Category Archives: Uncategorized

Image of the Week: Hamburger Sommerdom


Hamburg has a large carnival three times a year for each 4 weeks. User
mbuege maps all the attractions and fast food stands.

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 of the OpenStreetMap project.

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

Yahoo! Geo-properties at risk?

A recent entry on the Yahoo! Developer Network Blog mentions some
sweeping changes for Yahoo! developers. In part, and relating to geo:

Maps, Geo, and Local

Location-based services are an essential element in web app
development. We will be evaluating all our Geo, Maps, and Local
APIs–updating or shutting down some of them, and working with our
strategic partner, Nokia, on others. We will work with our developer
community to ensure a smooth transition in all instances and we will
share more details about these decisions in September.

Read the full posting at Yahoo! Developer Network Blog.

Hat tip: wnoronha

Project of the Week: Add a Trail to OpenStreetMap

Your multi-use trail might provide a path for school children with
less vehicle traffic. It might provide a measured distance for
runners to exercise. It might provide educational access to a
protected environmental area or a place to go with the family for some
fresh air and a picnic.

Your multi-use path adds character to your neighbourhood and to the
map. One of the most fundamental contributions that you can make to
OpenStreetMap is to add a new trail, path or road. The Project of the
Week is to add a Trail to OpenStreetMap.

Find details on how to participate in this Project of the Week see the wiki

Newer OpenStreetMap contributors can find a tutorial on how to add a
trail to OpenStreetMap, along with other tutorials, here

This is your Project of the Week. Make suggestions. Inspire other mappers.

Other Projects of the Week / Humanitarian Mapping
Humanitarian emergencies continue. If you can provide some additional
remote mapping time please consider helping.

Trail photo by Mostaque Chowdhury is licensed CC-By.

Happy Anniversary OpenStreetMap


OpenStreetMap turns six today, so Happy Anniversary and / or Happy
Birthday. Celebrations around the world range from quiet reflection
of individual mappers to raucous demonstrations of mass cartography.
Also, there are sweets.

Congratulations, OpenStreetMap, and here is to many more!

Image of the Week: British Isles, six years later

Six years after OSM was started, the British Isles are finally
starting to look mapped

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 of the OpenStreetMap project.

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

Project of the Week: Russian Fires


Wildfires, fed by drought and high temperatures, continue in Russia.……

The Project of the Week is to mark burned areas on the map using
updated satellite imagery. This Project of the Week requires
familiarity with interpreting low-resolution aerial images and
advanced OSM tools and techniques and may not be suitable for newer
mappers. OSM contributors Komzpa and andrewsh have provided some
background and instructions for advanced mappers.

The original instructions, in Russian, are here.

Flooding continues in Pakistan

Flooding, displacement and casualties continue in the monsoon flooding
in Pakistan. Consider continuing to assist with mapping in the flood
affected areas.

Firefighter photo ©AFP

OSM License Upgrade – Stage Two Begins

News from Mike Collinson, Chair of the OSMF License Working Group:

As promised, and long awaited, the next phase of the OSM License
Upgrade has arrived. Phase 2 – Existing Contributor Voluntary
Re-licensing [1] has begun, and you may indicate your acceptance of
the new Contributor Terms for your existing OSM API account. To
accept the terms visit, (you may
be asked to login first), or your user settings page.

Please note that OpenStreetMap is not changing the license on any
published data at this point. Existing contributors are being asked
to permit re-licensing of their data in the future when it makes sense
to do so.

There is no decline button, and no obligation to answer yet. Existing
Contributor Voluntary Re-licensing is for those who wish to accept the
terms and get on with mapping.

We’ll be publishing which users have accepted so that we can all see
the progress in terms of users and re-licensed data.

We hope that you will accept the new Contributor Terms [2] and ODbL
for each of your user accounts if you have more than one.

** Why are we doing it like this? **

What ifs, what ifs. The key is clearly to reduce these. Those that
simply want to get on mapping and accept that we won’t doing anything
daft, can sign up. Those that are worried about data loss and that
the OSMF will make a stupid decision, can wait and see. We’ll show
how much of the database is potentially covered by the ODbL. We’ve got
some help on modelling that, and we’ll aim for at least a weekly
update if not daily. We’ll also make all the data available needed to
calculate that, so if you want to try a different metric or just see
what is happening in your local area, everything will be transparent.

