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Hey guys! Quick question here!

So, I'm working on a web-based system for a company. The system requires a map to be accessed by the employees. I tried my luck with Google Maps, and, of course, it was a no-go for intranets unless you have a premium membership ($10,000 a year, ouch).

So I started looking online and I found this beautiful piece of open source software. I checked the Terms of Service and, indeed, it allowed intranet maps. And then I started looking for the API, and was a bit confused (and still am, I'm a newbie here), until I found this:

"Great!" I thought to myself, this is easy! But then the question came to me: which Terms of Service apply for that example, OSM's or Google Maps'? Because technically you're using the Google Maps API, but also you're technically using OSM.

Any thoughts on this conundrum?

Help! (I need somebody's) Help!

Thanks in advance, people!

asked 06 Apr '17, 23:35

The%20Knifemaster's gravatar image

The Knifemaster
accept rate: 0%

edited 07 Apr '17, 00:39

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

"And then I started looking for the API, and was a bit confused" -> Which API do you need? What are your requirements? There are various services and interfaces for OSM available.

(07 Apr '17, 08:16) scai ♦

I was planning on using Google's because it's the one I'm familiar to me, but it was suggested to me that I should look into alternatives. My requirement is basically a map that employees of a company can use in an intranet (behind a log-in screen) and not publicly as Google demands. Any suggestions to alternatives?

(08 Apr '17, 00:19) The Knifemaster

The answer is simple:

  • we don't care what framework you use, as long as, when the result is publicly used, the attribution of OSM is correct
  • and we don't do free legal consulting on the subject of googles ToS, you really need to ask google about them
permanent link

answered 07 Apr '17, 00:02

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

Thanks for your answer!

I'm really not asking about the ToS of Google, because I am familiar with them, I am asking mainly about the interaction of OSM with other frameworks in regards of ToS, as OSM has their own, but OSM does not have a framework of itself (if it does, I'm sorry I was unaware of it, feel free to correct me!).

(07 Apr '17, 00:29) The Knifemaster

@the Knifemaster: OSM does not have a framework, right - it has many (regarding showing a map). Please not that if you are planning to use's tile server, the usage volume should be very very low (we run them on donations!) - see Other tile servers (or your own) exist! Always this applies: . Last but not least: we are happy if you use OSM (and tell people about it) and will try our best to help you.

(07 Apr '17, 00:40) aseerel4c26 ♦

That's awesome! I will definitely use OSM and tell people about it because it's great and it has a great community, really, you guys are super fast to answer and provide lots of insight!

As for the tiles, it's a very very small company, and the maps will only be used to show specific locations where operators need to go to get the job done, so won't be using a lot of tiles, really! I am considering donating in the future!

But my initial question still stands, if I use a framework, do I have to abide to the framework's ToS even if I'm using OSM on top of it (with the appropriate OSM attribution, of course)? Like, should I go to each of the framework's sites and read their Terms of Service before I use their framework with OSM? Or do I only need to abide to OSM's ToS?

I'm sorry I keep asking this, it's only that I really don't want to infringe anyone's ToS accidentally, even though I'm definitely using OSM... I just want to be extra sure it's okay for me to use the framework under OSM's ToS and just be happy with it.

(07 Apr '17, 01:30) The Knifemaster

You already got the answer to your original question, we,as in OSM, don't care and you need to have a look at whatever you intend to use for other consequences.

The popular OSS tile display packages (OpenLayers and Leaflet) don't restrict you in use, commercial ones google and so on will likely do so. Naturally displaying tiles is just one part of the story . In any case you can build your own infrastructure with the available OSS tools.

See for more information.

(07 Apr '17, 07:32) SimonPoole ♦

@the knifemaster: "do I have to abide to the framework's ToS": why not? I suggest you do not use google's framework anyhow if you think their ToS are too complicated. Regarding simple tile display with leaflet: it is rather copyright than ToS because you are just using the software on your server. And yes, you should respect the copyrights of all the used software. And you should respect the copyrights of the used OSM tiles and the ToS of the tile server (if you use it for the start). However, all that is quite easy (mostly displaying attribution and not requesting too many tiles from the tile server) - see the help links already provided by Simon and me.

(07 Apr '17, 08:18) aseerel4c26 ♦

Thank you for your answers! I will mark this question as settled and I will look into alternatives to see how I can go around using OSM and a framework for an intranet.

Thanks again for your patience and support!

(08 Apr '17, 00:21) The Knifemaster
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question asked: 06 Apr '17, 23:35

question was seen: 3,042 times

last updated: 08 Apr '17, 00:21

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