Discourse, screenshot, image, attribution, workflow, best program?

What is the best workflow to attribute properly?

What text (links) to use for atrribution underneath or on a image?

Which is the best screenshot program to place a watermark attribution on the screenshot image?

In less steps as possible, the best workflow.

Now we are going to use Discourse.
We can drag and drop a image.
From a folder or use a screenshot program, directly.
With the old forum, we needed to locate the image on a server. (hostingserver)
This is a workflow, too difficult for some. Mostly hosted on external sites, often after some years loss of images.
Also then you must look at the license, how to attribute, often this was not done.
The lack of skills to do so, make a watermark on the image.
Or write a text under the image. Extra work, searching for the proper attribution text.

For expressing a situation, a screenshot of a map is desireable. General, all images.
Now with drag and drop it is more easier to use a image.

As a example:

“© OpenStreetMap contributors, data ODbL

Created with a screenshot program (flameshot), copy/paste ( Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V ) it is easy. Like this example.

But now the attribution:
Written in text underneath, with a link to the copyright page.
With copyright, ©, shortcut windows Alt + 0169.

But also you want to save the image in a folder, for later use.
This is a screenshot image made with a screenshot program, saved in a folder from the copyright page.
Drag and drop in this topicpost.
Attribution image
osm attribution
Then there is no link to the copyright page. Is this a problem? Or should we use “*.org/copyright” Created with paint, embedded the attribution image, too many steps, that is why placing a attribution is not so populair.

To give the correct attribution for direct use or to save it for later use in a folder.
The shortest workflow. Do it within the screenshot program. But which?
When you save a screenshot in a folder the attrribution is on it for later use.
But I noticed with several srceenshot programs, it is not possible. I did not find a good one.
Often you can place a text on the screenshot image, but you must type all with ©, you can not copy/paste a sentence from somewhere else, when the screenshot program is opened/active.

Openstreetmap is often used as a background layer, several overlay transparant layers are used, with different license, such as CC-BY-4.0, which require attribution. Multiple attribution images on the screenshot or text underneath.

Premade images:
Pre made attribution image in different color for use over different background are desired.
For Openstreetmap we could make preset attribution images.

The local community can make these for specific layers (country).
Even preset text attributtion for copy/paste.

For layers that we can use for Openstreetmap tagging, for example a aerial layer or data layers, when making a screenshot this also require attribution, if needed, could be CC-BY-4.0 attribution, the company describe what text should be used.

The good/proper use of a license depends on the ability/possibility to add it easily.
Now with the new forum the use will increase, a good program/method is needed to let everyone do it properly.

I also see governments and companies struggling to get it right in documents, websites, on social media and in forums. It is therefore more of a general problem.

How to do justice to the use of the licenses.

Which screenshot program could be used?

What advice can we give Openstreetmap contributers?

Program, open source or paid, on what platform.
Snagit (paid) could do it. I did not test it.
Greenshot, could.
Flameshot, did not work for me.

Microsoft Snapping tool, only make screenshot.
shortcut: [Win]+[shift]+[s]
but with opening the program Snapping tool, you can do more.

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Since this is a screenshot of openstreetmap on openstreetmap.org, is it really necessary to add attribution in this forum?


That could be considered as a good practice anyway. In any case, one could pay attention to include the original website attribution in the screenshot :wink:

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I am not sure if this is what you think of, but you could use any method for the screenshot (usually no program required for screenshots) and add the attribution overlay then in a second step (if desired, i.e. you either cropped the attribution or there wasn’t any), e.g. with a small imagemagick script (or any other way you like). It should not be terribly complex and will offer you full configurability


A good point to ask!
The question says also, it is not clear to everyone and my topic post was also a kind of provoke to get a clear answer to all of us and the driving force, it is too much work.

When we use a licence, not matter which as a organisation, if it is ODbL or CC or else, we have to obey the intentions of the licence developers and the resulting legal use.

And not make our own rules inside the organisation, where a part has been published for public view, like this forum. The discussion, data in the loop of your own organisation and licence rules.

I agree with @yvecai

The @jleedev postlink give also thoughts about this issue.

We can not use it our own way.
This reflects on the value of the used licence, if everyone does a bit differently, what is the value of the licence?
We owe it to the licence organisation to use it properly.

There several Openstreetmap contributers, that write to the newspapers ( journalist) or companies with documentation on the web and ask for proper attributtion.

And then we do not do it within our own organisation. That is conflicting.

Then I come to the point, I earlier mentioned, should the moderators of this forum moderate that?
I think they should.

Also there are images, with not or partly have Openstreetmap in it.

“Good practice”

The bottleneck, a good workflow usable for everyone.
That is the purpose of this topic

The topic is moderated, changed from “General talk” to “Help and support”.
I hesitated to post between, “This Site Feedback” and “General talk”

The bottom line is, how to deal with attributtion in this forum.
A “This Site Feedback” item.

As you pointend.
A method to use, drag the mapview near the attribution and make a screenshot.
Did this with Greenshot. “Copy to clipboard” and paste CTRL-V in this post.

