weeklyOSM 698


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SotM Africa 2023 – Meeting [1] | Photo © SeverinGeo CC-BY 4.0

Breaking news

  • The voting period for the OSMF Board elections has been extended by one week. The reason was an error in the management software used by the OSMF, which resulted in around 60 members entitled to vote not receiving an email to cast their vote. The extension of the election period was agreed at the Annual General Meeting held on 9 December and the poll will now close on Saturday 16 December at 4 pm.


  • Charlie Plett has created a tutorial video on how to map buildings using JOSM and ID Editor.
  • Requests for comments have been reopened on this proposal:
  • Voting is open on:
  • The vote on historic=millstone has closed, with the proposal being approved with 14 votes for and 1 vote against.


  • Robert Grübler explained his colleague’s experience dealing with the authorities while doing OpenStreetMap mapping in the field.
  • dkbenjamin reviewed the history of OSM Analytics’ development. This tool will be ending service soon. He also asked for community input on suggestions for improvements to the data analysis features of the OpenStreetMap ecosystem.
  • DW (Deutsche Welle), a German version of the BBC ;-), is creating software, called Spot, to do AI-driven natural language geospatial searches on OpenStreetMap. The software will translate user input via an AI. DW is asking for feedback and help from the OSM community. ‘We would especially appreciate the help of people with in-depth knowledge of the OSM tagging system’. DW asked for contributions to be made via GitHub, where the current code can also be found. A public beta release of a usable demo is planned for February 2024.
  • rtnf has compiled some excerpts from the manifesto pages of the OpenStreetMap Foundation board candidates.

Local chapter news

  • The November 2023 edition of the OpenStreetMap US Newsletter has been published.


  • [1] SeverinGeo reported on the State of the Map Africa 2023 activities live via its Mastodon account.
  • Discover the world of OpenStreetMap at the Meetup in Barcelona! On Monday 11 December Marc Bosch and Wladimir Szczerban will showcase the diversity of OpenStreetMap at Adevinta, Spain. Learn how OSM can be integrated into free software projects and used for data analysis.
  • Antidius Kawamala explained his experience of participation in the GIS Day Tanzania 2023 activities.


OSM in action

  • Amid the restrictions to access in Gaza and recent high resolution optical satellite images of the territory, a group of decentralised scientists led by the Decentralised Damage Mapping Group has been publishing a map of the damage to buildings in the territory. The map is revised every 5 to 6 days and has been shared by some 120 media organistions so far. For the estimation of building destruction in Gaza, the researchers are relying on Copernicus’ new Sentinel-1 satellite constellation of radar sensors (10-metre resolution). The estimates are also based on OpenStreetMap and Microsoft building footprint. Nearly 105,000 buildings may have suffered damage as of 4 December. See Scientific American,
    Democracy Now! or BBC for more information.
  • The Israel Defense Forces have published a Leaflet / OpenStreetMap map of Gaza superimposing a grid divided into numbered blocks, that they say is to coordinate civilian evacuation and reduce casualties. There were critics on usability of such maps and UN agencies officials operating in Gaza reacted by saying that no place is safe across the Gaza Strip including the south, and no civilian infrastructure or facility has been spared, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools, and UN shelters.


  • A recent change to Organic Maps, which added a commercial hotel review platform as a partner link in the hope of opening up a new revenue stream, had led to heated debate about whether this was advertising or not (we reported earlier). Some users had expressed the fear that the developers were turning Organic Maps into Maps.me 2.0, from which this app originally split off from for precisely these reasons. In addition, the main developers’ handling of the community’s objections was criticised, with some then apologising for this.
  • Jean-Claude Repetto described, in his OSM diary, how Strava’s heat maps are useful for improving OSM. He has written a Python programme to detect missing paths in OSM from the Strava heat maps and create MapRoulette challenges for adding them to OSM.
  • ToastHawaii wrote a blog on how he tries to make OSM apps more visible for everyday users by improving the wiki and supporting the comparison of the apps’ features in his ‘OSM Apps Catalog‘.
  • NextGIS has released a new version of their OSMInfo plugin for QGIS. OSMInfo uses the Overpass API to add the ability to click and get OSM data anywhere in the world. Map features can be added to new or existing layers or copy-pasted anywhere else.
  • The NLnet Foundation has announced its new funding projects for their next funding round. Among them are two from the OpenStreetMap ecosystem: Umap (collaborative custom mapping with OpenStreetMap data) and Protomaps (self-hostable maps based on OpenStreetMap data). The NLnet Foundation has previously funded several OpenStreetMap-based projects, including StreetComplete, MapComplete, and Nominatim.
  • Sam Woodcock explained how to use the Field Mapping Tasking Manager (FMTM) to coordinate field mapping efforts.

Did you know …

  • … that OpenStreetMap has implemented a policy on limiting the number of edits new accounts can do? This triggered a discussion on the OSM Community forum about how this impacts new mappers’ contributions to mapathons and possible revisions to the policy.
  • … the CalcMaps website allows you to measure, search, and overlay mark-up elements on maps?
  • … the ‘Project Full Text Search‘ QGIS plugin? This plugin adds a global search functionality to QGIS.
  • … that the longest current OpenStreetMap username is 250 characters long?

Upcoming Events

San FranciscoA Synesthete’s Atlas: Cartographic Improvisations between Eric Theise and John Ingle; Loan Agreement by John Davis; Change of Uniform by Dave Defilippo 2023-12-07flag
DresdenOSM-Stammtisch Dresden 2023-12-07flag
OSM Indoor Meeting 2023-12-08
Berlin186. Berlin-Brandenburg OpenStreetMap Stammtisch 2023-12-08flag
Comuna 13 – San JavierResolución de dudas del evento Levantando Construcciones 2023-12-09flag
Saint-Martin-d’HèresCartopartie à vélo des zones commerciales de Saint-Martin d’Hères 2023-12-09flag
OpenStreetMap Foundation’s 2023 Annual General Meeting and deadline for voting for the OSMF Board 2023-12-09
[Online] 17th Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation 2023-12-09
KøbenhavnOSMmapperCPH 2023-12-10flag
ChambéryMapathon débutant saison 23/24 CartONG 2023-12-11flag
ZürichOSM-Stammtisch 2023-12-11flag
GrenobleDebriefing Cartopartie à vélo du samedi 9 déc à Saint-Martin-d’Hères 2023-12-11flag
臺北市OpenStreetMap x Wikidata Taipei #59 2023-12-11flag
City of EdinburghEdinburgh Pub Meetup 2023-12-12flag
San JoseSouth Bay Map Night 2023-12-13flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2023-12-13
HannoverOSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2023-12-13flag
Stainach-Pürgg11. Österreichischer OSM-Stammtisch (online) 2023-12-13flag
Lorain CountyOpenStreetMap Midwest Meetup 2023-12-15flag
MünchenMünchner OSM-Treffen 2023-12-14flag
BochumBochumer OpenStreetMap-Treffen 2023-12-14flag
አዲስ አበባ / Addis AbabaState of the Map Ethiopia 2023 2023-12-15 – 2023-12-16et
AmsterdamMaptime Amsterdam – A very Mappy Christmas! 2023-12-15flag
City of WestminsterLondon xmas pub meet-up 2023-12-18flag
BerlinDRK Beginner Online Mapathon 2023-12-18flag
Bonn170. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2023-12-19flag
Saint-ÉtienneRencontre Saint-Étienne et sud Loire 2023-12-19flag
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen (online) 2023-12-19flag
KarlsruheStammtisch Karlsruhe 2023-12-20flag

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This weeklyOSM was produced by PierZen, Strubbl, TheSwavu, YoViajo, barefootstache, derFred, jcr83, mcliquid, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.