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I think I miss-read what was meant on the OSM front page. It reads "We started it 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."

The closest use case I'm wanting OSM for is along the lines of routing and turn-by-turn application.

Does the license OSM is using permit people to:

  1. download OSM data into a local database
  2. combine (locally, not uploaded to OSM) additional free data-sets having compatible licenses
  3. Leverage proprietary "for a fee" use data that is not saved, but with compatible licenses
  4. Develop a new proprietary algorithms that utilizes said data
  5. Develop a new proprietary user interface for said data and algorithms with OSM branding/crediting displayed on said interface
  6. Earn money from the user interface
  7. Keep the finished product that also contains OSM private.

I'm looking to avoid giving some other potential business person or company a copy of what I created. The more I read the OSM license, the more confused I became after possibly miss-understanding the heading of the front page of

How do you determine if my use case is accepted according to the license OSM is using?

In Chapter 4 the license discusses Derivate Database. It makes a reference to "Publicly Convey this Database". Convey in the dictionary reads "transport or carry to a place". Does Chapter 4 mean my use case is approved of for that particular chapter since I am using the data in an app apposed to exposing the database as an offering in its entirety?

asked 19 Oct '14, 23:49

ZRacer's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Oct '14, 00:00

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


Just a hint: The license matters, not the front page. Surely OSM has legal restrictions, too, but they are not as strict as for most proprietary maps.

(20 Oct '14, 08:00) scai ♦

Much of this depends on how you intend to "combine" the data.

You can build proprietary software with OSM data. You can add proprietary layers to OSM data. What you generally cannot do is commingle OSM data with third-party data and keep the result private, for example by adding an additional set of roads missing from OSM. This becomes a "Derivative Database" and the ODbL still applies.

If you can give more details about what you mean by "combine", then we will be able to help more.

However, please refrain from using wording as you have done on the mailing lists. The use of the imperative ("Remove the deception"), pejorative language ("deception"), preaching ("diginty [sic], respect and morals"), and factual misrepresentation ("It does not help the business" - OSM is not a business) will not make people inclined to spend their time giving you free advice.

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answered 20 Oct '14, 09:04

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

I think you are taking part of a thread from another help avenue ( of context and using it to publicly disrespect me.

I want you to know I had zero intent of disrespect and you have shown much disrespect. Publicly no less. I refuse to change my wording.

(20 Oct '14, 19:54) ZRacer

You seem overly anxious to feel disrespected. There was merely a polite request that you avoid strong negative terms in your language, not least because there's a risk that people on this site may feel less inclined to help you. Everyone here is a volunteer: we aren't doing OSM as a business. You have twice chosen to ignore the advice of people I respect. I for one feel no need to assist you now.

(20 Oct '14, 20:04) SK53 ♦

Richard was wrong in his response in the thread. Because of an incorrect statement to me (I did not know it was inaccurate at that time), the response I gave was adequate in that respect. In that context it was just. In fact, someone else chimed in with a wtf.

For Richard to then take part of that thread and bringing it to another public help outlet with negative connotation, missing my reasoning and justification is more than disrespectful. I am sticking up for myself. OSM does have a license in the UK. OSM is a form of a corporation. It is a business.

(21 Oct '14, 17:29) ZRacer

You are confusing your Richards.

(16 Nov '14, 13:46) Richard ♦

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question asked: 19 Oct '14, 23:49

question was seen: 3,305 times

last updated: 16 Nov '14, 13:46

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum