Monthly Archives: February 2014

Weekly OSM Summary #89

February 10th, 2014 – February 24th, 2014
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

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

OpenStreetMap tags and taginfo

OpenStreetMap data includes “tags”, name=value pairs which provide a free-form folksonomy approach to classifying features. To get started mapping you don’t need to know about these. With a our easy to use “edit” interface, you can simply select from a range of feature types. For example if you select “post box”, then a node will be created with the “amenity=post_box” tag set on it.Selecting Post Box in the id ditor

But as you learn to contribute data, and certainly if you try to use OpenStreetMap data, you’ll most likely need to understand tags. To help you do this, there are a number of resources available.

You can search the OpenStreetMap wiki for tag documentation such as the Tag:amenity=post_box page. This documentation is created by the community, but rather than regarding this as the final word, understand that these wiki pages form part of a process to reach agreement on tags. You and everyone else in the community can help edit those pages to ensure the documentation is more exhaustive and more accurately reflecting the tags used by the mapping community.

But for a more direct view how tags are used by the mapping community, we have taginfo. This system counts up the ocurrances of tags in the OpenStreetMap database, and presents these statistics to give us a feel for which tags are most popular, and how many of these features we have mapped. For example, just now we see the amenity=post_box tag appears 153581 times in our database!

taginfo post box screenshot

taginfo also mines the wiki for information, finds icons used in JOSM, provides links to Overpass Turbo, XAPI, and JOSM launcher, and generally brings information about tags together to connect different sources and users.

This system was developed by Jochen Topf several years ago, but building on similar ideas such as TagWatch and TagStat which came before it. These days taginfo is a crucial tool for understanding tags, and yesterday it was rehosted on OpenStreetMap Foundation servers with various changes described by Jochen on his blog

Weekly OSM Summary #88

January 27th, 2014 – February 10th, 2014
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

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

OpenStreetMap Enhances User Privacy

Today, OpenStreetMap has enabled encryption (SSL) to all of the website, thereby enhancing the privacy of its users.

You can now browse the site at (note the ‘https’). This means your browsing activity is secure from snooping.

OpenStreetMap stands with the Open Rights Group and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in asserting greater Internet freedom, including the right to individual privacy. With this action providing the highest quality Free/Open Data Geographic resource to everyone.

We are proud to roll this out on the same day as the “Day We Fight Back” campaign.

Other aspects of privacy around OpenStreetMap are discussed on this wiki page.

Commercial OSM Users: Show your Support – Join the OSMF!

Since the Foundation’s last Annual General Meeting in September 2013, the Foundation has been open to corporate members. Corporate members have the same rights as normal members with the exception that they don’t have a vote at Annual General Meetings. We’re planning to create a package of benefits for corporate members (such as being prominently listed on the OSM web page). The details still need hammering out, but in any case, the main reason why anyone becomes a member of the OSMF is that they want to support the project, not for what they get in return.

You can now be among the first who publicly show their support for the OpenStreetMap project by signing up as a corporate OSMF member. The membership fee is £1,000 per year (at current rates, that’s €1,200 and US$1,650). Your membership fees will help to keep OpenStreetMap’s servers running and ensure the continued success of the project.

Read More / Join Now

…and if you want, leave a comment here to tell us that you’ve joined.

20 million edits

In January 2014, OpenStreetMap saw its 20 millionth edit.osm-20million-edit

User:cosmicpop registered to edit OpenStreetMap just recently, and made a little fix to the map of his local neighbourhood. These things happen thousands of times every day, and with enough people mapping in their local area, we’re building a free and open map of the world!

But this time was special. This was the 20 millionth edit saved to OpenStreetMap. To celebrate, we decided to get in touch, and present this contributor with a prize. Here is cosmicpop with his new OpenStreetMap hi-vis jacket!

“Wow, I’m not the superstitious type, but this is the first time I’ve ever edited on OpenStreetMap, while in my other browser tabs I was looking for a hi-vis jacket to wear while cycling which I have recently taken up. Maybe I should do the lottery this weekend.” – Cosmicpop

Cosmicpop tells us he had been thinking about contributing to OpenStreetMap for a while now, and decided it was time to fix a one-way restriction which was missing from all maps. Friends visiting him were often surprised by the one-way not being marked on their satnavs. Well now it’s correct on OpenStreetMap – a great local improvement by a new user for our 20 millionth “changeset”!

Changesets? Edits?

When you’re editing OpenStreetMap you can add new map elements or modify existing ones. Your changes – be it one or a hundred – are sent to OpenStreetMap when you click “save”. Simple!

When you do this, you write a little message describing your change, and this is recorded, together with your edits, as a “changeset”. We just hit 20 million of these bundles of changes, some big, some small.

You can view your own changesets from your OpenStreetMap profile page, or view the latest changesets from all users. For a more spectacular global view of changesets as they happen, check out live OSM edits, and “show me the way“.

More stats

Of course changesets are not the only stats we track. OpenStreetMap also has…

2.17+ billion Nodes in database
214+ million Ways in database
3.78+ billion GPS points in database
1.5+ million registered users
Check out the stats page for more.

Weekly OSM Summary #87

January 13th, 2014 – January 27th, 2014
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

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