(English) weeklyOSM 420

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without words 1 | © XKCD – permanent link to this comic: https://xkcd.com/2029/ 😉

SotM 2018

  • Writing a report on SotM-18 in Milan was one of the requirements for scholarship winners. To date these have been filed by:
  • Reports on the Milan State of the Map conference held at the end of July are coming in thick and fast. So far we have spotted detailed accounts from The ODI (GB), Klokan (OpenMapTiler) (CH), Ilya Zverev (RU) on his WhatOSM blog (ru) (automatic translation), Christoph Hormann with his German and English summary and the SotM team about the Sunday social event.
  • imagico wanted to add some points to the vector tile discussion, so he wrote a blog post. He dampens the euphoria by highlighting technical issues and pointing to the limited number of developers in OSM.
  • Ilya Zverev, Vladimir Elistratov, Timofey Subbotin, Daniil Kirsanov and Viktor Shcherb recorded an 83 minute podcast in Russian at the SotM in Milan summarising what they saw and learned during the conference. Ilya posted a short overview in his user diary and a link to the full transcript in English.


  • Some national parks require the decontamination of footwear to stop the spread of contaminants. Voting has opened on a proposal for the tagging of footwear decontamination stations.


  • No node, way or relation will be left behind. A property owner deleted ways in OSM as they were private roads and the owner had previously experienced unpleasant incidents with police involvement. After a long discussion in the changeset comments the delete was reverted and the ways in question were marked as private.
  • Chetan Gowda wrote an article describing how he used Mapolution to visualise the evolution of OSM in different countries. He explained how to install the required software on a Mac and described his workflow in his comprehensive post.
  • In a tweet Bertrand Billoud congratulated the Senegalese OSM community for having mapped the public transport network of the operator Dakar Dem Dikk in Dakar. According to an SotM France presentation, 11 parties collaborated to achieve the common goal.
  • The Mapbox blog carries an interview with Clifford Snow who explains how he is helping to map every road in Washington State. He describes the toolchain, source datasets and his motivation to provide as much help as he can to improve OSM in his home state.
  • Frederik Ramm points to a paper , published in the journal Big Data and Society, about technology development in OSM from a sociological point of view. The author says that lack of development in the data structures for more than 10 years is mainly caused by the “dominant position of few project members who are able to change the software design“. In the only answer on the mailing list, John Whelan questions the need for change as described by the author of the paper.
  • Xamanu translated his article, originally published by the Austrian Scientific Exchange Service, in the osm.org user diaries explaining how the mapping for OSM at the end of the world in the Himalayas in the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan is carried out. Students of a nearby university used GPS, pen and paper and other old-school techniques in order to generate a map that helps local inhabitants with their basic needs, including the improvement of their water supply, which was the central theme there.


  • User omgitsgela writes a summary of their workflow for fixing imported addresses in Massachusetts, and some updates on urban micro-mapping.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The OSM Foundation Operations Team is looking for a new tile cache or a new rendering server to reduce load on the two existing tile caches in North America. Further information about the OSMF’s Tile CDN can be found on the OSM wiki.
  • OpenStreetMap Belgium is now a local chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. According to a forum post the announcement was made on Day 3 of the SotM; a video of the day is available at YouTube


  • ODCamp 6, an open data ‘unconference’, scheduled on November 3-4 in Aberdeen, sold out its first batch of tickets. Your next chance is on August 15 at 4 pm.

Humanitarian OSM

  • OpenStreetMap Peru participates in the humanitarian project in Yauyos province (north of Lima) launched by the volunteer association Unidad4x4 after the region suffered from extremely cold weather. Updated maps of the region enabled the helpers to locate villages and provide medicine, food and warm clothes more efficiently.
  • Pierre Béland tweeted about the Ebola Outbreak Response tasks for north DR Congo and published on the OpenDataLabRDC Blog a Building Geometry analysis of task 4947. Topological analysis shows that only 3.5% of buildings have irregular forms (i.e. not 90 degrees or regular angles). This offers a different angle for validation / correction of buildings.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy published a podcast including a transcript, featuring Tyler Radford, HOT director, with the title “Nonprofit Creates Maps to Aid in Relief Efforts Around the World”.


  • The makers behind a curb map explain in an article at medium.com how they use OSM data to build maps of curbs for Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • kocio-pl proposes to change the colour for landuse=farmland in OSM Carto in this pull request. Mathijs Melissen proposes to further clean up mid zoom levels in order to improve readability of the map.


  • Richard Fairhurst shares examples of small independent websites affected by changes in Google Maps pricing on Twitter.


