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The Situation

I am doing a history project and I need many maps for that. I want to use OpenStreetMap. I will take screenshots, edit the maps in photoshop (e.g. merging the map with my own maps, or identifying locations based on my own data, etc.). In the end I want to make the maps thus created to make available in public domain or commercial use.

My Question

Will it suffice to put © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA below each display of my maps? e.g. I put an image in facebook and mention © OpenStreetMap contributors.

Or a book is published and each time it contains a map edited out from OSM there is © OpenStreetMap contributors as well as a link to OSM website.

Will it be okay?

asked 06 Sep '11, 05:45

Tahmidal's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 29 Apr '15, 00:07

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

The cc-by-sa states: "You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied". From my understanding, in a book it might be sufficient to state: "all maps (c) openstreetmap contributors, cc-by-sa 2.0" at the end or beginning of the book, where other credits are given. In a tv-feature the reasonable way to give credit might be the closing credits, and so on. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but my personal interpretation (matured in discussions in the community).

OSM states in its Wiki for the how:

  • If you are using OpenStreetMap tiles (e.g. Mapnik or Osmarender/tiles@home), we request that your credit reads at least "(c) OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA".

  • If you are using OpenStreetMap data only, we request that your credit reads at least "Map data (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA".

And for the where it states:

  • For a browsable electronic map (e.g. embedded in a web page or mobile phone application), the credit should typically appear in the corner of the map, as commonly seen with map APIs/libraries such as Google Maps.

  • For a printed map, the credit should appear beside the map if that is where other such credits appear, and/or in the "acknowledgements" section of the publication (often at the start of a book or magazine).

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answered 06 Sep '11, 12:27

dieterdreist's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

edited 06 Sep '11, 12:33


please also note that OSM has started a process to change the license from cc-by-sa to odbl. More information in the osm-foundation wiki:

(06 Sep '11, 12:37) dieterdreist

That is ok for the OSM data alone, if you create a new map based on OSM data it is a derived work and you have to publish it under a CC-BY-SA compatible licence (if you publish it at all).
I recommend you reading the licence properly and asking some lawyer if it is not clear.

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answered 06 Sep '11, 09:08

LM_1's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 06 Sep '11, 10:04

Pieren's gravatar image



Note that this only applies to the map and not the entire publication. It is fine to sell a book including OSM maps as long as you allow people to copy the map under the licence. This does not mean that they can copy the entire book.

(07 Sep '11, 22:13) Gnonthgol ♦

I like it very much when you are linked to the actual location on Openstreetmap as well, using a link like one of these:

This lets people easily change stuff in the map if they want, I know almost no one does this but I'm guessing it would probably help you in your work if you keep track of where you took the map.

I hope the history project turns out great.

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answered 07 Sep '11, 12:02

emj's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

edited 07 Sep '11, 12:53

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦

Yes that's fine as far as I understand it. These are the sort of uses that lots of us had in mind when we joined the project. It is probable that the required crediting (wording) will change at sometime. The wiki will explain a bit more.

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answered 06 Sep '11, 09:11

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 06 Sep '11, 11:07

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 06 Sep '11, 05:45

question was seen: 8,701 times

last updated: 29 Apr '15, 00:07

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