OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable geographic database of the world. The geodata underlying the maps is considered the primary output of the project. The creation and growth of OSM has been motivated by restrictions on use or availability of map data across much of the world, and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.[5]

OpenStreetMap's logo
OSM homepage
Type of site
Collaborative mapping
Available in
  • UI: 96 languages and variants[1]
  • Map data: Local languages
OwnerCommunity-owned; supported by OpenStreetMap Foundation[2]
Created bySteve Coast (User page in OSM)
ProductsGeographic data
RegistrationRequired for contributors, not required for viewing
Launched9 August 2004; 17 years ago (2004-08-09)[4]
Current statusActive (details)
Content license
Open Database License (ODbL)

Created by Steve Coast in the UK in 2004, it was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and the predominance of proprietary map data in the UK and elsewhere.[6][7] Since then, it has grown to over two million registered users.[8] Users may collect data using manual survey, GPS devices, aerial photography, and other free sources, or use their own local knowledge of the area. This crowdsourced data is then made available under the Open Database License. The site is supported by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a non-profit organisation registered in England and Wales.

The data from OSM can be used in various ways including production of paper maps and electronic maps, geocoding of address and place names, and route planning.[9] Prominent users include Facebook, Wikimedia Maps, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon Logistics, Uber, Craigslist, Snapchat, OsmAnd,, MapQuest Open, JMP statistical software, and Foursquare. Many users of GPS devices use OSM data to replace the built-in map data on their devices.[10] OpenStreetMap data has been favourably compared with proprietary datasources,[11] although as of 2009 data quality varied across the world.[12][13][needs update]