Ten years ago today we changed the license of OpenStreetMap’s data. For those who remember it, you’ll know it took a lot longer than a day. It was slow and painful process, but we published our first ODbL-licensed “planet dump” on 14th September 2012!
In the run up to that moment we spent several years working with the Open Data Commons organisation to create the Open Database License, reaching broad community agreement upon it, then seeking formal acceptance from every data contributor, and carefully redacting data where this acceptance was not received. All of these steps required vast effort from volunteers, culminating in the switch-over moment. In fact even after the big announcement (on this blog) it took a couple more days before we were able to publish the data ten years ago today!
In those ten years we’ve seen spectacular growth, not just in data and community, but also in users and uses of our data under ODbL. You can read more about the license change reasoning and process here, but if you’re interested in using OpenStreetMap data … download it. It’s free and open licensed!