Author Archives: Richard Weait

Change to ODbL imminent

Hello OpenStreetMap-pers,

The change to ODbL is imminent. No, Really. We mean it.

At long last we are at the end of the license change process. After four years of consultation, debate, revision, improvement, revision, debate, improvement, implementation, coding and mapping, mapping, mapping, it comes down to this final step. And this final step is an easy one, because we have all pitched in to do the hard work in advance. The last step is so easy, it will be a picnic.

On Wednesday, 12 September 2012[1], generation of the next Planet file will begin. At that point, the API will switch over to ODbL and OpenStreetMap will be an ODbL-licensed Open Data project. API transactions and diffs consumed after that point will consist of ODbL-licensed OpenStreetMap data.

About thirty hours later, that newly-generated planet file will be available from planet.openstreetmap.org for you to consume with your renderers, routers, QA systems, convertors and re-imaginers.

You won’t want to mix ODbL diffs with old license planets or diffs. Purge and reload your systems with the ODbL planet. Then consume the ODbL diffs. Planet will have a new directory structure. We’re taking this opportunity to rationalize the layout of planet directories a bit. You should find it easier to understand afterwards. This also means that you won’t accidentally mix data of different licenses.

Mappers

Mappers shouldn’t see a difference and won’t have to change their mapping. Continue to improve OpenStreetMap by mapping from your own survey observations and using OSM-approved external sources. Never copy from other maps.

Data consumers

If you consume OpenStreetMap data and publish it, we have some guidance for you on the wiki. You’ll want to consider your obligations under the new license and then proceed to purge your old data and switch to the new. Many consumers, such as custom renderers, will only need to update their attribution of OpenStreetMap to the new simplified attribution.

Data consumers may time their upgrades to the new planet and diffs at their convenience.

Best regards and happy mapping,
The Communication Working Group

[1] in case of rain, we won’t cancel this picnic, just reschedule it for the subsequent Wednesday, 19 September 2012.

Image credit

Photo of cat in picnic basket is © Jacob Davies, licensed CC-By-SA.

Your First ODbL Planet

The first day of State of the Map, each year is filled with anticipation. Anticipation of seeing old friends and making new ones, anticipation of inspirational presentations and discussions and anticipation of big announcements.

The opening session at State of the Map, 2012, was no different. In Tokyo, on Thursday morning, 06 September 2012, Steve Coast called Michael Collinson, chair of the License Working Group to the stage to make an announcement. And it was an announcement that we have been anticipating for quite some time.

The next OpenStreetMap planet published will be an ODbL planet.

Mr. Collinson also thanked the countless hundreds (or thousands) who aided immeasurably in the OpenStreetMap license upgrade to ODbL. He named a representative few including OSMF legal counsel Wilson Sonsini, OpenStreetMap community members Richard Fairhurst, Frederik Ramm and Francis Davey, author of the ODbL, Jordan Hatcher and posthumously, License Working Group member Ulf Möller.

There will be more details posted in the next days, but for now we’re excited to share this announcement with you.

Memorial Fund and Award

In January, 2012, our friend Ulf Möller died unexpectedly. Ulf was a mapper known for his smile and his helpful demeanor. He was also an OpenStreetMap Foundation board member, elected in 2009 and served on the License Working Group. His friends in the OpenStreetMap community have struggled with this; How can we recognize Ulf’s contributions to the community? How can we cope with our feelings of loss?

Ulf’s family, who are surely feeling the loss of their son, brother, nephew, provided consolation and guidance for us. Today, on what would have been Ulf’s fortieth birthday, we announce:

The Ulf Möller Memorial Fund

The Möller family have asked us to accept donations to the OpenStreetMap Foundation in Ulf’s name, to continue his contributions to the project. The Ulf Möller Memorial Fund will serve to advance the cause of OpenStreetMap as Ulf did. You may honour your memories of Ulf by donating in his name.

Donations to the Memorial Fund can be made by credit card, paypal or bank transfer.

We are also announcing:

The Ulf Möller Memorial Award

The Ulf Möller Memorial Award will recognize an individual each year who improves OpenStreetMap through good mapping, benefit to the community and other improvements to the OpenStreetMap project.

You may nominate a person who makes a difference to the OpenStreetMap project for a Memorial Award by email. Include the name of the nominee and their noteworthy actions. The first Memorial Award will be recognized in May 2013.

We’ll be able to celebrate the memory of our friend and the continuing good works of mappers, each May.

Ulf Möller, 1972 - 2012

Photo courtesy the Möller family.

OpenStreetMap and Summer of Code 2012

OpenStreetMap will have six projects in Summer of Code this year selected from a bumper crop of 28 proposals. Projects range from tools for data surveys to editor improvements to rendering improvements. Have a look at the full announcement and the list of projects, students and mentors. Students will be posting progress reports to the developers’ mailing list so that you can keep up with them.

geocoder.ca sued by Canada Post

Canada Post has filed suit against geocoder.ca in Federal Court. Geocoder.ca provides a crowd sourced Canadian post code database, available as Open Data under ODC’s ODbL.

The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic CIPPIC will represent geocoder.ca, and you can help by donating to their legal defense fund.

Details can be found with the announcement on the geocoder.ca web site.

API Read – Write returns

The sysadmin team completed the data base migration to the new DB server on schedule during the the morning of 04 April 2012. The API is now back to normal, Read – Write operation. Now the final steps of the license upgrade will proceed as outlined in the March – April service schedule announcement

Other items of possible interest as the license upgrade process proceeds:

osm.org map tile generation will recommence within the next few hours.

Replication diffs during the license upgrade period have started after community requests. These cc-by-sa data replication diffs are found in the redaction-period directory on planet. planet.openstreetmap.org/redaction-period. These diffs will only serve the period up until the switch to the new license. Mappers have requested these diffs for the redaction period. General consumers of OSM data may choose to consume these diffs or not at their discretion.

ODbL diffs will be located in another directory to be announced in future.

During the redaction period it is recommended that editors save their work early and often to reduce the chances of, and the complexity of conflicts with the back ground redaction process.