Author Archives: HarryWood

About HarryWood

Posting mostly in a Communication Working Group capacity (and often with text written collaboratively among CWG and others) About me on the OSM wiki

New imagery for Australia

Grant has done some work to make new imagery available for Australia. It’s grayscale imagery for all of Australia at 2.5 metre resolution.

AGRI imagery zoomed out

Read more about this on the talk-au mailing list, and load the imagery into your editor as follows:

JOSM tms url: tms:{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png (or just pick it from the ‘available default entries’)

Potlatch background url (Background > Edit> Add):$z/$x/$y.png (It will be added to Potlatch imagery default in a few days.)

Contact and Remap

A message from Michael Collinson and the Licensing Working Group

“Hi everyone,

We ask OSM mappers to check their local mapping areas, try and contact anyone who has not decided about re-licensing and then do as much remapping as you can. Please do this in good faith and not just copy things created by contributors who have declined or undecided! You can use information contributed by continuing mappers, resources like Bing imagery and your own knowledge. If you are mapping in Poland or the Czech Republic, please also note that we are aware of special issues that makes this difficult for you right now.

We would like to switch over licenses in two months time. In order to do that, un-relicensable data has to be removed from the active database, though it will remain in publicly available archives. The latest indications are that 1.9% of ways will likely not survive the license change and a further 0.6% may have to be reverted back to an earlier state.

We would like to decrease that still further.

Your mapping area may be much worse or much better. You can use the license change view on OSMinspector and zoom into your area (Information on this tool). You can then click on Potlatch or JOSM icons to find out more and to do remapping. More info

We ask that you look at your areas and contact undecided mappers via the OpenStreetMap messaging system or directly if you know them. So that they do not get bothered too many times, please log who you contacted on this wiki page

This page also has example messages in different languages. Ask undecided mappers to please log into their account and accept even if they no longer wish to continue mapping as their previous contribution is important to you. Contact from someone mapping in the same area is very useful.”


The text of this posting can also be found at Remapping/Contact And Remap Campaign. Please feel to simplify it to help non-native English speakers and to translate it into other languages.

Original mailing list post

Tokyo host for SoTM 2012

The SoTM organizing committee have just announced the winning bid for the 2012 International conference for OpenStreetMap. This year we’re going to…

Tokyo, Japan!

Tokyo by Night

‘Tokyo by Night’ photo CC-BY-2.0 user JeHu68 on flickr

The annual event will be held September 6th-8th 2012.

From the blog:

There were five proposals to host the leading international OpenStreetMap conference: Aveiro (Portugal), Havana (Cuba), Lille (France), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Tokyo (Japan). “We’ve received several strong bids. Deciding on the best location for State of the Map is always one of our biggest and toughest decisions.” says Henk Hoff, chairman of the SotM organizing committee. With the crisis Japan had to face the past year, the Japanese OSM has grown intensively; making Asia an important part within the OSM community.

We strongly believe that holding State of the Map in Asia will widen and strenghten the international community as a whole, like it has done in Europe and North America in the past” commented Tiachi Furuhashi of OpenStreetMap Japan.

2012 will host the sixth annual international conference, attracting over 250 people in attendance. Previous editions of this conference were held in Manchester (UK), Limerick (Ireland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Girona (Spain), Denver (USA). Sponsorship details, volunteer opportunities and more information will be available in the near future.

Mappy Christmas!

…and thank you to all the generous donors who helped us reach our fund-raising target! Some time yesterday (just in time for Christmas!) the donation tracker hit 100% meaning we have successfully raised £15,000 to pay for a new database server. We’ve placed the order, and we’re expecting a big box to arrive some time in the first few days of January. So to all the people who gave us this awesome Christmas present, we say a heartfelt thank you.

(If you missed it, of course you can still donate at

And now let’s wish a very merry Christmas to all the people who have administered the servers, developed the software, translated the documentation, constructed the websites, built the mobile apps, to all the people who have used our maps in all their weird and wonderful forms, and an extra mappy Christmas to the thousands of people who have helped map the world in 2011!

Funding drive – Improving OSM reliability and performance

Pound Coins
Pound Coins photo by William Warby CC-BY-2.0

OpenStreetMap is growing fast. We’ve recently welcomed our 500,000th signed up user, and we’ve logged our 10.000.000 th update to the map. Over the next few weeks we’re running a fund-raising drive while we invest in server infrastructure to improve reliability and performance of OpenStreetMap. If you’d like to support the project in this way, or you know anybody else who would like to give OSMers an early Christmas present, visit our fund raising site:

You have the option to include your name on the donors list. We’re aiming to raise £15,000 (~ 23,000 U.S. dollars).  Let’s see how quickly we hit the target!

We wanted to run another fund raising drive, because last time we had a big one was back in 2009 (old blog post) and we were blown away by how quickly we raised the target amount. It seemed as though people were looking for an outlet for their generosity and goodwill towards the project. Since we’re planning to buy a new server, now seems like a good time to do it again.

The Operations Working Group, which has the important role of keeping core OSM services running smoothly, plans to invest in a new server. This will provide us with a database replica. This improvement is at the very core of the OpenStreetMap infrastructure, giving services greater resilience. It means we’ll bounce back quicker and easier in the event of a hardware failure. In time the new server will also bring about some performance improvements.  We have a wiki page with more technical details and plans for the new hardware.

