weeklyOSM 700


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About us

  • Dear weeklyOSM readers,

    We are delighted to present you with the 700th issue of weeklyOSM. For over 13 years we have been reporting on the latest developments, projects, events, and data related to the free world map. We are proud to be part of this great community dedicated to open cartography.

    Thank you for your loyalty, interest, and feedback. Your contributions are essential for weeklyOSM. We hope you’ll continue to follow our blog in the future and share your opinions, suggestions, and criticism with us.

    We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024. Stay healthy, lively, and creative. The next issue of weeklyOSM will be published on New Year’s Eve.

    Your weeklyOSM team 🎄🎁🎉


  • Anne-Karoline Distel explained in detail, in her latest video on YouTube, how she mapped the Black Pig’s Dyke as an Irish national monument in OpenStreetMap .
  • Robhubi wrote about the challenges of tagging objects, highlighting that while names are usually sufficient to identify objects, they are sometimes non-existent or duplicated, leading to the practice of inventing or modifying names to distinguish objects. However, this practice conflicts with the OpenStreetMap guidelines, which states that the name tag should only contain real unique names.
  • The vote on amenity=bicycle_wash, to map bicycle wash stations, has closed. The proposal was approved with 35 votes in favour, 4 votes against, and no abstentions.


  • Analysing the OSM contributions in 33 countries, Rubén has observed OSM contribution patterns similar to previous studies on the subject with a decline of the number of contributors in recent years and with only 3% of contributors making 75% of contributions (objects edited). The author noted the limits to this preliminary study, with the difficulty of separating local knowledge contributors via field or remote mapping from corporate contributors. These observations have sparked some discussions in the OSM Community forum.
  • Andreas Varotsis made a Christmas appeal for people to contribute to OpenStreetMap (OSM), highlighting its importance in providing up-to-date, high-quality geographic data, such as ATM locations, which are otherwise difficult to obtain. Inspired by their own experiences with OSM, the author praises the community-driven, open-source nature of the project, comparing it favourably to corporate alternatives such as Google Maps. They describe contributing to OSM as both enjoyable and impactful, and recommend user-friendly tools such as StreetComplete and EveryDoor, as well as the full OSM editor, to get started with mapping.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • HOT has enhanced its collaboration with the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF), formalising an agreement on the use of the OpenStreetMap trademark and achieving silver-level corporate membership in the OSMF. This partnership, marked by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by HOT’s Executive Director and OSMF’s Director, underscores a shared commitment to advancing the OpenStreetMap ecosystem and supporting communities vulnerable to humanitarian crises​​.


  • The KonGeoS conference, a meeting of geodesy students from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, brought together around 170 people for specialist lectures, workshops, and group activities. One particular highlight was an OpenStreetMap mapathon, in which 30 students created or updated maps of earthquake zones in Morocco by digitising buildings and roads from current satellite images.
  • More videos from the State of the Map 2023 presentations in Antwerp have been published on YouTube.
  • The 11th collaborative Mapbox / OpenStreetMap Japan meetup took place online on 10 May 2023, focusing on the topic of real-time location sharing services following the discontinuation of the Zenly app in February 2023.


  • An article on Habr described the OsmAnd app and its various functions for different user needs. It also showed some non-obvious functions.

OSM research

  • A new paper explored the use of OpenStreetMap data for remote sensing. The researchers developed methods for evaluating OSM land use and land cover information, focusing on intrinsic data quality indicators, and assessing OSM-derived multi-labels in remote sensing. They used deep learning techniques to handle label noise in OSM tags, improving the reliability of remote sensing applications. The study highlights the potential of OSM data to improve remote sensing practices, despite the challenges posed by data quality, and label noise.
  • A new study investigated the impact of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on air quality and racial/ethnic disparities in California using the road network from OpenStreetMap data and the transit network from GTFS data.
  • A study has investigated the increase in glacial lake outburst floods in the Third Pole region. All of the infrastructure features, except for hydropower information, were obtained from OpenStreetMap but with the disclaimer that OpenStreetMap has limited coverage of features throughout the Third Pole. Editor’s note: Does this sound like a topic for a new mapping campaign?


  • Stamen Design highlighted several notable contributions to the #30DayMapChallenge, which was organised by Topi Tjukanov.
  • The Office for National Statistics in the UK has created an interactive map tool that allows users to explore the 2021 Census data for England and Wales at a neighbourhood level on an OpenStreetMap basemap. The tool provides information on a range of topics including population, education, identity, housing, health, and work.
  • The Nahbucks! website displays all the non-Starbucks coffee shops in the US on a map. Interestingly, OpenStreetMap is used as the background map, but the POI data comes from Google Maps.
  • The website hike-and-bike.ch offers maps for Garmin navigation devices based on OpenStreetMap data. These maps are optimised for activities like hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities and include detailed information such as routes, points of interest, terrain contours, and elevation details. The maps are updated every two months and are designed on a layer basis without specific routes for particular activities. They are available for European and North American countries.

OSM in action

  • AxxonSoft has released version 2.0 of their Axxon One VMS, which is software for scalable surveillance video management. The updated version includes a new tool for monitoring multi-storey buildings on an interactive map with OpenStreetMap support.
  • New energy management software has been developed by I3DEnergy, which focuses on energy savings for businesses and communities. The solution visualises energy data and CO₂ emissions using platforms such as OpenStreetMap to help identify inefficiencies and potential savings.
  • GeoFS is an online flight simulator that offers a global environment using satellite images and digital geographic data from OpenStreetMap. GeoFS is accessible for free through web browsers, with no installation required.
  • Nextcloud Hub 7 has been introduced and contains numerous new features, including the new map view in Nextcloud Photos using OpenStreetMap.
  • 2023 was a historic year for cycling in Europe, according to the ECF in its annual review. Notable advances included a new tool that uses OpenStreetMap data to analyse cycling infrastructure and the new EuroVelo route planner based on OpenStreetMap. The European Declaration on Cycling and the planned EuroVelo 16 are also addressed.

Open Data

  • The study ‘Social patterning of childhood overweight in the French national ELFE cohort’, published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, investigated the social gradients of overweight in preschool children. The authors used the contour data of France from OpenStreetMap, provided via the French OpenData platform, to visualise the results.


  • Jake Coppinger tooted about his new ‘Australian Cycleway Stats’ tool. It is an evolving project that visualises cycling infrastructure statistics using OpenStreetMap data. Users can click on statistics to view maps and customise queries in overpass turbo, with the underlying calculations available on GitHub.
  • As of the latest update of Komoot’s Garmin app, it now offers dedicated maps for Garmin devices. However, this function can only be used with a Premium subscription.
  • Cityliner is a tool for creating posters of public transport routes, highlighting different types of transport with different colours and line thicknesses representing the frequency of trips on each route segment. The tool, based on earlier code by Michael Müller for processing GTFS data, was completely rewritten in Python by the author, adding features such as colour themes, city icons, and the inclusion of water bodies using data from OpenStreetMap.
  • The QGIS plugin OSMInfo, developed by NextGIS, allows users to retrieve detailed information about objects from OpenStreetMap using the Overpass API. This plugin allows users to click anywhere on a map to get OpenStreetMap features for that location, even if there is no vector data in their project.
  • Lucas Longour has created an open-source alternative for StreetCompleteNess with the name Street Complete Progress Report.
  • The MapRoulette application, operated by OpenStreetMap US, is calling for donations at the end of the year.
  • Piet Brömmel has developed ‘Plotting Maps’, a tool for creating OpenStreetMap SVG maps specifically designed for pen plotters. Users can upload OSM export files to the tool’s website and render them as line-only SVGs, ideal for pen plotting.


  • Branko Kokanovic, from Microsoft, wrote an OSM diary in which he invited the OSM community to provide interesting software projects that Microsoft could potentially work on. It is open ended, so this is your chance to write your favourite ideas or your biggest pet peeve.
  • MapTiler has released a high-resolution global satellite map which is available to both free and subscription users of MapTiler Cloud. The map offers a resolution of 1–2 metres per pixel globally, with some areas reaching up to 8 cm per pixel. It includes the latest Maxar satellite imagery from 2021/2022. To update, use ‘satellite-v2’ or it will be automatically updated with their SDK.
  • Anna Akhlestova explained , on Habr, how to implement OpenStreetMap in Flutter projects using the flutter_map plugin. She also wrote about the advantages of flutter_map over GoogleMaps API or Yandex Mapkit SDK and presented a guide on how to integrate the plugin into Flutter projects with examples of implementing different map layers and features.


