weeklyOSM 343



    Typical errors that can be solved with Jochen Topf’s MapRoulette task 1 | (C) OpenStreetMap Contributors CC-BY-SA 2.0


  • [1] Jochen Topf has started a Maproulette-Challenge to repair invalid areas in OSM and wrote in his blog about it. Let’s begin with self-overlapping closed ways with tag building=*. More Challenges

  • As part of the "fixing broken multipolygons" discussion, Christoph Hormann suggests that removing forest polygons from the old Corine landcover imports might be a better solution than repairing them, because they are very inaccurate.

  • CloCkWeRX posts on enhancements proposed to OnOsm.org, some of them have already been accepted, for example, the location helper and internationalization, among others.

  • Bryan Housel shows how picnic sites can be mapped easily using the iD editor and multi-selections.

  • User Jojo4u proposes a new feature "meadow orchard" (German: "Streuobstwiese") which is a meadow with scattered fruit trees or fruit trees that are planted in a field. The proposed tagging is possible with combinations of landuse=meadow or landuse=orchard.

  • On talk-fr, Rogelio brings up the matter of toll fee data into OSM. It’s not clear if having this information in OSM is desirable or even feasible but some options are discussed to ease the integration of toll fee prices for OSM-based routing engines.

  • Martin Koppenhoefer proposes the documentation of the usage of amenity=luggage_locker and amenity=locker tags. This initiates a discussion on the need for two different tags for a seemingly similar utility.

  • The usage of amenity=vending_machine tag was discussed at length on the Tagging mailing list including what is within the scope of the term ‘vending’ and what are the alternatives to the amenities tag.

  • Joost Schouppe writes about evaluating completion of the road map network in Flanders, Belgium. A thorough analysis is made along with many graphs and time-lapse animations.

  • User Marczoutendijk wrote an article about the tagging of restaurants and its particularities in OSM. Bon appetit!

  • The Mapbox Data Team invites you to map points of interest in San Francisco using JOSM with the Mapillary plugin. A comprehensive guide is provided and the project is open on the Mapbox tasking manager.


  • JOSM maintainer Dirk Stöcker is concerned about the increasing gap between the translations. He is told that the launchpad translation platform is the problem.

  • Steve Coast showcases his OSM Stats website where the evolution of the various types of ways can be gathered by country. Direct links to: UK and US.


  • Facebook are suggesting that they try again with their "AI-based" road detection. Last time it didn’t work so well. Last time, imports in Egypt and Thailand were reverted because they were "far more wrong than right" (draining ditches being added as "roads", among other things). Apparently this time they are now working with a larger team of highly-trained mappers and have added steps to the validation process.

  • Nick Bolten, of the projects OpenSidewalks and AccessMap, announced a test import of footpaths in Seattle (Washington state). There were already extensive discussions on the mailing lists tagging and Imports.

  • Max Bainrot suggests to use the ACTmapi data from Australia for OpenStreetMap. The data is under CC-BY, but there is probably a special permission for OpenStreetMap.


  • The submission of talk proposals for the 2017 State of the Map in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan is open until April 2nd.

Humanitarian OSM

  • Mikel Maron reports that Mapbox has matched a US$ 10,000 grant to the HOT Microgrants Program (which we reported earlier).

  • User MangleBlanco writes about impressive geological history of the Southernmost tip of the Caribbean Sea and why open source data might be key to sustainable development in the region. He also pledges to provide high resolution data for mapping efforts and humanitarian projects in the area.

  • It seems that Fred Moine is not quite convinced by the quality of the mapping in Haiti by HOT volunteers.


  • The OSM website now has a new right-click context menu which was programmed by user mcld. You can now set directions to and from points, centre the map, add notes, etc. The item "show tile image", which was available in the previous browser-default image context menu, is missing. Ilya Zverev proposed to add it, but his pull request was denied – a long list of comments criticizing Tom followed.

  • Mapzen added a new feature to the Who’s On First Spelunker: the Bundler. Now, after you selected a place, downloading a GeoJSON blob containing all its descendants with selectable categories is a few clicks away!

Open Data

  • Do you already know the Open Digital Elevation Model – "The Portal for sharing the 3rd dimension"? At the beginning of the year, North Rhine-Westphalia (DE), Belgium, New Zealand and Switzerland joined.

  • Open data under Trump probably doesn’t exist any more. The White House’s Open Data Portal has been emptied, user @denormalize reported on Twitter.


  • KSJ2 data in Japan must not be imported any more because the terms of use have been changed (source).


  • An introduction tutorial for QGIS Atlas, a QGIS feature (formerly a plug-in) that allows you to create map snippets around a collection of features (eg a POI shape file).

  • Ilya Zverev announced a new import tool. The OSM Conflator checks for matching objects in the OSM data. It adds tags to existing objects or creates new nodes for unmatched points.

