Collaboration with Survey of Israel

My name is noam, and i work in the Survey of Israel.
I’m one of those responsible for updating Israel’s geographic database.
I was wondering about how and if might we collaborate in any way.

From what i gather, you use Bing Aerial Maps with personal knowledge to update OSM data?
In some ways, there’s a duplication wuth our working method’s.
Right, we SELL it eventually to private customers, and OSM’s data is FREE of charge,
But, if you can think of any way, I think we can all benefit.

I don’t visit here much, so feel free to contact me at


The collaboration could be achieved easily, either MAPI will update the data in OSM directly or provide digital forms of the data that are usable for import into the OSM database. The fact that the OSM data is free doesn’t mean MAPI can’t continue to sell it.

We would in fact pretty much appreciate any work to that direction.

Hi Noam,

I understand you do not wish to visit the forum just to see that nothing was posted.

The forum allows you to Subscribe to this topic so you will get an e-mail every time a new post is added to this specific thread.

Given the potential sensitivity of the collaboration, I think it is best that all communications are done in an open forum rather than in private e-mail messages.

Per your request, I’m also send a copy of this message to your e-mail.


Hi Noam,

Specifically, there are several topics where MAPI can provide unique value to the OSM:

  • Natural reserves
  • Firing Zones

As these are officially declared areas and their “on the ground” marks are either missing or hard to access.

Other hard-to-acquire information would also be useful, such as peak (summit) location, names, and elevation

Will you be willing to ask the appropriate authority in MAPI what kinds of geographic information will it be willing to donate to OSM?

Thanks for your initiative,


Thanks to all for your replies.
It’ll take me some time to respond appropriately.
Thanks for your ideas and cooperation.

BTW, in linkedin group called IsraelGIS there was now a long thread about should or shouldn’t MAPI give\sell it’s data.
I can’t provide a link because it’s a closed group, but you can request to be a memeber of it.

Hello Noam,

its great to hear from somebody of the MAPI team at OSM.

As you stating there is a duplication of work here and there and it will be more and more in the future.
It is maybe not in the main interest at the moment for the Israeli government to donate data but it should be in their interest.

Openstreetmap maps are used worldwide and increasing very fast with the usage of hundreds of apps.
In compare to the data of MAPI the main usage of Openstreetmap data is for private people.
People like you and me that would like to see where they are while walking, biking, 4x4, looking for tourist attractions , GPS navigation etc.

OSM Data is free and this gives new possibilities.
It is proven in other countries like GB or DE that after a while the quality of OSM data will be more accurate than any other source.
In my opinion we reached that level at several Israeli areas already! Beside the multilanguage feature that makes OSM maps appear in different languages with a simple click.

So while some parts of the government complaining about the changes in Google Maps (palestine areas has been renamed to state of palestine) they are not even looking at Openstreetmap and realizing that Jerusalem is not even displayed because of a dispute.

Of course we need a lot in OSM and I think everybody in the OSM community has his prio.
My priority list of things would be looking like this:

  1. Borders
    Borders from Israel to Jordan, Libanon are build on Sat images but I expect a clear border definition that we could use.
    Look for example on this strange roads and river :

  2. city, villages
    A list of all cities, villages with geo data with the correct names could help find missing things in OSM.

  3. Amount of roads incl. names
    It would be beneficial to get the amount of streets for each city and village (updated monthly or yearly). This way we could compare and know what our goal is and search for missing things.
    Of course it would be great to get the full list of streets per village and city. We would find our selfs where the streets need to be placed.

BTW: You are welcome to use the Openstreetmap layer in your application so the visitors could choose between your layers and the OSM layer.

So how do you think, you could benefit from OSM ?

Sorry, I didn’t get a notification about your reply Moderator.
About 2 and 3, I refer you to the open and free Lamas table:

That will cover those parts.

Will MAPI have to pay or mention OSM in their products for aquiring data from OSM?


The OSM Copyright says:

The Survey of Israel legal team needs to evaluate your ability to adhere to the full OSM license terms.

By the way, the Central Bureau for Statistics (LAMAS) and the Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) are different organizations, and they publish different tables. For example, the LAMAS places table has 1468 entries, while the PIBA places table has 1269 entries.

Hi Noam,

Will you be able to respond to the specific request of making the GIS data for Natural Reserves and Firing Zones freely available to the OSM project?

If not, can you direct us to the person that can?