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Dear Community,

I am a new member and a little confused about the following: Can companies upload their own data to OSM?

For example these Tesla Superchargers, which are shown in OSM, would Tesla be allowed to upload these position themselves?

Regarding the use of data I understood that there is no exclusion of commercial use, but what about the Data Upload to OSM?

Thank you very much for your input!

asked 23 Mar '20, 09:36

Flow079's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

There are two sides to this.

First of all, when anyone is tasked by someone else to edit OpenStreetMap - i.e. they're not mapping what they want but what someone else tells them to - then we expect this situation to be openly documented so that mappers know whom they are dealing with. This is spelled out in our "Organised Editing Guidelines": - and this applies to all editing, whether it's a data import or just mapping like everyone else.

Secondly, we have guidelines that apply to all sorts of imports (whether done privately or commercially). So if someone were to get hold of a list of superchargers and wanted to upload them to OSM, they would have to abide by the import guidelines, here: - most importantly, imports need to be discussed with the community first, they need to be clear from a license point of view, the data should match general OSM practice (e.g. no private tags on the objects), and the quality must be sufficient. And of course existing OSM data must be handled properly.

To answer your question, yes, Tesla can add their superchargers to OSM. If Tesla were to task an employee to go through a list of superchargers, identify them on aerial imagery, and map them one by one in OSM, then that would not count as a data import; only the "Organised Editing Guidelines" would apply. If Tesla wanted to somehow upload a file with all superchargers, then both the OEG and the "Import Guidelines" would apply.

One thing we do not tolerate at all in OSM is advertising of any kind. We're happy for a hotel chain to add their hotels, but if they add a description like "Situated in the bustling centre of XY town, this hotel offers the most luxurious accommodation..." then that will have to go. We are about facts, not a marketing tool.

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answered 23 Mar '20, 10:08

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 23 Mar '20, 10:14


To add one more comment to this - a company is NOT allowed to "try and make OSM mirror their company's list of facilities". All lists of data have errors, and we come across situations all the time where "official" data sources are incorrect for various reasons - it's important that any data in OSM can be edited by anyone to reflect reality.

(23 Mar '20, 10:35) SomeoneElse ♦

Okay, thanks for the Information! Remaining Question: Where / in which forum / community do I need to discuss the planned Upload of data? Thanks.

(06 Apr '20, 09:11) Flow079

That's mentioned in the import guidelines linked to above. If you have trouble getting into contact with the local community please let us know what area you are planning to add data to.

(06 Apr '20, 13:47) TZorn

Yes, they can, if the licence is compatible. Note that people often originate "their own data" by reference to a third-party dataset (e.g. Google Maps) and that is not acceptable for OSM.

However, any "uploading" - whether done by a company or a single person - needs to follow the relevant rules, in particular:

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answered 23 Mar '20, 10:10

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

Hi Richard, thanks for your reply! Question: You mentioned; If the license is compatible. Are there different versions of licenses dor users (private / commercial) or how does it work? Thanks!

(23 Mar '20, 14:05) Flow079

Richard is referring to the license of the data itself. You'd presume that a company like Tesla owns the data about the Superchargers' locations. But unless they're willing to license that data in a way that's compatible with the ODBL (OSM's license) it can't be imported into the database.

(One "gotcha" that comes up often: A company might have a list of locations described by address, and they want to import them into OSM. To import, you need coordinates (latitude and longitude) for each item. Some clever person at the company will use Google's geocoding API to translate the addresses into coordinates... but the coordinates are Google's data, not theirs, so the license of the dataset is no longer compatible with OSM.)

(23 Mar '20, 21:41) jmapb

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question asked: 23 Mar '20, 09:36

question was seen: 2,140 times

last updated: 06 Apr '20, 13:47

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