Toward resolution of controversies related to iD

The OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors seeks to resolve controversies that have periodically arisen around updates of and enhancements to the iD editor. This request for comment is expected to lead to adoption of community structures that will not answer to the Board or be influenced by the Board, in keeping with the OSM philosophy that the Board supports OSM but does not tell anybody what to map or how to map. We ask that comments be made on the OSM-talk mailing list (register to OSM-talk) or -if you are an OSMF member- to the OSMF-talk mailing list discussion (register to OSMF-talk).

OSMF offers and recommendations for iD governance

iD is the simple, friendly, default web editor for OpenStreetMap, centrally important software for the project. There’s a lot of passion about its development, and that appears sometimes to become a problem.

The OSMF Board recently convened a small gathering to discuss how to improve the development environment for iD. While there have certainly been times when major and minor decisions in iD have triggered conflict, the vast majority of development discussions are non-polarizing and productive. The convening focused on the key areas where problems emerge (most often, though not only, tagging), and ways to allow for constructive disagreement and resolution, without their deteriorating into disputes that hurt the project.

Essentially, the maintainers of iD need a productive space to carry out their work; contributors, users and other interested parties need to be heard; the decision-making process needs to be understood and respected; and disputes need a way to escalate and resolve.

There’s no technical solution to this kind of situation. What’s required is process and organization. To that end, below are several offers and recommendations from the OSMF Board that the iD project may consider supporting and adopting. We hope that the iD project finds these suggestions helpful and looks forward to discussing what sounds workable and what does not.

OSMF will establish an appeal process

OSMF is seriously considering creating or identifying a body to adjudicate various kinds of technology disputes, capable of drawing on expertise ad hoc to determine the best path forward for the community. Software projects could opt-in into using this appeal process; it would not be required. This appeal process may simply involve arbitrating the disagreement between different parties or projects and helping to find agreement between them; or might involve making or overruling decisions. This mechanism is under early discussion, yet to be defined.

If disputed decisions cannot be resolved directly within the iD project by its maintainers and stakeholders, then the issue can be escalated to this appeal process.

The role of this group would certainly not be to force developers to add certain features. However, if issues are escalated to the group, it could verify that newly added features (e.g., presets, validation rules, or inclusion of external services) are in line with a consensus view.

If this sounds potentially helpful at this stage, OSMF asks iD to share input and expectations to make the process most effective.

OSMF will support development of better systems for tagging decisions; iD documents status quo and separation of concerns

The only way to assess the “correct” tags is a baroque evaluation of the various sources of OSM documentation – the wiki, tagging mailing list, taginfo. This leaves editing and consumption tools in the position to “decide” on what tags are appropriate or not for OpenStreetMap. When this turns contentious, at best this is an unwelcome distraction; and at worst, development can be blocked. To this end, the OSMF welcomes the development of better documentation, decision-making and a curation process for tags. Where needed, the OSMF is prepared to aid such efforts with infrastructure and other support. This would provide a greater degree of clarity for tool developers. If an action taken on presets in iD is contested, the issue could be escalated to the appeal process described above.

For iD’s part, while work on tagging systems is ongoing, we recommend now adding detail on the status quo approach iD takes to tagging decisions in CONTRIBUTING.md. It’s clear that iD aspires to refrain from making decisions on what tags are appropriate for OpenStreetMap; rather, iD aims to represent the consensus view on tags in presets. “Consensus” is currently subjective, and the iD project strongly (we believe, please say so if otherwise) supports efforts in OSM to bring more clarity to how tags are developed.

Presets can be requested in issues, and in PRs, as well as discussion in the issue/PR. The maintainer of iD reserves the right to include or exclude certain tags/presets on technical or usability grounds, though the goal is to avoid curating tags and making decisions on the merits of tags in general. If there seems to be consensus, based on evaluation of source documentation, and it meets a need for other users, presets will be accepted. If there is not clear consensus, the preset (or validation rule, etc.) won’t be accepted.

