[OSM-legal-talk] permissions clearance

mrbrown8 at juno.com mrbrown8 at juno.com
Sat Jul 8 05:13:48 UTC 2017

This is the first time I have tried to approach a data provider about
obtaining special permission to use some of their data. Constructive
feedback is welcomed.

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (www.northernwater.org)
is an agency that works for the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The
Bureau runs a project called the Colorado-Big Thompson Project that
redistributes water from one side of the Rocky Mountains to the other.

The PDF maps that the District hosts have some features that I would to
try to incorporate into OSM.

I have approached them about permission to allow copying their maps into
OSM. Their reply is included below. I understand that any ERSI data they
have would be offlimits. But I want to check to see if what they have
given is sufficient for the OSM Foundation before I proceed. Thanks in

From: Brian Werner <bwerner at northernwater.org>
To: "mrbrown8 at juno.com" <mrbrown8 at juno.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 19:33:55 +0000
Subject: RE: OpenStreetMap follow-up
<BY2PR16MB03102CF2193F4D9BBB796B8AB6AA0 at by2pr16mb0310.namprd16.prod.outlo
References: <20170629.084317.3952.0.mrbrown8 at juno.com>


We asked our GIS person for a  response and here's what he said:

OSM is a valid and quality product which Northern has utilized as
basemaps for some of our maps.  I think that the data that Northern makes
available on it's public website (i.e. District Boundaries) could be used
by OSM (although I'm not sure of what use Conservancy Boundaries would be
to a Street Map product). 

However the road basemaps (and any other basemaps such as imagery)  that
we background our maps with (for location content) are a product of ESRI
and should not be harvested for information with approval from ESRI (I
doubt ESRI would give approval as this is a product they use to generate
their own income stream).  

Hope this helps, but if you need more just let me know.


Brian Werner | Communications and Records Department Manager 
220 Water Ave | Berthoud, CO 80513
Direct 970-622-2229 | Cell 970-481-2927
Main 800-369-RAIN (7246) | Fax 877-851-0018
www.northernwater.org | www.facebook.com/northernwater

-----Original Message-----
From: mrbrown8 at juno.com [mailto:mrbrown8 at juno.com] 
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:43 AM
To: Brian Werner <bwerner at northernwater.org>
Subject: OpenStreetMap follow-up

Hi Brian,

I met you briefly on Tuesday's open house on the NISP Mitigation Plan. I
had asked about using maps from Northern Water. Thank you for hearing out
my request. As I mentioned, I am a contributing member of OpenStreetMap.
To try to introduce OSM, I usually try to explain that it is a mapping
site similar to Google Maps or Mapquest. The first difference of OSM
though is that all of its data is community contributed. There's numerous
methods members use to contribute data including GPS tracking, satellite
imagery, US Census bureau's TIGER data set, and so forth.

I have been a contributor since 2008. I have a minimal profile here:


I have no GIS training. I contribute solely as a hobby. But maps interest
me so I like to spend time doing it.

OSM has some rather strict requirements about the data they accept. OSM
offers its data for use under what seems a unique license called Open
Database License. As a consequence of that, data being offered to OSM has
to have use-compatibility with that kind of license. One source of data
that's been very tempting to use is Google, not just for their maps, but
their StreetView as well. Google's Terms Of Use specifically says that
their data may not be used for the development of competing products.
There are cases where community members have found others using data from
Google. There's some discussion as an example here:


Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with licensing. But the most
frequently sited suggestion by the community is to ask for special
permission from the data owner(s). The guidelines I'm trying to by are

   http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines , under Step 3 -
License Approval.

The reason I'm reaching out is because of the copyright language I saw on
Northern Water's website, here:


Zach (I believe that was his name) had hinted that this language might
only apply to photographs. But before I offended anyone, I wanted to
clarify how permissible the data from Northern Water's maps were for use
in OpenStreetMap. If there are any concerns or objections about this,
that would be fine too. I would be willing to answer any questions to the
best of my ability to help clarify anything. If you have read this far,
then I greatly appreciate your time in what probably seems an odd

If I don't hear from you soon, I hope the rest of your week goes well.
Thanks again.


Curtis Brown  =8)
mrbrown8 at juno.com


Curtis Brown 
mrbrown8 at juno.com

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