Author Archives: Pascal Neis

Weekly OSM Summary #19

May 30th, 2011 – June 14th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

  • Thursday 7:30am (23rd June 2011 GMT/UTC+0) the API and map data editing on will be unavailable. The maintenance period is expected to last for 12 hours.
  • Updates for the Nominatim database, which is powering the search on, are paused for now since the database needs to be upgraded to use bigint since it has run out of integers.
  • Frontdoor is an experimental service for crowdsourcing and fixing address information with a very simple interface.
  • Scholarships are available for State of the Map for candidates that met certain requirements.
  • There’s a video competition in which you can win a trip to SotM in Denver.
  • Kothic JS is a full-featured JavaScript map rendering engine using HTML5 Canvas.
  • There’s a new public transport layer on It’s currently in beta stage, only covers Europe for now and is updated once a week.
  • User Sk53 writes about his experiences in using OSM full history extracts and handling OSM history data.
  • Harry wood did a video interview with VisionOn.TV and also wrote about the issues involved in creating video tutorials for OSM.
  • XHT (Xhouse Tool) is a tool to get OSM buildings into X-Plane (a flight simulator).
  • Christopher Osborne was speaking at Next11 in Berlin about “Visualising Big Data” (video).
  • Geofabrik now supplies daily OSM extracts for all US states (pbf and bz2).
  • Members of the German OSM community and employees of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance met for a workshop regarding the potential of crowdsourced crisis mapping. Here’s a write-up.
  • A new public transport map for Switzerland.
  • Patrick Weber and Tim Waters have posted their write-ups about WhereCampEU. Martijn van Exel also wrote about WhereCampEU and some interesting ideas on how to get newly signed-up users to become regular contributors.
  • Taginfo moved to a new domain, “In addition to the main taginfo instance that contains data for the whole world, there are currently three public Taginfo instances for Ireland, Switzerland, and Italy.” A taginfo-dev mailinglist has also been set up.
  • OSM now accepts OpenID signups.
  • Navigon releases new POI packages based on OSM data for 44 countries with 2.2 million points.

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Weekly OSM Summary #18

May 16th, 2011 – May 30th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

  • The email for users, who didn‘t accept the new Contributor Terms so far, is ready now. It should be translated in as many languages as possible. A first batch of emails has already been send out now.
  • Blog post by Patrick Weber about “Where’s the Search” field on the main page. Maybe as a result of this post, the search field has now been moved to an upper left position on the main OSM page.
  • Muki Haklay repeats the comparison for the UK between the OSM and Ordnance Survey Meridian 2 datasets. You can find an interactive webpage with the results here.
  • We now have more then one million relations in our database!
  • Open Data in Vienna is now available and the first application is out: The Toilet Map Vienna. An Augmented-Reality-App based on Open Data from Vienna.
  • A new mailling list for the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) is available.
  • The OSMF-Wiki has a new skin made by Harry Wood. This way you can differentiate it from the normal OSM wiki.
  • Jakob Altenstein wrote a bachelor-thesis about the efforts of the OSM license change. It is available in German here.
  • A new series shows how communities from different countries map around the world.
  • Pascal Neis wrote a blog post about the new Web-GUI for the Open Source Routing Machine (OSRM) with OSM data.
  • Some thoughts from Olvier Kühn about “Could a less restrictive share-alike license give OpenStreetMap data a boost?
  • Steve Coast pleads for moderation of the OSM mailing lists.
  • First preliminaries for the change from 32bit to 64bit node IDs.
  • The first tour guide with OSM maps has been published. It is available for ten cities along the Danube. You can find more information in German here and a screenshot here.
  • OSM user “Head” created a haptomap with OSM.
  • The project “building=yes” is a searchable directory for all buildings of the OSM database.
  • Chris Hill wrote about his first impressions with Leaflet (an OS JavaScript library for making tile-based interactive maps for mobile/desktop browsers) und created a demo.
  • A map by Magnificent shows areas a user can reach using public transport in a given time for certain cities.
  • Employees of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster hosted an OpenStreetMap Mapping Party in São Paolo with 40 students. (Link is in German)
  • Harry Wood wrote a summary of the last London Hack Weekend.
  • Tim Adler published a usage statistic for the Wikipedia POI Layer here.
  • A first GSoC project update from Customised OSM Tile Server and request for feedback.
  • Martijn van Exel would like to start a new OSM service (for example with twitter) and includes some ideas about anonymous edits.
  • A book about OpenLayers 2.10 has been published.
  • TileMill’s latest version supports PostGIS and can render from an OSM database.
  • Blog Post by Mike Dobson about “examining Google Map Maker and how its edit and authority systems function“. Part one and part two.

Did we miss something? You can contact us via mail.

Weekly OSM Summary #17

May 3th, 2011 – May 15th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

  • was updated with a refined changeset view. “When you view the history tab, you’ll now see a map with bounding boxes shown for recent changesets in the area. Hovering over the changeset will highlight the bounding box, and vice-versa.”
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation has published guidelines for tile layers to be considered for inclusion on the OpenStreetMap web page.
  • The OSM tile server has been upgraded significantly after experiencing some performance problems due to high load by mobile apps that didn’t follow our Tile Usage Policy.
  • Since last week OSM has more than 400.000 registered members.
  • Henk Hoff has created a draft agreement for OSMF local chapters on the wiki and asked for input.
  • Emilie Laffray is stepping down from the OSMF board for personal and work reasons. The board appointed Oliver Kühn to the position of treasurer previously held by Emilie. The board will continue with six members until the next board election.
  • Early bird registration for State of the Map and FOSS4G is closing soon.
  • addr:housename is now rendered by Mapnik; here’s an example on the map.
  • MapCraft is a mapping party organizing tool with features like live chat, dividing the mapping area into slices and measuring the progress and more. (via Harry Wood’s Diary Entry)
  • Scottish OpenStreetMap ‘unconference’ – State Of The Map Scotland 2011. “Join the Scottish OpenStreetMap community to talk, workshop and hack for this two day event.”
  • OpenStreetBrowser version 2.0 is nearing release and is ready for some testing to find left bugs.
  • This WebGL globe shows you the volume of OSM edits around the world for the last 12 hours. (via @iandees)
  • OSM-3D also known as XNavigator developed by the University of Heidelberg has been released as open source.
  • The University of Munich has developed a new router specialised in looking at the wide variety of OSM tagging.
  • Version 0.9.6 of the WordPress OSM Plugin has been released.
  • Derick Rethans wrote a blog post about common misunderstandings regarding OpenStreetMap.
  • Pascal Neis added a few new features to “How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap ?”. You can now see how a user contributed the last 12 months. Further he created new stats for the OSM Inspector Routing View. You can find the complete analysis here.
  • “The Open Static Map Service [from MapQuest] enables the user to create beautiful static map images generated via an HTTP request for their website or publication.”
  • QualityStreetMap 2 is a web tool to document the progress made on mapping with aerial imagery or importing data for a given tile.
  • CloudMade released a new open source javascript library for interactive maps called Leaflet. It can be seen as an alternative to OpenLayers.
  • Peter Körner released a first batch of full-history extracts.
  • Mapnik2GeoTools is a small Scala tool with the goal of transforming Mapnik map definitions to something GeoTools and GeoServer can deal with.

Did we miss something? You can contact us via mail.

Weekly OSM Summary #16

April 17th, 2011 – May 3th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

Did we miss something? You can contact us via mail.

Weekly OSM Summary #15

March 31th, 2011 – April 17th, 2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world.

