NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

Hi all!

After lots of browsing and googling I have finally found a location where I can download a 10X10m tile resolution DEM of the Piedmont in Italy. I have long wanted to get hold of these data, as the DEM I was using until now is not nearly as precise, good as it is (I am, of course, refering to viewfinderpanoramas' excellent work). The data is in asc format, and I managed to create hill shading and contours from it on my QGIS, then I put OSM on top - BINGO!

I found the data at

By the looks of it, the data is under a creative commons license:

But it's all in italian, and mine isn't up to legalese standards. Can someone help and tell me if these data are, in fact, as I hope, free to use - and is this license compatible with OSM insofar as I could base OSM work on them? And if the data isn't OSM-compatible, do you think the license would allow using the DEM-derived contours for inclusion in a garmin map? This is where I need them most, but of course I'd much rather see the map-makers from our community using these excellent data than just somehow banging it together for my own GPS unit!

The Regione Piemonte is a treasure-trove of cartographic data, and next to the DEM I am so happy about is much more stuff which is also available and seems to be under the same or a similar license. There's even a fair amount of vector data.

Help appreciated


asked 26 Apr '12, 17:26

kfj's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Please take a step back first and read up on the topic of imports in to OSM. Just a quick search here would for example have turned up

A CC-by licence could however be OK if the copyright holder can accept attribution via our website and not on downstream derived works. Note that OSM does not provide a repository for DEM data so at least that data set is not suitable for importing in any case.

permanent link

answered 26 Apr '12, 18:53

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 26 Apr '12, 20:03

Please note that I don't want to do an import into OSM (yet), even though some of the data from the site I've linked to may offer themselves for the purpose. I'd like clarification on the compatibility of the license I have found with OSM practise. I do most of my work from my own GPS tracks and satellite imagery, but since I'm working in rugged wilderness terrain, some of the valleys I work on are shaded, and the GIS could help me to disambiguate the satellite data. This is why I have stated my hope to be able to base OSM work on these data.

(26 Apr '12, 19:34) kfj

I am aware that imports and use of foreign material are a dicey issue, and that's precisely why I have posted what I did. Please don't think I'm hasty or uninformed, it's just that my italian isn't very good. Is your's up to telling what the license text I've linked to means? Then please have a look!

Be assured that I'm aware of the fact that OSM doesn't deal with DEM data. Nevertheless I'm convinced that a fair portion of the community's members will have a lively interest in the topic and welcome sources of free quality DEM data even though they may have no place (yet) in OSM's dataverse.

(26 Apr '12, 19:35) kfj

Even with just a rudimentary knowledge of Italian it it clear that they are referring to CC-by 2.5 in the Italian translation and are asking for the attribution to be the specific wording mentioned in the text.

Since you will have to contact them directly anyway if you want to use any of the data in OSM (because of the attribution), it is probably a good idea to get in contact with the Italian (quite active) community and find a native Italian speaker there who is willing to help.

(27 Apr '12, 14:56) SimonPoole ♦

Thanks for the comment. When reading through

there is no mention made of having to contact anyone, though. I thought 'attribution' meant that you state the source of the data, and in this case with the text they require. Still, an italian speaker would be in a much better position to clarify...

(29 Apr '12, 20:36) kfj

I worked my way through the italian wiki, and eventually I foundthat the italian wiki actually links to the data I was seeking license information for. On the page

they say that:


Su è possibile scaricare diversi dati geografici che hanno una licenza compatibile con quella di OSM attuale e futura.

which is, you can download several geographic data which have a license compatible with the current and future one of OSM.

Simon's comment implies, though, that I still have to get in touch with the Regione Piemonte. I started looking for someone from the italian community who is willing to help, but no luck so far. So this is only half an answer...

permanent link

answered 29 Apr '12, 20:29

kfj's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

If the local community has already got permission to forgoe downstream attribution and attribute via the web site, then naturally you don't have to go through the same process again.

However the wiki doesn't indicate if such permission was actually obtained or not.

(30 Apr '12, 08:04) SimonPoole ♦

So this is what's needed, 'permission to forgoe downstream attribution and attribute via the web site'? Now I think I begin to understand what the 'getting in touch with them' is all about.

In my layman's terms, could I express it like this: they want to be credited as source of the data, they require a certain textual form of the crediting, and when having the data online in OSM this form can't be satisfied, so we must ask them to waive or modify the requirement?

How does one go on about acquiring such permission? Is there a standard procedure, like a stock text to send?

(02 May '12, 16:32) kfj
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 26 Apr '12, 17:26

question was seen: 5,005 times

last updated: 02 May '12, 16:32

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum