100 million edits to OpenStreetMap

Today, the 100 millionth changeset was uploaded to OpenStreetMap. This milestone represents the collective contribution of nearly 1 billion features globally in the past 16+ years, by a diverse community of over 1.5 million mappers.

The result is the largest free and open map dataset in the world, providing critical infrastructure for understanding our planet and running our society.

Image of Changeset #10000000

Changeset number 100,000,000 was uploaded by user Lamine Ndiaye. They added buildings in Nianiane, Sénégal. Look out for an interview with this mapper in an upcoming edition of WeeklyOSM.

100 million times a mapper has chosen to share their knowledge of the world with everyone. 100 million thanks of appreciation. And our mapping is growing and accelerating. Changeset 90 million was only about 6 months ago.

Will you join us as we make the next 100 million contributions? Get started now!

Online Briefings on the 2021 OSMF Community Survey

On March 10 & 11, Allan Mustard, Chair of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, will present a series of three Big Blue Button video conferences, open to the OSM community and 8 hours apart, to brief on and answer questions about the results of the 2021 OSMF community survey. The briefings will take place at 12:00 UTC and 20:00 UTC on March 10, and 04:00 on March 11 UTC (click the links to convert for your timezone). He will present some summaries of the data in graphic form, then take questions. He will use his Big Blue Button home room at https://osmvideo.cloud68.co/user/all-3t3-ekg.

Allan also plans to open an instance of Microsoft Translator and to speak into it in English, and will share the access code for the instance at the start of the presentation, so that anybody with Microsoft Translator’s app (on desktop, notebook, tablet, or smart phone) can follow his oral narrative in the language of their choosing. He will also use the Power Point 365 facility for rendering speech to text so that anyone who can read English can read subtitles as he speaks. Anyone planning to view the video conference who wishes to use the translation facility should download the Microsoft Translator app in advance and become familiar with it first.

If you would like to access the anonymized, raw results of the 2021 OSMF community survey, visit this page on the OSMF wiki.

OSMF and OpenCage – Joint press release

OpenCage is a silver level corporate member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, entitling them to this joint press release. If your organisation would like to support the OSMF more, please consider joining the OSMF as a corporate member, or read about other ways to give back.

Geocoding is the process of converting between addresses or placenames and geographic coordinates (longitude and latitude). Geocoding is a core geospatial functionality; an underlying building block that is critical to developing location based services.

OpenStreetMap Foundation corporate member OpenCage operates a highly-available, enterprise level geocoding API based on OpenStreetMap. We’re pleased to announce that OpenCage recently increased their commitment to the OpenStreetMap Foundation by upgrading to silver level corporate membership.

“For years our service has built on OpenStreetMap. We’re delighted to increase our ongoing support of the worldwide OSM community by increasing our level of commitment to the OpenStreetMap Foundation.” said Ed Freyfogle, OpenCage co-founder.

“It’s a nice milestone that the business has grown to the point that we could upgrade from Bronze to Silver. But beyond financial support the main work we do is opening the eyes of our customers – most of whom arrive knowing simply that they need geocoding, and without a detailed understanding of open data – to open data’s many benefits. Our customers around the world are proof that OpenStreetMap is commercially usable not in some distant theoretical future, but today” continued Freyfogle.

An example of that type of educational work is OpenCage’s recently published Reverse Geocoding Guide, which details the technical challenges of ongoing operation of a reverse geocoding service, while also documenting the advantages of using open data as the underlying data foundation for such a service.

OpenCage offers open source SDKs for accessing their geocoding API for over 30 different programming languages.

In addition to being corporate members of the OSMF, OpenCage are proud members of the UK (the business was started in the UK) and German (the business is currently based in Germany) local chapters, co-sponsor and contribute to the open source development of Nominatim (the primary OpenStreetMap geocoding software), and regularly sponsor OpenStreetMap events.

