weeklyOSM 518


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About us

  • Since issue #516 we have been publishing in the Chinese language, more precisely Taiwanese Mandarin and Traditional Chinese as it is spoken and written in Taiwan. We are very happy and hope that by reaching new readers in Asia we can increase the enthusiasm for OpenStreetMap.


  • Chuck Sanders is seeking a consensus for suggestions on rail tagging, in particular how to use reporting_marks=* and operator=*.
  • After the discussion of providing a pre-upload warning to users about edits with large bounding boxes, a ticket was created for JOSM. The idea was well-received on the Talk mailing list. The availability of the warning is scheduled for the next release of JOSM.
  • Florian Lohoff has made (de) (automatic translation) some interesting visualisations which show differences between OSM and public data in the Cologne area. He is showing not just missing buildings, but also differences in classification, such as garages or substations with just a building=yes tag.
  • Voting on Garry Keenor’s proposal to tag railway tracks with electrification systems using third or fourth rails has started.
  • Pelderson’s proposal for new roles in recreational route relations, namely alternative, excursion, approach and connection has been approved with 36 votes for, 1 vote against and 1 abstention.
  • Joseph Eisenberg has updated the existing proposal for man_made=qanat, a type of underground aqueduct constructed by traditional methods, found predominantly in the Middle East, and asks for comments.
  • Martijn van Exel found a TIGER import artifact and offered a live stream of him ‘trying to untangle this mess’. According to his blog post live mapping in JOSM with an audience was fun. In the end he found it was easier to delete the mess and start again.
  • The German community has launched a wiki page for the ‘Focus of the week(de) (automatic translation). There, weekly changing tasks are listed and edited. In the past week, for example, the postal codes were checked. The group organises itself on Telegram.


  • Geomob Podcast published an interview with Harry Wood of OpenStreetMap London.
  • OpenStreetMap US has implemented a code of conduct and defined a process for moderation for violations. The code of conduct applies to communication channels specific to OSM-US, such as Slack, OSM-US Github, the OSM-US Facebook group, and OSM-US events, but not to OpenStreetMap and OpenStreetMap’s worldwide and local communication channels in other regions.
  • Various comments have been made about the acquisition of Mapillary by Facebook:
    • In an article on medium.com Joe Morrison asks why Facebook took over Mapillary. In his article he also sheds light on Mapillary’s products, which are not well known in the OSM community. Joe presents three reasons for the acquisition in the article.
    • Harry Wood compares the acquisition with Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub.
    • Ilya Zverev discusses (ru) (automatic translation) the consequences of the purchase for Mapillary’s future and sustainability. He guesses that Facebook might repeat the same ‘mistakes’ in Western countries as it did with AI-based tracing of satellite imagery in developing countries.
  • Requests for features to be added to OSM’s main map are as regular as Groundhog Day. This time a user asked, on Reddit, why points of interests aren’t clickable.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • OSM’s Data Working Group has released its activity report for the first quarter of 2020.


  • OSGeo, FOSSGIS and OpenStreetMap will be present (de) (automatic translation) at the virtual AGIT 2020, Austria’s largest yearly geoinformation conference and fair.
  • This year’s SotM is looming and the State of the Map Working Group is looking for help. In a blog post the working group suggests ways volunteers can help with the online event, to be held on 4 and 5 July 2020.
  • The Heidelberg University, in cooperation with Amnesty International Heidelberg, will host a mapping event ‘Mapping Human Rights’ on 30 June 2020.

Humanitarian OSM

  • The Audacious Project has announced that it will support five projects as part of its programme, including HOT. HOT aims to map ‘a total of 1 billion people’ in 94 of the most vulnerable countries of the world over the next five years. On the Talk mailing list, Christoph Hormann reminded us that OSM does not map people but rather maps their environments. On the Mapbox blog, Mikel Maron looks back on the history of HOT, which he co-founded. A long FAQ, released by HOT, is worth a read as it includes some details about funding, HOT’s plans, and the impact on OSM.


