Permission to use Aerial Footage

Govmap has an excellent aerial map of Israel. The map is far more hi-res than bing, and can publicly be found here - On the top right corner of the map screen, click “מפת רקע” and change it to “תצלום אוויר”.

I contacted them via Email, asking them if we could use the imagery. They replied, and they asked me to contact them via phone to discuss this further. But I feel I am not in this right position for this. I am relatively new here, and some of you know OSM far better than me and can have a more meaningful conversation with them. Would anyone experienced like to contact them? (Perhaps the Hiking Map fellows).

OSM is an open community and since you have an agenda that you would like to promote I see no reason you should not be the person who contacts them. :slight_smile:
I think the following question might be relevant as far as I’m concerned:

  1. Can we use this map instead of google earth for Israel in sites that present a map (e.g. IHM)?
  2. Can we use this map in order to trace lines on it (Google did not give this permit to OSM, bing did)?
  3. Can this map be exposed as a slippy map?
  4. There was a long discussion in this forum about firezones, might be worth mentioning.
  5. Anything else that comes to mind…

Good luck!

govmap is using Isreali projections while OSM, GPSes and all global sites are using WGS84.

From a practical standpoint, it means that we cannot use the aerial photos in OSM tools, such as the editors.

One could use screen captured portions as background to the data layer whenever an area needs high resolution.

More ambitiously, one could come up with a conversion tool, such as an HTTP proxy server translating the /{X}/{Y}/{Z} tiles requested by e.g. JOSM to the proper corresponding URL. (I have not looked deeply into this. This could be far trickier e.g. if the tile zooms differ)

I’m afraid screenshots don’t solve the problem. There is still the need to rotate the picture and adjust the x an y lengths by different factors. Moreover, this transformation is position-dependent.

Mind explaining that part?

Map projection is the way a 3 dimention object, like the earth, is presented by a 2 dimension object, like a map.

Different maps use different definitions of the earth 3D sizes, and different projections.

For more information about projections, please seehttps://

I managed to manually align a single tile to Bing’s layer with ease using PicLayer only by scaling (both axis evenly) and then properly positioning it.

This might work for some tiles but when you’ll try to see them one next to the other it might look bad…

It doesn’t have to be a complete map to be useful. I’m saying that even without resolving the technical problems mentioned by @zstadler, we can still we have a “poor man’s solution”: For a dense area, grab a screenshot or some tiles, manually align them to Bing/Mapbox using PicLayer. It doesn’t give a complete map, but it does give hi-res Aerial photos for a particular area. It’s still worth it for dense urban areas or areas where road visibility is hard due to forests.

Here’s an example of an area where that would have been useful. As of now I mapped it using Mapbox and some surveys. I am pretty sure I have some inaccuracies and lots of missed small roads between the houses. A manually aligned Govmap screenshot would have helped a lot.

By the way, as of now, I have not contacted them yet.

Can you PM/email me with their contact details? I might do that. However, as far as I know, they don’t own the imagery directly, and this could be the main problem. The imagery is made by Ortophoto (I think), and likely purchased by the mapping institute, but it is actually much higher-res and used in many Israeli services not directly run by the mapping institute. For example, Tel Aviv’s iView system offers the same imagery but with amazing resolution.

I sent you a PM.

Oh yes you can. At least in JOSM there are two methods now:

  • change the projection in which JOSM works in the Preferences to the native one of your imagery, e.g. by selecting the appropriate EPSG number
  • or use the new re-projecting feature in JOSM, that re-projects the image layer to the projection you are currently using

(Please note that I refer to the technical possibility, not to legal/license requirements)