ODbL in Thailand

Please note that the license change is still in an early phase, the agreement is right now still voluntary.

I still wanted to know what the situation in Thailand is right now.

The complete statistic based on data from 9-Dec-2010 is available here:

The majority of data in Thailand was created by just a few users . The majority of data (62%) would already be available under ODbL if we would switch now.

The top 5 contributors created 58% of the nodes, top 20 contributors have created 87 % of the nodes.
10 of the top 20 users already stated its fine for them to license the data also under ODbL.

Rank  User (uid)              ODbL  nodes   nodes%  ways           relations    last edit
1     Willi2006 (104414)      1     191639  23.06%  8342 (17.86%)  55 (25.70%)  2010-12-08
2     stephankn (61891)       1     105238  12.66%  5312 (11.37%)  27 (12.62%)  2010-12-08
3     katpatuka (17497)       1      72727   8.75%   690 (1.48%)   43 (20.09%)  2010-10-03
4     Beddhist (140550)       1      59400   7.15%  3354 (7.18%)   11 (5.14%)   2010-12-07
5     Johnny Carlsen (38985)  1      58522   7.04%  6473 (13.86%)   6 (2.80%)   2010-12-08

Thanks for this interesting statistic. Imho Thailand is in a quite good shape for ODbL.

I didn’t think that almost 400 people have mapped in Thailand, about 50 mapped more than 800 nodes (0.1%), 119 (33%) mapped more than 100 nodes and 186 (50%) mapped more than 14 nodes.

I guess “12 | UNKNOWN (0)”, last edit 2008-06-17, are anonymous edits.

@Willi: Yes, that UNKNOWN indicates anonymous edits that had been possible with the old API.

I have rewritten huge parts of the statistics script. The data should now be presented in a better way. It now also shows users that last edited ways or relations but not nodes. The count is exactly 400 now.

The number of users is the count of users that edited the latest version of a node. It’s likely that more users had been active in Thailand and their edit was later modified by a different user.
I’m quite sure the most active users are represented in the statistic.

Edits with a sole version are safe for ODbL in case the user already agreed to the ODbL. In case the user never agrees they would be lost.
I hope that more users agree to the ODbL. I especially worry about those where the last edit is more than a year ago. These might be no longer active with OSM. If would affect 700 ways and 3% of the nodes.

Thanks again for this work. The new version gives much more insight. I propose to add a line “Total” summing-up the nodes, ways, relations and % (100%) in each column, just for completeness.

I guess it’s not decided yet if the 2% anonymous edits would be deleted or kept.

Imho a loss of 3% of the nodes would be no problem. Of course it depends on the effort needed to recreate them and the interest and ability of someone to do that.

I’m not quite sure about the meaning of some terms:

  • Does “safe for ODbL” mean node/way/relation created and edited only by mappers who already agreed?

  • Does “possibly ODbL” mean node/way/relation created and edited by mappers who already agreed and didn’t agree yet
    or does it mean created by a mapper who agreed already but later edited by at least one mapper who didn’t agree yet?

  • Does “possibly loss” mean node/way/relation created and edited only by mappers who didn’t agree yet?

  • Does “Last version by user” mean “last edit”, i.e. the listed user has made the last edit of the listed number of nodes/ways/relations?

  • Does “Sole version by user” mean “sole editor”, i.e. the listed user is the only editor of the listed number of nodes/ways/relations?

I added the proposed total sum. The last edited columns are more interesting to determine the active users. These form the community in Thailand.
For ODbL and the strict interpretation of the OSMF it is required that all edits on an element are from users that accepted the ODbL.
For elements with just a single version this is easy to determine. For other elements the full history would be needed and some additional heuristics.

The statistic is now a bit more optimistic regarding the possible loss. For wlements with unclear status (more than one version) I assume when the last editor agreed to ODbL the previous editors did as well and counting the element as possibly ODbL. In case you like the pessimistic POV you could count these elements as possible loss.

The page contains some explanations in the heading section. I tried to improve the formatting to make it clearer to understand.


I plan to update the statistics from time to time.


Thanks for the explanations in the heading. Now it’s clear to me. I’m looking forward to updates and the future progress. Hopefully there will be one.

