Trademark Policy

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Adopted by the OSMF board on January the 7th 2018.


Why does OpenStreetMap have marks?

The OpenStreetMap marks represent OpenStreetMap and its work to bring open map data to the entire world. When users see the OpenStreetMap name and logo, they should be confident that they are looking at a high quality map that is the result of the rigorous and comprehensive collaboration process of OpenStreetMap. Trademark protection helps reinforce that connection.

What are the goals of this trademark policy?

The goodwill supporting the OpenStreetMap marks has been generated by a prolific and passionate volunteer community. The OpenStreetMap Foundation has prepared this policy to preserve and protect that goodwill by ensuring that uses of the marks are consistent with OpenStreetMap’s mission and promote the OpenStreetMap movement.

How is this trademark policy different from most trademark policies?

This trademark policy seeks to make trademark licensing as easy as possible for the contributors who created OpenStreetMap, by making explicit that many uses do not require a trademark licence, and by empowering them to use OpenStreetMap’s marks without a trademark licence for community-focused events and outreach work. The OpenStreetMap Foundation hopes that this helps spread OpenStreetMap and encourage contribution while also ensuring that the mark remains a reliable signal of quality.

For more information on how trademarks can be useful for open source projects, see

1. Definitions

1.1. The “OSM marks”

The OSM marks are the logos, non-stylized wordmarks, and trade dress of OpenStreetMap, State of the Map, the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and related projects. Some of the marks are registered and some are not. A non-exclusive list of the OSM marks includes:

  • “OpenStreetMap”
  • the OpenStreetMap magnifying glass logo
  • “OpenStreetMap Foundation”
  • “OSM Foundation”
  • “State of the Map”
  • the logos of the State of the Map conference

And the following abbreviations when used in the OpenStreetMap or geodata context:

  • “OSM”
  • “OSMF”
  • “SotM”

1.2. “OSMF”

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) acts as a steward for the OSM marks. OSMF’s stewardship includes registering the OSM marks, promotion and licensing of the marks, and taking steps to protect the goodwill of the marks when necessary.

1.3. “You”

“You” is anyone who wants to use the OSM marks. You may be a community member (as further explained in Sec. 1.3.1) or an unrelated individual or organization (as further explained in Sec. 1.3.2).

1.3.1. Community members

In this policy, “Community members” includes everyone who contributes to an OSM project in order to support OpenStreetMap’s mission. It also includes members and staff of recognized OSM organizations, such as the local chapters and OSMF.

As detailed in the rest of the policy, Community members are generally free to use all OSM marks for community-focused events, such as outreach work, without a trademark licence. Community members can also generally easily get a licence for other permitted uses.

1.3.2. Unrelated organizations or individuals

In this policy, “You” may include individuals and companies who are not contributors, but who want to use OpenStreetMap’s data and display OpenStreetMap’s well-known marks in books, apps, or other media.

As long as consumers of those media are not confused about the source of those works, this type of use can promote OSM and OSM’s mission, and potentially recruit new contributors to OpenStreetMap. However, it is important that the OSM marks are not misleadingly used to market others’ products, because that will confuse users of our project. Therefore, as detailed in the rest of the policy, such use is never allowed without a trademark licence.

1.4. “Mission”

OpenStreetMap’s mission is to make the best map data set of the world, available under a free and open licence to everybody. For more details, see OSMF’s mission statement.

1.5. “OSM projects”

The OSM projects include the OpenStreetMap website and database, the OpenStreetMap Foundation, the State of the Map conference, and other related community-supported projects.

2. How to use the OSM marks

Whenever you use the OSM marks, regardless of why you are allowed to use the marks, you must comply with the requirements in this section.

2.1. Proper form

You may:

  • use the wordmarks as a proper name (e.g. “OpenStreetMap is great”) or as an adjective (e.g. “the OpenStreetMap projects are awesome”). This includes any official translations and transliterations of the OSM marks.
  • use OSM wordmarks in their full form and properly capitalized (e.g. “State of the Map was fun this year”).

You may not:

  • abbreviate the wordmarks, combine them with other words (“OpenStreetMapThing”), or substitute words in the mark (“OpenStreetThing” or “OpenThingMap”), especially where the new combination sounds similar to OpenStreetMap.
  • modify or remix the logos (like the magnifiying glass) without permission from the OSMF unless it is for purposes laid out in 3.5.

2.2. Required notices

Please include this notice, or something similar, when you use a mark outside of the OSM projects:

[Wordmark / name of logo] is a trademark of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and is used with their permission. [We / this product / this project] are not endorsed by or affiliated with the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

The notice should appear near the first use of any OSM mark. One notice is enough if you display multiple marks, provided the notice refers to all of them.

If the mark will primarily appear on a mobile screen or another medium with limited visual space, you may instead use a trademark symbol (™) with the mark to show that it is an OSM trademark. When you use a symbol due to limited space and there are additional pages to your material, please include the notice in the text of a prominent page (for example, the “about us” section of a mobile app).