Institute quarterly planning meetings, and publish bi-weekly sync time and notes

OSMF recommends iD hold a quarterly (or so) video meeting with iD stakeholders. This meeting is a chance to step out of the everyday work of iD and make sure work is on the right path. The agenda would assess development over last quarter, discuss requirements and priority needs, and make plans for the next quarter and beyond. Additionally if any decisions or topics have proven difficult or disputed over the past quarter, this is a time for direct discussion. Notes will be taken and distributed.

Additionally, iD holds a bi-weekly sync, but it is not well known. iD could raise awareness of the bi-weekly sync by announcing it on additional channels, including https://ideditor.blog/; and make sure notes from the sync are visible and accessible.

iD can improve clarity on decision making and communication

We recommend that in CONTRIBUTING.md iD maintainers add a new section which explains how decisions are made in iD. Some points made here are contingent on adopting other recommendations. The new section would explain the following.

  • There are many places to discuss and input on iD development – GitHub issues and PRs, the monthly syncs, quarterly planning meeting, and in response to announcements on https://ideditor.blog/.
  • The developers of iD are committed to being responsive and transparent. By default, iDs maintainers determine the sequence and timing of fixes, changes and enhancements in order to optimize technical work.
  • Invite stakeholders to join an “acceptance testing” process, where feedback on releases is sought and handled for a time delimited period of time.
  • Ultimate decision on accepting PRs is with iD’s maintainer, Quincy Morgan.
  • If there is a dispute on a decision, that will be escalated to the quarterly planning meeting and/or an appeal process managed within the OSM Foundation.

Additionally, we recommend that iD publish a roadmap and regularly update status on major iD releases. iD3 plans were last shared at SotM US. The approach has changed, with more focus on updated UI, and more iterative efforts on componentization. It would be good to get a clear idea of where things are, and where things are going (as much as is clear now), and especially where help is needed in order to build momentum on this important effort.

Document how Code of Conduct is handled

iD has a Code of Conduct but it lacks details on how to report a harmful incident within the iD development environment, and how those reports are adjudicated. Previously Code of Conduct complaints were addressed openly by opening an issue on GitHub, but maintainers later directed people towards the private OSMUS committee. Clarity on process is just as important, if not more, in order for a CoC to be helpful to the project. If that process is not well defined, then thought is needed, perhaps within the quarterly planning meeting. Our recommendation is to add a section on CoC process.

Allan Mustard
Chairperson, OSMF Board of Directors

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

OSMF and GraphHopper joint press release: GraphHopper Routing Engine 1.0 Released

Note: The OpenStreetMap Foundation and GraphHopper publish this joint press release due to the Gold Corporate Membership of GraphHopper GmbH. If you want to be an OSMF Corporate Member too, you can join at https://join.osmfoundation.org/corporate-membership/

On 25th May the release of version 1.0 for the open source GraphHopper routing engine was announced. The first version 0.1 of the routing engine was released in 2013 and since then it has grown into a mature solution that is integrated on openstreetmap.org since late 2014 and is now used by thousands of companies around the world.

The new release contains a fast alternative routes feature, as well as a new customizable routing that allows people to modify the routing behaviour even without programming knowledge.

New feature of GraphHopper Routing Engine: Fast Alternative Routes
Customizable routing: Here the bike mode is forced to prefer official bike routes even though this means a big detour. Another use case would be a cargo bike where additional properties like road width are taken into account.


For a demo and more details about the new features you can read the full announcement at graphhopper.com

One key player in the GraphHopper community is the GraphHopper GmbH. The mission of the GraphHopper GmbH is to build the routing software stack of the future, with as many open source software as possible and also utilizing open data, like OpenStreetMap. The GraphHopper GmbH supports the OpenStreetMap project with sponsoring the routing service for openstreetmap.org, with using and improving the data as well as spreading the word. Since 2018 the GraphHopper GmbH is also a Gold Corporate Member of the OSMF.

What is GraphHopper
The GraphHopper Routing Engine is an open source software project started in 2012. The GraphHopper GmbH is a company founded in 2016 in Germany to support the development for its open source projects like the GraphHopper Routing Engine and jsprit. 

GraphHopper routing is integrated on www.openstreetmap.org, together with OSRM routing.

What is OpenStreetMap
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.

What is the OpenStreetMap Foundation
The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

State of the Map 2020 – Call for Posters

Submit a poster today!

