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What driving-time maps say about your city [1]

Events : SotM 2016 Brussels – 23/09/2016 – 26/09/2016

  • Because of the terrorist attacks we considered this week moving the “events” section to the beginning of this newsletter. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the families and friends of the victims of such reprehensible act.The SotM WG announced on Twitter: “Our thoughts are with the friends and families of victims of this week’s attacks. #SotM organizing committee is safe. SotM will happen as planned and are monitoring the situation closely. Safety of attendees is paramount.”


  • User TobWen is very unhappy on the German OSM forum about users who (legally) automatically trace buildings from North Rhine-Westphalia’s WMS without cross-checking using aerial imagery – they have been copying old, already razed buildings from the official dataset. The discussion in the thread covers how to deal with this (set a deadline for rework, reverts etc.). (automatic translation)
  • OSMLab’s Dot-feed tool helps in keeping track of how governments (often departments of transportation – “DOT”) announce road construction projects. Also see this thread on the talk-us list.
  • The 10,000th commit to the JOSM source code has been made about ten years and a few weeks after the release of JOSM 1.0 (22. January 2006) to JOSM’s source code repository. A blog post has been published in celebration of this event. It contains diagrams about the number of code lines, duplicated code lines, code lines covered by unit tests etc.
  • Srividya Bharadwaj from Mapbox writes a blog about JOSM’s validating feature.
  • Arun from Mapbox explains how and why he generated his own multilingual map of India.
  • On the German forum, BeKri wonders why things would be tagged “note=fixme” – is this some “hip new tagging”? (automatic translation)
  • Now you can find all the recent OpenStreetMap mapping series blog posts by Mapbox by using this link.
  • From the OSRM (“OpenSourceRoutingMachine”) project there is now a map service for debugging purposes that displays the internal routing graph of OSRM and the computed average speed that is needed for travel time calculation.
  • Mapzen’s blog contains an article about the transit lines in OSM and how useful it is to add relevent colours to them. Also – before clicking on the link – can you guess which capital city has the most transit route relations?
  • Stamen’s blog contains an entry about “turning bad social data into good information helps parks, the open mapping community, and salmon”. A 3rd-party report of this caused something of a controversy. See also this followup and caliparks.org. No salmon have yet commented on the debate, however.


  • Creating applications with QGIS web mapping. “qgis2web” is a tool that can export QGIS projects to web maps such as OpenLayers 3 or Leaflet (it automatically creates HTML, Javascript and CSS files). (automatic translation)
  • Joost Schouppe has kind words in his user diary about all the things that make OpenStreetMap splendid and unique, with many examples. Other users agree!
  • Martijn from Telenav reports about the ImproveOSM project, that evaluated GPS data and was sponsored by the Brazilian Environment Ministry.
  • Jothirnadh from the Mapbox team writes a blog about expanding turn lane coverage in OpenStreetMap.
  • An interview with mapper “Kilkenni” was posted on the OpenCage Data Blog and discusses OpenStreetMap in the Ukraine.

Humanitarian OSM

  • A paper with the title: “Combining Human Computing and Machine Learning to Make Sense of Big (Aerial) Data for Disaster Response” has been published in the journal “Big Data”.
  • Erin Blakemore wrote an article in the Smithsonian’s magazine about the possibilities and potential offered by DIY mapping in OSM to different communities. Several successful projects around the world are described.
  • Potential use cases of drones for mapping in Humanitarian contexts are discussed in five short case-study write-ups.


  • Gisela is your new “location-based assistant”. She will help to find places near you that you need for daily life. Read this for more. (automatic translation)
  • [1] These isochrone maps driving maps of the world offer an interesting look at the similarities and differences in road design and their effects on travel for different cities of the world.
  • A user from Germany spent some time and made a “printed MAPS.ME” version of his city.

Open Data

  • ClusterGIS publishes a global model of relief with a resolution of 15m/px that is CC-BY licensed.



  • bbbike.org has created a new Garmin map style “Onroad” that uses only 1/10 the space of normal OSM based map files, especially designed for older Garmin devices.
  • Mapzen publishes the beta of “eraser map”, an app for users specially focused on privacy.
  • Cesium publishes (pdf) the slides for their 3D tiles talk at the opengeospatial technical and planning committee meeting. (via CesiumJS)


  • Dennis Nienhüser is looking for programmers interested in Marble (KDE) to take part in Goggle Summer of Code 2016
  • Hartmut Holzgräfe provides a vagrant-container with a MapOSMatic installation, available on github.
  • mapfig have created a new project OpenTileServer, which provides an installation script to set up an OSM tile server on an Ubuntu Linux system in a very easy way – think “switch2osm” but without the editing. Users choose what data to load, and whether they want OSM’s “standard” map style or “OSM bright”. Example OpenLayers and Leaflet pages are also included.
  • machinalis.com reports about using the programming language Python for geospatial data processing.
  • Salzburg Research has published the VGI Analytics Framework, which analyses Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) datasets. Currently, the tools can handle historic OpenStreetMap datasets. Read more on this paper.


SoftwareVersionRelease DateComment
Locus Map Free3.16.02016-03-14“Stop tracking” button and some more eehancements
OSRM Backend5.02016-03-18Cleanup, fixes and enhancements

provided by the OSM Software Watchlist

Did you know …

  • the Open Station Map which displays detailed POI even on building levels for several railway stations in the world? See OSM wiki for more.

Other “geo” things

  • Google maps are rolling out “Navigation Bubbles” containing the street and exit names.
  • HERE (formerly part of Nokia) have stopped developing their map apps on Windows Phone and Windows Mobile (primarily formerly “Nokia”).
  • Saman Bemel Benrud reports in Mapbox blog how the in-house cartography team still gets inspired by printed paper maps.
  • Scottish startup eeGeo raises $5 million to 3D-map the world.
  • DuckDuckGo has added directions to their features. This new feature allows users to choose from Apple, Bing, Here, OpenStreetMap or Google Maps to get directions.

Upcoming Events

BordeauxMissing Maps mapathon31/03/2016france
San FranciscoAAG Mapathon31/03/2016-01/04/2016united states
Sankt Gallen2016 SOSM Annual General Meeting02/04/2016switzerland
Sankt GallenMapping Party following AGM02/04/2016switzerland
BrasíliaEncontro OSM Brasília02/04/2016brasil
Buenos AiresFOSS4G Argentina05/04/2016-09/04/2016argentina
BerlinHack Weekend30/04/2016-01/05/2016germany
Clermont-FerrandState of the Map France 201620/05/2016-22/05/2016france
BrnoState of the Map CZ+SK 201621/05/2016czech republic
SalzburgFOSSGIS 201604/07/2016-06/07/2016austria
SalzburgAGIT 201606/07/2016-08/07/2016austria
SeattleState of The Map US 201623/07/2016-25/07/2016united states
TokioState of The Map Japan 201606/08/2016japan
BonnFOSS4G 2016 Code Sprint20/08/2016-22/08/2016germany
BonnWorkshops at FOSS4G 201622/08/2016-23/08/2016germany
BonnFOSS4G 201624/08/2016-26/08/2016germany
BonnFOSS4G 2016 Code Sprint Part II27/08/2016-28/08/2016germany
BrusselsState of the Map 201623/09/2016-26/09/2016belgium

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 appropiate..

This weekly was produced by Nakaner, Peda, Rogehm, SomeoneElse, derFred, jinalfoflia, k_zoar, mgehling, stephan75, wambacher, widedangel.