- The voting for the key assembly_point:purpose= has started. The key is is intended to be used with emergency=assembly_point where there is a need to specify the kind of hazard – fire, tsunami, earthquake, tornado.
- Warin61 noticed that quite a few public transport route relations are broken. He describes the minimal requirements to make them pass the tests from GeoFabrik’s OSMInspector validation tool, which is a lot easier than having to go through the respective wiki pages documenting how to map bus and train route relations.
- For the third consecutive year members of the OSM Mali community hosted a week-long OSM training camp in Segou for students of the local university. About 70 students have been taught OSM techniques since 2016.
- Jinal Foflia explains the reasons and benefits of joining the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) and how to become a member. She also points out that a membership fee waiver program will be implemented soon.
- OSM US welcomes their new executive director. Jaye Matthews was selected from more than 40 applicants for the newly established full-time position. She has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit leadership, but is completely new to OpenStreetMap.
- On October 19th a mapping party with specific focus on wheelchair accessibility will be held in Torino, Italy.
- The Indonesian Tribunnews reports (automatic translation) about the efforts of OpenStreetMap Indonesia to map the area affected by earthquakes and the devastating tsunami around Petobo, South Palu based on DigitalGlobe imagery taken on October 2nd.
- UBOS, Uganda’s national bureau for statistics, is taking an active role in mapping in OSM. Eleven core members have learned how to use JOSM, QGIS and mobile tools for surveying. There are many challenges to overcome in the country and OSM can help with that.
- Matthew Gibb asked experienced OSM mappers for help with the validation of roads in the Florida Panhandle ahead of Hurricane Michael. A task was created for this on the OSM US tasking manager.
- In September, faculty and students of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick organised a workshop on “Making sense of humanitarian geospatial data to improve the impact of humanitarian interventions on health and wellbeing“. The workshop was co-convened by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF UK), the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), the Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operations Team (BHOOT) and the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology/GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University. The event enabled participants to discuss current approaches and challenges and, most importantly, how to collaboratively address them.
- It is October, so HOT commemorates open source by involvement in Hacktoberfest. It is an annual event hosted by Digital Ocean, GitHub and Twilio to promote contributing to open source projects. HOT reminds readers of over 15 of their own active open source projects.
- Cartisan, a small Armenian-based cartography company, is creating a topographic hiking map of Dilijan National Park in Armenia. This will be the first modern topographic map set in Armenia. The map relies heavily on OSM data and the makers have greatly improved the OSM database in the area. The map (sample) is created exclusively with FOSS. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign, together with the local trail-building NGO, Transcaucasian Trail, to get the map produced.
- Raymond Inzitari wrote a post about how he started a business making wooden maps as artwork. It took him over six months of development to build a model that uses OSM data, convert it to a geodatabase and output an AI file that is required for the laser cutter.
- François Lacombe asks whether OSM should participate in events such as the upcoming LinuxFoundation Energy Summit 2018. He argues that it is becoming increasingly common for energy infrastructure operators to replace proprietary data with OSM data.
- The next release of VROOM, free software to solve vehicle routing problems, will handle time windows constraints. The feature is already available for beta testing through the project’s demo server.
- Sick of expensive map updates for your car’s built-in SatNav? A Raspberry Pi, an LCD screen and a few other components are all that is needed to create a DIY car navigation system that can provide free navigation based on OSM data overlaid on OpenMapTiles. The system can even include a rear view camera.
- Generation Streets, a game available on Steam, is using OSM to render an impressive 3D environment.
- Richard Fairhurst published a proof of concept for an OSM editor with a GUI that focuses primarily on street level imagery based mapping.
- Due to Oracle’s slimming down and reduction of available functionality in their latest Java release, the OSGeo Foundation is organising a code sprint for their Java-based projects (e.g. Geoserver) at several locations from October 22nd to 26th, for which they are looking for sponsors.
- The question whether the time has come to redevelop JOSM due to unpopular licensing changes in Oracle’s Java was asked on the mailing list. Responders point out that JOSM is compatible with the open-source Java implementation OpenJDK, and therefore does not require Oracle’s version of Java in the first place.
- The avoid_polygons feature of the OpenRouteService API allows one to find alternative routes during flood events. To integrate real time information, a team of researchers at HeiGIT proposes a workflow to delineate flooded areas using Twitter data.
- … JOSM’s angle snap feature? This feature helps you to add a line parallel, perpendicular or at defined angles to a base segment.
- … the public transport map?
- Centésimo Mono published an interview with Carlos Brys. Carlos Brys reports about the first mapathon in the province Misiones and refers especially to the principle of data acquisition on site. (automatic translation)
- The Scottish Parliament passed a law banning public bodies in Scotland from making maps which display the Shetland Islands “in a box” (usually located offshore from Aberdeen or next to the Orkneys). Twitter has extensive commentary, and Kenneth Field, an ESRI cartographer, provides a detailed breakdown of why insets (“boxes”) are the sensible cartographic choice.
-  The University of Heidelberg hosted a mapping session to show the power of crowdsourcing for map validation by collaboratively validating the land use and land cover map of Geneva with ESA’s Sentinel 2 and OpenStreetMap data. A preliminary version of the OSM Landuse Map can be found here.
- Chris Wayne wrote an article about creating maps for visually impaired people. In his article he covers the two most common approaches to accomplish this, which are are tactile maps (maps you can feel) and auditory maps (maps that talk in the literal sense).
- Another article that addresses the needs of blind people was written by Nicola Byrne. In her article she explains how to use 3D audio to guide blind people around cities, her experience with the system and how it works.
- Friends of the Earth have published a 100 second video, with each second representing one percent of the landuses in the UK. The video asks whether nature has the space that it deserves.
- The private blog addshore.com published an article about the increase in the number of Wikidata items over the past 6 months. The article gives a breakdown of the increase by region and mentions that the increase in Africa may be due to Wikimania 2018. Over the period about one million geolocalised items were added to Wikidata.
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- OpenStreetMap Guinea tweeted about the start of their mapping campaign to assist the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
- Jean-Marc Liotier noticed that schools in Senegal were converted from areas to nodes by multiple contributors, thereby losing information. He discovered, after some investigation, that this was done because of upcoming elections. The organisation wa mbedni, behind the project “Senegal Vote”, was the culprit. The reason is baffling though: they can’t process surfaces in their software. Someone should explain to them that Overpass API can take care of this in a trivial way. (automatic translation)
- On Mastodon Erwin Olario points to a discussion on the OSM Asia telegram channel about a Corporate Editing Heatmap (source code). The tool was created by Jennings Anderson. It shows the areas where commercial, organised mappers are active. The results can be filtered by year and company.
- Simon Poole is surprised that there are more mappers active in OSM in the United States on weekdays than on weekends. Are there more commercial than independent mappers? See the charts at osmstats.neis-one.org for reference.
- François Lacombe reports (automatic translation) about the OSM-France monthly project last July to import and survey the power grid (automatic translation) in France and what preparations were involved. The quality control tool Osmose played an important role in the process.
- Tomasz_W described his experiment on changing the pastel shades of parks in OSM’s main map style Carto to darker colours.
- The Chilean company Altavoz now sponsors the first South American tile cache in the CDN (content delivery network) for tile.openstreetmap.org. (automatic translation)
- Hawa Adinani from Tanzania reports about the completed student training in Dar es Salaam, where 228 subwards were mapped to support disaster risk management projects and interventions to clean rivers and drains.
- Nate Smith announces a new tool named MapCampaigner, developed by HOT. MapCampaigner’s developers describe it as a “data quality observation tool” intended to follow up on the work done by contributors performing local field surveys tracking specific tags.For example, a Report in Botswana flags buildings with missing building:roof or building:levels tags.
Critics on the mailing lists respond that this does not address more important data quality issues including those with building geometries, unlike other tools such as Osmose, OSMI and KeepRight.
- Reliefweb reported that the government of Niger partnered with the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) to gather data on flood risks in Niamey, Niger’s capital. Data collected included high-resolution images gathered by drones and 15,000 data points, on households and infrastructure, collected with an open source mobile application by Niger’s OpenStreetMap community. The data was used to model the flood risk of the most vulnerable communities in Niamey.
- With extensive mapping activity (1,2) taking place in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Palu and other parts of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, readers may be interested in an article in National Geographic about the science behind this event. The recent gathered OSM data has been used by UN damage assessments.
-  User acsd has created an online Parking lanes viewer, which includes an easy-to-use editor.
- ITO Map is currently having problems with maps that use OpenStreetMap as base layer – some maps are completely out of service.
- An interesting representation of the oceans is shown by Le Cartographe (automatic translation) in their blog.
- Belgian Railways created a map that shows the positions of their trains in real time on a properly attributed OpenStreetMap background.
- SomeoneElse wrote a guide on how to switch2osm for Docker on Centos in his user diary.
- Vincent Privat, one of the main JOSM developers, deplores how Oracle’s Java v11 keeps removing features that are crucial for JOSM.
- Matplotlib, the data visualisation library for Python, announced the release of the version 3.0 with many new features.
- Bryce Cogswell (OSM User bryceco), maintainer of the OpenStreetMap editor for Apple platforms GoMap!, announced that the code is now open source on Github.
- Daniel writes a diary post announcing the release of RoboSat v1.1.0. Here’s what has changed since the last release: this release is powered by major community contributions ranging from features such as fine-tuning trained models, to training and prediction speed-ups, and bug fixes! He also especially thanks the contributors.
- The quality assurance tool osmose has recently implemented checks for unconnected highways and crossing ways for highways and waterways.
- Heidelberg University received funding for the development (automatic translation) of an app called “meinGrün” (myGreen), that is intended to improve the public perception and information about public green spaces in urban areas.
- … Bexhill-OSM? It is a passion project that aims to help people discover information in and around the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea. Amongst other features the map offers pedestrian routing and click-to-query-features.
- … ReMAPTCHA? As with every anti-spam mechanism it prevents automated programs (bots) from registering. In addition, the ReMAPTCHA challenge will help to correct unconnected ways in OSM’s data.
- The Swiss TV channel SRF broadcast a short documentary in German about the work done by the Missing Maps project to map remote villages in Africa on OSM and enrich the remotely mapped data by doing local surveys.
- Steve Bernard, design editor at the Financial Times, hosted an AMA on Reddit about cartography and data visualisation.
- The Haitian OpenStreetMap community of Saint-Marc has asked (automatic translation) that city hall administration help them count buildings in their municipality. They have to map on a shoestring budget and are in need of funding.
- Sasha tweeted that even Google’s website developers.google.com produced an error message when they exceeded the quota for their own maps API.
- Bike sharing providers in larger cities are starting to move from Bicycle Dock parking to Dockless bicycle rental (88 cities in USA with this kind of bike sharing). Bicycles integrate a GPS and a geolocation transmitter to a central station with the side effect of generating data on how they are used, which in turn results in cities being able to improve their bicycle infrastructure.
- The Belgian Ministry of Defence wants to sue (automatic translation) Google for refusing to blur sensitive areas on its aerial images.
- In a tweet Anonymaps points to HERE’s xyz.here.com/studio/, which offers the upload, management and visualisation of geospatial data. The tweet can be read as a speculation that HERE will enter into competition with MapBox studio.
