Monthly Archives: December 2013

Seasons Greetings

Seasons greetings to all OpenStreetMap contributors!

OpenStreetMappy Xmas Biscuits

…and I hope you all had an OpenStreetMappy Christmas.

I know I did. On Christmas day I managed to use OpenStreetMap for our family Christmas walk, and contributed a bit more data (More on that here)

What other Christmassy map happenings have happened?

How was your OpenStreetMappy Christmas?

OpenStreetMap infrastructure donation – Bluehost

Thanks to generous donations and active local community members, the OpenStreetMap distributed tile delivery infrastructure continues to grow.

Two tile servers, nadder-01 and nadder-02, have been added to the OpenStreetMap tile cache network.  Based in Provo, Utah, USA, these servers provide tiles to the Americas.

Map tiles are delivered to users based on their GeoDNS location. The OpenStreetMap Foundation seeks additional distributed tile servers. If you would like to donate a tile server and hosting, please see the Tile CDN requirements page on the wiki.

tile serving geodns map

We would like to thank the BOSS team (Bluehost Open Source Solutions) and especially Jared Smith at for this generous donation to OpenStreetMap infrastructure.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to providing geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project. You can support OpenStreetMap by donating to the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

Disability Mapping with OpenStreetMap

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

We’re gathering map data related to disabilities within OpenStreetMap, and because the map is openly editable, you can help!

Edit the map of your neighbourhood to add details on wheelchair accessibility, and the presence of things like tactile paving for blind people. Details of the world which we may not imagine to be important, can be very useful things when presented on a map to help people with a variety of disabilities. We have OpenStreetMap “tags” for them all, from gluten-free food outlets, to more simple things like steps and toilets. It’s a lot of detail, but with thousands of people all mapping their own neighbourhoods we can map the world for disabled people.

A number of projects are delivering very interesting custom map applications, of a kind which would only be possible with free open access to raw geo-data: provides a great interface into wheelchair accessibility data, presenting a traffic-light colour coding of accessibility, and inviting you to help categorise more map features in this way.


Researchers at the University of Heidelberg have produced a prototype wheelchair routing service. This German language only service is available at The routing for wheelchairs takes into consideration maximum slope angle, the type of surface (e.g. cobbles vs asphalt) and the height of kerbs; all this information can be mapped and added to OpenStreetMap.

In France mappers conducted an extensive detailed mapping of accessibility features for railway stations, with funding from the french national railway company SNCF as part of their initiative to support open data. A talk by Christian Quest at our annual State of the Map (SOTM) conference, gives more details.

Also at the SOTM conference we had a talk about Haptomai, one of several experiments looking at supplying maps to blind people. Check out our OSM for the blind wiki page for links to other projects, and details of the kind of map contributions which can help.

Many of these projects are in the early stages of development, and welcoming new contributions to develop the ideas further. OpenStreetMap can offer a wealth of detailed data feeding into these innovations, but only in the neighbourhoods where this data has been added. So on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, there’s lots of interesting ways to help with OpenStreetMap!