I get asked a lot lately if Google Map Maker data is compatible with OpenStreetMap. There seems to be an effort within certain quarters to position GMM as “Open” data, when it certainly isn’t … Google completely owns MapMaker data, and applies strict requirements to using that data. This is hardly news, but just for convenience, I’m posting this quick analysis of the Map Maker Licensing Terms.
There are three main points in the Google Map Maker Data Download that makes it incompatible with the license of OpenStreetMap data. And in my opinion, even outside of my involvement with OpenStreetMap, Google’s terms are too strict and anti-openness.
- Non-commercial use only (8.1, 8.2, 10.2)
- Attribution method is quite strict (8.3)
- No use for services that might compete with Google (10.4, 10.5)
OpenStreetMap permits commercial use; we do give full attribution, but not in the way prescribed; and the data may be used for any purpose, including services similar to Google’s.
From any data user’s point of view, I’d say that all three points are also problematic, and I’d advise that they would want to either require share-alike (CC-by-SA/ODbL) or public domain data licensing from its partners.
OpenStreetMap currently uses the Creative Commons Share-a-Like license, and is moving to the Open Database License. The ODbL applies the principles of share-alike in a more appropriately legal way to databases.