Author Archives: OpenStreetMap

About OpenStreetMap

Posts written "by OpenStreetMap" were written collaboratively by the Communication Working Group and/or other OpenStreetMap Foundation folks.

Announcing the OSM Foundation’s Call for Microgrant Applications

2020 will be the first year that the OSM Foundation operates the new microgrants project. In the coming weeks, we hope to hear from you about a bold, community-driven, and impactive OpenStreetMap project idea that will benefit from a microgrant of up to 5000 euros. We welcome a broad range of projects, with the minimum requirement being a clear connection to OpenStreetMap.

What is a microgrant? In our case, it is a modest amount of funds awarded to applicants in order to fund direct expenses of a project. For an idea of successful projects, you can take a look at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s 2019 microgrant awardees. Keep in mind that the OSM Foundation (OSMF) has a wider focus than the humanitarian sector, spanning our global community, and welcomes applications with any focus that relates to OpenStreetMap. We particularly encourage applicants to consider the core values from the OSMF’s mission statement and how any microgrant work can incorporate them.

The OSMF Microgrant Program focuses on simple grant proposals, and we will swiftly decide on what to fund. Our goal is to avoid a complicated and long application and decision process. You should submit a brief and concise proposal, and we plan to quickly announce the awardees.

We encourage submissions from individuals, groups, and organizations who have a clear idea they want to pursue. Each project should be completed within 12 months of the microgrant being awarded this spring. Microgrants are open to all OSMF members, and can be submitted in any language. If you are not yet a member of OSMF then you can apply to join up until the time you submit a microgrant application, and be eligible for an award. Please note there is an active contributor program that may allow you to join the OSMF at no cost. 

In light of the ongoing health crisis regarding COVID19, we will not be awarding microgrants for projects which require offline group gatherings and in person meetings, although these ideas are certainly valuable for future rounds.

Funding can be used for a variety of purposes. You may need tools and supplies for mapping activity, funds for training materials, technology expenses for a series of virtual mapathons, prizes for an online coding, mapping, or writing contest, and many more examples. Please embrace your own creativity and not feel limited by the range of examples.

We encourage you to consult with your local OpenStreetMap community when planning a microgrant application, and make sure you adhere to community guidelines in the scope of the project. If accepted for a microgrant, you will be responsible for reporting progress, signing a grant agreement, and making sure to follow the detailed microgrant rules. It is strongly suggested that your project uses the funding to enable volunteer work to have a wider and stronger impact than it would without funding.

The call for microgrants will open on April 19th, 2020 and we will continue to accept applications through May 10th, 2020. In order to submit,  visit the OSM Wiki page and click on “Start your application” to enter the template. When this is complete, send a message to microgrants at osmfoundation.org. We also encourage sharing your application on osmf-talk when it is submitted. If you need help with the submission process, please feel free to contact the Microgrants Committee for help. If you don’t have enough time to prepare your plan and application, please consider submitting it in a possible future round of microgrants.

Once the submission period closes on May 10th, we invite the community to review the complete list of submissions and provide feedback on the wiki page. We also will accept feedback by email to microgrants at osmfoundation.org and via osmf-talk

Complete timeline:

  • April 19: call for microgrant applications opens
  • May 10: final date for submission (23:59 Pacific Time Zone, USA). 
  • May 10-TBD: community feedback period
  • Late May: announcement of awards

For more details, see the complete rules and guidelines on the OSM wiki and contact us at microgrants at osmfoundation.org with any questions. This is the first time the OSMF is sponsoring such an activity, and we look forward to learning together about how this benefits our community and how to build a transparent, effective, and inclusive microgrants program for everyone involved. We are grateful for the opportunity to make funds available to the community and hope to hear your ideas in the coming weeks.

Chris Beddow, OSMF Microgrants Committee Chair

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Thanks to our new tile cache and domain name sponsors

Content Delivery Network of tile delivery caching servers.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation Operations Working Group wants to thank all the recent donations of nodes for our tile cache CDN: 

Tile cache nodes allow us to serve all users by answering map tile requests closer to the user, giving a faster response time, reducing rendering server load, and saving international bandwidth.

Caches added in 2019

In 2019, thanks to sponsors, caches have been hosted in the following countries:

Australia

Brazil

France

Germany

New Zealand

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United States


Chinese Dragon by Nyo, public domain

OpenStreetMap has an internal server naming theme based on fictional dragons, as in “here be dragons“.

Full list of tile caches here and on a map.

Would you like to host a tile cache?

If you operate an internet exchange, host company, or otherwise have a site with good internet connectivity and high regional bandwidth, you can look at the tile CDN node requirements. We welcome hosting of tile caches elsewhere, and are particularly looking for tile caches in Africa and Asia. If you are interested, please contact us.

Domain name sponsoring by Gandi

Gandi, in addition to hosting the new tile cache server Gackelchen in Bissen, Luxembourg and supporting OpenStreetMap France (an OSM Foundation Local Chapter) are now very generously sponsoring many of our domain names. We would like to thank them for their support.

Operations Working Group

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Request for feedback on proposal for OSMF membership based on sizeable contribution to the project

MWG logo based on the official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Figures by Pascal Neis, reproduced with permission.

Last December at the Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation a proposal for membership in the foundation based solely on sizeable contribution was accepted with a very good result (91%):

The membership fee for associate membership, which normally is tied to the regular membership fee, may be waived if the person applying for membership can demonstrate that they have consistently made sizeable contributions to OpenStreetMap, for example by mapping.

The OSMF Membership Working Group will, together with the Board of Directors, define what counts as “sizeable contributions”.

Just like paid membership, membership under the membership fee waiver programme must be renewed annually.

Please read the rationale here.

In January, the Membership Working Group (MWG) discussed the implementation. Sorry for the long silence since; the MWG would now like to open the discussion and ask for your feedback and comments on the implementation of the new active contributor membership.

As described in the rationale for the vote, this is no charity. We want active contributors to be members of the OSMF and be able to vote for the benefit of the project. The membership fee should not be a barrier.

Our proposal is to automatically grant memberships to mappers who request it and who have contributed at least 42 calendar days in the last year (365 days).

Mapping days is not perfect, but we need a benchmark that is objective, easy to verify, and simple for us to measure and implement.

Why 42 days? If we measure contributions in mapping days by OSMF members who map (83%), roughly half of them map more than 42 days per year. We would expect a “slightly exceptional” contribution in terms of mapping days.

We also discussed abuse. You could of course make tiny contributions like wiggling a single node on 60 days, and maybe go undetected and get your membership. But that would be fraud, and the membership could be revoked if MWG finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.

On non-mapping contributions to the project

Not everyone contributes by mapping, and some of the most familiar names in our members list barely map. Some are very involved, for example, in organizing conferences. Those other forms of contribution should be recognised as well, and the board would take circular decisions on these applications.

Please share your thoughts

We would like to hear your thoughts on the proposal. You can:

Comments can be in any language you are comfortable with. We will make the best effort to have them translated.

Please share your thoughts before the 30th of April 2020.

Thank you.

Michael Spreng
Membership Working Group

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send us an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

SotM 2020 will be a virtual conference

Photo on the left by Manfred Stock. State of the Map 2020 logo by Ed Nicolai, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Due to the high infection risk of SARS-COV-2 virus and all its consequences like travel restrictions, cancellation of physical meetings, “physical distancing”, and more, a physical SotM is not possible this year.

The local team – who have done great work preparing this conference so far – have suggested to change the physical conference to a virtual one. This wasn’t just an idle talk: they have already started a cool open source software project – https://gitlab.com/billowconf/billowconf for managing this! If you have any idea of how to make it better, please don’t hesitate to get on board.

So the State of the Map working group adopted the proposed plan, and agreed to have an online SotM conference this year instead of a physical one.

We know about your disappointment of not meeting each other physically this year (we are disappointed too), but after a few months of lockdown and “physical distancing” we are sure that we will all be excited to be reading and seeing each other in chats and videos. We will share more on the technical plans as the date comes closer.

The online conference will take place on 4-5 July 2020 (duration shortened to two days instead of three). We planned an extended Q&A session after each talk and plenty of free spaces for discussions. So that the OpenStreetMap community can have a great week-end together.

The State of the Map Working Group


English blogpost by Christine Karch, proofreading by Frederik Ramm

Interested to help the SotM Working Group..? We are looking for you.

