Monthly Archives: January 2011

Project of the Week: Toilets

Where can you go when you need to go? The Project of the Week is to
add public toilets to the map.

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other
mappers. What is it about contributing to OpenStreetMap that
interests you? Postboxes? Bowing alleys? Share your OpenStreetMap
interests by contributing a Project of the Month.

Book photo by Paul Downey
is licensed CC-By

Weekly OSM Summary #7

12/23/2010 – 01/10/2011

Every week a lot of things are happening in the OpenStreetMap (OSM) world. It can be hard to keep track of all the different communication channels and don’t miss any important news. That’s why we’ve created a short summary of all the news here. Enjoy!

  • The Call for Papers for the State of the Map conference 2011 in Denver has started.
  • The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is asking for help to trace the Ivory Coast.
  • The Call for Papers for the SOTM-EU in Vienna has started too. SOTM-EU is also on Twitter as @sotmeu and the hashtag is #sotmeu.
  • Oliver publishes two new videos of his interview series with OSMF board members: Mikel Maron and Henk Hoff
  • OpenStreetBugs is now reachable with the short URL (via Wiki).
  • User:Bitsteller is creating isometric 3D maps from OSM data.
  • TriMet, which provides public transportation in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area, is using OSM data for their OpenTripPlaner. More projects are planed.
  • Klokan Přidals is working on a 3D globe rendered in a web browser using HTML5 Canvas with WebGL and OSM data. Here’s a demo video.
  • New WheelChairMap for Switzerland. More information in the wiki.
  • User:frink has created a speed camera map.
  • User:Gary68 has released a now perl module: “ is a module (in extension to to transfer data extracted from an osm file into a mysql database. It also provides functions to access this data.”
  • Jochen Topf has released Osmium, “a C++ framework for working with OSM data files. Osmium will parse OSM files (XMLor PBF) and call back into handlers for each object (node, way, relation) it encounters along the way.” Osmium is also available on Github.
  • A new version of the Bing Imagery Analyzers is online. The new release includes bug fixes and a transparency slider. Also: “The underlying tile.php now also supports TMS-type requests for easy integration with OpenLayers.”
  • OSM is going to have a booth at the FOSDEM (The Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting) in Brussels, Belgium on 5 and 6 of February, 2011. Mappers are invited to help to run the booth (Wiki).
  • FacilMap is an OpenLayers-based slippy map that aims to combine useful geographical information, renderings and tools of different projects into one reusable and extendable map (Wiki).
  • The new Maps Beta on now also includes OSM maps (MapQuest, Mapnik and OpenCycleMap).
  • Maperitive Build 1094 was released by Igor Brejc. One of the new things: “generate-tiles command now has the ability to detect whether tile contents have changed since the last run (using tile fingerprinting). This way only the actually modified tiles can be uploaded to an FTP server, saving you a lot of time and bandwidth.”
  • Merkaator 0.17.0 was released. New features include a Bing Maps plugin, French Cadastre plugin, GDAL raster background support and printing.
  • OSMTrack, an iPhone app designed specifically for contributing to OSM, was released as version 3.0 a while ago featuring offline vector map, multitasking, iPad support, etc (Wiki).

For more news, especially regarding new tags and wiki pages, you can check-out the community-updates over here.

Authors: PascalJonas, Brice & Dennis.
We missed something? You want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue? 
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.


skobbler introduces A state-of-the-art bug solution

There is a huge gap between passive and active OSM users. In most regions, the map is maintained by a small number of users. Not everyone who intends to improve the map is capable of doing so. OpenStreetMap editors require a learning curve, as editing a map is not intuitive.


However, there seems to be a much broader willingness to improve the map through the feedback channel. The GPS turn-by-turn navigation skobbler receives up to 1.000 suggestions for improvement per day. We have seized this suggestion and extended the skobbler feedback channel to an independent bug tool for the OpenStreetMap community: – a state-of the art bug tool.


Bugs can be accessed through the Geo-RSS feed and the MapDust JOSM plug-in

The integration of the feedback channel has significantly simplified providing bug reports for the consumer. The number of incoming suggestions was overwhelming, even if not all of the reports have been helpful or relevant. To date, the feedback channel has been focused on the consumer, and that this why many of the bug reports “got stuck in the channel”.

We are now working on the other – the mapper’s part – to create a Geo-RSS feed and a JOSM plug-in to distribute the bug reports to the location where they can be processed.


Why create a new tool if similar solutions exist?

We have seen that OpenStreetMap editors are very advanced. However, the tools for consumers to provide input have been neglected. Great editors like JOSM and Potlatch (2) exist as well as tools like the OSM Inspector. We want to provide a system where more input and contributions are received from people who only contribute on an occasional basis.

Filter allows a selective approach towards bug types

We simply wanted to increase the number of contributions by designing a slick and lean user interface. We see enormous potential to improve the map in many different aspects such as bus stops and house numbers.

We have received comments that the skobbler feedback channel contained bugs that are only very selectively relevant. Therefore, with the integration of filters, one can hide bugs that are not of interest.


The Geo-RSS feed

You can submit suggestions and change requests for a specific region by selecting the desired map view, setting the filters and pressing the “subscribe RSS feed” button.


Once subscribed, you are provided all new bugs that match the selected region and filters. Each feed post contains a small map view and the corresponding data as well as links to open the bugs directly in the JOSM or Potlatch editors.


The wish list

Most of the MapDust features have been documented in the Wiki. We have also included a section entitled “wish list”. If there is anything you would like to see changed or added, please add your request to the wish list.

We wish you a happy 2011 and happy bug fixing!

Your skobbler Team

Project of the Week: Police station

When you need to find a police station, you need to find it Right Now!
The Project of the Week is to map your local police station.

This is the first Project of the Week for 2011. Last week we
announced the first Project of the Month for January 2011, mapping

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other
mappers. What is it about contributing to OpenStreetMap that
interests you? Postboxes? Bowing alleys? Share your OpenStreetMap
interests by contributing a Project of the Week.

Police station photo by Elliot Brown
is licensed CC-By

Image of the Week: OpenPisteMap


Snowsports maps from with contours and hillshading.
Hitting the slopes this winter? Check out WikiProject Piste Maps

This is a Featured image, which means that it has been identified as
one of the best examples of OpenStreetMap mapping, or that it provides
a useful illustration of the OpenStreetMap project.

If you know another image of similar quality, you can nominate it at

Call for Papers! State of the Map 2011

It’s that time of year again! Get those creative juices flowing, the organizing committee for the annual international conference officially announce the 2011 call for papers. This year there are exciting and engaging new themes like Mapping without borders, Real apps for real maps, and Next Gen. Be sure the check out the guidelines here.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation invite contributions from mappers, academics, geo-hackers and open geodata supporters around the world. If you are involved in OpenStreetMap mapping, coding or community organisation – or if you want the chance to present your ideas or opinions to the OpenStreetMap community, you should submit a paper to the State of the Map 2011!

Deadline for submission is March 15, 2011, but don’t delay! We try to fit in all papers, but with so many wonderful topics, we only have time for the best. Be sure to get yours in early.