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I want to trace/draw new features in OpenStreetMap using Google Maps, Yahoo, or others as a background. Am I allowed to do that? What are the legal implications?

asked 26 Aug '10, 14:26

spaetz's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%


The short reply is: Google NO, Yahoo (aerial imagery) yes.

The long reply is: Although it is legaly disputed whether one infringes on copyright by tracing from aerial imagery, it is not disputed that one has to stay within the Terms of Service of the offered service. And Google clearly seems to prohibit tracing, so don't do that. If I remember correctly, they even seem to imply that it would impose a copyright infringement. (although as I said, it is questionable if that is true)

Yahoo's terms of service don't prohibit that and there has been communication with Yahoo people and they have confirmed that tracing Yahoo aerial imagery seems to be within the terms of service and should be possible (but they gave no explicit permission to OSM). See our wiki item on the legalities and history of communication of tracing from Yahoo.

There is also a brief entry on the legal FAQ on this issue.

permanent link

answered 26 Aug '10, 14:31

spaetz's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

edited 26 Aug '10, 14:36

Update: note that Yahoo imagery is not to be used anymore. But instead nowadays OSM has an agreement with bing for their aerial imagery (which is displayed by default in out editors).

(14 Nov '13, 10:00) aseerel4c26 ♦
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question asked: 26 Aug '10, 14:26

question was seen: 11,055 times

last updated: 14 Nov '13, 10:10

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