[OSM-legal-talk] Elevation / SRTM data

Igor Brejc igor.brejc at gmail.com
Mon Jul 8 08:18:57 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM, Peter K <peathal at yahoo.de> wrote:

>  Hi Igor,
> exactly in those areas I have a problem of understanding the OSM license :)
> > If you store the elevation data in the original grid-based form
> No, as explained, I do intent to calculate edge weights based on OSM and
> elevation data. Is this a trivial change?
> And then I "store" this mixed weights in-memory but this is only a
> configuration to make it storing on disc. And would it make a difference? I
> read somewhere that "storing" could be also in-memory with the rise of
> NoSQL databases this makes indeed sense ...

The license text is pretty general and there are different opinion on these
issues. I think the key thing is that once you store combination of a
lon/lat position (taken from OSM) and an elevation, you end up with a
Derivative Database, as defined:

 “Derivative Database” – Means a database based upon the Database, and
includes any translation, adaptation, arrangement, modification, or any
other alteration of the Database or of a Substantial part of the Contents.
This includes, but is not limited to, Extracting or Re-utilising the whole
or a Substantial part of the Contents in a new Database."

As opposed to:

“Collective Database” – Means this Database in unmodified form as part of a
collection of independent databases in themselves that together are
assembled into a collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collective
Database will not be considered a Derivative Database."

>From my understanding, once you tie the two related pieces of data from two
separate databases, you can no longer look at it as two independent

> > Except, of course, if you intend to offer the routing as some kind of
> high-availability web service
> > which would allow somebody to reconstruct the original elevation data
> using web scraping.
> What did you mean here? This would make a difference for the elevation
> provider license not for the OSM license (?)

Both, I think - this means you publicly distribute the Derivative Database,
which has its implications. It also means that CGIAR-based data is then
available to public through a license different (and more permissive) than
the original CGIAR license, which the owner is probably not going to be
happy about - since he then cannot enforce the "*If interested in using
this data for commercial purposes please email*" rule.

The relevant text:

"4.4 Share alike.

      a. Any Derivative Database that You Publicly Use must be only under
the terms of:

           i. This License;

           ii. A later version of this License similar in spirit to this
License; or

           iii. A compatible license."

But again, I'm not a lawyer :).
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