OpenLayers Provenance Review

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  • Erik Uzureau
  • Christopher R. Schmidt
  • John Frank
  • Schuyler Erle
  • Tim Schaub
  • Paul Spencer

Contributions have been made to the project by:

  • Howard Butler
  • Bertil Chaupis
  • John Cole
  • Jeff Dege
  • Christian López Espínola
  • Sean Gilles
  • Pierre Giraud
  • Andreas Hocevar
  • Eric Lemoine
  • Philip Lindsay
  • Corey Puffault
  • Cameron Shorter
  • Paul Spencer
  • Glen Stampoultzis
  • James Stembridge
  • Bill Woodall
  • Steve Woodbridge

Provenance Review

There are several tools used in OpenLayers development, which are not part of the code itself, but are included in the source tree for convenience.

  • tests/ directory:
    • Test Another Way -- testing framework. BSD Licensed. Included in OpenLayers as run-tests.html in this directory.
    • All other files in this directory are copyright MetaCarta, Inc. and are released under the BSD license of the project. The test files do not have copyright headers.
  • tools/
    •,, are all tools released as part of the OpenLayers project, under the project license.
    • -- Javascript compression tools. BSD licensed. Included in OpenLayers tools directory: used only for building.
    • has information on the provencance/source of the code in the header. It is released under a BSD style license.
  • lib/
    • Rico.Corner and Rico.Color -- libraries used for building more advanced UI components. Apache licensed. Included from Rico libraries as lib/Rico/Corner.js, lib/Rico/Color.js.
    • lib/OpenLayers/Ajax.js, lib/OpenLayers/BaseTypes.js and lib/OpenLayers/Events.js each use components which were originally included in the Prototype library. These components have been integrated directly into OpenLayers, and do not bear too much similarity to their Prototype source. Prototype is BSD licensed. These three files need to have Prototype information added to the headers of the source files.
    • On inspection on Oct 17, 2007 each Javascript file in lib/OpenLayers referenced the project repository-license.txt, and notes the copyright holder is MetaCarta, Inc., and includes a copyright date.
  • examples/
    • Each example file has been contributed to OpenLayers under the same process as committing code, and therefore the code in these examples is considered to be under the project license, although this copyright is not explicitly stated in each file.
  • art/
    • The SVG files in art/ are original artwork by developers of the OpenLayers project, and are released under the project license.
  • doc/
    • The documentation in the doc/ directory was written by developers of the OpenLayers project, and is released under the project license.
  • theme/
    • The default CSS file included with OpenLayers was writtne by developers of the OpenLayers project, and is released under the project license.
  • img/
    • Some images in the img/ directory are generated from the SVG files in the art/ directory: these files are dervied from the source SVG, and are therefore licensed under the project license.
    • Any image which is not generated from the SVG in the art/ directory was created for use by the OpenLayers project, and is released under the project license.

All contributors to OpenLayers are required to file an ICLA or CCLA granting copyright to MetaCarta, Inc. before contributions can be included in the OpenLayers trunk. This policy has been enforced in all cases: no patches have been allowed to enter trunk without an attached copyright assignment agreement. Therefore, all OpenLayers code as released falls under the copyright of MetaCarta, Inc.


Before a contribution from a given user is accepted into the OpenLayers repository, the user contributing must fill out one of either a:

These files are framed largely on the Apache Foundation's ICLA/CCLA documents, with only minor changes to accomodate for the difference in OpenLayers project.

All ICLA/CCLAs are then submitted to the PSC list, and kept on file by MetaCarta, Inc., and can be made available upon request.

Project License

OpenLayers is released under the "Clear BSD" license, a BSD variant which explicitly disclaims that:


The license is not different in any other way from the standard OSI approved BSD license.

An explanation of why this license is in use is available at


Currently, OpenLayers hosts a 'sandbox' directory inside of the repository. The content in this sandbox is not subject to the same standards of copyright provenance that the code in /trunk is: no ICLA is required to develop in a sandbox, and the copyright of code in the sandbox can not be assigned to OSGeo with the rest of the project. This SVN directory is designed to allow users to develop without a need for strict copyright concerns. At such time as the code in /sandbox migrates into trunk, it will undergo the code and provenance review neccesary to become part of the OpenLayers project. This is similar to the process by which patches are committed: a user adds a patch in Trac, files a CLA, and the code is then taken in as part of the OpenLayers code base.

The sandbox-license.txt file in SVN makes clear that the sandbox content is copyrighted to its authors and that no license is granted by MetaCarta or the OpenLayers project to this code.