(English) weekly 279

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Screenshot of OpenStreetMap Dark Theme from Greasemonkey
OpenStreetMap Dark Theme with Greasemonkey [1]

OpenStreetMap Foundation – Board Elections and Annual General Meeting

  • The OSMF Board Candidates: many questions and some answers.
  • #controversial! Nicolas Chavent, the co-founder of HOT, warns that the members of HOT might win an absolute majority in the OSMF board. See also his diary entry on the same (same content, different comments).
  • This year’s OSMF AGM will include a Special Resolution meant to let the OSMF board set the fees for corporate members. As it is always the case just before an OSMF AGM, there were some lively debate. The preliminary agenda for the AGM can be found here.


  • More controversy – Frederik Ramm pointed out that changeset comments are supposed to describe the edit at hand, but there are now more and more changesets containing only hashtags instead of a description, which makes them less useful to other mappers.
  • On November 23rd, 2015 JOSM version 9060 was released. It does seem to come with one minor gremlin, however.
  • Michael Reichert created a JOSM preset for mapping tram signals in Germany.
  • User NicEd reports how he corrects incorrect tags for highways in Africa.
  • Colin Smale asks on the mailing list whether the coordinate system “What 3 Words” (W3W) should be supported by OpenStreetMap. W3W is a proprietary and patent-pending system which relates every square of 3×3 meters size to three words. You can choose your own three words for a given coordinate if you pay a fee to the operators of W3W. The three words can only be translated back into coordinates by using the non-free API of the W3W service. The users were not convinced of the need for an explicit OpenStreetMap support.
  • iD Version 1.8.0 has been released with several bug fixes, enhancements and new presets.
  • User g4rp asks how to map a post office inside a Migros Supermarket on the Talk-ch mailing-list.
  • This week most talks on the tagging list were about traffic calming.
  • Turbo Roundabouts” are a type of roundabout where you stay in lane all the way to the exit, in theory  for reducing casualties. They are recently introduced in the Netherlands.  AdVerburg on the Dutch forum asks how they should be mapped (English). In England, there’s one in Bedford, though not everyone is happy about it.


  • User 51114u9 created a Greasemonkey script for a dark theme for OpenStreetMap.org.
  • The Belgian community wonders why the road network in Belgium is apparently only 73% complete whereas it’s 100% in surrounding countries. Joost Schouppe offers one possible explanation.
  • User Escada published an Interview he did with the 72 year-old mapper Dave Swarthout. The Interview is part of the series ,“Mapper in the Spotlight“.
  • User jinalfoflia from Mapbox is blogging about a Mapping-party during OSMgeoweek.
  • Mapbox examines how complete the number of streets in OpenStreetMap is by comparing the overall length of all streets per country with the data in the CIA’s World Factbook. As with Belgium (see above), there are discrepancies for Germany – the overall length is 554,803 km rather than 400,784. Unfortunately, there is no discussion of how dual carriageways are counted.
  • OpenCage Data Blog publishes an interview with Peter Karich, one of the creators of Graphhopper. Graphhopper is a routing service which is based on OpenStreetMap data.
  • Micha? Brzozowski asks on the talk mailing list why many new mappers don’t reply to comments in changeset discussions. A longer discussion ensued…
  • Is it possible to solve James Joyce’s puzzle and travel through Dublin’s inner city without passing a pub? A few years ago Rory McCann proved that it was possible. Now karussel is trying to prove it too using Graphhopper. He found a 5.8 km route instead of the original 7.3 km one. In another post he shows how to calculate a route passing all pubs. This route is 38 km long (estimated 7¾ h on foot). With this he made it on the Hacker News front page (and in the comments there,  you’ll see some familiar OSM names too).


  • Jonah Adkins wants to import buildings from official datasets of Suffolk (Viginia).
  • Elliot Plack found an import of buildings in Montgomery County in Maryland (USA) which hadn’t been discussed in advance.
  • Previously, WeeklyOSM has reported on the import of streets in Tanzania. The accompanying Hackpad offers a lot of new information about the planned import.


Humanitarian OSM

  • A mapathon was held at San Francisco State University during OSMgeoweek.
  • Sophie Lafayett reports about mapping drainage in Dar Es Salaam and why it is important.
  • Pascal Neis criticized the mapping activities during OSMGeoWeek. 28.000 new buildings, but only 650 highways. He believes that there are more important things than buildings.



  • The GNOME developers are working on the new Version 3.20 of the GNOME Desktop. With it comes GNOME Maps with new features. It now supports the Geo URI scheme, an “open in browser” function which opens the current map view on the OpenStreetMap website, there are bug fixes for the GeoJSON support and new translations.

Did you know …

Other “geo” things

  • Is it possible to draw a “great circle” around the earth without touching any land (and if not, what’s the largest possible small circle)? Using Natural Earth data and a bit of Python, Marcin Ciura finds out. The answer (for the location of the largest circle) may surprise you…
  • Due to a software bug (en) it might happen that a small town in Austria becomes one of the most visited cities in Europe 😉
  • At the border of Germany and the Netherlands is an area which allegedly belongs to none of these countries. Two men have founded the state ,”Wunderland“ (German for Wonderland) on this area.


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4 Replies to “(English) weekly 279”

  1. 11/17/2015-11/23/2015 <> 11/24/2015 😉 … happy to see it next week 🙂

  2. I love this weekly summary. I do have trouble recognizing the links in the text. Maybe it just the contrast between the green and black font. I’d prefer underlined or bold text to identify links.

    1. Hi Alan,
      thank you for your feedback. We will have a look what we can do for you.