Do OpenStreetMap accept GPS traces from China?

I’m just asking. Do OpenStreetMap accept GPS traces from China? Or China don’t allow GPS traces from their own land in OpenStreetMap?

The government of China has no control over OSM so what they allow or not is of no direct consequence.

Further, there is no blocking of contributions based on country so, yes in principle somebody in China could upload traces made in China or somebody outside of China could do the same, but see 1.b: Terms of Use - OpenStreetMap Foundation

PS: afaik access to is blocked in China so this is all a bit academic.



People are free to map even if this is illegal in their country, and OSM is not enforcing Chinese laws.

Some countries outlawed things that should be legal, and doing them can have nasty consequences. People should decide on their own whether they are OK with mapping, depending on limitations they have.

And Chinese government may decide to enforce Chinese laws.

Restrictions on geographic data in China - Wikipedia seems relevant here.


We do have a number of people mapping from China though?


Actually, communication channels for China OSM mappers are available: Telegram: Contact @osmchina, Telegram: Contact @OSM_cultural, and so on. They seem to use a VPN for accessing

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maybe there is an exception for government agents? Or expats could be mapping their former homes, and stuff like this. Or do you mean people mapping from a Chinese IP address?

Could be either of those possibilities?

But there are certainly a number of people on Discord with their location listed as China / Hong Kong who speak about mapping in China; also Notes in China; & the DWG regularly gets complaints that things have been mapped there incorrectly, so I assume that yes, there are mappers there!

I would also assume that they are using VPNs of some sort to avoid detection & prosecution by authorities?

Neither Hong Kong nor Macau is affected by these yet, despite the crackdowns. Although with the recent Basic Law Article 23 rooted National Security Law, the definition on secrets in military and vital infrastructure ie utilities becomes up to the regime’s interpretation.

Note also that some laws may be enforced only when someone irritates government or for show (that applies not only for China). And obviously if relevant authorities are unaware of situation or have no capacity to handle something they will ignore less important issues (also applies not only to China).

And again, there are some law not enforced at all in given context - at least at this moment (again, this is not unique to China).

Also, China is quite big - situation likely varies in different regions. I also expect that reaction for the action will be likely different when done by tourist in place which has heavy touristic traffic and when done by local member of oppressed minority.

Note: I lack real knowledge of situation in China. I have no specific idea how this specifically applies to OSM-related Chinese laws and what is the local situation. This and other post in this thread are not some official advise.

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