mark an OSM feature with flickr=URL of the picture to associate a Flickr picture. These pictures can be retrieved using the following links:

Application using Flickr

Several applications make use of Flickr pictures. Here are some of them.


Web application built by User:Pgiraud.

Helps user to link easily Flickr photos to elements on the map. Built with d3js on top of iD editor for interaction.

Source code is on github :


This web application is made by 3liz to help contributors to link pictures from their Flickr Account to OpenStreetMap objects. You can log in with your Flickr account, and then you will be able to use a map to search for OSM objects and create machine tags easily.

Source code is on github:

OSM machine tags

Photos on Flickr can be given machine tags to link to a specific object in OSM. Flickr will read some of the tags of that object to describe the photo.

eg to link to an OSM way / node:

  • osm:way=30089216
  • osm:node=1234567

More details: [1]


Pic4Carto is an efficient picture viewer to help contributors review all pictures in a given area. It uses Flickr geotagged pictures, but also Mapillary and  Wikimedia Commons ones.


Pic4Review, an easy editor for OSM using street-level pictures, make use of Flickr pictures, and also add flickr=* on OSM feature when it was used to contribute.

See also