We hope you’ll agree that, although these improvements are very much behind-the-scenes, they are important. Please give generously to help make them happen!

Engineering Working Group + Hack Weekend

cc-by2.0 Patrick Hoesly on flickr

Back in August we announced the formation of the Engineering Working Group, tasked with trying to attract more developers by lowering barriers to entry. Since then we’ve seen some good technical coding work and other achievements in and around the activities of this group:

  • OpenStreetMap is now rolling with rails version 3, thanks largely to the hard-working Tom Hughes. Besides deploying it, and ironing out a few nasty problems with sessions, he did the work of porting the code over. The website and API code needed to take account of differences and new features of rails 3, particularly the use of AREL for database querying.
  • Kai Krueger has packaged this rails code, and also Mapnik and mod_tile, into an unbuntu PPA. This packaging system offers a very simple way to install these tools (and keep them up to date) on ubuntu/debian . We’re currently testing this, and hope it’ll make it much easier for developers to hack on the code for
  • Working with Mike Migurski we have a more attractive, and more helpful page sitting at, the OpenStreetMap data downloads site. Mike, and stamen design, are also now providing “metro extracts” – more manageable (smaller) files for OpenStreetMap data, one city at a time.

In addition to these, the Engineering Working Group has dived head first into the big tasks of improving technical documentation, and tidying up the bug tracker.

Clearly these are things which would happen anyway within the OpenStreetMap developer community, and the achievements are down to the hard work of individual people. But the Engineering Working Group lends a little structure, and provides a forum for taking a step back and looking at these kinds of meta-development. Development which helps development!

You can find out more about the Engineering Working Group on the OSMF site, and anyone is welcome to join in their discussions, which take place every Monday on IRC (details)

London Hack Weekend – 26th, 27th

Perhaps you’d prefer to join in face-to-face? Come along to a “hack weekend”! EWG is also involved in this, and trying to get more developer events happening, in more locations. For the moment though we have one coming up at the end of the week…

See the London Hack Weekend details on the wiki (and sign up there)

Previous hack weekend at the same venue (MapQuest offices)

“An OpenStreetMap ‘hack weekend’ is a meet-up where we bring along laptops to an office space and spend the weekend doing some technical work to improve OpenStreetMap. This may be development of the “core” components, the editors, or any other side projects and pet projects we fancy hacking on. OpenStreetMap has development tasks sprouting from it in all directions. There’s work to do in almost any programming language, as well as tasks like documentation, and even some non-technical graphics design and translation tasks.

We mostly take a fairly unstructured free-form format. People turn up and start beavering away on something, or they turn up and see what they can help with. However we can also run more structured workshops if there is demand”

Whether you can make it to a hack weekend or not, we are always looking for more technical people to help with improving OpenStreetMap.

ODbL permission granted logoThe Licensing Working Group has obtained explicit special permission to incorporate geographic datasets from in the OpenStreetMap project database published under any free and open license, including ODbL, provided that…
a) we provide primary attribution in a reasonable manner (currently the Attribution wiki page), and…
b) that we explicitly list there each dataset used to give useful feedback within the Australian government on how folks are using open data.

We have been careful to point out that (under ODbL) we are not asking folks who make visual maps from OpenStreetMap to provide secondary attribution to each and every contributor, so would not be in compliance with the CC-BY Australia 2.5 and 3.0 license their data is normally provided under. They have raised no objection to this.

The LWG would like to publicly thank both for providing open geographic data and for providing this permission.

(Message on the talk-au mailing list from Grant Slater of the License Working Group)

New Board Members

Final votes were cast today at the Foundation AGM, and the results are in. Congratulations to our new board members:

Richard Fairhurst, Matt Amos, and Dermot McNally

Mikel Maron was also re-elected onto the board.

[Update] : The votes tallied up as follows: 98 votes for Richard Fairhurst, 81 Matt Amos, 74 Mikel Maron, 68 Dermot McNally, 47 Kate Chapman, 44 Eugene Usvitsky, 42 Derick Rethans, 41 Niccolo Rigacci, 27 Serge Wroclawski.

Thankyou to all of our candidates. This year we really had an excellent group of highly dedicated OSMers to choose from, and the choice was a difficult one. The relatively even spread of votes is reflective of this. We hope and expect that you will all play an active role in the foundation in 2011-2012.

Vote for OpenStreetMap Foundation candidates for the Board

The 2011 election is under way for members of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors. Further to our previous post, there’s now nine candidates to choose from, which is great! Members of the OSMF can vote in person at the annual general meeting at State of the Map or by proxy via email. Probably many people will be doing the email option. The list of candidates and voting details are found on the wiki.

Please read the email instructions carefully. Note that the deadline for voting by email is coming in a couple of days time: Thu 8th at 17:00 UTC.

If you need to join the foundation first then time is definitely running out! (There’s a delay for processing by the membership secretary) Join the OpenStreetMap Foundation here.

Questions to candidates and discussions can be found on the OSMF-talk@ archives and on the Election discussion page on the wiki.

Vote photo by Marc Tarlock is licensed CC-By-SA