[OSM-talk] Appropriate attribution to OSM in a mobile app

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Mon Mar 20 10:58:30 UTC 2017

On Monday 20 March 2017, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> In a real world example, I have found an app which does credit OSM at
> the bottom of the first screen (relatively tiny, I'd say same size as
> is done in apps who provide constant attribution), but it vanishes as
> soon as you move the map (i.e. almost instantly because you always
> move the map). Also this attribution doesn't link or mention the ODbL
> in any way.
> The other way to see OSM attribution is after clicking on settings,
> then on about and then on "legal" (i.e. it is very hidden). The map
> is the main feature of this app (its a tourist map guide).

The ODbL is fairly clear on that in principle

"You must include a notice associated with the Produced Work reasonably 
calculated to make any Person that uses, views, accesses, interacts 
with, or is otherwise exposed to the Produced Work aware that Content 
was obtained from the Database"

There is a continuum of possibilities between flashing the attribution 
in tiny letters at the bottom for half a second during startup and 
having it displayed in big letters all the time.

Quite often the situation is simple because other credits (like for the 
app creator or advertisements of any kind) are shown more prominently - 
this is not all right obviously.  

In most apps there are other good possibilities to make the user aware 
of OSM as a data source - like during other activities than plain map 
browsing - than an always on message on the map display.  Of course 
many app developers do not look for a good way to do this but just look 
for the least generous way to avoid getting sued.

Christoph Hormann

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