Using OpenStreetMap data in a commercial application

Greetings everyone,

I am currently developing a commercial software application to track the GPS positions of bus/trams in real time. I am looking for a way to graphically present the vehicles on a web-based map. Google Maps seems great except for the non-commercial limitation.

Is it possible to use OpenStreetMap data for this purpose (ie embedded within a commercial closed-source application)? I’m not exactly sure how the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license applies to this scenario.

Assuming it is possible, what is the best way to host our system? We have our own dedicated server, so perhaps it would be possible to take a copy of the OpenStreetMap data? Would it be possible to simply copy the pre-rendered tiles?

I apologise if these seem like silly questions, I have spent a good deal of time studying the wiki and related documentation.

Patrick Collins

Yes, I think this is no problem. The CC-by-SA licence only forces you to feed any new information (which seem appropriate) back to OSM. The current location of busses, trams, etc is not data that would attribute to the map so you don’t have give that data to OSM. Ofcourse it would be appreciated if any info regarding stops, routes etc. would be shared with OSM. Maybe it’s best to post your question to the legal mailinglist to sure.

I guess you’ll want to change the maprendering to emphasis certain mapfeatures or remove others. That would require you to render your own repository using Mapnik or Osmarender. You may also want your own map server when your service grows (so you don’t rely on the already heavily used OSM infrastructure.

If you want to test your own layer first without the hassle of your own mapserver, you could use OpenLayers with a separate position layer with the OSM WMS first.

Not at all.