License change update: getting it right

With the new server successfully installed by our sysadmin team, we’re now onto the second part of our migration – the data ‘redaction’ work required to move to the Open Database License. We promised our first progress report next week, but lots of people have been asking, so here’s an update four days early.

The code changes to the OpenStreetMap API have been completed and successfully reviewed. is therefore ready to distribute the new data. (Thanks to Matt Amos for the code and Tom Hughes for the review work.)

The next part is the ‘redaction bot’. This is the piece of code that, for an area of OpenStreetMap data, goes through and redacts (removes/hides) any data that isn’t compatible with the new licence. This is the most crucial part of the whole process: we aim not to retain data whose creators haven’t given permission for it to be distributed under the Open Database License, and conversely, not to inadvertently delete anything from the vast majority which is compatible.

Since Wednesday we’ve been running tests against real-world data (thanks to Frederik Ramm for help with this). We’re not yet 100% happy with the results, so we are continuing to work on the code. As you would expect, we will not set the bot running until we are absolutely confident that it is producing accurate results. With the four-day Easter weekend just beginning, we currently expect that this will be next week. This puts us a few days behind schedule, but we owe it to our mappers to get this right.

If you’re a developer, you can help fix the currently failing tests: check out the code at If you’re a mapper, this gives you a few more days to get your area shipshape! And if you’re a data consumer, you can, of course, continue to use the data under our existing license, CC-BY-SA 2.0.

We’ll have a further update next week and, in any case, before the bot starts running.

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12 thoughts on “License change update: getting it right

  1. logictheo

    Thanks for sharing this information. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was interested.

  2. Mike

    How can we know which data was redacted (in advance or afterwards) so we can re-map it?

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