Services and tile users privacy FAQ

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General

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) operates numerous services for the OpenStreetMap community free of charge that can be used by third parties as long as the respective use policies are followed and it is made clear that use of these services is subject to our privacy policy.

Services operated by the OSMF are:

  • the Nominatim geocoding service
  • the OSM Editing, Notes and GPX APIs
  • map tiles rendered in the OSM "Standard Style"

Other map layers, routing services and the "query" function visible on openstreetmap.org are not operated by the OSMF and you need to contact the respective operators directly.

All information on this page is subject to change without notice, please check it regularly for updates.

Can you sign a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) with me/my organisation?

No. There is no Data Controller - Data Processor relationship between you and the OSMF and using our services does not create such a relationship. The OSMF operates as an independent Data Controller and is not processing personal data on your behalf. You or your organisation neither have control over our data processing nor do you have access to any such data collected by us.

Where are your servers located?

The API servers and databases are currently located in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Map tiles are provided by a global network of cache servers, which tile server your browser or app access is determined dynamically by geolocation of the IP address and selection of the cache server "nearest" to you. While in general this means that you will be using the tile cache physically nearest to you or your customer, this can be affected by

  • uncertainties in determining the location of the client from its IP address
  • operational issues (server downtime etc)
  • network topology and load

The current list of tile cache servers can be found here: https://hardware.openstreetmap.org/#tile-caches and you can determine which one is currently being used with the following link https://tile.openstreetmap.org/cgi-bin/debug.

What should I add to the Data Protection Statement for my website when I am using OSMF services?

The OSMF cannot dispense legal advice and you need to consult with your counsel for information tailored to your specific situation. However we believe that a statement as follows should serve well if you are using map tiles from the OSMF:

This website utilizes map services provided by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WS, United Kingdom (short OSMF). Your Internet browser or application will connect to servers operated by the OSMF located in the United Kingdom and in other countries. The operator of this site has no control over such connections and processing of your data by the OSMF. You can find more information on the processing of user data by the OSMF in the <A HREF="https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Privacy_Policy">OSMF privacy policy</A>.

You may further want to add text indicating why you are using the OSMF services and that doing so is a "legitimate interest" as defined in article 6.1f of the GDPR. Further if you are using your own cache or proxy server and do actually handle your clients connections to OSMF services you will need to adapt the text to reflect such a setup.