Category Archives: fun

Celebrate the 15th OSM anniversary with a birthday party!

The 15th OpenStreetMap anniversary will be celebrated on 10th of August, 2019!
Image by OSM Communication Working Group, CC-BY-SA 3.0. OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.

The “Birthday” of OpenStreetMap is lost in the sands of time. Observance of the anniversary of the creation of OpenStreetMap is held on or about the 9th of August, which is the anniversary of the registration of the domain name. The concept of OpenStreetMap predates the domain name registration, but that seems a suitable anniversary date.

This year the anniversary will be celebrated on
10th of August!

Will you organise an OSM birthday party?

How to organise a community birthday party

  • Contact OSMers in your area and talk among yourselves. Decide what you want to do.
  • It can be as big or as small as you want. A few people meeting for some food/drink, or a bigger event.
  • Invite new people! It can be a great way to spread the word about OSM. Promote your event.
  • You can make/order a birthday cake. See previous examples of OSM cakes for inspiration. Don’t forget the attribution!
  • If you take photos, you can share them on the OSM wiki afterwards.
  • Edit this wiki page and put details of your event in.
  • Remember a core principle of OSM: Have fun!

If wiki editing isn’t your thing, email with your event details and we’ll add it 🙂

Events are already planned in Japan, Belarus, Germany and the US.
Join us!

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

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.

Happy Birthday OpenStreetMap

Cake in Fukushima, Japan © CC-BY-SA 3.0  Ikiya and family

OpenStreetMap is 14 today! We’ve been partying in various locations around the world: Hyderbad, New Delhi, Moscow, Kigoma, Rapperswil, London, Washington DC, Denver, and Seattle.

Celebrations in London

Celebrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh, after a mapathon

If you missed the birthday party, don’t worry. Our community is lively with events happening all the time. You can see some of them listed on the current events list here, or find out more generally what’s happening in your country/city on the wiki.

Cake in Washington DC

The true “Birthday” of OpenStreetMap is lost in the sands of time. Observance of the anniversary of the creation of OpenStreetMap is held on or about the anniversary of the registration of the domain name (9th August). This year 12th August seemed like a suitable Sunday!

With over a million people making OpenStreetMap edits, and around 5000 people making edits on any particular day, it’s hard to imagine a time when all of this hadn’t even got started yet, But that time was 14 years ago, in the summer of 2004. We’ve come a long way since then. Wherever you are in the world, join us in saying “Happy Birthday OpenStreetMap!”

Participate in our poster competition!

Poster competition at SotM-EU 2014. Photo by Michael Reichert. Licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

At State of the Map we love hearing what has been done with open map data, but we also love seeing it too. This year we’re taking inspiration from regional SotM EU conference and holding a poster competition. Your poster could show how well your home is mapped, it could be a beautiful new style or map. It might not focus on a map but instead focus on a community or statistics, it might be a poster explaining and inviting people to OpenStreetMap. What’s important, is we want it to be about OpenStreetMap.

Rules for the competition

  • Poster should be for A0 size (841×1189mm)
  • Poster should be about OpenStreetMap
  • One entry per person

How to enter

  • Upload your poster online
  • Send an e-mail to with the subject “Poster Entry
  • Include: a link to the image, title of the poster, your name(s), whether you would like to bring the A0 poster or for us to print it. The licence of the submitted works is considered to be CC BY-SA 4.0, unless noted otherwise on the image.

Deadline: 30th June 2018

With the entries

  • The SotM team hope to shortlist up to 20 posters that will be displayed during the State of the Map 2018 conference in Milan
  • During the conference, attendees will be invited to vote on their favourite posters
  • As of this time there are no prizes planned other than the satisfaction of sharing your poster with the State of the Map community.

You don’t have to attend SotM 2018 to enter this competition, but great conversations happen while viewing the posters so grab your SotM tickets here!

We have our winners!

