Talk:OpenStreetView (2009)

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All threads below this line are about the old OpenStreetView project, see OpenStreetView (2009)

If you want to report a problem or request a feature, please do so on the Github repositories for the various components. Thanks! Martijn van Exel (talk)

Discuss the OpenStreetView page here:

As stated on the page, you can contact developers of OpenStreetView by create an issue on github or join the discussion on the mailing list

What is the goal of OpenStreetView?

To me, OSV seems currently to serve two very different goals, which do not go nicely together:

A. Serve as a scratch place to upload informative pictures to support OSM-mapping

B. Upload "nice" pictures about a place to give an idea how it looks there.

While A often shows a lot of pictures "useless" to the general public, like traffic signs, post boxes which are often just about a detail and could be anywhere etc., B normally shows an overview of a square, or an important building or something.

I understand the usability of both, A and B, but I really would advocate to seperate them. If the database stays crowed with pictures from type A, it's not very attractive to use it for B. Neither for users to upload, nor for data consummers to render the pictures, e.g. in a offline map. I would like therefore the promoters of OSV to clarify what is the intended purpose of OSV, and if it's both A and B, to consider to implementing a split between these two categories.

Thanks, --Nounours77 (talk) 11:11, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Privacy issues

Does this mean, that to have to leave my privacy to demand for it? See below. --Lulu-Ann 15:00, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I do have issues, but I don't think anyone worried about their privacy at home must be forced to register an account at github and loose privacy online.

German Federal State of Schleswig Holstein has checked for legal issues to prevent Google Street View to start work there. Then Google Street View has stopped all actions. I recommend not to try what happens when Open Street View tries again.

I do not want pictures taken of my house. Give me a possibility to prevent that without having to make an online link between my nick / name and real life address. --Lulu-Ann 19:35, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi Lulu-Ann, I don't fully understand what is the problem, can you clarify ? I gather you have problem with github requiring login account, is that correct ? You can also report issues on the above mentioned mailing list, it will work as good as github, if that is satisfactory ? Or do you also have a problem with your e-mail being connected with openstreetmap/openstreetview ? In that case I think you should probably use email anonymizer for those activities. Or have I misunderstood what you're saying ? --mnalis 23:59, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
We need an interface where each dummy can request that his/her house is not in OpenStreetView without any obstacle like the need to have an email account at all. An email anonymizer is even a greater obstacle. I imagine an interface as simlple as a guestbook. --Lulu-Ann 13:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for clarification, Lulu-Ann. If I understand correctly then: you want to be able to "opt-out" your house from "world of pictures"; so effectively nobody can take and upload (maybe even geotagged) pictures of your house against your wishes, right? But IMHO I don't think that such idea has any chance of doing any real good for privacy, especially if you try to do it at openstreetview level, for several reasons detailed below:
firstly, even if such an extreme pro-privacy measures (such as reducing citizens freedoms to the level of forbidding any other citizen to take photos that might have other peoples houses/property in them without owners permission) are indeed wanted, they should be voted (and enforced) at the local country law level (if most of their citizens want that, of course), and not at millions of various internet sites that might happen to publicize (maybe geotagged, which is becoming popular) photos. I myself (YMMV, of course) would much prefer losing a little bit of privacy (by having other people have unlimited right to take pictures in public places; including my property and anything that might be on it and geotagging it) then have to live in Orwellian 1984, where government controls weather I can take any picture in public space, or record anything I hear at the public space in the name of "protecting citizens privacy" (even if government never abused such a power, which I also find highly doubtful)
secondly, even if openstreeview implemented such measures (to request photo removal if you don't like the photo of your house exteriors), it would be just a drop in the sea - there are millions of *much* more popular sites (like facebook, myspace, orkut, youtube, picasa, photobucket, panoramio, google images crawler with billions of others etc) which do not. And even if all of them offered such a removal (if one doesn't like picture of his house being uploaded), one could waste all his life just requesting removals of pictures. Again IMHO: totally not worth it. Also note that OpenStreetView implements random moderation scoring, so all people faces, license plates and such stuff will be blacked out, and inapropriate pictures (as decided by moderating public) removed and not published.
and thirdly, even if the first two issues could be made to work (and were a good idea to do!), implementing it as suggested (without any authorization to check if it *really* is the owner requesting removal) is actually equal on banning all the photos on all of the Internet; because sooner or later some joker would go on such guestbook and say "remove all pictures with houses in U.S.A. Signed: President Obama" (or, not much harder, write a script which would request such removals in smaller groups or one-by-one). And trying to fix it by implementing world-wide authorization scheme would probably imply having to have world-wide government, which I find much worse remedy then initial illness. --mnalis 18:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I won't discuss. I demand that feature, or I will make sure that you get your law against OpenStreetView with a lot of bad press. --Lulu-Ann 19:44, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Not that I'd be involved, but dropping in a note that servers are easy to move; plenty of countries available that couldn't care less if it's illegal in Germany. Companies, such as Google (re their Streetview), have a bigger incentive to "play nice" (i.e. not to contest in court with all the appeal stages), because they want to keep doing other business in the country undisturbed. Alv 21:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Out of curiosity I tried to, and did find the reasoning for the "Data Protection Ombudsman"'s decision. I couldn't yet find any further official decisions on the matter, but he argued that
  1. collecting the photos (for Google's service) is systematic, as opposed to some random pictures of the same houses, even online
  2. Because the photos include location and direction, one could extract the address (or the address can otherwise be derived from those pictures) and then one could combine it with other databases to get the identity of the person living there
  3. A description or a photo of the state and appearance of the/any house is, according to his reasoning, then describing that person's social status, wealth and other properties, which are protected.
I'm especially baffled by his interpretation that already the possibility to cross-reference the data with address databases, i.e. the theoretical ability to know who lives there, would infringe upon the privacy laws; it wasn't justified at all in the document. Elsewhere (that I know of) it's only illegal to actually perform the cross-referencing. I even looked up the German Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, but I couldn't find anything more specific than "personal data is protected"; but then I'm not a German lawyer. Feel free to cite a legal source. Alv 14:00, 7 October 2009 (UTC)#
A scientific document about "The georeferenced human" (German) [1] See what is possible! OpenStreetView wants to add another means to do this... --Lulu-Ann 15:26, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Nothing new there, same "famous" quotes. Alv 15:59, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry you won't discuss, Lulu-Ann. But please note that I'm not the owner (or even related in any way to the OpenStreetView project, apart from being interested user), nor do I have any power to change anything on OpenStreetView in response to your demands. So if you have any legal issues about privacy laws or whatever, I suggest your lawyer should contact and explain the issue to the relevant parties (which I am not). And since you're not willing to discuss in constructive way, I certainly won't be volunteering my time to code and contribute something which I don't think is useful (which I might have been doing if there was some real issue I could agree was worth my time). --mnalis 21:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
My demand was constructive and clear. I demanded for a very simple interface. Non-constructive are arguments like "If we don't do it, somebody else will do it". Stealing is not legal either, you would not argue like that then, would you? --Lulu-Ann 10:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that the interface you suggested brings much more problems then solutions, as I outlined above, especially as 99% of the world does not have such privacy laws as Germany (which is where your analogy fails, because stealing is not legal in 99% of the world, as opposed to taking pictures of houses which is). May I propose another idea for solution? You (or somebody else) provide an square area (or more of them if needed because of the geometry) in the format of bboxes (defined by north-west GPS coordinates xx,xxx to south-east GPS coordinates yy,yyy) of that part of the Germany in which it is illegal to post such photos due to privacy issues and then someone can write a code for OpenStreetView which will not accept pictures which fall into such areas ? That would be doable with reasonable amount of effort, would solve your problem, and would have the least negative impact. Would that be satisfactory? --mnalis 12:34, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Lately Google Street View has started an interface to report your house shall not be pictured / shall be pixeled after discussion with German authorities. So just assume complete German bounding box to be no go area until you have an interface like Google. Lulu-Ann
German authorities are planning a common web portal where people can sign up once and their houses must be pixeled in all services. OpenStreetView should join this portal. --Lulu-Ann 16:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Panorama photography


I've done some Panorama-Photography using Autostitch and a Nikon D40 on a Tripod. The Results are very detailled with High Resolution. Much better than the Photos on GoogleStreetView

How is this handled? I think the goal is, to get a system as good as Google Street View or even better. I think Panorama-Photos are necessary to reach this aim.

Is there any discussion about Panoramic Photography? where? Are there tools to include them?

Cheers --Aegre Reminiscens 07:40, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Magnification of photos

Hello, how can user get full scale version of the photos? I was trying to do that many ways, but all failed - this issue is the big problem which prevents me from using (and therefore also uploading photos) this service.--Petr Dlouhý 16:19, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

When you get a URL of thumbnail (for example by right clicking on it and choosing "view image" in firefox), you will get URL which looks like:
Just replace "square" with "large" (for example: and you will get picture in large format. --mnalis 16:50, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
That is not very user friendly. Can I expect, that is known issue, or should I fill the bug?--Petr Dlouhý 17:48, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
yeah, it is work in progress. While there are general ideas what to improve, you should really fill the issue at github; or alternatively (less preferred) report how you would like it to work on mailing list so somebody else can enter the request at github. Things not in github might be forgotten or delayed, while that in github get fixed more quickly :) --mnalis 18:19, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Georeferencing and formatting

A newcomer, I'm looking for guidance on how to georeference the photoes I upload. I assumed something would appear during the upload process, but if soemthing did, then I missed it! Also are there recommended sizes (pixels) and formats (e.g. 4x3, 16x9)?


The image files need to have the coordinates in EXIF data fields; that means you need to use some software before upload to write the location info into each image, if and when your (mobile)camera doesn't automatically do that. If you have a separate gpx log in sync with the photos, I've personally used "GPS Correlate" in the past. You might find something more intuitive elsewhere. The possibility to set the location of the photos inside the OpenStreetView has been stated as "coming soon" since the start of that project. Alv 10:46, 19 October 2010 (BST)
OK thanks. It would be great to have this info in the wiki page! --JeffH 15:36, 19 October 2010 (BST)
Sure it would -- it's a wiki, why don't you add it? Thanks! --mnalis 01:03, 23 October 2010 (BST)


We are using custom photo gallery embedded in the map of Slovakia at our FreeMap portal: Do you think that these pictures would be suitable for OSV?

--*Martin* 21:48, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Mobile Client

Whats about an application where I can directly upload photos from my android phone? Has anyone worked on that topic yet? --Saerdnaer 14:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia / OSV

You probably know Commons, the database for Wikipedia. Here you see their picutures:

Is it possible to use their hardware? Otherwise we have to upload our pictures twice.

This page describes how to include Commons pictures in OSM. Are they taken into account for OpenStreetView?

Glad 19:13, 4 June 2012 (BST)

OpenStreetView could be a MediaWiki with this Kolossos's tool or derived. It would be easier to use and manage. An other MediaWiki only if not is wanted the pictures mapping being hosted in's Categories.
Kolossos develops other tools and two them are WIWOSM and Query-to-map. More info: w:de:Hilfe:OpenStreetMap/en.
Moreover you can query the geometry of a country or others OSM data.
Source code of interest:
Alexandre Magno (talk) 01:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
commons-on-osm.php is only an OpenLayers-Frontend for Commons:Geocoding. So an other user is extracting coordinates from Commons pictures and generates dynamically KML's.
If you want to use Commons you must be in Project scope. So if you want to make a picture each 2 meters on a long road, you get perhaps problems. Pictures on Commons need metadata, categories, coordinates... Otherwise Commons has 20 million photos, and would be happy to get more interesting pictures around the globe.
Commons is runnning on large servers from the Wikimedia Foundation, tools are running on small Toolserver and moving in the moment to Tool Labs, thats why the future is in the moment a little bit unknown but I hope you can use Tool Labs in future for the cooperation between Wikimedia and OSM. --Kolossos (talk) 20:12, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the clarification. — Alexandre Magno (talk) 21:38, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Also there is the using CORS. And there is the issue #33 — "add support for CORS" — at the OpenStreetView Github repository.
Alexandre Magno (talk) 12:45, 14 March 2014 (UTC)


Just to check - is it OK to load images from Google Streetview ?

No. Martijn van Exel (talk)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tfitzp (talkcontribs) 08h28min de 8 de setembro de 2014 (UTC-3)

Depends of the license used for the photo. — Alexandre Magno (talk) 12:09, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
This may be true for OpenStreetView, but the question was about Google Streetview.