(English) weeklyOSM 472

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How to carve OSM data into a slade plate – by Harald Hartmann 1 | Foto © Harald Hartmann | Map data © OpenStreetmap contributors



  • Roland Olbricht introduced (automatic translation) us to the user manual for the Overpass API. Although the manual is still a work in progress, the important chapters „Introduction”, „Spatial Data Selection”, and „Finding Objects” are ready for use. Roland welcomes feedback which you can give to him directly, on the mailing list, or on the GitHub issue tracker.
  • Harald Hartmann wrote a guide on how (automatic translation) to carve a map on a slate. He outlines how to take data from OpenStreetMap and convert it to a format that can be used to program a CNC mill; which then inscribes the slate.
  • Cepesko opened a very lively discussion on the existence, or not, of a Bavarian Spessart Nature Park. (automatic translation)
  • Ilya Zverev is once again organising the election for the OSM Awards 2019. He announced that voting has started.


  • GeoForAll are holding a meeting on Wednesday 28 August 2019 from 18:00 to 19:30 (Bucharest time) at FOSS4G 2019 where ideas for the future will be discussed and planned. The meeting will be similar to the FOSS4G 2018 GeoForAll meeting and aims to bring together colleagues from around the world to plan ideas for expanding open principles in science and education.

Humanitarian OSM

  • Felix Delattre presented an update on recent work being to improve the HOT Tasking Manager. A user experience survey was carried out in February and March to better understand how users used the software and how users were spending time within the software. Based on the results of the survey HOT plans to better integrate the Tasking Manager with iD in order to improve the experience for mappers and provide user instructions in one tool. This will allow mappers to report back from a task directly from inside the integrated iD editor. Integration also opens the way to dynamically populate the iD editor with tagging presets and specific validation rules depending on the map features that are requested by humanitarian organisations in each of the different projects.



  • Nuno Caldeira complained, in an ironic way, that neither Mapbox nor Facebook follow the attribution rules for OpenStreetMap.
  • Takayuki Ishino drew attention to a discussion taking place in the Japanese mapping community about proposed changes to the list (ja) of data sources suitable for using in OpenStreetMap. The main point at issue is whether we are allowed to use official websites that provide primary information or not. The answer would appear to be a matter of how many items you can copy before a website becomes protected by database rights. (automatic translation)


  • Jason Manoloudis gave us an update on the progress made on implementing 3D Traffic sign rendering capabilities for OSM2World, a converter that generates 3D models of the world from OpenStreetMap data. The completion of the traffic sign catalogues task brings a long-desirable feature in OSM2World: being able to define and configure materials solely through the configuration file, without the need for them to exist in Materials.java.
  • Wikidata, Wikimedia’s project to create a store of structured knowledge, has the potential to improve the calculation of importance scores in Nominatim. For instance, where real-world items have identical names, the ability to differentiate between OSM locations using properties not covered by OSM could help with returning more relevant geocoding results.tchaddad, who is working on a Google Summer of Code project, gives an introduction to Wikidata and how entries are stored and extracted using the Eiffel Tower as an example. How Wikidata could be used to assist Nominatim is described.


  • OsmAnd has released a new version of their OsmAnd Tracker app. The Tracker app allows users to share their location via Telegram. The new version has live track which shows real-time tracks of your contacts on an OsmAnd map.

Did you know …

  • … the various ref tags on public transport stops? ref typically gets the reference number of the local operator while ref:IFOPT is a (in continental Europe) international unique identifier. If the different platforms (in a bus, tram, metro or train station) have numbers or letters to mark them, this can be tagged as local_ref.
  • … how to tag how visible a path is on the ground? The tag for this is trail_visibility. This property is independent of the other properties of the path like width, smoothness, surface – a way on a salt lake may be like a paved way, wide, smooth, but also hard to see.
  • …the LightningMaps? In real time, thunderstorms flash on an OSM-based map.
  • … the Regional Directorate of the Environment, a service of the Regional Government of the Azores, in Portugal, provides the website On My Island, where all citizens can report environmental occurrences (pollution, abandoned waste, noise, endangered fauna and flora, …). The geolocation of occurrences is carried out using OSM data and with due attribution.

