Terms of Use

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation Services Terms of Use

Adopted by the OSMF board on September the 20th 2018.


I. Introduction
The basics of OSMF’s Services, what we’re responsible for, what we’re not responsible for, and the rules for using OSM and OSMF Services.
II. Privacy
OSMF’s terms covering privacy; and limitations on use by persons under 16
III. Unlawful and other unauthorized uses
Defines improper or abusive behavior and limitations and conditions on use of personal data
IV. Use by an entity
Additional terms if an entity is agreeing to these terms
V. End users and notification
Applying these Terms to your end-users (if you have them)
VI. Account cancellation or suspension
Whether voluntary or involuntary
VII. Additional terms
Feedback, severability, and lack of other relationship
VIII. Disputes and jurisdiction
Legal venue, jurisdiction, and time bar
IX. Disclaimers
Using OSM at your own risk
X. Limitations on liability
Limits on what you can sue OSMF for and how much you can get
XI. Changes to Services or Terms
What happens when these Terms change

I. Introduction

Thank you for using OpenStreetMap. These terms cover your use of services officially operated and provided by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). In particular these are:

  • the openstreetmap.org website and associated services and APIs,
  • the OpenStreetMap data distribution,
  • the OpenStreetMap wiki and help websites,
  • the OpenStreetMap mailing lists and forums.

(together, the “Services”).

By using these Services, you agree to be bound by the following Terms of Service, as updated from time to time (collectively, the "Terms"'). Please read them carefully. If you don’t agree to these Terms, you may not use the Services.

Please be aware of the following:

  1. OSMF as host: OpenStreetMap is a collaborative project. A volunteer group operates the infrastructure and websites (many of which are collaborative Open Source projects), but the map data, wiki, mailing lists, and forums are contributed by users. While one of the goals of the OpenStreetMap project is an accurate open data map of the world, OpenStreetMap Foundation does not and cannot proactively review all edits or other contributions. Therefore, we do not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any submitted community content. Suspected data problems may be reported to the Data Working Group in accordance with its procedures.
  2. You are responsible for your own actions: You are legally responsible for your edits and contributions, so for your own protection you should exercise caution and avoid contributing any content that may result in criminal or civil liability under any applicable laws. Although we may not agree with such actions, we warn editors and contributors that authorities may seek to apply other countries’ laws to you, including local laws where you live or where you view or edit content. OSMF generally cannot offer any protection, guarantee, immunity or indemnification.

OpenStreetMap (“OSM”) data available through these Services is licensed under the Open Database License as interpreted by the OSMF Guidelines. Contributions to OSM are governed by the OSM Contributor Terms.

Though we hope OSM and its supporting projects will continue for the foreseeable future, we reserve the right to suspend or end the Services at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice.

II. Privacy

We ask that you review the terms of our Privacy Policy, so that you are aware of how we collect and use your information. Certain aspects of the Services require you to have an OSM account and to be logged into that account while you access those aspects.

Because our Services are used by people all over the world, personal information that we collect may be stored and processed in any other country in which we or our agents maintain facilities. If you are a resident of the EU, EEA, or EFTA, your information will be stored and processed in accordance with the GDPR. If you are a resident of another country, you consent to any such transfer of information outside your country by using our Services.

You agree to keep the contact information associated with your OSM account current and complete. Your contact information will be used in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Use by minors

You must be 13 years or older to use the Services.

If you are at least 13 but under 16 years of age, a parent or other adult authorized by your parent may create an account for you to use. The account must not contain any personal data about you, and you must not add any personal data about yourself. For example, your parent may create an account using your parent’s email address and a username that is not associated with you, which your parent may permit you to use to contribute map edits. For your protection, you are not allowed to use the social aspects of the Services (diary posts, ‘home’ location, mailing lists and forums), but you may contribute edits to the map. You should not reveal any personal data in any communications you have regarding your map edits.

By registering as a user or providing personal information on the Services, you represent that you are at least 16 years old.

