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Evaluate external layers for privacy and open source
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We should re-evaluate the criteria and implementation of external layers, from a privacy and open source point of view.

There are some potential policies we could enact (some or all of the below) to move this feature closer to typical Wikimedia norms for privacy and open source (below is not how it currently works):

  • All tiles must be rendered on Tool Labs.
  • All tiles must be hosted on Tool Labs.
  • All tiles must be generated with fully open source software.
  • All completely external tiles must be proxied to protect privacy.

See for how it currently works.

See also:

Event Timeline

User demand will include tiles from stylesheets that are not open, like many of the thunderforest layers. Some may be generated with fully open source software, but the stylesheets are not open source.

Some of the layer's terms may not allow proxying.

Given that of the current external layers, only one is on wmflabs, and it's not a basemap, I don't see any chance of requiring all of them to be hosted on labs to work.

My opinion on this is that perfect is the enemy of good. If we want to pull more people into our maps, we should give them options and steer them towards the right options. If we block them, they will build their own stuff. Or route through wmflabs and provide their own consent dialog right there.

If we embrace it, we can steer their behaviour. Then we can decide how pervasive the notification is. We will motivate people to make the right choice, instead of motivating them to find a complete alternative.

MSantos moved this task from Unsorted to General on the Maps (Kartographer) board.