weeklyOSM 536


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Wikimap with all geotagged Wikipedia articles 1 | © Louis Jencka, Wikidata, Wikipedia | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • User Darafei updated the Disaster.Ninja tool, which was developed to assist HOT in their activation process, but could also be useful for the general mapping community.
  • Robert Delmenico published a proposal to substitute the existing tags man_made=* with the new tag artificial=* in order to make the language more gender-neutral. The proposal is open for comments.
  • Jeroen Hoek and Supaplex have made a proposal for parking=street_side for tagging areas suitable, or designated for, parking, which are directly adjacent to the carriageway of a road and can be reached directly from the roadway without having to use an access way. The proposal is now open for comments.
  • Brian Sperlongano (User ZeLonewolf) has published a proposal for a new tag boundary=special_economic_zone to map Special Economic Zones. The proposal is now open for comments.
  • Alter Geosystems explains (es) > en how OpenStreetMap data can be enriched with Wikidata knowledge. They also link to the Wikidata Query Service, a facility for running queries.
  • PanierAvide reports (fr) > en about the most successful project of the month of the French OSM community so far, the mapping of defibrillators.


  • Labian Gashi has won the DINAcon 2020 Award in the category ‘Best Newcomer’ for his JOSM plugin ‘NeTEx Converter‘. Stefan Keller, from the HSR Rapperswil/Ostschweizer University of Applied Sciences, as well as specialists from SBB, supervised the project. The ‘NeTEx Converter’ converts OpenStreetMap data into the Network Timetable Exchange (NeTEx) format, (a CEN standard), which is ‘designed for the efficient exchange of complex transport data’. The plugin also checks rudimentary indoor routing within stations.
  • coolmule0 has been mapping since July of last year and has summarised a beginner’s experience of OSM in a blog post. Among others things they discuss Mapcarta and the wiki article about building=terrace.
  • DeBigC blogged that he discovered a little brother of the infamous Melbourne skyscraper in Dublin and traced it down to a typo.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • If you are intending to run for an OSM Foundation seat, don’t forget that the deadline is Saturday 7 November 2020.
  • Rory McCann, member of the OSMF Board of Directors, proposes an amendment to Article 91 of the OSMF Constitution. In future, it should be possible for board committees to include members who are not board members.
  • User Nakaner is proposing a resolution for the upcoming Annual General Meeting of the OSM Foundation on 12 December 2020. About 80 supporters are necessary before 4 November.
  • Some OpenStreetMap Foundation board members will host an Ask me Anything (AMA) on Reddit. All questions can be asked. The AMA will start 9 November at 16:00 CET. Questions can be raised from 2 November in the AMA thread.
  • Between concern and disappointment, Severin Menard outlined his opinion of OSMF’s development since the last elections. He refers to Christoph Hormann’s (Imagico) blog post that we covered earlier.
  • The OSMF-Talk mailing list discussed two proposals from the OSMF board of directors to harden OSMF against hostile takeovers by big/bad companies. Well-known employees of Facebook and Mapbox argued against these proposals.
    • Rory McCann proposes that the OSMF bylaws include a provision that memberships expire, and votes become invalid if a member cannot freely exercise his or her rights or is contractually bound (e.g., with the employer) in the exercise of those rights. The opponents believe that this is practically impossible to prove. Proponents believe that the non-usability of the clause does no harm and that one must assume that companies are evil.
    • Tobias Knerr proposes a member resolution on minimum requirements for new members. In the future, the board should reject membership applications if the interested party has not made significant contributions to OSM. Here, too, there is headwind from the American business environment.


  • The next Geomob will take place online on 17 November 2020. Signing up for an invite (Zoom URL) is necessary.
  • A mixed physical-digital Missing Maps Mapathon is planned (de) > en for 30 November. If the epidemiological situation permits, the physical part will take place in Wabern (Bern, Switzerland) at swisstopo.
  • On Monday and Tuesday (2 and 3 November) the biennial conference GeOnG will take place for the seventh time and participants will join in over 30 live sessions around the topics of technology and information management in the humanitarian and development sector. This year’s theme is ‘People at the heart of Information Management: promoting responsible and inclusive practices’. Check the full agenda here.

Humanitarian OSM

  • Marcel Reinmuth provided a cross-sectional analysis about mapping physical access to health care for older adults in sub-Saharan Africa and the implications for the COVID-19 response.
  • Jikka Defiño reports about the collection of field data for the PhilAWARE disaster risk reduction project and training in the Philippines.
  • The Mapping Power campaign was featured in Mapillary’s Blog, explaining how students across the YouthMappers network are using augmented and volunteer mapping through Mapillary, Map With AI, TeachOSM, and HOT to improve Sierra Leone’s electrical grid and connect rural communities.


  • Diego Alonso explained (es) > en how to download Sentinel images with QGIS.
  • flo2154 provided (de) > en his first MapComplete theme, which displays benches amenity=bench and other elements tagged with bench=yes.
  • derstefan is looking (de) > en for beta testers for the new OpenTopoMap-Garmin maps. The temporary address is https://garmin2.opentopomap.org.
  • cquest presented (fr) a map showing the areas affected by the health curfew in France.

Open Data

  • Russian startup company Geoalert has published Urban Mapping, the first open dataset of automatically traced building footprints covering Russia. To achieve this the company used Mapbox Satellite imagery, which Mapbox has explicitly permitted others to auto-trace using machine learning algorithms. Despite the fact that Mapbox has quite poor coverage in Russia, in terms of images quality and timeliness, for some regions the ‘Urban Mapping’ datasets surpass the current count of OSM buildings significantly.Currently there are three regions available via the links on Github: Chechnya, Tyva and Moscow.


  • Simon Legner reports that the Java version of Osmpbf, a library for reading and writing OSM PBF files, is now available from Maven Central.
  • Erick de Oliveira Leal explained how to enable the Strava High Resolution Layer in OpenStreetMap (JOSM or ID). Editor’s note: Please note that when you are using this Strava layer there is, at present, no permission to use this layer for OSM and you run the risk of having your edits removed.
  • Guillaume Rischard, maintainer of the Editor Layer Index, suggests abandoning the ELI and for iD to use the background layer list from JOSM (we have covered previous discussions of this).
  • Sarah Hoffmann, aka lonvia, reports that the download server for Photon now has ready-to-use database dumps for over 200 countries.


  • QGIS 3.16.0 ‘Hannover’ has been released. It brings new options for 3D mapping, mesh generation from other data types, additional spatial analysis tools, symbology and user interface enhancements.

Did you know …

  • … the list of English exonyms for foreign toponyms?
  • [1] … Wikimap, a map showing the location of all geotagged Wikipedia articles?

Other “geo” things

  • Matthias Schwindt, from GPS Radler, presents (de) > en three models of the robust outdoor Garmin Montana 700 series in practical tests and helps you to decide which one is the right one.
  • Google AI recently launched the open-source browser-based toolset , which was created to enable the exploration of city transitions from 1800 to 2000 virtually in a three-dimensional view.
  • Jonathan Amos, a BBC Science correspondent, reported about Norway’s funding of satellite maps of the world’s tropical forests.
  • Seán Lynch informed us of his decision to make OpenLitterMap available as open source (GPLv3).
  • David Hambling, from BBC Future, poses the question of what the world would do without GPS.
  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (FhG-IAO) offers (de) as a result of the Communal Innovation Center (KIC@bw) (de) > en a full-text download of the practice-oriented guideline ‘Communal Data for Future-Oriented Urban Development’, which is intended to provide orientation knowledge and show fields of application, options for action and development possibilities. The data, generated by administrative digitisation or the use of digital offerings in public spaces, can provide municipalities with potential for improving the quality of life, reducing the number of resources used, cutting costs, improving citizen services, or making administrative processes more efficient, and thus making a significant contribution to municipal development.

Upcoming Events

BratislavaMeeting Missing Maps CZ & SK [1]2020-10-31slovakia
LondonMissing Maps London Mapathon2020-11-03united kingdom
StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch (online)2020-11-04germany
BochumBochum OSM-Stammtisch (Online) [2]2020-11-05germany
DresdenDresdner OSM-Stammtisch2020-11-05germany
OnlineState of the Map Japan 2020 Online2020-11-07japan
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #222020-11-09taiwan
Salt Lake City / VirtualOpenStreetMap Utah Map Night2020-11-10united states
MunichMünchner Stammtisch2020-11-11germany
Zurich123. OSM Meetup Zurich2020-11-11switzerland
Berlin149. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch (Online)2020-11-12germany
Online2020 Pista ng Mapa2020-11-13-2020-11-27philippines
Cologne Bonn Airport133. Bonner OSM-Stammtisch (Online)2020-11-17germany
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen2020-11-17germany
BerlinOSM-Verkehrswende #17 (Online)2020-11-17germany
CologneKöln Stammtisch ONLINE2020-11-18germany
OnlineFOSS4G SotM Oceania 20202020-11-20oceania

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 Lejun, MatthiasMatthias, MichaelFS, Nakaner, Nordpfeil, NunoMASAzevedo, PierZen, Rogehm, TheSwavu, derFred, richter_fn.

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