weeklyOSM 543


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OpenCage Geocoder 1 | © OpenCage | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

About us

  • In these COVID-19 times, it is important over the New Year holidays to socially distance, take a good deep breath, walk outside, contact friends and family, and pause from regular activities.At weeklyOSM, after publishing an issue week after week without interruption since issue 219 in September 2014, issues 544 and 545 will be on holiday in some language versions. The issues that will appear will be published with reduced content, as we are unable to cover all stories due to staff shortages. If someone wants to see a very urgent item published, please be sure to use the guest access to ensure we don’t miss it.


  • The tag healthcare=vaccination_centre is being proposed to map vaccination centres. It may be used with the recently approved vaccination=* key that can specify the specific vaccination available, e.g. vaccination=covid-19.
  • The vote on the proposal for the key electricity=* was cancelled before the end of the voting period. About 70 percent of voters had voted against the proposal at this point.
  • Brian Sperlongano is proposing the key hazard=* to primarily map hazardous locations that have warning signs. The key has been in use for many years with over 30,000 cases, but this proposal takes up an unfinished version from 2007 (by user Espen) and documents many examples in detail (for example, as we reported on, landslides).
  • António Madeira presented a proposal for the creation of the wait key, which applies to the lanes: scheme. The proposal is open for discussion.
  • Development of the proposal for crossing=priority has stopped.


  • Sadly Olivier Courtin has passed away (fr) > en. Olivier made substantial contributions to RoboSat after it was open sourced, and started robosat.pink and neat-eo to drive forward machine learning in the geo-spatial domain.
    He always made it a priority to educate the open geo-data community, and gave various talks at OpenStreetMap conferences. He will be missed.
  • A Matrix/element/riot.io channel for OpenStreetMap Mexico has been created to try to revitalise their OSM community.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Heather Leson writes in her blog (and Céline Jacquin notes on the talk list) that the OSMF and OSM need to prioritise diversity and inclusion in positions of power and governance. She, and the other signatories of an open letter (in PDF) to the OSMF, are calling for the renewal and implementation of an OSM Code of Conduct and delivering on the next recommended stages for a diverse and inclusive OSM and OSMF. They want the OSMF to ask itself: who does it exist to serve? How can we be more open?
  • Allan Mustard announced the decisions made by the OSMF Board in response to the open letter addressed to them. A moderator team for the OSMF-talk and talk mailing lists will be setup to enforce the current Etiquette guidelines. The Board will also start work on updating/replacing their Etiquette rules and has asked the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group to take the lead on this.
  • Responses to the open letter on the talk mail list were many and varied. As we can’t report them all, the following is a sample of the views:
    • Heather Leson (ex HOT and OSMF Board member) stated that many of the people who have signed the open letter do not participate in the OSMF mailing list’s discussions for fear of targeting. Clay Smalley also made the connection between the apparent lack of non-male voices on the mail lists and hostility towards women in the OSM community.
    • Céline Jacquin pointed out that women, particularly from southern countries, are already materially limited in how much they can participate and aggression of any type further limits this.
    • Kathleen Lu observed that the volume of attacks and hostile tone against Céline in reaction to the document she shared demonstrates why OSM is not a welcoming community for women.
    • Maarten Deen expressed unease at supporting a document that singled out an individual, when it is supposed to be addressing a systemic issue. ndrw is concerned at the scope of the proposed changes and sees them as attempts to forcefully change OSMF governance and concentrating on issues that can’t be goals on their own.
    • Mateusz Konieczny is strongly opposed to the idea of quotas and Andrew Hain is unhappy at the apparent imposition of ‘divisive North American attitudes to a worldwide project’.
    • Andy Townsend noted the irony that neither Frederik’s original email nor the open letter abide by all of the points under the existing Etiquette guidelines and reminded readers that hyperbole really doesn’t help to shed light rather than heat on things.
  • Harry Mahardhika M shared in his diary his thoughts on the OSMF Board and OSM Community, making reference to the open letter and how it reminded him of several conversations with his colleagues and team members about the situation in the OSM community.
  • Arnalielsewhere explained in her diary her point of view on the question as to why women are pushing for a safe and inclusive space in OSM.
  • Nicolas Chavent (co-founder and former Director of HOT) believes that the open letter’s call for action will create more community awareness and result in more attention being paid to actual/potential violence in communication. He advises that prior to enforcing a Code of Conduct (CoC), the issue should be worked out within the existing Etiquette guidelines, as these have not been used to their full potential. He points out that the idea of a CoC for OSMF and OSM messaging has been advocated since 2015–2016 by HOT, which has a similar policy that he and others believe is used to control the membership and to remove a minority of members criticising particular organisational changes.
  • The detailed results of the OSMF board election and the proposed resolutions are available on OpaVote.

