The OsmAnd team has been working on open-source maps mobile applications and receiving support from our community for many years now.
The time has come to create a manifest describing our place in the world of IT by explaining why we prefer some solutions/products/technologies over others, clarifying our values, and strengthening our long-term relationship with the community.
Our defined goal is to create universally helpful open-source offline travel tools and to encourage crowdsourcing initiatives worldwide.
"Open-Source" for "Crowd-Source"
We strongly believe that open-source applications make the world a better place by not competing for revenue, but competing for making the best product. The same applies to crowd-sourced projects where the data is open to everyone. Open-source and crowd-source are not the same: Some truly open-source projects feature non-accessible data, and some crowd-sourced projects feature valuable data but no accessible product.
When OsmAnd was first launched, the app was based solely on OpenStreetMap. Later, we moved on adding Wikipedia support, Mapillary imagery, and Wikivoyage. In this fashion, everybody can contribute and see results in the app within a month, or even within the hour (via an OsmAnd Live subscription).
Along these lines, our most important plan for OsmAnd is to continue to be a long-sustained project open for any kind of contribution, and at the same time our code can be used by anyone for non-commercial purposes.
Respect for Privacy
In OsmAnd, we strongly respect the privacy of every individual seeing it as an integral part of human dignity. Our principles of data protection include:
- Geolocation data: We recognize geolocation data as critical and sensitive personal information which we will never store, nor share with any third party.
- Digital footprint: We rate IT footptint-capable data like your screen resolution or IP address as sensitive. Global services aggregating such information can use it to assemble a digital footprints, track users, deliver personalized ads, etc., hence we entirely avoid using such services and do not transfer such data to third parties.
- Simple Analytics: We aim at making the best application possible and want to ensure it runs smoothly under all common conditions. For this reason we may collect anonymous and geo-imprecise information, used strictly for internal purposes. Of course, we always provide a way to opt out.
- Ads: Again, in the spirit of protecting everyone's privacy, we intend to keep OsmAnd entirely ad-free. We strongly rely on the 'pay for the app' model as a sustainable and reliable solution.
Communities have great power and potential to evolve and make a difference for themselves and their goals. Our goal is to create toolsthat will help people share and update information about their surroundings and environment. In OsmAnd, you can almost instantly add new data to a map, and make it available to others. In this fashion, maps quickly become extremely detailed, which in turn improves OsmAnd's use and value for activities like driving, hiking, cycling, sailing, traveling abroad, and in many other ways.
OsmAnd also supports mappers through the 'OsmAnd Live' initiative, where users purchase a subscription to frequent map updates and other tools, while those funds become rewards for the contributors.
We are strong supporters of a 'do it yourself' spirit. When you support the project, you do it for yourself as well as for the global community. When you translate, update, code, test, or leave feedback – you fine-tune the very instrument people all over the world use every day. And they are doing the same in return.
Reliable Maps, Available to anyone
We are convinced that OsmAnd has to be accessible to anyone. That is why the free version is globally available, featuring a complete functionality. Everyone deserves to have access to reliable maps working without the internet and we intend to develop new possibilities in this area.
P.S. Please support us by funding, purchasing, contributing to OsmAnd or to related crowd-source projects. We will keep supporting you by creating open-source apps, maintaining them, funding mappers, and spreading openness in the world.
Let's sustain a cycle of support in an Open World!
OsmAnd CEO – Victor Shcherb