What is OpenStreetMap? And what is the OpenStreetMap Foundation?
OpenStreetMap is an open initiative to create and provide free geographic data. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is an nonprofit organisation, a legal body incorporated by the registrar of companies for England and Wales.
What is the purpose of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?
The goal of the foundation is to support but not control the OpenStreetMap project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.
The OpenStreetMap Foundation was formed to enable aspects of the project not easily accomplished by individual mappers. For instance, the OpenStreetMap Foundation owns the OpenStreetMap servers, and holds sponsorship funds from donors.
For more information see the About page.
Who may become a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation?
Any individual or corporation may become a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation by paying the annual membership fee.
How many employees does the OpenStreetMap Foundation have?
The OpenStreetMap Foundation has almost no employees with the exception of a administrative assistant. All other OSMF activities are performed by volunteers. This means we're a lean, efficient organisation when it comes to spending the donated funds, but it has some disadvantages. We may consider taking on more paid staff in the future.
Where do I get OpenStreetMap data?
This is the raw data describing the positions of roads, rivers, towns, points interests etc. It can be used to make a map, but is not a map. If you want that, wrong question, see Where do I get OpenStreetMap maps?!
The best starting point is a snapshot of the OpenStreetMap database. It is in XML format. Data is available for the whole world and is updated regularly. Smaller extracts for certain countries and parts of the world are also available.
You can write programs and scripts quite easily to extract what you need or you can use some of the tools and procedures developed by the OpenStreetMap community.
Is OpenStreetMap data free?
OSM data is free to use for any purpose, including commercial use, and use is governed by our distribution licence, the ODbL. See Licence for more information.
Can I enter into an agreement with you for use of your map data?
We offer our data on the same terms to everyone.
We have agreed with our contributors to offer the data only under the terms of the Open Database Licence. We therefore cannot enter into separate agreements or sign material releases. If you would like to know whether your use is covered, please read the terms of the licence, which are summarised below.
See Licence for more information.
Where do I get OpenStreetMap maps?
If you are not making your own maps, the list of resources for OpenStreetMap maps made by OpenStreetMap community members, clubs and companies grows day by day. OpenStreetMap examples.
If you just want to see what our maps can look like go to openstreetmap.org. The + button in the top right corner gives you the option to choose different styles.
If you want an electronic map of a specific area quickly, the Export tab of https://www.openstreetmap.org/ will allow you download a map of your selected area as JPEG image, PDF file or in other formats.
Or you might want map tiles.
What is a map tile?
Map tiles are made by dividing the map into squares and making an image file, such as .png or .jpg, for each square. Sets of map tiles can be made for different zoom levels. There is one map tile showing the whole world. There are four map tiles making up the whole world at the next zoom level, 16 at the next and so on right down to hundreds of thousands for showing the whole world at a local neighbourhood level of detail.
Can I use your map tiles?
We are in principle happy for our map tiles to be used by external users for creative and unexpected uses - in contrast to most web mapping providers.
However, the OpenStreetMap servers are run entirely on donated resources. They have strictly limited capacity. Heavy use of OSM tiles adversely affects people's ability to view and edit the map, and is an abuse of the individual donations and sponsorship which provide hardware and bandwidth. As a result, we request that users of the tiles abide by the tile usage policy. OpenStreetMap tile services can also be obtained from other third parties, or you can investigate setting up a tile server of your own.
Do you offer consulting or commercial services?
No. There are companies who specialize in commercial services built upon OpenStreetMap data. Those companies may be able to help you. As policy, the Foundation makes no endorsements or recommendations.