Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries


Posted by Lost Smurf on 6 March 2015 in English (English)

Spivey Mountain

Location: Laurie Lane, Georgetown, Buncombe County, North Carolina, 28802, United States of America

Running for the HOT Board of Directors

Posted by bgirardot on 6 March 2015 in English (English)

Hi everyone,

It is with mixed emotions that I present myself as a candidate for the HOT Board of Directors.

As a relatively new member of HOT, the existing Board members have been the only board members I have known. I find them all to be dedicated and experienced humanitarians who have helped build HOT into the amazing organization it is today. I hate to see any one of them step down or not seek re-election. But, I guess change is unavoidable.

However, I am also excited at the possibility of continuing to serve, promote and build an organization and membership that means so much to me, but from a much different perspective than I have been in so far.

Like many people I was first introduced to HOT by the Ebola outbreak and I think it took literally about 5 mins before I completely fell in love with the organization, its mission, activities and community. Since that moment I have worked very hard to learn the ins and outs of HOT and find ways to contribute to its growth and success. I have participated in all of the currently active working groups and several of the activations, projects and events around HOT and the OSM community.

I come from the software industry, and while I have been a programmer, product manager and small business owner in the past, my first love is teaching. I have always enjoyed working with people who want to learn new skills, especially when they are learning to increase their opportunities. I have worked or volunteered in several educational settings including primary and high school, university level and the US Federal Prison system.

It is my dedication to teaching and education that will focus my Board activities. As a Board member my main areas of focus and priorities will be:

  1. Outreach to local OSM and HOT groups and support of their activities and events.
  2. Training opportunities for local OSM and HOT groups and community leaders.
  3. Engagement and support of remote mappers to improve our retention rates.
  4. Supporting and working for Dale's suggestion to create an endowment.
  5. Increasing Board communication with the voting members and the HOT/OSM community at large.

Our existing and past Board members and the whole of the HOT community have build an amazing organization. If I am elected to serve on the board I will do everything in my power to continue to build and improve HOT.

I encourage everyone to ask questions and vote when the time comes. I can always be reached via e-mail and usually am in the HOT irc channel as well. This email is also posted to my OSM diary (bgirardot) which accepts comments.

I had hoped that the existing Board members would all run again but it seems that is not going to be the case. I can understand why as it can be a very time consuming and difficult role. If it is time for some new folks to step up and carry on I would be honored to be among them.

Best wishes, Blake Girardot

Location: A7, Felben-Wellhausen, Bezirk Frauenfeld, Thurgau, 8552, Switzerland

Another day, another confusing sign

Posted by bdhurkett on 6 March 2015 in English (English)

Most of the addressing I've been doing recently has been straightforward - particularly if I happen to be doing it on the refuse collection day, since the council bins here have clear addresses on them.

Other days, you come across things like this:

Street sign with the address ranges 38-44, 36-40

(For the record, my undersanding is that the block starts on the 'right' at 36 Alexander Street, the building directly behind the sign takes up addresses 38 and 40, and the block ends at 44 on the 'left'. But I'm not sure enough to put it on the map.)

Location: Montello, Burnie, Tasmania, 7320, Australia

Latest reconfiguration at the plain.

Posted by Govanus on 5 March 2015 in English (English)

Roadworks are active at "The Plain" today.

The current basic scheme is designed to make the former graveyard/village-green into a pro-bicyle roundabout with the removal of the old bus stop come parking bay next to the Waynflete Building probably better reckognised by the level 0 shop that used to sell wine and is now a "Sainsbury's" supermarket. {though the surfacing is likly to confuse as the there is a differentiation were the bay may still be though it is rasied to the footway hight. This streamlines the heavy foot traffic from haveing to detour around the bay. The footway has also been widened in the narrow parts and speacial alingment

contontue tomorrow. out of time today.

Location: Grandpont, Oxford, Oxfordshire, South East, England, United Kingdom

Westgate centre oxford UK

Posted by Govanus on 5 March 2015 in English (English)

well I've done some more surveying and am looking at what is best for all the bus routes that are now going the wrong way. Strangely OSM seems to have the bus route a little confused even before the disruption (just from the current , so it might have been more correct before); as the bus stands at the top of Norfolk Street are absent. Though now they aren't lickly to be in use.

 Norfolk streets Eastern edge now abuts directly to grass as the highway looks to have been relain wider (maybe why the buses are shown going down the otherside (Old Greayfriers) only.  Pedestrians are blocked from using Norfolk street though an access path has been created by barriers erected along the western side of the western footway (therefore only along access to the east side and frontages, but only as far south as the blaocked end of Abby Place.

The A420 at the south end of Norfolk street dosen't logicly exsist as the north carageway of the previously downgraded dual carrageway is blocked off totally and no turn from oxpens road is possible eventually these going to be an underground carpark entrance around this old junction but for now with the southern (north-south section running down the west side) of old greayfriars out of use too {apart from the footway} [note the block starts on the west side of the level -2 goods entrance/exit under the "Bridgelink Mall" footway that used to connect to the Shops to car park (at level 0) over the road (running at level -2), then ends at the turn with turn at speedwell Street]

This means that all the buses go down speed well then instead of turnin north go into a two single lane dual carrage way specially built on the lands were oxpens road's North carrage way and the old carpark service lane and spare land that was left isolated after the thinning of the A420 (it was part of the now abondoned inner ring road scheme) before taking a tight turn into the south of Norfolk Street. special tip shed load and ramp warning signs are on the bend to Nrfolk strre and the end of speedwell street where some paths do a tight cicane then up a bump to get around.

I thinking maybe to convert highway tags to suspended_highway tags to avoid too much premature deleation that might reek realationship havoc before I or someone else can rectify it all. If someone has a better tagging sceme for active and dynamic roadworks let me know.

Also on my update radr is the works currently being doon at the plain....

Location: Grandpont, Oxford, Oxfordshire, South East, England, United Kingdom

HOT 2015 Board Nomination Statement

Posted by Mark_Cupitt on 5 March 2015 in English (English)

2015 HOT BOARD Nomination Statement

When Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda pounded the Philippines in 2013, I was 54, unemployed, out of money with a family to feed and had a 14 year old daughter to educate and bring up. The typhoon passed about 100 km north of where we live and we saw no adverse effect from it, unlike the many, many unfortunate people who suffered.

I was in quite a state of depression about my circumstances, so, with my families support and agreement, I jumped on my motor bike, taking a large portion of the remaining cash that we had and headed up to Panay (Central Philippines) to help those even less fortunate that we were. I was a stroke of fortune to meet a small group of Expatriates who were spending their own resources getting out to the people and offering help with shelter and assistance. This group was called PRAY. WOW, what an experience! People far worse off than I were were smiling and happy to see us! It was a tremendous boost to me personally and help me redefine my view of what needed to be done in the world. The basics in life are what is important, not the luxury's we are all so used to.

I learnt very quickly, especially when digging a 10 Ton truck out of the mud because you "thought" you were going in the right direction, the value of up to date maps for a disaster area and I started looking around for options and stumbled upon HOT. What a surprise for me. WOW, again, I fell in love with the concept on the spot.

Fast forward until the present time frame, I am, what I consider to be, a very active part of the HOT community. I have actively contributed in Activation Coordination, HOT Mail List Management, multiple Working Groups as well as ongoing software Development.

I became a HOT Voting member very recently. I considered seeking nomination in 2014, but thought that I was quite "young" in the HOT community and wanted to gain more experience in the community ideals and operation before taking that step..

My background is very diverse, I originally studied Surveying in 1977, am a PADI Master Instructor, Commercial Pilot and have had a lot of experience at the CEO and General Manager Levels. I have been the President of a very large Chamber of Commerce, COO of an airport, COO of Hotel Chains and was, most recently, the General Manager of a company that manufactured aircraft with over 200 employees at its peak.

I have lived and worked in the Philippines for over 20 years. There are a many unique challenges in being a long term expatriate which require an understanding of different cultures. Meeting these challenges requires a willingness to be creative and flexible in approaching people and issues and, of course, always maintaining a nice warm smile, what ever the circumstances.

I see that no dramatic changes in mission or vision are needed, rather a consolidation of direction, and provision of stability are needed to capitalize on the previous fantastic efforts of the HOT Board

The key areas I would like to focus on are as follows:


I would like to build a more effective means of communication to all Voting Members and the Volunteer Community. Effective, two way information flow is the key to good decision making at all levels


HOT is a technology based organization. I want to oversee the implementation of a set of standards for the future tools we develop. I want to develop tools that make the work HOT does more effective

Working Groups

I wish to find a way to encourage more active participation in Working Groups, especially with the time zone issues that apply to a world wide organization trying to meet and make decisions. I want to empower Working Groups to make decisions and formalize a simple process for implementation and approvals using technology.

Field Projects

I want to expand HOT'S involvement with Field Projects and support of communities undertaking this work. Provision of inexpensive GPS units on a borrowed or loan/buyout basis for mapping communities will improve HOT's ability to provide preparedness mapping in communities where it is badly needed.


I want to formalize the Activation Process with Partners and the HOT Community. I also want to improve the ability of Partners and the Community to see the status of mapping efforts and solicit input directly to the people coordinating an Activation.

I also want to structure the training and development of new Activation Coordinators with Mentor based approach, with a formalized "career path" based on Coordination experience.

I also want to find a way to support the existing few coordinators in their work and contributions and help keep that knowledge and experience available to new coordinators as they are trained.

I am seeking your Nomination to the HOT board. I originally had not considered the idea, but seeing the exponential growth of HOT as an NGO and Volunteer Community I believe that, with my business experience and my passion for HOT's goals, I can make a very real contribution to the strategic positioning of HOT, not only as an organization and world wide community or volunteers but in the Humanitarian Community as a whole. When I see the caliber of the nominees so far, I believe that the capabilities and skills available will directly contribute to HOT's continued success and growth.

Thank you for your time in reading this and your consideration.

2015 HOT Board Elections

Posted by dkunce on 5 March 2015 in English (English)

My HOT journey and story really starts with the State of the Map US conference a few years ago. I had just started working for the American Red Cross and was asked to talk about how and why we use OpenStreetMap. At the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Mikel, Schuyler, Russ, and many other passionate HOT folks. Six months later, I was fully embedded and accepted into HOT, working very closely with Andrew Buck and Pierre Beland to provide the NGO perspective for the Typhoon Haiyan activation. In the weeks and months to follow, I learned of the tremendous passion and dedication that all HOT people have for the organization, the work, and the continued success of HOT.

It is with that same passion that I ask for your nomination to the HOT Board. HOT is still at a pivotal time in its growth. We haven't fully put the events the past few board elections behind us. The old debates of what a 'HOT project' is versus what is HOT, still go on. HOT must grow out of this current adolescent phase if it is to become truly successful and sustainable. HOT is and will always be a mapping NGO. However, to get HOT to where it needs to be, it needs to be about more than skilled mappers and dedicated activators. HOT needs to improves its fundraising, administration, and visioning to become a sustainable organization. I know that there has been some resistance to HOT growing as an organization and that there are those members that see HOT the NGO as being different from the HOT community. I understand the resistance but disagree, HOT the NGO and HOT the community should be the same thing for a variety of reasons, most importantly fundraising.

In my day-to-day professional life as the GIS lead for the American Red Cross, I am constantly talking, bragging, and honing the work that HOT does. When the American Red Cross asked other organizations to come together to create the Missing Maps project, we did so because of how much we like and support HOT. Missing Maps is a huge accomplishment for HOT. It allows HOT to engage with new stakeholders, local communities, and donors to accomplish HOT's work. I've worked hard since joining the non-profit sector to lend my hand at strengthening HOT: founding Missing Maps, building technology to enable our work (Tasking Manager 2, OpenMapKit, OSM-Meta-API), fundraising for various projects, helping host and plan the upcoming HOT Summit, and generally working behind the scenes in the humanitarian sector to lead the adoption and use of OSM by humanitarian organizations.

My vision for HOT is a continuation and evolution of its current path. I want HOT to have a solid financial foundation that supports both technology and field projects, HOT helps guide other humanitarian organizations to adopt and use OSM, and the old animosities are replaced with a renewed passion and dedication to help HOT grow.

The key areas that I will focus on if elected to the board include:

  • Governance: Build upon the momentum created by existing HOT staff and working groups to manage and maintain the governance structures within HOT.
  • Overhaul Board Terms of Reference: The existing HOT Board is required to oversee the daily management of HOT and does not have enough time to focus on creating and implementing a longer term vision. I will work to empower HOT staff to take a more active part in the daily decision-making process in line with how other NGOs function.
  • Partnerships: It is imperative that HOT build better partnerships before disasters. One of the main reasons the American Red Cross uses OpenStreetMap is due to the relationship built prior to, rather than during, a disaster. Pre-established relationships can strengthen the broader applications of HOT to other actors. I will develop and strengthen partnerships with humanitarian relief organizations so that OSM and HOT are embedded into their business operations.
  • Fundraising: HOT needs to create an endowment to support long term projects, technical infrastructure, and increased staff. Many organizations depend on HOT during times of crisis and even during normal operations.

During my time at the American Red Cross I've had the privilege of working directly with a number of the members. I've also had the privilege of seeing the HOT's work first hand being used to alleviate suffering after Typhoon Haiyan and heard stories and reports from many humanitarians that depend on HOT to do their work for the West Africa Ebola outbreak and from many other activations. I want to see that HOT keeps being able to make others work that 1 percent easier.

Thank you for your time supporting HOT and for your consideration.

A journey toward countrywide OpenStreetmap

Posted by aHaSaN on 4 March 2015 in English (English)

I am Ahasanul Hoque, working as GIS and Data Management Specialist in Water Sanitation Program of World Bank Bangladesh. GIS is my passion and working with it nationally and internationally for long 10 years. During my Master’s Degree in Asian Institute of Technology, I got involved in OpenSource GIS. After coming back to Bangladesh GFDRR’s collaborative open city project gave me the chance to work actively with OpenStreetMap. Two year back, all of Bangladesh was almost BLANK in OSM. As a GIS geek and supporter of free and opensource projects I realized the huge potential of OSM in developing Bangladesh, a country with regular disaster threat, top listed for climate impacts.

I am a GIS guy, wanted to contribute to my country with my knowledge, so came back in motherland after finishing my higher degree in Abroad. I joined in job but was looking for opportunity to contribute to mankind then I got involved with OSM as well as humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team through Robert Soden and Jeff Hack. Thanks to them. I found this a noble work and started to disseminate this knowledge among people, started building a strong OSM community. I voluntarily facilitated a lot of OSM training and coordinated mapping parities(plz visit OSM Bangladesh facebook community page : . I can see the wave now in Bangladesh. I am giving training to university students, teachers, non government organizations, local remote disaster response staffs, govenment organizations dealing public services etc. I have been spreading the word every chance I get and I finally see the community waking up. But I am not stopping, a lot more success story to share. And my journey continue....

Please read one of my interview here:

And visit my professional blog:

Location: Purba Baniakhamar Main Road, Khulna, Khulna Division, 9100, Bangladesh

Belgian Mapper of the Month: Pierre Parmentier

Posted by escada on 3 March 2015 in English (English)

Nederlandse tekst

Texte français

Pierre Parmentier Profile Picture

Pierre Parmentier is an engineer in construction. He first worked on construction sites and projects in Africa, the Middle East and South America. Then in Belgium. Currently, as freelancer, he participates in industrial projects in different countries of the world. Everything what has to do with mapping, orienteering and fortifications are his hobbies. And many other subjects ! He maps under the name foxandpotatoes.

How did you get to know OpenStreetMap?

That was in 2009. I completed the highway network in the Sonian Forest. Then, everywhere I stayed, where I went, where I worked, like in Saint-Quentin, in Montmédy, traveling, on vacation, around Brussels, I completed the data. I also call upon my memory of living overseas.

Do you use OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap helps me to prepare travels and to locate points of interest. For editing, I use JOSM and validation tools like Osmosis and OSM Inspector. As GPS, I have a Garmin Etrex 20 and I use OsmAnd+ with my smartphone. I also started to 'play' with uMap.

How do you map?

I am a rather isolated contributor. I never had the opportunity to attend a mapping party. I work mostly on places I know. But with validation tools, I can do more distant corrections.

What do you map?

I work mostly on basic data like highways, buildings, the UrbIS import, addresses and shops. Occasionally, I added roadside trees, hydrants, AED, pedestrian crossings, post boxes.

How Did You Contribute?

Why do you map?

What motivates me is the passion for maps, the desire to understand the landscape and my environment. When I see a forested embankment in the countryside, I imagine immediately the railroad passing by. Mapping leads to many questions: history, geography, semantics. That's what interests me! But also participating in a worthwhile project is important for me.

What is your biggest achievement as mapper ?

Nothing in particular. We are like ants and each contributor adds his small piece. And each contribution deserves respect!

What are your ideas about expanding the OpenStreetMap community?

