[OSM-talk] We need to have a conversation about attribution

Nuno Caldeira nunocapelocaldeira at gmail.com
Fri Mar 1 10:19:26 UTC 2019

Well wrote this yesterday at 3 AM, however due to the images it got stuck
so im uploading them else where.

Over the last months i have expressed my concern about these
interpretations of "its not on ODbL", OSMF requests dont count a thing, or
it should be write "must" instead of "should".
Most of the companies use Mapbox and sadly this is setting a trend of
"hidding"/ three step to view the attribution. Most famous cases are
Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook in every app or even on the desktop
browser....guess the size of the device for attribution doesnt apply
here... speaking of the word HERE, they even credit OSM data to HERE (funny
enough OSM is the only map that maps cable cars as ways). Maybe HERE its
shorter to be displayed as attribution... check the email bellow i sent to
Mapbox in August 2018 and after  few back and fourth emails....asked me on
December the 4th to send URL to the screenshots when most of them are from
apps. Can someone teach me how to grab url from them? And Facebook only
replied to me once, never got a response from my second email....

I have requested several developers to fix it, few examples:

Pix4Dmapper (which on their desktop software isnt crediting OSM)

Moovit (they replied they do in their three dots icons under
PARTNERS...afaik we do not do partnerships).

Maps.me have a 2 second display of the attribution when you open their
app...to my email they replied " Even companies like Apple and Facebook and
apps like OsmAnd and Galileo maps are using OSM data without link to OSM
copyright page while browsing the map."

Tracedetrail "hides" the attribution under a elevation profile.


Good examples of attribution....so i *guess* its technically possible and
not that hard to implement...or maybe its just a matter of choice or how
you respect OSM/OSMF/ODbL:

Microsoft - Uses HERE and OSM and attributes both visibly on the footer

ARCGIS Web - Uses OSM and ESRI data, credits both

European Commission  - credits OSM and other sources

I believe *Attribution is important* because it shows the source of the
data, complies with OSM copyright  and can eventually attract more
contributors to OSM (if 0.2% of Facebook members contribute....how many
would they be? problably most wont even go through the 3 step to see the
attribution...not everyone are maps geek. But more importantly, Facebook
lack of attribution sets a *terrible example on how to use OSM data without
the requested attribution*. If Facebook doesn't attribute why would any
other startup or anyone else attribute?

I advocate for a permanent visible attribution. Do understand smartphone
screens are smaller, none the less i dont see anyone not using GOOGLE
attribution (cof cof we use that as an example on OSMF page on how to
attribute). Solution in my point of view: OSM Logo as attribution ormake a
shorter attribution.

Only devices that should have a "non permanent" are wearable devices,
example Garmin devices uses OSM and credits on the info button.

Another subject about attribution we must decide is the "static maps" or
thumbnails (facebook uses it among others). technically they are
"substantial" if they have more than 100 elements, so they must credit.


Another client of yours that is not complying with ODbL and with the
requested attribution is Facebook/Instagram. They even credit maps to HERE
which are OSM (via Mapbox on their Windows app).

Print-screen with proof (which as been sent to Facebook too, only got one
reply after one month of sending the first email, which was quick replied
by me and still no feedback on these). The layout is exactly the same
(yours, Mapbox)  as this bad attribution that they have with a "i". I
understand the usage of the "i" on a mobile device, on a desktop its just
"hiding" the proper attribution, especially when they have two steps to
check the attribution (click "i", click "legal map data" hyperlink to this
page which credits Mapbox and OSM
<https://www.facebook.com/maps/attribution_terms?surface=unknown>.... when
OSM should be visible from the start as requested on the OSMF page, which i
transcribe in the end of the email.

Facebook "attribution", which is completely wrong:

link to photo https://ibb.co/MSbgsW6 *NOTICE TO TALK LIST, you have to
press 3 times to acknowledge the map source...when it was HERE it was
permanently visible*

Part of the email sent to Facebook:

Examples of bad Facebook maps:

1) This map on the Facebook Windows App credits HERE on the lower left
corner. I'm 100% sure that's not HERE ( i confirmed now as im writing the
email, that this is still being credited to HERE). Firstly HERE does not
map cable car as ways (check their map
<https://wego.here.com/?map=32.6531,-16.88861,15,public_transport>), on
this map the Funchal cable car is represented as way just like OSM does
<https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/25975745>. Also the land-use on the
natural areas, matches last year geometry of OSM DB. The islets (which HERE
does not map) and coastline to which i and others have contributed since
2011 <https://osmlab.github.io/osm-deep-history/#/relation/1715038> is
different. The ferry boat from Funchal to Porto Santo is labelled as
"Funchal-Porto Santo-Funchal" as in OSM and not "Funchal- Porto Santo" as
This is clearly misleading users of what's the source of the map (also
there's no "i", even used wrongly with that hyperlink without displaying it
right away). There might be HERE data on the map, however crediting HERE
with visible attribution and not OSM is disrespectful.
link to photo https://ibb.co/wzZL1D5

OSM screenshot as in September that shows the ways of the four cable car
(the four lines with dots) that are also shown on the previous image.
link to photo https://ibb.co/k3z3CS7

Query on https://overpass-turbo.eu/# for "aerialway=gondola" that shows the
four cable cars that are displayed on the map credited to HERE.
link to photo https://ibb.co/BsBxywV

OSM attribution which is required.




Where to put it?

This credit needs to appear in a place that is reasonable to the medium or
means you are utilising. In other words, you should expect to credit
OpenStreetMap in the same way and with the same prominence as would be
expected by any other map supplier.


For a *browsable electronic map* (e.g. embedded in a web page or mobile
phone application), the credit should typically appear in the corner of the
map, as commonly seen with map APIs/libraries such as Google Maps.

Please do not allow your clients to act this way, not only its not
complying with OBdL, its a lack of respect for the contributors and OSM

But more important, acting like Facebook sets a terrible example of how not
to use OSM open data without complying with OBdL. If they, why would anyone
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