Maps Aren’t Paintings: A Discussion About Data Licenses

Interesting for whom use collaborative OpenStreetMap and are concerned about their data rights.

Wilson Center: Commons Lab

When it comes to open-source map data, licenses like the one used by collaborative mapping group OpenStreetMap (OSM) are important. They ensure that anyone can use the map data in a commercial or non-commercial capacity, as long as the user provides the proper attribution and releases any improved data under similar circumstances.

When OSM began looking at its licensing arrangement over the past few years, the issues generated a surprisingamount of discussion for what may be seen by many as a pretty dry legal topic. On April 1, OSM switched from its Creative Commons license to a new open Open Database License, which affords better protection for information in databases.

Kate Chapman, treasurer of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, has written about the issue on her blog and took a few minutes to talk to Communia over email about the change, how it’s working out and what digital volunteers…

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