Notiziario Settimanale OSM 458

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Castles and palaces in Switzerland, including nearby foreign countries Germany, France, Italy. Combination of OpenStreetMap+Wikidata+Wikimedia Commons+Wikipedia 1 | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL


  • Winner of the 2018 Greatness in Mapping Award, Tshedy (Mats’eliso Thobei), organised a 24 hr mapathon of Lesotho on Friday 26th April, to bring the map of the next level. On Twitter she thanks all participants for the support and for the encouraging messages.
  • Colin Blackburn reports on his long planned investigation of a “Clothing Optional” area mapped in the Netherlands, and finds no on-the-ground evidence for this name tag.
  • The voting for landcover=barren, a tag for areas without vegetation and with bare soil, started but the voting is not going well at time of writing this. Peter Elderson has probably given the reason in a comment to his vote: “… your thinking does not match the mainstream OSM mapper’s view”
  • Voting started for the key golf_cart=*, intended to express access restrictions imposed for golf carts and similar small, low-speed electric vehicles.
  • The distinction between waterway=river and waterway=canal is not as easy as one might think. A discussion about the differences was started by Dave F, who felt that other mappers incorrectly tag the canalised sections at lock gates along rivers as waterway=canal.
  • Joseph Eisenberg has added a section about non-verifiable geometries such as natural=bay, natural=strait, and place=*. However, not all agree with the changes he made as the post from Tobias Knerr indicates.
  • Instead of starting the proposal process, Joseph Eisenberg skipped this step and created a wiki page for natural=mountain_range as the tag is already used over 600 times by over 80 different mappers.
  • Joseph Eisenberg created two new proposal pages, one for natural=mesa and one for natural=butte. A mesa is a geological formation also known as table or tableland, potrero or tepui. A butte is and quite similar but smaller than mesas.
  • Jan S brought a stripped-down version of the recently declined proposal for police facilities forward for voting. The new proposal consists only of the police=* tag.
  • fanfouer created a proposal to allow a better specification of traction substations, i.e. substation=traction and asks for comments.
  • Anna and Karen from the Geographical Institute of the University of Heidelberg will improve (de) the mapping of Heidelberg, in particular data on accessibility, entrances to buildings and general infrastructure, to enable visitors of the State of the Map in September 2019 to find their way through the nice town and navigate in the best possible way on the basis of OSM data. It would not be Germany if the very first response after the intention was announced, would not point you to the rules. A wikipage was created (de) to coordinate the mapping efforts.


  • Fanevanjanahary and SeverinGeo shared a tweet and a Twitter moment about #ActionOSMMG2019: two weeks of training in OSM and open geomatics at Antananarivo (Madagascar) for local students and professionals from both the private and public sectors.
    The courses were facilitated with the help of members of Chadian community and a Togolese mapper thanks to support from the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF). During the workshop, a several days long mapathon has been organized around lake Itasy at the request of the decentralized cooperation Région Itasy/Nouvelle Aquitaine. This activity is documented on the wiki OSM, following the OSM Foundation’s organised editing guidelines.
  • The coastline/icesheet extracts, formerly hosted at, have been migrated to In a blogpost Jochen Topf provides some background information about the move.
  • The meaning of park in leisure=park and boundary=national_park, and, also, the distinction between different kinds of parks lead to an extensive discussion on the Talk-us mailing list.
  • Jinal Foflia from Grab recently shared a post about Grab’s team in Thailand who has been uploading Mapillary imagery for areas around Chiang Mai. It is already ~82% complete; covering 1,667 km of roads. They are aiming for the upload to be completed by end of this month!
  • For the Opencities Africa project, initiated by the World Bank, Potentiel 3.0 and the local OSM community (OSM-RDCOSM-RDC) collaborated with OSFAC (video fr) using innovative solutions to help make local communities in Kinshasa more resilient to erosion and flooding. The work ongoing since June 2018, used a whole host of techniques: participative mapping; drones; training in data collection with local administrators and citizens using phones and tablets; focus groups to analyze maps and identify challenges to meet; and quality analysis tools to evaluate mapping.
  • The deletion of wiki pages remains unregulated. The proposal for a deletion policy for the OSM wiki failed. The main point against were the bureaucratic hurdles that would have been implemented by this policy although some, who rejected the proposal, accepted the need for some form of rules. As time passes and the number of outdated pages increases the question might re-appear. In our last issue we reported about a prominent complaint about a deleted wiki page.
  • flowolf and his colleague started to create a free business directory based on OSM (yellowosm). This has been presented in a talk at the Grazer Linuxtage 2019. Currently the map shows only businesses in Austria.


  • Adam Steer shares the proposed program for FOSS4G SotM Oceania, which will take place on 12-15 November 2019 in Wellington, NZ, and asks for comments before end of May, when the calls for papers and workshops need to be started.
  • The call for talks and workshops for the FOSS4G UK, the conference about free and open source geospatial software, is now open. The conference will be held in Edinburgh on the 19 – 20 September 2019, with an Ice Breaker the day before and a Code Sprint the day after.

