OSM Use & Attribute: Bisnode Navne & Numre Erhverv website
Mar 28th, 2019 by miki

OSM Use & Attribute?

I regularly stumble upon maps which I cane recognize as derived from OpenStreetMap. Usually by map style, the level of detail or by seeking out details I know is only present in OSM. I usually inspect the attribution and license accompanying the material to assess whether it is prepared by an organisation who understands the needs to and cares about having its chain of copyright somewhat traceable. I’ll attempt to do a small concise writeup of the findings going along this in the future. Maybe I’ll be able to produce a series of “OSM Use & Attribute” posts?

Quite randomly the first one became the Danish company using OSM tiles from Mapquest (the ones who fled from an open approach in 2015) to indicate locations in the commercial and subscription-required yellow pages product named Bisnode Navne & Numre® Erhverv (aka.

Attribution Compliance Analysis

For reference: OSM’s Copyright and License page

Below is a screen-shot from within the walled garden, and the actual link leading to the page (accessible to me because I’m the owner of the company in question).

Bisnode obviously uses Mapquest as supplier of their maps. Mapquest do make sure to display a nice and prominent copyright attribution line in the map with text linking to respectively Mapquest’s Mapbox attribution page (“MAPBOX” text), OpenStreetMap’s about page (“OPENSTREETMAP” text) and Mapquest’s TOS (“TERMS” text).

The OSM attribution doesn’t comply exactly with the words of the OSM attribution instructions; to use the text “© OpenStreetMap contributors” and make it clear that data is distributed under the ODbL license (suggested done by linking to the OSM copyright page which only happens indirectly through the about page). This is almost fulfilled on the 3rd Party Notices and Licences which is, however, buried behind the long read of the Mapquest TOS, and where the attribution strangely becomes the rather twisted “© Open Street Map and Contributors”. Who are OSM beyond its contributors? And why doesn’t Mapquest know the correct name of the project? Is it to prevent search engine hits of the more unique concatenation of the three words? That’s a guess.

Strangely an almost similar text but also with a reference to the ODbL is to be found in the “Mapbox Streets” section of the Mapbox attribution page.

Tile Server Compliance Analysis

For reference: OSM/OSMF’s Tile Usage Policy

The tiles are obviously rendered using the Mapquest cartography and thus can be served only by Mapquest.


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