[Geocoding] Reminder of Nominatim usage policy

Sarah Hoffmann lonvia at denofr.de
Wed Jun 5 07:54:53 UTC 2013

Hi devs,

the Nominatim search API has seen quite an increase in popularity in
the last months. We are in principle happy to see you experiment
with new and exciting uses of the API. However, there have been a few
applications that have been overusing our servers making it increasingly
difficult to keep up the service. Please be remainded that our services 
are running on hardware made possible through donations and that their 
capacity is limited.

To ensure that your search results will continue to be delivered
promptly, a more ridgid enforcement of the usage policy will be put
in place in the coming weeks. In particular, you should be aware of
the following two points:

The usage limits stated in the usage policy apply on an application base.
That means if you are using Nominatim search services on a website or in
a distributed or mobile application, then all your clients together must
not produce more traffic than the stated usage limits.

Users of the API must include either a customized user agent or a referer.
Clients that fail to send an identification or only send a general-purpose 
user agent will be no longer permitted.

The fully usage policy can be found at

If you are a user of the Nominatim API, please check again that your 
software complies with the usage policy to avoid bad surprises. If you 
are a heavy user of the API, please look into alternatives like
commercial providers or installing your own instance of Nominatim.

Kind regards

Sarah Hoffmann
(part of the OSM sys-admin team)

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