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Copyright for geoplot basemaps

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Will Schneider
Will Schneider on 24 Jan 2023
Edited: Stefanie Schwarz on 21 Nov 2023
Hi all,
I have a manuscript ready for publication in an academic journal. In the figures I use the 'streets-light' basemap (geoplot) as part of my plots. I have been trying to find information about the copyright of this material, and if/how I can use it. I am citing MATLAB within the paper, but need to know if additional credit/citations are required for the usage of the basemap in my figures?
Rik on 28 Jan 2023
I had expected they would be allowed to say which parts included in Matlab are not covered by the license agreement, but apparently not.
Jestzer on 10 Feb 2023
That doesn't surprise me. At the 2 biggest tech companies I worked at, the answer was always, "Read the license agreement" since we were told anything other than that was considered "interpretation" and therefore a potential legal issue. Blame lawyers and the culture of suing.

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Answers (1)

Stefanie Schwarz
Stefanie Schwarz on 21 Nov 2023
Edited: Stefanie Schwarz on 21 Nov 2023
Currently, our map data is provided by either Natural Earth or Esri® depending on the used basemap.
Refer to the "geobasemap" documentation to see which basemap is provided by which host:
As you can see, the 'streets-light' basemap is hosted by Esri. These high-zoom-level basemaps hosted by Esri use dynamic attribution and are correct. The attribution is obtained from the Esri web service and changes as you pan and zoom when the data sources change.
Do not crop this attribution out of basemap images. If the attribution is not readable, then display the attribution somewhere else on the figure, such as in the title.
If you want to obtain the attribution for a high-zoom-level basemaps hosted by Esri, then you can use the Mapping Toolbox "readBasemapImage" function in R2022a and later. Please refer to the documentation below for more information:
The third output argument "attrib" contains the Basemap attribution. Here is example code to get the attribution for an existing geographic figure:
% plot data and change basemap
>> GT = readgeotable("boston_placenames.gpx");
>> geoplot(GT)
>> geobasemap("streets")
% read basemap image; get handle to axes using gca
>> gx = gca;
>> [~,~,attrib] = readBasemapImage(gx.Basemap,gx.LatitudeLimits,gx.LongitudeLimits)
% or
% [~,~,attrib] = readBasemapImage(gx.Basemap,gx.MapCenter,gx.ZoomLevel)
attrib =
"Harvard University, City of Boston, City of Cambridge, Esri, HERE, Garmin, INCREMENT P, NGA, USGS"


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