OpenStreetMap is a collaborative mapping project, with the aim of creating a source of free¹ geographical data. Data from other sources is often neither free of charge, or necessarily free to use in whatever way you wish once you have it. Services such as Google Maps license their data from other sources, and have restrictions on their use and distribution.

  1. “free” here has little to do with price, it means you have certain basic freedoms to use, study, modify, and redistribute the data, akin to those you have with free software.

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