Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it prohibited to use knowledge you get from proprietary images or videos? Example: I found a geotagged photo (ponramio) in Google Earth with a well on it. So I know: "Ah, there is a well where I can get water!". Can I use that knowledge to mark that well on my map? ...

share|improve this question
Have you considered asking Google directly? – dassouki Aug 31 '12 at 16:50
It is a very grey area, but if you found that well in Bing Maps Satellite and added that to OpenStreetMap that is okay as they have an agreement in place. see – Mapperz Aug 31 '12 at 16:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm no lawyer, but unless your usage of the information falls under fair use (the definition of which varies by country), you need to get permission from the copyright holder. The Panoramio TOS (Terms of Service) redirects to the Google TOS, which state:

Using our Services does not give you ownership of any intellectual property rights in our Services or the content you access. You may not use content from our Services unless you obtain permission from its owner or are otherwise permitted by law.

Additionally the Panoramio help section on copyright has the following information:

To use, copy, print, or download a photo from Panoramio, you must get explicit permission from the photographer.


You can not use the photos for any commercial or business purpose other than with the explicit permission of the photographer.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.