(English) weeklyOSM 438

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Pierre Béland appeals for experienced mappers to help improve data quality 1 | © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • Jean-Louis Zimmerman tweets about the need to consider new approaches to editing OpenStreetMap data, both to help non-mappers and to handle increased data density.He is particularly inspired by Deriviste, a proof-of-concept created by Richard Fairhurst.
  • OSM-DRC continues its mapping in the DR Congo to help combat the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu. On twitter Pierre Béland appeals for experienced mappers to help improve data quality.
  • Toutelatitudes tweets about the three remarkable trees they’ve added to OpenStreetMap in the department of Loiret, France.
  • dktue would like to propose the tag emergency=control_centre for the place where emergency calls are responded. The tag is already used over 200 times, but only in Germany.
  • John Paris announced the fourth version of a proposal on how to map disputed boundaries. Delimitation of disputed boundaries is an important but difficult and sensitive issue for many reasons. After John received feedback for his proposal, he wrote that he will rework it and incorporate the suggestions.
  • Have you ever run into the problem of mapping a hiking trail & needing to check if any part was mapped before? Many communities use wiki pages to provide lists of trails and their relations. User Cascafico describes, in his diary, tools to automate collection of data from OSM and transformation to wiki format.


  • The OpenStreetMap Niger community organized a training camp (fr) at Campus Numérique Francophone in Niamey for 15 participants. Over 3 days the subjects studied included OSM, QGIS, and open-data.
  • Jennings Anderson wrote, on his user blog, about a data analysis workshop he and Seth Fitzsimmons ran at SotM US 2018. Jupyter notebooks were used for speedy, interactive analysis and visualisation of the OSM data. In the article, he explains preparation of datasets using osm-wayback and osmesa, the creation of CSV-files and loading the data into Jupyter.
  • After Mapbox hired the Valhalla team from Mapzen, most if not all core OSRM developers seem to have quit their job. However, there is no official statement from Mapbox as to whether they plan to maintain both projects in the future.
  • Tim Couwelier blogged about Road categorisation – OpenStreetMap versus Flemish Planning Documents, where he explains the differences between OSM and public road categorisation. He points out the public categories based on the originally intended purpose of the roads vs OSM, with its ground-truth principle, based on the actual use.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Nicolas Chavent describes in an email that he believes that HOT US Inc. wants to achieve gradual dominance on the board of OSMF. Severin Menard continues that two OSMF directors were previously on the board of HOT, another current OSMF director was HOT Executive Director, a candidate of the current election is employed by HOT and a candidate of the current OSMF board elections is a voting member of HOT US Inc.
  • The OSMF Board reviewed the decision of the Data Working Group to change the boundaries of Crimea on OSM and has rescinded the DWG resolution. Accordingly, Crimea is included within the borders of both Russia and Ukraine: thus returning to the mapping which has existed since 2014.As might be expected there is a certain amount of commentary on this decision: Ilya Zverik in his WhatOSM blog (automatic translation) places this controversy in an overall OSM context. Others feel that how the decision was reached and communicated did not meet stated goals of transparency. Richard Fairhurst relates this to his perception that over the years the OSMF Board has often failed to support Working Group volunteers..


  • The FOSSGIS 2019 (de), the German conference around geospatial topics and OSM’s main local meetup, is just around the corner. There is already an agenda for social events (de) available.

Humanitarian OSM

  • HOT wrote how OSM data will help to determine the exposure of a region to disasters. A model will be developed based on the data collected and will improve the resilience of the cities in more than 46 countries.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo suffers from an Ebola outbreak, rebel attacks, and population displacements. With recent imagery, OSM-DRC is active in North-Kivu and opened Tasking Manager jobs. In a mail on the HOT mailing list, Pierre Béland is recapping the work from a quality point of view and recommending steps to fix the issues and improve the quality of future mapping activities.


  • OpenStreetBrowser has been updated to version 4.2. The new version allows its users to export visible map features as JSON, GeoJSON, and XML. As the project reports on their homepage, users with own repositories on OpenStreetBrowser Dev can now load categories from git branches and the broken Twitter feed in the news bar was replaced to show news from a blog instead.
  • Qwant, an European search engine that respects your privacy, just released an alpha version of their new product Qwant Maps, a map fully based on OSM data and opensource ecosystem. For now, it mainly works in France, but the good news is that you can contribute to make it work in your home country too.

Open Data

  • The City of Zurich publishes a 3D-model of the outer shells and roof structures under a Creative Commons CC0 license.


