OSM-adjacent: Collection of open data orthoimagery?

Hi all,
a number of countries release their official orthophotography under open licences, or at least make them free for non-commercial use. Actually using them internationally, however, isn’t easy. Just finding and downloading all the datasets is best done with local knowledge and language skills.

Has anyone tried to organise a community effort around collecting this data into a basemap? I know about OpenAerialMap, but that is used more for crowdsourcing small patches from individual surveys.

By a rough estimate, storing all the source data would take up at least low tens of terabytes, but that seems like a manageable size (“thankfully” plenty of the Earth’s surface has no high-resolution free imagery available). Of course, there would be more work than just gathering the data, but I think even that would be a good start to a free orthoimagery map.


I know you said OSM adjacent not OSM, but I don’t think imagery for “non-commercial use” works for OSM as we do allow commercial use.

This discussion may have some relevance.


I know, CC-BY licences are also common, but not used for OSM tracing without extra permission. There’s also quite a few non-free datasets that do allow use for OSM tracing.

I was mostly thinking of using these datasets as-is for map underlays or for non-OSM analysis. But that may be of interest to the OSM community as well.