GEOMOB logo

OpenCage also encourages geoinnovation by running Geomob, a regular series of in-person and online events with the goal of promoting geoinnovation in any and all forms – whether for “fun or profit”, as the event tagline says. Now in its thirteenth year, Geomob has become an established feature of the European geo event landscape, and regularly features projects using OpenStreetMap.

Early in 2020 the Geomob podcast was launched. The weekly conversations provide a chance to reflect on geo industry trends, discuss interesting new geo technology, and interview Geomob speakers. Podcast guests have included many members of the OpenStreetMap community, including Allan Mustard (chairperson of the OSMF Board), Tyler Radford (executive director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team), Sarah Hoffmann (maintainer of the geocoding tool Nominatim, which powers search on osm.org), several founders of businesses building on top of OpenStreetMap, and many more.


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 OpenStreetMapFoundation?

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. The OSMF supports the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

Community survey on 2020 OSM Foundation board decisions and current topics

Would you like to provide feedback on decisions that the OSM Foundation board made in 2020 and on current topics? The board has prepared a survey and is asking for your input in order to set priorities.

You can see a copy of the questions in English here.

The survey is available in 18 languages so far. Image by D. Kazazi, CC-BY-SA 3.0. Official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply.

Languages

Thanks to volunteer translators, the survey is available in eighteen languages so far:

Helping with translations

If you would like to provide a translation to a language not on the list, or to suggest a correction in one of the translations, please email allan@mustard.net

If you would like to help with translations of non-English answers to English, future surveys or blogposts, please send an email to communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Helping with translations in [language].

Practical

  • You need to provide an email address (to receive a token) and solve an equation in order to access the survey.
  • There are 18 questions, most are multiple-choice and mandatory.
  • There is an optional section with demographic questions.
  • There are several sections. You cannot go back to the previous section but you can resume later.
  • Please note that pages with background information linked from the survey are in English.
    • If the pages are on the OSM wiki, you are welcome to translate them.
    • If they are on the OSMF website and you would like to provide translations, please email the Communication Working Group at communication@osmfoundation.org with subject: Translating OSMF pages in [language].

Feedback

There is discussion about the survey on the “talk” mailing list, where you are welcome to provide feedback. You can register to the talk mailing list here. All past messages of the list are available here.

Privacy

  • Read the LimeSurvey privacy policy.
  • The answers can be accessed by current board members and the administrative assistant and will be processed by the board.
  • The email addresses and names (if provided) of participants won’t be published after the survey ends.

Results

The general results will be published after the survey ends. Past surveys are listed here.

Deadline for participation: 14 February 2021.

Even if you don’t participate, it would be appreciated if you spread the word about the survey.

Thank you in advance 🙂

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.

How Joe Biden’s Ancestors helped OpenStreetMap, and OpenStreetMap helps our descendants

The Blewitt clan of Ireland is proud that one of their kin, Joe Biden, was elected the next President of the United States. His Irish roots are well known on both sides of the Atlantic. Before Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt moved his family to America to escape the Irish Famine, Edward and his brother James were surveyors whose work shaped Irish maps and municipalities, supported livelihoods, and has even been used in OpenStreetMap today.

Edward and James worked on two foundational Irish mapping projects in the 1830s–40s, the Ordnance Survey and the Griffith’s Valuation. In 1838, James corrected an error in the Ordnance survey’s calculation system that had been missed by many of the brightest mathematical minds of the day in Ireland and Britain. In the late 1840s, Edward managed public works programs that built roads, improved farming through drainage, and gave work to people suffering through the Potato Famine.

