Monthly Archives: December 2011

Mappy Christmas!

…and thank you to all the generous donors who helped us reach our fund-raising target! Some time yesterday (just in time for Christmas!) the donation tracker hit 100% meaning we have successfully raised £15,000 to pay for a new database server. We’ve placed the order, and we’re expecting a big box to arrive some time in the first few days of January. So to all the people who gave us this awesome Christmas present, we say a heartfelt thank you.

(If you missed it, of course you can still donate at donate.openstreetmap.org)

And now let’s wish a very merry Christmas to all the people who have administered the servers, developed the software, translated the documentation, constructed the websites, built the mobile apps, to all the people who have used our maps in all their weird and wonderful forms, and an extra mappy Christmas to the thousands of people who have helped map the world in 2011!

Top Ten Tasks

Contribute to the OpenStreetMap developer community by getting involved in the Top Ten Tasks!

OpenStreetMap is huge, with an extensive and varied community. Our data is used in applications for specialty and general audiences, for devices common and rare. The infrastructure that we rely upon, as members of the OpenStreetMap community is continually improved in ways more- or less-visible and with more or less celebration.
As an example, we’ve improved our friends recently. This is a small, visible improvement in the OSM web site. You might just think, “Wow, how did we go so long without this function?” If you are logged into the web site, now you can view the recent changesets by the contributors that you have added as your friends.

http://openstreetmap.org/browse/friends

This new feature sprang from a discussion on the talk@ list two weeks ago. Toby Murray made the suggestion. Mikel Maron liked the idea so much that he wrote some code[1] and Tom Hughes refined Mikel’s patch then merged it into the rails port so that we can all use it.

There are many other ways, large and small, for developers to contribute to OpenStreetMap. The Engineering Working Group, has updated the Top Ten Tasks list with some eagerly anticipated projects. There are projects that involve Rails, javascript, flash, flex, python, django and others. If you have always wanted to dig into a substantial project, with other top-notch developers, these are the projects for you.

Photo ©R.Weait, used by permission.

Weekly OSM Summary #32

November 28th, 2011 – December 12th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap (OSM) world.

  • You can donate for the new OSM server! A list of all donators so far can be found here.
  • Since November 27th, 2011 the OSM project has more than half a million registered members and a few days later the 10 millionth changeset was created.
  • Last week a new set of e-mails has been sent to all users who did not agree to the new contributor terms yet (No. 5 in the LWG minutes). You can follow the development by checking the statistics after December 7th here.
  • You can find the current status of a user’s agreement to the new contributor terms at each user’s OSM page now. For example: http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Firefishy
  • The Strategic Working Group is collecting suggestions/comments from the OSM community about the future direction of the project. You can find it in the wiki.
  • Help the OSM Foundation to communicate with more Mapppers in their native language.
  • The call for venues for the next State of the Map conference 2012 is open now.
  • The Weekly OSM Summary is now also available in Spanish, gracias Chile!
  • A FLOSS manual about OpenStreetMap – A really nice overview about OSM, Mapping tools and other important things.
  • A „3D Dev weekend“ for developers of OSM 3D is planned for March 2012. You can find some more information here.
  • Two attorneys in the USA have been asked whether the OSM map data falls under copyright or not. Read more here.
  • The OpenLinkMap is back online. Find out more about it here.
  • With ShareMap you can create your own map and present it in several formats like SVG, bitmap raster or interactive web map. Try it out here.
  • A nice animation about the edits in Prizren (Kosovo) made by geocommons.
  • Konstantin Käfer created a tiled version of Gregor Aisch’s map “Streets of Berlin” inspired by Fathom’s “All Streets” map.

Did we miss something? You can contact us via weekly.osm@googlemail.com

Authors: Pascal & Dennis – (thx @ “Wochennotiz”)

Languages and OpenStreetMap Foundation

Photo by R. Steven Rainwater

In March 2011 the Communication Working Group tried to make the OSMF accessible to more people by posting in more languages. As a test we added German and French to the OSMF Blog. We’re still working on improving this by making each article available. But this experiment is already a success based on the feedback that we are getting from you.

It has been successful because of the volunteers who add the translations. Thanks go to Daniel Begin and Michael Schulze for helping us reach out to more mappers in French and German.

Shortly we’ll add Russian translations as well thanks to Eugene Usvitsky. Our web statistics tell us that Russian speakers are the next-most-frequent visitors to the OSMF site. The OSMF wants to reach out in other languages as well. Would you like to help? The workload is irregular and you can work from home. :-) If you are interested, contact the Communication Working Group at communication@osmfoundation.org

We will consider adding translations to the site for any language except perhaps Klingon; we’re undecided on Klingon. If you can help with some of the languages that are more-frequently used in OpenStreetMap, please let us know.

If you would like to test us out first, and see how you like working with the Working Groups on a smaller, temporary project, the License Working Group has a small translation project that you can help with right now. Contact legal@osmfoundation.org if you would like to help with Czech, Chinese, Swedish, Finnish, Japanese, Hungarian, Romanian, Norwegian, Slovakian, Greek, Korean, Turkish or Croatian.

Klingon photo by R. Steven Rainwater on Flickr is licensed CC-By-SA

Improving OpenStreetMap reliability and performance

macro photo of pound coins

OpenStreetMap is growing fast. We’ve recently welcomed our 500,000th signed up user, and we’ve logged our 10.000.000 th update to the map. Over the next few weeks we’re running a fund-raising drive while we invest in server infrastructure to improve reliability and performance of OpenStreetMap. If you’d like to support the project in this way, or you know anybody else who would like to give OSMers an early Christmas present, visit our fund raising site:

http://donate.openstreetmap.org/server2011

You have the option to include your name on the donors list. We’re aiming to raise £15,000 (~ 23,000 U.S. dollars). Let’s see how quickly we hit the target!

We wanted to run another fund raising drive, because last time we had a big one was back in 2009 (old blog post) and we were blown away by how quickly we raised the target amount. It seemed as though people were looking for an outlet for their generosity and goodwill towards the project. Since we’re planning to buy a new server, now seems like a good time to do it again.

The Operations Working Group, which has the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, plans to invest in a new server. This will provide us with a database replica. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means we’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements. We have a wiki page with more technical details and plans for the new hardware.

We hope you’ll agree that, although these improvements are very much behind-the-scenes, they are important. Please give generously to help make them happen!

Photo credit: Pound coins by William Warby CC-By-SA

Funding drive – Improving OSM reliability and performance

Pound Coins
Pound Coins photo by William Warby CC-BY-2.0


OpenStreetMap is growing fast. We’ve recently welcomed our 500,000th signed up user, and we’ve logged our 10.000.000 th update to the map. Over the next few weeks we’re running a fund-raising drive while we invest in server infrastructure to improve reliability and performance of OpenStreetMap. If you’d like to support the project in this way, or you know anybody else who would like to give OSMers an early Christmas present, visit our fund raising site:

donate.openstreetmap.org/server2011

You have the option to include your name on the donors list. We’re aiming to raise £15,000 (~ 23,000 U.S. dollars).  Let’s see how quickly we hit the target!

We wanted to run another fund raising drive, because last time we had a big one was back in 2009 (old blog post) and we were blown away by how quickly we raised the target amount. It seemed as though people were looking for an outlet for their generosity and goodwill towards the project. Since we’re planning to buy a new server, now seems like a good time to do it again.

The Operations Working Group, which has the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, plans to invest in a new server. This will provide us with a database replica. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means we’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements.  We have a wiki page with more technical details and plans for the new hardware.

We hope you’ll agree that, although these improvements are very much behind-the-scenes, they are important. Please give generously to help make them happen!