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Hi all. Is there any best practice / templates that can be used when writing to retail chains to request use of their store location data? This data is often on their website but I assume we need permission to add it to OSM. I guess something positive and jargon free is best here. Don't want to confuse them! Your help much appreciated.

asked 17 Jan '18, 19:22

RobJN's gravatar image

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For retail chains, the template #1 sample would seem to be the best suited. So far, the biggest obstacle to using retail chain data is rights to use the geolocated data. It's nearly certain that the performed geolocation with a commercial provider which means that they don't have the right to allow OSM to use that data.

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answered 18 Jan '18, 11:56

Mike%20N's gravatar image

Mike N
accept rate: 17%


Thanks @Mike N.

Whilst it is indeed short, it does still include more jargon ("geodata" anyone) than I would ideally like. I'm also not a fan of them having to send a specific statement as I think this is a hurdle too high for many -> we are likely to get through to a social media team first and I don't want them to bin it.

As such I have come up with the following which is somewhat based on another text that was sent to me. Let me know if you think this is completely off the mark.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in order to get permission to use the information on your website to develop a project called OpenStreetMap (OSM). This is a non-profit, collaborative project to create openly licensed maps. We are able to do this thanks to many thousand volunteer contributors adding local knowledge and donated data sources.

So that it is possible to get the most accurate and up to date information about your branches, I am proposing that you give permission for OSM contributors to use data from your website. Permission is needed because, due to EU law (Database Directive 1996) it is not possible to use the data without first asking. None of the information copied will be sensitive, only information from branch finder pages or similar, usually addresses, opening hours and telephone numbers.

You will not be required to do any extra work other than allowing us to use the data. Adding your branches to OSM is free, no work for you and gives extra publicity for people trying to find your stores. Many people use OSM as their default map, as it is often more detailed as it uses local knowledge, and is licensed openly so can be used more freely, e.g. complete functionality offline.

In summary, all you have to do is: 1. Give permission for OSM contributors to use data from your website 2. Enjoy the knowledge that more map users will see your branches

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely, <<<name>>> OSM Volunteer Mapper

(18 Jan '18, 21:51) RobJN

That seems to cover the needed points and is easily understood.

(19 Jan '18, 11:12) Mike N

I think any letter should make clear that the data can be used commercially: OSMF may be a not-for-profit organisation, but the data can be used. I suspect in this form it is easy to elide the two.

(07 Apr '18, 14:34) SK53 ♦

Perhaps a bit late but I think we do need to mention (or link to) the ODBL. We wouldn't want an organisation to claim at a later date that they had given permission to add their data to a map, but not to release it to others to use for whatever purpose they chose. The EU directive stuff could be omitted to reduce the complexity, I expect that most businesses expect people not to copy their websites without permission anyway. Tailoring the template to say exactky what information from a particular website we would like permission to reuse is preferable to asking for a broad permission and ppromising to only use non-sensitive bits. Again, this provides clarity which is less likely to lead to ambiguity at a later date.

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answered 06 Apr '18, 15:50

ACS1986's gravatar image

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question asked: 17 Jan '18, 19:22

question was seen: 1,963 times

last updated: 07 Apr '18, 14:34

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