May 04, 2015

Mappa Mercia (UK Midlands)

OSM UK Quarterly Project No 2 “All things delivery-related”: an update

It’s now May and the project is a month old and with two months to go, it’s time for an update.

Robert Whittaker has an excellent site monitoring OSM data on postboxes in the UK. Here you can see progress (even a league table of who’s contributing). From the history graph you can see there’s been an increase in activity since the project got going. Perhaps Robert might provide some data analysis about the effect of the project.

Enter a postcode and you can find all the missing and incorrect postboxes nearby. I was amazed at just how many were missing in the areas I map regularly: a great incentive to revisit all kinds of places. In doing so I discovered one of those rarities: an EVIIIR royal cypher(OSM node 448635608).

(For non-UK readers King Edward VIII was only on the throne for about 11 months in 1936 before abdicating so there are only about 130 postboxes bearing the royal cypher EVIIIR, these being the ones installed during those 11 months)

How many of these are actually recorded in OSM? It would make a great treasure hunt for the rest of the project. From web research I think there are only 2 in Birmingham so my job’s done.

I’ve been unable to track down some of the indoor postboxes – two in particular are indicated in Sainsbury’s supermarkets near me, but neither exists. This led me to wonder whether Sainsbury’s had some kind of agreement with Royal Mail which didn’t work out so they were removed. But you can’t build a hypothesis on two pieces of data! Does anyone have any knowledge of this? Or replicate my findings?

In the West Midlands we’ve had some fun trying to locate the Coventry ParcelForce depot which is NOT where Google thinks it is. It moved over two years ago and is now mapped in OSM . Thanks must go to our local sleuth: spiffymapper.

Parcel Lockers are poorly mapped – only 8 existed in OSM for the UK at the start of the project. Now there are 11 . It turns out that one of the operators, ByBox, has its national distribution centre in Coventry so time for spiffymapper to get his sleuthing shoes on again!

Any other stories on what folk have been up to on this project are welcome.

by Brian Prangle at May 04, 2015 03:31 PM

" User's Diaries"

Nepal, mijn steentje

Sinds gisterenavond ben ik vollop bezig om kaarten uit te werken van Nepal. De aanleiding? De grote aardbeving van vorige week.

by RikC at May 04, 2015 11:53 AM

Audi gyár 7. porta létrehozás,buszmegállók a porta mellett.

Megjelöltem az Audi gyár 7. portát,illetve a mellette található parkolókat,és a közeli buszmegállókat.

by SirDannyL at May 04, 2015 11:06 AM

OpenStreetMap Weekly Update

weekly 248/249 – 14.04.-27.04.2015


Screenshot Qualitätssicherungseditors [1]

Members of the Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) one day after the terrible earthquake mapping outdoors for safety reasons  [1]

About us

Unfortunately, we have had to publish this version as a double issue #248/249, because we had a team meeting in Spain to map historical areas and talk about the translation of “weeklyosm” to Spanish. We are looking for help for our Spanish team.  See here for an automatically-translated version of the thread.

… and … because of the terrible earthquake in Nepal, we have changed the sequence of some items.

Humanitarian OSM




  • Frederik Ramm proposes to the import list to delete an earlier import of explosion places of nuclear weapons because we map objects and not results. He gets much approval, but also rejection.
  • Vincent Frison wants to import building heights in Paris.


  • The program of State of the Map US is online.





  • Gary Gale writes on why OSM is struggling in business and why he is in favor of a license without share-alike.


Other “Geo” things

by weeklyteam at May 04, 2015 05:20 AM

May 03, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Melbourne tram stop project - first post

Being a relative newcomer to OSM, I was surprised to find little data on Melbourne's tram stops. With the largest tram network in the world and over 1,760 stops on the network, it is a large project to complete.

With my local knowledge and some field trips, my aim is to input as much information as possible for each stop using tags. I have completed all of the route 48 stops as a sort of pilot, and many other routes will overlap.

I am particularly concentrating on the following attributes:

  • Accessibility
  • Shelter
  • Seating

Any other attributes will be added as needed. I will record each route as I complete it, in no particular order.

Hopefully I can cover all 1,763 stops soon!

In progress

  • Route 109


  • Route 48

by takerlamar at May 03, 2015 11:07 AM

Nepal - Post Earthquake Imagery :(

I've been trying to run through task "#1024 - Nepal Earthquake, 2015, Severely damaged housing areas and IDP Informal camps, Gorkha" using some of the post-quake imagery captured by DigitalGlobe on the Wednesday after the quake. I am looking at a tile of imagery from a very rural area.

Because it is monsoon season, Nepal was covered by quite a lot of cloud for a few days after the quake, and the imagery I am working on, from the 29th April 2015, isn't very clear. There is cloud cover over the majority of the tile and this image has very high off-nadir angle, so the recently digitised building footprints do not line up with this imagery very precisely. However, it's the best that is available, and it's what I have to use.

To my interpretation, it seems that most of the buildings that are visible on my specific tile held up pretty well. The majority of rooflines seem to be present and there doesn't appear to be rubble cascading away from the building sides.

Sadly, there is an exception. One particular building footprint stood alone, someway down a valley, and was clearly in the path of a landslide. Comparing the new imagery back to the pre-quake Bing image, it seems like this building has just gone. If anyone was inside when the landslide happened they wouldn't have had much of a chance.

I am sure when better imagery arrives we will see many many more damaged or destroyed buildings - but that doesn't make this one any better :(

by KJSime at May 03, 2015 07:14 AM

#1009 - Nepal Earthquake, 2015, Gorkha:

Thanks Hedaja, SK53 and Alan for putting me right - The images are deceptive! I appreciate the hint to use OpenCycleMap to use the contours. Learning heaps!


by carltonwinter at May 03, 2015 06:55 AM

Top OSM Rank: Who are these crazy, amazing people?

It's now been around 2 years since I started editing OSM seriously. I've used Pascal's HDYC and YOSMHM to track my progress, with the goal of making a real contribution to OSM worldwide. One thing I always wondered about, as my OSM node rank went up. It would reach, for example, 300, and I would think, wow, I have been editing so much... who are these 299 people around the world who actually edit even more??

Recently, I set out to answer this question. I started looking at HDYC for well-known accounts, as well as their heatmaps, and gathering the results in a spreadsheet. When that got tedious, I wrote a C++ app on Osmium and ran it on the Planet.osm file, to find out the complete list of top-ranked accounts.

And the answer is... most of them are not actually people; a few are bots, and many are "import accounts", or user accounts that have been used for a large import at some point. (...but not all of them! Some are actual, live humans manually editing OSM longer and more extensively than me). Along the way, I learned some OSM history, and the diverse patterns in OSM in different countries.

Here is a link to the spreadsheet, sortable by rank, with my own notes on the where/what of around 385 accounts, including the top 100 in node and way ranks. The data is approximate... it's not auto-refreshed by a script (yet), so some ranks may be a little out of date.

In my next diary entry I'll share some of the stories and realizations I've had while gathering this data.

by bdiscoe at May 03, 2015 12:26 AM

May 02, 2015

" User's Diaries"


Сегодня съездили в Копейск, прогулялись пару часов. Оказывается, совсем не отрисован парк. Попробую немного его заполнить.

by Vazhnov Alexey at May 02, 2015 06:26 PM


edits in Klettgau area, mainly on trees. Reminder: shape of natural reserve 'Widen'. To be checked.

by infographic at May 02, 2015 02:46 PM

The true "McDonald's" problem and the apostrophes ...

Now we have at least 3 hard to detect version on the database. Can you spot a difference?

name="McDonald’s" ( count=126 ) U+2019 ’ e2 80 99 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK

name="McDonald´s" ( count=40 ) U+00B4 ´ c2 b4 ACUTE ACCENT

name="McDonald's" ( count=14041) U+0027 ' 27 APOSTROPHE

see more:

by ImreSamu at May 02, 2015 02:42 PM

geographic coordinates

how do you see the longitude and latitude, of a town for example, when surfing ?

by buzu at May 02, 2015 02:09 PM

Sechs Jahre OSM ...

... Kinder wie die Zeit vergeht und wieder ist es an der Zeit ein Resümee zu ziehen! Nun bin ich schon sechs Jahre bei OSM dabei und es macht immer noch riesigen Spaß.

Wie lange ich wirklich schon bei OSM bin habe ich im letzten Herbst gemerkt als ich einige Waldwege aus meiner Anfangszeit vervollständigen wollte. Im Wald angekommen musste ich schnell feststellen, dass die Natur sich in den letzten Jahren einen großen Teil der Wege zurückgeholt hat. Am Ende des Tages habe ich mehr Wege gelöscht als eingetragen. So geht einem Mapper wenigstens nicht das "Vergnügen" aus ;-). Aber alles der Reihe nach.

Eigentlich begann das letzte OSM Jahr mit einem ganz ganz großen Fauxpas meinerseits. Ich war drei Tage in London und musste zu Hause feststellen, dass ich überhaupt nichts gemappt habe. Schande über mich, dachte ich, aber Gott sei Dank war das Hotel und die Fußgängerampel vor dem Hotel noch nicht erfasst. Kurz die Tracks angesehen und schon konnte ich meine Schande schmälern ;-). Wobei ich mich bis heute frage, wozu diese Ampel gut sein sollte? Bei Rot stehen geblieben ist dort eh niemand.

Im Sommer war natürlich der OSM Geburtstag das Highlight. Am 9 August wurde OSM 10 Jahre alt. Im dem Fall muss man ja sagen so jung und schon so erfolgreich. Wie erfolgreich bzw. gut die Daten von OSM wirklich sind, konnte ich wenige Monate später testen.

Unser Urlaub führte uns, wie auch schon die letzten Jahre, auf die Kanaren. Diesmal war es La Palma und da für die ganze Zeit ein Mietwagen eingeplant war, habe ich auch mein TomTom mitgenommen. Schon bei der Fahrt vom Flughafen zum Hotel musste ich feststellen, dass ich ohne die OSM Daten in Form vom OSMAnd im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes im (Bananen)Wald gestanden hätte. Ok ok, fairer Weise muss ich zugeben, dass die Karte im TomTom schon ein paar Jahre auf dem Buckel hat. Trotzdem hätte ich mir einige von den vorgeschlagenen Straßen mit dem PKW nicht zugetraut. Mit der Eingabe der Orte hatte ich so wieso so meine Probleme. Meist war mein eingegebenes Ziel 1800 km entfernt irgendwo auf dem spanischen Festland. Dabei fiel mir auch auf, dass ich immer mit roten Warnungen überschüttet werde, wenn mein Ziel auf einer unbefestigten Straße lag. Die paar Kilometer Wasser zwischen Kanaren und spanischen Festland hat das TomTom aber mit keinem Ton erwähnt :-).

Beute in Form von Daten habe ich natürlich in dem Urlaub auch gemacht. Da ich diesmal allerdings keinen Laptop mit hatte (ja liebe Kinder auch ein Urlaub ohne Laptop und Internet ist möglich ;-)), habe ich die Feiertage im Anschluß über Weihnachten zum Eintragen meiner gesammelten Beute genutzt.

Ach ja, fast hätte ich meine erste Leiche vergessen. Es war am 02.12 beim mappen in einem Waldstück in Brandenburg. Dort lag SIE bzw. ER. ER war ein ausgewachsener Keiler, der tot am Wegesrand lag. Ganz schön Respekt einflößend so ein großes Tier aus nächster Nähe! Mein zweites Fundstück an diesem Tag war bedeutend angenehmer. Es war ein Luftpostgedicht einer Tempelhofer Erstklasslerin. Noch am gleichen Abend habe ich die Autorin über den genauen Fundort per Mail informiert.

