From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Agreement Announcement (18 November 2008)


The October OpenStreetMap Foundation meeting was held Tuesday 28 October 2008. The encouragement of GeoBase and their enthusiasm for OpenStreetMap led to their legal analysis of the licenses and a finding of compatibility. It was proposed that the GeoBase data be included in OSM based on the license compatibility and the aligned GeoBase and OpenStreetMap goals of providing free geospatial data to as wide an audience as possible. The proposal was passed by the board.

The OpenStreetMap community, the OSM Foundation and particularly Canadian contributors to the OpenStreetMap community have anticipated this announcement for some time. I'm sure that you will all join me in thanking GeoBase, the Foundation and the Canadian points of contact for their patience, persistence and vision.


The importance of this announcement is hard to over-state. The agreement between GeoBase and OpenStreetMap marks the contribution of government data from the second largest country on the planet, the largest country in the western hemisphere and the country with the longest coastline on the planet. The GeoBase data set is rich and diverse including the National Road Network, National Hydro Network (surface water), Geopolitical Boundaries, Elevation data and Satellite imagery. The scope of this contribution is unlikely to be surpassed in geographic area.

Next steps

Those of you with an interest in participating in the GeoBase import discussion and project should join the other volunteers on talk-ca, the mailing list for OpenStreetMap discussions relating to Canada. Like previous data import projects for the USA and the Netherlands, this project is community-run. Also like previous import projects the documentation of the conversion and import process should be recorded in the OSM Wiki, on the GeoBase Import page.

The Foundation expects that the OSM community will begin by examining the GeoBase data and importing it in test areas of OpenStreetMap, where little risk is posed to contributed data if the conversion and import is flawed. As the community gains experience with the conversion and import process larger areas will be imported.

The Foundation expects that, as with previous import projects, converting and importing data in areas where it will be merged with existing OSM contributions will be tested first in areas where contributions are sparse, then in areas of more complex data. GeoBase has generously offered their assistance with understanding, converting and importing the GeoBase data.


Please join me in congratulating the OSM Foundation and GeoBase on reaching this agreement that is in the best interests of GeoBase, OpenStreetMap and Canadians. Please join me in thanking the OSM contributors and GeoBase staff who kept the agreement discussion going particularly, Claude, Yves, Corey, Michael, Tom, Sam, Andy, Steve and "flevin".


GeoBase is a federal, provincial and territorial government initiative that is overseen by the Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG). It is undertaken to ensure the provision of, and access to, a common, up-to-date and maintained base of quality geospatial data for all of Canada. Through the GeoBase portal, users with an interest in the field of geomatics have access to quality geospatial information at no cost and with unrestricted use.


OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

About the OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an international non-profit organisation supporting but not controlling the OpenStreetMap project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.


  • GeoBase Import documentation and discussion