- Is your Map and Navigation app keeping track of your whereabouts and using it for commercial purposes? (automatic translation)
- The local newspaper Böblinger Bote reports about the project Elevate of Berlin’s Sozialhelden user group, who also run wheelmap.org. The aim of the project is to provide wheelchair users with information such as the operating status of elevators, which is obviously crucial for them to know ahead of time. Real time information from the Deutsche Bahn, the Stuttgart S-Bahn as well as the transport associations Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, Region Rhein-Ruhr and Hamburg will be integrated into Wheelmap. (automatic translation)
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- User 817817 explains in his blog why he’s mapping surveillance cameras, and he encourages others to map them too. 817817 says that mapping surveillance cameras contributes to both privacy and security and that it will trigger people to reconsider their own privacy. (automatic translation)
- Thejesh GN wanted to print some maps with Marble in the Kannada language, which is spoken by 40 million people in southern India. He noticed that this language is underrepresented in OSM. He created instructions to fix that problem using iD.
- Voting has started for highway=toll_gantry, proposed to be used on nodes to denote a transponder or camera gantries to toll bridges.
- Daniele Santini prepared a proposal for the key assembly_point:purpose= to specify for which kind of hazard – fire, tsunami, earthquake, tornado – an emergency=assembly_point was created.
- Joseph Eisenberg is proposing the key prominence= for peaks. While the established ele= provides the value for the height of the peak, the new key is intended to indicate how tall a peak is compared to the surrounding area.
- Frederik Ramm started a discussion on the dev mailing list about extending the range of possible user blocks and making them more granular. The questions raised might not be most appropriate for that mailing list.
- The Wikibase extension (which we reported earlier), that is intended to store structured tag metadata, is now live. However, response to this promising change has been muted to date.
- OpenSnowMap.org’s maintainer yvecai has compared the data at Skimap.org and the ski pistes in the OSM database. Neither project is complete so it is hard to estimate OSM completeness.
- The organisation Potentiel3.0 wrote two tweets [1, 2 ] about the QGIS and mobile data collection training for agricultural engineers at the University of Grande Anse in Jérémie, Haiti.
- David Morais Ferreira (OSM dmlu) was chosen as mapper of the month by OSM Belgium.
- Frederik Ramm, the OSMF treasurer, is looking for a successor.
- The OSMF is asking for feedback on the new Microgrant program.
-  Mikel Maron tweeted how a cake should look like if it was made for mappers.
- The INTERGEO fair, which will take place in Frankfurt from 16th to 18th October 2018, will also host the OSGeo-Park this year. OSGeo-Park informs visitors about Open Source GIS, free geodata, GIS technology, and OpenStreetMap. The organisers are still looking for a A0 printer to print maps on the fair. The program is still a work in progress.
- HeiGit will present Openrouteservice.org at INTERGEO 2018 (Frankfurt, Germany 16th-18th October) in the booth of the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy.
- Nicolas Chavent tweeted from Haiti about his preparation of his second OSM, open data and GIS training week.
- HOT prepared a short analysis about the use of available imagery sources. It shows that the majority of HOT tasks use Microsoft’s Bing imagery.
- RichRico wrote a post about the cooperation of Development Seed’s data team with HOT in the previous months and detailed the projects they were working on.
- In Haïti an 11 day workshop was organised from 17 till 28 of September. During the first 2 days participants were taught field surveying, JOSM, uMap, and QGIS for editing and rendering the data.
- Klokan Technologies tweeted about the simplification of map creation with its MapTiler Cloud product. According to a blog post it is possible to design a personalised map with only five clicks.
- In Belem, Brazil, there is an annual religious parade that attracts two million people. The state IT agency Prodepa has created an OSM-based online map of the "Círio de Nazaré" procession including prominent contact points, specially set up medical stations and time restrictions on road closures.
- The Open Data Institute launched a fund to encourage local governments in the United Kingdom to release geospatial data as open data and to explore collaborative approaches to data collection, management and use by the Ordnance Survey, OpenStreetMap and other open data or civil society groups.
- The Suspect Lists of BRouter, that can help finding errors and inconsistencies in the road network, are now available worldwide.
- Sascha Fendrich from Heidelberg University calculated the size of the OSM history data in terms of raw data as it would be represented in systems programming languages such as C and Rust and derives some interesting numbers in comparison to data structures in XML.
- Daniel Koć, maintainer of OSM’s main map style, just announced the release of a new OpenStreetMap Carto stylesheet. The changes in version 4.15.0 include new colors for gastronomy objects, farmland and societal amenities, rendering implementation of man_made=wastewater_plant and man_made=water_works, new icons, missing country label fixes and many others.
- …. Map Compare, which can also be used to show the different addressees of the OSM mapping. The example of Falkirk in Scotland shows that on OSM, what can be seen on the ground is shown as far as possible. A comparison of video and map are worth watching.
- … MapRoulette? There are always possibilities to improve the OSM data.
- … the tool Who’s That? If you want to lookup the former name of a mapper or you have the former name and want to find out the current username, the tools will do the job.
- The Factor Daily wrote a comprehensive article about OSM. It covers OSM’s relation to Google, what market potential is estimated in the map industry, why companies switch to OSM and the relation to government bodies, the Indian, here in particular.
- Locusmap tweeted a picture of its map app running on a Samsung Gear under Samsung’s proprietary smart watch operating system Tizen.
- Emily Badger published an article with an interactive map in the New York Times about how connected locals in the US are on Facebook.
- There is not much time left to take pictures for #WikiLovesMonuments 2018, the world’s biggest photo competition around cultural monuments.
- COBI.Bike proposes hardware to interface with your bicycle or e-bike. The app for iPhone is described in this article (automatic translation). It exists for Android too. It uses OSM data for navigation.
- Linda (Hecht) Stevens wrote an article on medium.com about her view that the availability of geospatial data like imagery, base maps and localised information, fuel a GIS revolution that has yet produced new spatial analysing tools like for 3D rendering or data visualisation.
- kerook.eu published an article about nice looking pouches with OpenStreetMap renderings printed on the fabric.
Incontro mapper di Biellese
Kangaroo Point Mapping Party
Rencontre mensuelle pour tous
124. Berlin-Brandenburg Stammtisch
Participation au « Village des sciences » lors de la Fête de la Science à l’Hôtel de région
Frankfurt am Main
Cologne Bonn Airport
State of the Map US 2018
State of the Map Asia 2018
FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2018
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- While David Earl was surveying a new development in Cambridge for OpenStreetMap, he met a surveyor doing the same for the national mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey, we know which map was updated first.
- The use of type=watershed without an existing proposal or other guides led to a discussion on the tagging mailing list to get some common understanding on how to use the tag. Apparently, it is disputed whether watersheds or drainage basins should be added to OSM.
- dannykath from the Development Seed data team wrote a diary post about mapping commercial farms in Ethiopia. Using JOSM more than 190 large farms in lowland Ethiopia were mapped as part of a World Bank project. This required the use of a range of satellite imagery sources to ensure adequate coverage: ESRI World, Sentinel-2 Agriculture mosaic.
- Rory McCann suggests allowing users to delete comments from their user diary entries. Many people criticised the idea.
- Mikel Maron gave an update on OSMF’s efforts to take a stance against the proposed EU copyright law (as we reported earlier) that could adversely affect OSM in its current form. It seems like the discussions have led to a new momentum.
- The Swiss conference WikiCon 2018 will be held (automatic translation) from October 5th till 7th in St. Gallen. There will be two talks on OSM-related subjects and the Swiss local chapter SOSM will be present with a booth.
- The Swiss event DINAcon 2018, a conference for digital sustainability, will take place (automatic translation) during October. OSM’s local chapter SOSM will host a session during the event on October 19th.
- The FOSSGIS conference 2019 has been scheduled for March 13th to 16th in Dresden. The conference announced the Call for Papers.
- On October 3rd 2018 QGIS.NL will host a community day in Nieuwegein near Utrecht, The Netherlands.
- HOT published an article about a recent GESAN-organised mapathon event. The event, which targeted geomatics engineering students, focused on mapping specific disaster-prone areas.
- OpenTopoMap is running on a backup server, possibly until November, which means low-level zooms are not updated and higher-level zooms are not rendered. In that same forum post (automatic translation) there is an interesting discussion about the not exactly trivial rendering of names of lakes.
- The French website L’informaticien features a comprehensive article comparing (automatic translation) OpenStreetMap with Google Maps, but also with IGN (official data for France).
- Wetter.com is a widely known weather forecast service in Germany. The website switched to OSM recently.
- Gaël Musquet criticises (automatic translation) a report from the French government for describing free and share-alike licences using “contamination” as a derogatory medical term.
- User Kaxttillo became very interested (automatic translation) in the use of OSM maps in movies and television series and invites others to chime in. He does wonder how the attribution works for those cases, though, as there is no mention of OSM in the credits.
- Yuri Astrakhan announced the enhancement of the OSM Wiki by a Wikibase extension. Wikibase stores data from our OSM Wiki in a structured, machine-readable data repository similar to Wikidata. A good starting point to dive deeper into the topic is the OSM Wikibase site.
- Together with Ralph Straumann, Riccardo Klinger has programmed an OSM data importer called OSMquery for the ArcMAP and ArcGIS geoinformation systems. The toolbox serves as a front end for the Overpass API.
-  The GraphHopper project announced the release 0.11 of its routing engine. A major milestone is the open sourcing of the isochrone module. The isochrone API can calculate the reachable area based on limiting factors such as time, travel mode, and origin. Other improvements include the public transit module, the introduction of an open source navigation library and faster map matching.
- A new more mobile friendly version of the ATM search on geldautomaten-suche.org is now available .
- … the German initiative to create a Climate Protection map? It has instructions on how to map your local surroundings on OpenStreetMap.
- … the list of mapping accidents? It’s unlikely that no new ones have happened over the past five years.
- Xenius, a popular science TV show of the French-German ARTE channel, talked about maps creation. Frederik Ramm, Michael Reichert and Joachim Kast demonstrated how they surveyed and mapped a new housing development near Karlsruhe (download with English/Spanish subtitles).
- A London-based graphic designer has a collection of photographs which would be familiar to any avid OpenStreetMapper. Examples of his images of street nameplates are showcased in The Guardian.
- A Mapbox visualisation of Hurricane Florence has been used in a New York Times article.
- The first result published by Swiss Data Cube, a tool for organising earth observations data, is a visualisation of snow cover change in Switzerland.
- For the first time in history it is possible to view a high resolution terrain map of Antarctica.
- Brilliant has produced a video called “The Fake Neighbourhoods on Google Maps”. They don’t talk about trap streets in the video, it’s more about Google’s power to assign wrong names to neighbourhoods and how this often sticks.
- Potsdam is pioneering (automatic translation) self-driving trams. On the test rides there are no passengers and there is still a driver to take over when things go wrong.
04/09/2018-10/09/2018EU upload filters and ancillary copyright
- The proposal to reform the EU copyright was originally suggested by Günther Oettinger during his time was the EU Digital Commissioner (2014-2016). The EU’s controversial reform, may introduce upload filters and ancillary copyright. It also has only a very limited exception for text and data mining. A key hurdle was passed last Wednesday after the majority of members of the EU parliament voted in favour the proposal, with only slight modifications.Many online communities protested against the proposal in the hope that the EU Parliament would decline it again, as they did in July 2018. The concern is that the new law will require all parties in the EU to implement upload filters, i.e. censorship infrastructure and as such, it will become a big hurdle for projects with user-generated content like OSM or Wikipedia.Wikipedia visitors in many EU countries were met with a black banner, urging them to defend the internet, and some Wikipedia editions were shut down completely showing only a black protest message. OSM in Germany with its local chapter FOSSGIS participated in this protest by replacing every tenth tile with a protest message on a black background. The OSMF Board did not take a stance on the matter although there was and still is some noise on the OSMF mailing list.The new copyright law still needs parliamentary approval before it will become law. By passing the draft, the EU parliament opens negotiations with the European Council and the European Commission. If, as currently expected by the lawmakers, this version of the law will be approved by all three EU bodies, it could be ready for a final vote by the end of the year.
