Monthly Archives: August 2013

Weekly OSM Summary #75

July 29th, 2013 – August 12th, 2013
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

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

iD In-Browser Editor Now Default on OpenStreetMap

The State of the Map 2013 venue in the new iD editor

The State of the Map 2013 venue in the new iD editor

If you click the edit button today on OpenStreetMap, you will find a new, easier to use in-browser editor.

With OpenStreetMap rapidly becoming the go-to map for thousands of mobile apps and websites, more and more users are seeking an easy way to add their local knowledge to the map – without the technical background of OpenStreetMap’s early adopters. The new all open source web editor, named iD, was launched last May as an additional option to make the editing experience much easier for first-time mappers.

Since then, the iD developers have worked hard to close feature gaps and improve performance such that it can now take its place as the default editor for iD offers a walk-through tutorial for first-time users, inline documentation for tags, and a more comprehensive help system than previous in-browser editors.

Potlatch, the existing online editor, continues to be developed for intermediate-level users and will remain as an option in the edit dropdown. For a full list of available editors, take a look at our wiki. You can configure your personal default  in your user settings.

Head over to and give the new editor a spin.

Two weeks until State Of The Map 2013

Just two weeks to go until “The State Of The Map“, the official annual conference of the OpenStreetMap project. If you haven’t been to one of these before, you’ve been missing out!

The State Of The Map conference offers something for everyone, with multiple streams of presentations, workshops and space for lively discussion on anything and everything to do with OpenStreetMap. It’s a joyful coming together of our friendly community, but also a serious period of concentrated discussion and idea sharing, and a promotional opportunity for your map-making and money-making endeavours. Whether you consider yourself a mapper, a cartographer, a developer, a GIS industry representative, a humanitarian, whether you like your maps on an iPhone, an Android, a Garmin, or a piece of paper, you’ll be in good company at State Of The Map!


The schedule of presentations and sessions is being finalised now. There will be the oppportunity to do a “lightning talk” at the conference (Just signup at the conference). Additionally there is the opportunity to display an A1 sized poster during the conference. It will even be printed for you, if you get the design to us within the next week. Get in touch about posters if this is of interest.

State Of The Map would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Here’s the sponsors we have so far:


These organisations recognise the value of OpenStreetMap and choose to support it in this way because they are at the forefront of their industries, working with new mapping technologies. If you would like to see your company among them, there’s still time. Please get in touch.

See you in two weeks!

Skobbler Throws Support Behind New OpenStreetMap Infrastructure

Skobbler has pledged €5,000 to help fund improvements and new additions to the infrastructure powering OpenStreetMap. As part of the summer OpenStreetMap Infrastructure Funding Drive, this donation will help the Operations Working group add an additional core server to improve redundancy, add additional routing and tile servers, and extend the hardware contingency fund that kicks in when repairs are needed. The full spec on what infrastructure will be covered in the funding drive is here


Skobbler has made significant investments into OpenStreetMap this year, sponsoring the upcoming State Of The Map conference as well as the SOTM U.S. and SOTM Baltics local conferences. OpenStreetMap is a fundamental piece of Skobbler’s work – they use OpenStreetMap data to power location-based apps and services for mobile devices. You can read more about their work and see the apps they’ve built using OpenStreetMap.

A big thank you to Skobbler for helping improve OpenStreetMap’s infrastructure! The infrastructure funding drive is wrapping up this week, so it’s your last chance to pitch in to this fund-raising effort. Help us scale our infrastructure to support our rapidly growing map and users. Donate here

2013 Articles of Association Update

At the upcoming Foundation annual general meeting we will be voting on a new set of articles. The articles are essentially the constitution of the organisation and should lay down the law for how we operate.

Why are we revising the articles this year?

It is not uncommon that over time rules imposed by an organisation’s articles start to be at odds with reality, in the case of the OSMF there have even been issues from the beginning. Given that OSM and with it the foundation have become far more visible and important, we can no longer afford to simply ignore the differences that exist between what is prescribed and what is our day to day practice.

