(English) weeklyOSM 418

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Photon, typo tolerant, multilingual geocoder that supports auto-complete 1 | © Komoot © map data OpenStreetMap contributors


  • Ilya Zverev is proposing a lighter tagging scheme for public transport. In an email to the tagging mailing list, he notes a growing discomfort with the current scheme. The concepts behind these suggestions will be covered in his talk What’s up with the public transport at SotM in Milan.
  • Portuguese researchers have published a paper in the journal Hydrology on how data from OSM can be used to improve digital elevation models. They compared a DEM built from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM 30) data combined with waterways from OSM, with a DEM from the British Ordnance Survey. They concluded that an improvement in the horizontal accuracy and a decrease in systematic errors is possible.
  • As SotM-US is being held in Detroit this year Mikel Maron is helping to make OpenStreetMap in the area better, starting with bike share docking stations. He wrote a diary post describing how he was confirming and improving the locations of bike share stations, that were already added in OSM, using open data along with aerial, Bing Streetside, Mapillary and OpenStreetCam imagery. In his comprehensive blog post he explains his workflow and what he has learned during this exercise.
  • Following feedback from a user of Microsoft’s Soundscape, an app aimed at providing spatial information to people with low vision, Microsoft asked for volunteers in the OSM forum to help improve the mapping of Montclair Plaza (Wikipedia, OSM.org), near Los Angeles.
  • The granularity of the values for the building attribute tag is causing misunderstandings. On the tagging mailing list the question of the difference between building=house and building=detached was raised. Apparently, there are different understandings depending on the region.


  • CartONG supports aid agencies with GIS and field missions. This NGO used its July newsletter to take a look back to 2017 and provide an update on current projects.
  • The idea of visualising road orientation is still drawing attention. Baran Kahyaoglu showed his colour-coded road orientation maps on Twitter.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The funding for a new uMap instance was secured by the approval (de) (automatic translation) of the FOSSGIS e.V., a local organisation supporting free and open GIS software and acting as local chapter for the OSM and OSGeo Foundations in Germany. The uMap instance is intended for international usage.
  • The OSM Foundation has announced the “welcome mat”, an introduction to OSM for people unfamiliar with it. This project is a work in progress and is available on OSMF’s public repositories.


  • Alessandro, Marta and Francesca, of the local Italian organisation team, have released an Android app for the SotM 2018. The app was created by Laura Barroso, from the Spanish weeklyOSM team. The .apk file can be downloaded here. Besides the program for the three days there are also links to the SotM-tweets and an OSM map with routing.
  • The website of the State of the Map US 2018 has been updated with some important information. The conference will take place from October 5 to 7 in Detroit, Michigan.
  • The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference State of the Map Oceania in Melbourne this November has announced its keynote speakers.
  • The State of the Map Asia will take place on November 17 and 18, 2018 at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

Humanitarian OSM



  • Paul Norman, member of the OSMF board, wrote an article for the Wikimedia mailing list about his experience and lessons learnt with creating a new style and vector tile schema for the WikiMedia foundation. Beside styling improvements, the style changes were to enhance the representation of disputed borders.
  • Penegal has opened several pull requests for the OSM Carto stylesheet to improve the readability of the base OSM map. He wants to increase text and shield distances for waterways, railways and roads.


  • The French department Maine-et-Loire has switched (fr) (automatic translation) to OpenStreetMap. Like other professional clients, they had to adjust rapidly following the announcement in May of an enormous increase in the cost of Google Maps (free for them until now). The OSM ecosystem and the drastic increase of the quality of OpenStreetMap over the last few years facilitated the decision.
  • On der Apotheke a Polish company recently wrote about how and why they chose to change map providers for their website, following the recent pricing changes of Google Maps.


  • The Critical Numbers webapp by GIScience Research Group, Heidelberg visualise in the form of a bar chart the percentage of OSM Tasks mapped and validated (data from the HOTOSM-Tasking-Manager API instance). Data can also be downloaded as GeoJSON for further processing in QGIS or other applications. The authors have created an extensive introduction with examples. Such quantitative analysis could take into account other variables such as the contributor’s OSM experience or topological data errors.
  • Notes in iD have arrived is the title of a blog post by Thomas Hervey. Notes in iD have long been desired by users and can now be tested in a preview version.
  • The geospatial company Boundless announced that it will be hosting a webinar on August 2nd focused on Boundless Offline Tile Server™ (BOTS), a lightweight, portable, offline, high-performance map tile server.


  • Maning Sambale writes about his experiments with RoboSat for feature detection from aerial imagery. He confirms that data cleaning and utilization of proper training sets are crucial for accurate results, and suggests using this procedure to facilitate remote mapping.
  • A large influx of spam in OSM notes with personal insults was reported (de) (automatic translation) in the German forum. After discussions with the DWG and a block did not help to calm the situation, Frederik Ramm submitted a pull request that will stop anonymous comments in notes on OSM’s website if implemented.
  • Following her introduction after Anusha Singh was selected to join the Google Summer of Code working on the OSM Public Transport Editor, she has now provided an update on progress she has made so far.
  • Jennifer Cats wrote a diary post on how she identifies spam or other difficult labels (i.e. name=) using language processing techniques.


  • The version 4.13.0 of OSM’s carto stylesheet has been released. Changes include increased shield distance on roads and new icons for five shop types and three amenity types. The documentation has also received improvements. The full list of commits can be seen on GitHub.
  • According to a tweet from wambacher, there are new versions for the following OSM-related software available: Komoot Android, Leaflet 1.3.3, Magic Earth iOS 4.1.0 and several Mapbox GL products.
    You can find these updates along with an almost endless list of OSM-related software and current versions in Wambacher’s software list.

