(English) weeklyOSM 500

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Wochennotiz / weeklyOSM – Issue # 500 | Thank you

About us

  • The 500th issue of the weekly newsletter has arrived! It all started with issue 1 of the weekly note on 23 July 2010 having 14 news articles.At this milestone, in our 10th year, the current editorial staff would like to thank all the readers who have supported us over the years. We thank you for your interest and the helpful feedback which has enabled the initially small editorial team to produce weekly and hopefully interesting issues. WN is now published in nine languages and enjoys steadily increasing popularity.Only through a strong community can OpenStreetMap be successful despite the commercial competition. The great recognition that the ‘open world map’ has gained in the world of open geodata is remarkable. Thanks are also due to all those who are happy to contribute to our weeklyOSM, in whatever language, and to those who have made weeklyOSM a modest contribution to strengthening the OSM community.Many thanks and enjoy reading.


  • The JOSM team announced a development version of its editor has been released that brings the Maxar imagery back. Bryan Housel tweeted that the Maxar background layers have also been restored in the iD editor. The imagery service for OSM was temporarily suspended following a sharp increase in usage caused by automated requests.
  • It was recommended not to use Vespucci from Google Play but instead use the one from open source store F-Droid, as the Google Play version is lagging three months behind the current version. Fortunately, this issue has now been resolved
  • The proposal to introduce the tag duty_free=*, for marking shops which offer duty-free shopping, has been approved.
  • memfrob is looking for an open source 3D webmap with 3D terrain which can visualise track data and let a user fly over it.
  • Mapillary released the results of their survey of delivery drivers, carried out to estimate the cost to business of broken maps. The losses due to broken maps are huge.
  • Minutely Extracts is a new service by Protomaps for on-demand OSM downloads in PBF format. The data is replicated from the main OSM database once every minute, so mappers can download and make use of their edits immediately after uploading. You can find further details in bdon’s diary entry.


  • Martin Koppenhoefer thinks that the OSMF board has overruled the ‘on the ground rule’ and the Data Working Group decision to tag the Crimea peninsula as being part of Russia two years ago. He asks the board on OSM’s main mailing list to revisit the previous decision. As expected this started a long discussion about this case in particular but also about the tagging of disputed boundaries, the ‘on the ground rule’, the role of non-physical objects in our database and many others. (Nabble)
  • Daniel Capilla points to an ongoing discussion about how explicitly abstaining from voting should be treated during the tagging proposal voting process.
  • The results of the most recent board election of OSM US are in. The amendments to the articles of association (change in the terms of office of the board members) failed as they did not meet the quorum of 50% of the membership participating. The new board consists of Jubal Harpster, Daniela Waltersdorfer, Alyssa Wright, Martijn van Exel and Minh Nguyễn. Jonah Adkins and Steve Johnson were not elected.
  • Shawna Bjorgan, of Arizona State University, writes about her experience interning remotely with YouthMappers and the USAID GeoCenter on the YouthMappers blog.
  • OpenStreetMap US publishes a monthly newsletter with a short selection of news, events and announcements from the OpenStreetMap community in the United States. You can read the February Issue here.
  • pic500 Valeriy Trubin continues his series of interviews with OSMers. He talked with Georgiy Potapov (automatic translation) about neural networks and AI and with Sergey Zaichenko (automatic translation) about the use of OSM data in big projects such as the ‘Sputnik‘ map service.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • picture 500Joost Schouppe from the OSMF board announced the start of OSMF’s microgrants. However, before the first funds can be granted, the mechanism to do so, in the form of a selection committee, must be set up. If you think you can help OSM by running the program, your application is welcome until 8 March 2020.
  • The minutes of the OSMF board meeting of 30 January 2020 are online. Topics included ODbL violations, dealing with new members without a history of mapping activity and the establishment of a working group on diversity.
  • OSM and the OSMF favour open and self-hosted software, as documented in the FOSS policy. However, the implementation has stalled somewhat. Tobias Knerr from the OSMF board is trying to push the implementation further by looking for volunteers for a FOSS Policy Committee.


  • pic500 The FOSSGIS Conference 2020 and OSM Saturday will take place in Freiburg im Breisgau from 11 to 14 March. Nakaner wants (automatic translation) people to know that participation on OSM Saturday 2020 (14 March) is free of charge and independent of the FOSSGIS conference.
  • pic500 Manfred Stock reminds us that the deadline for the call for participation and the call for abstracts of the academic track at State of the Map 2020 in Cape Town is looming.
  • pic500 OSGeo Oceania, in lieu of purchasing carbon credits for its recent conference has decided to fund the planting of 250 yellow box trees in the Churchill National Park in Lysterfield, Victoria, Australia. The tree planting will take place on 15 August 2020 and people who would like to participate should register with ParkConnect.
  • pic500 On 14 March 2020 the GIS meeting will be held in Saint Petersburg (Russia) as part of the spbgeotex project. The meeting will be dedicated to that famous software package – QGIS.
  • pic500 50 students, with their teachers, from five European countries will work together in Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania at the end of April to do pre-disaster mapping and learn to use several QA tools.
  • pic500 Pista ng Mapa, a festival that aims to promote the use of free and open geodata and software, will take place from 27 to 29 May 2020 in the Philippines.
  • pic500The SOTM Baltics 2020 is scheduled for 6 March 2020 in Riga. The conference should be of interest for non-Baltic mappers as well, as all talks will be in English.
  • pic500 Open Belgium 2020 will bring together over 50 national and international speakers to provide information about Open Knowledge and Open Data. osm.be can be of help if you’d like to attend but can not afford the ticket for the event on 6 March 2020 in Hasselt, Belgium.
  • pic500OpenStreetMap Belgium will be hosting a meet up with Allan Mustard, chair of the OSMF board of directors, at the Cafe De Markten in Brussels on 23 March. RSVP via Meetup.

Humanitarian OSM

  • HOT has launched an export tool, which aims to ease the delivery of OSM data to humanitarian organisations via the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX).
  • In cooperation with the United Nations and the Ugandan government HOT has created the Risk Atlas of Arua showing existing hazards, exposure, and vulnerabilities.
  • During the UN World Urban Forum 10, held in Abu Dhabi between 8 and 13 February, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team had a training event titled ‘Map Your City: A Tale of Three Countries’, where project managers from Indonesia, Turkey and Uganda demonstrated OSM data tools and described how open data is used in different humanitarian contexts. You can access the slides of the event here.


  • The German tutorial ‘Getting Started with OpenStreetMap’ by Volker Gringmuth, aka kreuzschnabel, offers a really good introduction to the OSM universe, and not only for beginners. Volker continues to update his tutorial and the pdf (de) may be interesting for translators.
  • Ryan Lambert started a webinar series of six videos on how to work with PostGIS and OSM. The first four videos are online; the others will follow shortly.


  • pic 500 Do you remember Geopedia, the digital travel guide? Developed by Michael Schön, this application (also available as a smartphone app) shows Wikipedia articles with a geolocation overlaid on OpenStreetMap (or Google Maps if that’s what you’re into).
  • pic 500 Mapbox visualises the course of the outbreak of the new coronavirus on a real-time map with a lot of additional information.
  • Art group ‘Neploho’ (Russian for ‘not bad’) created an online map of popular places for first dates in Moscow.
  • An investment map is available on the website of the Administration of Chernogorsk (a city in Russia). OSM is used as a basemap.

Open Data

  • pic500 A reminder that you are invited to Open Data Day, 7 March. For the tenth time, groups from around the world will hold local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities.



  • The base version of the blender-osm plugin for Blender 3D can now be downloaded for free.
  • pic500 Generation Street, a game based on OSM data, is now available for free on Steam (with a limited selection of territories, the entire planet is available in DLC). According (ru) (automatic translation) to its developer, Roman Shuvalov, its source code will be opened in the foreseeable future.


  • mmd has announced the new CGImap version 0.8.0 in his OSM user diary. Thanks to the new changeset endpoints, the OSM API 0.6 is now covered to the extent that running most parts of an OSM editing session is now possible using only CGImap.
  • Rostislav Netek et al. compare in their paper ‘Performance Testing on Vector vs. Raster Map Tiles-Comparative Study on Load Metrics’ the relative performance in delivering maps over HTTP between raster and vector tiles.


  • The OSM Software Watchlist by Walter, aka wambacher, will continue to be maintained and it remains the reference in terms of highlighting release changes of OSM-related software. Walter, a long time member of the Wochennotiz/weeklyOSM team, will not be able to maintain the Boundaries-map in the future.
  • OsmAnd’s iOS version is catching up with the Android one. The team has released version 3.12 which comes with an improved route details screen.
  • The webmap framework OpenLayers has reached version 6.2.0. The new version improves mousewheel zooming, optimises text rendering, introduces the ‘displacement’ option for a more flexible positioning of point symbolisers, and many, many, more improvements.

Did you know …

  • … how to map highways covered by a building? The wiki article Key:covered explains how to map highways covered by buildings in situations where using layer=-1, denoting the highway is underground, is not applicable.
  • … that there is a list of OSM-related Twitter accounts?
  • … about the websites ‘Tram systems of Russia’ and ‘Bus lanes of Russia’? (ru)
  • … that the iD editor now has its own blog? This blog covers feature releases, community news, and development insights from iD’s maintainers and contributors.
  • picture_500 … that windy.com has animations of the weather forecasts produced by various models superimposed on an OpenStreetMap-based map?