An dieser Stelle wird es auch wieder Zeit, OSM DANKE zu sagen! Danke für die viele frische Luft, die Bewegung, die Funde und die vielen neu entdeckten Orte in meinem Kietz. Wer weiß, ob ich sonst jemals von dem Gedenkort Rummelsburg erfahren hätte, wenn nicht als Hinweis in OSM die fehlenden Gedenktafeln vermerkt wären. Auch sonst nutze ich die Hinweise immer noch auf meinem Smartphone um schnell mal die nähere Umgebung zu checken.

Und dann habe ich vor eingigen Tagen noch die Biermap in der Wochennotiz endeckt. Und von da an wußte ich, alles im Leben hat einen Sinn. Nichts hier war umsonst !

So, das war es wieder einmal. Ich sage mal bis zum nächsten Jahr hier oder demnächst irgendwo in freier Mapper-Wildbahn :-).

by webpassenger at May 02, 2015 09:54 AM

Trace from Midson Rd to Marsden Rd, Ermington

With the drained out battery of GTA02 but a handy Sony CycleEnergy battery bank was able to trace from Midson to Marsden Rd. As usual the initial fix too bit of time(can't blame, it was cloudy). Got a lift too in Ashram car. The trace was immediately transferred to my laptop.

There was bit of a mess created at the time of submitting the trace in google map. It introduced a new layer concept which I couldn't understand and created a new layer which I found unusual and tried to delete the layer that I created which deleted the whole of the trace :( . There is no way to recover the trace.

The traces submitted here is going to help me to get the traces.

by gnumen at May 02, 2015 09:49 AM

Open GPX Tracker for iOS Now available

Apple has just approved Open GPX Tracker

Open GPX Tracker is a GPS logger for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod). Track your location, add waypoints and send your logs by email as GPX files.

This app has no annoying time restrictions, no ads and no in-app-purchases. Create unlimited GPX traces :)

Requires iOS 7.0 or above. Open GPX tracker is an open source app.

Note: Although, the app supports several tile sources such as OSM, the version published on the App Store, displays Apple Maps.

Here you have some links:

Enjoy it!

by merlos at May 02, 2015 04:16 AM

May 01, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Details about iD editor users get publicly, permanently and silently logged with every edit – a privacy breach

Since the recent (estimated: two days ago) update to version 1.7.1 ("Add basic browser and platform info to changeset tags (#2559, #2449)") of our editor iD it publicly, permanently and silently logs operating system, browser and language details (+ more) for every user, for every edit by adding those tags to a changeset (example values follow; or see /history and pick a random one until you get one by iD):

browser = Chrome 37.0
locale = it-IT
platform = Linux
  • I could imagine good uses for this big pile of data ... e.g.
    • it may help in debugging the editor
    • one could potentially make nice statistics of our user base in total from this data (from a dump), or
    • use it for quality assurance heuristics (e.g. it may be more suspicious if a foreign language user edits at a specific place),
  • But I also could imagine bad uses for this big pile of data:
    • it also enables everybody to create detailed statistics about a single user's browser update habits and browser name
    • or operating system switching over time. Which all is not why people contribute to OSM.
    • Language, Browser name, exact version and operating system name may make a contributor identifiable among a big group of persons, especially if some of those details are not very usual (think of someone speaking Lithuanian using Epiphany under Linux and editing in an Argentinian city – the expectation of only contributing under a pseudonym user name is quickly broken.
    • Furthermore, the users are not even asked (and also not even notified) if they agree to permanently, publicly publish this private data. The iD editor just asks for the changeset comment. All other tags are added automatically and silently. This breaks the Privacy Policy ("All edits made to the map are recorded in the database with the user ID of the user making the change, and a timestamp at the time of change upload.") if we assume that the users do not intentionally choose this editor and are aware that it does whatever things. Assuming that every contributor finds the small entry in the iD release notes at github is totally unreasonable. I only noticed the problem because I was viewing other contributors' changesets.
    • The users have practically no chance to ever remove this information about them.

In the linked issues (found via the release comments) 2559 and 2449 I see no rationale at all why all this data needs to be saved 1. publicly, 2 permanently and 3. silently. Just reasons why the data could be useful are mentioned (similar to my ideas above) but not why the privacy and trust of our contributors needs to be hurt in this extent. Note: I have messaged the three involved developers/issue reporters via OSM mail about this post.

I think this recent change is really over the top and is doing harm, because to outsiders our project may seem as if it does not care about our contributors' privacy and fools new users by silently publishing information about them. I would hate it if, in the future, I would need to pass along a big warning about privacy when I try to attract new contributors.

Of course a simple workaround is to use another editor, e.g. JOSM, which I suggest doing for other reasons anyway.

Please, let's quickly remove this personal data canon before even more data is collected. By the way, I am intentionally not writing in a hidden bug tracker to make everybody aware of the problem and hopefully sensitise the developers a bit.

by aseerel4c26 at May 01, 2015 05:14 PM

First day!

First day learning OSM today and can do it and digitise easily, Now familiarising with the terraced rural areas of nepal and digitising buildings paths and rivers.

by Airphotoservices at May 01, 2015 03:55 PM

Panneaux publicitaires dans OSM

J'ai commencé à renseigner tous les panneaux publicitaires de la métropole de Toulouse, ceci est visualisable par la requête suivante :

J'ai commencé aussi une sorte de spécification de la publicité extérieure dans OSM, pour l'instant des généralités :

by barnes38 at May 01, 2015 02:36 PM

Rapprochement OSM BANO - Aude

J'ai créé aujourd'hui un mapcraft pour le département de l'Aude :

by barnes38 at May 01, 2015 02:29 PM

getting started


by Boris Kevin at May 01, 2015 12:13 PM

#1009 - Nepal Earthquake, 2015, Gorkha

As a newbie, I am reluctant to comment, but I feel that some of the features tagged as rivers are in fact the tops of mountain ranges.

by carltonwinter at May 01, 2015 10:54 AM

Russion live OSM radio

" User's Diaries"

my location to drive anywhere

Hi am using a different approach navigation to use the search a good discussion

by MD Arshad at May 01, 2015 05:35 AM

satellite image

satellite image not updated. new roads not available for edit.

by fritzpec at May 01, 2015 02:08 AM

April 30, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Openstreet Map Probie

I have previous experience in identifying features in historic and modern maps and I didn't know that I could us this skill as a means of helping ... but I do now!

So here I am, I hope that I may be able to help in any little way that I can and I am learning so much in the process, what OSM is about and how it can be used to help.

This is a brief, but hopefully friendly opening to why I am here and my experience today.

SD :)

by Enxsjp at April 30, 2015 10:24 PM

Osm2pgsql 0.87.3 release

Osm2pgsql 0.87.3 has been released. This development release primarily fixes bugs, but some of the bug fixes make other features usable.

Included is a bug fix for the lockfree queue implementation. Anyone using versions 0.87.0 to 0.87.3-dev, parallel processing, Boost 1.53 or newer, and not using --without-lockfree should immediately upgrade or stop using parallel processing. No data corruption issues have been observed, but the lockfree implementation may have been buggy on all systems.

There have been various fixes with moving hand-written C structures to C++ standard library equivalents and other code cleanups. The main user-facing changes are

  • The multi-backend should now be functional, with an example which creates separate tables for bus nodes, highways, and buildings

  • --without-lockfree is no longer needed on OS X, BSD and some Linux distributions and architectures. This should simplify downstream build scripts for multi-architecture builds and improve speed on any OS that required the option before.

  • nodecachereader should now work with node IDs > 2^31. This is a separate utility program, and obviously isn’t used much

  • Nominatim-related performance improvements

  • Many autoconf macros have been updated. This should ease configuration on non-standard systems.

This may be the last tagged release that does not require C++11. We have no current PRs which will require C++11, but would be willing to accept them.

A full list of commits is at

As always, bugs can be raised at I’m particularly interested if package maintainers have concerns. If osm2pgsql isn’t packaged for your OS and you want to do so and have questions about the osm2pgsql side, please ask them too.

Many thanks to those who have contributed code to this and previous releases.

Paul Norman
On behalf of the osm2pgsql maintainers

by pnorman at April 30, 2015 08:40 PM

Недельное задание 7: статистика

На прошлой неделе снова собирали POI, на этот раз отделения банков и банкоматы.

На форуме в это время проходило обсуждение того, как правильно обозначать эти услуги. По результатам обсуждения переведу и дополню статьи в вики:

Также это может сделать любой желающий, не стесняйтесь!

Статистика за эту неделю:

statistics statistics

Если вспомню, по каким параметрам ещё можно сделать сравнение, добавлю. И вы предлагайте, если есть идеи.

Участников этого недельного задания было крайне мало - всего 2: Sanjak и Сергій Дубик. Они отправили 48 пакетов правок и сделали 606 изменений, за что им огромное спасибо!

Мда, наверное, моей ошибкой было начать обсуждение объектов одновременно с их маппингом. Возможно, кто-то решил дождаться завершения дискуссии и только потом внести информацию один раз, используя принятую схему. Скажите пожалуйста, мои предположения верны?

На этой неделе: курортный город.

by edward17 at April 30, 2015 07:44 PM

Eskinita sa Holy Spirit

Minapa ko yung eskinita kung saan ako lumaki. Wala lang.

Hi, friends.

I love you Jen

by Ayoo at April 30, 2015 05:50 PM


Interviewed by OpenCageData

I was recently interviewed by Ed Freyfogle of OpenCageData.

Ed asked some questions about this blog which I had to think about a bit. I'm not sure if I've explained myself very well, but, in case you missed it, the interview is here.

At some stage when I've cogitated on these answers even more I might expand them directly on the blog.

by (SK53-osm) at April 30, 2015 04:10 PM

" User's Diaries"

Is OSM business unfriendly?

People who have read Gary Gales blog post on Geohipster will have noticed that one of his claims is that OSM is "business unfriendly". It is a reoccurring theme in discussion with people from the geo-industry however in many many discussions and contacts with companies outside of geo** it has never been an issue, and so the question should probably be reformulated as:

Is OSM geo-business unfriendly?

Well, my answer is, you expected this: no.

It is obvious simply by observing the many thriving businesses that would not exist without OSM and the way OSMs "business-model" is structured.

By positioning itself as a data collection project OSM has left lots of space to build businesses using OSM data and providing services on top of it. This is in stark contrast to say Wikipedia, which has always positioned itself as the one-stop shop for WP content and services.

Would a MapBox exist if OSM had chosen a more Wikipedia like model? Naturally not. Would MapBox cease to exist if OSM changed its mind today? Probably not, given that they have moved away from being a one-trick pony, but it would be the death knell for a number of other players.

But no fear, a further reason that OSM is extremely business friendly is that we have held a steady course over the decade the project has existed. Major changes have taken place over a long period of time with lots of time to adapt.

Now there is a certain slow feature creep with respect to features provided on the central OSM site which will continue to raise the bar of the minimal functionality for a viable online map portal, but anybody endangered by this should likely rethink their business model in any case.

Community run and developed software and services will likely have more impact. OSM provides a level playing field and your business model should take competing with non-commercial services in to account.

On top of the above OSM is extremely cheap for business. Not going down the Wikipedia route has enabled OSM to produce all this good stuff with a minimum of fixed costs. The annual budget of the OpenStreetMap Foundation (the formal body behind OSM) is roughly a 1/1000th of its Wikipedia counterpart, the Wikimedia Foundation. There is no obligation for a business to donate to the OSMF and a major part of its income has been from donations by individuals.

A further common complaint from the geo-business pundits is that the OSM community is business hostile, however occurrences of this can essentially always be traced back to the company in question trying to force something on the community, or trying to telling the community what to do instead of being part of it.

Matter of fact the OSM community has an extremely laissez faire attitude towards business involvement in OSM. It is difficult to find somebody opposed to building businesses on the volunteer work, and the boards of two of the most influential OSM related organisations (OpenStreetMap US and the OSMF) are dominated by industry representatives. Dominated as in: a single token non-industry involved member in each.

Garys superficial main beef with OSM is however the current distribution licence, the ODbL.