- Osmose now allows potential errors to be exported as KML files. You can import these files into apps, such as Maps.me, to assist in checking on the ground.
- The Osmose QA tool now includes a layer with traffic signs from Mapillary where the equivalent information is missing from OSM. At the moment, the layer is available in France, Brussels and parts of Germany.
- The question as to whether waterway=riverbank is an ‘old scheme’ and should be replaced by natural=water + water=river was discussed on the tagging mailing list.
- On the tagging mailing list, terraced buildings – rows of houses with shared walls – were discussed.
- Andrew Wiseman from Apple’s mapping team started a project to help improve the road networks of Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunesia and Uganda and he asks the local mappers on the respective countries’ mailing lists where to direct his team’s attention.
- Telenav created MapRoulette tasks for highways in OSM lacking a speed limit, but where data are available from image recognition processing of OpenStreetCam photos. So far the new Maproulette challenge is limited to Detroit.
- A reddit user asks whether tools exist that semi-automatically trace buildings from images. The answers included pointers to Microsoft’s buildings footprints, RoboSat from Mapbox and the JOSM plugins building tools, Lakewalker, Scanaerial, Tracer2 and mapathoner. However, you should make yourself familiar with the Automated Edits code of conduct.
- Harry Wood re-iterates Christoph Hormann’s call to double check multipolygons. As reported osm2pgsql is repairing fewer errors than it did before it was updated. Now errors are just rejected: leading to gaps on the map.
- The OsmAnd team launched a short survey, asking if you know about their in-built Travel Feature, which uses data from Wikimedia’s Wikivoyage project.
- OSM is becoming a multi-generational project. Florian Lohoff’s son, born when he joined OSM in 2008, has now also started contributing to OSM.
- A bicycle enthusiast from France created tutorial videos (automatic translation) explaining the many features of OsmAnd in French. English documentation can be found on the official website.
- We reported earlier about a quality analysis tool written by Pierre Béland and used to analyse 12 African cities. The tool has now been used to analyse 25 Tasking Manager tasks from August. Maps by each contributor allows rapid visualisation to detect those buildings that need to be revised as a matter of priority. Once again there is variability in the quality of building geometries and the number of topological errors. This analysis suggests we need better monitoring tools to follow up on the work done at mapathons by inexperienced mappers.
- Tigerfell wants to rewrite the Relation-Template for the wiki. He explains his motivation in a blog post and is inviting you to participate.
- A new server, named pyrene, was added to our tile rendering cluster. It is located in the OpenSystems Lab, based at Oregon State University, Corvallis (USA), and should reduce tile latency for North American users.
- The FOSS4G Belgium Conference will be held on October 25, 2018. The organiser, OSGeo.be, just announced the continuation of the annual conferences that started in 2015 and is calling for papers, maps and sponsors.
- The FOSS4G SotM Oceania, a joint conference of OSM and FOSS4G communities of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, will take place in Melbourne on November 20-23, 2018. The organisers are looking for open geospatial projects for the community day on the last day of the conference.
-  HOT announced the launch of Visualize Change, a tool that can create an embedded and downloadable visualisation of the changes in OSM over time. The tool was shown to the public at the recent FOSS4G.
- CartONG, a French NGO, is looking for (automatic translation) someone willing to apply for a civic service (automatic translation) position. Missions include planning and hosting mapathons, taking part in the operations at CartONG and raising the awareness of new audiences.
- Janet Chapman is organising a Global Mapathon from 28th to 30th of September 2018 to help end female genital mutilation (FGM).
- Luc Kpogbe from OSM Benin reports that they are mapping their northern border region and the city of Tanguieta. They are training young mappers and are able to provide them with smartphones thanks to a micro-grant from HOT.
- Marena Brinkhurst and Jinal Foflia, from Mapbox, together with Yves Barthelemy, of the Zanzibar Mapping Initiative, and Nuala Cowan, of Open Cities Africa, hosted a 2 day hackathon in Zanzibar following the FOSS4G event in Dar-Es-Salaam.This resulted in:
- tools for comparing imagery (2 islands of Zanzibar were flown over with drones to create fresh high resolution imagery)
- interacting with crowd-sourced data
- visualisations of school enrolment, urban development, and flood prone areas
- an interactive tour of cultural heritage sites in Zanzibar
- It looks like many users originating from Western countries have a problem with the “main map” on openstreetmap.org as they are only familiar with the Latin script (we reported earlier). Sven Geggus explained in detail how he copes with localisation in the German map style on openstreetmap.de. Specifically, he makes notes about proper tagging, what one should care about and which problems might arise. In addition, he presents a feasibility study in case OSM.org should one day be converted to vector tiles.
- The public transport app Mutti, for iOS, switches (automatic translation) from Apple Maps to OpenStreetMap.
- WeeklyOSM often receives links to papers about OSM in science journals that are unfortunately closed source and – except for the abstract – behind a paywall. The EU and some national research funders have announced a plan to make research papers free to read. The new policy will be implemented from 1 January 2020.
- The saga of non-open addresses in the UK continues. Owen Boswarva summarises the current position as the national Geospatial Commission gets up to speed.
- cartONG, a French NGO, prepared a comparison between the three commercial UAV post-treatment applications: Pix4D, ESRI’s Drone2Map and AgiSoft.
- Simon Poole has added a function to OSM that provides a file with a list of deleted user account UIDs. Most of those user accounts have been deleted as they were used exclusively for spamming. Pascal Neis’ tool How did you contribute is already making use of the list.
- Sabrina Marx, from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT), published a step by step tutorial in a Jupyter Notebook on analysing HOT Tasking Manager projects using the ohsome API.
- OSM user Glassmann documented his approach to generating a vector tile overlay for use in iD in his OSM diary.
- Wambacher’s OSM related software list has been updated. Most recent version changes were Komoot Android, Mapbox Nav SDK , Mapillary Android, Naviki Android, QMapShack and Vespucci.
- … JungleBus, an Android mobile app that makes it easy for beginners to collect bus stops all around the world.
- … OpenBeerMap, it allows the user to specify their favourite beer brand and then displays pubs offering it on a map. The question of whether the beer brands offered in pubs merit being added to OSM is more contentious though.
- … the Christmas map, where you can already start adding events like Christmas markets?
- Randy Meech (ex CEO of Mapzen) outlines, in a long twitter thread, the philosophy behind his new business, Street Cred labs, which is developing new approaches to capturing POI data. Of particular interest are his remarks about how the data may be licensed. TechCrunch has written a short article about the company.
- From time to time people use OSM to add fantasy locations. The medieval fantasy city generator might help people who are looking for a nice looking fantasy map.
- The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is looking for comments on the draft Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) Domain Working Group (DWG) Charter, that is intended to provide a forum for discussion and aims to ensure interoperability of OGC standards in AI applications.
- The Guardian reports that sheet 440 is the worst selling map in the OS Explorer series (1:25k), covering an area of over 800 square kilometres in the far north of Scotland with a population of less than 200, and ‘a few dozen’ buildings. The best selling map, of Snowdonia, is 180 times more popular. OS surveyor Dave Robertson also explains how new roads are mapped – not much different to how we do it in OSM.
- The city of Stuttgart allows OSM to use its aerial imagery, which has a ground resolution of 20 cm. This step was discussed with the local OSM community during the last local OSM meetup where the city representatives also asked what data could help OSM further.
- On the tagging mailing list Joseph Guillaume introduces his proposal for canal=qanat; these are underground channels for conveying groundwater.
- On talk-GB Microsoft asked for help with some unnamed roads that they have identified.
-  Nick Johnston wrote a blog post about mapping Britain’s paths in OpenStreetMap. He includes much background information on public rights of way paths, He got the data for the paths in his home region Gloucestershire from Rowmaps and surveyed using OsmAnd with the tracks in the bacground. Even if you have no intention to map paths in the UK, just the pictures of his beautiful home region make the article worth reading. He ends his article with the warning that you should not import the data straight away for a number of reasons.
- User MKnight has refined (automatic translation) the reservoir Lac de Petit-Saut in French Guiana in weeks of hard work. He also summarises the negative environmental consequences of the dam.
- OpenSnowMap.org’s maintainer yvecai has compiled up-to-date statistics about ski pistes in OSM. The combined length of all ski pistes in OSM exceeds 100 000 km!
- Land parcel data in OSM is mentioned in a study about the impact of spatial data on the development of slums in cities with rapid urbanisation. According to the report, OSM has not reached a consensus as to whether parcel-level data should be mapped due to concerns about data quality, validity, and maintainability. The same applies to metadata on parcel data. It also mentions that mapping parcel data is becoming more common.
- We recently wrote about Matthias Plennert’s article “The social construction of technological stasis: The stagnating data structure in OpenStreetMap” in the journal Big Data & Society. The article in general and one of the key points in the article, i.e. that hidden gatekeepers would be responsible for technological stagnation in OSM, caused some discussions. The author responded to the feedback in a special article.
- Noémie Lehuby, Florian Lainez, Flora Hayat and Jocelyn Jaubert have revamped the OSM France website. This was also discussed on the Talk-Fr mailing list. (automatic translation)
- MySociety, a UK-based non-profit organisation, providing technology, research and data to help people become active citizens, is looking for worldwide electoral boundaries. David Earl forwarded the query to the OSMF mailing list.
- A lot of text about Facebook and its contribution to OpenStreetMap has been written recently. LukeWalsh’s article provides a new perspective on it. He wrote about his experience during the college rotational program, when his placement was at the Facebook department, which makes OSM contributions.
- The Kosovo community now has a Kosovo-wide Telegram group. Recent topics include open data and the naming of things in an ethnically diverse country. All mappers from anywhere in any language are welcome.
- United States ambassador to Turkmenistan, Allan Mustard (OSM apm-wa) wrote two articles about his work on OSM, currently the best map of Turkmenistan available to the general public. As you can read in one article, being an ambassador has the advantage that you can use the head of the Motor Roads State Concern as a QA tool. In his second article he gave some insight into his tour to a southern Balkan Province in Turkmenistan where he updated road information and collected POIs, GPS traces, and Mapillary pictures.
- Andrew Harvey plans to import buildings in the Australian Capital Territory into OSM and started the required discussion on the import mailing list. The import would add over 60,000 buildings with over 500,000 nodes to OSM but does not include address data.
- The import of road network data is planned in Kerala, India, a region affected by severe flooding recently. The data was generated by Facebook making use of machine learning. The plan is to allow Facebook’s mapping team to do the initial import, after which the OSM-India community will validate the data. The local community requested Facebook’s assistance with this import. However, during the discussion it was highlighted that the import guideline was not followed exactly and some remarks were made.
- FOSS4G TOKAI 2018 (automatic translation) was held on Aug 24-25 in Tokai. The organising committee published the collected tweets of the event and published a video of the “core day” as well.
- Mapping events will be hosted during OSM Geography Awareness Week on Nov 11-17, 2018 in several places around the world.
- Michael Schultz from the GIScience Group at Heidelberg University invites participation in a validation mapathon on September 13 during EuroGEOSS in Geneva. The goal is to validate a forthcoming Landuse-Dataset that is being generated through fusion of OSMlanduse Data and Sentinel-2 Data using machine learning.
