Central Asia soviet maps as WMS?

I’m doing some mapping in Kyrgystan mountains. However, both Bing and Mapbox are of bad quality here. It would be great if i could use public domain soviet military maps for mapping rivers and other natural features, but it’s beyond my technical abilities to setup WMS server and use those maps as background in iD editor. Do you know if someone runs such a server? Or can help me by running one?

There is no such thing as public domain soviet military maps”.
A soviet military maps, that exist in internet was not released in public domain, so using them can be interpreted as copyright violation.
Also, in many cases they are outdated and contains a mistakes, so information from them should be verified from the other sources.

Are you sure? Wikipedia lists soviet military maps as acceptable source, and they are listed on OSM wiki without such disclaimer.

Yes, this i understand very well. This is why i want to use them for natural features.

If you read an article by your link carefully, you will see the following statement in the end:

And there is another link, that leads to an explanation: http://www.mail-archive.com/talk@openstreetmap.org/msg30568.html
Russian government agencies never released any kind of these data to public domain. Official point of view of Russian government on any kind of spatial data is that even “open data” equals to “free for viewing”, not for any other type of usage, including personal one. The fact, that old USSR military maps are available all over the Internet does not mean, that these data were released. This situation was caused by fall of USSR, theft and imporper handling of those maps. Sales of these data are technically illegal too, while government agencies do not really care about lawsuits or something like that.

Anyone tried asking Roskartographia for permission to use those maps in OSM project?

Did you try to find some people who know Kyrgystan mountains?
Will be better to contact skiers, climbers in Central Asia.
For example http://extremal.uz may be somebody from this forum may help you.

It is of no use. Nobody in Roskartographia will bother take responsibility for such decision. And they consider soviet maps as their property that should be sold for money, not given away for free.

By the way, high resolution soviet maps (like 1:50000 and better) are still considered secret and one easily can be jailed for unauthorized usage of them.

Well, we found out that often it’s just a matter of carefull wording. Maybe if you send a polite letter asking if you need permission to use 1:100.000 soviet maps, older than 25 years, for the benefit of worldwide OSM project? Maps you already have, that is. Maybe the answer is “no” from their point of view, if they concentrate on selling those maps? I would give it a try, but i;m not russian citizen and i speak very bad russian :slight_smile:

I have tried once to write request to the regional authorities to use some of the data presented on their recourses for OSM project (with notion about license requirements). They replied that according to a Civil Code maps are subjects of copyright law and according to a government decree №726 rights to maps which belong to Russian Federation is given to Rosreestr and for using them you should to conclude a license agreement with them. Also they’ve added that according to a Federal Law №209 “geodetic and cartographic activities subjects to licensing”. So I don’t really think that current Russian authorities can help OSM project to clarify license status of old and modern maps so we could use them.

1:100000 maps 25 years old cannot be used for any benefit.

Because they are outdated? Well, i think you are wrong. You may get mountain peaks elevation, names of mountain ranges, rivers and streams and other valuable data from them. And Kyrgystan is literally tabula rasa on OSM.

To begin with, this maps are stolen, right?

You do not understand. Try to read this article:


As far as I know he sold 1:100.000 military maps. Nobody in Roskartografia will take risk to do something with that maps again. “Careful wording”… not in this case.

Mountain peaks and ranges are still there. However 30 years is more than enough time for rivers and streams to dry out or change their course.

в общем, сядем все! :slight_smile:

автор, не пытайся и забудь.

лучше продуктивно использовать легальные источники. чем тратить время на тщетные попытки легализовать это. правда.