Hi Everyone,

My name is Olivier Matthys. I'm sales and marketing executive for an IT company in Belgium and one of our specialties is mobile app development. i've been searching for some time now to find the right answer about the usages of Openstreetmap... but no succes so far :).

One of our customers came up with an idea and asked us if we could develop it.

De development shouldn't be a problem, but offcourse we have to be sure whether we can use Openstreetmap in the application.

The application would be a sort of a 'shooter game'(nothing spectacular :)) where people can see on the map where their opponents are (more like a paintball game but your smartphone, it also uses nicknames instead of real names etc for privacy reasons), and therefore we would like to use Openstreetmap. As our customer really wants to spread the game worldwide they decided to do the hosting thereselves. And ofcourse if the app would be a success, donations for the free use of Open street map would be no problem.

But my questions is simple: Can our developers use the API's etc and general use of Open street map for the game?

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

Olivier Matthys

asked 25 Jun '12, 09:31

Olivier%20Matthys's gravatar image

Olivier Matthys
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accept rate: 0%


There's probably some confusion of terms here. OpenStreetMap has an API but we call that the "editing API", it is for access to our raw data and it is unlikely that you want to use that in the game (and you wouldn't be allowed to).

What Google et al. call their "API", a collection of Javascript code that enables you to access their servers, doesn't exist in OSM. Instead, you would use third-party libraries like OpenLayers or Leaflet to display OSM maps in a browser, or other platform-specific libraries to display OSM data. These are not part of OSM but made by others; some are proprietary, some are open source.

You are always free to download our raw data in the form of our Planet file or an extract thereof, and process it into a form that you can use for your game, and host the result yourself. For 2D maps people usually set up a tile server themselves and produce map tiles (PNG images) from the data; I don't know if your requirements for the game are different. The http://www.switch2osm.org/ web site has some information about setting up tile servers, and also has pointers to businesses willing to help you with that if required.

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answered 25 Jun '12, 09:48

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
71.3k846451113
accept rate: 24%

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question asked: 25 Jun '12, 09:31

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last updated: 25 Jun '12, 09:48

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