Humanitarian OSM

  • In a blog post on HOT’s website Lauren Bateman from the American Red Cross explains how the data and maps provided by HOT and OpenStreetMap helped the aid response after Cyclone Idai.
  • The University of Luxembourg and Médecins Sans Frontières will host a mapathon on 23rd May 2019 to help MSF’s humanitarian response efforts.
  • The minutes for HOT’s board meeting on 18th April 2019 are now available.
  • The MapSwipe Community and the Heidelberg Institute of Geoinformation Technology started working on a MapSwipe extension that will allow users to find changes by comparing two satellite images to help humanitarian mapping efforts.
  • Heidelberg University’s GIScience Research Group will hold a session titled Usage and Analyses of OpenStreetMap for Development at the 11th Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference, which takes place at 30 April until 03 May 2019 in Kampala, Uganda.


  • Along with his collaborators, Jochen Görtler received the Best Paper award at the Pacific Visualisation conference for his work on “Stippling of 2D Scalar Fields” (mainly meaning maps).
  • [1] Stefan Keller from the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil published a “Castle Dossier Map of Switzerland”. This is currently the most complete web map of castles and palaces in Switzerland, including nearby foreign countries (Germany, France, Italy) – right up to Neuschwanstein Castle. The multilingual web application mashes OpenStreetMap with Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons (images) and Wikipedia. The project’s source code is available at GitLab.
  • The extended its content and also shows the new map of castles in Switzerland based on Wikimedia’s castle data (de).
  • The official London Marathon App surprisingly used the OpenStreetMap tile servers which failed to cope with the load (probably because of improper configuration of their CDN). See also the Tile Usage Policy and for tutorials to set up your own infrastructure.

Open Data


  • Oracle is changing its license model for the Java platform. How this affects the usage of JOSM is discussed in the German forum (automatic translation).


  • Development Seed created osm-coverage-tiles, which visualises infrastructure information, specifically, buildings and roads from OSM in order to improve the validation of machine learning results. Pilar Gabriela Serrano Quispe explains some more information in an article on



  • The JOSM team has released a new stable version. Version 15031 fixes a bug where a changeset comment was uploaded despite an empty changeset comment field with the last one used. The functionality of the download_along plugin has been added to JOSM and is now available under “More Tools”. As always, there are many other improvements, bugfixes and new features linked in the changelog.

Did you know …

  • … the tags for timetables at stops of public transport services? The traditional timetable posted at the stop can be tagged as departures_board, while the newer electronic kind with up-to-date information is tagged passenger_information_display.
  • …that you can quickly add turn restriction relations with Vespucci or iD editors?

OSM in the media

  • The Saarbrücker Zeitung reports (de) about Carsten Grammes, board member of a private association, which cares about the mining history of the Saarland. With excursions through old tunnels and the work on the history map Historic.Place in OpenStreetMap, he has combined both hobbies and now runs guided tours (fr)/(de) of the Velsen adventure mine.
  • This blog post from shares how they combined and analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Cal Fire and OpenStreetMap to evaluate exit routes for Californians living in areas at risk of a fire-related evacuation.

Other “geo” things

  • Daniel Huffman reminisces about LineDrive linear cartograms and posts a link to an old blog post.
  • Far & Wide presents some interesting Facts on World Maps.
  • An article in Wired magazine explains the difference between geocodes and addresses in the context of post-hurricane operations in Puerto Rico.
  • On 14-17 May the OSGeo Community Sprint 2019 will take place in Minnesota, USA.

Upcoming Events

MaynoothMaynooth University2019-05-04ireland
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #42019-05-06taiwan
TorontoToronto Mappy Hour2019-05-06canada
MunichMünchner Stammtisch2019-05-08germany
SalzburgMaptime Salzburg – Mapathon2019-05-08austria
WuppertalWuppertaler Stammtisch im Hutmacher 18 Uhr2019-05-08germany
Berlin131. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch2019-05-09germany
IvreaIncontro Mensile2019-05-11italy
Kyoto京都!街歩き!マッピングパーティ:第8回 柳谷観音2019-05-12japan
RennesRéunion mensuelle2019-05-13france
BordeauxRéunion mensuelle2019-05-13france
ZurichOSM Stammtisch Zurich2019-05-13switzerland
LyonRencontre mensuelle pour tous2019-05-14france
Salt Lake CitySLC Mappy Hour2019-05-14united states
HamburgHamburger Mappertreffen2019-05-14germany
ToulouseRencontre mensuelle2019-05-15france
PragueWikimedia Hackathon 20192019-05-17-2019-05-19czech republic
ReadingReading Missing Maps Mapathon2019-05-21england
Cologne Bonn AirportBonner Stammtisch2019-05-21germany
DerbyDerby pub meetup2019-05-21england
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen2019-05-21germany
LübeckLübecker Mappertreffen2019-05-23germany
MontrougeRencontre mensuelle de Montrouge et alentours2019-05-23france
MontpellierState of the Map France 20192019-06-14-2019-06-16france
Angra do HeroísmoErasmus+ EuYoutH_OSM Meeting2019-06-24-2019-06-29portugal
MinneapolisState of the Map US 20192019-09-06-2019-09-08united states
EdinburghFOSS4GUK 20192019-09-18-2019-09-21united kingdom
HeidelbergErasmus+ EuYoutH_OSM Meeting2019-09-18-2019-09-23germany
HeidelbergHOT Summit 20192019-09-19-2019-09-20germany
HeidelbergState of the Map 2019 (international conference)2019-09-21-2019-09-23germany
Grand-BassamState of the Map Africa 20192019-11-22-2019-11-24ivory coast

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 Nakaner, PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, SunCobalt, TheFive, YoViajo, derFred, jinalfoflia.