Author Archives: OpenStreetMap

About OpenStreetMap

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

State of the Map 2018 tickets now on sale

Tickets for State of the Map 2018 are now on sale. Come register for this international gathering of the OpenStreetMap community. Move fast in order to guarantee yourself the “Early Bird” discounted rate!

State of the Map offers value for anyone excited about open location data. Our main conference days will feature around 50 talks, open spaces for gatherings, and exhibition areas where individuals and organizations can meet. Hundreds of OpenStreetMap community members are expected to attend and we want you there!

The early bird catches the worm. Or “chi primo arriva, meglio alloggia.” The world of OpenStreetMap belong to those who get (tickets) early.

OSMF Request for Proposals: Data Centre 2018

Photo by cosheahan on flickr. Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Statement of Purpose

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) Operations Working Group (OWG) is looking for proposals to provision space in a data centre to continue to run the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project’s infrastructure.

Background Information

OSMF is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting, but not controlling, the OpenStreetMap project. OSMF created the OWG in order to support OSM’s technical infrastructure, including the main website, API, data distribution, community sites, and manage them for the benefit of the project.

The map data created by OpenStreetMap and distributed through ​OSMF​ is the best free global map available. It powers services all over the world, including for companies such as Apple, Foursquare, Craigslist and Mapbox. Ple​ase see​ for more background information.

Scope of Work

The data centre provider must meet the requirements set out below.



●  The data centre must be in the EU.
●  One rack (at least 40U) of space, at industry standard rack dimensions.
●  Power capacity at least 3kW w/ dual redundant supplies.
●  Cooling to keep the servers suitably cool, e.g: under 35 degrees celsius.
●  Secure cages, so that only access authorised by the data centre or OSMF is possible.
●  On-site “remote hands” to be able to receive and replace HDDs and press power buttons during weekday business hours and at least some service weekends and holidays.
●  Network connection capable of 1Gbit/s peak traffic and 500Mbit/s sustained.


●  Control over the configuration of any upstream firewalls for the purposes of ensuring necessary ports are open.
●  Good peering connection to major European backbone network. Ideally within 20ms of our existing sites on JANET.

Additional questions

Please provide detailed information on:
●  The procedure for shipping parts to the data centre, and
●  The procedure for raising a ticket for “remote hands” work, and
●  Whether “remote hands” would be available outside of business hours, and
●  The site’s uptime and network reachability over the past year, and
●  The procedure for an OSMF representative to visit and access the data centre.

Term of Agreement

The agreement would start on or before 1st April 2018 and run for a minimum of 3 years (at
OSMF’s option), preferably renewable annually or on a longer basis after that. Any renewal or
cancellation on either side would need a minimum notice period of 3 months.

Terms and Conditions

If you have Terms and conditions or Acceptable Use Policies then you should submit them in editable form for legal review, where possible. T&C/AUP changes should be expected to ensure we meet the privacy and security commitments required for our users.

Schedule, Evaluation and Award Process

This RFP is expected to be open until 28th February 2018. Only applications received prior to this date can be considered for this RFP. All proposals will be received in confidence and will be kept private.

After the date above, all proposals will be evaluated by the OWG against the requirements set out above, after which OWG may contact candidate sites with follow-up questions or to arrange site visits. The final agreement will require legal review and approval by the OSMF board.

OSMF particularly welcomes responses from anyone willing to support the work of the foundation at minimal cost.

The successful candidate will be publicly thanked on the main OSM project website as well as OWG websites in accordance with OWG’s Hosting Provider Credit Policy.

Points of Contact

Many thanks for your interest. If you have any questions or proposals, please send them to​.

Last chance reminders for State of the Map 2018

Castello Sforzesco – Fedewild on Flickr cc-by-sa 2.0

In July the OpenStreetMap community will be coming together for our annual State of the Map conference, this year in Milan, Italy. With planning well under way it is set to be as exciting as ever. Here is a gentle reminder of some upcoming deadlines so that you don’t miss out on the fun.

The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Wednesday, 14th February 2018.

We don’t want high travel costs to get in the way of talented individuals joining the fun. Thanks to the support of our sponsors, scholarships will help bring us together. Apply now for a scholarship to join us.

The deadline to submit your session proposal is Sunday, 18th February 2018.

You are encouraged to submit proposals for 20 minute talks, 5 minute lightning talks, and 75 minute workshops that will result in progress and excitement in the world of OpenStreetMap.

Please apply here!

The deadline for academic track proposals is Sunday, 4th March 2018.

In parallel to the standard sessions, this year State of the Map will run an Academic Track session to showcase the great importance OpenStreetMap has gained within the scientific and academic communities. If you’d like to propose an academic talk you have an extra two weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Thank you,
Your State of the Map team

State of the Map 2018 Academic Track – Call for abstracts

In parallel to the standard sessions, this year State of the Map will run an Academic Track session to showcase the great importance OpenStreetMap has gained within the scientific and academic communities. The Academic Track aims to bring together and foster interactions between OpenStreetMap contributors and scientific researchers from all over the world. Consequently this will demonstrate both the potential and maturity of scientific investigations based on OpenStreetMap to the whole community and stimulate a beneficial discussion among the attendees. Contributions are expected to address any scientific aspect related to OpenStreetMap, in particular, but not limited, to the following:

  • Quality of OpenStreetMap data.
  • Analysis of contribution patterns in OpenStreetMap.
  • Exploitation of OpenStreetMap data to generate new scientifically valuable datasets.
  • Integration of OpenStreetMap data with other datasets to generate new scientifically valuable datasets.
  • Scientific applications of OpenStreetMap.
  • New approaches to facilitate or improve data collection in OpenStreetMap (e.g. through gamification or citizen science approaches).
  • Literature reviews on specific aspects of OpenStreetMap.
  • Creating better connections and collaborations between the scientific community and the OpenStreetMap community.
  • Open research problems in OpenStreetMap and challenges for the scientific community.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts using this form.
Deadline: March 4th, 2018.

The maximum length of the abstract is 2500 characters. Abstracts must be scientifically rigorous and structured as follows: introduction/background, where the problem addressed is introduced; main aim or purpose of the study; brief description of the methodology and findings achieved; final discussion highlighting the scientific contribution of the study and its practical benefits/implications. Abstracts describing the use, analysis and processing of OpenStreetMap data for new and unconventional applications/disciplines are particularly encouraged.

Abstracts will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to give an oral presentation during the Academic Track sessions at the conference. In addition, authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper for the Special Issue “Open Source Geospatial Software” of the journal Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards.

Scientific Committee

  • Dr. Marco Minghini – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Italy
  • Dr. Peter Mooney – Maynooth University, Department of Computer Science, Ireland
  • Dr. Vyron Antoniou – Geographic Directorate, Hellenic Army General Staff, Greece
  • Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Italy
  • Dr. Frank Ostermann – University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands
  • Dr. Amin Mobasheri – GIScience Research Group, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Germany
  • Joost Schouppe – OpenStreetMap Belgium, Belgium

Apply for support to join us in Milan for State of the Map 2018


The application form for State of the Map 2018 grants and scholarships is now open.

OpenStreetMap is a world map of many people and places. And we want you all there for our upcoming State of the Map conference in Milan. We can provide financial support to help you to join in the fun thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. This year we welcome back BingFacebookMapbox as Gold sponsors, Telenav as Silver sponsor, and say hello to Italian company, who joins at Silver level.

Apply now for support to join us in Milan for State of the Map 2018!
Deadline: Wednesday 14th February 2018.

Each year we receive more scholarship applications than we are able to support. To help us best allocate the funds, we have different levels of scholarship – you can now pick from Grants for speakers, or Full or Enhanced scholarships.

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

  • Select the minimum level of scholarship you need to attend. This will help us to make the best use of limited funds.
  • Answer the question “How will attending State of the Map benefit you and OpenStreetMap” 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 State of the Map that are otherwise missing?
  • What do you plan to do when you return home after State of the Map?

Whilst you are here don’t forget that you can also read the experiences that our scholars gained from being able to attend State of the Map 2017.

Apply now!

This post was updated in late June 2018 to include the sponsors from our top two tiers.

OpenStreetMap Receives Large Donation from the Pineapple Fund!

Pineapple Party

We’re celebrating the generous donation from the Pineapple Fund to the OpenStreetMap Foundation. Party.

Only two weeks ago we were amazed to see a large bitcoin donation of over 2.3 BTCs, worth €30,000 (£27,000) and asked ourselves where this donation might originate from. There had been different ideas, but we’re still clueless.

Some suggested that this was the Pineapple Fund donating to us. But only today we learned it wasn’t them as we received a second donation, this time indeed from them. They sent us the amazing amount of 18 Bitcoins, currently worth over €200,000! Yay!

What is the Pineapple Fund?

The Pineapple Fund was created by an anonymous (privacy-loving) person that goes by the username Pine who invested in the really early days of Bitcoin, and is now one of the 250 richest bitcoin holders. They generously decided to establish the Pineapple Fund, as “once you have enough money, money doesn’t matter” and to donate $86 million worth of Bitcoins to all kind of charitable organizations. Read more about their mission statement on If you scroll down a bit you’ll find a list of organizations that already got a donation and the list now contains our project as well. They also link to different news covering their story.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and an innovative digital payment network which started back in 2009. It is based on cryptography to secure any payments and has a public ledger to document any payments made. As it is based on a public peer-to-peer network, anyone can participate and no central server or instance is needed.