I think we should focus on what OpenStreetMap can make a popular tool for the one that moves, including people outside of major cities. Adding bins and lighting, is of course included in the project, but it should come later. Yes, we could add, for example, all the underground networks, useful in public works, but this should not be a priority for now. Furthermore, it is unfortunate that in Belgium, we are not a real ASBL-VZW with a legal personality. Such an organisation will increase our visibility and we could turn to the press and the media more easily. We have for example seen how OpenStreetMap France has become in recent years a public actor with a considerable weight. I also think we should prepare and distribute paper leaflets explaining the nature of the Belgian project. The brochure is available in Dutch; it must only be adapted and also prepared in French and English.

What is in your view the greatest strength of OpenStreetMap?

The greatest strength of OpenStreetMap is to be free. Opportunities to use and reuse are endless. Look at all those ideas and applications that are popping up everywhere, such as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Waymarked Trails, the Geschichtkarten. All this is very stimulating!

What are the largest challenges for OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap must take advantage of the current trend to put everything on maps, to go graphical. It is a quite recent phenomenon.

How to do stay on top of news about OpenStreetMap ?

I read the mailing lists Talk-be and Newbies.

Do you have contact with other Mappers ?

No, very little, but I have met contributors in Leuven, Gent and Brussels, at the FOSDEM and at ESI.

To conclude, is there something else you want to share with the readers?

To the Belgian contributors, I say 'Hats off to you'. To the user of our data, I would say ... join us and become a contributor

OSM Featured on Science Friday NPR

Posted by Tom Layo on 3 March 2015 in English (English)

Day 1

Posted by Gorospe Smith on 3 March 2015 in English (English)

Just trying to get acquainted with the functions of the website,

Swanley, Kent, UK - Missing Maps Monday sessions

Posted by Tallguy on 28 February 2015 in English (English)

If you fancy getting involved in the Missing Maps Project, or Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team - HOT, but don't fancy a trip to London for one of the Mapathons which are held there, how would Swanley, Kent suit you.

Brief explanation for those not familiar with HOT or "Missing Maps Organisation"

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) are a team of volunteers who map areas needed by the Aid Organisations.
The American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors without Borders) (MSF) and HOT have teamed up under the banner "Missing Maps" with the aim of mapping those areas in greatest need. There is much more information on their individual websites which you can access from their logo's on the Missing Maps website.

Weekly sessions in Swanley

A small team of us are organizing a weekly Monday afternoon session based in the Christ Church Centre, Swanley (The map below is a clickable link) Swanley, Kent Christ Church Centre

If you already know how to map using the Tasking Manager, then come along and socialise whilst helping with the mapping - we have the upstairs rooms booked from 1.15pm to 4.30pm for Monday afternoons starting on the 9th March 2015. Please send me a message if you are coming in case we are getting full.

We're also running a couple of training sessions, each an hour and a half long, starting respectively at 1.15pm & 2.30pm aimed at getting someone with no knowledge of OpenStreetMap & how to edit, through to using JOSM or iD and making a real contribution towards mapping the areas needed by the Aid organisations. These are bookable sessions for up to 8 people - please message me to book a session.

For our first session on the 9th March we'll aim to do more work on an area in Epworth, Zimbabwe where MSF need a detailed map to help them deal with HIV - There is a lot more information under the description tab of Tasking Manager project #868 . The aim is to get the whole of this project complete before a ground survey at the beginning of April.

What do you need?

Please bring a laptop & mouse (There are a couple of spares in case they are needed - let me know if you need the use of one). Nothing fancy, just a basic laptop which can connect to WiFi. You'll be using a web browser - iD does not work with Internet Explorer, so install an alternative such as Firefox or Chrome. JOSM is a Java application, and it would be good if you followed the link & installed it before coming along.

Skill level - If you've followed the links on this message we should be able to teach you the remaining skills needed. You'll never know unless you try!

I hope to see you at one or more of the sessions - contact me from the links at the bottom of this message for more info.

Cost - Free!

I forgot to mention the cost - free to you. But it would be really good if you did some mapping for Missing Maps Project as they are making this all happen.

Thanks for reading.
Tallguy = Nick

To book a place please click here

Location: Swanley CP, Sevenoaks, Kent, South East, England, United Kingdom

Washington Milk RUN

Posted by Tparco on 28 February 2015 in English (English)


Editing of our travels in Sudan completed

Posted by Jan van Bekkum on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

Editing of the roads we travelled during our trip from the Netherlands to South Africa and their environment has been completed.


Posted by Super-Map on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

Hi all contributors of Open Street Map project, this is how I draw, represent an amphitheatre in OSM

I specify, I never go over there, it's just an information of an other user, nevertheless I use Bing imagery for to represent it. An area in the middle and steps in several directions...

