(English) weeklyOSM 425

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Visualisation of changes in OSM over the time [1] | © HOT US Inc., © MapBox, Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

EU upload filters and ancillary copyright

  • The proposal to reform the EU copyright was originally suggested by Günther Oettinger during his time was the EU Digital Commissioner (2014-2016). The EU’s controversial reform, may introduce upload filters and ancillary copyright. It also has only a very limited exception for text and data mining. A key hurdle was passed last Wednesday after the majority of members of the EU parliament voted in favour the proposal, with only slight modifications.Many online communities protested against the proposal in the hope that the EU Parliament would decline it again, as they did in July 2018. The concern is that the new law will require all parties in the EU to implement upload filters, i.e. censorship infrastructure and as such, it will become a big hurdle for projects with user-generated content like OSM or Wikipedia.Wikipedia visitors in many EU countries were met with a black banner, urging them to defend the internet, and some Wikipedia editions were shut down completely showing only a black protest message. OSM in Germany with its local chapter FOSSGIS participated in this protest by replacing every tenth tile with a protest message on a black background. The OSMF Board did not take a stance on the matter although there was and still is some noise on the OSMF mailing list.The new copyright law still needs parliamentary approval before it will become law. By passing the draft, the EU parliament opens negotiations with the European Council and the European Commission. If, as currently expected by the lawmakers, this version of the law will be approved by all three EU bodies, it could be ready for a final vote by the end of the year.


  • Osmose now allows potential errors to be exported as KML files. You can import these files into apps, such as Maps.me, to assist in checking on the ground.
  • The Osmose QA tool now includes a layer with traffic signs from Mapillary where the equivalent information is missing from OSM. At the moment, the layer is available in France, Brussels and parts of Germany.
  • The question as to whether waterway=riverbank is an ‘old scheme’ and should be replaced by natural=water + water=river was discussed on the tagging mailing list.
  • On the tagging mailing list, terraced buildings – rows of houses with shared walls – were discussed.
  • Andrew Wiseman from Apple’s mapping team started a project to help improve the road networks of Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunesia and Uganda and he asks the local mappers on the respective countries’ mailing lists where to direct his team’s attention.
  • Telenav created MapRoulette tasks for highways in OSM lacking a speed limit, but where data are available from image recognition processing of OpenStreetCam photos. So far the new Maproulette challenge is limited to Detroit.
  • A reddit user asks whether tools exist that semi-automatically trace buildings from images. The answers included pointers to Microsoft’s buildings footprints, RoboSat from Mapbox and the JOSM plugins building tools, Lakewalker, Scanaerial, Tracer2 and mapathoner. However, you should make yourself familiar with the Automated Edits code of conduct.
  • Harry Wood re-iterates Christoph Hormann’s call to double check multipolygons. As reported osm2pgsql is repairing fewer errors than it did before it was updated. Now errors are just rejected: leading to gaps on the map.


  • The OsmAnd team launched a short survey, asking if you know about their in-built Travel Feature, which uses data from Wikimedia’s Wikivoyage project.
  • OSM is becoming a multi-generational project. Florian Lohoff’s son, born when he joined OSM in 2008, has now also started contributing to OSM.
  • A bicycle enthusiast from France created tutorial videos (automatic translation) explaining the many features of OsmAnd in French. English documentation can be found on the official website.
  • We reported earlier about a quality analysis tool written by Pierre Béland and used to analyse 12 African cities. The tool has now been used to analyse 25 Tasking Manager tasks from August. Maps by each contributor allows rapid visualisation to detect those buildings that need to be revised as a matter of priority. Once again there is variability in the quality of building geometries and the number of topological errors. This analysis suggests we need better monitoring tools to follow up on the work done at mapathons by inexperienced mappers.
  • Tigerfell wants to rewrite the Relation-Template for the wiki. He explains his motivation in a blog post and is inviting you to participate.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • A new server, named pyrene, was added to our tile rendering cluster. It is located in the OpenSystems Lab, based at Oregon State University, Corvallis (USA), and should reduce tile latency for North American users.


  • The FOSS4G Belgium Conference will be held on October 25, 2018. The organiser, OSGeo.be, just announced the continuation of the annual conferences that started in 2015 and is calling for papers, maps and sponsors.
  • The FOSS4G SotM Oceania, a joint conference of OSM and FOSS4G communities of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, will take place in Melbourne on November 20-23, 2018. The organisers are looking for open geospatial projects for the community day on the last day of the conference.

Humanitarian OSM

  • [1] HOT announced the launch of Visualize Change, a tool that can create an embedded and downloadable visualisation of the changes in OSM over time. The tool was shown to the public at the recent FOSS4G.
  • CartONG, a French NGO, is looking for (fr) (automatic translation) someone willing to apply for a civic service (fr) (automatic translation) position. Missions include planning and hosting mapathons, taking part in the operations at CartONG and raising the awareness of new audiences.
  • Janet Chapman is organising a Global Mapathon from 28th to 30th of September 2018 to help end female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • Luc Kpogbe from OSM Benin reports that they are mapping their northern border region and the city of Tanguieta. They are training young mappers and are able to provide them with smartphones thanks to a micro-grant from HOT.


  • Marena Brinkhurst and Jinal Foflia, from Mapbox, together with Yves Barthelemy, of the Zanzibar Mapping Initiative, and Nuala Cowan, of Open Cities Africa, hosted a 2 day hackathon in Zanzibar following the FOSS4G event in Dar-Es-Salaam.This resulted in:
    • tools for comparing imagery (2 islands of Zanzibar were flown over with drones to create fresh high resolution imagery)
    • interacting with crowd-sourced data
    • visualisations of school enrolment, urban development, and flood prone areas
    • an interactive tour of cultural heritage sites in Zanzibar


  • It looks like many users originating from Western countries have a problem with the “main map” on openstreetmap.org as they are only familiar with the Latin script (we reported earlier). Sven Geggus explained in detail how he copes with localisation in the German map style on openstreetmap.de. Specifically, he makes notes about proper tagging, what one should care about and which problems might arise. In addition, he presents a feasibility study in case OSM.org should one day be converted to vector tiles.


Open Data

  • WeeklyOSM often receives links to papers about OSM in science journals that are unfortunately closed source and – except for the abstract – behind a paywall. The EU and some national research funders have announced a plan to make research papers free to read. The new policy will be implemented from 1 January 2020.
  • The saga of non-open addresses in the UK continues. Owen Boswarva summarises the current position as the national Geospatial Commission gets up to speed.


  • cartONG, a French NGO, prepared a comparison between the three commercial UAV post-treatment applications: Pix4D, ESRI’s Drone2Map and AgiSoft.


  • Andrew just announced the release of AgentMaps, a Javascript library for building and visualising dynamic social systems on maps.
  • Simon Poole has added a function to OSM that provides a file with a list of deleted user account UIDs. Most of those user accounts have been deleted as they were used exclusively for spamming. Pascal Neis’ tool How did you contribute is already making use of the list.
  • Sabrina Marx, from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT), published a step by step tutorial in a Jupyter Notebook on analysing HOT Tasking Manager projects using the ohsome API.
  • OSM user Glassmann documented his approach to generating a vector tile overlay for use in iD in his OSM diary.


  • Wambacher’s OSM related software list has been updated. Most recent version changes were Komoot Android, Mapbox Nav SDK , Mapillary Android, Naviki Android, QMapShack and Vespucci.

Did you know …

  • JungleBus, an Android mobile app that makes it easy for beginners to collect bus stops all around the world.
  • OpenBeerMap, it allows the user to specify their favourite beer brand and then displays pubs offering it on a map. The question of whether the beer brands offered in pubs merit being added to OSM is more contentious though.
  • … the Christmas map, where you can already start adding events like Christmas markets?

