[OSM-dev] Tile usage without proper identification

Matthijs Melissen info at matthijsmelissen.nl
Fri Aug 12 18:27:52 UTC 2016

On 12 August 2016 at 19:11, Andy Allan <gravitystorm at gmail.com> wrote:
> We've always allowed other people to use our spare capacity on the
> tileservers, but recently it's got completely out of hand. Most of the
> use of our tileservers has become developers looking for free maps,
> nothing to do with the rest of the project. Often these are commercial
> companies who are using our tileservers and selling their apps.
> Subsidising commercial companies isn't the best use of community
> donations and volunteer sysadmin time, when there are many alternative
> services (such as those run by CartoDB, Stamen, etc) that provide
> zero-cost map layers based on OSM data anyway.

I would tend to disagree.

Our Articles of Association state:

| 3. The Foundation is established for the purposes listed below:
| (1) encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial
| data; and
| (2) providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share.

To me this would include the distribution of geospational data in
compiled form, i.e. as a map.

I think it would be great if we had the resources to provide free maps
to anybody, including commercial companies. I realize there are
practical considerations that make this infeasible at the moment, but
I think it would be a nice target to aim for. The easier and cheaper
to use Openstreetmap-data, the more people will use it, which will
hopefully in turn lead to more contributors and better data.

I would also like to point out that there might be a conflict of
interest here between commercial operators of OpenStreetMap services,
and the rest of the community.

-- Matthijs

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