Building on previous State of the Map culture, we love to hear what has been done with OpenStreetMap data, and as the motto for this year also implies too “Art of the Map” we would love to see more. Therefore, we invite you to participate in our poster exhibition for the virtual State of the Map 2020!

Your poster could show how well your home region is mapped, it could be a beautiful new style or map. It might focus on a community project or statistics, it might be a poster explaining and inviting people to OpenStreetMap. What’s important, is we want it to be about OSM. We’re also welcoming academic posters about research around OpenStreetMap data.

Need more inspiration? Take a look at the posters from 2019.

Rules for submission

  • Poster should be for A0 size (841×1189mm)
  • Poster should be related to OpenStreetMap
  • Poster should be open, innovative and transparent (no-copying)
  • Poster must be your own work (individual, team or institution)
  • Poster should be under open licence (CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later recommended or CC0 🙂 )
  • Maximum 2 entries per person, team or institution

How to enter

  • Upload your poster to OSM Wiki
  • File size maximum 30-40 MB
  • Format PDF
  • Please send an email to sotm@openstreetmap.org with a description of your poster, for example the background of the project or whatever you find important to mention in the context of the poster – all that you would tell people if you show them your poster. We will publish this text together with the poster on the SotM website https://2020.stateofthemap.org/calls/posters/
  • Please mention also the link of the uploaded poster in that email, so that we could know which of the uploaded posters is yours.

Timeline and Deadlines

  • Start: 10 May 2020
  • Deadline: 30 June 2020

The SotM team hopes to shortlist up to 20 posters that will be published on our website and some other SotM channels under CC BY SA 3.0 (or later)

The State of the Map Working Group


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

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

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.

Announcing the OSM Foundation’s Call for Microgrant Applications

2020 will be the first year that the OSM Foundation operates the new microgrants project. In the coming weeks, we hope to hear from you about a bold, community-driven, and impactive OpenStreetMap project idea that will benefit from a microgrant of up to 5000 euros. We welcome a broad range of projects, with the minimum requirement being a clear connection to OpenStreetMap.

What is a microgrant? In our case, it is a modest amount of funds awarded to applicants in order to fund direct expenses of a project. For an idea of successful projects, you can take a look at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s 2019 microgrant awardees. Keep in mind that the OSM Foundation (OSMF) has a wider focus than the humanitarian sector, spanning our global community, and welcomes applications with any focus that relates to OpenStreetMap. We particularly encourage applicants to consider the core values from the OSMF’s mission statement and how any microgrant work can incorporate them.

The OSMF Microgrant Program focuses on simple grant proposals, and we will swiftly decide on what to fund. Our goal is to avoid a complicated and long application and decision process. You should submit a brief and concise proposal, and we plan to quickly announce the awardees.

We encourage submissions from individuals, groups, and organizations who have a clear idea they want to pursue. Each project should be completed within 12 months of the microgrant being awarded this spring. Microgrants are open to all OSMF members, and can be submitted in any language. If you are not yet a member of OSMF then you can apply to join up until the time you submit a microgrant application, and be eligible for an award. Please note there is an active contributor program that may allow you to join the OSMF at no cost. 

In light of the ongoing health crisis regarding COVID19, we will not be awarding microgrants for projects which require offline group gatherings and in person meetings, although these ideas are certainly valuable for future rounds.

Funding can be used for a variety of purposes. You may need tools and supplies for mapping activity, funds for training materials, technology expenses for a series of virtual mapathons, prizes for an online coding, mapping, or writing contest, and many more examples. Please embrace your own creativity and not feel limited by the range of examples.

We encourage you to consult with your local OpenStreetMap community when planning a microgrant application, and make sure you adhere to community guidelines in the scope of the project. If accepted for a microgrant, you will be responsible for reporting progress, signing a grant agreement, and making sure to follow the detailed microgrant rules. It is strongly suggested that your project uses the funding to enable volunteer work to have a wider and stronger impact than it would without funding.

