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The imagery from Yahoo is from 2005 and so much change has happened since then. We can't put new info in if the map isn't updated. Can you please switch the source?

asked 15 Sep '10, 01:04

britannic124's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Sep '10, 07:44

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦


OpenStreetMap is not an aerial imagery tracing project.

Aerial imagery is a great supporting element for OpenStreetMap mapping, but it is not our prime source of information. Traditionally, and long before we had any aerial imagery available, we have always been surveying with GPS devices. Given that even with the best aerial imagery, you will still have to visit a place yourself to map it properly, the absence of such imagery does not mean that "we can't put new info in". (Not all mappers in OSM agree with this statement. For some areas, aerial imagery may indeed be the prime source of information.)

Also, there isn't one fixed source of aerial imagery for OSM; depending on the editor you use (and depending on the area you are looking at), different sources may be available. Some editors even support pulling aerial imagery from any WMS service.

But the main criteria for selecting aerial imagery for OSM use is not its technical availability or its currency, but its license or usage policy. Care has to be taken when selecting aerial imageray for tracing, for example we do not currently have permission from Google or Mapquest to trace their imagery. Tracing from Bing imagery is now allowed and supported by all major editors.

We're always on the lookout for good additional sources of aerial imagery, so if you have connections to someone who owns the rights to good and current imagery, and is willing to allow OSM to trace from it, then discuss that on the mailing lists and we'll find a way to incorporate these images in our editors.

There's a Wiki page about potential sources of imagery.

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answered 15 Sep '10, 07:53

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 16 Dec '10, 15:23

Since you asked the question, Microsoft has granted us permission to use the Bing imagery. Details here:


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answered 18 Dec '10, 23:43

davespod's gravatar image

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edited 11 Jan '11, 11:35

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood

This is depending on the area you are editing. In the US you can use a variety of PD-licensed aerial imagery sources, in Germany there is some local and regional authorities releasing some of their imagery for OSM, and also in Italy, Spain, Australia and other parts of the world good imagery gets more and more available. Check the wiki for more information, e.g.:

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answered 01 Mar '11, 12:21

dieterdreist's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

edited 01 Mar '11, 12:21

Someone should double check, but the OpenStreetMap page regarding "USGS High Resolution Orthoimagery" at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/USGS_High_Resolution_Orthoimagery suggests public domain imagery.


It sounds like this would be easy to incorporate into JOSM, but I use Potlach and haven't figured out yet how to change the background to a web page. I know how to change from Yahoo to blank, but not how to add another background in Potlach.

Hope this helps. Cheers

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answered 08 Oct '10, 01:05

peace2's gravatar image

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Yes, people are already using this imagery in JOSM. As it's provided as WMS rather than 900913 tiles, you need to use Whoots (http://whoots.mapwarper.net/) to use it in Potlatch.

(08 Oct '10, 08:18) Richard ♦

YOU can switch the source. Just write a letter to Yahoo and ask for new data. If you succeed, there will be many people who help you with the technical details.

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answered 07 Jan '11, 14:49

Kartograefin's gravatar image

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question asked: 15 Sep '10, 01:04

question was seen: 17,148 times

last updated: 01 Mar '11, 12:21

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