  • StreetComplete has released version 56.0-beta1 that features OAuth 2.0 authorisation, as OAuth 1.0a is being deprecated on OSM. Additionally, the app now allows users to view, filter, and copy logs from within the app, which helps in identifying issues. The new version also includes a new quest that asks if there is a sanitary dump station for caravan sites.

Did you know …

  • … the Esri World Imagery Wayback service? It is a digital archive of Esri’s World Imagery that allows users to access different versions of World Imagery that have been created over the years. The archive currently supports all updated versions of World Imagery dating back to 20 February 2014.
  • … you can find an OpenStreetMap community on Lemmy.ml?
  • … there is a version of Organic Maps for the Linux operating systems in the Flathub Store?
  • … that Petal Maps is a TomTom-based mapping service offered by Huawei on devices running HarmonyOS, Android, and iOS?

OSM in the media

  • Jeff Oppong described how to create elevation cross-sections using QGIS. This process involves using Digital Elevation Models to visualise changes in elevation along specific routes, providing valuable insights for fields such as geography, geology, and urban planning. The tutorial shows the steps for importing OpenStreetMap as a base layer, downloading elevation data using the SRTM downloader plugin, and creating detailed profiles using the Profile tool in QGIS.
  • An article in the Berliner Morgenpost compared various Google Maps alternatives, with OpenStreetMap only mentioned in passing, while TomTom, Apple, HERE, and Garmin took centre stage.
  • autoevolution recently featured the Magic Earth app as an alternative to Google Maps due to its frequent updates and commitment to full-featured navigation. The latest update, version 7.9.5, introduces head-up display navigation, which projects key information onto the windscreen for safer driving.

Other “geo” things

  • heise online described how artificial intelligence can be used to produce more accurate maps of snow depths. The AI technology uses satellite imagery to measure and map snow depths in different regions with up to 90% accuracy.
  • Newsweek has reported on a significant move by China’s Ministry of State Security, which announced a thorough investigation after discovering that geographic information had been accessed by unnamed adversaries for strategic purposes. This action underscores China’s efforts to protect sensitive state secrets, particularly in the area of geospatial data.
  • Lucas Marshall has made five key predictions for 2024, including the integration of generative AI and large language models into geospatial workflows, increased demand for geospatial professionals in infrastructure projects, and the growing importance of IoT, BIM, and data synchronisation technologies.
  • Jakub Nowosad discussed teaching R and Python for geocomputation, focusing on the analysis of geographic vector data, including points, lines, polygons, and their attributes. The context of the article is the OpenGeoHub Summer School 2023, which will highlight the benefits of language diversity in geocomputation, and the authors’ collaboration on the open source book Geocomputation with Python.
  • MapAmore has shared a video about Costa Rica, where there is no centralised street address system. The video portrays locals and shows how they find their way around.
  • A discussion on Hacker News revolved around the capabilities and limitations of proprietary map apps when used offline. Many comments mentioned Organic Maps, which can be used completely offline, unlike Google Maps and Apple Maps.
  • A Geo Week News article focused on Mercy Akintola, a cartograph/validator within HOT. Akintola’s work involves mapping previously unmapped areas by tracing satellite imagery and adding essential geographic features to OpenStreetMap, aiding in development and disaster response, particularly in vulnerable areas of Nigeria and surrounding countries.

Upcoming Events

    [Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – first public video-meeting after the election 2023-12-21
    BengaluruOSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2023-12-23flag
    ThrissurWikiConference Kerala 2023 2023-12-23flag
    San JoseSouth Bay Map Night 2023-12-27flag
    DüsseldorfDüsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2023-12-29flag
    Missing Maps London Mapathon 2024-01-02
    RichmondMapRVA Happy Hour 2024-01-04flag

    If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

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

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