Other “geo” things

  • Randy Meech (ex CEO of Mapzen) outlines, in a long twitter thread, the philosophy behind his new business, Street Cred labs, which is developing new approaches to capturing POI data. Of particular interest are his remarks about how the data may be licensed. TechCrunch has written a short article about the company.
  • From time to time people use OSM to add fantasy locations. The medieval fantasy city generator might help people who are looking for a nice looking fantasy map.
  • The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is looking for comments on the draft Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) Domain Working Group (DWG) Charter, that is intended to provide a forum for discussion and aims to ensure interoperability of OGC standards in AI applications.
  • The Guardian reports that sheet 440 is the worst selling map in the OS Explorer series (1:25k), covering an area of over 800 square kilometres in the far north of Scotland with a population of less than 200, and ‘a few dozen’ buildings. The best selling map, of Snowdonia, is 180 times more popular. OS surveyor Dave Robertson also explains how new roads are mapped – not much different to how we do it in OSM.

Upcoming Events

Where What When Country
Posadas Mapatón de parajes y caminos 2018-09-15 argentina
Nantes Participation aux Journées européennes du patrimoine à l’École de Longchamp 2018-09-15-2018-09-16 france
Rennes Découverte d’OpenStreetMap aux Journées Européennes du Patrimoine 2018-09-15-2018-09-16 france
Berlin Berliner Hackweekend 2018-09-15-2018-09-16 germany
Grenoble Rencontre mensuelle 2018-09-17 france
Toronto Mappy Hour 2018-09-17 canada
Cologne Bonn Airport Bonner Stammtisch 2018-09-18 germany
Nottingham Pub Meetup 2018-09-18 united kingdom
Lonsee Stammtisch Ulmer Alb 2018-09-18 germany
Viersen OSM Stammtisch Viersen 2018-09-18 germany
Karlsruhe Stammtisch 2018-09-19 germany
Mumble Creek OpenStreetMap Foundation public board meeting 2018-09-20 everywhere
Leoben Stammtisch Obersteiermark 2018-09-20 austria
Kyoto 幕末京都オープンデータソン#06:壬生の浪士と新撰組 2018-09-22 japan
Tokyo 首都圏マッピングパーティー 戸山公園で山登り!? 2018-09-22 japan
La Mandragore Réunion franco-allemande à Strasbourg 2018-09-22 france
Miyazaki 宮崎マッピングパーティ 2018-09-23 japan
Graz Stammtisch Graz 2018-09-24 austria
Bremen Bremer Mappertreffen 2018-09-24 germany
Lüneburg Lüneburger Mappertreffen 2018-09-25 germany
San Juan Maptime! Manila Meet-up 2018-09-27 philippines
Biella Incontro mapper di Biellese 2018-09-29 italy
Buenos Aires State of the Map Latam 2018 2018-09-24-2018-09-25 argentina
Detroit State of the Map US 2018 2018-10-05-2018-10-07 united states
Bengaluru State of the Map Asia 2018 2018-11-17-2018-11-18 india
Melbourne FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2018 2018-11-20-2018-11-23 australia
Lübeck Lübecker Mappertreffen 2018-09-27 germany
Düsseldorf Stammtisch 2018-09-28 germany
Stuttgart Stuttgarter Stammtisch 2018-10-03 germany
Bochum Mappertreffen 2018-10-04 germany

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, Spanholz, Guillaume Rischard, SunCobalt, TheSwavu, derFred, geologist, jinalfoflia, sev_osm.

2 Replies to “(English) weeklyOSM 425”

  1. “Le quotidien anglais The Guardian rapporte que la carte la plus vendue”, non la MOINS (worst-selling) 😉

    1. Merci de l’avoir signalé. Nous demandons d’excuser l’erreur. Nous l’avons corrigé 😉