  • The Preliminary program of the State of the Map Europe is out.
  • The third phase of the OSM license change starts on Sunday (April 17th 2011).
  • Toby Murray created a diagram of OSM members accepting/declining the new license and contributor terms
  • OSM’s contribution to the Haiti reconstruction is recognized by the Disaster Relief 2.0 report by the UN Foundation.
  • An article about a Humanitarian OSM Mapping Party in France.
  • Mikel Maron writes about Googles assumed „OpenData“ initiatives like MapMaker and their own Mapping Parties. A response from Frederik Ramm and Mikels second blog post.
  • Two weeks ago the German OpenStreetMap conference FOSSGIS 2011 took place in Heidelberg. There are video recordings of almost all the OSM talks here (in German obviously).
  • Rostock is the first German city, which has nearly all house numbers in OSM (only in German).
  • There will be a Taginfo Developer Workshop on May 7th/8th 2011 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
  • It seems that in Mitrovica (Kosovo) an edit war is coming up.
  • The City Saransk in Russia was mapped in 50 hours in an online mapping party. You can see the evolution in a video here.
  • Results of the hackweekend in London are in. The next hackweekend is already in the planning .
  • “Great Britain completely mapped in less than a year?”
  • Peter Reed created a tagging stat of the cycle-infrastructure in Great Britain.
  • The new OpenEcoMaps is available for some areas in Great Britain now. It displays “green data” from OSM as an overlay.
  • An experimental API server with Membase is online. Read more in jkoshys blog.
  • Steve Coast talks at “GeoWeb and Law” (after 3:40min)
  • The French ministry of justice website has a slippy map with an option to use OSM tiles.
  • OpenStreetBlock – a web service for turning a given lat/lon coordinate (e.g. 40.737813,-73.997887) into a textual description of the actual city block to which the coordinate points (e.g. “West 14th Street bet. 6th Ave. & 7th Ave”) using OpenStreetMap data.”
  • The Google Maps Terms of Service have been modified with a number of changes that relate to advertising and usage limits. Remember that OSM also has a tile usage policy for its servers, but of course you can always setup your own tile server (using Tile Drawer for example) or use tiles hosted by third parties like MapQuest.
  • MapQuest has released three new services. The XAPI service is using the newly developed Java XAPI. The Nominatim Pre-indexed Data Service can be used to speed up your own Nominatim installation process. The Broken Polygon Report for Nominatim can be used to fix polygon data in OSM.

Authors: Jonas, Pascal & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue?
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.

Weekly OSM Summary #14

March 20th, 2011 – March 31th, 2011
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world. We’re sorry that this issue is late and brief again, but we (especially Pascal) are caught up in organising the last bits for the upcoming FOSSGIS conference, the German OpenStreetMap conference.

  • “The city Saransk was mapped in only 50 hours. User osmisto has organized the first Russian online mapping party: it’s still cold outside, so almost everyone attended.” Here’s a video showing the progress – impressive!
  • China is imposing stricter roles against online map services (People’s Daily online). It’s unclear how OSM will be affected by this.
  • Recent improvements to the Mapnik style now make it render e.g. driveways and labels for florists.
  • Jochen Topf writes about new ways to make map renderers. He suggests to build smaller toolkits that can be combined; he already started a few experiments in code.
  • Martijn von Exel has made a tutorial for a self-updating local OSM extract.
  • Harry Wood created a bus map for London.
  • The future of areas?!
  • The OSM Inspector made by the Geofabrik has been moved to faster hardware. Also new is the multipolygon problem view.
  • Cyclestreets is celebrating their second birthday and take a look back at the last year in their blog.
  • OSM-3D made by the University of Heidelberg has been updated to include a virtual globe and is now covering most of Europe.
  • This wiki page is great resource to learn more about mapping buildings with aerial imagery.
  • ITO Map (mentioned before) is now available globally.
  • A new, second beta of Maps4Macs has been released. Improvements include a better search syntax, support for PBF files and live track display when recording a GPS track.
  • Show Your Journey (syj) is a website to share routes. The new version now supports the upload of complete routes (as GPX or KML).
  • Safety Maps – Make and share maps of safe places to meet in the event of an emergency.
  • Version 0.2 of the Open Source Routing Machine (OSRM) has been released with lots of improvements.
  • A small python script to generate posters of Cloudmade map tiles.
  • Mapjumper is a Chrome extension to easily jump from one online map provider to another.”
  • Imposm is an importer for OpenStreetMap data. It reads XML and PBF files and can import the data into PostgreSQL/PostGIS databases.

Authors: Jonas, Pascal & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue?
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.

