Constituent Engagement

Esri World Imagery in OpenStreetMap!

OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map built by volunteers largely from scratch and released with an open-content license. Since its inception, this global community has grown to over four million registered OSM users. The HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) in particular focuses on crisis mapping around the globe, introducing a diverse user community to the power of spatial data, making extensive use of satellite imagery donated by a variety of organizations for projects often taken up in the wake of natural disaster.

Today Esri is proud to announce that we are making our own global collection of satellite imagery available to the OSM community directly through our existing World Imagery Service. This regularly updated resource provides one meter or better satellite and aerial photography in many parts of the world, 15m TerraColor imagery at small and mid-scales (~1:591M down to ~1:72k), 2.5m SPOT Imagery (~1:288k to ~1:72k), 1 meter or better NAIP in the US and many other curated sources, so we know it will make a welcome addition to OSM’s growing catalog of reference layers.

The imagery can be used in all OSM’s great editors (JOSM, Potlatch 2, Vespucci etc.) but the easiest way to check it out is the simple and friendly web editor iD v2.4.0+.

1. open iD (an OSM account is required)

2. Type B or click Background Settings

3. Choose Esri World Imagery from the gallery.

4. Start contributing!

We couldn’t be happier to serve up the tiles, but this partnership is only possible due to the support of both our commercial imagery providers and fantastic contributions to our Community Maps program. Our sincere gratitude to DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the entire GIS User Community.

For example, below you can see 5cm resolution (20cm accuracy) imagery of the City of Invercargill, New Zealand, captured in January 2016!













We’ll also be at SOTMUS (State of the Map US) in October discussing tools we are creating to make it easier for our customers to share accurate, properly licensed spatial data with the OSM community in the tremendously popular web editor iD, so please come find us and say hello!

If you can’t make it to Denver, you can also find us on the interwebs:

To provide clarity on the allowed use for this imagery, we have created a short, readable Permitted Uses document that specifically discusses data collection and editing. If you’d like to use Esri imagery in other applications outside this partnership, please contact us.

About the author

John helps build ArcGIS Hub, maintains a handful of Leaflet plugins and coordinates with developers across the company to steer Esri's open source strategy. He has a tattoo of a California Raisin and when he's not in front of a computer you can often find him tangled up in poison oak somewhere near his mountain bike.

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