Monthly Archives: December 2014


The Latin America OpenStreetMap community was created recently and we decided to organize collective projects on subjects that are common to many countries of our continent. Our first project is Mapazonia.

mapazoniaThe Amazon rainforest includes territory belonging to nine different nations and there are a lot of environmental institutions and governments that need better geospatial data to do their work in that region. Furthermore it’s always good to have quality data in case of a natural disaster or other humanitarian issues. In Brazil there aren’t many editors in this northern region, so there are a lot of towns without any data and some roads to trace.

The Amazon is huge, it has 5 million and a half square kilometres. So initially we are defining some prioritary areas to map in Tasking Manager. There is already one activity in Brazil and another in Bolivia. The main aim is to improve the tracing of the rivers and the road coverage.

Soon we will have more areas in others countries. If you want, you can work in others areas of the Amazon. Put the hashtag #mapazonia in your changeset comments, so we can see your edits in this map.

Visit the site:, follow the twitter account @mapazonia and enjoy mapping the Amazon!

Happy Christmas from OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMappy Christmas Card

Happy Christmas from OpenStreetMap to all of our contributors.

This sentence doesn’t actually make sense when I think about it. It’s a familiar kind of sentence you might see on a company website, but OpenStreetMap is a project. A collaboration. A map, a database and a community. It’s not a company. I sometimes describe it as a “nebulous internet collective”. OpenStreetMap is all of our contributors. So when we say a Happy Christmas from OpenStreetMap, we are all wishing ourselves a Happy Christmas. Maybe it does make sense. I think I can speak for all OpenStreetMappers in wishing each other a Happy Christmas.

We’re all working together on this project to create an open licensed map of the world, and whether you’ve met other mappers or not, whether you’ve engaged in community discussions or not, you have added your contributions and slotted your piece into the jigsaw of this mighty collaborative endeavour. Please turn to the OpenStreetMapper on your left and wish them Happy Christmas! (Or seasons greetings, happy holidays, happy winter festival… whatever fits)

And a Happy Christmas to all those who are using OpenStreetMap. All those who have seen maps embedded on a website, downloaded maps to their mobile apps, or printed maps out on paper. We hope you enjoyed OpenStreetMap, and of course there’s an easy way to give us a Christmas present in return: Get involved!

New query feature

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned a brand new feature on the homepage. On the right hand side we have a new “?” button which lets you query the map.

  • On, zoom in somewhere
  • Click the “?” button to enter query mode
  • Click the map on something you are interested in
  • Hover over the results, and choose one to find out more


When you query a spot on the map, this new tool will retrieve nearby points of interest from the OpenStreetMap database, and let you quickly drill down to all of the detailed tagging information we have in that database.

More than a map

This new tool helps highlight a crucial point about OpenStreetMap. It’s so much more than just a visual map. OpenStreetMap is a rich database of geo-located information, only some of which is visible on the “standard” view of the map. Other information is visible via different layers (such as cycle routes presented on the cycling layer) and all of the data can be viewed by enabling the “map data” layer (also on the layer picker panel) but this query tool offers a new window into the OpenStreetMap data, and a new way to discover all the details our contributors are adding to the database.

For developers this data opens up a world of possibilities. All the data is available to download for free.