  • Martin Ždila announced his Toposcope Maker. Toposcopes can be found on top of hills or high places which indicates the direction to notable landscape features or cities.


  • Frederik Ramm (woodpeck) submitted a pull request which would allow the geometry of deleted OSM objects to be displayed on "browse" pages. It was rejected for various technical reasons – see this comment by Matt and the comments above for a summary.

  • Geofabrik announces that the download server now has full history files for all regions served. These files (called ".osh.pbf") can be used to run analyses, and one can use Osmium to convert them to a text-based format ("OPL") that is then accessible for grep et al.


Did you know …

  • …the historic maps of Berlin? Here you can see them as an adjustable transparent layer on top of OSM.

OSM in the media

  • An article (automatic translation) in Swiss media talks about three map services to navigate in Switzerland, which offer more accuracy than Google Maps. Guess what? OpenStreetMap is one of them.

Other “geo” things

  • A podcast from BBC Radio 3 in the UK, is available worldwide, handling contents about the UK and Germany. The podcast has no OSM content, but it discusses in general and particular what borders mean to people.

  • An article (de)discusses the App "Metro" which provides routing through the public transportations network in Havana, Cuba.

  • A single Indian rocket launched 104 satellites into space, including 88 micro satellites for Earth observation of the US start-up Planet.

  • Ever wondered how each of the US states would compare to an European area with similar population? Wonder no more!. And how about European countries over the American continent? Speech500 has you covered too.

  • The xkcd webcomic strip shows us how the world would look like if we were to correct every country’s layout by their timezones.

Upcoming Events

This weeklyOSM was produced by Nakaner, Peda, Polyglot, Rogehm, Sadless74, SomeoneElse, Spec80, SrrReal, YoViajo, derFred, jinalfoflia, keithonearth, kreuzschnabel, vsandre, widedangel.

weeklyOSM 343



Mennonites in Bolivia start mapping with local knowledge 1 |


  • The German forum points out (automatic translation) that glass recycling containers for bottles and jars should be tagged as recycling:glass_bottles=yes only, since the simpler key recycling:glass=* includes types of glass which are not accepted.
  • [1] The Mennonite community of Colonia Pinondi in the Bolivian lowlands has started mapping its municipality in OSM with local knowledge. (Via OSM Cochabamba). We think it is a good example for Mennonite communities all over the world. 😉
  • Martijn reports about his visit to an OSMTime event in Cluj, Romania. Beata Jancso from Telenav organises OSMTime, a mapping event, once a month.
  • Arun from the Mapbox data team exhibits the mapping of a street as an area. Specialized maps could get even better rendering results.
  • Jherome Miguel asks for comments on his suggestion of the extended tagging of power poles.
  • Joost Schouppe asks on the Tagging mailing list about how to tag knotted willows and search for English terms.
  • Editing a single node with Level0, built a transcontinental highway from Europe to Brazil.
  • Pascal Neis’ Suspicious Changesets now also displays rough-cut views of the content of suspicious changes. It does that using the Augmented Diffs of the Overpass API (Source: Twitter)


  • Christian Bittner wrote an article on OSM in Israel and Palestine. He notes, among other things, that the OSM data and the maps derived from it are of particular importance in this political conflict (keyword: “ground truth”). Since it’s not an open access-publication, Christian shares PDFs upon request by email.
  • Ediyes shares her experience in mapping her hometown of Andahuaylas where she improved existing streets, added names, points of interest, parks, etc.
  • Peter Barth summarizes the results of the last Google Summer of Code and invites students to take part this year. If you are interested, visit the ideas page in the OSM wiki.
  • Martin Dittus (dekstop) presents the results of his research on how feedback on tasking manager affects the further activity of newcomers. Unfortunately, he does not disclose the rules by which he has classified the individual personal messages.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • On the 12th February several OSMF operated services got new SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt. Now you also get a valid certificate if you request foobar.osm.org instead of foobar.openstreetmap.org. (source: Chef repository of OWG)

Humanitarian OSM

  • The Irish MapLesotho group is again visiting Lesotho and there is a report about their work on Twitter too.
  • HOT reports about their new mapping projects that have started in Istanbul and Uganda and is increasingly focusing on crowdsourcing to make high-quality maps available for these regions.
  • LearnOSM has been updated with some interesting sections which include a guide for anyone to organise a Mapathon, tips aimed at new mappers which include an introduction to iD and tasking manager, and much more.
  • MakingMalariaHistory reports on a joint project to fight Malaria. Everyone with an OpenStreetMap account is asked to help.


  • The LA Times published their code to generate web based maps using Mapzen’s Tangram.

Open Data

  • The Landsat program has a Twitter bot uploading images. Learn more about it.
  • OpenDataSoft published a post discussing the nature and representation of public transport data from heterogeneous sources. French open data providers are listed, and both static and dynamic feeds are aggregated on a single map.