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

OpenStreetMap and International Women’s Day

OSM logo surrounded by sketches of women's heads in different colours. Magnifying glass of logo has superimposed the sketch of two women high-fiving each other.
Sketches of women created at “Redefining women” iconathon, public domain, modified by OSM Communication Working Group. OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.


Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, and while it would be nice to have no need for this day, we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of women OSMers.


Thank you for any contribution to the project – be it map data, code, organising mapathons, advocacy or other.

We do not know exactly how many women globally contribute to the OpenStreetMap project via mapping or other ways, however, it is known that the percentage of women in the OSM community – as in many tech adjacent communities – is low. The reason we do not know is because we do not ask for personal information such as name, gender or age when signing for an account on OpenStreetMap.org. Mappers can freely choose, and change, their username, and it is not mandatory that they respond to surveys, or map in a certain way. 

All this doesn’t make the collection of demographic data easy, and figures mentioning percentages should be taken with a big grain of salt. Collecting data on why people aren’t joining us is even more difficult as absent people can’t answer questions. While it has been impossible, so far, to get a clear picture on why some people contribute more or less than others, hypotheses have been formulated throughout the years – the lower percentage might reflect aspects of societies such as that many women have less free time than men. We should also note that the percentage of women OSM contributors varies geographically. The majority of attendees at Albanian community events, for example are women. We also seem to see more women participating when there is a clear goal – for example in humanitarian mapping campaigns we often have an almost equal gender balance.

The under-representation of women has been often highlighted on community channels, as well as by initiatives like Geochicas. They raise an important message, and we are also thankful for the work of local groups that are raising awareness.

We -do- know that the reasons that bring people of any gender, origin or age to our project seem to be similar among contributors: it’s fun to make the map data a bit better and it’s rewarding when someone finds your work useful. 

Renaming Belgium’s biggest tunnel
Initiatives of individuals have effect, both in the representation of women as well as on OpenStreetMap. So, we would like to take this opportunity to share some news from the Belgian community: the longest tunnel in the country, which currently carries the name of Leopold II, will be renamed after a woman, who has not been chosen yet. What does that have to do with OSM you may ask (other that the change will be reflected on our map data as soon as one of eager and active contributors can update it). The name change came about after officials became aware of equalstreetnames – a project by the Belgian OSM community and the Feminist Collective Names Maybe Maybe, which colours streets differently on an OSM-based map, depending on whether the streets are named after a man or a woman. You can read more about the tunnel renaming here.

OSMF board’s answer to recent press enquiry 
The OSM Foundation board and the OSM Communication Working Group have recently been contacted by a Reuters reporter, enquiring about why the number of women in OSM is low and what is OSM doing to address the gender imbalance and encourage more women to contribute. You can read the full answer here. Excerpts follow:

“We would like to highlight that anyone can contribute to OpenStreetMap, irrespective of their gender/nationality/religion and other factors (which we do not ask). Having said that, yes – there are actions both from the OpenStreetMap Foundation, as well as from community members, to increase the participation of women, and all underrepresented groups. Note that the OpenStreetMap Foundation has a relatively minor role in the OpenStreetMap project. Core infrastructure is run by volunteers, but even our map style and our website are built by independent volunteers. Most things that happen in the OpenStreetMap environment are run by the community.”

“The OpenStreetMap Foundation is interested in increasing the diversity in general and to attract marginalized groups of people and people outside the gender binary, not just women.”

OpenStreetMap Foundation and community efforts
Efforts by the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OSM community mentioned in the press answer include:

Increasing diversity

  • The OSM Foundation has recently adopted a Diversity Statement which affirms support for expanding our diversity (in all its forms) in OSM.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation has also recently initiated a Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee. Its first task is to assist the Foundation (and hopefully the wider OpenStreetMap project & community) to identify imbalances in the community. To do so, it will gather and assess existing research, and collect any additional necessary data. It will then look at the causes, both internal and external, of imbalances, recommend actions to address them, and in due time evaluate their impact.