The call for microgrants will open on April 19th, 2020 and we will continue to accept applications through May 10th, 2020. In order to submit,  visit the OSM Wiki page and click on “Start your application” to enter the template. When this is complete, send a message to microgrants at osmfoundation.org. We also encourage sharing your application on osmf-talk when it is submitted. If you need help with the submission process, please feel free to contact the Microgrants Committee for help. If you don’t have enough time to prepare your plan and application, please consider submitting it in a possible future round of microgrants.

Once the submission period closes on May 10th, we invite the community to review the complete list of submissions and provide feedback on the wiki page. We also will accept feedback by email to microgrants at osmfoundation.org and via osmf-talk

Complete timeline:

  • April 19: call for microgrant applications opens
  • May 10: final date for submission (23:59 Pacific Time Zone, USA). 
  • May 10-TBD: community feedback period
  • Late May: announcement of awards

For more details, see the complete rules and guidelines on the OSM wiki and contact us at microgrants at osmfoundation.org with any questions. This is the first time the OSMF is sponsoring such an activity, and we look forward to learning together about how this benefits our community and how to build a transparent, effective, and inclusive microgrants program for everyone involved. We are grateful for the opportunity to make funds available to the community and hope to hear your ideas in the coming weeks.

Chris Beddow, OSMF Microgrants Committee Chair

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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

Thanks to our new tile cache and domain name sponsors

Content Delivery Network of tile delivery caching servers.

The OpenStreetMap Foundation Operations Working Group wants to thank all the recent donations of nodes for our tile cache CDN: 

Tile cache nodes allow us to serve all users by answering map tile requests closer to the user, giving a faster response time, reducing rendering server load, and saving international bandwidth.

Caches added in 2019

In 2019, thanks to sponsors, caches have been hosted in the following countries:

Australia

Brazil

France

Germany

New Zealand

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United States


Chinese Dragon by Nyo, public domain

OpenStreetMap has an internal server naming theme based on fictional dragons, as in “here be dragons“.

Full list of tile caches here and on a map.

Would you like to host a tile cache?

If you operate an internet exchange, host company, or otherwise have a site with good internet connectivity and high regional bandwidth, you can look at the tile CDN node requirements. We welcome hosting of tile caches elsewhere, and are particularly looking for tile caches in Africa and Asia. If you are interested, please contact us.

Domain name sponsoring by Gandi

Gandi, in addition to hosting the new tile cache server Gackelchen in Bissen, Luxembourg and supporting OpenStreetMap France (an OSM Foundation Local Chapter) are now very generously sponsoring many of our domain names. We would like to thank them for their support.

Operations Working Group

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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

Request for feedback on proposal for OSMF membership based on sizeable contribution to the project

MWG logo based on the official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Figures by Pascal Neis, reproduced with permission.

Last December at the Annual General Meeting of the OpenStreetMap Foundation a proposal for membership in the foundation based solely on sizeable contribution was accepted with a very good result (91%):

The membership fee for associate membership, which normally is tied to the regular membership fee, may be waived if the person applying for membership can demonstrate that they have consistently made sizeable contributions to OpenStreetMap, for example by mapping.

The OSMF Membership Working Group will, together with the Board of Directors, define what counts as “sizeable contributions”.

Just like paid membership, membership under the membership fee waiver programme must be renewed annually.

Please read the rationale here.

In January, the Membership Working Group (MWG) discussed the implementation. Sorry for the long silence since; the MWG would now like to open the discussion and ask for your feedback and comments on the implementation of the new active contributor membership.

As described in the rationale for the vote, this is no charity. We want active contributors to be members of the OSMF and be able to vote for the benefit of the project. The membership fee should not be a barrier.

Our proposal is to automatically grant memberships to mappers who request it and who have contributed at least 42 calendar days in the last year (365 days).

Mapping days is not perfect, but we need a benchmark that is objective, easy to verify, and simple for us to measure and implement.

Why 42 days? If we measure contributions in mapping days by OSMF members who map (83%), roughly half of them map more than 42 days per year. We would expect a “slightly exceptional” contribution in terms of mapping days.

We also discussed abuse. You could of course make tiny contributions like wiggling a single node on 60 days, and maybe go undetected and get your membership. But that would be fraud, and the membership could be revoked if MWG finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.

