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Use cases and detailed answers

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Use cases and detailed answers

Use cases and example scenarios

I want to use the data to create a map or visualisation on a handheld device with a small screen. I want to incorporate real-time information from various sources to provide routing information. I won’t be making any changes to the data I use, I will be using and providing it to my customers as it is.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, the data can be used for this purpose as it is using data that is unchanged. This is an example of a Produced Work, for which only proper attribution is required. You can use any appropriate license, including full copyright, CC-BY-SA and public domain.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use of the data is permitted providing routing information is part of members public task, isn’t a commercial activity and isn’t competing with an OS Licensed Partner equivalent product and /or service. The map must contain a hyperlink to relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of OS data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the OS data comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should always determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The price is based on the amount of use on customers devices.

I want to create a map and include this as part of a printed publication (eg a book, newsletter or similar)

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. You can use any appropriate licence, including full copyright, CC-BY-SA and public domain.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted as long as the printed publication is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an Ordnance Survey and / or a Licensed Partner equivalent product. The printed publication must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. There is no licence fee where the printed publication is media related and/or for used for promotional purposes. Otherwise the licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data reproduced within the printed publication and the number of copies distributed.

I want to run my database of over 100,000 addresses through the data to add geographical coordinates (geocode). I will use a geo-services vendor to do this. I will validate the accuracy of the data on an ad hoc basis with the business the data is about, and update their business information accordingly. I plan to use this to show business locations in online maps on my website.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes the data can be used for this purpose. The geocoding vendor will need to credit OpenStreetMap in the way described in the ODbL because it is a public use of the OpenStreetMap database. The Geocoded results added to the business database are not subject to the share-alike requirements and the business database records themselves need not include attribution to OpenStreetMap because the Geocoding Results used are an insubstantial extract or contain no OpenStreetMap data. The OpenStreetMap Community Guidelines contain more Geocoding guidance.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisation): Yes, this use is permitted as long as the website is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and isn’t competing with an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner equivalent product and/or service. The website must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on number of Ordnance Survey coordinates used and/or the number of times the business locations is viewed on the website.

I want to extract data about businesses (eg opening times, contact details, address and geographic location etc) from the data and make a searchable directory of UK businesses. I want my customers to be able to see, correct and update the company records, for a fee.  

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The act of correcting, or updating the company records, will trigger the derived licence conditions which means a version of the new ‘corrected’ database should be made available under the ODbL. OpenStreetMap community interpretation of the licence (section 4.6) suggests the database needs to be available in a machine readable form on request.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): No, the data cannot be used for this purpose as it’s a commercial activity and will unfairly compete with an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner equivalent product and/or service.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used in creating the directory and/or the number of times customers use the Ordnance Survey data.

I want to build bus routes for my local town based on extracting road centre-line data. I will correct any out-of-date road information. I plan to combine this with bus timetable and real-time data to provide up-to-date transport information. The different sources of data vary in copyright restrictions.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. You will need to include an attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the data.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, you can use the data for this purpose. You can make your final product available under any appropriate licence (taking into account copyright restrictions of other data sources). However, the act of correcting out-of-date records, will trigger the derived licence conditions. This means that in addition to your complete product, you will need to provide a version of the new ‘corrected’ road centre-line database under the ODbL. OpenStreetMap community interpretation of the licence (section 4.6) suggests the database needs to be available in a machine readable form on request.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing up-to-date transport information is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner equivalent product and/or service. The information must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is either based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used to create the up-to-date transport information or based on the number of customers seeing the up-to-date transport information.

I want to convert GPS trails from gritting lorries into a database of streets identifying when they were last gritted. I want to match the GPS trails against the streets in the dataset and then extract the name and length of each street. I plan to publish this list as a spreadsheet giving street name, length and the time of last gritting.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, you can use the data for this purpose as it is classed as an ‘insubstantial extract’. You can make your final product available under any appropriate licence.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing up-to-date transport information is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner product and/or service. The data must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is either based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used to create the dataset or the number of customers to whom the dataset is distributed.

