News from the world of OpenStreetMap No. 458 (04/23/2019 - 04/09/2019)

Original author: weeklyteam
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Castles and palaces of Switzerland, including neighboring countries, Germany, France, Italy. Combination of OpenStreetMap + Wikidata + Wikimedia Commons + Wikipedia 1 | Data Participants OpenStreetMap, ODbL


  • At the Pacific Visualization conference, Jochen Gertler, along with his colleagues, won the Best Paper Prize for his work “Stippling 2D Scalar Fields” (mostly maps).
  • [1] Stefan Keller of the University of Applied Sciences of Rapperswil published the Map of Switzerland Castles. This is currently the most comprehensive web map of castles and palaces in Switzerland, including nearby countries (Germany, France, Italy) - right up to Neuschwanstein Castle. The multilingual web application uses data from OpenStreetMap, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons (images) and Wikipedia. Project source code is available on GitLab.
  • The service has been updated and now shows a new map of castles in Switzerland based on data on Wikimedia castles (de).
  • The official application of the London marathon surprisingly used tiles from the OpenStreetMap server, which could not cope with the load (probably due to the incorrect configuration of their CDN). See also the policy for using tiles and as tutorials on setting up your own infrastructure.

Open data

  • The German branch of the Open Knowledge Fund reports(de) on the new EU guidelines 2018/0111: the reuse of public sector information that will facilitate access to public information. The new guidelines apply to public sector companies, determine that any EU documents must be “open by design” and “open by default” and provide further improvements. However, the EU still lags far behind the domestic copyright ban , which benefits the work of the US government.


  • Oracle is changing the licensing model for the Java platform. How this affects the use of JOSM is discussed in the German forum (automatic translation ).


  • Development Seed has created osm-coverage-tiles that visualize infrastructure information, in particular OSM buildings and roads, to better verify machine learning results. Pilar Gabriela Serrano Quispe gives additional information in an article on


OSM in the media

  • The Saarbrücker Zeitung writes(de) about Karsten Gramms, a board member of a private association that takes care of preserving the mining history of Saar. With tours of the old tunnels and work on the historical map Historic.Place and OpenStreetMap, he combined both hobbies and now conducts excursions(fr) / (de)to the Velsen adventure mines.
  • An article on tells how they combined and analyzed data from the US Census Bureau, Cal Fire, and OpenStreetMap to evaluate evacuation routes for Californians living in areas where there is a risk of fire.


  • On April 26, the daily drawing campaign for Lesotho (a country in South Africa) took place, organized by the winner of the Best Cartographer Award in 2018 Tshedy (Matseliso Thobei). In her Twitter, she thanks all the participants for their support and words of gratitude. The action was held to improve the quality of the map of this state.
  • Colin Blackburn reports that he kept his word and examined one territory in the Netherlands, which was called "Clothing is optional." He notes that he did not find any evidence that this place was called so.
  • Now there is a vote for a new tag landcover=barren, which is proposed to mark territories without vegetation and with bare soil. However, at this point, the majority voted against its introduction. It is entirely possible that Peter Alderson’s comment, which he left to his voice, explains the reason for this reaction: "... your thinking [of the one who proposed the new tag] does not correspond to the opinion of the majority of OSM participants . "
  • Voting for the key has begungolf_cart=* , which is proposed to indicate the possibility of driving golfcars or similar small non-speed electric vehicles.
  • Joseph Eisenberg added a new section to the “Verifiability” wiki article about unverifiable geometries such as natural=bay(bay), natural=strait(strait) and place=*. However, not all supported the initiative, for example, Tobias Knerr made against .
  • Instead of starting the process of discussing a new tagging scheme, Joseph Eisenberg immediately created a wiki page for natural=mountain_range, because he considered that the tag was already used in OSM. At the moment, it was used by almost 80 cartographers, who marked them more than 600 objects.
  • Joseph Eisenberg created a page for each of the new tags he proposed: natural=mesaand natural=butte. Mesa is a geological formation, also known as the plateau, potrero or tepui. Butt - something similar to a mesa, but somewhat smaller in size.
  • Ian S. delivered the vote shortened version of the new scheme tagging "Police agencies", which not so long ago was rejected. Now it consists only of a tag police=*.
  • fanfouer suggests introducing new keys for traction substations ( substation=traction) to better describe their purpose, and therefore is waiting for comments.
  • Anna and Karen from the Geographic Institute of the University of Heidelberg decided to(de) improve the Heidelberg map so that participants in the State of the Map conference in September 2019 could navigate the city and build the correct routes in OSM. They plan to clarify accessibility information, add entrances to various buildings and in the territory. It would not be Germany, if the very first reaction to this message would not be a proposal to abide by the rules. By the way, a(de) wiki page has been created to coordinate actions .
  • It turns out that the differences between waterway=riverand are waterway=canalnot as obvious as one might think. Dave F. began the discussion of this issue, as he considered that other cartographers incorrectly mark the canalized sections of rivers near the locks as waterway=canal.


