Monthly Archives: September 2017

Join the OpenStreetMap Foundation now and help shape the future of the project

Raise your hand if you like OpenStreetMap.

Now, raise your hand if you’re an OpenStreetMap Foundation member.

If you care enough to edit day in day out, travel to a State of the Map conference, write up your thoughts on a diary entry, teach someone to map — then you should join up to support OSMF and help shape the future of the project.

You’ll have an official voice in the governance of the Foundation — the organization which owns and maintains the servers, holds the license, runs the State of the Map, coordinates local chapters. As OSM grows, the influence of OSMF will rise in the future. Anyone whose heart beats for OSM should get involved in OSMF to safeguard the huge time investment they make as a mapper.

We’re running a membership drive from now until November 11. If you aren’t a Member, sign up now. You can help by liking, retweeting, or spreading the word about the Membership Drive to friends or at local events/conferences.

Would you like to join but currently there is no suitable money transfer facility? A membership fee waiver policy will be implemented soon – stay tuned!

You can also contribute by joining the Membership Working Group or sharing with it your ideas about expanding the membership.

Join the Foundation – the future of the project should be shaped by the people who care about it the most.

DWG survey on organised editing

The Data Working Group is conducting a survey as part of its work on a policy covering paid mapping.

When OpenStreetMap started, it was largely a project of hobbyists contributing to OSM in their spare time. They chose freely what to map and which tools to use, and they took individual responsibility for their contributions.

The continuing growth and popularity of OSM have also brought more and more organised mapping efforts, mostly in the form of companies setting up paid data teams to improve OSM data in specific regions or for specific use cases, but also unpaid groups like school classes that are directed to work on OSM.

These organised mapping efforts are an integral part of today’s OSM contribution landscape and, when done well, help make OSM better and more widely known.

In order to ensure good communication, and a level playing field, between individual community members and organised editing groups, the OSMF Data Working Group has been tasked with developing guidelines for organised groups. These guidelines will above all set out some transparency requirements for organised groups – things that are already voluntarily followed by most groups today, like informing the mapping community about which accounts edit for the team.

We have prepared the following survey with a few questions about such a policy to give us a better understanding of what the mapping community expects from such a policy. The survey is aimed at everyone editing (or planning to edit) in OSM, whether as individual mappers or as part of a team, and your answers will help us in fleshing out a draft policy.

Within the scope of the survey, and the policy to be written, we define paid mapping (or paid editing) as any editing in OSM performed by someone who is told by a third party what to map (and potentially also how to map it) and who receives money in exchange. We define other organised mapping (or editing) as any editing that is also steered by a third party, but where no money is paid.

The survey is available at

The OSMF Data Working Group

Recap of Google Summer of Code 2017

With this year’s Google Summer of Code’s recent successful completion, we thought it would be a good idea to recap and shine a spotlight on the individual projects. It’s the 10th year we were participating with success, so thanks to Google for supporting us again, and thanks to the Engineering Working Group for managing our participation this year!

The Google Summer of Code is a program run by Google to match student developers to open source projects. Students may apply to any of the participating projects, based on their preferences or relevant experience. The students that get selected receive a stipend (paid by Google) to spend one summer working on their project, gaining valuable experience while contributing code to real-world projects.

This year, we had five student projects with a really great student developer for each of them and all of them passed, i.e. they all finished their project plan in time. Additionally, there were two OSM-related projects outside of the OSMF umbrella: Indoor Support for Marble based on OSM and a plugin API to display OSM data on NASA Web WorldWind. But we had a bit of bad luck as well: Google gave us the opportunity to select even more students and, while we had applications from two more great students lined up, they didn’t start their project with us due to reasons not within our control.

Anyway, as not everyone was following the students’ work, we thought we should share the outcome of this year’s summer of code with you.

OpenGL Renderer for libosmscout

Let’s start with the first project, which is part of libosmscout, a C++ library for offline map rendering, routing and location lookup. What libosmscout doesn’t have right now is a render path based on OpenGL.

Tim Teulings, the mentor for this project, shared with us that he was very happy to see Fanny work on that task as none of the existing project members had time or the respective know-how, but it was still a highly requested feature. So they felt very lucky to have a great student like Fanny to work on it. What’s more, she even said that she’s keen on continuing to work with that project.

Her part of the library with a small demo application can be viewed on Github and all of her work was continuously merged.

© OpenStreetMap contributors

As you can see, her renderer works quite well and produces beautiful maps. The objective was to support areas, ways, labels and ground to be rendered correctly. In addition to that, the code now supports most of the styling options and works on Linux, as well as on Windows. You can read more about the work and the results on her user diary.

We hope Fanny will stick to her plan to continue to work on libosmscout and stay a part of our great OSM community!

3D Model Repository

The next project we’d like to present to you is the 3D model repository by Pedro (also known as n42k). The project idea has been around for a while, but in the past we either didn’t have a good student or failed to get enough project slots. This year was different and we finally got both!

Eiffel Tower Model by joe89v (source)

The task itself is easy to explain: “We want a website that allows uploading 3D models to use for OSM”. But still, there were a lot of decisions to make: The site is now intended for all kinds of models, unlike previous efforts targeted only at buildings. It will initially focus on OBJ as a file format, and will provide unique IDs that can be easily linked in OSM. To make sure that the models fit the needs of the various applications in the OSM ecosystem, developers from two 3D renderers (OSM2World and OSMBuildings) mentored the project together.

Pedro published some of his work in his diary and his highly appreciated code can be viewed at Gitlab. Currently, the mentors are in the process of checking with the OSMF’s Licensing Working Group and others to deal with some details like hosting, branding and some “legal issues” (e.g. with regard to the geocoding guideline), but we’re expecting to see the site go live later this year.

