I would like to contribute data to OSM that is created by someone else

Hello OSM-Community,

this is my first post in this forum and I’m excited to get in contact with you guys.
I like the idea of OpenStreetMap and open data, but I’m still learning the ropes here :slight_smile:

The last weeks I started to work on a new website project on which I want to share helpful maps and directories that I discovered the last years.
In addition to that, I want to create an option for users to add places and information to existing maps.
A further idea is to contribute this data also to OSM.
But I’m not sure if that would work with OSM, so I would really like to have your opinion on that.

Here are some resources I think I found on that matter, but I’m not sure if they are associated to it:

  • https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines
    -In the Terms of Use is written:
    “You are legally responsible for your edits and contributions, so for your own protection you should exercise caution and avoid contributing any content that may result in criminal or civil liability under any applicable laws”

I’m thankful for any advice you can give me.

And of course I hope I didn’t miss an obvious search term for my question here in the forum.

Greetings, Michel

PS: here is the link to my website construction site: fava.world

Hi Michel,
it’s not clear to me how you think users can contribute to OSM through your maps: are they going to add something to the map and then you’re thinking about updating that information in OSM?
One thing to be aware of is the licence: https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright
Data entering in OSM shall be free from copyright or shared with ODbL-compatible licences (https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Licence_Compatibility).
Another important thing is to understand how elements are described in OSM, starting from https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Elements and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tags; you can find here (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features) a list of features that can be described, but in the wiki there’s a wealth of information to be discovered.
And then you should try to set up a way to describe the source of information using a good comment in the changesets: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Good_changeset_comments

Hi alesarrett,
thank you for the information and the helpful links!

And yes, something like that.
For example: I listed a map about public tabletennis places. If now somebody else sends me an information about a new tabletennis place, I can give that information to the belonging map publisher and create an update for OSM. By latitude and longitude and with tags like opening hours for example.
Hope that’s a better explanation.
The comment in the changesets is very good feature.

Greetings, Michel

Hi Michel, allowing people to contribute to OSM through third party sites touches legal and social issues. I’ll try to mention a few concerns that would have to be addressed:

One aspect of licensing is the copyright of the people who add information. When people create an OSM account, this will require them to accept the Contributor Terms, which grant some rights to OSM. If people contribute without an OSM account, you would have to ensure to meet the same legal standards.

Another legal aspect is that only certain sources are allowed for contributions to OSM. For example, we aren’t allowed to use Google Maps. I see the table tennis map linked on your site uses a Google background, which could be a problem.

As for the social dimension: OSM intentionally does not allow anonymous contributions. Long ago, it used to be possible to contribute without an account, but nowadays, anonymous users can only create Notes. That’s because we want to be able to talk to people when we have questions about their edits, and it helps protect against vandalism. There are some (few) exceptions, such as Wheelmap.

Hello Tordanik,

I was expecting that it wouldn’t be so easy :slight_smile:
Thanks for your reply, very interesting.

As for the legal aspect of allowed sources for contributions:
I wouldn’t want to use the existing data of the different directories, it’s more about the crowdsourced information that is gathered in the future on fava.world.
It would be unfortunate if I couldn’t contribute that data also to OSM.

Regarding copyright, yes, I would have to ensure to meet the same legal standards.

It seems as the social dimension and the principles of OSM are very important here.
I guess the ability of having contact to the gatherer of the new data, ask questions about edits etc., makes this project work. Responsibility and data through a 3rd party is difficult to combine.
And like the Wheelmap-case very specific and different every time.

Though, it’s difficult to understand if I look on the case of a public table tennis. When somebody tells me about a new table somewhere, I need to go there by my self to confirm that information before I make an edit to OSM. Seems slow but safe :slight_smile:

Greetings, Michel