Question on the OSM License

I am currently working as an intern for Sandia National Labs in California, USA. It is a government job and my project is interested using leaflet with OSM’s tiles to display data points we have collected. The thing is, the website that will be using leaflet with OSM will onl be viewable by a single employee since the data we are plotting is not public, which means the site is not public. So it is a non public site where the data is confidential and the website is not making any income at all, it is simply for one of our employees to use and see the data we have collected for our project.

Two things comes to mind’

  1. Does the OSM license allow this usage with the OSM tiles? Basically, the most plain tile being used in the examples is all we need, we are just not sure if we are allow to use the tile off the OSM website. My boss says if we can’t use it, we may have to look into creating our own tile server to use which is my next question.

  2. if need be, how would one start their own private tile server for leaflet type apis? i am not if it i even possible but i was told to look into it, basically, i am blind on the issue; where can we get the data for us to use, meaning is it even free to download it? how hard is it to set up the actual server? you know, questions like that.

I really appreciate anyones time, thank you.

From a copyright point of view, I think you are OK with the tiles if you only use them within your organisation.

However there are usage restrictions on the tile servers themselves. Even then, a single employee is unlikely to exceed the usage limits, even though their usage doesn’t benefit OSM.

Note, if you overlay data on top of OSM data without using the OSM data as a source of positions in the overlaying data, the overlay does not need an OSM compatible licence. Overlaying on tiles is more complex, as you have to create a composite image, at some level. If you do that server side and distribute to third parties, I believe you have to obey CC-SA (or is it CC-BY-SA). I’m not sure what the rules are if the composite image is only constructed in the browser. I’m fairly sure that no internal use is caught.

If you generate your own tiles, from the underlying data, you can use them as a background without infringing an OSM copyright. If your overlaying data is not, in part, derived from the OSM data, very few restriction apply.

However, with all things copyright, if in doubt, you should consult a qualified lawyer.

If you display your data over a OSM layer, that’s OK, your data is your data and you license with the license you want.
If you generate data based on OSM (you locate or move your data, points, lines, etc over a OSM layer), your data is derived database, and IF you publish or use it publicy, the data must be available under the same licence as the OSM data (the Open Database License).