  • Ilya Zverev from MAPS.ME submitted a pull request which adds MAPS.ME as an authentication provider for the OpenStreetMap website, i.e. users can log in with their MAPS.ME account.
  • Peter Liu from Mapbox, explains how he used satellite imagery and height data to generate an interactive 3D map using Three.js. He plans to make a similar demo with Unity next.
  • The behavior of osm2pgsql when no database is specified using the -d option will change in the next release. Up to now, the default name is gis.


Software Version Release date Comment
PostGIS 2.3.2 2017-01-31 Bugfix release.
iD 2.1.2 2017-02-07 Bugfix release.
Mapillary iOS * 4.6.5 2017-02-07 Notification when entering an area that needs to be mapped.
PostgreSQL 9.6.2 2017-02-09 This release contains a variety of fixes from 9.6.1.
OpenLayers 4.0.0 2017-02-10 Enhancements and fixes from 107 pull requests since the previous release.
Traccar Server 3.10 2017-02-11 No Info.
Mapillary Android * 3.27 2017-02-13 Bugfix release.

Provided by the OSM Software Watchlist. (*) unfree software. See: freesoftware.

OSM in the media

  • Faultlines, black holes and glaciers: mapping uncharted territories, an interesting article by Lois Parshley where he talks about how certain areas in the world still remain a mystery. HOT is mentioned in the essay.

Other “geo” things

  • Increasing usage of smartphones as navigation aids appears (automatic translation) to impair sales for manufacturers of navigation systems.
  • Sebastian Meier used a laser cutter and moss to generate a nice map of Berlin.
  • Jurij Stare created a map of the light pollution in the world.
  • Mapbox joined 96 companies in filing the Brief of Technology Companies and other Businesses as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellees in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, opposing the Executive Order barring entry from and revoking visas from citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
  • Sebastian Meyer published a script for automatically transforming geojson boundaries into rectangles.

Upcoming Events

Where What When Country
Karlsruhe Hack Weekend 02/18/2017-02/19/2017 germany
Sucre Charla sobre OSM para chicas del HackLab Sucre 02/18/2017-02/19/2017 bolivia
Seattle Mapping UW Sidewalks 02/19/2017 united states
Bonn Bonner Stammtisch 02/21/2017 germany
Scotland Edinburgh 02/21/2017 uk
Derby Derby Pub Meetup 02/21/2017 uk
Lüneburg Mappertreffen Lüneburg 02/21/2017 germany
Brussels Bar meetup 02/21/2017 belgium
Viersen OSM Stammtisch Viersen 02/21/2017 germany
Montpellier Rencontre mensuelle 02/22/2017 france
Wyoming Humanitarian Mapathon University of Wyoming, Laramie 02/22/2017 us
Urspring Stammtisch Ulmer Alb 02/23/2017 germany
Lübeck Lübecker Mappertreffen 02/23/2017 germany
Paris Rencontre mensuelle 02/23/2017 france
Zaragoza Mapeado Colaborativo 02/24/2017 spain
Cardiff OpenDataCamp UK 02/25/2017-02/26/2017 wales
Bremen Bremer Mappertreffen 02/27/2017 germany
Graz Stammtisch Graz 02/27/2017 austria
Stuttgart Stuttgarter Stammtisch 03/01/2017 germany
Montreal Les Mercredis cartographie 03/01/2017 canada
Dresden Stammtisch 03/02/2017 germany
Colorado Springs Humanitarian Mapathon University of Northern Colorado, Greeley 03/02/2017 us
Helsinki Monthly Missing Maps mapathon at Finnish Red Cross HQ 03/03/2017 finland
Lyon Stand OSM Salon Primevère 03/03/2017-03/05/2017 france
Minsk byGIS Conference 03/04/2017 belarus
Graz Map the Change @ Elevate 03/04/2017 austria
Dortmund Stammtisch 03/05/2017 germany
Amagasaki International Open Data Day 2017 in Amagasaki ~そのだ、マッパーになろう~ 03/05/2017 japan
Rostock Rostocker Treffen 03/07/2017 germany
Passau FOSSGIS 2017 03/22/2017-03/25/2017 germany
Avignon State of the Map France 2017 06/02/2017-06/04/2017 france
Kampala State of the Map Africa 2017 07/08/2017-07/10/2017 uganda
Aizu-wakamatsu Shi State of the Map 2017 08/18/2017-08/20/2017 japan
Buenos Aires FOSS4G+SOTM Argentina 2017 10/23/2017-10/28/2017 argentina
Lima State of the Map – LatAm 2017 11/29/2017-12/02/2017 perú

Note: If you like to see your event here, please put it into the calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM. Please check your event in our public calendar preview and correct it, where appropriate.

This weeklyOSM was produced by Hakuch, Nakaner, Peda, Polyglot, Softgrow, Spec80, derFred, jinalfoflia, keithonearth, kreuzschnabel, roirobo, vsandre.