(English) weeklyOSM 540

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European electricity grid 1 | © eBin | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • User mahdi1234 published a quick note on how to show the latest OSM data on-the-fly on umap using a query to link directly to Overpass.
  • In a thread on the talk mailing list about ‘bad’ edits, Andy Townsend outlined some guidelines for good changeset discussions which are well worth a read.
  • Voting for the ‘pumping proposal’ is open until 3 December. Although the initial impetus was for better mapping of pumps associated with water wells, the proposal considers other uses as well, as InfosReseaux describes in a diary entry.
  • Jochen Topf describes how coastlines are processed in OSM. He explains the reasons why updating of land/water polygons (based on natural=coastline) can be seen as too slow and unreliable.
  • Marcos Merino wrote (es) > en about the role of big Silicon Valley companies in contributing to OSM and the fact, probably surprising, that OSM is older than Google Maps.
  • Robert Whittaker (user rjw62) has added extra features to his Survey Me tool hosted on the OSM part of his site. Survey Me highlights potential mapping issues in the UK largely based on comparisons with a suite of external open data sources. New sources include Geolytix open data on food retailers.


  • The National University of Singapore (NUS) recently invited Jinal Foflia, an OSM community member, to lecture on OpenStreetMap and the OpenStreetMap community.
  • Florian Lainez wrote about the importance of building resilience in local OSM communities. Through examples from Myanmar, Mali and Morocco and his own experience as CEO of JungleBus (developing OSM-based public transport solutions), he showed that mapping priorities will vary according to country or region specific needs, which can only be successfully mediated locally.


  • Minh Nguyen explained, on the Imports-US mailing list, that Code for San José volunteers want to import 14,000 shops via MapRoulette.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Allan Mustard, chair of OSMF, welcomed new, and old, local chapters at the Local Chapters Congress on 21 November.
  • Michael Collinson, acting as facilitator for the presentation process of the new OSMF candidates, published the official set of questions, asking the candidates to answer by 25 November.The answers and manifestos are here.
    Suggested community discussion period: 28 November to 5 December (when voting opens).

Local chapter news

  • Joost Schouppe (Secretary OSMF) asks the Slovakian OSM community about Freemap Slovakia’s application to become an official Local Chapter of the OSMF. Please forward your questions, comments or concerns before 7 December.
  • Joost Schouppe (Secretary OSMF) asks the OSM community of Uganda and the OSMF Membership about OpenStreetMap Uganda’s application to become an official Local Chapter of the OSMF. Please forward your questions, comments or concerns by 7 December.
  • Mapper of the Month: Diseret (Belgium) – OpenStreetMap Belgium.

Humanitarian OSM

  • The Collective for the Protection of Sugamuxi Province requested support from OpenStreetMap Colombia and its Tasking Manager to update the map of the Lake Tota Basin. High levels of lead contamination alarmed the population and the authorities, who still do not know the origin of this heavy metal in the ecosystem. The map update (es) > en aims to help identify and solve the health and environmental problems of the second largest lake in the Andes.
  • Pete Masters (pedrito1414) summarised a remote workshop held by HOT to consider how the community relates to the goals of the Audacious project.


  • In his #30DayMapChallenge Sebastian Meier shows us a new map of Berlin based on open data every day. Day 20 and other days also use data from OSM. The code is available on GitHub.
  • The Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy showed (de) a map of water bodies in Germany on Twitter. Florian Lohoff responded with a much more detailed map of the river basins of Central Europe by Martin Kompf, based (de) > en on OSM data. Martin Kompf describes on his page in detail how he created the map and the source code is also available 😉
  • [1] eBin, a member of the Polish OSM community, has produced a vector overlay map (pl) of the European electricity grid based on OSM data.
  • Hernan J. López reports (es) that after a year and a little more work, the categorised protected areas (es) > en of Argentina are now visible on OpenStreetMap.