Enjoy yourself with your favourite editor.

Have a nice mapping.

P.S.: Remember this: "nobody want, like, to use a bad map... but everybody like to use a nice map very useful (who all persons can improve it)... We have "guide" in OSM for to help us, his name: "Wiki" (the last point, it's about several other thing in OSM...)...

I like this fable: "It's not enough that your run fleet, Start early, that the way to beat" Translation for French people: "Rien ne sert de courir ; il faut partir à point".

Why i find vector tiles objectionable

Posted by zool on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

In reply to Steven Feldman on Twitter why do i object to vector tile services, it will definitely take more than 140 characters to explain, and then only partially explain.

The statement that i find vector tiles objectionable was triggered by a positive reaction nonetheless to Mapzen's Vector Tile Service. I'm fascinated to see it serving up GeoJSON according to a tile-based URL scheme like that in use for raster, imagery tiles.

VectorMap District is an underrated Ordnance Survey Open Data project for mid-scale views of maps. You can get it from the OS open data download pages, selecting from a series of National Grid tiles from what may be a horribly familiar image:

OS national grid

The National Grid tiles that we download with clenched teeth today come from grids and scales designed to be read on paper maps.

Registers of Scotland are my employers and they are well known for being some distance from completing a full "cadastral map", registering the ownership of all land and property in Scotland. Their Geographic Information Systems were probably once pioneering early-adoption when originally designed. But the database systems weren't strong enough to handle data on more than a county basis, so that's how the data got distributed amongst systems. Each county stores a set of overlapping tiles of OS data. It's converted back from modern data format into an archival format the old systems can understand. There is quite a maintenance load involved in this process alone.

When the organisation systems really were paper maps, tiled and scaled to the National Grid, Registers stored its model of land in the form of "parcel books". Chunks of OS maps, cut up and pasted onto cloth, painstakingly annotated with land ownership where it was registered, with extra copies at different scales describing "Research Areas" where work was ongoing and more than usual was known. The parcel books are beautiful, and in many ways more appropriate to the shared tasks of land registration and research than the GIS systems that are worked with today.

What does this have to do with vector tiles? My point here is that you get artefacts of the limits of the delivery system taking over the delivery system, being unnecessarily preserved. In addition, real problems are being masked by overdelivery of data, with a lot of detail unnecessarily handed over, or a lack of subtlety about what is appropriate scale in a given area. Standards evolved for raster data are a long way distant from what is now possible given the browser capability and bandwidth available in many places today.

Consider the OpenStreetMap API which limits data download to a maximum area or 50000 objects, whichever occurs the sooner. It doesn't serve up neat square fragments, but sections of longer ways are spilling out the edges of the request. It's hardly subtle as a regulating mechanism, but it's effective enough. The query support in Overpass API is much more powerful, and an application of sufficient size is likely to want its own cached store of GeoJSON, not depend on a third-party service for fundamental mapping.

What I would prefer to see than vector tiles is a data generalisation service that would produce the equivalent of products like VectorMap District & Local from OpenStreetMap data, making it all easier to work with at different scales. Clear annotations about what data sources have been subjected to what algorithmic processes. I also want to see clearer integration with QGIS and other open-source desktop tools. And I think these things will make more difference to delivery and to re-use than vector tiles.

Evolving HOT

Posted by Heather Leson on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

What can we do? This drives us every day to support HOT's mandate and mission. Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is a respected, global community within the larger OpenStreetMap family. For the past 2 years, I have proudly donated my time, network and skills to help HOT grow organizationally as your Board Member. I respectfully ask for a HOT nomination from the membership and community support to continue this mandate.

My previous election posts can be found on my personal blog. These were shared on the HOT mailing list with the wider community.

