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Hello. I am in the process of developing a commercial Java application and I would love to use OSM. The application is supposed to download OSM tiles on one of the Swing panels to display certain markers and waypoints. The Tile Usage Policy states that "Heavy use (e.g. distributing an app that uses tiles from is forbidden without prior permission from the System Administrators." While I do not foresee selling many copies of my application and I intend to sell it at a very low price, I would like to know the exact process of getting such permission and whom I should contact to get it. Thanks a lot! Igor

asked 02 Oct '17, 11:07

igorland's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


AFAIK we don't communicate exact limits, as there are easy ways to circumvent such limitations (e.g. splitting, ...) and it would express thats ok to crawl with n-1 requests. We run on donated hardware and (currently) focus on presenting an map to our mappers and contributors. Keeping that in mind will guide you to a good choice :-)

(05 Oct '17, 08:51) iii

Thank you, guys. So I am reading this as "no, I can't". OK, I understand. I would appreciate if someone who uses free tiles with JMapViewer or JXMapViewer could point me to them. Many thanks!

(05 Oct '17, 14:16) igorland

Another option might be to run your own tile server - see e.g. for that. If you don't want "the whole world" or you just want a few places overlaid onto a rough background that won't need a huge server to render it.

(05 Oct '17, 20:18) SomeoneElse ♦

igorland - I think you already know this, but sometimes people don't so it's worth me saying.... ...There are other sources of map tiles rather than the 'standard' ones you see on I don't keep track of usage limits, and things change, but it's worth finding out if anyone is currently offering free map tiles for low usage. The advantage would be that if you do start making money you could upgrade to a paid-for (or more expensive) plan... whereas if you go along the lines you're talking then you'd probably be faced with changing the supplier for the map tiles altogether (and the map look would change even for existing app users).

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answered 04 Oct '17, 14:42

Rostranimin's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You can find a list of commercial providers for map tiles (and other services) in the OSM Wiki. Some of them offer these for free but might have a threshold above which you pay.

(06 Oct '17, 12:52) dieterdreist

See here: Contact information for the sysadmins

If they decline, you'll have to look into an alternative, such as hosting your own tile server on your own hardware, or downloading map data dynamically and rendering it on the application side, etc.

Thanks for taking care about usage limits!

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answered 03 Oct '17, 10:59

dsh4's gravatar image

accept rate: 4%

Thank you!

(03 Oct '17, 14:38) igorland

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question asked: 02 Oct '17, 11:07

question was seen: 2,676 times

last updated: 06 Oct '17, 12:52

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