Author Archives: Dorothea

About Dorothea

Posting mostly in a Communication Working Group capacity (and often with text written collaboratively among CWG and others).

Switching to OpenStreetMap!

More and more people and organisations are considering switching to the OpenStreetMap platform for displaying and processing geographic data. There are various reasons why one might like to switch:

Why switch

OpenStreetMap provides open geodata freely to all

Our licence says that you can always copy and modify our data for free.
Your obligations are:

  • Attribution. You must credit OpenStreetMap with the same prominence that would be expected if you were using a commercial provider.
  • Share-Alike. When you use any adapted version of OSM’s map data, or produced works derived from it, you must also offer that adapted data under the ODbL.
    See OSM’s copyright guidelines.

You can make the maps that suit you

With OpenStreetMap, you’re in control. Turning the data into rendered maps can be done any way you like. Want to emphasise cycle routes and play down motorways? No problem (Most other maps don’t even have cycle routes). Want to label subway stops but ignore bus stops? Easy.

Rich, accurate, up-to-date map data

  • Rich: OpenStreetMap might have “street” in the name, but we do much more. Natural features, bus routes, footpaths and cycleways, administrative boundaries, shops, rivers and canals, benches… you name it. See some of our map features (there are more than those listed).
  • Up-to-date: Data on www.openstreetmap.org is constantly updated, and you can get those updates every day, every hour or even every minute if you want.

All this is contributed by our volunteers (over 1,000,000 contributors so far, and growing every day) – the people who really know about their area.

It’s easier than you think

There’s no limit to what you can do with OpenStreetMap. Yet it needn’t take long to get started. You can switch to OSM in under an hour using tools like the easy Leaflet API. Head over to switch2osm.org to find out what possibilities there are.

I want to use OpenStreetMap data

Sure. Read on at using OpenStreetMap.

Can I deploy my own slippy map?

Yes. A slippy map shows map tiles on your web page by using JavaScript code. Please read deploying your own slippy map. Apart from raster tiles there is also the possibility to display a map with vector tiles.

Any advice on using OSM tiles?

Apart from very limited testing purposes, you should not use the tiles supplied by OpenStreetMap.org itself (Tile usage policy). OpenStreetMap is a volunteer-run non-profit body and cannot supply tiles for large-scale commercial use. Rather, you should generate your own tiles or use a third party provider that makes tiles from OSM data.

Docker image

People that would like to self-host may also consider using a docker image (example).

I would like to use the OSM editing API or Nominatim

Please read our

What is considered heavy usage?

If your usage is in any way mission critical for you, you should consider hosting yourself (or paying someone to host for you).

I would like to ask some questions

Sure, go ahead!

  • There is a Q&A platform where your questions might have been already asked and answered. Feel free to ask new ones.
  • We have a forum where there is a dedicated Development subforum.
  • There is a developer mailing list.
  • If you need to reach our Operations Working Group, please note that they are all volunteers and very busy.

I have switched to OSM!

Welcome to our community!

  • We would love if you spread the word about your switch (#switch2osm) on your favourite social media.
  • You can add new OSM-based map services to this list (not for personal websites but map services).

I would like to help!

Great! There are various ways you can help the project.

 

Sources: switch2osm.org wiki.openstreetmap.org osmuk.org/pinned/reduce-costs-switch-openstreetmap

Let’s meet at FOSS4G+SotM Argentina 2017!

Are you living in Argentina or visiting in October?

Mark the following days on your calendar: 23-28th of October 2017!

The OpenStreetMap and FOSS4G communities will meet at a combined event in Buenos Aires, for six days full of geomatics workshops, presentations, exhibitions and interactions, ending on Saturday, October 28th, with a mapathon and hackathon day!

Are you interested? Read the detailed program.

The conference will take place at the National Geographic Institute in Buenos Aires, where many OpenStreetMap related events are hosted.

The Argentinian OSM community is very lively and you can get a glimpse of it at this recent interview on the OpenCage data blog.

You can follow the conference news on the various social media (see the image above) and the related hashtag is #foss4gAR.

Let’s meet in Argentina!

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 https://osm-dwg.limequery.org/741554

The OSMF Data Working Group

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 http://stateofthemap.asia for more details and updates.

Features

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.

Participation

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

Tips for new (Pokémon Go) mappers

Some tips for our new mappers coming from Pokémon Go:

So, you want to find rare spawns and came to edit OpenStreetMap? Welcome to our community of people passionate about collaboratively building the best map ever!
Please,

  • do improve the map!
  • do map things that exist on the ground. The map is used by pedestrians, people with disabilities, cyclists, hikers, canoeists, drivers and others. Do not add things -such as footways- that do not exist
  • do add things you see (i.e. benches, cafes, fire hydrants, bicycle parking spots) or things you know (if your favorite cafe offers free wifi, the type of cuisine of the nearby diner, accessibility, opening hours, official websites, wikipedia links)
  • want to add footways? Check what is considered as a footway: highway=footway tag docs. Want to add other features? Have a look at map features and search the wiki
  • do connect your footways with the road network
  • tagging secondary institutions? Use amenity=school. Tagging universities? Use amenity=university
  • do you still have questions? Ask away at help.openstreetmap.org
  • do connect with the community! Find your country’s forum, mailing list/twitter account or other contact channel
  • do not add copyrighted data from other maps/sources
  • do find other mappers that improve your neighborhood/city e.g. with the oooc map (you need to have contributed a bit before your nickname is shown)
  • do check your own stats after you have contributed a bit! e.g. here
  • do check existing events
  • do mention “pokemon” in your changeset comments and a few words about what you added/changed. That will help your neighbor mappers to check the changes you make and maybe provide tips
  • do contribute your GPS traces, especially if you live in a rural area
  • do check the good practice guidelines for more tips

You and over three million of other contributors make OpenStreetMap possible. Welcome to our community – be excellent to each other and enjoy mapping our pale blue dot!

Pokémon Go?

We’ve recently seen a flurry of new map editing activity from “Pokémon Go” players. Although this hugely popular mobile game displays maps from google maps (in fun colours), it seems it may be using OpenStreetMap data (according to some players) to influence “spawn points” within the game.

This is interesting for several reasons. We always like to see creative and unexpected uses of our free and open map data, and this certainly fits into that category! (Note: our open license does require crediting OpenStreetMap)

There is some new interest in editing the map from Pokémon Go players, presumably because the game is found to be bringing in updates when changes are made to OpenStreetMap. It always takes new folks some time to get to know OpenStreetMap, and we hope Pokémon Go players will stick around to contribute some more. We’ve prepared the above guidelines to help understand some aspects of OpenStreetMap related to the game.

OpenStreetMap is a world-wide collaborative project aiming at providing free map data, under an open license, to anyone who wants it. Volunteers all over the planet contribute their local knowledge and their time to build the best map ever.
You can contribute by improving the map, editing or translating the wiki, becoming a member of the volunteer Working Groups, increasing awareness about the project, uploading GPS traces, donating (donate.openstreetmap.org) or joining the OSM Foundation. You don’t have to be a member of the Foundation in order to edit OpenStreetMap.