On non-mapping contributions to the project

Not everyone contributes by mapping, and some of the most familiar names in our members list barely map. Some are very involved, for example, in organizing conferences. Those other forms of contribution should be recognised as well, and the board would take circular decisions on these applications.

Please share your thoughts

We would like to hear your thoughts on the proposal. You can:

Comments can be in any language you are comfortable with. We will make the best effort to have them translated.

Please share your thoughts before the 30th of April 2020.

Thank you.

Michael Spreng
Membership Working Group

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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

SotM 2020 will be a virtual conference

Photo on the left by Manfred Stock. State of the Map 2020 logo by Ed Nicolai, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Due to the high infection risk of SARS-COV-2 virus and all its consequences like travel restrictions, cancellation of physical meetings, “physical distancing”, and more, a physical SotM is not possible this year.

The local team – who have done great work preparing this conference so far – have suggested to change the physical conference to a virtual one. This wasn’t just an idle talk: they have already started a cool open source software project – https://gitlab.com/billowconf/billowconf for managing this! If you have any idea of how to make it better, please don’t hesitate to get on board.

So the State of the Map working group adopted the proposed plan, and agreed to have an online SotM conference this year instead of a physical one.

We know about your disappointment of not meeting each other physically this year (we are disappointed too), but after a few months of lockdown and “physical distancing” we are sure that we will all be excited to be reading and seeing each other in chats and videos. We will share more on the technical plans as the date comes closer.

The online conference will take place on 4-5 July 2020 (duration shortened to two days instead of three). We planned an extended Q&A session after each talk and plenty of free spaces for discussions. So that the OpenStreetMap community can have a great week-end together.

The State of the Map Working Group


English blogpost by Christine Karch, proofreading by Frederik Ramm

Interested to help the SotM Working Group..? We are looking for you.

The State of the Map conference is the annual, international conference of OpenStreetMap, organised by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed in the UK to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project and you can support it by becoming a member. The State of the Map Organising Committee is one of our volunteer Working Groups.

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.

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

Call for more featured tile layers on openstreetmap.org

Layers on openstreetmap.org © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Top left: Standard layer (OpenStreetMap Carto). Top right and bottom left: Cycle Map and Transport Map layers – tiles courtesy of Andy Allan. Bottom right: Humanitarian layer – tiles style by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team hosted by OpenStreetMap France.

Layers on openstreetmap.org

On openstreetmap.org you can switch between different “layers” offering different views of the same mapping data. Do this by clicking the layers icon (fourth button from top on right sidebar, highlighted on the image below).

The layers we currently have are:

These views are rendered in different ways (being turned from raw data into a map image), although all of these use Mapnik software. Because the layers are running on different server infrastructure with different set-ups, one layer may be more out-of-date compared to another (recently mapped roads not showing up).

Call for more featured tile layers

We are interested in new featured layers that highlight different aspects of OpenStreetMap. In particular it would be nice to have submissions for layers that:

  • aren’t based on the Mapnik software stack,
  • are topographic maps,
  • are walking-focused maps, or
  • are non-raster maps, along with help integrating them to the website

No one style needs to meet all the above points, but they’re some areas we currently lack.

Criteria for layers

Proposed new tile layers that will be featured on the OSM website should follow the guidelines set out in the new tile layers policy.

Contact

If you interested, please find the contact email in the layers policy page.

Operations Working Group


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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

OpenStreetMap and International Women’s Day

OSM logo surrounded by sketches of women's heads in different colours. Magnifying glass of logo has superimposed the sketch of two women high-fiving each other.
Sketches of women created at “Redefining women” iconathon, public domain, modified by OSM Communication Working Group. OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.


Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, and while it would be nice to have no need for this day, we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of women OSMers.


Thank you for any contribution to the project – be it map data, code, organising mapathons, advocacy or other.

We do not know exactly how many women globally contribute to the OpenStreetMap project via mapping or other ways, however, it is known that the percentage of women in the OSM community – as in many tech adjacent communities – is low. The reason we do not know is because we do not ask for personal information such as name, gender or age when signing for an account on OpenStreetMap.org. Mappers can freely choose, and change, their username, and it is not mandatory that they respond to surveys, or map in a certain way. 