Local chapter news

Humanitarian OSM

  • The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) announced that they are a founding partner of the ‘Anticipation Hub‘, launched on 9 December. The partners in the Hub seek to share knowledge on anticipatory actions for humanitarian aid. The lead organisations are various branches of Red Cross/Red Crescent (DRK, RCCC, IFRC).
  • ‘Reflecting on HOT and the Humanitarian Mapping Community’, HOT Executive Director Tyler Radford’s closing remarks from the 2020 Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Summit.

Open Data

  • Ilya Zverev gave (ru) > en an interesting overview about downloading the complete OSM database using BitTorrent and other recent developments in OSM infrastructure.


  • Moritz Tremmel and Sebastian Grüner described (de) > en the versatility of OsmAnd in comparison to Google Maps.


  • Mapbox GL JS is no longer free software.
    • Paul Ramsey comments on the move in his blog.
    • Ilya Zverev reported (ru) > en on the forks and alternative libraries being developed, and comments on the development of Mapbox.
    • Paul Norman reacted, on the OSM-Dev mailing list, by saying that he is placing the client-side rendered OpenStreetMap Cartographic project on hold.
    • The new MapLibre project wants to maintain a free and open source fork of Mapbox GL JS 1.x, which might make Paul reconsider his decision.
    • Steve Bennett tweets that missing attribution of Mapbox GL by Azure Maps might have been a cause for Mapbox’s decision. Mapbox’s own attribution of OpenStreetMap data has been controversial.

Did you know …

  • … that blindly following driving directions given by a machine can lead to death? The Siberian Times reports that faulty Google Maps directions might have played a role in a tragic incident in Yakutia, Siberia, the coldest place on earth. Google Maps has since changed its directions.Note that travelling in isolated areas is hazardous, as it is difficult to verify a road’s accessibility and condition in these areas, and how this varies with weather and season. Planning, seeking advice, routing information, and survival kits are essentials for a pleasant and secure trip.
  • … that you can download extracts of OSM data by country or region from Geofabrik? They also have a number of other helpful tools available.
  • … the patents assigned to Mapbox such as finding the visual centre of a polygon and much more? Reported by @cartocalypse on Twitter.
  • [1] … the OpenCage Geocoder? It is based on open source software and open data, OSM of course amongst others. Registration is necessary, with up to 2500 requests per day being free.

OSM in the media

  • Through the World Bank / GFDRR projects since 2018, Open Cities Africa teams have trained more than 500 urban residents, students, and civil servants to gather data on risk. They have mapped over one million roads, markets, hospitals, canals, and other features onto OpenStreetMap. The objective is to have more local dynamics with participation of local actors and collectivity to assure more resilient cities to disasters and enivironment challenges.

Other “geo” things

  • Agreeing on the height of the highest point in the world has always been difficult. Different geodetic datums, surveying standards, varying snow cover, plate movements and the odd earthquake don’t make the problem any easier. Now Chinese and Nepalese scientists have worked together to produce a new agreed figure for the height of Mount Everest/Chomolungma/Sagarmāthā, and at 8848.86 m this is a little bit higher than earlier figures.
  • In a new book, Data Action – Using Data for Public Good, Associate Professor Sarah Williams issues a call for thinking ethically about data.

Upcoming Events

Missing Maps London Mapathon osmcalpic2021-01-05
San JoseVirtual Civic Hack & Map Night osmcalpic2021-01-08flag
BochumBochum OSM-Stammtisch (online) osmcalpic2021-01-07flag

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, Nordpfeil, NunoMASAzevedo, PierZen, Polyglot, rogehm, SK53, SeverinGeo, TheSwavu, alesarrett, derFred, richter_fn.

4 Replies to “weeklyOSM 543”

  1. The calendar links need an update. One out of three links was changed only.

  2. Darf man Fragen, ob der Geofabrikwerbelink von User Nakaner beigetragen wurde?

    1. Vielen Dank für die freundliche Nachfrage und den offenen Kontakt – ohne Email und OSM-Namen. Sehr mutig! 😉 Das passt zur Frage und auch zu den haltlosen Anschuldigungen von letzter Woche.

      Der angesprochene Artikel wurde weder von Nakaner eingesammelt noch hat er zu irgendeinem Zeitpunkt eine einzige Silbe dazu geschrieben. Er hat auch zu keinem Zeitpunkt irgend einen Kommentar dazu geschrieben.

      Sind Sie nun zufrieden?

      1. Ergänzung: Der Artikel wurde von jemandem geschrieben, der tausende Kilomenter von der Geofabrik entfernt lebt und ganz sicher noch nie Kontakte dorthin hatte.