Other “geo” things

  • Azavea has released an online comparison of the building footprints in the Microsoft Bing dataset with those in OpenStreetMap.
  • Mapbox is taking the price offensive by offering email support with guaranteed response times for $50 per month. Paul Ramsey comments on Twitter that Mapbox is burning money to increase its market share. There is some more speculation around this topic.
  • In 1969, two companies opened their doors and began their journey toward developing some of the most effective technologies used today. Intergraph, now Hexagon (but began operations as M&S Computing), and Environmental Systems Research Institute, now Esri, were launched in that year. Directions Magazine has a two-part article by Joe Francica in which he tells us the story of the development of commercial GIS over the periods 1969-1994 and 1994-2019 from his perspective.
  • Deep and machine learning are becoming more popular in the field of map making. Benjamin Herfort reports on work undertaken to combine crowdsourced data from MapSwipe, with data derived from deep learning applied to satellite imagery and OpenStreetMap data, to delineate human settlement areas. The combined method produced maps that were more accurate than the crowdsourced only version but reduced the volunteer efforts needed by at least 80 percentage points for all study sites.
  • In March this year at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Australian government joined The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to announce a funding scheme to establish a Data Cube for Africa reports Space in Africa. The Data Cube, developed by Geoscience Australia, is a cloud-based, open-source platform for processing and analysing earth observations.
  • The Polish company TatukGIS is now providing their own hosted OSM (world map) web tile server as a free service for use with their software. The map tiles are available as four different styles: standard with native language name labeling, standard with English name labeling, hillshade with native language name labeling, and hillshade with English name labeling.
  • The German city of Wuppertal’s hanging train, or Schwebebahn, which had been shut down for almost nine months has reopened. With a 24-hour ticket for €7.10 you can once again take an airy flight on the back of a “steely dragon” along the Wupper River.

Upcoming Events

StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch2019-08-07germany
San JoséCode for San José Summer Mixer [1]2019-08-08united states
Cottbus134. Brandenburg-Berlin Stammtisch2019-08-09germany
Fortaleza15th Birthday in Fortaleza-CE2019-08-09brazil
Salt Lake City15th Birthday Salt Lake City Mapping Party2019-08-10united states
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #72019-08-12taiwan
BordeauxRéunion mensuelle2019-08-12france
Salt Lake CityOSM Utah 15th Birthday Drinks2019-08-13united states
ZurichOSM Stammtisch Zurich2019-08-13switzerland
HamburgHamburger Mappertreffen2019-08-13germany
MunichMünchner Stammtisch2019-08-14germany
WuppertalOSM-Treffen Wuppertaler Stammtisch im Hutmacher 18 Uhr2019-08-14germany
MelbourneIndigenous name mapathon2019-08-20australia
Cologne Bonn AirportBonner Stammtisch2019-08-20germany
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen2019-08-20germany
LübeckLübecker Mappertreffen2019-08-22germany
Kameoka京都!街歩き!マッピングパーティ:第11回 出雲大神宮2019-08-24japan
BremenBremer Mappertreffen2019-08-26germany
Salt Lake CitySLC Map Night2019-08-27united states
MinneapolisState of the Map U.S. 2019 [4]2019-09-06-2019-09-08united 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 [5]2019-09-21-2019-09-23germany
DhakaState of the Map Asia 20192019-11-01-2019-11-02bangladesh
WellingtonFOSS4G SotM Oceania 20192019-11-12-2019-11-15new zealand
Grand-BassamState of the Map Africa 20192019-11-22-2019-11-24ivory coast

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This weeklyOSM was produced by Nakaner, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, TheSwavu, derFred, geologist, jinalfoflia, keithonearth, mueschel.