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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.

Project of the Week: Cheese Shops and more

April is food month for Project of the Week / Month. We’ll be tagging
various portions of the food supply system in and around our homes.
We’ll look at marketplaces for the full month; venues for many vendors
where you can buy directly from the source. Through the month we’ll
look at individual vendors of various foods. As always, Project of the
Week and Project of the Month exist only to encourage your mapping.
You don’t need to wait for a project to add a cheese shop to the map!
Unless, of course, you waited for this week! This week, we address the
cheese shop and other specialty food ingredient shops.

This week we look at food vendors who offer specialty ingredients. The
butcher, baker, cheese monger, fish shop, and other specialty food
stores are the focus of this Project of the Week. Let’s put our favourite specialty ingredient vendors on the map.

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other
mappers. What is it about contributing to OpenStreetMap that
interests you? Postboxes? Bowing alleys? Share your OpenStreetMap
interests by suggesting a Project of the Week or Project of the Month.

Cheese photo by nikoretro is
licensed CC-By-SA

Image of the Week: Saransk Mapping Party Video


We first told you about the Saransk Mapping Party last month when OpenStreetMap contributors showed us
an animation of the mapping event. A month later, they have created a
video that combines animation of the mapping party with various
renderings for various uses and photos of the ground truth. Enjoy the

This is a Featured image, which means that it has been identified as
one of the best examples of OpenStreetMap mapping, or that it provides
a useful illustration related to the OpenStreetMap project.

If you know another image of similar quality, you can nominate it at

OpenStreetMap on Television

London OpenStreetMap in K9 episode The Bounty Hunter

[Updated 20 May 2011]

Above is an image of London, from the OpenStreetMap Mapnik rendering style, as it appeared in an episode of K9. K9 is a television series for 11 to 15 year-old children, produced by Stewart & Wall Entertainment.

As OpenStreetMap contributors, we enjoy seeing our collective map used by others. The nice folks at Stewart & Wall Entertainment wanted to do more for OpenStreetMap than just use the map in their TV program. They have also written a nice note on their web site, thanking us all for providing a cool map. You should read the note in their news section because it suggests something very cool for the future. And they have added a credit on the series information page, too.

Thanks, Stewart & Wall!

[ 20 May 2011 update ]

Stewart & Wall have added a “thanks” to OpenStreetMap on the company credits page for The Bounty Hunter on IMDB.

Geocaching beta map includes OpenStreetMap

It’s nice to see interesting projects using OpenStreetMap for
interesting things. have a Beta map that allows
users to select OpenStreetMap mapnik tiles as one of many basemaps.
This is pretty cool. What’s even cooler is that we may be approaching
the point where OpenStreetMap and Geocaching start to make each other
noticeably better.

Geocaching and OpenStreetMap seem like a match made in a top of the
line GPSr. As a long time OpenStreetMap participant, it has always
seemed like a natural match. It seemed to me that Geocachers would
like OpenStreetMap. Why did it take me so long to try geocaching?
And what secret did I learn that Geocachers will want to know?

Learn the secret about OpenStreetMap that your Geocaching friends will want to know.

More cool tricks by the MapQuest Open team

The MapQuest Open team have done it again! Check out these cool tricks they’ve created for OSM fun:

API allows searching the OpenStreetMap (OSM) data by name=value pairs or bounding box! Very cool stuff if you’re trying to find all the golf courses in OSM data in the greater Denver area:|leisure=golf_course%5D%5Bbbox=-105.20983780356221,39.59556488319815,-104.66052139733415,39.83325197240866%5D  

Here’s the link to the actual tool: all GUI and pretty with an XML response. 

The Nominatim Pre-Indexed Data Service gives OSM developers another database location (hosted on the MapQuest servers) from which to download the large Planet OSM data file from – the beauty is that this data file is already indexed so you don’t have to waste any time indexing a 15GB+ file! Once a developer has Nominatim running on their local server, they can download, via the NPI Data Service, updates approximately every 5 minutes.

A recent quote from the Open team:“you can set Nominatim up on a fairly crappy machine as long as it has reasonable disks, because a single processor home computer can load it from NPI.” They’re all about keeping things easy for anyone wanting the latest and greatest geocode data from OSM! 

Lastly, they’ve created a Broken Polygon Report that anyone can use to help make OSM data better and more accurate via JOSM or Potlatch 2. Think of how you’ve been editing an area only to find a sizable chunk of map data that is just messed up and you have to correct that first, before finishing up your edit…arugh! Another example is when OSM had an issue last December where a broken polygon ended up having all of Virginia being shown in Maryland. A broken polygon can mean that any map area can get “flooded” by another, as one polygon’s fill bleeds into the other via that broken gap. This report allows folks to easily find these little (or big) errors and fix them!

You can read more about XAPI, NPI and the Broken Polygon tool on the DevBlog and click on the pretty hyperlinks here: 

Big, huge, massive thanks go out to Matt Amos, Brian Quinion, Kumiko Yamazaki and Cameron Thomas for making this happen! 

Project of the Week: Groceries

Food month continues. The Project of the Month is farmers’ markets
where you can buy fresh food ingredients directly from the farmer.
This week we look at grocery stores, where we can get fresh food
ingredients but they might be from further away and from many vendors.

This week we look at fresh fruit and vegetables from shops large and
small. For smaller shops we have greengrocers, for larger we have

For project of the Week add your local grocery stores to the map.

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other
mappers. What is it about contributing to OpenStreetMap that
interests you? Postboxes? Bowing alleys? Share your OpenStreetMap
interests by suggesting a Project of the Week or Project of the Month.

Greengrocer photo by artq55 is licensed CC-By-SA.