[Osmf-talk] Organised editing activity request by commercial company - Talk-Africa - TomTom

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Mon Feb 15 17:51:33 UTC 2021

On Monday 15 February 2021, Bert -Araali- Van Opstal wrote:
> 2 seems like they have organised themself to make a team to import or
> at least use TomTom data to "improve" data on OSM. Any Licensing
> concerns since I can find no traces of any License agreement or what
> that they are referring to as their database ?

Contributors submitting data on behalf of TomTom of course have to agree
to the contributor terms

Requiring organized contributors to agree to additional terms (including
additional insurance and liability for the legality of their
contributions) has been discussed in the context of regulating
organized activities in OSM but is so far not required by the OSMF.  So
the only thing that TomTom would substantially risk by 'sabotaging' OSM
with data of problematic provenance is having that data deleted.

This is one of the reasons why early drafts of organized/directed
editing regulations
contained a requirement that when data sources other than those
routinely used in OSM are used by organized activities they would have
to go through the imports review process in addition (which contains
scrutiny of the legality of sources).

> 3 If the message is real and cannot cause any licensing issues, it
> looks interesting to me, but maybe even more the OSM Africa local
> chapters and the broader OSM community to contribute, since it is
> like a mutual exchange of data. Can anyone inform them since
> Talk-Africa has hardly any active members.

Unfortunately the current rules for organized editing


are non-substantial in that regard and only require organized actors
to 'inform the community' and do not require them to do that on the
local level in case of larger area activities (it specifically mentions
that posting on talk for global scope activities is sufficient).

> 4 Would it be wrong to request at least for compensation of expenses
> from TomTom if someone or a local chapter contributes ?

Yes, but it would be fine for any local community to ask them to stop
making edits in their area if their current plans or activities are not
seen favorably by the local community.  The organized editing rules of
the OSMF are fairly toothless but that does not in any way limit the
principal ability of the local communities to exercize their rights of
local ownership of the map.  It would be perfectly within the rights of
a local community to require from organized actors that for edits in
their area they hire local mappers with local knowledge for
example. ;-)

Christoph Hormann

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