Websites using OSMF tile servers without attribution can now be easily reported

Issues · openstreetmap/tile-attribution · GitHub can be now used to report cases where OSMF tile servers are used, but attribution to OSM is missing.

Listing there requires first sending a message to the entity.

Once the case is reviewed and its validity is confirmed, this will result in the OSMF tile servers being unavailable for them.

If the OSMF tile servers are not used, this reporting mechanism is not applicable. This can be checked with the network panel. If unsure, please report the problem at the Lacking proper attribution page at the OSM Wiki. It is covering all kinds of cases of attribution issues. Polite email to whoever uses OSM data without proper attribution is still useful.

Help with educating people about OSM attribution requirements is welcome and helpful and reporting cases where it has not resulted in improvements is also encouraged. I listed some cases which I am aware of, there were also reports from other people including a case where blocking access to our tile servers resulted in a quick fix.

(this is an official OSMF announcement, consulted with other board members)



Not a dev here and never worked with Leaflet, but from what I see a considerable amount of lack of attribution comes from Leaflet users, which seems to have a very easy option to remove OSM attribution (please correct me if I’m wrong here).

2 questions:

1 - perhaps Leaflet could be notified about this and also educate theirs users regarding disallowing OSM attribution? (I suppose they offer this because some use cases indeed don’t need attribution).

2 - could anyone write a short tutorial for Leaflet users on that Template wiki page, so we could also offer a solution (with tutorial!) in the message to the entity?



There is already

Whenever using anything based on OpenStreetMap, an attribution is obligatory as per the copyright notice. Most other tile providers (such as Mapbox, Stamen or Thunderforest) require an attribution as well. Make sure to give credit where credit is due.

at Quick Start Guide - Leaflet - a JavaScript library for interactive maps

Note that part of the reason is that a lot of maps use Leaflet, so also a lot of maps missing proper attribution use Leaflet even if proper occurs at the same rate everywhere.

I added

You are using leaflet - can be used to add proper attribution. See also that describes adding attribution among other steps, see “Next, we’ll add a tile layer to add to our map, in this case it’s a OpenStreetMap tile layer.”

in message to one of offenders.


I believe there is also a need for anonymous reporting.

In small countries, where everyone knows each other, having an alternative to avoid open conflicts could be beneficial.

Certainly, anonymous reporting has its drawbacks as well. However, it’s at least worth considering.

In such case it would be possible to create OSM Wiki account that is not identifiable by name and add entry to Lacking proper attribution - OpenStreetMap Wiki and note that site is using OSMF tile server without attribution and hope that someone will have time to send message to them

Or create Github account with no identifiable name (though note that having multiple github accounts may be banned by Microsoft) and send report through it? And send attribution requests from separate email account? Though not signed letter from anonymized account sound a bit suspect…

Or ask in the IRC chatrooms #osm or #osm-dev (instructions) for someone to report. People will only know your IP address.

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attribution: ... is defined as optional in the tileLayer() API docs, in the section Options inherited from Layer. I have never used Leaflet, but is there a specific reason it does not require OSM attribution at runtime? That is, fail, or print a loud warning to the developer, if the tile server URL starts with and attribution: ... is not passed.

Edit: I cannot seem to find a mention of this on the issue tracker. Do you happen to know if this was already discussed and what was the response?


One more website was fixed today, with its access to OSMF tile servers unblocked.

See · Issue #15 · openstreetmap/tile-attribution · GitHub

(please do not comment in the linked issue)

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