Licence/Attribution Reminder Templates

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

How to use this page

Often, Mappers will approach the OSMF Board or a Working Group to point out uses of OSM that fail to correctly attribute the project. Because these issues happen at an ever-increasing scale, we want to recommend that, where possible, Mappers themselves should approach the users and attempt to resolve the issue. To help keep such communication courteous, professional and legally accurate, we have prepared some template content that you can use and adapt as appropriate for any given situation.

We are grateful for the work of the Belgian OSM community for much of the content on which these templates are based.


Expressing pride in our work

Dear <xyz>,

We OpenStreetMap contributors are very proud to see that you are using our work <where>. Many people and systems, including your <description of person’s use of OSM> would not be possible without the project’s data. Indeed, the OpenStreetMap project’s goal is to freely provide the best data for <description of person’s use case>.

OpenStreetMap owes its success to our millions of volunteers who share our vision and invest their time to maintain and improve the data. Many became contributors after starting as users. While most OSM-based maps are independently deployed, operators recognise the benefit of highlighting their use of OpenStreetMap. We believe end users realise that they can improve their experience by improving the map data. Thus, there are compelling reasons to attribute OpenStreetMap, even beyond the legal obligation. Unfortunately <name system> does not provide this required attribution.

Noting failure to correctly attribute

Explaining “here’s how you use it”

You use our data in the maps displayed at <locations> [adapt for other circumstances]. We are happy to see our data used, and we hope uses such as yours can help attract more contributors to the map.

We very much regret that the obligatory attribution of OpenStreetMap is missing from your maps. Just as you would credit a photographer when using his or her images, you are required to do the same when you use OpenStreetMap data. Our licence, although “Free and Open” carries a small number of conditions, one of which is the requirement to provide correct attribution.

As noted in our Attribution Guidelines, <option to write more about circumstances of what is missing, including noting any sub-standard alternative to required attribution>  

Specific (App)

Your Android and iOS apps use an OpenStreetMap [base]map via the <vendor> framework. As volunteers who create this map, we are always pleased to see our work in the hands of end-users. Openstreetmap explicitly encourages this, because we believe users of our map will/might become contributors soon.

As you may know, OpenStreetMap data is free for you to use, even if your service is itself a paid one. But OSM data is still subject to a licence and this legally requires you to include attribution of our project as the source of your map data. By attributing, you acknowledge the work of those volunteers. You may also stimulate some of your users to help improve the map for all of us and, as mentioned, you fulfil your legal obligation.

Point towards easy way to attribute (where relevant) 

Your mapping framework provides a simple option to include the required attribution. <Ideally provide an inline explanation or a link to the framework’s own docs for this>

Possible descriptions of inadequate treatment

(Include or adapt as appropriate)

  • OpenStreetMap is mentioned in a place that is unlikely or difficult to find 
  • Other brands <perhaps including the operator’s own> are prominently presented and could mislead users as to the origin of the map data
  • A mention of OpenStreetMap is present, but its wording is not adequate to establish copyright status and/or <adapt as appropriate> to allow users to inform themselves about the Open Database License.


We are sure that you will recognise the importance of rectifying this oversight and bringing <system> into compliance with the licence under which our data is made available to you. Remember, not only is this a legal condition of your use of OSM, it also respects the volunteers who made your map and it helps encourage your users to improve it.   Full details on how to attribute OpenStreetMap can be found in the Attribution Guidelines.