Mapping in support of women and girls

  • The community has created and maintains a page dedicated to mapping in support of women and girls. You can find it at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tagging_in_Support_of_Women_and_Girls and it lists some points of interest that are related to women’s health, safety or life that can be mapped. Lit roads, gynaecologists, toilets for females and vending machines that dispense feminine hygiene products are a few examples of things that can be mapped.

We would like to emphasize that OpenStreetMap is based on mapping freedom and anyone can map almost any object with geographical qualities that is verifiable. So, if someone is interested in a feature that has not been mapped yet, they are free to create their own tags and add it to the database (it might be a good idea to discuss the created tags on the tagging mailing list to get feedback for potentially better tag options).

Specific communication channels

  • OSM is large, and made up of many smaller (sub-)communities. Many groups have been formed for people interested in this topic, which helps encourage members of that marginalized group participate in OSM. Geochicas is one example of this. Other examples are the communities formed around the Telegram channels RainbOSM and Geoladies (there is some overlap of participants).

Ensuring safe and welcome participation at OSM events

  • The OSM Foundation organises the annual, international State of the Map (SotM) conference, which has rules ensuring that a wide range of participants feels safe and welcome.
  • There are local OpenStreetMap events run by community members with rules having the same aim.

Granting scholarships to the annual conference

  • The OSM Foundation has a scholarship program providing support to community members who cannot afford to travel to the international State of the Map conference. Gender is a core consideration in the selection process.

Electing women to the OSM Foundation board

  • Before December 2019, both the chairperson and the secretary of our Foundation were women. Board members are voted by the OSM Foundation membership.

Please note that OSM Foundation members constitute a small part of the community – you don’t need to be an OSMF member in order to participate in the OpenStreetMap project, you just need to create an account at www.openstreetmap.org. Having said that, we would like to see the OSMF membership becoming more diverse so please consider joining the Foundation. We are also trying to make it easier to join.

Raising awareness

  • Participation of women in OSM, and diversity in general, is a subject frequently discussed in community channels, has been highlighted in talks by community members in State of the Map conferences and has led to actions by the OSM Foundation.

Reach out and support

  • Various local groups reach out to women and engage them in introductory OSM workshop, offering support afterwards.

Recognising the contribution of specific women OSMers

  • For the past several years, the OSM community has nominated and selected individuals, groups and projects which have helped the project. One of the OpenStreetMap Awards is for “Expanding the Community”, which recognises growing and diversifying the OSM community.
  • Nominations for the 2020 OSM Awards are currently open. If you know of anyone whose contributions you want recognised, please nominate them!

Please note that the list above is incomplete, as there are many efforts by local communities. We invite you to share the contributions of your local group in the comments.

New article about female participation in OSM 
You can read Reuters’ article, which focuses on female participation in OSM and is based on conversations with OSMers such as Geochicas and the OSM Foundation Board at “Visible women’: Feminist mappers bridge data gap in urban design”.

We would like again to thank anyone who identifies as a woman for their contributions and would like to highlight that mappers don’t require permission, moderation, approval or votes by the existing majority in order to add new things, or to start mapping new features. Even small minorities can map what’s important to them. This openness, and flexibility, allows OSM to be welcoming to new, and unforeseen, types of contributions.


Are you an OSMer who identifies as a woman? Share with us in the comments what you are passionate about. If you would like to answer anonymously, feel free to send your answer to communication@osmfoundation.org and we will post it without your (user)name.

International Men’s day is on 19th of November.
International Nonbinary Day is on 14th of July.

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send us an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Call for Microgrants Committee

Drawing: “Balloon-Prospect”, featured in Thomas Baldwin’s Airopaidia (1786). Public domain. Image by the Communication Working Group.

Microgrants: enabling volunteers to do more by overcoming financial barriers.

The Microgrants project is ready for launch! When the OpenStreetMap Foundation received the Pineapple fund donation, the money was quickly earmarked as to be given back to the community. Now that’s finally happening, after a recent Board decision (plenty of background behind that link!). Any volunteer who thinks they can make an impact with a small grant will soon be able to apply.

But first we need the help of a few volunteers to manage the project. What do we expect of you?

  1. Running the call for projects.
  2. Making a selection of about ten projects.
  3. Following up with the selected projects.