Over many decades essentially all businesses dealing with geo-data have had business models where they would obtain data from various sources, add in some self-surveyed information and sell the result either directly or services built on top of the resulting dataset., negotiating contracts at every step in the process. This goes for essentially every player from Tomtom, Nokia and google at the top, down to smaller players, excluding essentially only the national and regional government operated GIS departments. Doing business this way is deeply ingrained in the thought patterns and culture of the whole industry.

The advent of open data, mainly open government data, has not changed this. What it has changed is that the cost structures of the businesses have improved. You shouldn't be fooled by the marketing, many of the “disruptive” geo-businesses are simply using the tired, age old business model with lower costs. The benefit is that they seem to have a bit more lee way to do cool things right now, but that will change when everybody has caught up.

Enter OSM.

OSM is the odd kid on the block- Now I don't want to dive in to yet another licence discussion. As has been pointed out many times, many of the issues with the licence are make believe, the real main issue the geo-industry has with OSM is that we don't conform to their traditional business model and they are having problems to adapt. You can't simply haggle a contract with OSM, everybody gets the same.

With other words: their problem is that OSM is truly disruptive and different.

Is this “business-unfriendly”? No, it opens up lots of opportunities for geo-businesses that are willing to adapt, for the others: its capitalism, bye bye.

** it should be noted that non-geo businesses don't seem to have problems googling for the OSMF and sending mail or e-mail with inquiries and questions. The geo-industry on the other hand seems to be so ripe with google-challenged people that it was possible for MapBox to fill a full “legal” marketing piece with complaints by them.

by SimonPoole at April 30, 2015 11:52 AM

My first HOTOSM edits

New to OSM, these past few days have been my first steps onboard. I've been meaning to contribute to HOT for a while, and the Nepal event finally spurred me into action. I put in about 3k building footprints on the day after the earthquake - back then they were some of the first building footprints in the rural areas. Pretty proud of that. Now, 6 days later, it is hard to find unmapped buildings! The swift progress on this data capture is amazing to see.

I've certainly learnt a few lessons along the way about doing things the OSM way, thanks to some of the HOTOSM user community. Very welcoming.

In 4 days time I am hoping to put as many volunteers from our office as possible to the task; I'm expecting somewhere between 8 - 15 people to be involved. Hopefully we can make a pretty big dent over the course of a day - and with luck some of the folk will carry on in their spare time. We will see how it goes.

by KJSime at April 30, 2015 10:52 AM

How many amenities are open for a given time?

This blog post is also available in German.

You might know the opening_hours statistics page which was created for the current weekly task about opening hours on The statistic is all about how many opening hours and related tags are in the dababase and if they are machine readable. But the really interesting question is can those opening_hours itself be visualized so that you can draw conclusions from it? This question occurred to me after I mentioned the weekly task and the statistics page to a colleague of mine (not yet a mapper). He asked if this statistic does actually show something useful for example the average opening hours of all amenities in OSM. This was something I had not thought about but I also found this question interesting. So I thought about how this can be visualized. I came up with the idea of showing the percentage of open (unknown counts as closed) amenities for a given time of the week as known from GitHub activity punchcards. After the idea was there the implementation could not wait long :) And here it is:

The visualization of the punchcard is done using a JavaScript library called d3. The statistic is refreshed daily based on all opening_hours tags in OSM so it always shows the average for the current week so public holidays and such irregularities are considered but note that the public holidays might not be the public holidays which apply to you (the public holidays for Germany are used). It is currently not planed to adopt this to the visitor’s public holidays because of the data processing involved in this statistic. Also note that variable times like sunrise are calculated for this particular location: Baden Württemberg, Germany.

by ypid at April 30, 2015 09:51 AM

Wie viele Geschäfte haben zu einer gegebenen Zeit geöffnet?

Dieser Blogbeitrag ist auch in Englisch verfügbar.

Eventuell hattest du die Öffnungszeiten Statistik-Seite, die als Begleitung für die aktuelle Wochenausgabe zu Öffnungszeiten erstellt wurde, ja schon mal offen. Die Statistik beschäftigt sich damit, wie viele opening_hours beziehungsweise verwandte Tags in OSM sind und wie viele davon ausgewertet werden können. Aber die wirklich interessante Frage ist doch, ob die Öffnungszeiten selbst visualisiert werden können, sodass Schlüsse daraus gezogen werden können. Auf diese Frage hat mich ein Kollege (noch kein Mapper) gebracht, als ich die Wochenaufgabe und die Statistik erwähnt hatte. Er frage, ob die Statistik etwas Nützliches darstellt wie zum Beispiel die Durschnittsöffnungszeiten von allen Geschäften in OSM. Das war etwas über das ich noch gar nicht nachgedacht hatte und ich fand die Frage ebenfalls interessant, also dachte ich etwas über die konkrete Umsetzung nach. Ich kam auf die Idee, die Prozentanzahl der geöffneten (unbekannt zählt als geschlossen) Geschäfte für einen gewissen Wochentag und Uhrzeit, wie es auch von GitHub für die Aktivität verwendet wird, darzustellen. Nachdem die Idee da war, konnte die Umsetzung nicht lange aufgeschoben werden :) Hier das Ergebnis:

Die Visualisierung der Wochenübersicht wird von einer JavaScript Bibliothek namens d3 erzeugt. Die Statistik wird täglich aktualisiert basierend auf allen Öffnungszeiten in OSM, sodass immer der Durchschnitt für die aktuelle Woche dargestellt wird. Dies umfasst auch Feiertage und andere unregelmäßige Ereignisse. Hier ist zu beachten, dass die Feiertage nur auf Deutschland zutreffen. Es ist aktuell nicht vorgesehen, die Auswertung automatisch auf den Standort des Abruferes der Statistik anzupassen, da diese Statistik mit einem gewissen Rechenaufwand verbunden ist. Variable Zeiten (wie Sonnenaufgang) werden für den Standort Baden Württemberg, Deutschland berechnet.

by ypid at April 30, 2015 09:46 AM

Florian Lohoff

OSM, ODbl and CC0

Gary Gale has a nice writeup about the OSMs ODbL and how he thinks this harms business adoption.

I replied to his statements which i fully support.

Share Alike is a protective term. But it protects the wrong values in the context of OSM.

The value of Openstreetmap in my eyes is not its data. Its the community producing a steady stream of changes, additions and corrections. The tools around the OSM ecosystem making it possible even for non geo-data-nerds to process their own data and produce nice and astonishing results.

Imaging we would have licensed our data as CC0/PD. The big corps came and "stole" our data and merged them with their dataset and would not give back anything. They would have cut off themselves from the real values of OSM - the community. So misbehaviour would have backslashed on the comsumers of the OSM data.

Now lets look at the current situation. We have the ODbL and the Contributor Terms. Both are complex designed legal texts which are not easily understandable as one can see from the discussions on the various mailinglists. We have ongoing discussions about produced and derived works and their licensing. If in doubt businesses try to avoid getting near any of those complex legal issues.

I know this from my own professional life. 80% of my time is Openstreetmap. I I do infrastructure analysis based on and use OSM as a basemap but i avoid any legal issues by keeping all derived data to myself. I do not hand out osm derived data to clients.

by Florian Lohoff at April 30, 2015 08:47 AM

" User's Diaries"

At the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Volunteers

This event will be a collaboration with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team [HOT] applies the principles of open source and open data sharing for humanitarian response and economic development. We will still:

At least 150 people are here too.

by Help Earth Foundation at April 30, 2015 12:41 AM

April 29, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Nepal, OSM License, and the NGA

unfortunately, tragedy brings about open data and huge osm efforts in remote locations that lack any data. Recently after the earthquake in Nepal, imagery, vector data, and tons of information are appearing on the internet every hour. very good sources are listed here:

Also, the NGA has some data available: (ebola and nepal)

if you go to the main Nepal page they have several pdf atlases:

the red icons are for the pdfs that use OSM data.

Did anyone see the Sochi maps they leaked after the olympics started? same source: OSM.

the question i have is can governments use OSM data, then make it classified? Once you take the data and build upon it, don't you have to share it back ( you can file FOIAs until your blue in the face and they would never confirm/ deny OSM exists... but shouldn't they follow license agreements put in place? I have reached out to them with regard to their open data for Ebola months ago. They do not respond to my e-mails. More of a rant I guess then a question. Cheers!

by MapMakinMeyers at April 29, 2015 07:42 PM

OpenStreetMap Weekly Update

Disaster routing in Nepal available at OpenRouteService

Facing the most severe earthquake for the past decades, Nepal and especially the Kathmandu area have experienced unimagineable devastation. In order to provide emergency and rescue teams with near real time information concerning infrastructural conditions of roads and buildings the Humaniatrian OpenStreetMap Team (H.O.T.), as part of the OpenStreetMap Community, coordinates the crisis mapping activities for Nepal. GIScience Heidelberg have currently set up an OSM Crisis Map collecting and visualizing latest OSM information:

OpenRouteService Disaster Map: and routing which will be updated every 30 minutes.

Furthermore, the additional OpenRouteService SOS – route profile currently considers passable and impassable tagged ways and dynamically adjusts the graph weights of OSM streets accordingly. ORS also provides an Accessibility Analysis Service for a given location, the possibility to export GPS tracks to be used offline in mobile devices and the interactive Avoid Feature Area Tool (in case areas are severely effected by debris and not accesible at all). These features are therefore potentially valuable for Search and Rescue (SAR) units.

by Oliver at April 29, 2015 07:39 PM

" User's Diaries"

prise en main osm

aujourd hui j ai telechargé cette appli pour ne pas etre emmmmmmm.......é en mongolie cet été. Je ne comprends pas tout mais ça va viendre....

by pierre fmdf at April 29, 2015 05:00 PM


É a 1.ª vez que escrevo aqui... Acho extraordinariamente interessante esta forma de fazer os mapas. Ninguém melhor do que "os locais" para criar os pormenores que os visitantes ocasionais nunca terão tempo para conhecer. Apenas lamento que alguns facilitem e, por exemplo, juntem edifícios uns aos outros (transformando-os apenas num...) dificultando depois a colocação do n.º de polícia... Abraço a todos

by GhostSailor at April 29, 2015 04:53 PM

Umgezogen ins Münsterland

Ich bin inzwischen umgezogen und lebe jetzt in Ennigerloh, Ostenfelde.

Was mache ich hier? Hausnummern natürlich ;-) Immerhin waren die meisten Gebäude schon verzeichnet, als ich hier ankam. Da ich inzwischen einen Sohn habe, komme ich ein wenig herum und trage dann nebenher Kartendaten ein.

"Keypad Mapper"/Android hat sich da als recht praktisch erwiesen, auch wenn man die Oberfläche sicher einfacher gestalten könnte...

by Krokofant at April 29, 2015 08:27 AM

Hello word;

Hello word;

Salah satu hal yang terbaik dalam kehidupan ini adalah menjadi orang yang bermanfaat bagi orang lain. Banyak hal yang bisa dilakukan agar hidup mendatangkan kesenangan bagi diri sendiri namun terkadang berimbas untuk orang lain, tanpa disadari. Jika, tanpa sadar saja kita bisa memberikan manfaat apalagi dengan kesadaran. Tentunya, takaran kesenangan bisa berbeda dalam persepsi pribadi. Kesenangan bagi diri pribadi yang kumaksud adalam memberikan informasi kota Medan, mari awakmedan untuk urun daya menggaungkan wilayah lokal kepada dunia dengan berkontribusi yang sederhana melalui OSM.

Apa yang bisa dilirik oleh dunia? - Medan Herritage - gimana?

by Rianda at April 29, 2015 04:50 AM

April 28, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Custom/specific/specialized/regional/whateveryouneed validation rules for JOSM

After ~16 months from this we now have 3⁽¹⁾ specific/specialized/regional validation rules available for JOSM.

Czechs broke our hegemony of Portuguese speaking countries >:-(
But this is very good! It means better tests and possible⁽²⁾ better data in OSM.