A group photo of all the nominees on the stage of the State of the Map conferenceOn September 25th we announced the winners of the OpenStreetMap Awards, for which hundreds of mappers voted this month. The results are:
  • The Core Systems Award went to Roland Olbricht for the Overpass API.
  • The Innovation Award went to Manuel Roth and Lukas Martinelli for OSM2VectorTiles.
  • The Influential Writing Award went to the WeeklyOSM Team for their weekly news blog.
  • The Greatness in Mapping Award went to Martin Ždila for mapping a lot of hiking routes.
  • The Expanding the Community Award went to Pascal Neis for his community maps.
  • The Ulf Möller Memorial Award went to Frederik Ramm.
All the nominees are doing important work for improving OpenStreetMap, making it better and more visible. We cannot thank you enough! Also thanks to everyone who voted and to these who spend their hours on the open maps. Please continue the good work, and prepare to nominate each other for the next awards. See you next year!

Nominate Your Heroes for the OpenStreetMap Awards

Announcing the OpenStreetMap Awards, awarded for the first time this September at the State of the Map 2016 conference in Brussels!

This is a community award: nominees and winners are chosen by the community. We are now opening the Call for Nominees, to learn more about the amazing contributors to OpenStreetMap. The Awards strive to be a worldwide event for all OpenStreetMap members, including developers, mappers, community leaders, blog writers and everyone else. We need your help to find the best of OpenStreetMap globally.

Add your nominees on the awards website. There are six categories: Core Systems, Innovation, Writing, Mapping, Community and the Ulf Möller Memorial Award. You can nominate up to ten people, groups or organizations for each category. Eligible are projects or works that were announced after August 1st, 2015, except for the Ulf Möller Award, for which everyone is eligible regardless of the time when they were active in the project.

The call for nominees will close August 27th, and shortly after that we will start the second round, choosing the award recipients. Please nominate!

Ian White’s panel at Nav&Loc

Yesterdays closing panel, which overran substantially, was great. Bordering on hilarious. The panel included Christian Petersen of CloudMade, Darren Koenig from TeleAtlas and Duncan McCall of Public Earth. Podcast is here. Best quality I could get with my laptop mic.

Now you’re 5…

When you’re 5 years old you get asked questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, OpenStreetMap is 5 years old and there are a few answers to that question. But maybe a good first answer would be “banned on Google Enterprise maps”. You must of made an impact by then, huh? And yes, it’s true!

[…] You agree not to, and not to allow third parties or Your End Users, to use the Services or Content: […] to use or display Tele Atlas’ US Address Points obtained from the Services on a base map comprised of map data or content provided by International Publishers NV, NavNGo Kft., NAVTEQ Corporation, OpenStreetMap Foundation, or Zenrin Co., Ltd. […]

Check it out on the Google Maps API Premier Acceptable Use Policy.

OpenStreetMap server upgrades

Last weekend the OSM servers received a major reorganisation, tidy and new machines including beasts like the new tile server yevaud which has ‘only’ 24Gb of RAM and a few terabytes of storage. You can read more about what was done on the wiki page.

Here you can see the internet’s Matt Amos opening the new boxes:

Matt Amos opening server boxes

And here the interwebs Andy Allan of OpenCycleMap fame in an action shot:

Andy Allan

Two days of hard work led to some super professional server cabinets all neatly stashed and humming away:

OSM servers!

As well as Matt and Andy, Grant Slater (see more below), Cragg Nilson, Kai, Frederik Ramm and Dave Stubbs all helped out so big thanks to them!

Whilst at the OSM 5th Anniversary Party I had the chance to chat with a number of people and put together some videos using the awesome Flip HD camera (Amazon UK, Amazon US). The first of which is below where I talk to Grant. You can watch it online on youtube or watch it on your iPod here. Remember you can catch all these media things with the podcast link at the top right of the site.

Help me make your map better

I’m trying an experiment with walking-papers. Get all my non-mapping friends to print out a map of their area, write on the print out the errors, house numbers etc and then I will do the rest. I’ve tweeted here:

“Help me make your map better – what you think?”

You can too. Get your friends, family… even enemies involved. Re-tweet or facebook status update with that, or ask them to send you the paper yourself.

This is a great way to get lots more people involved, and spread your mapping efforts. For bonus points, next time you see your Aunt Ethel print it out for her, or get all your workmates to fix their home areas. Buy a pint for the person with the best map updates.