Microsoft Imagery details

“Microsoft is pleased to announce the royalty-free use of the Bing Maps Imagery Editor API, allowing the Open Street Map community to use Bing Maps imagery via the API as a backdrop to your OSM map editors.

Bing Maps imagery must be used in accordance with the API Terms and Conditions [see PDF below] – although this is not legal binding advice, and you are encouraged to read the TOU itself, in sum the TOU says: you are only granted rights to use the aerial imagery, you must use the imagery as presented in the API, you cannot modify or edit the imagery, including the copyright and credit notices; you cannot create permanent, offline copies of the imagery, all of your updates to OSM arising out of the application must be shared with OSM, and the OSM map editor must be free to end users.”


If you have a question, I’m at or you can chat to people live at Richard Fairhurst and others have already been working on the code to use this stuff with potlatch etc. You should see it go live soon!

21 thoughts on “Microsoft Imagery details

  1. Richard Weait

    "You may not .. create a database of the content." Where Content means aerial imagery.  See section 5 where Microsoft make no claims on "your content." 

  2. Richard Weait

    @Max and @spacecube: Please have a look at the license offered by Bing and mention anything that you think is problematic. For fun, try swapping "Microsoft" or "Bing" for "Aerial Imagery Provider" and see if that changes your opinion. Should it?

  3. Richard Weait

    I see no requirement in the Bing license for a source tag, OSM best practices suggest that you include a source tag for the information of future mappers.  source=bing seems a good choice.

  4. Julian Burgess

    Just to clarify, I am free to use the aerial images in my own application as long as the data which is related to that use ends up in OSM? I can’t just release my data under a compatible license such as CC-BY-SA?

  5. Desert man

    Hi, Thanks to Microsoft for their map; however, Saudi imagery is at least 10 years old !!.Cheers,Abdul

  6. Laura Reid

    Maps don’t seem to be updated for Turkey either. had a project that needed to use this but seems like I will have to go somewhere else.

  7. nitrofurano

    well, i don’t feel comfortable tracing Bing aerials at all – i hope MapQuest or other choices will improve their quality as soon as possible to allow me bringing back to tile tracing at OpenStreetMap

  8. khatir

    Why there is no tool in JOSM that permit the use of georeferenced external images (GeoTIFF, JPEG etc;) as backgrounds? The PicLayer tool is not able to open georeferenced images.

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