[Imports] Legal requirements to import CC-BY-3.0 admin boundaries for Nepal

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Tue Aug 6 07:45:38 UTC 2013

> From: amrit karmacharya [mailto:amrit.im at gmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 10:51 PM
> Subject: [Imports] Legal requirements to import CC-BY-3.0 admin boundaries
for Nepal
> We want to import Administrative boundaries to OSM for Nepal from a 
> CC-BY-3.0 data source (It is the same source that is listed under 
> "Sources Used" for GADM's Nepal boundaries). The data is here, whose 
> metadata says: "Use Constraints: This data is licensed under a Creative 
> Commons Attribution 3.0 License. 
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/" 
> What legal and practical issues should we think before commencing such 
> an import? Our understanding of the situation is an OSM representation 
> of this data can be licensed under the OdBL, as long as we reference the 
> source in both the contributors page, 

This is how we provide the attribution. Some sources regard this as not 
meeting the CC BY requirement of "credit reasonable to the medium" and 
consider that reasonable to the medium is having credit shown whenever 
the map is, which is frankly absurd when you have over 100 external 
sources like OSM does.

> "comment" of the node / ways. Is this correct?

I would not use any tags for attribution. There are no legal requirements 
on tags and they can be removed at any time, and frequently are by 
downstream users. Basically, comment and source are for mapper convenience,
not for meeting attribution requirements.

> What ... practical issues should we think before commencing such 
> an import

Admin boundaries are hard, particularly when mixing with existing data. 

Imports are also hard to get right. You need to read the requirements at

The tagging is probably going to be fairly simple, with only the VDC_NAME 
information from the shapefile used. You'll have to manually build the 
higher admin level relations out of the lower ones. This is slow and

Just for reference, the shapefile contains a polygon for each VDC, and each 
polygon has the DISTRICT, VDC_NAME, and ZoneName tags. Wikipedia says there 
are 14 zones, 75 districts and 3913 VDCs. The shapefile has 4047 tagged 
objects and when converted has 86k nodes.

For the technical side, last time I worked with admin boundaries I used 
the *old* ogr2osm because it converted overlapping ways to shared ways 
and multipolygons, and it was easier to turn that into boundary relations 
I could bring in to OSM.

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