Earlier today news surfaced of various online maps displaying an anti-semitic term instead of the label “New York”. Unfortunately we have to confirm that this data originated with our editable map project. This vandalism was detected and fixed within 2 hours, and the vandal was blocked from contributing further to OpenStreetMap.
On behalf of our organisation and community, OpenStreetMap condemns this kind of antisemitic hate speech without hesitation. We are disappointed that our project, which is devoted to sharing knowledge, was turned into a vehicle for the expression of ignorance, and hate. How did it happen?
Part of the “Open” of OpenStreetMap, is being openly editable. It is a wiki-style, crowd sourced, collaboration in which users all around the world can contribute and make edits. As with wikis, like Wikipedia, all changes are published immediately, and we put tools into the hands of our community to monitor each other’s changes and revert vandalism. This “soft security” approach may sound surprising, but over the years we’ve found, as something of a triumph of human nature, that the vast majority of editors want to come together to help build something great, and these massively outnumber the few bad apples. OpenStreetMap is a not-for-profit good cause, and the map data is “owned by” the community. On the whole people tend to have respect for that.
In fact this vandalism happened a month ago, but delayed processing of data updates by some companies downstream, in this case Mapbox, which presents our maps to thousands of apps and websites –means that this vandalism was seen quite widely today. Mapbox has posted their response to the incident here. There is on-going work within the OpenStreetMap community to develop better quality assurance tools, to detect and deal with this sort of issue faster. Mapbox has been spearheading these initiatives both in terms of developing vandalism detection software, and committing staff toward the efforts of monitoring and reverting bad edits. Unfortunately human error in their processing pipeline led to this incident in OSM-based maps that Mapbox provides to companies like Snapchat.
If you see vandalism on our map, you can help. Read more about vandalism here. We will continue to work with our community and data consumers to make our map even stronger.
OpenStreetMap is 14 today! We’ve been partying in various locations around the world: Hyderbad, New Delhi, Moscow, Kigoma, Rapperswil, London, Washington DC, Denver, and Seattle.
Celebrations in London
Celebrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after a mapathon
If you missed the birthday party, don’t worry. Our community is lively with events happening all the time. You can see some of them listed on the current events list here, or find out more generally what’s happening in your country/city on the wiki.
Cake in Washington DC
The true “Birthday” of OpenStreetMap is lost in the sands of time. Observance of the anniversary of the creation of OpenStreetMap is held on or about the anniversary of the registration of the OpenStreetMap.org domain name (9th August). This year 12th August seemed like a suitable Sunday!
With over a million people making OpenStreetMap edits, and around 5000 people making edits on any particular day, it’s hard to imagine a time when all of this hadn’t even got started yet, But that time was 14 years ago, in the summer of 2004. We’ve come a long way since then. Wherever you are in the world, join us in saying “Happy Birthday OpenStreetMap!”
The OpenStreetMap Awards were held for the 3rd time on 30th of July at the State of the Map conference. Beforehand nominations were provided and shortlisted by community voting, and at the closing session of the conference, the community came together and applauded all the nominees as the winners were revealed (Video of this session)
Ilya Zverev presenting the OSM awards © CC-BY-SA 4.0 OSMF Communication Working Group
There were nine nominations in each of the nine categories. Find out more about each of them on the awards site and on the wiki. All nominees are very deserving of awards, but here are this year’s winners:
- The Core Systems Award went to Sarah Hoffmann who leads the development of nominatim, the open source search tool.
- The Innovation Award went to Wikimedia Foundation Collaboration Team who have developed an impressive mapping stack for the Wikimedia projects, including features like the map internationalization.
- The Influential Writing Award went to Christoph Hormann who has been examining many mapping style choices, enlightening us on satellite imagery processing and generally sharing his opinion on mailing lists and the blog.
- The Greatness in Mapping Award went to Tshedy The work of Tshedy (Mats’eliso Thobei) is well known in the OSM Community. She is popularly known as “Lesotho Mapping Queen”. She is an avid writer, trainer, and mapper.
- The Expanding the Community Award went to Christine Karch. Christine who is a part of the State of the Map Working group has contributed in expanding both the developer and the general OSM Community worldwide through hack weekends and other events.
- The Improving the Latin America Award went to Natalia da Silveira Arruda, a professor at the University of Antioquia (UdeA) who runs a Youthmappers chapter at the University in the city of Cartagena de Indias/ Colombia. So far this has trained >200 students.
- The Improving the Africa Award went to Crowd2Map Tanzania, a volunteer-run mapping project that unites over 2000 remote mappers worldwide with over 600 community mappers on the ground in Tanzania. Since 2015, they have mapped schools, hospitals, roads, buildings and villages across rural Tanzania.
- The Improving the Asia Award went to State of the Map Asia 2017 organizing team who successfully brought 200 open mapping enthusiasts from Asia and beyond to this conference held in Nepal.
- The Ulf Möller Memorial Award went to Richard Fairhurst. He is a longstanding shining light of the OpenStreetMap community, and developer of key software such as the Potlach editor, an entry point to OpenStreetMap for many.
We congratulate all the award winners and everyone else whose hours and hours of contribution have made OpenStreetMap the map it is! Finally thanks to Ilya Zverev for his hard work in running the awards, and thanks to all those who nominated and voted. Please continue the good work, and prepare to nominate each other for the next year’s awards!
With over 420 attendees from 54 different countries, the OpenStreetMap community came together in Milan, Italy, for another fantastic annual State Of The Map conference at the weekend. Thank you to everyone who made it to Milan.
…and of course a big thank you to the organising team for putting so much work into making the conference the huge success it was. The SOTM organizing committee is composed of the international organisers: Benoit Fournier, Christine Karch, Gregory Marler, Mikel Maron, Rob Nickerson, & Michael Reichert and the local team in Italy: Alessandro Palmas, Alessandro Saretta, Francesca Ussani, Marco Minghini, Maria Antonia Brovelli, Maurizio Napolitano & Michael Montani, and a wider team of volunteers who joined in to help the event run smoothly. Thank you all!
Some of the local SotM volunteers and organisers on stage at the closing session
Videos are already available in unedited form, for the two main conference rooms across the three days:
Finally thanks to the conference sponsors:
bing, facebook, mapbox, Telenav, immobiliare.it
Garmin, Kaart, mapillary, maps.me, OSMAnd
There’s lots to talk about from the conference, including several other announcements which will be coming soon here!