Licence/Community Guidelines/Regional Cuts - Guideline

Status: Endorsed by the OSMF board 2014-06-06

Background: What is the problem?

This primarily relates to making and publicly publishing visual 2D maps, (a Produced Work within the terms of our ODbL license), and where the map covers a very large, probably global, area.

If you publish such a map, you may want to make some regions from OpenStreetMap data and some from data provided elsewhere. We will use the phrase "Regional Cut" to define a geographic region that you take from OpenStreetMap.

The Guideline

If each Regional Cut fits within all of the following criteria, then OpenStreetMap considers share-alike conditions to apply solely to and within the horizontal boundaries of the Regional Cut. If the criteria are met, other cuts may come from differently licensed sources without ODbL share-alike applying to them.

  • There is a clear boundary around the Regional Cut. This can be a single bounding box or polygon.
  • There are no holes, (unless the hole is another country! See below). OpenStreetMap data should be used completely through out the Regional Cut. No cuts from other data within the Regional Cut. The intent behind this is one of mutual benefit. If using OpenStreetMap is beneficial to you, then we would like your help filling in patchy areas. You can do this entirely by yourself or by contacting the OpenStreetMap community with offers of help and resources. Contact may be direct or via the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
  • The Regional Cut is at least a country. [Allowing smaller areas is an ongoing matter of discussion.] We would like you to avoid cherry-picking, i.e only picking small areas where OpenStreetMap is particularly good.
  • Data near the boundary, on both the OpenStreetMap and other side may be altered algorithmically or manually without reference to ground-truth within your office to match connections of roads, railways, rivers etc provided that is the sole purpose of the alteration and that the extent away from the boundary is kept to a practical minimum. Please make these changes to your local data copy only, not to the main OpenStreetMap database - the changes are only relevant to your version of the map!
    • You may also want to make actual corrections, i.e. changes made using the results of a field survey or examination of aerial imagery to make things fit, but anything resulting from those changes MUST be contributed back to OpenStreetMap!



Open Issues, Use Cases, Discussion

Continuing discussion and greater detail can be found here on the OpenStreetMap community website. Any text there is NOT part of the formal guideline!