[OSM-dev] Paging the tile server admins

Igor Brejc igor.brejc at gmail.com
Thu May 5 20:33:38 BST 2011

There are legitimate cases when an app would want to provide customizable
URLs for tile access - for example if the user wants to use his own tile
server. The problem with the current situation is that the client app cannot
really tell which is which.

One way to solve this would be for all the public tile servers to have a
simple text file (something like robots.txt) describing the tile usage
policy in a machine-readable way, like:
max-threads : 2
min-cache-duration : 7d
max-tiles-per-sec : 0.5

A responsible client app would not allow mass downloading from a server if
it encountered such a file, even if the user entered its own URL.


On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Igor Brejc <igor.brejc at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 8:44 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> Leaving morality aside for a moment, I wonder what the attribution
>> requirement actually is in that situation. Say you make an Android app that
>> has no built-in tile sources but if you enter an URL in some text box it
>> will try to load tiles from there.
> Leaving legality, morality and attribution aside, the application still
> doesn't properly identify itself when contacting any server and performs
> actions which the developer knows very well is not considered a good
> practice.
> He also gives explicit instructions on how to scrape certain 3rd party
> servers, with concrete URLs and all:
> http://forum.asamm.cz/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=45
> Igor
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