Image of the First Edition Six Inch to the Mile maps
First Edition Six Inch to the Mile maps

Their surveying work has been valuable even 150 years later. The OpenStreetMap community used the “First Edition” Ordnance Survey maps the brothers worked on to map all the townlands on the island of Ireland (see “Mapping Ireland’s 61,000 administrative boundaries” at State of the Map 2016). There are approximately 61,000 townlands in Ireland, the great majority of which have been mapped thanks to a donation of out of copyright maps from Glucksman Map Library, Trinity College Dublin, and Bodleian Libraries, University of OxfordOpenStreetMap Ireland isn’t stopping there. They are now attempting to map all the buildings in Ireland and welcome all contributors.

image of historic imagery used for editing modern day OpenStreetMap data
Historic imagery used for editing modern day OpenStreetMap data

OpenStreetMap’s freeform tagging scheme allows people to map what’s important to them. And people are mapping the historical and heritage features they care about. You can explore OpenStreetMap’s coverage of historical features on interactive maps on the HistOSM and Historical Objects websites. If you want to use OpenStreetMap data like this, it’s all available to everyone. If you see something missing, please open up your favourite OpenStreetMap editor and fix the map!

OpenStreetMap is becoming the de facto source of map data for many services and organisations, so we can help preserve our shared human heritage for years to come. Who knows, in 150 years, maybe OpenStreetMap data you enter today will be useful to someone?

Message from OSMF Board Chair on mailing list behavior

To the OpenStreetMap and OSMF communities:

I convey the following information on behalf of the Board of Directors of the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

An outcome of the current controversy on the osmf-talk mailing list over misogynistic language is a decision by the Board as follows:

The Board will find partners to help instate a moderator team for the OSMF-talk and talk mailing lists.  These moderators need to have the trust of the community subject to the moderation (consent of the governed) by some kind of approval mechanism. 

This moderator team will start to work on enforcing the current Etiquette guidelines as soon as possible. We will also start work on updating/replacing our Etiquette rules, which must focus on balancing all participants’ interests.

We have asked the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) to take the lead on this and to work with signatories of the open letter to the Board as well as members of the Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee to produce proposals for the Board to consider at its January meeting.  The LCCWG has accepted this task.  This issue will be on the agenda of the January meeting of the Board of Directors, exact time and date yet to be determined, though as is customary it will be posted to the Foundation’s website well in advance.

Members of the OSM community are, as always, welcome to share their opinions and any relevant information on this matter, either publicly via osmf-talk, or privately in direct communications to the LCCWG.  I feel compelled to remind all members of the community that a Code of Etiquette has existed since June 2011 and shall be observed by all community members.

Very best regards to all,

Allan Mustard

The best world map for accessibility

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed every December 3rd, and OpenStreetMap marks this day by saying “Our aim is to be the best world map for accessibility”. OpenStreetMap has long been a resource to map and share open data on features related to disabilities.

An image of a wheelchair user with text describing navigation issues. "Which public places are accessible for people with disabilities?" "Accessibility information is hard to find and not available in mainstream directories & apps" "This makes partaking in daily life difficult"
slide by: WheelMap, photo by: Andi Weiland, gesellschaftsbilder.de

We asked community members gathered on the accessibility mailing list about why and how OpenStreetMap is so useful.

Jean-Marie Favreau of the Université Clermont Auvergne explained…

The strength of OpenStreetMap is that it allows anyone to contribute accessibility data, whether they are local authorities, user associations, or individual contributors. Being a global project, it facilitates the sharing of observations and learnings of how the equipment, habits and practices of accessibility vary in different coutnries. Finally, the data is in a commons and managed by a community, so it more accurately reflects the reality of the territories it maps.

Nick Bolton of the University of Washington adds…

When people with disabilities seek out map information, they find that accessibility information is missing or doesn’t account for their personal preferences; neither companies nor government agencies are consistently creating connected pedestrian map data flexible enough to meet the diversity of pedestrian concerns expressed by people with disabilities. OpenStreetMap is well-suited to fill this informational gap as it has a flexible and democratically extensible data model, can be mapped out by locals without waiting for an agency or company to dedicate resources or take on liabilities, and all data is immediately published and examined by the public.

We are so glad OpenStreetMap fulfills this need. Read on to learn about applications for persons with disabilities, and ways to contribute to the map.