A week later 8 more agreed to the new Contributor terms. Unfortunately no one from the top 20 did.


As the OSMF now announced the latest date for phase 4 we know that these will not be able to edit any more after March 31st unless agreeing to the new contributor terms.

I hope these mappers decide to agree to the new CT so we still have their valuable contributions after the license change.

Not much change in the sense of ODbL. Thai data grows rapidly. This could be related to Bing imagery or to a different tool I used to extract the Thailand polygon.


Thanks for the statistics.

IMHO data grow in Thailand is mainly due to the availability of Bing Sat. In a minor mapped country like Thailand you can add a lot in short time based on Bing Sat even if it is available only in some parts with high resolution. The top group of people mapping in Thailand who agreed to the new license are now six and all six contributed a significant amount of nodes since your first Thailand statistic. In their changeset comments I see Bing mentioned several times.

Hi all,

It doesn’t say anywhere on that page that data from people who have declined or not agreed to the new licence will be deleted. In fact, it doesn’t say anything about what happens to such data.

Is this stated elsewhere? If so, I wonder why it is not on the licence page, as it seems important to know.

Has anybody tried to contact the top users who have not yet agreed?


Hi Peter,

no data will ever be deleted. All existing data will be available as CC-BY-SA forever.

But what will happen is that it will not be included in future versions of OSM.

In case OSM would switch the license in lets say August, it would publish a full planet containing all data licensed under CC-BY-SA.

Then the project would continue using ODbL. As CC-BY-SA is not compatible with ODbL all data that is not dual-licensed can not be part of this NEW database. It won’t be there.
Based on this new ODbL licensed database will be the future planet extracts and map renderings. Also editing will take place on the new data.

So even with no data being deleted, it will not be included in future versions of ODbL.
From the point of a map-user it might feel the same as data being deleted.

I maintain an updated statistic of the current situation in Thailand here:

e.g. from the top20 contributors (86% of all nodes) 14 have agreed to ODbL already. 51% of all users editing in Thailand already agreed to ODbL.

Contacting users NOW might be too early. OSMF will prevent users not agreeing to ODbL from editing latest March 31st. It will contact all users before that date.
In the wiki is a list of users already contacted.
Details about the license change are on this page and its sub-pages:


Thanks for that exhaustive explanation.

However, by creating a new db which doesn’t contain this data it is effectively deleted, as far as users are concerned. I can see that this will make a big mess, with disconnected roads and what not.

I missed voting on all of this, but had I known about it I would have voted against it.


I agreed today.
My apologies, I have been very busy lately and not so active on OSM.
Hopefully that will change in the near future, work gets in the way of so much :wink:



It is important that people don’t agree to odbl, and I won’t do.
So instead of annoying users better tell people to fight the stupid economic (and other) interests driving the odbl and make sure we keep a free mapping project in the spirit of the cc-by-sa license!!


Unfortunately, I already did, because I didn’t want my edits to be removed and the info page in the wiki basically states that that will be what was going to happen if I didn’t agree. At the time I didn’t consider what that actually meant. It seems that some legal beagles in the OSMF have persuaded the rest of the members to corrupt the data, so they could change the licence.

I don’t really understand all the legal implications and there may well be good reasons to change the licence. I don’t have a problem with that. I only have a problem with corrupting the data and it seems this will now happen.

Now that I have clicked on ‘agree’ it seems that I can’t undo it.


It is not within the interest of the drivers of odbl to tell people those details. Their main reason for the change is an economic one… :frowning:
And since the guys in control of the OSM infrastructure joined, they could force the move.

The result of odbl on the non-economic side is a loss of data (in the new odbl map, to be precise) and an unknown amount (>0) of legal trouble.
https://groups.google.com/group/osm-fork and the wiki (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Category:Open_Data_Licence) have more information.


@amai: Please stop with conspiracy theory here. There is a legal mailing list for in-depth discussion of the new license. Right now there is no license change. By agreeing to the new contributor terms you give the OSMF the possibility to change the license. It’s not needed to be ODbL. Might also be a CC 4.0, but this would also the agreement to the new CT.

I don’t know whether you are a lawyer specialized in international copyright law. But based on the assumption of some lawyers our data is not protected. So some US company COULD just take the data, use it and ignore the share alike (because you can’t copyright on facts).