- The World Bank is funding the improvement of OpenStreetMap-Analytics (OSMA) with new functionality through the project Open Cities Africa and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). HOT reported at FOSS4G. The development, as well as the hosting of the project, is being carried out by the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT).
- Laurence Tratt complains on Twitter that he can’t really read anything on the “official” osm.org map in those countries where no Latin characters are used. Laurence knows about openstreetmap.de, but looks for a map listing names in English (Munich, not München – or Milano = Milan and not Mailand. )Sven Geggus maintainer of the German style and the localisation code used there (available from here), thinks that a change from osm.org is barely possible with the currently used technology. However, in his opinion, this issue should also be addressed as part of the switch to vector tiles. In principle, however, the operation of an English version of the localised map would not be a big problem. Sven already runs a server for his employer’s projects.
- OpenAndroMaps, a website for free Android vector maps, now provides additional information like peaks, capitals and ocean depths. The maker of OAM explains his motivation and gives some background information in a blog post.
- Daniel Koć, maintainer of OSM’s main map style on osm.org, has written a second article about his personal design principles for the OSM Carto map style. It discusses why the size of a feature is the primary property considered for showing some objects earlier than others. The article also has hints on how to choose a proper zoom level for starting to show them.
- Christoph Hormann addresses the possibilities of using patterns to mark different area types in his blog post “More on Pattern use in Maps”.
- The website wedemain.fr published (automatic translation) an article about how local authorities and administrations are using open-source alternatives to Google services. The recent change by the department Maine-et-Loire from Google Maps to OSM and other institutions mainly to Framasoft is discussed. The association Framasoft hosts many open source services, free of charge.
- Gadgets360 published an article about some companies that have based their business model on free access to Google Maps. The article examines the trouble they are now in and provides some information on alternatives, including OSM.
- etourisme.info recommends that Tourist Offices switch to OpenStreetMap and explains what other benefits this brings on top of the saved G-Maps fees. (automatic translation)
- An overview of important OSM apps for Mobile, classified according to purpose, was made for a mapathon event in Kinshasa.
- Fabian Kowatsch from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) published a first draft of the documentation of the ohsome API, which is a REST API for analysing the history of OSM data through the OSM History Analytics platform Ohsome.org.
- manoharuss gives a short introduction in his user diary on how to use OSMCha to find suspicious edits in OSM.
- Simon Poole announced the release of Vespucci 11.1 BETA. The newly implemented features include:
- improved preset handling
- lookup in taginfo now happens manually for the recently introduced “auto-presets”
- improved copy and paste of tags
- more minor changes.
- … the website autobahnkilometer.ch created by dktue? He has, according his announcement (automatic translation) in the forum, created this page to measure the current length of the OSM motorway network in Switzerland and to count the tagged motorway kilometres.
- … the site share.mapbbcode.org that allows you to easily create and share maps with custom markers and geometries? You can invite others to edit or view your map. The site also provides [map] bbcode that is supported by some forums.
- … the site mundraub.org? Originally used mainly in Germany, the user base of the site is expanding. The name “mundraub” means petty theft of food. The sites shares the location of plants, mainly fruit trees, that are freely available for harvesting by everyone.
- Our map was vandalised recently at a prominent location. As usual the offensive data was fixed after a very short time by volunteer OSM contributors. This time the data was corrected within two hours. Unfortunately Mapbox, whose maps are used by many companies including SnapChat, pulled the data for updating their maps during this two hour window. Hence the vandalism was visible to a very large audience and found a loud echo in the media with Techchrunch, BBC, Gizmodo, Buzzfeednews and many more reporting about it. In an official article OSM condemns this kind of vandalism.
- Melanie Froude has set up an online tool that allows mapping of landslides. Dave Petley wrote a blog post about the new tool, where he mentions it’s still experimental. It provides a global and regional view of deaths from landslides. Both Melanie and Dave are from the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. They also authored Global fatal landslide occurrence from 2004 to 2016.
- As Eric Wilson reported on Twitter, the Russell Senate Office Building in the US was renamed to John McCain Senate Office Building on Google Maps after McCain’s death. According to the Washington Post it is not clear yet by whom and why the entry was changed. The name was later reverted to its previous version.
- Agence France-Presse has published a map illustrating emergency medical care in France. All white areas are more than 30 minutes away from an emergency department.
- Frederik Ramm has published a code snippet on the dev mailing list, which he used to search for the way with the most relation memberships. The most curious and abstruse discoveries are mentioned in the follow-up messages.
- The question “How to tag an address that has no housenumber?” has been raised on the Talk mailing list. The ensuing thread is an object lesson in the difference between the theory of an address being a unique identifier and the reality out there.
- Jyri-Petteri Paloposki wrote on the Tagging mailing list that the tagging proposal for winter_service, that was originally developed by malenki, has been put up for voting.
- The deletion of trekking sites (legal wild camping) in the northern Black Forest had the unwanted side effect of triggering a discussion about keeping them secret on the German OSM forum (automatic translation). Normally you only get the specific location of the sites after making a reservation and paying a small fee. The idea behind this is to protect the sites from abuse and vandalism, which could eventually lead to their abolition.
- Displeasure about the quality of Facebook imports and their collaboration with the community grows. Two of the most active mappers in Thailand are about to throw in the towel and stop mapping.
- Printed hiking maps were previously often primarily published by state surveying authorities using their own, official, data. A hiking blog shares (automatic translation) their positive experience with a printed hiking map based on OSM which replaces the out-of-print map from the state survey.
- aHaSaN wrote a post in his user diary about the initiative of government institutions and civil society organisations in Bangladesh to use participatory OSM mapping for improving the capacity of communities in climate vulnerable areas as part of the LoGIC (Local Government Initiative for Climate Change) initiative.