  • Well-known Taiwanese mapper Jidanni mentioned that an environmental NGO has made a map of illegal factories on farmland (automatic translation). They ask citizens who know of such factories to report these, as there is a serious problem of factories outside industrial areas in Taiwan, which violate zoning laws and regulations.

Open Data

  • The UK Government’s Geospatial Commission launched its much-awaited national Geospatial Strategy on 16 June. Well-known commentators on geospatial open data were underwhelmed. Initial thoughts have come from: Jeni Tennison (head of ODI), Owen Boswarva, and Leigh Dodds. Richard Fairhurst wonders if the commission has ever heard of OpenStreetMap. At least Ordnance Survey OpenData continues.


  • The API for the OpenStreetMap history analysis platform, which has been developed by Heidelberg University’s GIScience Research Group, has reached version 1.0.
  • QGIS 3.14 and 3.10.7 LTR (long-term release) are now available for download.

Did you know …

  • … that you could feast on crowdsourced sarcasm and focused nerd wrath by following @Anonymaps?
  • [1] … the Mozilla (or Chrome) browser extension to help the OpenStreetMap community easily access different maps and tools to analyse OSM data?
  • Blender-OSM, an add-on that adds OSM and terrain data to the Blender?

OSM in the media

  • John Stanworth wrote an introduction to OpenStreetMap for Now Then, a local arts and culture magazine in Sheffield (the magazine is being published through an app during the COVID-19 epidemic).
  • OpenStreetMap India’s contributions have been well covered in this article.

Other “geo” things

  • Tom MacWright, a familiar name to many in OSM, writes about ‘Ethics in Geo’ in his blog. As ever, there’s a discussion at hacker news, including the suggestion, from another prominent OSMer, that WTFPL licensing has the effect of dissuading ‘bad guys’ from using software licensed that way.
  • Garmin has released details of its new Edge-series devices ‘Edge 1030 Plus’ and ‘Edge 130 Plus’. The new devices have received some feature updates but do no offer any groundbreaking new functions.
  • meinGrün, a webapp for finding green spaces, launched (de) (automatic translation) with two pilot areas, Dresden and Heidelberg, on 19 June.
  • The BBC reported about efforts to map the seabed. The article assumes that crowdsourcing will also play a role in mapping the seafloor, which is still 81 percent unknown territory.
  • High-definition (HD) map data is important for those interested in developing self-driving cars. Supported by the government of Taiwan, the National Cheng Kung University has founded (automatic translation) the High Definition Maps Research Center (HDMRC). The centre will help government and industry work on developing standards, processing map data, and verification of HD mapping in Taiwan.

Upcoming Events

GuardaEuYoutH OSM Meeting (cancelled)2020-06-24-2020-06-28spain
DüsseldorfDüsseldorfer OSM-Stammtisch2020-06-26germany
RennesAtelier découverte2020-06-28france
PraguePražský mapathon2020-06-30czech republic
MontrougeRéunion des contributeurs locaux2020-07-01france
StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch (online)2020-07-01germany
Cape TownHOT Summit (To Be Rescheduled)2020-07-01-2020-07-02south africa
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #182020-07-06taiwan
LondonMissing Maps London2020-07-07uk
LyonRencontre mensuelle pour tous2020-07-07france
Berlin145. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch (Online)2020-07-09germany
NantesRencontre mensuelle2020-07-09france
San JoséSouth Bay Virtual Hack Night & Map Night2020-07-09united states
MunichMünchner Stammtisch2020-07-14germany
Kandy2020 State of the Map Asia2020-10-31-2020-11-01sri lanka

Note: If you like to see your event here, please put it into the calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM. Please check your event in our public calendar preview and correct it, where appropriate.

This weeklyOSM was produced by AnisKoutsi, Nakaner, NunoMASAzevedo, PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, Guillaume Rischard (Stereo), SunCobalt, Supaplex, TheSwavu, YoViajo, derFred, geologist, jinalfoflia, mOlind.