PD would make the data freely available (creative-commons suggested this), but with this we also loose the share-alike. And a lot of people have trouble with the imagination that some “evil” company could “abuse” the data entered by volunteers without giving back to the community.

In my opinion it’s the right way to have clear license situation also including the commercial use of our data. OSM is also about commercial use.
For non-commercial nearly no one would need OSM. In Thailand the data provided by Google still has greater coverage than OSM. And it’s allowed to be used even commercially while complying to Googles TOU. For private nc use there are even more alternatives.

So why doing OSM? Sure we want it to be the best and most comprehensive data provider in the world.
When companies get interested in our data it’s an appreciation of our work and quality.

Please read some infos from creativecommons, the guys who invented the current CC-BY-SA.
They state that our data is not protected due to the problem that facts are not covered by copyright. They admit that they need to consider database law.


@stephankn: Please stop odbl or new CT advocacy here!!

There is and has been no democratic decision of any board or even all members which was in favour of even asking people for a change. That is just a decision by a minority.

As for the license/ct itself:
There is no know lost case anywhere which would have disturbed anybody from within OSM. There is no proof of odbl to prevent that anyway.
And also it’s not theory… As for me I am 100% sure I don’t get income related to OSM, for the odbl drivers we know opposite.
And also it got confessed that their business would benefit, that is not a secret.

The given link shows up a comment from the author, and not in favour of odbl. In any case “that facts are not covered by copyright.” is a weak, and at best local argument (countrywide…) . When I create map data that is pretty much like doing an artwork, taking a picture. And in Germany (yes, I am German) that is clearly covered by copyright, even if it just shows “reality”. Even I if would take a picture from your face I would be the single copyright holder :slight_smile:

But back to the local focus: From a neutral point of view the benefit of any license switch is disputable, the problems are obvious and guaranteed.


Please provide proof of why “those” would benefit for their business.

CreativeCommons suggested to use CC0 for scientific data. Wouldn’t that be the best option for their business? They could do whatever they want without any need to give back to the community.
But they decided against what’s best for a business and said they wanted a license that provides better guarantees of share-alike than the existing one.
Sounds not very logical, Not if you accuse them of trying to cheat the community.

In real life it most times the most likely thing that’s true. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

For German law I’m quite sure that mapping facts in a database is not covered by copyright law. There is a lack of threshold of originality.
In Europe our work is protected by database law. A thing that is missing for example in the US.
That idea was not brought up by the OSMF but from CreativeCommons (see link, that’s why they work on 4.0 regarding this) and the lawyers from ODbL. Both parties not related to those “evil” OSMF board members you talk about.

Why should it be a bad thing to make money with OSM data? Are you jealous because you don’t?
Think of Linux. Companies like Redhat or SuSE. They made millions out of the voluntary work of others. Think of apache. Millions of installations world-wide. What do they give back to the community?
The community happily contributed because the GPL gave them the certainty their work stayed free (freedom, not free beer).

I like the idea of my work being useful. Making the world a better one :slight_smile: If some company uses free data and the quality of the product is high enough that people pay for it, be happy that you have been part of the community creating the data. And because we have free data we can always take the data and make a similar product available free of charge.

On the legal mailing list had been a long discussion on how the share-alike of ODbL could be circumvented. They found that there is no practical way to do so. No danger from that side.

Cause their customers don’t want to share what they pay for… Or other way round: less customers want non-exclusive content…

Same for a simple picture of my or your face - shot within 2 seconds, but copyrighted.
… Note that a database which cannot be used to produce works out of it is quite useless…

And note that I don’t reproduce “facts”! A phone number (http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/License/Why_CC_BY-SA_is_Unsuitable) is a fact in any representation, I create a small excerpt from reality filtered by various technical tools and hard work. So my mapping is quite different compared to the quoted phone/address book.

Even if I would be - it wouldn’t count as an argument!?
Funny, if ones doesn’t agree to odbl people show up with paranoia, from working for companies in the same business, being jealous, want to become lonely hero and other interesting things.

Ok, actually you are right that is not the perfect forum for that.
However it is important that people understand what is to come, and the odbl map for Thailand would miss many many ways.