Rules can be created for specific countries, areas (both as "knowledge area" or "geographical area"), tags, objects or whatever you want or need.

They could (and should!) be more and I am sure that every OSM community would benefit a lot with custom validation rules for their countries or specific needs.

⁽¹⁾ yes, I know how to count (sometimes, at least); both Portuguese rules should be merged into one in the future
⁽²⁾ possible because validation and testing isn't magical; it depends on who is analyzing and fixing the problems to have a good result

by naoliv at April 28, 2015 05:46 PM


Nepal Help efforts, mapping buildings, created polygons.

by Jomals at April 28, 2015 05:18 PM

Retomar OSM

Voy a retomar el proyecto ya que he visto que nueva gente se ha unido en mi ciudad y aca estoy para colaborar

by Scot3004 at April 28, 2015 04:56 PM

Маленькое наблюдение

Отрисовывать заброшенные аэропорты приятнее чем действующие тюрьмы

by Yury Yatsynovich at April 28, 2015 04:08 PM

Is it the moment for OpenStreetMap?

Surely now is the moment for OpenStreetMap to accelerate adoption, usage and uptake? But why hasn’t this already happened? Why hasn’t the geospatial world run lovingly into OSM’s arms?

Gary Gale published an interesting article on removing SA clause from our license (actually, the major part was about business-friendly face, but you know the principle: want it? go do it). We've heard it before, from Mapbox. As Richard points out, that won't happen any time soon, because there is clearly less than 2/3 of active contributors supporting the idea.

And these opinions strike me as lacking an understanding of OpenStreetMap project. Are we mapping for PNDs? Yes. Are we mapping for commercial companies? Of course. Would we like a thousand more commercial users promoting OSM by simply using it? Yes, go ahead. What? They cannot do that right now?

Well, we can wait. That what distinguishes us from other map data providers: we can really wait. OpenStreetMap is slow, but unstoppable. Mapbox and other businesses have immediate tasks, and for that they need a fast reaction from OSM. But OSM isn't fast. The last license change took 3 years. That's just a bit less than Mapbox has existed. Some think that because we make maps for crisis areas so fast, we are very responsive – but we are not. And it is good.

What I like in OSM, is that it is not going anywhere. Businesses appear and go bankrupt or sold, new datasets are published and then forgotten, but nothing ever can happen with OpenStreetMap. The question is, what will happen if we wait 50 years? I can bet a hundred bucks I'll still be mapping my town in OSM when I'm retired, but will Mapbox, HERE, Google, Yandex, TomTom exist? If we are to act right now, what good will it do to our project in a scope of 50 years? On that scale, publishing a new tagging proposal seems more important that changing a license, just so that some more businesses and government organizations could use our data without having to change their ways. Tags will remain, organizations – not so sure.

And that's why I think a share-alike license is perfect for our project – at least until another popular mapping project appears with a more open license. If we are starting to look good for businesses, look ahead 50 years and think, why we should adapt to their needs, and not vice-versa.

Of course, we can start thinking about changing the license, but don't expect a reaction in the nearest 10 years. Not at least until we've updated our API.

by Zverik at April 28, 2015 03:00 PM

The Failover Issue and Publishing Derived Datasets

It is time that we lay the geocoding related licence discussion to rest by forming consensus on a guideline.

It is well known that I support the concept that the results of bulk geocoding form a derived database and support the corresponding conclusions on the Geocoding Guideline page .

However Example 7 glosses over a point that has been raised for example by Steve Coast in the past: are failed geocoding results really free of OSM intellectual property? For clarity: we are not discussing on the fly gecoding as there is no database created and nothing to share.

We need to resolve this to move forward on the matter.

I don't believe there is a clear and conclusive answer to the above and there is a certain danger of getting in to "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" type of discussions, so I believe that it boils down to: with what is the OSM community happy? Naturally with the backdrop of the ODbL in mind.

I suggest something very simple: that the set of failed addresses (or more general: input data) should be shared with the OSM community.

Now you might ask why would we be interested in failed addresses? On the one hand these can be mined, just as the successfully geocoded ones, for additional information, for example for house number -> post codes relationships and on the other hand the list of failed addresses is obviously helpful for quality assurance.

And I believe that this, particularly the later point, creates a win-win situation for the organisation doing the geocoding and for OSM. The win for the geocoding organisation is that more of its addresses will be found in OSM and the reliance on third party datasets will be reduced.

Now assuming that a consensus forms around the above, there is still a slightly touchy issue in that companies may not want to be identified as the source of specific addresses. To resolve this I propose providing a facility by which such input datasets can be provided to the community and published anonymously (there is at least one system in existence that could simply be cloned to provide this facility).

Note: all of the above only applies to datasets that are being publicly used so there can't be an expectation of a high level of data privacy to start with.

by SimonPoole at April 28, 2015 12:57 PM

Searching (in) OSM on a PI2

Two days back there was a longish discussion on the OSM IRC channel about supporting OSM on XSCE, aka on offline, potentially slow devices. Currently it seems if they (XSCE) distribute a pre-rendered set of tiles, and during the discussion (which was mainly about alternatives to distributing tiles) it was mentioned that it would be nice if they, besides a slippy map, could provide a search function.

Now given that disk space idoes not seem to be an issue in the project and keeping in sync with OSM central is not a requirement, it occured to me that Photon might be a viable way of providing a global search function.

Installing it on my PI2 (running Ubuntu 14.04) was surprisingly easy and the only painful part was downloading 30GB of search index over my not particularly fast Internet connection.

Photon on a PI2

Now perfomance is not great, something like 7 to 10 seconds for a query, ruling out using "search as you type", but bearable for individual queries. Potentially single language search indices would be faster, but that would needed to be tested.

Naturally alternative approaches for example using mapsforge might be better and would get around the requirement for prerendered tiles, however it is not clear if a global map would actually be feasible.

by SimonPoole at April 28, 2015 09:40 AM

Richard Fairhurst

Realpolitik and the OpenStreetMap licence.

