[OSM-legal-talk] Elevation / SRTM data

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Mon Jul 8 08:57:31 UTC 2013

It’s very important to remember that when the law and license talks about a database, they are not using the same definition as in IT or CS. I imagine you can have a database that doesn’t involve computers at all. A database could be flat files, XML, binary files, or I’m sure other forms.


From: Igor Brejc [mailto:igor.brejc at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 1:19 AM
To: Licensing and other legal discussions.
Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] Elevation / SRTM data



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 databases.



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