OpenStreetMap has a map display, and more importantly a database of raw map data, and more importantly than that a community of map contributors! All of these things require servers. Big computer systems crunching lots of data and handling lots of internet traffic. This is the realm of the “Operations Working Group“, who make the decisions and take the actions that keep these servers ticking, and keep OpenStreetMap (the map, the database, and the community) up and running.
Difficult technical work which only a few people are directly involved in. But today Andy Allan blogged about how they’re working on getting more people involved in the Operations Working Group.
The OpenStreetMap project is nearly 12 years old, and we’ve been very lucky to have a small team of talented volunteer system administrators doing a fantastic job over that time, spending donated money wisely and meeting some huge scaling challenges for the core infrastructure.
“There’s a pride in keeping OpenStreetMap humming along and not causing too much of a fuss”
But increasingly OWG have been quietly enhancing their server configuration management approaches. All code/configuration scripts are maintained openly in github, and recently the team are looking to make this easier to test, so more people can feel confident in proposing improvements to the server set-up.
“The goal is to allow future developers to improve each cookbook using only their own laptops”
You can donate to the OpenStreetMap foundation, which will help fund our servers. But you can also get involved in improving the server set-up, and it’s gradually getting easier to be more directly involved. If you can help, read Andy Allan’s blog post to learn more. Thanks to Andy and the rest of the Operations Working Group for all their hard work.