I want to use a base map and overlay it with other data sources from other publishers (eg data about the historic environment, current social deprivation statistics or crime data) to use on a web-based service. I plan to use the data as it is – I will not modify it, other than to convert it into a suitable format for my application. Each data source will be a layer that users can click on or off on the map service. The third party data I plan to overlay may come with varying copyright restrictions on how it can be used and shared.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. You will need to include an attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the data.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, you can use the data for this purpose. This sounds like a collective database (bringing together multiple data in layers but not adding to/changing them) and the resulting product doesn’t have to be shared under open licence. More detail on map layers is available in the OpenStreetMap Community Guidelines.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing such service is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an existing Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner equivalent product and/or service. The website must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Free Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used to create the online map service and/or based on the number of customers viewing the online map service.

I want to combine location data with public transport schedules to analyse transport performance. For commercial reasons I want to keep the results of my analyses private.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes the data can be used for this purpose as the results are being kept private. If the user was ever to make the results public then more detailed information would be needed to determine whether results could be shared under the ODbL licence or whether any licence would be suitable.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing such service is part of public task.
  • Ordnance Survey Free Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on amount of Ordnance Survey data used to analyse transport performance.

I want to extract, copy and distribute the data freely and anonymously in a variety of formats (ie an API, from a download site or convert a JSON file to XML). I want my users to be able to automatically access updates to the data and merge them into another database. I want my users to be able to produce images or derived datasets which others can then download in turn as described above. I don’t want people to have to register an account or click an “I agree” page each time they access an update.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. You will need to include an attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the data.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Copying, distributing and changing the format of the data are allowed under the ODbL – you can license the versions using any appropriate licence, including full copyright, CC-BY-SA and public domain. However, if your users plan to  produce and share derived databases, this will need to be done based on free and open access under the ODbL (ie sharealike) as indicated in the use case.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): No, the data cannot be for this purpose as it competes unfairly with Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey Licensed Partners products and/or services.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: No, the data cannot be used for this purpose as there is no mechanism for users to accept terms of use limiting use of Ordnance Survey data to development phase.

Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: No, as there is no mechanism for users to accept copyright acknowledgements or terms of use.

I am the maker of a flight simulator computer game. I’d like to see if I can make scenery for my game based on the data (eg land use or landscape features), and then combine it with other data eg airfield data, descriptions of planes and other structures. The other data might be copyrighted. As such the data on the game will be encrypted. I plan to acknowledge the data sources along with other authors in the conventional manner.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, this use is permitted. Depending on the exact process this could fall under the OpenStreetMap (OSM) “Collective Database” or “Horizontal Layer” community guidelines. Eg you take OSM data, strip out all of OSMs airfields and replace with your proprietary airfield data.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): No, the data cannot be used for this purpose as it competes with Ordnance Survey Licensed Partners products and/or services.
  • Ordnance Survey Free Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on amount of Ordnance Survey data used in each computer game and number of computer games distributed.

I want to use the data in a satnav or travel routing system. I need to convert the data – without making any changes to the data itself – into a confidential proprietary format that works with our routing software. I’d like to keep the software confidential.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, this use is possible, assuming the source data isn’t updated. Because the source data is not changed OpenStreetMap can act as the open version of the data.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing that such service is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an existing Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner product and/or service. The satnav or travel routing system must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on amount of Ordnance Survey data used in each satnav or travel routing systems and the number of satnav or travel routing systems distributed.

I want to extract and publish a subset of the data in an open data repository. I can then reference the data in my research publication making the research repeatable and verifiable.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. You will need to include an attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the data.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, you can use the data for this purpose as long as you make the subset available under the ODbL.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): No, the data cannot be used for this purpose as the extract of Ordnance Survey data used is not open data.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: No, the data cannot be used for this purpose as the extract is not being used for development phase.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: No, the data cannot be used for this purpose. The data can be published for free where the terms of use are for academic use but not where the data is published as Open Data.