  • Martijn van Exel wrote an illustrated guide on how to get started contributing to OpenStreetCam, the free and open platform for street-level images built by Telenav.
  • Jiri Vlasak introduces the LiveJOSM project. LiveJOSM is a Debian based Linux live system with JOSM and some JOSM plugins preinstalled that can be used on events, such as mapathons.


  • The OSM editor iD received two updates recently. The mega update v2.12.0 includes a seemingly endless list of new features, improvements, and bugfixes, including the implementation of two-finger trackpad gestures for Mac users, drawing of ways with a direction like cliffs and coastlines and the possibility to resize the sidebar or hide it completely. The update to 2.12.1, one day later, includes some minor bug fixes.
  • An update for the HOT Tasking manager has been released after it received nearly 60 different commits. The improvements include new layouts for mapping tab and the task history, the support for the markdown format in the task description and contribute card and the implementation of a new function called Expert Mode that will cover more advanced mapping and validation features
  • Simon Poole released the first beta for version 12 of the Vespucci editor.
    • It features a new simple action mode, which adds a big green button to add new features, instead of the somewhat difficult to explain long click.
    • Support for Maproulette.
    • It adds an intent, which means any geo: urls can be opened directly using your an OSM app of your choosing.

Did you know …

  • … the JOSM BuildingsTools Plugin by user Upliner that contributes to OSM quality? You can draw regular rectangular or round buildings by simply pressing b and 2 or 3 mouse clicks! Precisely and quickly!
    The Ctrl-Alt-B shortcut key opens a configuration panel with options to modify the form, type and more.
  • OSM Streak? OSM Streak is a gamified contest that makes you do daily small tasks for OSM and earn points for completing them. The goal is to motivate mappers to edit persistently.
  • … the list of Quality Assurance tools that can be used to improve the data in OSM?
  • … how you can successfully complete the missing addresses in your district with MAPS.ME? Here is how.

OSM in the media

  • German is known for its extra-long compound words and apparently, this applies to road names too. According to a news article (de), an investigation based on OSM data found the longest road name in Germany: Bischöflich-Geistlicher-Rat-Josef-Zinnbauer-Straße. Most common in Germany are roads named after the writers Goethe and Schiller.

Other “geo” things

  • Daniel Huffman writes about old-fashioned map making: on a typewriter.
  • Jelle van Lottum has visualised voyages by the ships of several East India companies from Europe to India and the East Indies prior to 1800. The data are from CLIWOC, digitised records of ships logs.
  • CityLab provides an overview of a new book by Christof Spieler on rapid transit systems in 47 American metropolitan regions. Needless to say, it contains lots of transit maps.
  • Martijn announced an OpenStreetCam competition for Australia. Telenav’s map team is awarding Amazon gift cards for the top image contributors until year end. Telenav’s product OpenStreetCam is a street-level imagery solution like Mapillary that lets you upload your own images and image sequences. It helps to detect errors and gaps in the data and supports you with images while editing.
  • The version 3.4 of ArangoDB, an Apache license native multi-model database, has been released. The new version supports now GeoJSON and includes the new search engine ArangoSearch.
  • The web app Cultural Gems was presented by the European Commission during the closing conference of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The app intends to provide crowdsourced information on cultural and creative spaces in Europe and is pre-loaded with an initial set of points of interest from OpenStreetMap.
  • Katharina Przybill has published an article on “Conceptual compliance analysis with the OpenStreetMap History Database (OSHDB)”.
  • Matt Daniels has developed an OSM-based visualization of the world’s population in 3D
  • NASA provides a new look at Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria.
  • Google Maps in Australia have some unusual errors.

Upcoming Events

AlicePoliMappers Adventures 2018: One mapping quest each day2018-12-01-2018-12-31everywhere
online via IRCFoundation Annual General Meeting2018-12-15everywhere
Cologne Bonn AirportBonner Stammtisch2018-12-18germany
LüneburgLüneburger Mappertreffen2018-12-18germany
NottinghamPub Meetup2018-12-18united kingdom
ReuttiStammtisch Ulmer Alb2018-12-18germany
RennesRecensement des panneaux publicitaires2018-12-23france
LeipzigOpenStreetMap assembly2018-12-27-2018-12-30germany
Greater Vancouver areaMetrotown mappy Hour2018-12-28canada
BiellaIncontro mensile2018-12-29italy
HeidelbergState of the Map 2019 (international conference)2019-09-21-2019-09-23germany

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 PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, SunCobalt, YoViajo, derFred, geologist, jinalfoflia.