It wouldn’t be Rants & Renderings without the occasional OpenStreetMap post. The next few months mark the countdown to the switch to the Open Database Licence (ODbL)—as far as I know, come April, anyone who has not yet signed the new licence will have their work effectively removed from the OSM database. In some cases, these users’ accounts are simply no longer accessible but we still need them to accept the new terms in order to keep their edits.

I came across a neat site called CLEANMAP the other day. It’s basically a Mapnik rendering but with old licencees’ work removed. The site states that it “hide[s] objects that were created by mappers that have not [yet] agreed to the [new ODbL] contributor terms”.

Trumpington Road and Long Road missing, CleanMap

Annotated screenshot of southern Cambridge, as seen on CLEANMAP. Parts of the A1134 are missing on Trumpington Road and Long Road but most of the map will be preserved come the switch to ODbL. Not too sure what the licence of this image is anymore, so I'll assume it's copyright and its contributors / CC BY-SA.

My home town of Cambridge is alright for the most part: as annotated above, some parts of Trumpington Road and Long Road have gone missing but most of the city’s doing just fine. What would be more helpful is a rendering showing the inverse: ways and POIs that will disappear. And of course CLEANMAP only shows what Mapnik renders—as I’ve discussed on previous posts, Mapnik only renders certain ways, POIs and relations. The database goes far beyond roads, woodland and bus stops for example.

If anyone reading this hasn’t already agreed to the new terms, please consider. Read this guide as to why the change is taking place.


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