  1. The licence will stay as ODbL. Moving to a different licence requires a two-thirds majority of active OSM contributors. Active OSM contributors do not want to change the licence. Even a cursory reading of any comments section shows this.
  2. To achieve change, you need skin in the game. For 10 years the “geo industry” has been telling OSM that what it does is impossible/misguided/wrong. For 10 years OSM has been disproving them. OSM contributors are consequently very sceptical when others tell them what’s best for them. Change comes from within. If you want people to listen, burnish your OSM credentials first.
  3. Don’t hyperbolise. “Drop ODbL” is not achievable, see 1. “Make ODbL work for geocoding” may be achievable. If you mean the latter but say the former, you’ll get nowhere. (Incidentally, if you really mean “drop share-alike” not “drop ODbL”, say so. You’ll still get nowhere.)
  4. ODbL is a young licence. ODbL is on version 1.0. Creative Commons are on 4.0 right now. No-one expected 1.0 to be perfectly future-proofed, but an ODbL 1.1 or 1.5 or 2.0 might fix your issue. Propose good legalese and a rationale that applies beyond OSM, and work openly. It’s very doable.
  5. “Make it so” doesn’t work for licences. Your “good legalese” needs to be more sophisticated than “we declare that geocoding is magically not subject to share-alike”. I mean, come on.
  6. OSM might just not be for you. OSM has always intended to reshape the geo industry. It expects the industry to fit around it, not the other way round. There are plenty of businesses, from one-woman cartography shops up to Apple, who are making money from OSM. If you can’t, maybe you need to change your business model rather than expecting OSM to change for you.

Further reading. Gary Gale marvellously introduces British slang to the Americans. Alex Barth on “let’s drop share-alike”.

Footnote. As is reasonably well attested I’m a supporter of permissive, non-share-alike licences, and have been consistently so throughout the lifetime of OSM. This posting isn’t about my personal opinion: it’s intended as factual observations on what’s required to achieve change. It’s not intended as a direct response to Gary or Alex’s posts (and indeed not all the points are applicable to them), or any other posts in particular, but to the wider conversation.

April 28, 2015 09:30 AM


CloudMade Makes it to 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015

CloudMade receives an honorable mention in the annual automotive edition of the CIOReview titled, “20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015”.

Click here to read the CloudMade company profile which is now live on the CIOReview website.

CloudMade makes it to CIOReview’s top Automotive Technology Solution Providers list for its expertise in user experience design for consumer mobility solutions, ranging from connected cars to on-dash navigation to smartphone applications to wearables, spanning all phases of design from early conceptual thinking through to research, field testing, focus groups, execution and refinement.

Certificate of Honor

FREMONT, CA — April 28, 2015 — CIOReview has chosen CloudMade for its 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015. The positioning is based on an evaluation of the company’s offering for connected car solutions and know-how that enable stunning user experiences and OEMs differentiation.

The annual list of companies is selected by a panel of experts and members of CIOReview’s editorial board to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship. “CloudMade has been on our radar for some time for stirring a revolution in the automotive space, and we are happy to showcase them this year due to their continuing excellence in delivering top-notch automotive technology solutions,” said Harvi Sachar, Publisher and Founder, CIOReview. “CloudMade’s solutions continued to break new ground within the past year, benefiting its customers around the globe, and we’re excited to have them featured on our top companies list.”

“We are glad to be recognized by CIOReview’s panel of experts and thought leaders as a top supplier of connected car technology. Sharing our passion for innovation, we are happy to fuel the connected car revolution and support OEMs in transforming the connected car user experiences.” said Juha Christensen, Chairman and CEO, CloudMade.

About CloudMade
CloudMade is a global software supplier to the automotive industry based in Menlo Park, CA. With a strong focus on innovation, CloudMade builds comprehensive solutions and blocks for the connected car that enable automotive manufacturers create stunning connected car experiences. CloudMade helps OEMs better understand the vehicle performance, automotive business, and connect with customers at a deeper level to improve efficiency and brand loyalty.

About CIOReview
CIOReview constantly endeavors to identify “The Best” in a variety of areas important to tech business. Through nominations and consultations with industry leaders, our editors choose the best in different domains. Automotive Technology Special Edition is an annual listing of 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers in the U.S.

by Olga Pogrebniak at April 28, 2015 08:46 AM

" User's Diaries"

long time - no edit

Anybody who has any interest in the growth of OpenStreetMap has probably read at least one paper or blog that has moaned about "only" a couple of 100'000 users actually having contributed out of the 2 million + that have signed up for an account.

The over 500'000 contributors are a good 25% of the total registered accounts and I'm not sure if that really counts as "only" given that we don't really have any comparative numbers, I would suspect it is actually very good.

In any case there have been calls to simply delete the "inactive" accounts as they inflate the numbers and in general do no good. I'm very much against that for two reasons: on the one hand we don't know why inactive members have joined, maybe they simply wanted to show support, maybe they wanted an OSM account for autentication in uMap or any of many other possible reasons. On the other hand they are a reservoir of new mappers, and every day we likely have dozens of old accounts starting to map.

As an holdover from the licence change I'm still running a script that produces a daily list of old accounts that have newly accepted the contributor terms and typically there are a dozen or so each day. These accounts have not been active since at least April 2011, when we had roughly 350'000 accounts total. The majority tends to be accounts that hadn't previously edited but there are always a couple that somehow didn't get the message during the licence change and had actually edited more than 4 years ago.

In any case the tl;dr version: deleting the 1.5 million inactive accounts would deny us the pleasure and fun of welcoming new contributors like to the active mappers.

by SimonPoole at April 28, 2015 07:06 AM

April 27, 2015

" User's Diaries"

Elevation data and OpenStreetMap

Handling elevation data and combine it with OpenStreetMap can be a pain. And indeed it was when we implemented this for GraphHopper roughly one year ago. But we really wanted to make it easy for our users. And it is not only efficient but also easy to import and show the data as well as using this data while routing. Read here for more details

Elevation Data Widget

by karussell at April 27, 2015 07:31 PM