I want to take satellite data and standardise and process it (applying various corrections to adjust for environmental conditions) into a usable form for analysis and visual display (eg on a map). I also want to use the satellite data with other data to create derived products from the data that provide different insights for my customers. The different data sources I am using have different copyright restrictions on how I can use and share them.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): You can standardise and process the satellite data as long as you provide a publically available version of the ‘corrected’ database under the ODbL. The derived products would trigger the ‘share-alike’ clause which means they would need to be available under the ODbL. Given the use case states derived products would include data with different copyright restrictions, this part of the use case is not likely to be possible.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing such a service is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an existing Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner equivalent product and/or service. The data must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose. The licence fee is based on what, if any, Ordnance Survey data appears in the derived data.

I want to take address data and break it down into its constituent parts.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes this is possible. The OpenStreetMap Community Guidelines say that restructuring the data in this simple way counts as a ‘trivial transformation’ and so they advise there is no requirement to make the restructured data available under ODbL. Note that this is the OpenStreetMap interpretation of the licence, other licensors may take a different view that this is a derived database.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing such a service is part of public task. The data must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for the purpose. The licence fee is based on the number of address records used.

I want to collect activity data via apps in smartphones and GPS devices. I plan to aggregate and anonymise the data and match the points against a street. I’ll create a database to show the amount of activity on a street on a particular day. I’ll then share it via commercial contracts with organisations.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under..

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes the data can be used for this purpose. OpenStreetMap regard this as ‘reverse geocoding’ which is querying a map to return an address result. The geocoding results do not trigger a share-alike obligations because they are classed as an insubstantial extract from OpenStreetMap. You’d still need to credit OpenStreetMap as a source of data.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): No, the data cannot be for this purpose as it competes unfairly with Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey Licensed Partners equivalent products and/or services.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for the purpose. The licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used to create the database and/or the number of customers to whom the database is distributed.

I want to share a neural network (a computer system modelled on the human brain and nervous system) that has used some datasets as a training set (a dataset used to train a computer model).

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): We are classing the neural network as a “Produced Work“, (on the basis that, although a neural network definition includes a bunch of numbers, it is not in any way the original data and therefore it is not a derivative). Therefore you are ok to use ODbL (OpenStreetMap) data. You do not have to release the resultant produced work under an open licence.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing such a training set is part of public task. The data must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for the purpose. The licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data used to create the training set.

I want to extract some data (eg building outlines) and then display/distribute them as a separate dataset.

Can I use the data for this purpose if it is licensed under…

  • OGL: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose.
  • ODbL (for OpenStreetMap): Yes, you can use the data for this purpose. The number of features you are extracting will impact how you are required to share the new dataset:
    • if the cut of data from OpenStreetMap is classed as ‘insubstantial’ (eg fewer than 100 map features) then you can license the image using any appropriate licence, including full copyright, CC-BY-SA and public domain.
    • If the cut of data from OpenStreetMap is classed as ‘substantial’ (eg greater than 100 map features or using systematic/repeated extraction) then the resulting output/product would need to be shared under ODbL.
  • Ordnance Survey PSMA (public sector organisations): Yes, this use is permitted providing that such service is part of public task, isn’t a commercial activity and it isn’t competing with an existing Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner product and/or service. The data must contain relevant copyright acknowledgements and terms of use.
  • Ordnance Survey Data Exploration Licence: Yes, the data can be used for this purpose assuming the user is in a development phase. The licence is free, and the duration is rolling 12 months (allows use of Ordnance Survey data for 12 months, and will renew automatically every 12 months), except where the data being used comprises third party content, in which case the duration of licence is three months. You should determine which commercial licence will apply after development phase to be sure you can continue to use the data.
  • Ordnance Survey Commercial Licence: Yes, the data can be used for the purpose. The licence fee is based on the amount of Ordnance Survey data that is distributed to customers.