Bitcoin received broader media attention lately as the fiat exchange rates have risen by some hundreds of percents last year, making one Bitcoin worth more than €10,000 as of today.

For more details you may want to have a look at, which also features a nice introductory video.

Why OpenStreetMap?

The Pineapple Fund explained on reddit that “$250k go to OpenStreetMap, because geographic data for our world should be freely available, without restrictions”. OpenStreetMap was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways. We aim to make the best map data set of the world, read the OpenStreetMap Foundation’s mission statement.

Thank you!

A big thank you to the anonymous donor two weeks ago and a special thank you to the Pineapple Fund, both generously supporting our project!

You can help OpenStreetMap too

If you’re considering donating yourself, here’s our Bitcoin address! You can donate via other methods. You can also help by mapping! Go to, create a free account and start mapping your neighbourhood. Let’s make the best map of the world together!

Propose your session for State of the Map 2018!

In July the OpenStreetMap community will be coming together for our annual State of the Map conference, this year in Milan, Italy. It is set to be an exciting three day event where mappers, programmers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and policy makers will share their passion for OpenStreetMap.

We invite you to submit your session proposals for the 2018 State of the Map, by Sunday, 18th February 2018.

You are encouraged to submit proposals for 20 minute talks, 5 minute lightning talks, and 75 minute workshops that will result in progress and excitement in the world of OpenStreetMap. If you require a grant or scholarship to attend, please note that you will have to complete an additional form which we will publish in the next few weeks. Again, the deadline to submit your session proposals is Sunday, 18th February 2018.

Apply here

This year, we are particularly keen to see applications from good quality workshops (please apply for a grant or scholarship if it will help you). We also want to welcome academic talks, and will soon be releasing an additional form for you to submit your academic abstracts for peer-review.

Milan is known as the fashion capital of the world and is equally famous for its art, design and stunning architecture such as the Duomo – one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world. This year we are delighted to be hosted at Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), home of the PoliMappers and we will be based in the building shown above. This year’s logo was designed by Angelica Braccia and can be seen in all its glory on our website.

Happy New Year!

2017 has been a good year for OpenStreetMap and the OpenStreetMap foundation. Many things happened and have been achieved that push our project even further. As not everyone was able to watch out for all that great news, we’ll highlight some of 2017’s events and give you some pointers for a further read.

Kate Chapman rounded off the year with her chairperson’s report in which she highlighted the growth of the Foundation membership, enabling it to further support our project. We have almost 900 foundation members in December 2017, which is in part a success of our membership drive last year. In addition to our individual members, we have an additional 24 corporate members, thanks to our new corporate membership program which took effect on Jan 1, 2017. Besides many renewals and tier upgrades we were able to welcome two new bronze members and five new gold members, with many big players on the list. Corporate memberships are a great way for some of our biggest data users to help remove the financial burden from our mappers who already donate so much of their valued time. A larger number of corporate members also makes us less dependent on single large donors. This is a great success.

Let us not forget that it’s the mappers who ultimately power our great geographical data though, and as foundation membership has grown, so has the number of mappers. In the final weeks of 2017 we hit the milestone of 1 million map contributors! We’ll bring you some more details of what that means in another blog post. One big boost to our contributor numbers that received much public attention was Pokémon Go. The news coverage about this game making use of OpenStreetMap data encouraged many players to go edit OpenStreetMap. Back then, we even published a blog post with tips to help new mappers coming from Pokémon Go. While the Foundation and its Data Working Group received some complaints about bad edits related to the game, many more trainers made valuable changes to the map. And in the end, players with constructive, fact-based edits persisted and continue to enrich our project.

OpenStreetMap is a large project with a worldwide community and as such, we’re quite diverse. That’s also why the OpenStreetMap Foundation is pushing for more Local Chapters (LCs) to form local representations of OpenStreetMap enthusiasts. That being said, we’ve been able to welcome three(!) new Local Chapters last year already. OSM UK, was last year’s first new addition (welcome!), followed by OpenStreetMap France (welcome!). Technically there has been a third one early in December 2017! But hold your horses. We’ll be bringing an announcement of that one very soon! That means the OSMF has six Local Chapters as of now, and hopefully at least two more LCs will follow in 2018. By the way, if you’re from a local community and are interested in starting your own Local Chapter or just want to chat about it or seek input, we had some meetups at the last two SotM conferences with new ideas and have revived the local-chapters mailing list for that reason.

Speaking of SotM, the global annual conference of OpenStreetMap went to Japan this year. State Of The Map 2017 was another fantastic event, and our busy organizing committee (one of the foundation working groups which you can join!) is already ramping up to bring together the 2018 conference in Milan, Italy.