The process that has lead to these new proposed articles has been 2-3 years in the making, and not all of the change requests that accumulated over this period have found their way in to this new text. For this reason we expect more changes at the 2014 general meeting. Further, some of the goals we had for the current changes have not been 100% met due to legal restraints. None the less I would strongly recommend that the general meeting accept the new articles, they are far better than what we currently have.

While I cannot relieve you from the task of actually reading the new legal language, I do want to point out the major changes to the current set of documents.

The new text makes a structural change in that it merges our previous two constitutional documents, the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association. We have not made any substantial changes to the objects of the foundation even though in discussion it has been suggested that we make them more specific to the OpenStreetMap project. On top of the merger the whole document has been reformatted and numbered to be in line with the requirements of the new 2006 companies act.

The main issue with the current articles is that they assume that all our members are members according to the UK companies act, this requires us to collect full names and postal addresses from all members and make them available to third parties on request. While there are ways to get around publishing the address, we still consider it problematic from a data privacy point of view that we cannot offer an alternative. The new proposal adds a “associate member” class that sidesteps the above issue.

Our original goal was to afford “associate members” exactly the same rights as normal members. This turned out to not be possible with respect to resolutions and special resolutions at the general meetings which remain reserved for the companies act members. In practical terms this means that the “associate members” will not be able to vote on changes of the articles and dissolution of the organisation, and a handful of other topics. The “associate members” will however be able to elect the board and vote on motions at the AGM. You remain free to choose between regular and associate membership. After adoption of the new articles we will be contacting all existing members for instructions with respect to their membership class.

The proposed text allows us to use electronic means for our correspondence with the members and does away with the need to be physically present at the general meeting location. It still assumes that we are using a conventional proxy assignment for our e-mail voting, we are exploring alternatives to this for the next revision.

During the public discussion early this year I touched on the issue of including an asset lock in the articles, there wasn’t very much feedback on the topic and for that reason we are postponing adding such text to the next revision.

The board was evenly split on the matter of voting corporate membership. As this tends to be a hotly debated topic in our membership too, we have decided that we split the vote on the articles in to a vote on the new text and a vote on a set of amendments that add voting rights for corporate “associate members”.

As the last important point, the current articles did not detail how a member could lose membership either by not paying the membership fees or by being expelled by the board. The new articles try to lay down a reasonable set of rules for this,  in line with our current practice.

Again, while not perfect and with some remaining warts, the new articles are a big step forward. The board and myself strongly recommend accepting them at our upcoming meeting in Birmingham.

Simon Poole

NOTICE 7th Annual General Meeting

(Also posted to the osmf-announce members mailing list)

To all members of OpenStreetMap Foundation,

This is the formal announcement of this year’s Annual General Meeting.

The official full text is this PDF (which, for legal reasons, has to contain the full wording of the new AoA).

The 2013 AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the OpenStreetMap Foundation will take place at the State Of The Map 2013 conference, Aston Business School, Aston Street, Birmingham B4 7ET (map) on Saturday 07th September 2013 at 17:00 BST.

The agenda can viewed here

The new Articles of Association can be viewed here

Details about the OSMF board election are here

Information about proxy voting (email voting) will be posted here in due

On behalf of the Board, I am looking forward to meeting you at our
Annual General Meeting.

Frederik Ramm
OpenStreetMap Foundation

New tile rendering and CartoCSS stylesheet

The default “standard” map was switched across to a new rendering server setup over the last weekend.

In addition to new hardware, the rendering server also uses the new “openstreetmap-carto” stylesheet. This is a complete re-write of the old XML stylesheet to use CartoCSS, making it easier for our cartographers to work with. The style is designed to look as similar as possible to the old XML stylesheet.

Andy Allan presented a great talk at State of the Map US conference describing the reasons for re-writing the stylesheet: Putting the Carto into OpenStreetMap Cartography

Andy Allan Stylesheets

Andy will present a follow-up at State of the Map next month.

The “openstreetmap-carto” stylesheet is maintained on github

“openstreetmap-carto” is a good base for creating custom styles, and should be much easier to work with. If you want to help improve the style, or add new features, please fork it and contribute pull requests!

Please support OSM’s server hardware fundraising drive

Weekly OSM Summary #74

July 15th, 2013 – July 29th, 2013
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

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