All this doesn’t make the collection of demographic data easy, and figures mentioning percentages should be taken with a big grain of salt. Collecting data on why people aren’t joining us is even more difficult as absent people can’t answer questions. While it has been impossible, so far, to get a clear picture on why some people contribute more or less than others, hypotheses have been formulated throughout the years – the lower percentage might reflect aspects of societies such as that many women have less free time than men. We should also note that the percentage of women OSM contributors varies geographically. The majority of attendees at Albanian community events, for example are women. We also seem to see more women participating when there is a clear goal – for example in humanitarian mapping campaigns we often have an almost equal gender balance.

The under-representation of women has been often highlighted on community channels, as well as by initiatives like Geochicas. They raise an important message, and we are also thankful for the work of local groups that are raising awareness.

We -do- know that the reasons that bring people of any gender, origin or age to our project seem to be similar among contributors: it’s fun to make the map data a bit better and it’s rewarding when someone finds your work useful. 

Renaming Belgium’s biggest tunnel
Initiatives of individuals have effect, both in the representation of women as well as on OpenStreetMap. So, we would like to take this opportunity to share some news from the Belgian community: the longest tunnel in the country, which currently carries the name of Leopold II, will be renamed after a woman, who has not been chosen yet. What does that have to do with OSM you may ask (other that the change will be reflected on our map data as soon as one of eager and active contributors can update it). The name change came about after officials became aware of equalstreetnames – a project by the Belgian OSM community and the Feminist Collective Names Maybe Maybe, which colours streets differently on an OSM-based map, depending on whether the streets are named after a man or a woman. You can read more about the tunnel renaming here.

OSMF board’s answer to recent press enquiry 
The OSM Foundation board and the OSM Communication Working Group have recently been contacted by a Reuters reporter, enquiring about why the number of women in OSM is low and what is OSM doing to address the gender imbalance and encourage more women to contribute. You can read the full answer here. Excerpts follow:

“We would like to highlight that anyone can contribute to OpenStreetMap, irrespective of their gender/nationality/religion and other factors (which we do not ask). Having said that, yes – there are actions both from the OpenStreetMap Foundation, as well as from community members, to increase the participation of women, and all underrepresented groups. Note that the OpenStreetMap Foundation has a relatively minor role in the OpenStreetMap project. Core infrastructure is run by volunteers, but even our map style and our website are built by independent volunteers. Most things that happen in the OpenStreetMap environment are run by the community.”

“The OpenStreetMap Foundation is interested in increasing the diversity in general and to attract marginalized groups of people and people outside the gender binary, not just women.”

OpenStreetMap Foundation and community efforts
Efforts by the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OSM community mentioned in the press answer include:

Increasing diversity

  • The OSM Foundation has recently adopted a Diversity Statement which affirms support for expanding our diversity (in all its forms) in OSM.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation has also recently initiated a Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee. Its first task is to assist the Foundation (and hopefully the wider OpenStreetMap project & community) to identify imbalances in the community. To do so, it will gather and assess existing research, and collect any additional necessary data. It will then look at the causes, both internal and external, of imbalances, recommend actions to address them, and in due time evaluate their impact.

Mapping in support of women and girls

  • The community has created and maintains a page dedicated to mapping in support of women and girls. You can find it at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tagging_in_Support_of_Women_and_Girls and it lists some points of interest that are related to women’s health, safety or life that can be mapped. Lit roads, gynaecologists, toilets for females and vending machines that dispense feminine hygiene products are a few examples of things that can be mapped.

We would like to emphasize that OpenStreetMap is based on mapping freedom and anyone can map almost any object with geographical qualities that is verifiable. So, if someone is interested in a feature that has not been mapped yet, they are free to create their own tags and add it to the database (it might be a good idea to discuss the created tags on the tagging mailing list to get feedback for potentially better tag options).

Specific communication channels

  • OSM is large, and made up of many smaller (sub-)communities. Many groups have been formed for people interested in this topic, which helps encourage members of that marginalized group participate in OSM. Geochicas is one example of this. Other examples are the communities formed around the Telegram channels RainbOSM and Geoladies (there is some overlap of participants).

Ensuring safe and welcome participation at OSM events

  • The OSM Foundation organises the annual, international State of the Map (SotM) conference, which has rules ensuring that a wide range of participants feels safe and welcome.
  • There are local OpenStreetMap events run by community members with rules having the same aim.

Granting scholarships to the annual conference

  • The OSM Foundation has a scholarship program providing support to community members who cannot afford to travel to the international State of the Map conference. Gender is a core consideration in the selection process.

Electing women to the OSM Foundation board

  • Before December 2019, both the chairperson and the secretary of our Foundation were women. Board members are voted by the OSM Foundation membership.

Please note that OSM Foundation members constitute a small part of the community – you don’t need to be an OSMF member in order to participate in the OpenStreetMap project, you just need to create an account at www.openstreetmap.org. Having said that, we would like to see the OSMF membership becoming more diverse so please consider joining the Foundation. We are also trying to make it easier to join.

Raising awareness

  • Participation of women in OSM, and diversity in general, is a subject frequently discussed in community channels, has been highlighted in talks by community members in State of the Map conferences and has led to actions by the OSM Foundation.

Reach out and support

  • Various local groups reach out to women and engage them in introductory OSM workshop, offering support afterwards.

Recognising the contribution of specific women OSMers

  • For the past several years, the OSM community has nominated and selected individuals, groups and projects which have helped the project. One of the OpenStreetMap Awards is for “Expanding the Community”, which recognises growing and diversifying the OSM community.
  • Nominations for the 2020 OSM Awards are currently open. If you know of anyone whose contributions you want recognised, please nominate them!

Please note that the list above is incomplete, as there are many efforts by local communities. We invite you to share the contributions of your local group in the comments.

New article about female participation in OSM 
You can read Reuters’ article, which focuses on female participation in OSM and is based on conversations with OSMers such as Geochicas and the OSM Foundation Board at “Visible women’: Feminist mappers bridge data gap in urban design”.

We would like again to thank anyone who identifies as a woman for their contributions and would like to highlight that mappers don’t require permission, moderation, approval or votes by the existing majority in order to add new things, or to start mapping new features. Even small minorities can map what’s important to them. This openness, and flexibility, allows OSM to be welcoming to new, and unforeseen, types of contributions.


Are you an OSMer who identifies as a woman? Share with us in the comments what you are passionate about. If you would like to answer anonymously, feel free to send your answer to communication@osmfoundation.org and we will post it without your (user)name.

International Men’s day is on 19th of November.
International Nonbinary Day is on 14th of July.

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

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.

Congratulations to weeklyOSM for publishing its 500th newsletter!

WeeklyOSM is sharing OpenStreetMap news every week in several languages. Weekly OSM logo CC-BY-SA 3.0. Image by OSM Communication Working GroupCC-BY-SA 3.0

Congratulations to weeklyOSM for publishing its 500th online newsletter! WeeklyOSM is a community project which publishes news from the OpenStreetMap world every week. It is independent from the OpenStreetMap Foundation [1]. With the help of awesome volunteers across the globe, it is on its tenth year and is available in multiple languages, including:

You can subscribe to weeklyOSM’s newsletter via email or via language-specific RSS/Atom feeds (CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, JA, TR). You can also follow them on Mastodon/Fediverse at @weeklyosm@en.osm.town or on Twitter @weeklyosm.

The content is released under the liberal Creative Commons licence CC-BY-SA 3.0.

You can be part of the weeklyOSM project as well!

Minimal time required
Propose interesting news to be featured in the next newsletter. Find out how: https://weeklyosm.eu/this-news-should-be-in-weeklyosm

Medium time commitment
Help in translations of one of the already featured languages. Or help by proofreading articles and read the news before anyone else does 😉 Contact weeklyOSM.

Regular time commitment
Are you and your friends interested in translating each weekly newsletter in your own language? Contact weeklyOSM. Translating is of course a big part, but proofreading is also very important. Please note that each language team is free to add their language specific news as well.

Congratulations and many thanks to the weeklyOSM contributors. 🙂

OSM Communication Working Group


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

[1] The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

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.