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I created an image in QGIS using the Google Maps layer and I would now like to publish this as part of an academic journal article. However, the journal editor has asked if I have permission to use the Google Maps base layer. Does anyone know if I need to obtain permission from Google to use this image?

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Google has a permissions tool here. When you click through the options, it seems like your use of the map (academic, in print-media) would probably fall under fair-use so long as you do not obscure the copyright.

Is it possible to make the same image using OpenStreetMap?

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OSM would be the ideal solution for this. –  Mapperz Nov 14 '12 at 14:56
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