III. Unlawful and other unauthorized uses

You are solely responsible for your compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and third party agreements in your use of the Services. You represent you are not, and are not controlled by, an individual, organization or entity organized or located in a country or territory that is the target of sanctions imposed, or on any restricted or sanctioned party list maintained by the United Kingdom.

You may not use the Services in any manner that could damage or overburden the Services or interfere with any other party's use of the Services. You agree to abide by OSMF’s Usage Policies and other policies posted on the OSMF website in conjunction with the Services, including accompanying documentation. Those policies are incorporated by reference into these Terms.

You may not use the Services to:

  • Disseminate or store material that infringes the copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other intellectual property right of any person;
  • Impersonate any person, create a false identity (a pseudonym does not count as a false identity) or otherwise attempt to mislead others as to the identity or origin of any communication, or engage in fraud;
  • Interfere with or attempt to gain unauthorized access to any computer network;
  • Host with, transmit to or provide to us any information that is subject to specific European Union or United Kingdom government regulation, including, without limitation, personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, or genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health, data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation (other than personal data about yourself that you contribute to your user page or diary posts, which is completely voluntary on your part and you can delete at any time), or data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures, and information subject to export control or economic sanction laws;
  • Operate dangerous businesses such as emergency services or air traffic control, where the use or failure of the Services could lead to death, personal injury or significant property damage;
  • Transmit viruses, trojan horses, or any other malicious code or program;
  • Engage in any form of unsolicited advertising;
  • Recreate or proxy any part of the Services in order to evade these Terms (including aiding anyone else in doing so);
  • Store data available through the Services in order to evade these Terms (including aiding anyone else in doing so); or
  • Engage in any other activity reasonably deemed by OSMF to be in conflict with the spirit or intent of these Terms.

Additional limitations on use of personal data:

Through your OSM account, you may have access to some personal data from other OSM contributors. You may not use, store, or process any personal data available through the Services for any purpose other than:

  • If you are a natural person, in the course of a purely personal or household activity
  • As necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which you are subject;
  • As necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest
  • As necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by you or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
  • Any other purpose authorised by the General Data Privacy Regulation.

For the avoidance of doubt, you may not use personal data available through the Services to:

  • Attempt to re-identify any natural person
  • Attempt to stalk or harass any natural person
  • Gather or collect email addresses, real names, home addresses or phone numbers without express consent
  • Seek personal data from any minor without the express consent of their parent or legal guardian

To fulfill the goal of distributing data that is truly open, untethered by rights of third parties and of high quality, we do not support anonymous contributions and retain additional, non-geographic, data on a legitimate interest base (see GDPR article 6.1f). Common legitimate interests for which OSMF and OSM data users often process personal data include map editing and data integrity efforts that involve:

  • identifying all the contributions made by an account,
  • contacting the contributor in the case of questions in respect to the nature and source of the contributions,
  • detection, removal and correction of spam accounts, vandalism and violations of the rights of third parties,
  • facilitating communication between OpenStreetMap contributors.
  • research and analysis on aggregate contributions to improve or prioritise OSMF services, such as evaluating mapping *efficacy, map completeness, determining if locations or mappers are disproportionately represented.

Please see OSMF’s Privacy Policy for more information.

IV. Use by an entity

If you are entering into this agreement on behalf of your company or another legal entity, you represent that you have the authority to bind that entity to these Terms, in which case "you" will mean the entity you represent.

V. End users and notification

You may not permit your end users or other third parties to use the Services in any way that would be a violation of these Terms if done by you, and you agree to take reasonable efforts to prevent such use. You agree to promptly notify OSMF in writing if you become aware of any misappropriation or unauthorized use of the Services.

VI. Account cancellation or suspension

You are free to stop using the Services any time.