- User gsa created a map which shows all mountain peaks with a special property. Standing on a summit and looking around horizontally, most of the time one observes a higher mountain. On some peaks, however, which he called “extremal” peaks, this is not the case: If you stand on the top, you are looking down on every surrounding point. The computation of these “extremal” points from the OSM “natural=peak” (and “natural=volcano”) data was performed with GNU Octave. The code is available on Gitlab.
- Christoph Hormann sees a need for OSM to have its own system for project organisation and related communication, task and issue tracking. He sees the widespread use of GitHub repositories to track a host of OSM-related activities, both by OSMF and related parties, as a clear signal that issue tracking is important within the OSM community. Because GitHub’s orientation is towards software development it can be an unfamiliar environment for many OSM contributors. In addition there may be issues of principle, due to GitHub’s commercial status, for others. He therefore suggests setting up our own self-hosted open source solution.
- Martijn van Exel has recently introduced a new tool called meet your mapper, which lets you find mappers in a particular area. Now he has improved the tool based on user feedback. The main change, described in his user diary, is the addition of rectangular bounding boxes to select an area. These supplement the previous use of OSM relations. Other new options include: an alternative Overpass API server and a local quantitative assessment of the mappers in the area, similar to Pascal Neis’ How Did You Contribute.
- Pierre Béland published a new blogpost on OpenDataDRC (an initiative from OSM-DRC and Potentiel 3.0) and he proposes quality indicators and map visualisations to identify irregular geometries and overlaps of buildings to help OSM communities assess and correct quality problems for their area.A sample from the 12 cities that have started participating in the Open Cities Africa project was used. He found out that on average 27.8% of buildings in the sample have an irregular geometry and 5.6% have overlaps or are an invalid polygon. However, there are important variations and some peaks with Pointe-Noire having over 24% of buildings with overlapping ways or invalid polygons and Victoria with more than 72% of all buildings with irregular, i.e. non-rectangular, form.Various explanations are proposed such as the lack of good imagery for the area, dense urban areas, mapathons with inexperienced contributors and low number of local contributors.
- The minutes of the OSMF board meeting on August 16 have been published. Topics included: introduction of mutli-annual or life membership categories; the “Microgrants” program currently under development; GDPR; and the activities of the Advisory Board.
- Paul Desgranges and others from the French community provide another perspective on the recent SotM 2018 conference. As well as reports on a selection of individual talks, the section “La tendance générale” looks at implications for the general direction of OSM. (automatic translation).The selection of talks available as videos on the YouTube channel have meanwhile been extended.
- luc_kpogbe wrote a diary post on how HOT microgrants have helped in mapping the northern regions of Benin, in order to have a better knowledge of the territory and be able to react effectively in the event of crises or epidemics, since these regions are still poorly mapped,F not only on OSM. Thanks to a microgrant, OSM in Benin was able to acquire smartphones for field data collection.
- Rebecca Firth wrote an article at the HOT website about her thoughts on inclusion at the SotM. As Rebecca laid out she felt a change in topics around inclusion, particularly gender, and explains the reasons for her positive impressions.
- Daniel Koć, one of the maintainers of OSM Carto Map Style, wrote a diary entry about his personal design principles of the map style. His intention is to start a series of articles to introduce the OSM community to general map rendering challenges using OSM data from the project maintainer’s point of view.
- Discostou36 suggests (automatic translation) in the German forum that a special map could be developed listing facilities relevant for families with small children. amilopowers realised the idea in the form of a uMap map.
- Neil Gunto, the maker behind crazyguyonabike, a website hosting bicycle touring journals, forums and other resources, wrote a comprehensive article about his switch to OSM. The recent Google Maps price hike led him to look for alternatives. In this article he explains in detail how and why he switched to Stadia Maps, OpenCage Geocoder and Leaflet. In his conclusion he wrote: This is an example of why switching to OSM is actually a Step Forward – it gives you far more control than you had with Google.
- The Belgian cadastre is now available as open data as Joost Schouppe reported on the Belgian mailing list. He notes there are some quality issues with the data.
- Maurizio Napolitano noticed the Community Data License Agreement from the Linux Foundation and asked on the Talk mailing list whether it was compatible with OSM. His interest was whether it would permit the import of whosonfirst data, which is released under that licence.
- Since Garmin removed their app Navigon from the market in May, the unrelated app Navigone from Sygic has appeared. Navigone is a renamed version of the OSM-based navigation app Be on Road.
- Kevin Kenny wrote on the Talk-US mailing list that he has been using the code Phil Gold and Richard Weait developed to render US highway shields for several years now. However, over years during which he used the code and made a number of changes, he became out of sync with the main development line. Since he considers the distinction among highway shields is really necessary for the map in the US, he has created a repository to share his code. Kevin is inviting anyone to help with his project.
- Christoph Hormann wrote a blog post about the rendering of ways on embankments. Unlike man_made=embankment, the additional tags embankment= and cutting= on highway or railway will not be rendered by the standard OSM Carto style. In his article he explains why this problem is more tricky than it appears and suggests a possible solution.
- A JOSM hotfix has been released to improve the robustness against a Debian/Ubuntu bug caused by the GNOME ATK wrapper. The new version also includes some minor improvements.
- Nominatim 3.2.0 has been released. GeoJSON and GeocodeJSON have been added as new output formats. The reverse geocoding algorithm has been rewritten to improve results in sparsely populated areas and when looking up administrative entities.
- … the robot that draws OSM data with a pen?
- … the website Visit Scotland, where you can plan your trip with OSM?
- Oliver Beattie complained on Twitter that he had to turn off his popular radius tool because of Google’s price increase. Soon after the first response suggests he starts using OSM.
- An article on Geospatial World describes how technologies such as remote sensing, GIS, and satellite imagery have played a crucial role in disaster management during and after the massive deluge in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
- The UK plans to start working on a satellite system to rival the EU’s Galileo, because, as a third party country, it will not have access to the more precise, non-public service of the Galileo system, after Brexit.