Weekly OSM Summary #13

March 9th, 2011 – March 20th, 2011
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world:

  • After the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the OSM community started efforts to provide up-to-date maps of the affected region for search-and-rescue teams and other relief organizations. Information on how to get involved can be found in the wiki here; the main discussion platform is the HOT mailing list and the IRC. HOT was able to get access to post-earthquake imagery to map flooding, damaged roads and buildings. As you can see on the wiki page, the community also created special Garmin maps for download and maps highlighting things like the road status (passable/impassable).
  • Kate Chapman has created some stats on the activity in Japan and Christopher Osborne did some visualizations.
  • Even the Haitian OpenStreetMap mappers are contributing to the crisismapping efforts for Japan and Libya. You can do it too!
  • Leigh Hunt has made an animation (gif) of the editing activity of the OSM community in Christchurch, NZ after the earthquake.
  • The deadline for the Call for Papers for this years SOTM conference in Denver has been extended.
  • The OpenStreetMap-Foundation blog gives you a summary of all the different Working Groups that are available for February 2011.
  • A new script osm2postgresql imports OSM data into a PostGIS db. For example, it improves the rendering in QGIS.
  • A new version of the WordPress OSM Plugin (German article) is available. It improves some bugfixes and is campatilbe with WP 3.1.
  • Pascal wrote a blog post about the “Growing agreement of the new Contributor Terms and about relicensing OpenStreetMap data (-Update-)”.
  • Osm2xp is a scenery generator for the X-Plane simulator. Using OSM data, it will generate 3D buildings into X-Plane, each one with its real location and real shape.
  • “MapQuest is providing several address files that contain user-provided latitude and longitude locations across the world. Our users provided these exact locations to us so that they could be mapped correctly on our MapQuest maps.”
  • Skidea is offering special Garmin maps for ski resorts.
  • Matt Williams built a postcode finder based on OSM data.
  • ITO has launched ITO Map – “A new map overlay service for OpenStreetMap”. The different overlays do a great job in highlighting the diversity and richness of OSM data.
  • OpenStreetMap was accepted for the Google Summer of Code. All the ideas are collected in the wiki here.
  • A blog post about the security and ethics of live mapping in repressive regimes and hostile environments.

Authors: Pascal, Jonas & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue?
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.

Weekly OSM Summary #12

02/24/2011 – 03/09/2011
A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world:

  • Registration for the SOTM.EU is now open. Early bird tickets are 60€. The organizing team announced, that they’ve confirmed Steve Coast as a keynote speaker. The Call for Papers was also extended till 20th of March.
  • MapQuest enabled bicycle and pedestrian routing for the whole world. Transit routing is now available for six cities in the US.
  • The OSM User Groups Map got a new domain
  • A map of the highway status in France (from red to blue)
  • provides a POI-Export function for Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
  • A neat data visualization video showing public transport in Rennes using OSM data donated by the city of Rennes.
  • ITO World is working on ITO Map, a future map rendering service.
  • The 100,000,000th way was recently added to the database.
  • The OSM History Viewer has been repaired and is working again.
  • For South-East Asia there (German) is a visualization available, which shows unmapped streets and waterways. In the map you can find objects which are only available in Google and not in OSM.
  • Walking Papers is testing some new print features and needs your help.
  • Jochen Topf has developed a tile server for Tirex using Node.js
  • Christoph Eckert is generating preprocessed OSM maps for MoNav on the German dev server.
  • OSM2World is a converter that creates a three-dimensional model of the world based on OpenStreetMap data. The model can be exported to different formats.”
  • OpenStreetMap is planning to participate in the Google Summer of Code again this year. Ideas will be collected here.
  • The developers that worked on some awesome new features during the OpenLayers Mobile Code Sprint are looking for people to test of the new stuff.
  • The Google Sketchup Plugin has its own wikipage now.
  • The Firefox-plugin “Operator” extracts so-called mikroformat-information of websites (for example addresses). User:FrViPofm has extend the tool for OSM and is searching for further active developers now, who are willing to translate the French tool into several languages.
  • A new build of Maperitive supports SRTM1 and custom digital elevation models (DEMS) now.
  • pyTrainer is a tool for Linux with a focus on ForeRunner. It can display GPS-tracks in graphs, maps and uses OSM in its current version. An article about this topic can be found here (German).
  • The company Omniscale announced a free OSM parser (imposm.parser).
  • OpenTrail, an Android OSM app for walkers and hikers, has been released.
  • With the new version of the “Open GPS Tracker” Android app, you can now upload GPX files directly to the OSM server.
  • Fixing things in the OSM database without actually knowing what you’re doing is always a bad idea – here’s a recent example.
  • An iPhone app was causing several outages and periods of slowness last week due to an abusive breach of our tile usage policy.

Authors: Pascal,Jonas & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue?
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.

