License of app using OSM


I would like to use Open Street Map data in my mobile apps (only display tiles as a background). I have a question what kind of license should I use for this apps?

I know that Open Street Map currently use CC (soon new license) but I don’t understand it.

Thanks for any help.

Best regards,
Piotr Repetowski

You have to distinguish between the license of an application using OSM data and the license of the data itself:

  • Software using OSM data can have any license.
  • OSM data is currently published as CC-by-sa 2.0, so any data derived from it (and anything “created” from the data, such as tiles) needs to be under the same license. This means that it must be freely available for reuse under the terms of the same license, and that you must mention the data source and license when publishing/displaying it.

For you, this means that you can choose any license for your app. However, you need to provide attribution for the tiles somewhere within your app. What exactly constitutes an attribution that is “reasonable to the medium” is, of course, open to interpretation. Web applications often include links directly on the map, but given the limited space on mobile devices, I’d personally consider some other easily accessible place (such as an Info/About dialog) appropriate, too.


Thank you for your valuable answer. It helps me a lot.