2.3. No confusion, endorsement, or affiliation

Your use of the mark must not confuse users by suggesting endorsement by, or affiliation with, the OSMF. Notices such as those in Sec. 2.2 can be used to help you meet this requirement.

3. When you may use the OSM marks without asking us

In many cases, you may use the OSM marks without asking for permission from the OSMF. This section lists those cases. Uses that are not allowed under this Section require a trademark licence, discussed in more detail in Section 4.

3.1. Community-focused events

You may use the OSM marks for events that promote OpenStreetMap’s mission and are intended to be predominantly attended by community members, like mapathons or mapping parties. For example, you may put the OSM logo on banners and posters to promote a mapping party you’ve organized.

3.2. Outreach and recruiting new contributors

You may use the OSM marks to educate people about OSM and to recruit new contributors, as long as you make it clear that you do not work for OSMF. Things we encourage you to do include creating marketing materials, educational material, or materials to decorate a public fair stand or to publicize an event. But, please don’t sell any of them.

3.3. Refer to OSM projects (nominative/referential use)

You may use the non-stylized wordmarks (such as “OpenStreetMap”) to factually name or refer to:

  • An OSM project or another aspect of the movement in a text (for example, “I love seeing my town on OpenStreetMap”).
  • A project derived from an OSM project in a way that is factual and not misleading (for example, “This company’s maps are based on OpenStreetMap”, as long as it is accurate that the maps are in fact based on OSM data).

This use of our marks is called “nominative” or “referential” use, and is already allowed by law in some legal systems.

Specific examples of nominative/referential use include:

3.3.1. News reporting

You may use the OSM marks to make truthful statements about OSM in news reports and commentary.

3.3.2. Personal blogs and social media

You may use the OSM marks to make truthful statements about OSM in personal blogs and social media.

But please don’t imply endorsement by, or affiliation with, the OSMF. To avoid confusion, don’t use OpenStreetMap logos in the background, as your profile image, or in the header of your blog. If you use the OpenStreetMap name in a social media name (like “@ILoveOpenStreetMap”) make clear in the network’s “about” or “bio” field that the account is not official and is not endorsed by OSMF.

3.3.3. Artistic, scientific, literary, political, and other non-commercial uses

You may use the OSM marks to discuss and comment on the OSM projects in artistic, scientific, literary, and political work.

But please send us a request if you want to place an OSM mark on the cover of your book, display an OSM mark in a movie, or organize an event or presentation that could appear to be endorsed by OSMF. For more information, please see the portion of this policy on “special uses that require permission” (Section 4).

You may also use the marks in satire or jokes. To avoid confusing users about your work’s affiliation with OSM projects, it may be helpful to mark your work as “satire” or “parody.”

3.3.4. Links to OSM projects

You may use the OSM marks on your own website to identify a hyperlink to the OSM projects. If you are using the logo, though, do not modify the logo except to resize it.

3.3.5. Compliance with attribution requirements

You may use the OSM wordmarks as necessary to comply with the attribution requirements imposed by the OSM project’s database and copyright licensing terms. For more information on OSM’s database and copyright licence, and how to credit us, see the OSM website.

3.3.6. Use in software projects

Use of the OSM marks to name software components, packages, minor tools, repositories and similar that process or work specifically with OpenStreetMap data is permissible as long as the use follows the rest of this policy. The permission does not include use of the OSM marks in a confusing manner, such as to market software products in a way that implies they are official OSMF products. To avoid possible confusion, please use appropriate disclaimers, such as those in Section 2.2.

3.4. Make your own branded stuff

You may create things with the marks for your own use. These can be t-shirts, caps, desktop wallpapers, and even cakes! You may also give these items to other people, either for free or for not more money than required for cost recovery.

If you want to sell stuff with OSM’s brand on it professionally, you must obtain a licence as required in Section 4.4.

3.5. Use of remixed logos

Use of remixed logos is permissible for

  • free open source tools and editors specifically for OpenStreetMap data
  • local chapter and user group logos

as long as the use follows the rest of this policy.

4. Special uses that require permission

All uses that are not allowed under Section 3 require a trademark licence. This section discusses only the most common uses that require a licence. Uses prohibited by Section 5 of this policy are not allowed, absent exceptional circumstances.

To contact the OSMF to get a licence for one of these uses, email with subject “Trademark Use Request” and the information requested below in the relevant section.

When you use OSM’s marks under a trademark licence, you need to comply with the terms of that licence as well as with this trademark policy. If a term in another licence is inconsistent with this policy, you must follow the terms of that licence.

4.1. Domain names

You need a trademark licence to register or use a domain name that contains an OSM mark. Please don’t register a domain that looks or sounds similar to an OSM mark, or includes a misspelled OSM mark, as that can confuse OpenStreetMap users.

As an exception to this requirement, you may use an OSM mark in a subdomain (such as if the service hosted at that domain is based on OpenStreetMap, and other requirements of this policy (such as Section 2) are complied with.