Enhancing JOSM pt_assistant

Another project we want to talk about is the enhancement of the PT Assistant Plugin for JOSM by Giacomo Servadei. While the plugin name suggests this is all about public transport, the scope of this project grew to include hiking and bicycle routes as well.

Besides the extension of scope, Giacomo worked hard to extend the plugin and make it even more useful. For example, it now allows you to sort stops according to the sequence of the ways in the route relations, and it helps you with splitting roundabouts while keeping the route relations that pass over it. But it also has a better check for problems and now reports and suggests fixes, for example gaps of a single way or routes that don’t start or end neatly on a stop_position node near to a corresponding platform node.

You can read about Giacomo’s main results and his detailed timeline in the wiki. It also includes direct links to the dedicated tickets and associated patches. All of his work got merged and you can easly activate his plugin and test the outcome for yourself.

In addition to that, Polyglot, who was Giacomo’s mentor for this project, has written some diary posts about it.

Web-based Public Transport Editor

Dkocich worked on a similar project, but this time it wasn’t about a JOSM plugin. Instead, the goal was to create a website to edit public transport relations without the need to start a full blown editor.

While the editor is not merged yet, this will probably happen soon. Before the finished version of the editor is published by his main mentor Ilya, you can already have a look at his great work and test his version of the OSM Public Transport Editor. You can also have a look at his code on his Github project.

JOSM Refactoring

The next project in this list is all about JOSM’s core code. This project was mentored by Michael Zangl, a former student who had participated in GSoC the two previous years, working on different JOSM tasks – an experience that had allowed him to gain a very deep understanding of JOSM’s core. This year’s project started out as an effort to refactor the menu bar to have a proper API to use, but the project’s goals got extended and modified a bit during the summer.

Bogdans worked hard to dive into JOSM’s codebase and familiarize himself with JOSM. You can have a look at his work on his wiki user page, which also contains a list of tickets he worked on and patches he wrote which got merged.

Much of his work is “under the hood”, so unless you’re contributing to JOSM development or plugins yourself, you probably won’t easily notice most of the improvements while working with JOSM. Still, there are some visible updates: Bogdans added the option to search based on presets, and also merged the “Download” and “Download from Overpass API” actions into a single dialog box. Furthermore, there’s a Wizard that helps mappers with constructing Overpass queries now, much like the one known from Overpass turbo.

Again, you can read more about his work on Polyglot’s diary, since he served as a co-mentor.


This was a great Google Summer of Code again and we’re very happy that we were able to participate. We want to use the opportunity to thank all the students for their work and we’re hopeful that you as a user will benefit from one of them as well. In addition to that, we’d also like to thank the mentors for spending their spare time to help the students finish their tasks and the EWG for doing the administration of this year’s GSoC.

After the conclusion of this year’s GSoC, we performed a small survey among our mentors to gather feedback, and even though some of them had to invest considerable hours in it, they unanimously responded that it was worth their time and that OSM should participate again next year. So we conclude by tasking the EWG to apply again next year!

State of the Map Asia 2017: From Creation to Use of OpenStreetMap Data

We invite you to join State of the Map Asia 2017 on September 23-24 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

State of the Map Asia (SotM-Asia) is the annual regional conference of OpenStreetMap organized by OSM communities in Asia. The first SotM-Asia was organized in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015, and the second was organized in Manila, Philippines in 2016.

This year’s conference, the third in the series, is going to be organized on September 23 – 24, 2017, at Park Village Resort, Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu – an oasis of tranquil greenery in the midst of Nepal’s crowded urban Kathmandu.

The event aims to bring together around 200 OpenStreetMap enthusiasts from Asia and beyond. The event will provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience among mappers; expand their network; and generate ideas to expand the map coverage of the Asian continent. The theme we have chosen for this year’s meeting is ‘from creation to use’ of OSM data. This theme has been chosen as in the last decade there has been significant growth in the amount of data generated, however Asia still lags behind several other continents in terms of making use of this data. We believe that this decade will see a dramatic growth in the geospatial sector and in the ways people will utilize OSM data. Furthermore, this event will deepen the bond and enhance collaboration among the scattered OSM communities of the largest continent.

You can refer to for more details and updates.


The conference will feature remote keynote address from Kate Chapman (Chairperson of OpenStreetMap Foundation), and keynote speeches from Dr. Lee Schwartz (Geographer of the United States of America) and Prof. Taichi Furuhashi (professor at Aoyamagakuin University and President of CrisisMappers Japan).

We are proud to announce that one of the major highlights of this year’s State of the Map Asia will be 15 country presentations, representing all regions of Asia (Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, South-Eastern and Western). The conference will also feature presentations ranging from Creation to Use of OpenStreetMap Data and several parallel sessions featuring speakers working in diverse fields such as disaster, governance, entrepreneurship and fine arts. Finally, a special government panel, featuring high level government officials from Southern Asia, will discuss creation and use of OSM data and how government is working to officially recognize OSM data as a source of service delivery.


Kathmandu Living Labs, this year’s conference hosts, has been able to secure full scholarships for more than twenty OSM Asia community members and an additional five partial scholarships.

The conference is free to attend for all OSM community members, and registrations can be made using this form. Park Village Resort, the conference hotel, has provided discounted conference rates for participants. Conference rates apply only for registrations made through this form.

Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Nepal. Dashain -Nepal’s most celebrated festival- also falls during this time and we encourage all people to participate in the festivities after the workshop.

We are looking forward to see you in Kathmandu on September 23-24, 2017!

The organizers of SotM-Asia 2017