Apps for accessibility

There are many applications and research projects for persons with disabilities that use OpenStreetMap for collecting and sharing accessibility data, and for communicating that data in appropriate ways.

One of the most well known applications for tracking and sharing accessibility data is Wheelmap. Wheelmap helps find and tag the wheelchair accessibility of points of interest. There’s both an android app and iphone app. They are currently running an important campaign to map the accessibility of Covid-19 testing sites. Svenja Heinecke shared more about Wheelmap at the 2018 State of the Map.

Data on sidewalks is critical to accessible navigation.  OpenSidewalks focuses on developing tagging schemes and tools for collecting accessibility data of sidewalks, and its sister project AccessMap creates individualized accessible routing plans for people with mobility impairments. Both are projects of the Taskar Center at the University of Washington. This approach has been picked up by the Italian OpenStreetMap community in Padova and Milan, with people with disabilities, high school students, and other new mappers contributing.

And then there is navigating indoors. AccessbileMaps is a project of the Technische Universität Dresden in cooperation with the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie and focuses on indoor accessibility. They develop tools for mapping buildings with the Simple Indoor Tagging scheme, especially accessibility information, and produce applications using indoor data from OSM for blind, visually impaired and mobility impaired people to plan trips.

Touch Mapper 3d printed tactile map in use
Touch Mapper 3d printed tactile map in use

Then this data needs to be used in appropriate ways, and the creativity and innovation is inspiring.

Tactile maps help people who are blind or partially sighted navigate their surroundings. Touch Mapper uses 3D printing to create tactile maps from OSM data.

Soundscape from Microsoft Research helps users with visual disabilities to create better mental maps of their surroundings for navigation. Using audio to describe places, they can naturally and intuitively explore more and feel more comfortable and connected in new environments. The app is built on OpenStreetMap data.

Compas research project at the University Clermont Auvergne develop ACTIVmap in partnership with other academic and private sector researchers to build multimodal maps leveraging tactile, sound and haptic feedback to represent and interact with geographic information.

How can you help?

a screenshot of editing accessibility information in a StreetComplete quest
a screenshot of editing accessibility information in a StreetComplete quest

You can of course also add disability-related tags with regular OpenStreetMap editors like JOSM and iD, and mobile apps like VespucciStreetCompleteOsmAND, and Go Map!!

The OpenStreetMap wiki has a comprehensive guide to tags useful for the needs of people with disabilities. Here are just a few of the kinds of features that can be tagged in OpenStreetMap, many of these can be added quickly and easily with StreetComplete:

  • Tactile paving (tactile_paving=yes/no) and tactile information maps (information=tactile_map)
  • Designated parking spaces (amenity=parking_space + access=no + disabled=yes/designated)
  • Traffic signals with sound (traffic_signals:sound=yes/no)
  • Accessibility information for steps, such as the presence of handrails (handrail:left/right/center=yes/no), the number of steps (step_count=*) as well as whether there is a ramp (ramp=yes/no) and which kind
  • Wheelchair accessibility at shops and other amenities (wheelchair=yes/limited/no) as well as bathrooms (toilets:wheelchair=yes/no)

There are many other ways to help, documented on the wiki as well. For example, promote OpenStreetMap with friends who have a disability, and ask them how else OSM can help. You could organize a mapping party focused on mapping these kinds of features. Translate our wiki pages on disabilities to other languages. Or build new routing and rendering applications for people with disabilities.

OSM’s freeform tagging system is always evolving, if there’s something you think should be mapped in OSM, but isn’t, you can help guide that process to wider adoption.

Join us

Let us know how you’re contributing. And to connect with our community, join the list at https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/accessibility by sending an email to accessibility-subscribe@openstreetmap.org.

