Satellite data

Posted by TripleBee on 6 August 2011 in Dutch (Nederlands)

I'm quite new on OSM, but I have already added a whole lot of roads and paths near my city. I also have updated/changed already drawn roads. The only thing that bothers me is the completely outdated satellite data. Isn't it possible to use more updated data, like from Google Maps, which isn't that up to date too, but a bit more than the Microsoft data?

Location: Sint-Jozef, Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Vlaanderen, Belgiƫ

Comment from AndrewBuck on 6 August 2011 at 15:58

No, absolutely not. Google is completely off limits (this means their maps, their satellite imagery, and the street view).

The only imagery we can use is the Bing or Yahoo imagery (not the bing street view though, just the overhead view). For some contries there is also imagery that has been released but it varies from place to place. You can check the wiki page for whatever countries you are interested in to see if there is a local source available.


Comment from Chaos99 on 6 August 2011 at 16:03

Hello TrippleBee,

no, unfortunatley you are not allowed to use google maps or other sources for your mapping.
We need to use sources that are compatible with the open source license OSM uses, so we can create a truly 'free' map. (That is, not just one that can be used free of charge, but one that is not bound by any ones ownership rights.)

Google owns its map data and satellite images, so we are not allowed to use it.

Also, this question is answered in the legal FAQ at
you also will find a link to a list of allowed sources there.

Please don't use illegal sources like google or other map services to generate new map data for OSM. Doing this makes OSM vulnerable to all kind of legal problems.

Comment from AndrewBuck on 6 August 2011 at 16:03

By the way, welcome to the project. :) I didn't mean to scare you with the previous post, it is just that Google have made it very clear we can't use their stuff so I wanted to answer your question.

If you enjoy doing tracing work of satellite imagery, you should also check out the HOT team (Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team). The HOT team tries to map areas that are affected by war, natural disasters, or other places where good maps would help the humanitarian response in the region.


Comment from Chaos99 on 6 August 2011 at 16:06

Hi again,

you see: the OSM users are very passionate about this. But don't let that scare you off. Thanks for making an effort to improve the map anyhow. Just stick to legal sources or, even better, do your own mapping with your GPS outside.

Comment from Anna_AG on 6 August 2011 at 17:11

Just to back up previous posts and to explain. Open Street Map is just that, it is about making a OPen Source map that all can use, based on data that has been defined as Open Source by its contributors ( ie OSM editors such as yourself ).

Contributors ( OSM editors ) can use their own data ( GPS Traces, personal surveys of areas etc ) and use data that other suppliers have let us, including Yahoo Imagery and Bing.

The fact that the data starts as open source, means that the map remains open source for all users ( and you sign a license agreement with the website to confirm that you give your data as that ). No one wants to compromise OSM with data that even might belong to someone else ( Google etc ), explaining why the community gets very nervous when ( usually ) a new user suggests they have ( helpfully ) added data from a non open source.

Please keep up the good work and welcome to OSM, and keep us updated on your edits.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 7 August 2011 at 09:10

Aha, nog een West-Vlaming. Wees gerust, we hebben geen nieuwere afbeeldingen nodig, de West-Vlaamse kaart is snel genoeg aan het evolueren, zelfs zonder up-to-date afbeeldingen. Als ik begon (meer dan 1 jaar geleden) dan hadden we nog geen luchtfoto's en stond mijn eigen straat nog niet op de kaart. Ondertussen heb ik bijna heel mijn dorp er op gezet, inclusief het grootste deel van de huizen met huisnummers.

Ik weet niet als er in Brugge ook een Wandelnetwerk is, maar de laatste tijd hou ik me bezig met wandelknoppunten in de Westhoek. De kust heeft zeker een Wandelnetwerk. Het wandelnetwerk er op zetten is best wel leuk (goede wandelpaadjes) en er is nergens anders zo'n online kaart beschikbaar.


Ha, another user from near my region. We don't need newer images, our map is evolving quickly enough, even without up-to-date images. When I started (more than 1 year ago), we didn't have images and my own street wasn't on the map. Now I have mapped almost my complete village, including most houses with their housenumber.

I don't know if Brugge also has a walking-node network, but lately I've occupied myself with adding walking nodes in De Westhoek. I know that the Belgian shore has a network, but I don't know about Brugge. Adding walking nodes is quite fun since it leads you to good walking paths and there is no other online map that shows the walking nodes yet.

Comment from chillly on 7 August 2011 at 15:53

Welcome to OSM.

Tracing from aerial imagery is useful, but surveying on the ground is even more useful. Try a walk around your local area you will find all sorts to add that you would never get from an aerial photo.

Comment from Thavox on 8 August 2011 at 13:30


I'm quite new as well and I know your feeling -There is so much good aerial data out there on the web and we can't use it! -it sucks!
I'm constantly on the hunt for good, free, aerial data over swedens less populated areas...

Well, despite that "road block" it's still fun as heck :)

/Johan (sweden)

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