I have QuantumGIS 1.8.0. I made a map that I'd like to use in my thesis. I made it using Bing road layer map. I found it in OpenLayers plugin. Do I have the rights to publish the map as a part of my thesis?

3 Answers 3


Here is an interesting site from MIT that discusses copyright of figures and fair use policy. I would be inclined to accept their assertions given their status as a premier institution.

See the answer from @tmcw for a link to the Bing ToS. Reading that, I believe that you can utilize the map in a not-for-profit academic setting.

  • the interesting link does not work anymore
    – kdarras
    Nov 27, 2023 at 17:04

Bing terms of use: http://www.microsoft.com/maps/product/terms.html

You cannot:

Save, download, print, distribute, transmit or manipulate the bird’s eye imagery, or offer others that ability, through your Company Application.

  • 5
    That quote is not valid for academic use: "If you are using the Services only for Education or Non-Profit Organization Use (as defined in Section 2), Sections 1, 2, 5 and 8 apply." It comes from section 3.
    – Jay Laura
    Dec 2, 2012 at 20:41

The license agreements of those "Open" layers usually only allow a private, noncommercial use. Publishing data in an academic context is somewhat disputeable as to whether the terms of conditions are violated or not.

I'd advise you to simply use the Openstreetmap (OCM) layers since they are under Fair Use and can be used in any context as long as the origin is mentioned.

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