  • Adam Steer shared information on the proposed FOSS4G SotM Oceania program , which will be held November 12-15, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand, and asks for comments before the end of May, when reports and seminars are due to begin.
  • Now the reception of topics of reports and seminars for FOSS4G UK, a conference on free and open geospatial software is open. The conference will be held in Edinburgh on September 19-20, 2019.


  • The JOSM team has released a new stable version. In version 15031, a bug was fixed due to which a comment to a change group was loaded, despite the empty comment field for a change group with the last used. The functionality of the download_along plugin has been added to JOSM and is now available in the Advanced Tools section. As always, there are many other improvements , fixes, and new features.

Do you know …

  • ... about tags for schedules at public transport stops? The traditional schedule, placed at the bus stop, can be tagged as departures_board, since a new electronic board with current information is tagged passenger_information_display.
  • ... that now you can quickly add relationships to restrict movement with Vespucci or iD editors ?

Other “geo” events

  • Daniel Huffman recalls LineDrive linear cartograms and publishes a link to his old post.
  • The Far & Wide website presents some interesting facts on world maps.
  • An article in the Wired magazine explains the difference between geocodes and addresses using operations after the storm in Puerto Rico.
  • C 14 to 17 May OSGeo community conducts sprint, which will be held in Minnesota, USA.


  • Fanevanjanahary and SeverinGeo posted on their Twitter picture from one of the # ActionOSMMG2019 workshops , which took place in Antananarivo (Madagascar) in mid-April. # ActionOSMMG2019 is a two-week course in OSM and open geomatics for students, as well as representatives of business and local authorities. They were organized by members of the Chadian community and Togolese cartographers with the support of the Francophonie International Organization . Also, during the training, a multi-day campaign was held to draw a picture of the territory near Lake Itashi , which was held as part of the decentralized cooperation “Itashi / New Aquitaine”. All this is documented. at WikiOSM appropriately following OSM Foundation’s principles of organized editing.
  • Landmark and ice cover landings previously posted on have been moved to . Jochen Topf on his blog talks about the reasons for the "move".
  • There is a wide discussion on the Talk-us mailing list about the differences between park types, as well as the meaning of the word park in the leisure=parkand tags boundary=national_park.
  • Ginal Finalia from Grab recently announced on her blog that their team in Thailand is currently working on uploading mapillary images of areas around Chiang Mai. On April 26, they uploaded 82% of the images, which cover 1667 km of roads. They planned to complete this work by early May.
  • In the framework of the Opencities Africa project in Kinshasa (the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo), from June 2018, various measures were taken to increase the territories' resistance to erosion and floods. Including there were methods related to mapping: drones, training in data collection using phones and tablets, focus groups for analyzing maps and identifying problems; the study of mapping quality analysis tools. The project was organized by the World Bank, Potentiel 3.0 and the local OSM community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in collaboration with OSFAC ( video in French ).
  • Removing articles from WikiOSM has remained unregulated. The proposal to introduce the relevant rules did not find support . One of the main points: along with the rules, complex bureaucratic procedures will appear that will only delay the process of deleting articles. Although some of those who opposed this version of the rules still recognized the need for deletion rules in one form or another. It is possible that over time and an increase in the number of obsolete articles, this question will arise again. In the latest issue of WeeklyOSM, we already talked about a noticeable complaint about a deleted page in WikiOSM.
  • flowolf and his colleague began to create a free business directory based on OSM (Yellowosm). This was reported in a conversation at Grazer Linuxtage 2019. Currently, only Austrian companies are shown on the map.

Humanitarian OSM

  • A blog on the HOT website, Lauren Bateman of the American Red Cross talks about how the data and maps provided by HOT and OpenStreetMap helped eliminate the effects of the Idai Cyclone.
  • On May 23, 2019, the University of Luxembourg and the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian organization carried out a mapping campaign to assist the latter.
  • The minutes of the HOT board meeting dated April 18, 2019 are posted on the network .
  • The MapSwipe community and the Heidelberg Institute of Geoinformation Technology have begun work on the MapSwipe extension, which will allow users to detect changes by comparing two satellite images. It is suggested that this may help in humanitarian mapping.
  • The GIScience research group of the University of Heidelberg held (April 30-03-03) a session entitled “Using and Analyzing OpenStreetMap for Development” at the 11th Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) in Kampala, Uganda .

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