Weekly OSM Summary #11

02/14/2011 – 02/24/2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world:

  • The True Offset web service is available since last week. True Offset aims to create a database of correction data for aerial imagery offsets.
  • The call for papers for this year’s SOTM.EU in Vienna is still open till the 28th of February. All the accepted speakers will get a free ticket to the conference. The organizing team is also looking for sponsors for the conference.
  • Travel Discounts for the SOTM conference in Denver are now available.
  • JOSM (latest) now supports MapCSS, a CSS like map style language this is also used by Potlatch 2.
  • ScanAerial is the successor of the JOSM plugin “Fuzzer” for the automatic tracing of seas and other water areas. The developer is looking for people to test the plugin and report bugs.
  • Forum user kendzi has developed a JOSM plugin that displays the scenery in 3D.
  • User:vvoovv has found a way to use Google Sketchup as an OSM editor.
  • OSMembrane is a new java application that offers a graphical user interface for Osmosis, the popular command line tool for manipulating large quantities of OSM data.
  • KeyPadMapper is an Android App specialized for mapping of house numbers.
  • The new MapQuest Android App has a dedicated OSM mode.
  • TileMill is a new open source map designing studio.
  • A chart visualizing “the most prolific contributors in the region and how contribution volume (not to be confused with quality!) changes over time.”
  • Maxim Dubinin has created some stats about the OSM community in Russia.
  • A new import is starting in Georgia.
  • DIY-StreetView is yet another initiative to make an open street view.
  • MapQuest is looking for projects that use its open services and could be presented at SXSW.
  • Everyone who missed the HOT conference call can listen to a recording of it and look at the notes here.
  • Steve Coast is looking for someone to take over future development of

Authors: Pascal, Jonas & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue? 
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.


Weekly OSM Summary #10

02/01/2011 – 02/14/2011

A summary of all the things happening in the OpenStreetMap world:

  • Bing launched an experimental service, which automatically traces ways from aerial images; A JOSM plug-in can be found here (JOSM-Plugin) and a demo without Silverlight here (Demo). More information about the official announcement and the method that is being used can be found at Andrew Turner’s blog post: “Automatic Road Detection – the Good and the Bad” and at Microsoft’s project member Ido Omer’s post at OSM-Talk.
  • The map has a new style! It is the result of collaboration work between Beate Braun’s bachelor-thesis and Geofabrik. The design is based on the Mapnik-Style and has a few new adjustments.
  • OpenCycleMap gets some small updates too – Here you can read more in Andy’s blog.
  • A new program visualizes OSM in 3D. A lot of developers that are currently working on topics that include OSM and 3D can meet at an OSM Wiki page now.
  • A flow animation of hiring bikes in London based on OpenStreetMap.
  • The future of Tiles@Home and how it could go on. Up to now the server and clients are not active yet and still under development.
  • New blog post by the Working Groups of the OSM-Foundation.
  • A User has been banned from the OSMF by the Data Working Group. He was tracing data from Google Maps. All his edits in OpenStreetMap have been deleted. Read more in the OSMF-talk mailing list.
  • Matthias Meißer is working on a worldwide Map of OSM usergroups. Germany has already such a map at
  • A new project, OpenDEM, would like to collect an “Open Digital Elevation Model (OpenDEM)” of the world.
  • New Zealand starts its own OSM portal:
  • Really nice “Point-of-Interest (POI)” map-demo for Paris:
  • SPOT donates images of the Ivory Coast for HOT.
  • You can register for the next SotM now! The conference will take place in Denver, Colorado from September 9th until September 11th,2011; some early registration discounts are available here (link). More Information can be found in the Wiki. Also, the winner of the Logo competition has been announced. Congratulation!
  • The upcoming WhereCampEU will take place in Berlin (May 27th and 28th).
  • February 16th, 2011 is a public HOT conference call.
  • The next “Open Knowledge Conference” (OKCon 2011) will be held in Berlin from June 30th till July 1st (via Talk-de).
  • Christoph Eckert wrote a blog post about the OSM-booth at the “Horizont Outdoor“ in Karlsruhe.

Authors: Pascal, Jonas & Dennis
Did we miss something? Do you want to help us collecting the news for next week’s issue? 
You can contact us via mail or Twitter.