There have been many more topics and development over the year and Dorothea, responding to feedback on our foundation members’ mailing list, compiled a list of foundation tasks and projects that have been either completed during this year or are still ongoing. Furthermore, there’s also a great overview of hers that summarizes all OSMF board meeting minutes in 2017, featuring topics discussed and decisions taken.

Speaking of the OSMF board, we had board elections in December 2017 and want to take the chance to congratulate Heather Leson and Paul Norman for being voted to the board! This year’s elections have been somewhat exhausting with about 50 different threads and about 600 messages on the foundation members’ list, compared to not even half that many during the rest of the year. The language was a bit heated at times, although there were also quite a lot of interesting and valuable discussions. Let’s hope that some of this energy and passion will be channelled into year-round community involvement in foundation matters.

And so, with a great and eventful 2017 coming to an end, we’re welcoming 2018, looking forward to yet another great year for OpenStreetMap!

Mappy new year everyone!

Welcome 254 new members to the OpenStreetMap Foundation

Welcome to Foundation! We have cake 🙂 (2011 OpenStreetMap Anniversary Birthday party celebration in Toronto)

In September, we asked you to raise your hand and join the OpenStreetMap Foundation. And the OpenStreetMap community responded like never before.

During the membership drive, 254 new members joined the OSMF. An additional 100 people decided to renew their membership. This is the largest increase in membership in the history of the Foundation. This strong response shows us the value of active promotion of the role of the Foundation in the OSM community.

We are very excited to see the energy and enthusiasm of all our members. There are many ways to get involved.


The State of the Map scholar experience

We were delighted to welcome 15 scholars to Japan for State of the Map 2017. Scholars help make State of the Map one of those unique moments in our community when we come together and share our mapping experiences in person, from literally every corner of the globe.

With the generous support of our sponsors and the tireless effort of the organizing team, for the first time at a State of the Map we achieved 100% success in visas and scholar attendance. Visas can be long and bureaucratic ordeals! Extra special thanks for Dorothea for going above and beyond in supporting this work — including calling up Japanese consulates around the world!

We asked the scholars to share a few words on the experience. We love reading about the experience and what it’s inspired for the future — required reading if you love OpenStreetMap! Here’s a few excerpts…

Anisa Kuci – full post
“After answering the questions that were kindly asked by the audience, I was ready to enjoy so many great talks, workshops and lightning talks I spotted on the agenda for the next three days, and a very productive meet-up that happened the third day of the conference, where everyone shared thoughts about how local chapters and OSM Foundation can help each-other grow bigger, and we had the opportunity to share the wish of the Albanian speaking community to become a chapter.”

Georgia Marina Andreou – full post
“The scholarship gave me the chance not only to raise awareness on the impact of natural processes on cultural heritage, but also to understand through an array of examples the truly empowering capacity of mapping. As such, I left the conference with a long list of ideas for future mapping.”

Jaisen Nedumpala – full post
കോണ്‍ഫറന്‍സില്‍ പങ്കെടുക്കുന്നതിലുപരി, ഒരു വികസിത രാജ്യത്തെ സ്ഥിതിഗതികള്‍ നേരിട്ടു കണ്ടു മനസ്സിലാക്കണമെന്ന ആഗ്രഹം കൂടിയുണ്ടായിരുന്നു മനസ്സില്‍.

Marco Minghini – full post
“Another indelible memory from SotM 2017 is the official announcement I gave during a Plenary Session about the next State of the Map conference, that my university (Politecnico di Milano) will host on July 28-30, 2018 in Milan, Italy! It was amazing to make this announcement and get that long, long applause :)”

Samaila Alio Mainassara – full post
“Cette participation m’a permis de découvrir l’écosystème OSM à travers les échanges et le partage d’expériences avec les différents participants.”

Selene Yang Rappaccioli – full post
“El espacio de discusión que se realizó durante ésta última edición del SOTM Internacional, contribuyó a crear diálogos, conocer perspectivas y esclarecer dudas sobre la necesidad de construir, no sólo el mapa más completo, sino también la comunidad más completa, donde se abarquen las diferencias, multiplicidades, diversidad de miradas y diferentes relatos y experiencias.”

Sidorela Uku – full post
“I saw that maps were more than a visualisation of our world, there is humanity, they can be as important as saving lives. This conference really affected me emocionally and also inspired me a lot. Now I want to do even more, have many things in my mind, need to set up a plan and continue contributing.”

Suthakaran Sundaralingam – full post
“I also plan to become a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and form an OpenstreetMap foundation in Sri Lanka.”

Tommy Godphery Davian Charles – full post
“getting acquainted with each other was a walk over, this was possible because we all spoke a common language which is ‘Maps and Development’.”

State of the Map Working Group