If you support the share-alike concept, I urge you to accept the new
Contributor Terms which provides for a coherent Attribution,
Share-Alike license written especially for databases. If you are a
Public Domain license supporter, we are divided as a community on
which is best and I do urge you to give this one a good try. The
Contributor Terms are expressly written to allow us to come back in
future years and see what is best without all this fuss about
procedure. And if you’d just really like all this hoo-haa to go away
and get back to mapping, well, please say yes.

** Some supporting notes: **

() The key thing is that there are about 12,500 contributors who have
contributed over 98% of the pre-May data.

() I personally really, really want to get a coherent license in place
so that my mapping efforts are more widely used. I also really, really
don’t want us as a community to shoot ourselves in the head and
divide. I pledge to continue working with *both* objectives in mind.

() The License Working Group will not recommend switching over the
license if data loss is unreasonable [3]. We will issue a formal
statement to that effect and are attempting to define better what
“unreasonable” means. A totally quantitative criteria is extremely
difficult to define ahead of actually seeing what specific problems
may arise. But I understand the concern that we are tempted to do
something wild.

() The License Working Group will ask the OSMF board to issue a
similar statement.

() We are working to create a process whereby we can model on a
regular basis how much of the OSM database is covered by ODbL and how
much not. We will make all the data needed to do that public so that
anyone can analyse using their own metrics. Work on this is active and
being discussed on the dev mailing list. You will need:

– An ordinary planet dump.
– Access to history data. A public 18GB “history dump” is available
The intent is to make this available on a regular basis with difffs. A
full re-generation takes several days.
– A list of userids of who has and has not accepted the license. Work
in progress.

() A final vote on whether to switch or not remains an option. But let
us see first if “data loss” really is an issue and what the specific
problems might be.

Regards to all,
License Working Group


[2] The new Contributor Terms: – Summary – Full
text and links to translations

[3] License
Working Group minutes, see Item 7

BDFL & Moderation

Despite the discussion resulting from my post yesterday, there continue to be individuals on the talk@ mailing list disrupting the community.

I would personally like to reach out to John Smith as one of the people who seems to have cooled off, and thank you.

I have posted Andy’s draft etiquette to the wiki

Specifically, I point to the basics of mailing list etiquette:

Mailing Lists
• Assume good faith
• Stay on topic
• No conspiracy theories
• No grandstanding
• If you’ve made your point already, you don’t need to tell us all again
• Nitpicking doesn’t help you or anyone else
• Learn to live with the reply-to setting. We’re not changing it, no matter what your opinion is and so on.

Having had deep discussions with many key people in OSM, asked for their advice and direction, I reluctantly appoint myself Benevolent Dictator For Life.

As BDFL, I hereby give warning that in 24 hours time I will begin enforcing these etiquette guidelines. Specifically, anyone who continuously and deliberately breaks the guidelines, despite warnings, will be moderated off the list for a 24 hour ‘cooling off’ period. If after this cooling off period, further continuous and deliberate breaches occur, despite warnings, additional cooling off periods will be enacted growing exponentially with each time. For example, 24 hours cooling off, then further breaches, then 48 hours cooling off, then further breaches, then 96 hours and so on.

This is not about squashing dissent. If you disagree with others license opinions, legal-talk is there for you. If you want to join a Working Group, you still can. If you want to create a PD OSM project, you have all the source and mailing lists are freely available around the web.

This is purely about restoring the mutual respect and balance of the talk@ mailing list, and not allowing a few to disrupt the main channel of communication to the point where the vast majority no longer find discussion worthwhile.

I plan only to moderate people (for 24 hours) after taking a poll of key people including Andy Allan, Matt Amos, Katie Filbert, Tom Hughes, Emilie Laffray, Frederik Ramm, Ivan Sanchez, Grant Slater and Richard Weait. If you think more than these would be good then let me know. Any moderation will be announced to those people I just mentioned, and not publicly. Why not publicly? On balance, it seems better to not call out individuals publicly which might only make things worse and make them feel more upset, which is not the purpose of a ‘cooling off’ period. Any one of those people I announce it to could announce it publicly if they want to.

I am happy to listen to a different panel, if one constitutes itself. If I have full confidence in said panel, I’ll consider handing over the power and stepping back.

As BDFL I still have limits upon my power. You can vote me out of the OSMF. You can convince the server team to change the mailman password so I can no longer moderate. I am also imposing a self-limiting, four week (28 day) period starting from when this warning period ends (in 24 hours) whereby, if I don’t exercise my BDFL powers during that time, I will step back.
So, please, have a think about what and where you are posting, and lets make talk@ a nice place to be again.