  • HeiGIT has extended their OSM history explorer with new features.
  • Richard Fairhurst announced the availability of development versions of Potlatch 3 for testing. Potlatch 3 is a desktop editor using Adobe Air, and has some new features compared with Potlatch 2, perhaps most importantly remote control support. Currently Apple MacOS and Windows are supported: some testing of use on Linux is reported in the comments.


  • The OSM Ops Team are looking for beta testers for a new torrent distribution of the latest OSM planet PBF file.


  • Walter Nordmann (wambacher) has his newly established OSM SoftwareWatchlist under control again. It provides a continuously updated list of the latest releases of all software products in the OSM cosmos. If the cosmos is not currently wide enough to include your favourite piece of OSM-related software then let wambacher know on the forum.

Did you know …

  • … that CheckTheMonuments provides suggestions and detailed information on quality assurance of historical objects as well as a map? (de) > en.
  • … the wide range of bridges which can be encountered on a single trail? A few years ago Kevin Kenny documented some of the more unusual examples on the Northville Placid Trail.
  • streetmangler (ru) > en and shrtnms? They are tools to abbreviate street names in Russian, Ukrainian and English.
  • … about Web to OSM Opening Hours? It’s a tool which parses opening hours from free text or a URL where the opening hours can be found. The tool will work if the website uses the OpeningHours specification of Schema.org and will convert it to OSM format and put it on the clipboard.

OSM in the media

  • Joe Morrison has blogged about how large companies are actively contributing to OSM. There are some interesting comments on the article on Hackernews.

Other “geo” things

  • Nick Giles reports, in The Guardian, that use of the OS Maps Get Outside adventure planning app has increased by 78% since Feburary, with around 3.5 million people using it now.
  • Misinformation about the 2020 US Presidential Election result was trending on social media and elsewhere in mid-November. But you might have missed this Fox News map ceding part of Michigan to Canada. We will gladly not seek OpenStreetMap attribution for this fantasy map, and nor will we add provocative border polygons to the map!Such misunderstandings of geography are so common that academic geographer Peter Gould studied them 50 years ago, coining the term ‘isoignorans’ for contours of equal geographical ignorance in his book Mental Maps.
  • In an article in CNRS News (French National Centre for Scientific Research), Erwan Bocher explains the ins and outs of the new SymCore standard of the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium), which he developed with Olivier Ertz.
  • ALPIN explains (de) > en the basics of using GPS devices and explains how one can install OSM maps on them.
  • Procedural GL JS now is open source. It is a library that allows 3D maps to be embedded into web pages.
  • It seems Amazon is starting to map pavements (sidewalks) for autonomous delivery – a mapping robot has been spotted in Everett.

Upcoming Events

LondonMissing Maps London Mapathon2020-12-01united kingdom
StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch (online)2020-12-02germany
BochumBochum OSM-Stammtisch (Online) [2]2020-12-03germany
DresdenDresdner OSM-Stammtisch (online)2020-12-03germany
onlineHOT Virtual Summit (online)2020-12-04world
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #232020-12-07taiwan
MichiganMichigan Online Meetup2020-12-07usa
HeidelbergMannheimer Mapathons e.V. – Int’l. Mapathon (online)2020-12-08germany
Salt Lake City / VirtualOpenStreetMap Utah Map Night2020-12-08united states
MunichMünchner Treffen2020-12-10germany
onlineOSMF Public Board Meeting2020-12-10world
Berlin150. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch (Online)2020-12-11germany
BerlinOSM-Verkehrswende #18 (Online)2020-12-15germany
Cologne Bonn Airport134. Bonner OSM-Stammtisch (Online)2020-12-15germany
NottinghamNottingham pub meetup2020-12-15united kingdom

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This weeklyOSM was produced by AnisKoutsi, MatthiasMatthias, Nordpfeil, Polyglot, rogehm, SK53, Sammyhawkrad, TheSwavu, derFred, richter_fn, tordans.