Anyone can apply to be on the selection committee, and the Board will then make a selection. We are looking for people who know how the OSM community works, who have experience with making an impact for OSM – but also people with practical experience running these kinds of projects.

The policy document offers a guideline to what the Board wants to see happen with this project, but it leaves a lot of leeway for the committee to implement as they see fit. For example, the committee is expected to work out their own rules of order. During the entire process, you will be able to rely on Dorothea for administrative assistance.

The most impactful job of the Microgrants Committee will be the selection itself. The decision is expected to be based on deep community consultation. The Board did keep a veto right over the selected applications.

The committee is also expected to guide the projects to fruition. However, it is encouraged for the committee to extend the group with more volunteers, so as to lighten the workload and diversify points of view. For example, it would be really helpful to have volunteers who speak the language or are culturally close to the selected projects.

When the projects are finished and have reported on their experience, the Committee is almost done. A final task will be to make recommendations to the Board for the next phase of the Microgrants project – we’ve only just begun!

Send your application to join the Microgrants Committee
to microgrants at osmfoundation.org
by March 8th, 2020.

All relevant information will be accessible through the OSMF website at
https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Microgrants

All the best,

Joost Schouppe
for the OSMF Board

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

OpenStreetMap Welcomes Diversity

In January, the OpenStreetMap Foundation adopted this Diversity Statement:

The OpenStreetMap Foundation and the global OpenStreetMap community welcome and encourage participation by everyone. Our community is based on mutual respect, tolerance, and encouragement, and we are working to help each other live up to these principles. We want our community to be more diverse: whoever you are, and whatever your background, we welcome you.

The Board then appointed the Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee to compile research and undertake new research on our diversity, identify root causes that contribute to any shortfalls, and make recommendations to help resolve issues and improve.

If you’re interested to take part, join one of the two upcoming starting meetings of the committee;

We’ll discuss the scope of work laid out by the Board, sketch initial work plans, and figure out logistics and timing and structure of future meetings.

You might also be interested to join the OpenStreetMap diversity mailing list.

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Applications for State of the Map 2020 scholarships are now open!

State of the Map 2020 logo by Ed Nicolai, CC-BY-SA 4.0

State of the Map is the annual event for all mappers and OpenStreetMap users. We invite all OSM enthusiasts – whether you are a hobby mapper, a scientific researcher, a humanitarian, with an NGO or a government agency, a small business or a global company — to join us in Cape Town, July 3-5, 2020 as we share experiences and ideas of taking the OSM ecosystem forward.

We want to enable as many of you as possible to be part of State of the Map 2020. We are happy to announce that we can provide financial support, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. This year we are offering new travel grants to reimburse a portion of travel costs, in addition to our previous program that fully covers all costs with a full scholarship. 

If you are selected, we invite and expect participation at State of the Map. That could be a talk if selected by the program committee, or in lightning talk sessions we’ll make available for scholars. There are other ways to participate and support the operations of the conference while you attend too. 

Apply now for support to join us in Cape Town
for State of the Map 2020!

Deadline: 15th February 2020

Each year we receive more scholarship applications than we are able to support. To help us best allocate the funds, please specify the minimum types of support you need to attend. If you are requesting a travel grant, then tell us the amount of money to cover a portion of your travel and make a difference to attending, or not.

Please review our privacy policy covering how we will handle the information in your application.

Some of the SotM 2019 scholars. Photo by OSM CWG, CC-BY-SA 3.0.
OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0, trademarks apply.

Here are some tips to help you complete your application. You can also check out Gregory’s post on how we selected scholars in 2017.

  • Select the minimum level of scholarship you need. This will help us to make the best use of limited funds and enable more scholars to join.
  • Make sure you clearly state your visa and travel requirements, as well as potential other funding sources.
  • Answer the question “Please describe your involvement in OSM and how will attending State of the Map benefit you, your local mapping community and the wider OpenStreetMap project” in 1500 characters maximum. Keep sentences short. Focus on the benefits to you and to OpenStreetMap.
  • We want to hear about your contributions to OpenStreetMap, your project or your group. We do not want an account of a group’s work but your individual part in it. Try to use “I” not “we“.
  • You may include links to your OpenStreetMap profile, a local group you run, or software you created. If your written answer is satisfactory to get in our shortlist – we might take a look at these additional details.
  • What topics or views will you bring to SotM that are otherwise missing?
  • What do you plan to achieve through coming to the SotM?
  • What do you plan to do when you return home after SotM?
  • Are you applying to organise sotm?

