OpenStreetMap is a freely reusable map of the world.

I am looking for a similar effort, but concentrating on vertical aerial photographs: orthophoto


  • Free to download synthesized orthophotomaps
  • Free to download original photographs and position/correction metadata
  • Photographs as detailed, non-cloudy and recent as possible
  • Same license as OpenStreetMap, or more liberal
  • Resolution: As good as possible. I am aware different areas will have different resolutions, depending on what drones/planes/satellites have been there).

Bonus if the community has its own website with:

  • World browser showing as a "satellite view", ideally superimposing OpenStreetMap city labels
  • Dialog to upload new photographs and their metadata

Wikimedia Commons has a lot of free satellite pictures but they have no coherent position/elevation/orientation information. They could probably be re-used as the building blocks to build a solution.

  • 3
    What resolution? Would Landsat's 30m resolution imagery would be good enough? There's a bunch of good, open tools to access Landsat, but you're not going to get neighborhood-scale imagery at the quality of what you posted. Feb 20 '15 at 15:54
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    Check out OSM's imagery wiki. You'll have to track down the licensing restrictions for each (you didn't mention how you are using the imagery, so hard to know which license types would be compatible). Also note, there's work to bring back OpenAerialMap. Feb 20 '15 at 15:56
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    @JamesConkling: Added info as the last two bullets of the requirements list, thanks! :-) OpenAerialMap looks interesting, feel free to add it as an answer. Feb 25 '15 at 1:52

Sounds like a case forOpenAerialMap, which after a hiatus, looks like it might get a reboot. Wish I could think of something that was active. They already have a functional beta:


The OSM wiki also has some notes on aerial imagery.


earth explorer via usgs has a slew of satellite datasets, although i'm not sure if they meet your requirements 100%. Aerial Imagery/Aerial Photo Mosaics on Earth Explorer:

  1. Aerial Photo Single Frames
  2. Aircraft Scanners
  3. Antarctic Flight Line Maps
  4. Antarctic Single Frames
  5. ASAS
  6. DOQ
  7. High Resolution Orthoimagery
  8. NAIP JPG2000
  9. NAPP
  10. NHAP
  11. PAO Image Gallery
  12. SD NRCS Section Photos
  13. SLAR (Side Looking Airborne Radar Mosaics)
  14. Space Acquired Photography

check it out:
public domain license

  • 1
    What is the license of these datasets? I could not manage to find on the website. Feb 25 '15 at 6:25
  • they are free for public use
    – albert
    Mar 4 '15 at 21:45
  • That means not for commercial use, right? That is LESS liberal than OpenStreetMap. My question requirements state "Same license as OpenStreetMap, or more liberal". Thanks anyway! :-) Mar 5 '15 at 1:52
  • public domain usgs.gov/laws/info_policies.html
    – albert
    Mar 5 '15 at 2:55
  • All of them? Wonderful :-) Mar 5 '15 at 3:02

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