Did you know …

  • [1] … photon? An elasticsearch based Geocoder, multilingual, typo tolerant and that supports auto-completion. Source code is available on GitHub and an example implementation is running at komoot who initiated his development. Download is available and the installation is very easy.

Other “geo” things

  • Stéphane Péneau tweets his disappointment that Mapillary is still compressing images. He added examples of how the compression lowered the quality of the images.
  • SpringerOpen, part of the global academic publishing company Springer, made a Call for Papers for a planned publication with the title Special Issue: Open Source Geospatial Software as reported on the OSM-Science mailing list. Papers on Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), Crowdsourcing and OpenStreetMap (OSM) are all invited as outlined on SpringerOpen’s website.
  • The Register reports on a paper from Microsoft, Virginia Tech and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. It describes how vehicles can be “hijacked” with a Raspberry Pi and a Software Defined Radio of the type HackRF One (175 US dollars). Technically, this is GPS spoofing, which is often used in military manoeuvres. To keep the vehicle on the road, routes were calculated using OSM data.
  • A Vietnamese online newspaper has published an article complaining about the appearance of the Paracel Islands on Facebook’s maps. Like many other island groups in the area, these have multiple sovereignty claims over them. According to the article the Vietnamese government will try and rectify this “mistake”. Facebook apparently stated that “all its maps were provided by third-party companies like OpenStreetMap and HERE Maps”. The OSMF’s position is clear – “The OpenStreetMap community operates under the ‘on the ground’ principle” and “you are free to make maps from our data leaving out or putting in what you need for harmony with your general usage, culture and legal system”. What organisations with different national audiences tend to do in a situation like this is to provide different maps for each, with the appropriate “alternative facts” presented to each audience (a Vietnamese user would see the islands as part of Vietnam; a Chinese one as part of China).

Upcoming Events

Ciudad del EsteIntroducción al mapeo colaborativo con Openstreetmap2018-07-27paraguay
MilanState of the Map 2018 (international conference)2018-07-28-2018-07-30italy
StuttgartStuttgarter Stammtisch2018-08-01germany
Buenos AiresMapatón-taller OSM2018-08-04argentina
LondonMissing Maps Mapathon2018-08-07united kingdom
MunichMünchner Stammtisch2018-08-08germany
UrspringStammtisch Ulmer Alb2018-08-09germany
Berlin122. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch2018-08-10germany
Tokyo東京!街歩き!マッピングパーティ:第22回 富岡八幡宮2018-08-12japan
ViersenOSM Stammtisch Viersen2018-08-14germany
Mumble CreekOpenStreetMap Foundation public board meeting2018-08-16everywhere
Rapperswil10. Micro Mapping Party Rapperswil 2018 (inc. OSM-Treffen)2018-08-17switzerland
Dar es SalaamFOSS4G & HOT Summit 20182018-08-29-2018-08-31tanzania
Buenos AiresState of the Map Latam 20182018-09-24-2018-09-25argentina
DetroitState of the Map US 20182018-10-05-2018-10-07united states
BengaluruState of the Map Asia 20182018-11-17-2018-11-18india
MelbourneFOSS4G SotM Oceania 20182018-11-20-2018-11-23australia

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 Anne Ghisla, Nakaner, PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, Spanholz, SunCobalt, YoViajo, derFred, jinalfoflia.

2 Replies to “(English) weeklyOSM 418”

  1. ¡VIVA LA CENSURA! Pueden borrar esto también. Para ver lo que hay que ver… Tranquilos, no volveré a este lugar. Los hay más enriquecedores, donde los participantes no se creen dioses.

    Como escribió alguien, mal futuro tiene osm. La arrogancia gratuita y el infantilismo de los propios participantes se encargará de desbaratar todo a medio plazo. Les recuerdo que el cementerio está lleno de imprescindible.

    Hasta siempre.

  2. Hallo UN LECTOR,
    ich möchte nur folgendes feststellen

    0. weeklyOSM ist völlig unabhängig (auch von der OSMF) und versteht sich als Sprachrohr der Community. Das solltest du bemerkt haben, wenn Du schon die weeklyOSM seit längeren verfolgst.
    1. Wir zeigen Gesicht und verbergen uns nicht hinter irgendwelchen Pseudonymen. Die Namen der Redakteure kannst Du in jeder Ausgabe unter dem Blog lesen.
    2. Wir sind ansprechbar über viele Kanäle – auch über email.
    3. Wir bloggen über OSM und nicht über Politik (Du siehst das wohl anders – weil für Dich wie Du schreibst – “alles Politik” ist.
    4. Wir behalten uns vor, Kommentare, die nichts mit OSM zu tun haben, auch zu entfernen.
    5. Wenn Du wirklich an OSM interessiert bist und uns helfen möchtest weeklyOSM besser zu machen (was ich vermute, denn sonst würdest Du nicht ab und an blitzartig nach Erscheinen einer neuen Version einen Kommentar verfassen), dann bist Du im Team herzlich willkommen.
    Du wirst dann aber auch erfahren, wieviel Arbeit und auch Schweiss hinter jeder einzelnen Ausgabe der weeklyOSM steckt. Wenn Du mitmachen möchtest, dann ist alles was wir brauchen Dein OSM-Account – und dann sagen wir herzlich Willkommen im Team.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen