Licensed Data vs. Open Data

There are two versions of the MapQuest Platform: Licensed Data and Open Data. This guide will help you choose what's right for you as numerous advantages exist for using either data set.


Make sure to check out the Terms of Use for a Community Edition license, as the terms differ for Licensed and Open Data.  Additionally, only on Licensed Data does MapQuest offer an Enterprise Edition license that offers support and account management. Please contact MapQuest to learn more.


Licensed Data

The MapQuest Platform on Licensed Data provides businesses and developers an industry-leading platform that includes the developer tools, resources, and industry expertise for building rich, engaging online mapping solutions for mobile, web and desktop applications. The data used is from the latest high-quality commercial data sources, and includes options for premium support of industrial strength mapping applications.


Key Highlights:


  • Commercially updated and reliable data
  • Traffic data (incidents and overlays)
  • Accurate geocoding
  • Ability to upload and search custom data
  • 24/7 customer support (Enterprise License)
  • Dedicated account management (Enterprise License)


OpenStreetMap data is leveraged in some areas within the Licensed Data stack where it provides value.


Open Data

The MapQuest Platform on Open Data is a result of our support for the open-source and open data community. The data powering our platform comes primarily from OpenStreetMap (OSM), the free and editable map of the whole world. Potlatch 2


Because OSM is constantly being updated and improved by everyday people like you, the MapQuest Platform on Open Data continues to become more reliable and an excellent alternative for developing your next mapping application.


Seen to the left is a screenshot of editing a building footprint in OpenStreetMap using Potlatch 2.


If interested in becoming an OpenStreetMap contributor and learning more about the open community, please refer to the MapQuest Beginner's Guide to OpenStreetMap.


Key Highlights:


  • Ability to add and edit data
  • Map tiles updated ~15 mins after OSM data has been edited
  • Significant level of detail in areas with a strong OSM community (i.e. Germany, UK, metropolitan areas)
  • Large database of footpaths and bike paths for routing
  • Elevation data (raw output and elevation profile)
  • Flexible terms and conditions
  • Custom tools to help improve OSM data 
  • Custom map tiles via the Mapnik style files


NOTE: The Terms of Use does not permit the MapQuest Platform on Licensed Data to be used in conjunction with the MapQuest Platform on Open Data or vice versa.


APIs and Web Services

In general, you will see parallel APIs and Web Services on top of Licensed and Open Data. Updates to APIs typically release first on Licensed Data and transition to Open Data afterwards. There are some things to note:


  • The Android Maps API accesses both Licensed and Open Data from a single API.
  • There are separate JavaScript and Flash/Flex APIs for Licensed vs Open Data.
  • Geocode and Search Web Services only exist on Licensed Data. The Nominatim Web Service on Open Data can perform both POI and address searches, but does not do customer hosted data searches.
  • The Guidance Web Service only exists on Open Data.
  • The Traffic Web Service only exists on Licensed Data.