Active OSM contributor? You can now easily join the OpenStreetMap Foundation

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Map data by OpenStreetMap Contributors. Official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Image by D.Kazazi CC BY-SA 2.0

If you contribute significantly to the OpenStreetMap project you should have a voice in the OpenStreetMap Foundation, which is supporting the project, and be able to vote for the board members of your choice. There is now an easier and costless way to become an OpenStreetMap Foundation member:

The volunteers of the OSMF Membership Working Group have just implemented the active contributor membership program, where you can easily apply to become an Associate member of the Foundation and there is no need to pay the membership fee.

What can I do as an OSMF Associate member?

  • You can vote for the board candidates of your choice at the board elections.
  • You can vote on some issues during General Meetings (but not all).
  • You can participate in the discussions between members on the OSMF members mailing list (if you are already an OSMF member register here – see the archive available to all).
    • Subscription to the mailing list is optional.
    • You have the option to receive a single daily digest, containing all the emails of the day.
    • Feel free to email in your language 🙂
  • You can proudly say that you are an OSMF member 🙂

How does it work?

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

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. If you do not map at all or less than the 42 days, then we expect you to write a paragraph or two about what you do for OpenStreetMap. The Board will then vote on your application.

How can I find out how many mapping days I have?

  • You can get an estimate from tools like Pascal Neis How did you contribute, which should be accurate enough for most purposes.
  • If you are technically versed and wish to verify your mapping days yourself, use the changesets API of OSM to query your changesets. Then you can collect all unique dates in the created_at attributes of the changesets, and count how many unique days you have in the last 365 days.

I would like to become a member via the active contributor program!

● If you qualify based on mapping activity (at least 42 mapping days in the last 365 days) please fill out this form to get your active contributor membership

● If you qualify for other contributions to OpenStreetMap please fill out this form and describe your activities to get your active contributor membership.
General link:
https://join.osmfoundation.org/active-contributor-membership/

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to supply?

  • Your name.
  • Your OSM username.
  • Your country of residence.
  • Your email address (where ballots for voting will be sent and will be the email address associated with participation in the OSMF members mailing list, if you choose to subscribe)

How long is this membership valid?

Just like paid membership, membership under the membership fee waiver programme must be renewed annually. You will get a reminder, and you then can request the renewal, similar to the initial application. The check for mapping at least 42 calendar days in the last year will be carried out at the time you request the renewal, or alternatively you submit again a paragraph or two about what you do for OpenStreetMap.

What else do I need to know?

By law, every member of the OSMF can inspect the membership register (we ask for the purpose before handing it out and generally distribution by the recipient is not allowed). Who joined under which program is not revealed. The name, country, email and one of the OSM account names will be shown.

Why does this active contributor membership program exist?

By inviting more active community members to join the OSMF, we become more resilient against take-over attempts through massive signups. We believe that even mappers for whom £15 is not a lot of money would be more willing to join, if they are invited to a free membership due to their good work. Also, active contribution to the project is easier to assess than financial hardship and does not require the applicant to disclose personal information. The potential loss of individual membership fee income is not a threat to our financial stability. In fact, there are quite a few members who like to donate more than just £15. Those donations need not be tied to any membership.

Why 42 mapping 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.

42

How are my changes divided into days for measuring 42 mapping days

For measuring the mapping days, the created at time stamp of each changeset is used. Typically, all changes in a change set have the same time stamp. A day is defined in UTC from midnight to midnight.

Does paid mapping count?

The “active contributor program” is there to measure your engagement towards the project. In the first place, we think this is shown by volunteer activities for the project. If you do organizing or mapping for OSM as a part of your paid job, that is not necessarily a show of engagement with the project. By default, we would not include these activities as qualifying for this type of membership. But feel free to explain your contributions, and the Board will have a vote.

Can’t this be cheated?

We also discussed abuse. When we receive an application, we contact the mentioned OpenStreetMap account(s) through the OSM messaging system to confirm they are owned by the applicant. 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 the OSMF Membership Working Group finds out that the contributions are not meaningful.


What happens to the old fee waiver program?

