Server usage policy

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OpenCellID server rack.jpg


We are in principle happy for the OpenCellID information to be used by anybody for creative and may be even unexpected uses.

However, OpenCellID's community servers are run entirely on donated resources.
They have strictly limited capacity. Heavy use of the community servers adversely affects people's ability to use the OpenCellID services, and is an abuse of the individual donations and sponsorship that provide hardware and bandwidth.
As a result, we require that users of the data abide by this server usage policy.

OpenCellID data is free for everyone to use. The community servers are not.

Below are the minimum requirements that users of the OpenCellID community servers must adhere to. These may change in the future depending on available resources.
Should any user or some patterns of usage cause problems to the service, access may be blocked without prior notice. Though not guaranteed, we will try to contact relevant parties if possible.

Because OpenCellID data is free, other organisations provide services made from OpenCellID data. If your project does not meet these requirements, please obtain your OpenCellID data elsewhere or run your own servers.


API usage

  • Usage of the OpenCellID API is forbidden without either contributing data to the OpenCelID database or being whitelisted.
    See below for alternatives.
  • Clearly display license attribution.
  • Do not actively or passively encourage copyright infringement.

Download of complete data files

The cell tower data file provided at [1] changes once per day at approx. 3am (UTC time) and can be downloaded once per day per apiKey

Most of the measurements files provided at [2] do not change at all.
Just the measurements file with the latest data changes once per day at approx. 3am (UTC time).

Therefore only the measurement file with the latest data can be downloaded automatically once per day per apiKey.
All other measurements files must be downloaded manually.

Technical usage requirements

  • Valid API key identifying application. Faking another app's apiKey WILL get you blocked.
  • If known, a valid HTTP Referer.
  • Maximum of 2 download threads. (Unmodified web browsers' download thread limits are acceptable.)

Note: modern web browsers in standard configuration generally pass all the above technical requirements.

Changes to this policy

This policy may change at any time subject to the needs and constraints of the project. Commercial services, or those that seek donations, should be especially aware that access may be withdrawn at any point; you may no longer be able to serve your paying customers if access is withdrawn.

Alternative OpenCellID service providers

Setting up your own OpenCellID server: please contact Markus for support.