OSM in the media

  • El Territorio, a local Argentinian newspaper, informs us (es) (automatic translation) that all rivers and streams in the Misiones province, Argentina, can be found in OpenStreetMap. They can also be seen in a hydrology map prepared with uMap by user Carlos Brys. Most of the toponyms were collected by geographer Miguel Stefañuk, who travelled the mostly jungle covered province for many years, checking the names of streams with rural and native dwellers.

Other “geo” things

  • BBC Radio’s ‘Inside Science’ visits Britain’s Ordnance Survey, and some of the methods that they’re using will sound fairly familiar to contributors to OpenStreetMap.
  • The Ramblers are running their ‘Don’t Lose Your Way’ project to identify potential lost rights of way by searching old OS maps for paths, which are marked historically as footpaths or bridleroads, which are now missing on the current OS map. Time is running short, from 1 January 2026 it will no longer be possible to add paths to the definitive map (the national record of public paths) and access to missing paths will be lost forever.
  • Jack Dangermond, founder and president of ESRI in California, details in a Geospatial World article titled ‘GIS as an intelligent nervous system for the planet’ the importance of GIS and geodata from the perspective of one of the market leaders.
  • Google solves the problem of disputed borders by showing whatever the user wants to see. Greg Bensinger’s article in the Washington Post describes how the Silicon Valley firm’s decision-making on maps is often shrouded in secrecy, even to some of those who work to shape its digital atlases every day.
  • Paul Kang is a Nashville (USA) resident with a passion for adding civil rights related sites to Google Maps. Molly McHugh-Johnson’s article describes how Paul’s hobby started and grew. If only we could somehow encourage him to also add them to OSM. Then not only would his work not ‘be going anywhere’, it would also be freely available for everyone to use.
  • Dan Stowell and Jack Kelly explained the value of mapping the location of solar photovoltaic panels. They highlight the recent work done by OSM mappers to add over 120,000 installations to the map.
  • Christine Ro discussed some of the unintended consequences of using remote sensing in human right campaigns. She gives as an example the 2007 project ‘Eyes on Darfur’, where the villages in Sudan that were being remotely monitored to discourage human rights violations ended up being more likely to experience violence.
  • SevenCs has released a new version of its electronic nautical chart display software. The new version allows users to combine SevenCs’ visuals with third-party geographic data sources such as those provided by OpenStreetMap.
  • DC Rainmaker reviewed the Suunto 7 with Wear OS, a smart watch that features an OSM-based map.
  • Feedspot has a list of 75 of the most popular blogs and websites about GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for 2020.
  • New locations are available (automatic translation) on Yandex.Panoramas. Earlier Yandex gave permission (automatic translation) to use its panoramas for editing OSM data.
  • appleinsider.com features a comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps in a comprehensive article. Unfortunately the article does not include any pointers to other options.
  • The GEO-3 payload of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), hosted aboard the EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite, has successfully entered into service. The payload is part of the program to update Europe’s satellite-based augmentation system.
  • And finally a time lapse of our future: A journey to the end of time …

Upcoming Events

TurinFOSS4G-it/OSMit 20202020-02-18-2020-02-22italy
Ulmer AlbStammtisch Ulmer Alb2020-02-20germany
RennesAtelier découverte2020-02-23france
TakasagoTakasago Open Datathon2020-02-24japan
SingenStammtisch Bodensee2020-02-26germany
DüsseldorfDüsseldorfer OSM-Stammtisch2020-02-26germany
LübeckLübecker Mappertreffen2020-02-27germany
BrnoÚnorový brněnský Missing maps mapathon na Geografickém ústavu2020-02-27czech republic
ToulouseContrib’atelier OpenStreetMap2020-02-29france
BudapestBudapest gathering2020-03-02hungary
LondonMissing Maps London2020-03-03united kingdom
StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch2020-03-04germany
Praha/Brno/OstravaKvartální pivo2020-03-04czech republic
RigaState of the Map Baltics2020-03-06latvia
RennesRéunion mensuelle2020-03-09france
GrenobleRencontre mensuelle2020-03-09france
TaipeiOSM x Wikidata #142020-03-09taiwan
TorontoToronto Mappy Hour2020-03-09canada
HamburgHamburger Mappertreffen2020-03-10germany
Zurich115. OSM Meetup Zurich2020-03-11switzerland
ChemnitzChemnitzer Linux-Tage2020-03-14-2020-03-15germany
ValceaEuYoutH OSM Meeting2020-04-27-2020-05-01romania
GuardaEuYoutH OSM Meeting2020-06-24-2020-06-28spain
Cape TownHOT Summit2020-07-01-2020-07-02south africa
Cape TownState of the Map 20202020-07-03-2020-07-05south africa

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 Elizabete, Nakaner, PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, Silka123, Softgrow, SunCobalt, TheSwavu, YoViajo, derFred, geologist, jinalfoflia.

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