The Active contributor membership program is replacing the old “fee waiver” program (active from 2018 January onward) where the membership fee was waived in cases of financial hardship or lack of suitable money transfer ability. The change was made possible by a vote during the 2019 Annual General Meeting. The “financial hardship” and “Lack of suitable money transfer” rule will be dropped entirely because even today, we expect someone joining under those rules to demonstrate some sort of contribution, so they would likely be eligible under the new rule as well. 

What other options do I have to become a member?

As previously, you can still become a Normal member or Associate member of the Foundation by paying the annual £15 membership fee.

The main differences between Normal and Associate members are that:

  • Normal members have to supply their full residential address.
  • Normal members can vote on all issues during the General Meetings, while Associate members only on some issues.
  • Normal members can be board candidates and hence become board members.

You can switch your membership type. Please contact the Membership Working Group (email below) for more information.

OpenStreetMap logo with magnifying glass, showing stick figures.
Membership Working Group logo based on the official OSM logo by Ken Vermette, CC-BY-SA 3.0 & trademarks apply. Figures by Pascal Neis, reproduced with permission.

I would like to help the volunteers of the OSMF Membership Working Group!

Thank you 🙂 We need your help and you can make a difference by joining the Working Group. Send us an email at membership@osmfoundation.org

As a MWG member you can help us to:

  • Administer the membership register.
  • Answer routine questions like what kind of membership does someone have (normal or associate) or when will they need to renew.
  • Help with the manual work for matching bank transfers with memberships for new sign ups and renewals.
  • Sort out other problems regarding sign up or renewal.If you join, you can be as involved as you like.

I have another question!

Feel free to contact us at membership@osmfoundation.org

Cute half-blobs with eyes, holding sticks with maps.
Image by Tintao CC BY-SA 2.0, modified.

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

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OSMF and Cesium joint press release: OpenStreetMap, a map of buildings!

Note: Cesium is a silver level corporate member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, entitling them to this joint press release. If your organisation would like to support the OSMF more, please considering joining the OSMF as a corporate member, or read about other ways to give back.

Despite our project having “Street” in the name, there are 4 times as many buildings in OpenStreetMap as roads!

The newly released Cesium OSM Buildings from one of our newest corporate members Cesium is a global 3D building layer of more than 350 million 3D buildings derived entirely from OpenStreetMap. Cesium OSM Buildings is served as 3D Tiles, an open standard format for streaming 3D datasets, originally developed by Cesium.

Image © Cesium.

“OpenStreetMap has amazing 3D building data in cities around the world. It’s a testament to the skill and hard work of mappers in this community,” said Mikel Maron of the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board. “We appreciate Cesium’s support and advocacy of the project as a corporate member, and by adding OpenStreetMap data to their platform, they further advance our mission to ensure that OSM data is as widely used as possible.”

OpenStreetMap means rich metadata in most cities, like building name, address, and opening hours. Image © Cesium.

Cesium, which began as a project at an aerospace software company, has been maintaining its open-source virtual globe, CesiumJS, since 2011. CesiumJS recently surpassed 1 million downloads and its developer community has built thousands of applications in dozens of industries.

Cesium’s offering joins a vibrant community of projects which make use of building data from OSM. The OSM Buildings project is a free and open source web viewer for 3D buildings based on OSM. Open 3D rendering software based on OSM also exists for Blender, and in many other projects. OpenBuildingMap is a building focused window to OpenStreetMap, providing a filtered subset of OSM data with just the building data.

There are many tools for adding building data to OSM, from the popular building_tools and Kendzi3D plugins for JOSM, to StreetComplete, which helps our large contributing community survey building details. You can also read how buildings are mapped (“tagged”) in OSM. Our annual conference (State of the Map 2020), had a presentation on “Buildings are the new streets”.

OpenStreetMap – more than buildings
OpenStreetMap 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, playgrounds,
benches, fire hydrants 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.