But sometimes you want only a part of the screen. To express a situation with tags.
“© OpenStreetMap contributors, data ODbL

I just figured out, that when Greenshot (on windows) is used.
“Capture region”, drag rectangle region, click “Open in image editor”, then copy a attribution image from website ( I use topicpost #1 Openstreetmap attribution image) or folder, go back to Greenshot editor on the editing field, paste Ctr-V the attribution image, voila, drag it to the place, you could use “hold shift” to make it bigger/smaller, tab File “Copy to Clipboard” and in this forum paste Ctrl-V, or save in a folder.

That is the shortest workflow I have seen so far for a single attribution placement. Easy adjustments for the image and other parts like text, draw line/rectangle and others.

Looked at it, I think it is not everyones thing.
Not as versatile as the Greenshot programme method. Single use image and expresions on the image.
More for standard and multiple image adjustments.

Other suggestions are welcome.

Also for other operating systems.

This is not the solution for everyone.

copyright by OpenStreetMap contributors, as seen on OpenStreetMap.org, is not sufficient for a static image.

You must also make it clear that the data is available under the Open Database License.

I agree due to the technical nature it is not suitable for everyone, unless someone writes and shares the script and it has some hints how to use it, but the imagemagick lib is available for a wide range of operating systems, including windows, macOS, linux, Android, Freebsd, etc.

My solution is to position image in way so that footer attribution is captured.

It is losing link and ODBL is not referenced at all. So is not 100% ideal, but better than most uses of OSM data.

it still is clearly violating the license because of not making clear that the data is available under the ODbL

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When I read this:

You must also make it clear that the data is available under the Open Database License. You may do this by linking to this copyright page. Alternatively, and as a requirement if you are distributing OSM in a data form, you can name and link directly to the license(s). In media where links are not possible (e.g. printed works), **suggest you direct your readers to openstreetmap.org (perhaps by expanding ‘OpenStreetMap’ to this full address) and to opendatacommons.org.

When you use instead for Openstreetmap, Openstreetmap.org as text (embedded attribution image) You do implement the condition:

You must also make it clear that the data is available under the Open Database License.

ODbL does not have to be mentioned as text, openstreetmap.org is enough.

or even, both correct “full address” is this openstreetmap.org/copyright (fail) shorted the name.
Discourse do not give /copyright. ( after a edit, elswhere in the post, it does automatically, strange)
only when code is used.


Learning to use discourse:
Using optional title and full adress



You must also make it clear that the data is available under the Open Database License.

ODbL does not have to be mentioned as text, openstreetmap.org is enough.

well it is on the osm.org copyright page and in the license:


in 4.3

4.3 Notice for using output (Contents). Creating and Using a Produced Work does not require the notice in Section 4.2. However, if you Publicly Use a Produced Work, You must include a notice associated with the Produced Work reasonably calculated to make any Person that uses, views, accesses, interacts with, or is otherwise exposed to the Produced Work aware that Content was obtained from the Database, Derivative Database, or the Database as part of a Collective Database, and that it is available under this License.

a. Example notice. The following text will satisfy notice under Section 4.3:

Contains information from DATABASE NAME, which is made available
here under the Open Database License (ODbL).

one might argue that referring to osm.org/copyright satisfies the license requirement because an ODbL link is there in the first sentence

This is a very interisting discussion, but at this stage I would like to reflect to the question of @ westnordost (post #2):

Does it really make sense that we as OSM contributors, discussing OSM related issues in an OSM forum need to consider copyright and ODbl license matters in case we want to make use of any OSM carto screenshot in any of our posts?!?!

Even considering that as good practice as @ yvecai mentioned in post #3, in my understanding it would not add any value to the content of a post and is it not the content is what we are here for?


  • Screenshot with only screenshot of OSM Carto map.
    The discussion goes towards licence use inside the organisation because of , “fair use” and maybe “Right to quote”. Necessary?
    This depends on the country. Legal state of Openstreetmap. There are countries that have a “right to qoute” with: If a quotation is used, the source and creator of the work must always be acknowledged.

  • Screenshot combined imagery/data layers, with also CC licence, oustside organisation, good licence use in this forum.

The wiki is also a part of the organisation just as this community forum.
The same treatment when it comes to licences, I suppose.

Wiki:Media file license chart
A screenshot section.

How to attribute a screenshot of the wiki? Necessary in this forum?

  • The other discussion is what to use? The workflow easy to use for all in all cases. Program?

  • Which attrtibution images or text to use, with the correct attribution, if needed. For download or on a website to copy and paste. Collect, website/ data base, a wiki page?

I don’t think that the Wiki article contains anything particularly secret, so I think it will be enough to give a link to the article from which the screenshot was taken.

as the wiki licence is cc-by-sa, for a wiki screenshot as a formal requirement you’d have to mention the license and all the authors and link the full license text. :man_shrugging:

Regardless of your musings here, I can guarantee that nobody (i.e. very few) users will go through the effort of adding the attribution text to every screenshot they make to discuss things that are visible on an OSM map.

If this is going to be a problem for the OSMF, I suggest to put an appropriate copyright note at the footer of each page on this forum. But whether they find this necessary is for the OSMF to decide and execute.


@Allroads, with Flameshot you can watermark an image like this:

Draw a filled rectangle with white fill color. Then use the text tool. You can type (C) if that’s easier than Ⓒ. By using the mouse scroll wheel up or down you can adjust the text size so it fits the rectangle.

But you can not copy/paste pre- writing text from a notepad page or a website when the Flameshot screen is active.