Summary of Achievements in the 2014-2015 term

Board Secretary

Organizational Development

  • Executive Director support: reviewed, wrote and edited key strategic and organizational process documents.
  • Board Retreat: Recruited Allen Gunn of Aspiration to facilitate the HOT Board Retreat. Curated the HOT Board Retreat Planning
  • Board primer: to better define Board responsibilities, I created the Board Primer
  • Actively participated in the HOT Strategy Planning
  • Actively supported the Membership Chair on Elections

Community Support

  • Supported the Community Working Sprint to better define the engagement opportunities
  • Wrote and gained support for the HOT Resolution process to better help us manage HOT topics.
  • Attended and co-lead a number of HOT Community Working Group meetings. These need some help to move forward.
  • Blogged and shared communications on various HOT Projects and Events
  • Hosted a HOT workshop at the IEEE Humanitarian Tech Conference (Canada) and OKFestival 2014 (Germany)
  • Hosted a HOT Birds of a Feather event at State of the Map US 2014


  • Wrote the HOT Terms of Reference for Fundraising
  • Edited many grant applications
  • Assisted in the community sprint for the Hewitt grant

Getting HOT to the next level

Every organization and especially open source organizations have an evolution. We aim to grow organically while building the healthy parts to support all the moving parts. HOT (the community and the organization) have made tremendous progress. In the coming year, it is key to keep up the momentum. The successful growth of the working groups and membership leadership gives way to a positive, sustainable future. HOT's Board counts on the organizational staff, Executive Director, consultants, membership and community. HOT is a well-established and sought after partner for projects. We have grown with staff and consultancies to support these amazing opportunities. Our funders continue to support HOT's evolution by funding strategic projects like OAM and Activation training. This, in turn, supports the whole HOT and OSM community.

This year I ask for your support to continue as your Board Member on the mandate of strategic planning, fundraising and organizational development.

As an active Digital Humanitarian and HFOSS leader, you can count on me to champion HOT as your Board Member and fellow community member. I will continue to advocate for HOT at events, online and for our community growth. You can learn more about me on my blog (TextonTechs) []

Be a HOT Board Member

To my fellow Hotties, HOT needs strong Board Members. I would encourage you to review the Board Primer, the HOT Strategy and all the Board Minutes. Please ask your current board and former Board Members for guidance. Together we can continue to support the amazing work of mappers, humanitarians and those citizens who want to learn.

I highly recommend that these skills be part of your personal toolkit to support HOT's future.

  • Strong network, partnership relationships, fundraising capabilities
  • Finance or legal background
  • Strategic and management experience
  • Language skills (Do you speak Arabic, Mandarin or another language?)

Thank you again for your support and here's to a great year.

Location: Al Dafna (60), Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar

Walking is good for you

Posted by dle0 on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

I did something to my ankle last Christmas, and have been walking recently as part of recovery. Birkdale has many hidden little nice places; I'm continually impressed by the quality of the local council's parks and water diversions.

OpenBelgium 2015

Posted by escada on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

OpenBelgium 2015 took place in Namur on February 23.

Ben Abelshausen organized a session on OpenStreetMap and asked me to be co-presenter. I arrived early in Namur, because I wanted to avoid the traffic jams around Brussels. Hence I had plenty of time for a short walk in the town center. Although a lot of POIs are already mapped, I still took over 300 pictures and hope to find some missing features. And yes, so far I found a couple of missing memorials, statues and it turned out that some POIs could be updated as. Haven't finished this yet.

Back to the conference. The session on OpenStreetMap was titled "It's the community, stupid" to emphasize that this data is not coming from the public sector, unlike most other data discussed in the other sessions.

I had the honour to kick of the session and talked about the daily life of a crazy mapper. After me, Jorieke showed the audience that mappers do work together via a variety of tools and that mapping can be a social event as well. She also talked about collaboration with communities in developing countries through HOT.

Next, Ben talked about imports and how good imports can enrich the community. Finally, Glenn talked about using OpenStreetMap data and how consumers can be part of the community as well.

Afterwards we had to answer several questions on quality, possible collaborations with the government and how people could start using data. It seems that there will be follow-up meetings on the use of and the contribution to OpenStreetMap within the public sector as well.

Exiting times and I hope this will increase the interest in OpenStreetMap.

It was also great to see Nicolas and Julien back, as well as meeting Marc Ducobu, who is doing the translations to French of our Mapper of the Month interviews.

The next event is a mapping party in Brussels with as main topics cycling and wheelchair access. The event will take place on April 25, for more info, see the wiki.

Hope to see you there.

Location: Bomel, Salzinnes, Namur, Wallonia, 5000, Belgium

February release delayed

Posted by josmeditor on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

The February release is delayed a few days until we clarify a certificate problem with OpenStreetMap Foundation.

What could help us: if you are a StartSSL customer (or know one), please ask them when they intend to be included in Java list of Root Certificate Authorities.

The goal is to be able to keep HTTPS access to the OSM API and website, for old and new versions of JOSM.

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