  • Terrestris, a German GIS company, points out on their blog that they developed GeoStyler, an online editor for OpenLayers and OGC SLD rendering styles together with Meggsimum.
  • Wille Marcel shared the recent and future improvements for OSMCha, a validation tool for OSM, in Milan at SotM 2018. The slides are available here and the video of the talk is on YouTube.


  • Ever walked in a city where lifts, funiculars, ferries or other mechanised infrastructure are essential to get around? Routing engines do not always support them. Guillaume Rischard discusses how they possibly could in his SotM talk in Milan.
  • Tom Chadwin made a QGIS plugin available on GitHub that exports your QGIS map to an OpenLayers/Leaflet webmap.
  • Thomas Hervey proposes a pull request to add a QA section in iD that will display issues such as those coming from KeepRight, an automatic data consistency check.
  • Nikolai Janakiev, who the regular reader of the weeklyOSM may already know due to his data science projects with OSM, Python and Blender, has written a guide that can help you if you want to load OSM data from the Overpass API into Python. The article covers the OSM data model briefly, an Overpass API introduction, the direct download in XML or JSON or the use of a wrapper and also a quick visualisation with matplotlib.
  • xamanu shared two articles about public transport on his user diary at osm.org.
    In his first article he describes how they rewrote a tool that generates a GTFS file based on OSM data as they needed the data for the first proper bus map of a Central American city. You can find the tool at GitHub.
    In his second article he explains how OSM public transport data were then made available to people’s smartphones in Nicaragua. As xamanu laid out they made the GTFS data available for different services and apps: transit.land , Navitia, Transportr and TransitApp.


  • Developers announce iD 2.10.0, which now handles OSM notes, the new Detach Node functionality, and a resizable photo viewer. See the full changelog for more details.

Did you know …

  • … the tool latest-changes? It provides a visualisation of map edits from yesterday, last week or the last month. You can find the source code on GitHub.
  • … the MapUganda.org project founded in 2012?
  • … openmaptiles.org? Petr Pridal and Jiri Komarek gave a presentation about the topic at SotM 2018 in Milan. The slides are available here.

Other “geo” things

  • Arjen Luijendijk and others present in Scientific Reports a global-scale assessment of the occurrence of sandy beaches and the rate at which their shorelines are changing. They used the global shoreline from the OpenStreetMap dataset of 2016 along with satellite imagery from Landsat and Sentinel.
  • [1] without words 😉
  • The New York Times reports that people are relying on placenames found on Google Maps to the extent that they are replacing historical local names. This happens even when the Google names are typographical errors, or the result of SEO (search engine optimisation).
  • Vietnam has a new attraction, a very unusual footbridge with construction seemingly inspired by a fantasy movie. The bridge named Cầu Vàng (English: Golden Bridge) is 150 m long, with a spectacular view across the Ba Na Mountain chain all the way to the South China Sea. Geo.de has a report (de) (automatic translation) about it. This region, which is a recreation area with many attractions, is unfortunately only sparsely mapped on OSM. On Bing and Esri aerial imagery quite a few features are easily identifiable.
  • According to an article at Route Fifty, a website targeting readers from local and state governments in the US, the government sector will increasingly use cloud-based mapping to assist residents and rescuers during disasters. Mapbox already partners with many government agencies in the data science sector. The available statistical data would be used to coordinate where to target aid.
  • At ESRI’s 38th annual user conference the company showed its updated dynamic ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World with new data and capabilities. New features include the visualisation of historical, forecasting, and real-time data such as temperatures or global population growth models. Other new features are the OSM vector basemap and wayback imagery, allowing travel up to five years back in time.
  • As several media outlets have reported, and you may have already noticed, Google Maps is no longer flat and will reveal its sphericality if you zoom out far enough.
  • StreetCred attempts to estimate the actual number of POIs, in a test subset of cities across the globe, by assuming that a POI can’t exist without a road that leads to it. With additional data, the prediction will become increasingly accurate, and will help identify areas where more mapping would be beneficial.
  • Joshua tested the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT bicycle computer and he discovered that it violates the GPL and various other Open Source Licences.

Upcoming Events

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
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen2018-08-21germany
DerbyPub Meetup2018-08-21united kingdom
LübeckLübecker Mappertreffen2018-08-23germany
Dar es SalaamFOSS4G & HOT Summit 20182018-08-29-2018-08-31tanzania
ManilaMaptime! Manila2018-08-30philippines
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, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, SunCobalt, TheSwavu, YoViajo, derFred, jinalfoflia.