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Correspondence with the City of Bellingham GIS dept

Use of your data for OpenSteetMaps

Dear Bellingham GIS Department,

Thank you for making your geographic data available to the public.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you regarding the OpenStreetMap project [1], a collaborative open project to create a global geodata set freely usable by anyone [2], and to which I am a contributor. I have not yet received a reply, and write again to ask permission to use your data for the project.

Because we respect the IP rights of others, it is important for us to confirm the license which public data, such as yours, is offered.

At the most simple, I would seek a statement like this:

"The City of Bellingham has no objections to geodata derived in part from its GIS Data Center, located at, being incorporated into the OpenStreetMap project geodata database and released under a free and open license" [1]

I also ask that whatever statement you are prepared to make can be made public for information purposes.

By permitting its data to be used as a source for the OpenStreetMap, Bellingham would join over 50 national, state, provincial, municipal, and county governments worldwide, including the US Federal Government, the City of Seattle, and King County. The liability disclaimers that Seattle and King County provide with their data can be viewed at The full list of organizations which contribute their data to OSM can also be viewed there.

Below is a fact sheet. If you would like any more information, I will do my best to help or can ask our project's License Working Group to get in touch with you.

Thank you for your time,

Evan Derickson


Fact Sheet

[1] The OpenStreetMap project currently has over 750,000 registered contributors worldwide. Our main website is

[2] We are mandated to make our geodata available in perpetuity under a free and open licence. We are not allowed to use a commercial license, but commercial organisations are allowed to use our data under similar terms.

[3] Our data is currently published under the Open Database License 1.0,

[4] Most of our geodata is contributed by individuals. However, we are very grateful when able to incorporate or derive from other geo-data datasets where license terms are compatible.

[5] We formally attribute all such sources at, using any specific wording if you request. We also try to provide a link to this page with any extract of data from our database. However, for reasons of practicality, we do not require end-users to repeat such attribution since it runs into hundreds.

[6] We also keep a public track of third party data use at and usually have a project page for each dataset, describing how we use it and whether there are any license restrictions to be aware of.

[7] If you have any specific legal questions, the OpenStreetMap Foundation's License Working Group can be reached at and will be glad to help.

RE: Use of your data for OpenSteetMaps

Burdick, Don C. <>

Jan 23 2013

to me

Hello Evan,

I’m sorry for the delay in getting a response there was complication with our new service desk software and you were never sent the original response. If you have any questions or need any follow up please contact me directly.


The City of Bellingham has no objections to geodata derived in part from its GIS Data Center, located at , being incorporated into the OpenStreetMap project geodata database and released under a free and open license. Please reference our disclaimer found in the metadata included in the data download package...

"The City of Bellingham has developed these data and maps for its own use and no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. It is also strongly recommended that careful attention be paid to the contents of the metadata file associated with these data to evaluate data set limitations, restrictions, or intended use. The City of Bellingham shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. The risk or liability resulting from the use of this product is entirely assumed by the user. "

Don Burdick

GIS Project Manager

City of Bellingham, Information Technology Department

Phone: 360.778.7835 |

210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 My incoming and outgoing email messages are subject to public disclosure requirements per RCW 42.56