ODbL progress

We’re planning the final stages of the switch over to the Open Database License for OpenStreetMap data. The OpenStreetMap Foundation Board discussed the license upgrade process and many other aspects of the project at their recent board meeting, and we’ll have more information about that from the board shortly.

One item that came out of the board meeting was the deadline to complete the license upgrade by 01 April 2012 and to publish the first OpenStreetMap planet file under the ODbL by 04 April 2012. The License Working Group supports this target date as a reasonable goal.

There are still many things to do before we are ready to publish the first OpenStreetMap planet file as an ODbL database. As always, community engagement and your participation are important. There will be more information and details on your favourite OSM community channels including the mailing lists and IRC. For now the process of contacting mappers yet to respond and remapping non-compliant data is still the priority.

There are various tools to help you get an idea of ODbL coverage in your country, or your local area. In particular, you can enable a view within Potlatch2 or install a plugin for JOSM to see the license status of elements.

This post is also available in: French

7 thoughts on “ODbL progress

  1. Chaos_99

    Hi, thanks for the info.

    Now I know how to find those ways and nodes, but where can I find some information on how to handle them?

    Is there somewhere an official statement on what’s a tainted way and what not.
    I also couldn’t find out if ODbL-conform edits on a non-OBdL way could be kept and re-applied to a new, OBdL way.

    Next thing is non-OBdL edits which are later invalidated (maxspeed key initially set, then reset by some other user). As they stay in the history, they taint the way without the actual data present.

    So, with the final date being set, where can I find all those definitions to start working? Or do we want to wait until all those data vanishes from the map before we start doing something?

    1. Dermot McNally

      LWG work is commencing on the methodology for the cleanup of non-compliant data, and certainly the same urgency is felt within LWG as you express. The process will be seeking input from the community – a mailing list is about to be created to help keep the ideas visible and to capture all useful ideas.

      In principle, we want to keep all data we possibly can without violating licences. So whereas the methodology is not yet set, there is certainly a will to find ways to keep any data that can be considered untainted. It would be great to see your own input on the mailing list.

      Although it’s early days, it may be interesting for you to read one suggested methodology that has been suggested. It is towards the bottom of this document:



    2. Andrew

      I’d definitely advise you to keep mapping as you have until now and have fun while doing it, go to as yet unmapped places and add new data instead of spending time on redoing work that has already been done. The license change process is a huge distraction from actually making maps and it’s executed in a way that seems hopeless.

      To give you an example, all of the tools listed on the linked pages above, work with the Contributor Terms acceptance information, which is orthogonal to ODbL compatibility. In other words there is data in the OSM database both which is incompatible with the ODbL, but is Contributor Terms-compatible, and data which is ODbL compatible from authors who declined Contributor Terms. This means that the tools say nothing about ODbL compatibility.

      There are other such glitches in the process which pretty much warranty a failure.

      1. Simon


        you are clearly right in that there are some unclear cases in which the CT acceptance status does not reflect the suitablity of the associated data for relicensing (most of the significant cases are however well known). However you do ignore that in the really overwhelming majority of cases CT acceptance does correctly reflects the status of the contributed data.

        The corner cases are well known to the local communities that are remapping the problematic objects and insofar the available tools, while not perfect, are very helpful.

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  4. dahin

    Hi, is there already an option as a registered user to release the data under a compliant license? Like odbl or something less restrictive, like explicit public domain? If not, please including just that. I heard some if not a significant amount of contributors want to release their effort to the public domain.
    Choosing the license when downloading or extracting the databases would be very convenient to have.

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