4.2. Events and conferences

You need a trademark licence if you plan to host a public event or a conference that uses an OSM mark.

You should include the following information when requesting a licence to use OSM’s marks in an event:

1. What is the proposed title of the event?

2. Who is hosting, sponsoring, or coordinating the event?

3. Include contact information (and OSM account name if relevant) for the person organizing the event.

4. Is the event organized for community members?

5. What is the topic of the event?

6. The location, date, and duration of the event.

7. Include handouts, examples, mockups, or other descriptions of the proposed use.

When you get a trademark licence, it will only apply to the specific event in your request. You will need to apply for a new licence if you want to host another event.

4.3. Publications

You need a trademark licence if you want to use an OSM mark in a publication in a way that is not fair, nominative, or referential use under applicable law, such as a book cover that might imply endorsement of your book by the OSMF.

You should include the following information when requesting a licence to use the OSM marks in a publication.

1. What is the proposed title of the publication?

2. Contact information (and OpenStreetMap account name if relevant) for the applicant.

3. Who is the author, editor, and publisher of the publication?

4. How do you want to use and discuss the mark?

5. Include printouts of the pages in your publication that include or discuss the mark. (For a book, where in the book will the mark appear?)

6. If your publication will display a screenshot of an OSM project, please include that as well.

7. Will the publication be in hard copy, an e-book, or some other type of medium?

8. What is the print run and distribution area for the publication? How many editions will it have?

When you get a trademark licence, it will only apply to the specific publication in your request. You will need to apply for a new licence if you want to make another publication.

4.4. Commercial merchandise

You need a trademark licence if you want to make merchandise with the OSM marks for commercial use. All such licences will require, at least, that you:

  • use OpenStreetMap’s logos without modifying them; and
  • truthfully advertise to customers how much of the selling price, if any, will be donated to OSM projects.

4.5. Fundraising

You need a trademark licence if you are using or referring to the OSM marks to fundraise in any way.

5. Prohibited uses

Some uses of the marks are never permitted. This section discusses the most common examples of such prohibited uses.

5.1. Mimicking OpenStreetMap sites

Please feel free to use the available open source software and map styles subject to their licences that the OpenStreetMap websites, and other OSM projects are based on. If the websites are publicly accessible, you need to ensure that they cannot be confused with the original OpenStreetMap websites, for example logos, colour schemes, naming and referring domains have to be substantially different. If you are unsure if your website project infringes this policy, please contact the OSMF at

5.2. Linking to non-OSMF sites

You may use the OSM marks to link only to OSM projects. Please refer to Section 3.3.4 if you want to link to an OSM project from your website.

5.3. Misrepresentation

When you use an OSM mark, do not create the impression that your use is in any way endorsed, or sponsored by, or part of the OSMF.

5.4. Registration in other jurisdictions

You may not register the OSM marks in registries of intellectual property, such as a trademark register. The OSM marks are used and recognized globally in connection with the services offered by the OSMF, and cannot be registered or otherwise claimed by you or other third-parties. If you are a community member and would like to see an OSM mark protected in your jurisdiction, please contact

5.5. Use in company names

You may not use the OSM marks as part of the name of an incorporated company or organisation except if you have been granted a licence as an OSMF local chapter.

6. Unauthorised use of Trademarks

6.1. Reporting unauthorised use

This trademark policy goes to great lengths to describe the allowed use of OSM marks. But if you do see the OSM marks being used in ways that may violate this policy, please help us by sending a message to We can then get in touch with whoever is using our mark, and ensure that our trademark rights are respected.

6.2. Revoking permission for abusive uses

OSMF may revoke the right to use the OSM marks under this policy at any time if it determines that a trademark use is inconsistent with OSM’s mission, or could otherwise harm community members, OSM, OSMF, or the project’s goodwill.

7. Revision of the trademark policy

This trademark policy can be revised under the following circumstances:

  • For significant changes, OSMF will give at least 30 days notice, and opportunity to comment, on the OSM projects and in an email to (subscribe).
  • For minor changes or changes required by law, when possible OSMF will provide three days’ notice to Minor changes include language fixes, administrative changes, or corrections of inaccurate statements.
  • For changes to the user-friendly summary, the purpose statement, the FAQs, the trademark request form, and the violation reporting form, OSMF can make changes without notice.

8. Questions

Please don’t hesitate to contact OSMF at if you are not sure whether your use is in compliance with this policy or local trademark laws.

About This Policy

The OpenStreetMap Trademark Policy is a derivative of the Collaborative Mark Policy and Wikimedia Foundation Trademark Policy, by Yana Welinder, Stephen LaPorte, and Wikimedia contributors, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (unported) license. The OpenStreetMap Trademark Policy is also licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 by its authors Luis Villa, Kathleen Lu, Simon Poole and other members of the OSMF Licence Working Group. Modifications made to the Collaborative Mark Policy can be found on github.