OpenStreetMap won’t charge you
OpenStreetMap is open data. We won’t charge for it – ever. Our licence says that you can always copy our data for free. This data is made into the “map tiles” that you show on your site. You can do this yourself. Or you can find a specialist to do it: some will charge for this, some won’t. But OpenStreetMap itself will never charge you for the data.
Make the maps suit you
With other map providers, the map looks how the provider wants it to look. You might be able to do a bit of rudimentary recolouring. But it’s still their style of map, not yours.
With OpenStreetMap, you’re in control. Turning the data into tiles can be done any way you like. Want to emphasise cycle routes and play down motorways? No problem. (Most other maps don’t even have cycle routes.) Want to label subway stops but ignore bus stops? Easy.
Rich, accurate, up-to-date map data
Most commercial providers just do streets. OpenStreetMap might have “street” in the name, but we do much more. Natural features, bus routes, footpaths and cycleways, administrative boundaries, shops, rivers and canals… you name it.
Commercial providers also only update their data every month, if you’re lucky. New roads and buildings can be missing from their datasets long after they’ve opened. OpenStreetMap data is constantly updated, and you can get those updates every day, every hour or even every minute if you want.
All this is contributed by our volunteers (over 1,000,000 signed up so far, and growing every day) – the people who really know about their area. That’s why OpenStreetMap often shows new developments before any commercial provider.
It’s easier than you think
There’s no limit to what you can do with OpenStreetMap. Yet it needn’t take long to get started. You can switch to OSM in under an hour using tools like the easy Leaflet and a provider of free tiles. Read the rest of this site to get started with the possibilities.