We encourage all applicants to already have passports and they should be valid 30 days from exit from South Africa and 6 months from entry in South Africa. 

Review process

Reviewing scholarships

You can read about the scholarship review process for 2019 here. For SotM 2020 we again asked community members to join the review process, and will be finalizing the review team in the coming weeks.

Here’s a list of factors that we will consider when reviewing the applications:

  • Is the applicant part of an under-represented minority group?
  • Are they from an under-represented location?
  • Are they contributing to OSM in a substantial way? (Not only OpenStreetMap edits, but contributed to wiki and documentation, trainers, developers).
  • Have they applied previously and not gotten a scholarship?
  • Do they have a unique story or experience to share?
  • Are they in a position to share their SotM experience with a larger group?
  • Will their attendance benefit their local community in some way?
  • How difficult will their visa application be?
  • How will attending State of the Map benefit them and OpenStreetMap?
  • Are they interested in organizing future OpenStreetMap events?

SotM 2020 scholarships team

Interested to help the SotM Working Group..? We are looking for you.

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Share your thoughts on OSM’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and threats that OSM faces

Allan Mustard, the new OSMF board chairperson, is asking the OSM community members to share their perspectives on OSM’s Strengths, Weaknesses and Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) that OSM faces. Strengths and Weaknesses refer to internal facets of OSM over which we, the community, have control. Opportunities and Threats are external influences with which we may and in some cases must deal.

Please share your thoughts on this page:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_SWOT
(you need an OSM wiki account – register here)

Allan writes:
One usual practice in SWOT analysis is “brainstorming”. There are two rules of brainstorming. First, no idea is bad. All ideas are good and may be added to the list. We are in that phase, so no matter how crazy or unusual your idea may be, if you believe it is a genuine SWOT, put it down. We will sort out the good from the less good later. Second, no ad hominem (i.e., personal) attacks. If somebody puts something on this page that you don’t like, express your opinion politely later on.

You are welcome to also translate the initial page in other languages and add them to the OSM wiki. If you don’t know how, please send us an email to communication@osmfoundation.org

Reference materials about this type of analysis are on the wiki page.
Discussion about the analysis can take place at the OSM wiki and the OSM diaries.

Thanks for participating 🙂

OSM Communication Working Group

Do you want to translate this and other blogposts in your language..? Please send us an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [your language]

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the OSM Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Call for help reviewing State of the Map 2020 scholarship applications

Preparation for State of the Map 2020, Cape Town is underway and the organizing team is calling upon you to join the scholarships review and selection team. We would like to set up a diverse team with a wide geographic scope, ethnic and gender diversity, and different kinds of experiences in the OpenStreetMap community.

State of the Map 2019 scholars. Photo by Thomas Skowron, CC BY 2.0

What does being part of the review team mean?
Being on the scholar selection team means that you will read and rate most or all of the SotM 2020 scholarship applications. You will learn about interesting projects and about the contributions of other OSMers first hand. We will help you by providing the criteria to judge the applications. We expect the scoring to take a half day to a full day all together, spread out over several days. We will send you a spreadsheet or a link to an online spreadsheet and you will be asked to
i) provide a single rating for each application and
ii) add a note why you gave that rating. We will use those comments during the final selection.

After scoring the applications you can participate in the team’s discussions about the final selection – but this is not an absolute requirement. So, if you do not feel comfortable or have technical difficulties, do not worry. Please note that we expect any personal information provided by the applicants, or by other team members, to be kept confidential.

What is the timeline?
Submissions for scholarship applications will open on January 15, 2020 and close on February 15, 2020 so you will have to read and rate the applications up to March 1, 2020. During the last week of February, you will be asked if you want to participate in the discussions about the final selection.

Are you interested?
If you are interested in being considered as a member of the selection team, please fill this form by January 7, 2020.

If you have any questions/feedback, send us an email at scholar-sotm@openstreetmap.org.

SotM 2020 scholarships team

Interested to help in other ways..? We are looking for you.

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.