In addition, we may cancel or suspend your account for violation of any policy as determined by the Data Working Group or other Working Group. Upon cancellation or suspension, your right to use the Services will stop immediately. Attempting to evade a cancellation or suspension (such as by creating a new account or using an alternate account) is a violation of these Terms.

You may not have access to data that you stored on the Services after we cancel or suspend your account. You are responsible for backing up data that you use with the Services.

If your account or access is blocked or otherwise terminated for any reason, your public contributions will remain publicly available (subject to applicable policies), and, unless we notify you otherwise, you may still access our public pages for the sole purpose of reading publicly available content. In such circumstances, however, you may not be able to access your account or settings.

Even after your use and participation are banned, blocked or otherwise suspended, these Terms of Use will remain in effect with respect to relevant provisions, including Sections I-X.

VII. Additional terms

You agree that we may freely exploit and make available any and all feedback, suggestions, ideas, enhancement requests, recommendations or other information you provide relating to the Services.

If any provision of these Terms is held to be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from these Terms and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Headings are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.

You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and OSMF as a result of these Terms or your use of the Services. You further acknowledge no confidential, fiduciary, contractually implied, or other relationship is created between you and OSMF other than pursuant to these Terms.

VIII. Disputes and jurisdiction

Highlighted for emphasis

We hope that no serious disagreements arise involving you, but, in the event there is a dispute, we encourage you to seek resolution through the dispute resolution procedures or mechanisms provided by the Services, such as through a Working Group or the OSMF Board.

If you seek to file a legal claim against us, you agree to file and resolve it exclusively in a court located in London, United Kingdom. You also agree that English law will govern these Terms, as well as any legal claim that might arise between you and us (without reference to conflict of laws principles). You agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of, and agree that venue is proper in, the courts located in London, United Kingdom, in any legal action or proceeding relating to us or these Terms.

To ensure that disputes are dealt with soon after they arise, you agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action you might have arising out of or related to use of our Services or these Terms must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations or, if earlier, one (1) year after the pertinent facts underlying such claim or cause of action could have been discovered with reasonable diligence (or be forever barred).

IX. Disclaimers

Highlighted for emphasis

Your use of the Services is at your sole risk. We provide the Services on an "as is" and "as available" basis, and we expressly disclaim all express or implied warranties of all kinds, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. We make no warranty that our Services will meet your requirements, be safe, secure, uninterrupted, timely, accurate, or error-free, or that your information will be secure.

We are not responsible for the content, data, or actions of third parties, and you release us, our directors, officers, employees, and agents from any claims and damages, known and unknown, arising out of or in any way connected with any claim you have against any such third parties. No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from us or through or from our Services creates any warranty not expressly stated in these Terms.

Any material downloaded or otherwise obtained through your use of our Services is done at your own discretion and risk, and you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from the download of any such material. You agree that we have no responsibility or liability for the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any content or communication maintained by the service. We retain the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time with or without notice.

We may add, change, replace, remove, or discontinue the features and functions of the Services, including APIs. It is your responsibility to ensure that calls or requests you make to the Services are compatible with then-current APIs and authentication methods, and that you handle responses properly.

Some states or jurisdictions do not allow the types of disclaimers in this section, so they may not apply to you either in part or in full depending on the law.

X. Limitation on liability

Highlighted for emphasis

The OSMF will not be liable to you or to any other party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data, or other intangible losses, regardless of whether we were advised of the possibility of such damage. In no event shall our liability exceed one thousand British pounds (GBP 1000.00) in aggregate. In the case that applicable law may not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability or incidental or consequential damages, the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you, although our liability will be limited to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

XI. Changes to Services or Terms

We may modify these Terms and other terms related to your use of the Services (like our Privacy Policy) from time to time, by posting the changed terms on the OSMF website. All changes will be effective immediately upon posting to the OSMF website unless they specify a later date. Changes will not apply retroactively. Please check these Terms periodically for changes -- your continued use of the Services after new Terms become effective constitutes your binding acceptance of the new Terms.

The text of these terms is adapted from the Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use and available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.