Imgur is going to delete old images


the popular image sharing service imgur is going to delete old, anynomous content by May 15, 2023. I guess it primarily affects posts imported from the old forum, where it was used quite often as you couldn’t upload images directly.


@Pieter_Vander_Vennet I am not sure. Maybe Mapcomplete is affected now already or in future?

There are also thousands of image tags and probably lots of diary posts that embed Imgur images too. From the sound of it, an image would need to be tied to an inactive user to be deleted, right?


Hi @Strubbl

Thanks for the heads up - I was already notified of this in the MapComplete chat channel (

Indeed, MapComplete is affected as Imgur is the host where all the images are uploaded to. @Thibaultmol already made a backup of all images hosted on imgur and linked to from OpenStreetMap, I have a backup of the license information attached to those images. If Imgur were to dissappear tomorrow, we’d still have a copy of the necessary information (except newly created images).

Furthermore, I don’t expect that images will be deleted immediately the 15th of May.

At last, I’m in touch with the people from Panoramax to switch to image hosting there, but they are still setting up shop… So we’ll see what this gives.

In either case, we are closely following this.


(Oh, this also implies a big mechanical edit when all the images are safe on a different location)

This is the repo where I’ve put the script that extracts the imgur links from Taginfo. And it also has a link to an actual zip which contains all images that are linked in OSM (about 16GB)

(NOTE: WE DON’T TECHNICALLY KNOW THE LICENSE OF MOST OF THOSE IMAGES. Except the ones that are uploaded through MapComplete, those usually have a license in their image description. But I didn’t get to download those. @Pieter_Vander_Vennet however does have a snapshot of those descriptions available here: MapComplete-data/ImageLicenseInfo at main · pietervdvn/MapComplete-data · GitHub )


@Luzandro i’m active in the Archive team’s IRC and looking at what they’re doing to archive as many imgur files as possible. I’ll parse that they should also include the old osm forum


About 15k out of 18k are made with mapcomplete, hence at most 3k images don’t have a known license.

My github repo I linked earlier, now also contains a url list of all imgur links found in the old Openstreetmap forums and all Openstreetmap diaries.
(They’re also being saved to as we speak)

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Took another snapshot of all imgur images mentioned on OSM itself.

(zip file is still uplaoding, but url list already up to date)


Saving to is good. But maybe they could be uploaded to the OSM wiki too (for those that are licence ok)

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It’s hard to tell which licences these images have. Most imgur images don’t have any description and they don’t have a system like commons or flickr where you can attach a license to an image.

Only images uploaded trough mapcomplete generally have a license. But it’s in the description of the page. Which is a surprising pain to extract (but iirc Pieter, the dev of mapcomplete, has a list of all uploaded images trough mapcomplete and their licenses).

Also I don’t know if the wiki people are ok with uploading that many images. (i would obv create a separate wiki account for it). But yeah. It’s about 13GB

EDIT @_ᚐᚋᚐᚅᚇᚐ_️ , also, like @Pieter_Vander_Vennet said:

At last, I’m in touch with the people from Panoramax to switch to image hosting there, but they are still setting up shop… So we’ll see what this gives.

They haven’t responded yet though (they’re working on an opensource mapillary alternative)

I’m not fond of putting the images on the wiki - it’s just not the right place for it.

The descriptions are mirrored here: MapComplete-data/ImageLicenseInfo at main · pietervdvn/MapComplete-data · GitHub (as previously mentioned) - I’m gonna update them soon and got a full backup too (partially based on ThibaultMol’s pictures).

I also counted 17223 images in total, of which 16351 have a valid MapComplete-generated license. In other words, only 872 are not made with MapComplete. I suspect most (if not all) of them were added by contributors who won’t mind if we hover them up and move them somewhere safe under an appropriate, open license. If someone complains, we can still take down or relicense those few pictures (At least a few of those images were uploaded by me before mapcomplete existed :wink: )

I did dive into those descriptions, about 90 of them mention “CC0” which turn out to be pictures added with the ‘notes’-functionality of MapComplete, after which they got included with another editor later on… (:person_facepalming: )

At last, I found an online panoramax-instance at, so I’m gonna be experimenting with that one in the coming days.

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So, were there any updates on that Imgur situation?