Published: 3 June 2011
Through the Geograph® website the geographical database is freely available to the public. There is a dedicated version of the site for schools.
All photographic submissions and accompanying metadata are licensed by the original submitter under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike licence granting anyone the right to use the image for any purpose (including commercial uses), as long as credit is given to the copyright holder and that derivative works use the same licence.
Such commercial use can include the photograph being printed and sold.
Metadata is all the descriptive data entered during this submission process, including location references, title/description, tags, and date taken. This includes which (if any) shared descriptions are attached to this image.
On submission, contributors licence their images at one or more specific sizes. Once a licence is granted it is irrevocable, as that image and licence may legally have been downloaded and used elsewhere.
Geograph for schools site
Creative Commons licence
The young company had twelve members of whom five had volunteered to be directors to enable the company to be formed. At the first Annual General Meeting, 4th April 2012 in Sheffield, the members elected six directors. It was intended to widen company membership in time for the 2013 AGM. From September 2012 anyone who has contributed 100 or more photographs may apply to become a company member. There were 261 in January 2022. Anyone who has made a significant contribution to the project in other ways may join the company at the discretion of the directors.
Registered users are able to participate in every aspect of the project and its development. The code for the website is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). The name Geograph is a trade mark registered in the UK, number 2596590.
Mark Anderson, Sebastian Ballard, Stephen Craven, Michael Dibb (Treasurer and Company Secretary), Bill Harrison, Barry Hunter, Christine Johnstone, David Martin, Ruth Sharville, Chair: David Martin.
Contact Us page.
Articles of Association
Trade mark registration
The Geograph Team
This photo completed Geograph's first million live images, submitted on 15th October 2008 by Dr Richard Murray.
After appealing for help to create it, Gary teamed up with Paul Dixon and Barry Hunter. Barry recalls that they ‘met’ online and "quickly got together to form Geograph in February-March 2005. The concept for geograph.co.uk – pretty much the site you see today – was drafted over MSN by Paul and Gary. By the time I got involved Paul had pretty much built the first version of the site and was very near launch". Learning the programming language at the same time "My early contribution was adding the Map, Search and Stats links". Geograph took off: before the end of March 1,000 images had been submitted by, amongst others, Paul Allison, Pam Brophy, Brendan & Ruth McCartney, Alan Simkins and Andy Stephenson – who is still contributing.
Around the same time the education department of Ordnance Survey (OS) – the national mapping agency of Great Britain – was seeking to develop an online gallery of images where teachers could exchange photographs and see them plotted on a map. In the course of their research OS stumbled on Geograph (as many of us subsequently have) and realised that this was what they were looking for. Rather than replicate the site they decided to adopt it. Barry recalls that he, Paul and Gary "didn’t meet in person until November, for a meeting at OS headquarters in Southampton to discuss possible sponsorship. The OS thought it incredibly amusing that we had only met the night before in the hotel bar".
Since then the number of contributors and submissions has continued to grow. One million images had been published by October 2008, two million by August 2010, three million by June 2012, four million by June 2014, five million by July 2016, six million by January 2019 and seven million by November 2021.
Although Paul and Gary are no longer closely associated with the site, their role in its creation will not be forgotten. Many thanks to Gary Rogers and Barry Hunter for archaeology, signposts and recollections.
Gary’s appeal for help: Link
The first Geograph site: Archive Link
Paul’s manifesto: Link
Early contributors, and some later ones, recall how they found the site: Link
One million images: Link
Two million images: Link
Three million images: Link
Four million images: Link
Five millionth images: Link
Six millionth images: Link
Seven millionth images: Link
Some numbers since 2005: Link
Latest updates: 21 August 2017, 14 September 2018 and 18 June 2020 by RS; 9 October 2020 and 27th January 2022 by MD: