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OSMF Board election canidate positions

Posted by pnorman on 28 November 2015 in English (English)

The OSMF is having a board election, with voting opening this weekend. The questions to candidates are arranged by question, but I wanted to see the responses of each candidate together, so I rearranged them, and sorted the questions into an order I think makes some sense.

Because this is going to end up being long with 11 candidates, I'm splitting into multiple diary posts. I'll link them all together after publishing, but I can't do that yet.


Guido, Ryan, Gonzalo, and Douglas have not responded to most of the questions.

Mikel and Joseph have not responded to some of the questions.


The questions are reproduced below.

Where do you currently participate in the OSMF?

Most OSMF participation and work is done through working groups. What working groups are you on, and if you're currently not participating in any, why not?

Which contributions to OSM should I consider for my decision beyond your data edits at OSM?

Please give me a short list of your contributions to OSM (both editing and programming). Do you have edit via multiple OSM accounts which are not listed at Foundation/AGM15/Election_to_Board? Which OSM related software and websites do/did you develope? Please give me a short list and/or a link to your Github profile.

Do you use OSM at work for business purposes?

Do you use OSM at work for business purposes? Do you earn money by developing OSM-related software/websites? Do you earn money by editing at OSM (aka paid mapping)?

Conflicts of Interest

Do you work for a company or are involved with organizations that are working with OSM in some form? If yes how do you plan to handle situations where the interests of this company/organization and the interests of those you would represent on the board diverge?

Who should the OSMF serve?

Formally the OSMF board is elected by and therefore should serve the OSMF members. But anyone can be an OSMF member as long as he/she pays the membership fee. Whose interests do you think you will primarily try to represent if elected to the board? This will likely be the 'OSM community' in some form but this is a fairly inhomogeneous group consisting of mappers, software developers, map designers, map users and others so please try to clarify on your priorities.

Role of the board

What do you see as being matters that the board should or should not get involved with?

Communication with the community

Which communication channels do you use to stay informed and talk to the community?

Community involvement in OSMF

The very limited involvement of OSM community members in the OSMF, visible in the membership numbers, limited involvement in working group and participation in elections, has been a big topic and before the last elections there have been fairly bold statements towards improvements here but not much has happened. Although there is now a possibility to become a member without paying the membership fee there is still quite a high hurdle to become a member and participate in decision processes of the OSMF. Do you have ideas how to improve community participation you intend to push forward if elected to the board? There have for example been suggestions for automatic membership for active community members


Diversity - both geographic and otherwise - is a big topic for many in the OSM community. Please describe in what way you think your presence on the OSMF board would serve diversity in OSM. Would you bring a particular viewpoint to the board that is important to be represented there? Do you represent or have intense connections to a local community or other interest groups whose interests you plan to bring forward during your time on the board?

Paying People

Many manifestos suggest the OSMF Board should be doing more, we aren't adding more board members. How can the board accomplish more with the same number of people? What are you views on paying people to accomplish some tasks that for whatever reason can't be accomplished by volunteers?

Board term limits

The idea to limit the duration for which an individual can be a member of the OSMF board has been an important subject of discussion and also subject of a special resolution put up for vote during the 2014 special general meeting which received a majority but failed to pass the necessary 75% threshold. Since then the current board has not made a decision on this matter. What is your standpoint on this and would you pursue a change in the OSMF articles to implement such a term limit?


Transparency of the OSMF board's work has been a big topic in the last election. There have been changes on this matter since then, for example there has been the first public board meeting but there have also been controversial points like the question if individual board members votes in board decisions should be made public. Please describe your standpoint on Transparency in the OSMF and its board's work - both in general and what changes in this regard you would like to pursue if elected.

License violation enforcement

The OSMF formally holds the rights to the OSM data or in other words is entrusted by the mappers to legally administer their work. There are mechanisms in use, primarily involving the license working group, to deal with cases of license violations, most notably missing or insufficient attribution. What is your opinion on this situation? Do you think the current mechanisms work? Do you think there is need for changes in the way such cases are handled and if yes how should such changes look like?

Imports and remote mapping stance

Among OSM mappers both data imports and remote 'armchair' mapping are controversial subjects and are discussed frequently from practical to philosophical levels. Please describe your standpoint on the matter and (if that applies) your practical experience with these.

Commercial and Organized Editing Policy stance

OSM has become important as a source of geospatial data for the last years and nowadays we have couple of companies and organzisations mapping at OSM. In difference to the community these people often lack the intrinsic motivation most mappers have. They only do what they are told to do and only do it because they get paid for it. Should their be a guideline similar to Automated Edits Code of Conduct and Import Guideline which rules the activities of commercial mappers and mappers which are part of courses (at schools, universities etc.)? What should it rule? Note: DWG has suggested such a policy in May 2014.

Yes, you will

Posted by Zverik on 27 November 2015 in English (English)

Alas, you cannot embed youtube videos in diary posts:

Did I mention to vote for me in the upcoming elections? :)

Shopping for OSM

Posted by malenki on 27 November 2015 in English (English)

Just in time before the annually shopping month starts I want to present the state of the German Amazon Affiliate Program.

Since I started the Affiliate Program at for OSM 6178 products got purchased which resulted as of today (27.11.2015) in Amazon sales of 174.605,76 EUR. The fees transferred to OSM amount to 8.065,74 EUR, with fees still to be paid they sum up to 8.723,71 EUR. (Amazon pays the fee three months after generating because of probable returns.)

So if you purchase the one or other thing in December and consider shopping at Amazon please use the Affiliate link for, or – depending on where you shop. If you want to install an Amazon search engine in Firefox with that link you can do so at the German OSM donation page.

The fees from are transferred to the FOSSGIS e.V. the contact of OSM in Germany.
Two times I myself got helped by the FOSSGIS – as I purchased a canvas for OSM booths and lately *cough* a refund of expenses for overnight accommodation while managing an OSM booth for three days. In the FOSSGIS wiki you can ask for funding for your project if it is related to OSM (or if it matches the association's goals) and also see a list of already funded projects. Everybody – also when not being a member – can ask the FOSSGIS for funding OSM related Projects. I myself (still?) am not member of it.

Thus said, I want to thank everybody who donated directly or indirectly to OSM.
Happy Mapping!

Hello OSM World

Posted by rskikuli on 27 November 2015 in English (English)

Hi everybody,

I'm a newcomer enthusiast focused mainly in editing in Tirana (Albania) and Elbasan (Albania). It seems like there is a greater need for projects like OSM in Albania since foreigners that visit the country, but also locals find it hard to find directions to move around cities.

I really hope to make the first steps for the OMS community in Albania in order to grow the project even more.


Why I'd like to become a HOT member

Posted by geohacker on 27 November 2015 in English (English)

I'm a software developer at Mapbox based in Bangalore, India, co-leading our data team. Prior to Mapbox, I've been part of projects at Karnataka Learning Partnership, Moabi, and organizations like the Center for Internet and Society and Tactical Technology Collective. What makes writing this note special is that I'm in Doha this week, talking about OpenStreetMap data, tools and running a Digital Humanitarian workshop along with Heather Leson and the Qatar Red Crescent Society. In doing so, I've been able to engage entrepreneurs, engineers and scientist - introducing them to the largest living map, and OpenStreetMap as a project that is truly "moving the map." What makes me believe in what we do at HOT and OpenStreetMap is the power of bringing people together.

I have been part of OpenStreetMap since 2008. Since the Haiti activation, I regularly lurked on the HOT mailing list and occasionally mapped. More than mapping, I was drawn to how the OpenStreetMap software infrastructure worked and the idea of mapping anything and everything. I started off my career building data infrastructures and advocated the use of OpenStreetMap software for other use cases. The recent Nepal activation is when I truly got involved in HOT. Right after the earthquake, our team in Bangalore got together to start mapping priority areas. I was communicating with folks at the Kathmandu Living Labs and relaying requests to map, make map data available for download, and working with actors on the ground to design maps for print. I also got a chance to help and learn about imagery acquisition through Mapbox and the Indian Space Research Organisation.

India doesn't have a strong OpenStreetMap community. We managed to build momentum and groups across different cities - New Delhi, Pondicherry, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Mumbai to contribute to the Nepal mapping tasks. Arun and I did training over Skype, phone and hangouts. It was a surreal experience to have been in the middle of a crisis at the same time I realise from the conversations with everyone at KLL that it was very real. I've been part of the most recent activations in Mexico and Afghanistan, rallying communities to map and getting in touch with people on the ground who could tell us more about what's important. I have run events, trained individuals to map and spoken to journalists and the media, in India, about what we do at HOT.

I think HOT is in an excellent position to do something that will change how crisis response works, from data acquisition and communication to controlling and supporting distribution of aid. Our community is strong, technology is robust and we are continuously improving, as we learn from each activation. In my mind, HOT's challenges are more than drumming up people to map. In times of crisis, people want to help. What's missing is the link between traditional disaster response agencies and HOT. During the Nepal and Afghanistan activations, I have reached out to local aid agencies in India like the Red Cross chapters, Goonj, Indian Airforce - they were all responding to Nepal - but I failed to make any connection and failed to see our maps being used by them. All the journalists I spoke to were interested in the story how a group of digital humanitarians are helping map Nepal and were not going to help speak about how these maps need to be used by local agencies. In Afghanistan, I heard firsthand that the agents on mission have practically no communication channels. HOT has work to do to break these silos, work with partners to and make our maps known and used. I'd like to start small, understand how local aid agencies work and make our ways flexible to collaborate closely.

Location: Onaiza (65), Doha, Qatar

Vote for me, it would be fun

Posted by Zverik on 26 November 2015 in English (English)

I am Ilya Zverev, a.k.a. Zverik, currently living in Russia. I've nominated myself to the OSMF Board, and now I have supposed to write a manifesto, touching on diversity, transparency and other serious topics. But the thing is, I've read all manifestos for past three years, and all of them (except Frederik's) are boring and didn't affect anything. So what if I show support for transparency — would it help? Nearly all candidates supported it, and look how verbose Board minutes are (they aren't).

Do you know what the Board is working on? I don't, and I read the minutes. There are two options: either the Board discusses a lot of things on their private mailing list, or they actually are working only on topics spotted in minutes. Both of these are not good: I am a member of OSMF, and I expect to know what's in store for OpenStreetMap. I hope it would change, and maybe I could help it — but after Frederik's revelations, I am not sure. I'll try.

I support diversity. The Russian community is severely under-represented in OpenStreetMap, despite being the fourth (occasionally the third) biggest in the project. Though I don't like needless «regionalizing» of some aspects, e.g. tagging. Obviously, we should promote OSM in more countries, though I don't see how it is the Board's task. Last year I learned what gender diversity actually means, how inequality is enforced by nearly every aspect of most cultures, and that IT has it worst. But also I was taught that, as a man, I can do nothing about it, other than properly teach my daughters. So I have nothing to offer on the topic of diversity.

What I am interested in, and what is one of the main Board's duties, is supporting the OSMF. I joined it in 2011, but never was sure what is the point of being there. Supporting the project monetarily — yes, but it is simpler with donations. The mailing list is sometimes entertaining, but mostly silent. I don't know who other russians in OSMF are, and cannot connect with them. I have no say in any of the decisions, except during the yearly AGM. Nothing in OSMF motivates me to do anything, though there is a lot of subtle shaming: you are not participating in any WG, you are not donating enough, you are not attracting more members to OSMF. Being an OSMF member is not fun, and I intend to change that.

And the money. Do you know what the last year WG grants were spent on? Only OWG seems to spend money on something useful. OSMF has a few pounds on its account, which doesn't seem to increase much, but also it doesn't spend it on anything outside the State of the Map and servers. There were a lot of promises and ideas in past years. I can remember the Ulf Award, software grants, mapping party funding. I doubt any of that was discussed by the Board: in my mind, it deferred these matters to working groups, and the groups weren't interested. I expect the Board to spend more, and to collect more. I'd like to have developer grants in the OSM, and not rely on big software companies to technically advance the project.

Corporate membership is the way to get more funds for the OSMF. Well, increasing the regular membership ten times, and that. My employer, MAPS.ME, is a corporate member, so I know how hard and frustrating it is to become one. This membership is not promoted in any way, which is one of the reasons we get only 4-5 companies every year. Maybe we should learn from Wikimedia: they are more visible and attract more big sponsors, and we could do with a couple.

I am not a good manager: I have no experience in talking with huge companies or managing teams (though I've organized quite a lot of mapping parties, and some conferences). But I won't be alone on the Board, and members there are good in different ways. I'd be glad if Mikel is elected, we need an experienced person like him. My expertise is in being an OSMer for a lot of years, in writing news and hoping OSMF would generate more of them, in being an OSMF member and not knowing why. I want to change that, to make OSMF more visible and meaningful, and that's why I want to be elected to the Board.

Japan in OSM - The whole picture

Posted by nikhilprabhakar on 26 November 2015 in English (English)

The past 2 months my team at Mapbox have been working full-time on one of our largest data projects to date - Realigning the highways of Japan on OSM, which is now reaching its final stages.

Japan looks thoroughly mapped on OSM and is dense with highways and local streets. On inspecting the data however, we found that most of the roads do not match the underlying satellite imagery or GPS tracks.

screenshot 2015-09-14 16 27 36

To complicate matters, we found that the Bing imagery has strange distortions and is poorly orthorectified and offset from GPS tracks. Inititally we thought this could be an isolated case, but on comparing with StravaGlobalheat layer these distortions continue throughout the country in an inconsistent manner.

Comparison of Bing and ortho imagery from Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI)

Further research revealed that most of the map data comes from a poorly documented import from Yahoo Japan in 2011 and the the OSM-JP community has been struggling to to execute a post import cleanup of the massive dataset. A complete list of data issues we found has been now documented in this diary post. Our finding was that most of the data has not been touched since the import and remains to be of questionable quality.

This motivated us to kick into action and see how our team resources could be used to help out in such a situation.

Confirming findings

The first step was reaching out to the OSM-JP community to make sure our findings were on the right track. The most accessible point of contact was Taichi-san, a prolific mapper and Director of OpenStreetMap Foundation Japan. Our full investigation and workflow were documented on our public /mapping repository and our findings were confirmed by Taichi - the imported data in Japan had serious data issues.

Thanks to the community we found the availability of orthorectified satellite imagery from GSI which perfectly matches GPS data and is the only reliable imagery source for the country. The coverage of the imagery includes most urban areas but is not complete for Japan.

screen shot 2015-11-27 at 2 16 24 pm

Coverage areas for GSI imagery compared with density of geolocated tweets

Moving the map

Realigning existing road networks on such a large scale is a tough problem similar to that of the US TIGER import which has still not been completely fixed after 8 years. Unlike in the US where it was possible to compare later TIGER datasets with OSM to help find differences to cleanup, there was no way to automatically calculate the scale of the issue in Japan, which meant a completely manual cleanup by eyeballing every road. That amounts to over 5 million roads in the import. The current set of mapping tools have been built for data creation and addition rather than rework. To establish a workflow, we did a trial run in a less dense part of northern Japan using the tasking manager to evolve a process for the cleanup. Some of our observations:

  • GSI imagery coverage was limited to parts of Japan and we would need to focus on these areas first
  • Road were split into small segments which needed to be merged for easy realignment
  • Divided highways were traced as a single road instead of parallel oneway roads
  • Unwanted tags like yh-width where present from the import and had to be discarded for easy merging
  • Prioritizing the remapping by focusing on only major roads (motorway, trunk, primary, secondary and tertiary) was more practical than realigning all the roads which would be a never ending task.
  • Realigning data in multiple passes, each limited on one class of roads helps maintain focus on a task

After a rough idea on the remapping process, we created a series of projects with comprehensive instructions on the teachosm tasking manager and spread the word on the OSM Diaries and the talk-ja mailing list to encourage more community participation in the effort.

Remapping project areas and statistics

Tasks on

screen shot 2015-11-26 at 3 41 03 pm

Links: Nagoya Mega task | Tokyo Mega task

Tasks on

screen shot 2015-11-26 at 3 33 49 pm

Links: Kyushu | Osaka | Mito | Fukushima | Ishikawa | Beppu-Oita | Aomori | North Mutsu

Note A pass is a mapping run for a task area. Pass 1 = fixing motorway, trunk, primary, secondary roads. Pass 2 = fixing tertiary roads. Pass 3 = fixing unclassified and residential roads

To scale up the merging process, @Rub21 made a script which smartly merges highways taking into account the tags (to merge roads with identical tags) and the angle between ways (to avoid merging streets meeting at intersections). We used the whole project as a chance to discover possible tools that can be handy and speed up the mapping skills.

Outreach and community involvement

Carrying out such a large scale map improvement could not have been possible without the support of the JP community. Regular OSM dairies from our team were helpfully translated into Japanese by volunteers from talk-ja. The project instructions were also simplified and translated for the convenience of local mappers interested in joining. A Facebook Group helped gain more visibility as it tends to be a more popular medium for communicating with Japanese mappers than the mailing list.

Students of Taichi-san's class involved in the remapping projects

In the meantime we are looking at translating our mapping guides into Japanese to allow more local mappers to join the projects using JOSM.


Also timely was State of the Map-Japan that Mapbox got an opportunity to sponsor, and a vacationing @planemad gave the closing keynote to bring attention to the data issues and the remapping.

12193039_1737250679893694_741204167_o @planemad at SOTM Japan

The road ahead

The scope of our team's realignment efforts was limited to only major highways (motorways, trunk, primary and secondary roads), and further by the availability of ortho imagery from GSI. The target was to correct the roads which carry the bulk of the road traffic and further continuously improve areas where we detect active map users and map feedback. We have currently covered 90% of our target improvement area and will be evaluating the impact of the cleanup in the coming weeks and building missing documentation, tools and JOSM plugins for the benefit of new mappers.

Correcting the entire street map data in Japan will take many more years and can only be accomplished by the presence of an active local community that can maintain and enrich the data using field knowledge. Meanwhile, this effort needs to serve as a reminder on the issues of large data imports and the impact it has on dynamics of community growth and participation. It also exposes how inspite of being united by a common map canvas, language still plays a significant barrier in how we communicate and support each other in OSM.

photo-collage 1 Dairy entries on remapping

screen shot 2015-11-27 at 2 16 56 pm

Status of remapping: Light Green = Done (Pass 1), Dark Green = Done (Pass 1 and 2), Red = Not done

Some Statistics

  • Area of Japan: 377,000 km2
  • Area covered by GSI imagery: 180,000 km2 (47%)
    • Priority project area: 120,000 (60%) km2
    • Outside project area: 60,000 km2
  • Cleanup progress as on 11/24: 106,000 km2 (90% of priority area)
  • Data team strength: 19 members
  • Number of weeks spent: 9

screen shot 2015-11-27 at 2 17 13 pm

Here is a Map showing all the roads align/merged during this project by data team since September.

Next Steps

  • As we wind down with Japan, it would be great to hear from the Japanese OSM community on the impact of this exercise. We invite Taichi-san and other members of OSM-JP to assess the work and provide us valuable feedback that can be used to improve how the Mapbox data team can help strengthen local mapping communities.
  • The Japanese community can greatly benefit with localized mapping guides to use JOSM for cleanup. Interested translators can get in touch here
  • If you have an idea for a new tool or JOSM plugin to help in such map cleanup tasks, propose an idea in our /mapping repository.
  • Do you consider yourself an expert mapper? jump right into the latest project in Hiroshima

HOT Voting Member 2015 Personal Statement

Posted by Adityo on 26 November 2015 in English (English)

First i would like to thank you to Emir Hartato for the nomination. I really appreciate and happy to take this chance to become HOT Voting Member. With this diary, i would like to give my statement for several question related that:

How did you become involved in HOT

I began involved in HOT after i graduated from University. At September 2012, HOT Indonesia open opportunity to became Trainer and involved in their SD4CP Project. Not only this if the first time I involved in HOT but also this is my first time to involved in OpenStreetMap. I began to teach local government and community about the benefit of open source software and OpenStreetMap related to Disaster Management. Not only training I also help to support local government, community and creating training material with team. From Septermber 2012 - Present, I'm lucky that i'm still working in HOT Indonesia and learn many experience here.

Could you tell us about your involvement in HOT, mapping and/or humanitarian response?

Since i became the HOT Staff in September 2012, i involved in many activities and projects here, from training, creating materials, mapping event, activation, etc. Right now i also involved in Activation Working Group since i attended the Activation Sprint and HOT Summit. My current humanitarian response i think was when EQ in Afghanistan. I joined the activation for EQ in Afghanistan to implement the skill that i learn from Activation Workshop in Jakarta as Data and Validation role.

What does HOT mean to you?

In my opinion, HOT means disaster response and mapping. Without HOT, i wont know how useful OpenStreetMap in terms of Humanitarian Response and i wont know that you can help save people live or support disaster only with armchair mapping. HOT also the one who bring OpenStreetMap Indonesia community begin to growth in Indonesia.

Why do you want to be a voting member?

For the sake of HOT Sustainability i believe. I want to help HOT stronger and stable and i want to participate in HOT a lot.

As a voting member of HOT what do you see as your most important responsibility?

To participate and to make everyone (especially in Indonesia) know about the existence of HOT in terms of disaster response.

How do you plan to be involved in HOT as a voting member?

I will continue to involved in working group, activation and other HOT activities if possible. And as a voting member i will give my vote when HOT need some decisions.

What do you see HOT's greatest challenge and how do you plan to help HOT meet that challenge?

I think the greatest challenge is to make HOT recognize in Indonesia and other countries as humanitarian organization. And my plan to meet that challenge are to provide support (direct or not direct) to government in term of disaster management. When we give a support to government, they will recognize that HOT exist and hopefully they will tell to their colleague about HOT. Another HOT challenge is about the economic development. HOT mostly involved in humanitarian response but i think we need to reach the other side of HOT tagline, which is economic development. I want to see and find the opportunity for HOT in terms of economic development.

That's all my statement and may the force be with HOT! :)

Location: Kampung Bali 16, RW 09, Jakarta Special Capital Region, 10350, Indonesia

Adding missing towns and villages in OSM

Posted by Jothirnadh on 25 November 2015 in English (English)

Adding missing towns and villages in OSM (India)

In India, there are ~7935 cities/towns officially recogized by the Government of India according to the 2011 cecsus. But in OSM, there are only 3352 (as of 2015-11-23) cities/towns mapped as place node.

As a first step of mapping, it is important to mark all the major cities and towns in the country. The Mapbox data team did some background analysis of the data in OSM and compared it to other publicly datasets. This guide will walkthrough the step of using public domain map layer from for improving the location of India's towns/cities in OSM using JOSM.

Download JOSM

  • JOSM - If you are new to JOSM you can find help in this guide

Add the GNS layer in JOSM's Imagery Preferences

  • To add the GNS layers within JOSM, go to Imagery > Imagery Preferences.
  • Add a new WMS entry.
  • In the Enter service URL, paste the following parameters:{proj}&WIDTH={width}&HEIGHT={height}&BBOX={bbox}. Click Get layers.
  • In the Select layers, choose the Approved_(N) layers.
  • In the Image format, choose image/png. Click OK adding gns layer

Load background layers in JOSM

  • Add Bing imagery as the satellite background.
  • To add the added GNS layer, click Imagery > Approved_(N)
  • Note: Click ok for the warning then JOSM will take care of the image projection issues.

adding gns and bing layers

Start editing OSM data

  • Download the data in OSM.
  • Use the geonames layer as reference for missing towns/cities within your editing area.
  • Make sure that you download a OSM data layer of the location you are working on and if the data is missing add it to the map. The tags that can be added to a place can be found here
  • NOTE: GNS data accuracy varies from place to place. Refer to the satellite imagery to accurately position the nodes you added in OSM.
  • Upload your edits and the following comments:

changeset comment: "Add place town nodes" source comment: "Bing, WMS"

ezgif com-optimize 1

Location: Indiranagar 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, 560001, India

The Asia Foundation :: Bohol Tourism Mapping

Posted by GOwin on 25 November 2015 in English (English)

Crowd-sourced Mapping workshops by The Asia Foundation via [Umap](


The crowd-sourced mapping activity held in Panglao, Bohol on 13th November is the fifth of a series of workshops being carried out by the Coalitions for Change (CfC), of the Coordinating Roads and Infrastructure Investment for Development (CR+ID) project meant to promote the mobilization and development of interest by formal organizations, local volunteer groups, and informal associations to identify and map their communities and other areas of interest using the OpenStreetMap platform. In this particular case, the activity is focused specifically in teaching the participants the rudiments of mapping establishments, infrastructure, and other points-of-interest (POI) that relate to the tourism industry.

Working partners and participants

The activity was organized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the support of The Asia Foundation, Philippines, and in coordination with the staff of the Bohol Planning and Development Office. Around forty participants, majority of which represented the municipal and barangay LGUs of Panglao and Dauis, the tourism staff of the Bohol LGU, other municipal LGUs, and a few representatives from the private sector. The following organizations were represented in the workshop:

  • Anda LGU
  • Calape LGU
  • Dauis LGU
  • Loon LGU
  • Panglao LGU
  • Tubigon LGU
  • Philippine Agriculture Land Development and Mill, Incorporated (PALM), Sagbayan, BOH
  • Holy Name University, Tagbilaran, BOH
  • Bohol Tourism Office

OpenStreetMap Workshop

Prior workshops focused on the use of OsmAnd for adding data to OpenStreetMap, and for field data collection. This time, the revised workshop program was intended to provide hands-on learning for editing OSM data from a computer, using the iD editor, and how to extract data from the OSM database for use in Geographic Information System software, like QGIS.

It was unfortunate that some of the topics had to be shortened because of the late arrival of majority of participants. The expected hands-on training was also dropped due to limited number of laptops (of the forty participants, only five brought along a laptop) and the very limited Internet access in the venue (Internet access was meant for all customers of the establishment, and not exclusive to workshop participants.)

In lieu of the expected hands-on activity, the morning session topics were delivered as a presentation and demonstration. The few participants with laptops managed to follow the exercises on their own computers.

Activity results

OpenStreetMap edits during the workshop, via [Overpass-Turbo](

An Overpass-Turbo query repored the following edits made by the participants during the workshop day itself: pois: 157, lines: 276, polygons: 74

Post-workshop mapping activities

Several users were noted for continuing to map their neighborhoods after the workshop:

  • MelizzaDawn of Libaong, Dauis
  • ericdel of the PPDO, who mostly works around Dela Paz, Tagbilaran. Eric is also a participant of the Tagbilaran workshop held earlier this year, and had been an actively contributing edits in Bohol
  • Calape of Calape, BOH
  • jcars of Loon, BOH
  • Mpdcanda of Anda, Dauis

Post workshop edits of Bohol via [Achavi](

Between the 14th and 20th of November, a total of 2,628 edits (nodes, ways, closed ways, and relations) were made by workshop participants. Of these objects, 1,910 were new objects, while 676 were modifications or updates to already existing objects.

Noted, too, were users' preference for the iD editor for adding map data, despite the limited hands-on exercise opportunity for said tool during the workshop.


Panglao participants group shot More photos are here

Location: Alona Street, Tawala, Panglao, Bohol, Central Visayas, 6340, Philippines

Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT US Inc) in the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF)

Posted by Nicolas Chavent on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

This short note is to draw your attention on the danger for OSMF (and the OSM project) in the case the United States NGO "Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team US Inc" (aka HOT US Inc) got a majority at the OSMF Board after this 2015 election.

Mikel Maron, Joseph Reeves and Yantisa Akhadi, all members of the NGO HOT US Inc, are running for the OSMF Board 1; Kate Chapman, the former ED of HOT US Inc serves already as Board Officer in OSMF.

Shall Mikel Maron, Joseph Reeves and Yantisa Akhadi be elected, HOT US Inc will get a majority at the Board of the Foundation. This will provide a single organization of the OSM ecosystem (HOT US Inc) with an unprecedented and excessive power of influence over the Foundation.

This running of three candidates from the same organization is puzzling and troublesome when one considers that HOT US Inc (and therefore its perspective around OpenStreetMap) is already represented at the OSMF Board since Sept 2013. Why extending its presence and influence and consequently diminishing the OSM diversity represented at the OSMF Board?

A greater HOT US Inc presence at the OSMF Board would be a matter of concern in terms of : - balance of powers - diversity of visions, thoughts and practices around OSM - board dynamics: a collective of HOT US Inc Boardees would interact with single individuals. This is a bad practice which is not followed by any Organizations; this is specifically true for representative bodies (organization representing organizations) such as OSMF

OSMF voting members shall pay attention to check and balances in terms of organizational powers prior casting their ballot 28-Nov onwards and bear in minds that HOT US Inc and this perspective about OSM is already represented at the OSMF Board through Kate Chapman.

The HOT US Inc perspective informs, like other perspectives, the work of the Foundation and has its effect on the OSM project, there is no need to take risks in providing this group with more room in the Foundation which is hot enough in these times of winter.

Canvec+ data questions

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

has anyone downloaded the entire Canvec+ data and merged all features together, then incorporated the names (joining from the id?)


Manifesto for OSMF Board 2015

Posted by wille on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

Who am I?

My name is Wille Marcel. I am Brazilian, nowadays living in Brasília-DF. I started contributing to OSM 5 years ago and I am associate of OSM Foundation since July 2013. I work as a web and GIS developer. I like to organize meetings and give talks about OSM. You can see some of my efforts in my OSM diary. I have done some contributions to the Communication Working Group of OSMF as well.

Why am I standing to the Board of OSM Foundation?

I love collaboration. I really enjoy edit Wikipedia, take pictures to Mapillary and to Wikimedia Commons, to collaborate with Free and Open Source softwares and, more over, I really like to be part of the OpenStreetMap community. OSM has an important role in my life mission, so I want to help making OSM still bigger.

My proposals:

  • Diversity

We haven't had many people from outside Western Europe and United States on the board so far. I think it will be good to have a vision from other regions of the world. I am part of the Latin American and Brazilian communities, so I can contribute with my vision to build actions that increase the number of contributors on the South hemisphere. Furthermore, I think we should seek resources to have more participants on the FOSS Outreach Program, a initiative that helps people from underrepresented groups to get involved in FOSS projects. Or we could start a program more focused on teach mapping skills to women and other underrepresented groups.

  • Support to local groups and events

I first met OSM when I watched a talk of another contributor (Nighto). I mapped my first town using a GPS device donated by Open Society Institute and OSM Foundation. Later I gave that GPS device to Edil Queiroz start to map and now he is a great mapper and contributor of Mapillary too. Those examples show that it is important to have initiatives to attract more contributors in some places where we don't have many. I believe that the OSM Foundation can do more to develop and make our project bigger in some parts of the world.

There are only five users editing each day in Egypt, for example. It isn't so difficult to gather resources to support some local communities around the world and help them to spread the word about OSM. Recently, in less than one month, the OSMF obtained 56 thousand pounds in donations to buy new servers. If there are people around the world that want to organize or participate of events to promote OSM, we should help them.

Beyond those proposals I am open to listen to new ideas and I promise to act with transparency and ethics.

HOT Voting Member Nomination

Posted by Katja Ulbert on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

How did you become involved in HOT?

When the earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015, a friend introduced me to HOT and the Tasking Manager. Cartography and field mapping was part of my studies so I thought I should give it a try. This soon proved to be the perfect way to combine my abilities with my strong motivation to support people suffering from the impact this natural disaster had on their lives. I was impressed by the numerous ways to get involved in HOT, ranging from remote mapping to working groups to getting active in one of the HOT communities all around the world. It was obvious to me that to become part of the HOT world would allow me to do something I have always looked for: offering my knowledge and skills to a humanitarian cause.

Could you tell us about your involvement in HOT, mapping and/or humanitarian response?

As a member of the Communications Working Group I focus on developing a consistent design for HOT to make it a recognizable humanitarian "brand". This includes the correct use of logo, colors and fonts as well as using visuals and images to highlight HOT activities. I created icons for the website, designed flyers and the Activation Protocol, and created animations for the HOT Training Center. The next task will be the relaunch of and I am really looking forward to this challenge.

In addition to this work my involvement in HOT gave me the possibility to get active in the refugee crisis that currently takes place in Europe and South-Eastern Europe. Although this isn´t a HOT project it would not have been possible without the support and advice of HOT community members. Supported by local OSM mappers from Central Europe, the Balkans and Greece I started a mapping project, we located camps, collected information from UNHCR and volunteer organisations in the field and combined this to a map.The response from NGOs and volunteers was very positive, as a side effect it became a tool for for volunteer and supply management. I am currently transferring all the data to a Sahana database to allow the volunteer groups a better management system. My next challenge is a field mapping project in the Calais refugee camp in collaboration with an independent volunteer group.

What does HOT mean to you?

Most of all I feel very grateful to be a member of the worldwide HOT community. Getting to know so many people from all over the world, hearing about their professional and personal backgound, their plans and hopes enriches my life. For me, HOT is also a possibility to grow on a professional and personal level, exploring new technical tools and get involved in activities that weren´t part of my life before. In this regard I owe HOT a lot, and hopefully I will be able to support HOT in the future as much as it supports me in the present time.

Why do you want to be a voting member?

For me, becoming a voting member is an addititional way to get involved with HOT. It will allow me to see things from multiple perspectives and to get involved in decisions that directly influence HOTs future. I am very aware of the responsibility this membership demands and feel very honoured to be considered a person that has the knowledge and experience to meet these expectations.

As a voting member of HOT, what do you see as your most important responsibility?

My main responsibility as a voting member is to keep the community spririt alive and to make sure HOT is a community people can join regardless of age, origin, gender and prior experience with mapping. To me HOTs vivid and diverse community is very precious and unique. There is such a variety of ways to be involved with HOT, all kinds of knowledge and expertise are needed and all voices have the right to be heard. As a newbie, I was welcomed warmly by the HOT community and would like everybody to have the same experience in the future.

How do you plan to be involved in HOT as a voting member?

In addition to my current involvement with HOT as a mapper and a member of the Communications Working Group I will keep my eyes and ears wide open to what happens in the community: which questions arise, which needs are expressed, which discussions take place. I will react and respond to community issues much more and make sure all voices are heard. To me being a voting member means to step away from my individual needs and wishes and look at HOT from a broader perspective.

What do you see as HOTs greatest challenge and how do you plan to help HOT meet that challenge?

I think it´s time for HOT to get the attention and recognition it deserves! To me what makes HOT so special is the combination of community building, technical projects and humanitarian mapping. This has to be highlighted much more. It can be achieved by making public relations more effective, invest in fundraising, build strong partnerships and a professional use of communication channels. But it can only be substantial if there is a strong corporate identity, effective collaboration and respectful communication among all actors involved. I am looking forward to support HOT in this important process with my skills and experience.

Location: Schöneberg, Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany


Posted by mvexel on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

For something I want to write soon -- Sorry, I don't know how else to do this. Real things here soon!

For now, this pretty rendering of Alexanderplatz in Berlin from f4map:


Location based alerts for FIXMEs or specified objects

Posted by Ogmios on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

I often mark things in OSM with fixme tags to check them later. The sad thing is, I forget about most of them. It would be nice to get a notification when one is in the vicinity of an object with a fixme-tag or any kind of object I'd like to check on.

Is there any Android app which can alert me when I pass an object with a fixme-tag or object of a certain kind (e.g. emergency access points)?

Osmgeoweek celebrations in Bengaluru!

Posted by jinalfoflia on 24 November 2015 in English (English)

Last week, we celebrated osmgeoweek in Bengaluru, India with a community mapping party at the Mapbox office on 15th of November. On a drizzly Sunday morning, @planemad and several OSM-IN volunteers set out to map garbage dumping sites, waste baskets and street lamps in the locality.

Deciding what to map

We do a lot of detailed mapping around our neighborhood in Indiranagar to showcase the possibilities of mapping with OpenStreetMap for the local mapping community, and is now probably the most well mapped neighborhood in the country.

screenshot 2015-11-24 11 45 45 House-numbers, building heights, trees, street lamps, waste baskets and more only on OSM

The 6 mappers managed to collect the locations of 220 street-lamps and 16 waste dumping sites in a couple of hours using just field-papers. After a tasty lunch, we got back to the Mapbox office to upload our data and made a quick map to visualize the street lamps.

ct2btmpucaaz1ev Map of street-lamps in Indiranagar. We don't know how many are actually operational!

To top it off, we got covered by the popular city paper - Bangalore Mirror, which gave OSM some great publicity for OSMGeoWeek!

Read the full article on Bangalore Mirror

On Thursday, we organized a mapathon for the data team in office. We decided to time our mapping to an on-going event and collaborate across the world instead of doing our own event. We spotted an OSMGeoWeek event scheduled at University of Management & Technology, Lahore which got us excited. We had maning coordinate with Usman Latif of @Mapgive Pakistan to join hands to map remote areas of Afghanistan. We started the mapathon with a Skype video call with the mappers from our neighbouring country. This was an exciting moment for the entire data team as it was a wonderful experience to work together with our friends from across the border.

osmgeoweek Historic first for mappers from Pakistan and India, united by technology!

Geoweek has been great fun, and has given an opportunity for all of us in the Mapbox data team to be aware of the possibilities of geography uniting people over a common idea. Looking forward to hearing more stories from around the world. Happy Mapping!

OSM Updates near West Lake Landfill

Posted by Brett on 23 November 2015 in English (English)

As part of the ongoing effort to update and improve disaster response plans for the region around the West Lake Landfill (Bridgeton, MO), I am undertaking an effort to update OSM in this region.
The spatial focus is a 2 mile region around the landfill itself. First focus is adding lane attributes to vehicle carrying highways. Next priority is correctly classifying and realigning these ways, followed by correct mapping of turns and restrictions.
Once those priorities are complete, I will work on the next set of details to add.

As of 11/23/2015

Completed - Lane attributes

  • "Residential" (many should be unclassified)
  • Unclassified
  • Secondary

In Progress: Tertiary Roads

  1. Creve Coeur Mill Road
  2. McKelvey Road
  3. Old Saint Charles Rock Road

In Progress: Primary Roads

  1. Saint Charles Rock Road - Small portions, but realign road as well

In Progress: Link Roads

  1. I-70/I-270 interchange

Other tasks

  • There are also many service roads that need to either be reclassified or have lane attributes added. The amphitheater parking lot is an especially large project on this.
  • Add in missing parking aisles and service roads
  • Examine residential roads to reclassify. Many should be unclassified or service roads.

Some Tools

overpass-turbo query for 2 mi buffer around West Lake

(way(201801999);) -> .a;
way(around.a:3220.0) -> .b;
out body;
out skel qt;

overpass-turbo query for highway segments without lane attribute

(way(201801999);) -> .a;
way(around.a:3220.0) -> .b;
way.b["lanes"!~"."] -> .c;
  //Can change between primary, secondary, unclassified, etc
out body;
out skel qt;
Location: Bridgeton, St. Louis County, Missouri, United States of America

My background and interest in HOT as a voting member

Posted by aHaSaN on 23 November 2015 in English (English)

I am Ahasanul Hoque (ahasan4u), man of Bangladesh feeling honored for being nominated for membership of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and I am writing this entry to express my interest in the membership and my vision for HOT's future.

I am working as GIS and Data Management short term consultant 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, Thailand I got involved with OpenSource GIS. After coming back to country, GFDRR’s collaborative open city project gave me the chance to work actively with OpenStreetMap. About three years 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 and top listed for climate impacts.

I wanted to contribute my country using 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 (HOT) through Jeff Hack and Robert Soden. Thanks to them. If anyone ask me why I love OSM/HOT then I will tell that, the location data should be open for any emergency, research and for local community what I felt always during emergency response and in my academic life. I found, to be involved with HOT is a noble work what will serve the community for long time with a very minimum effort. Therefore I started to disseminate this knowledge among people, building a strong OSM community. I voluntarily facilitated about 30 OSM training and coordinated mapping parities (plz visit OSM Bangladesh Facebook community page)

I can see the wave now in Bangladesh. I have conducted OSM training for university students, teachers, non-government organizations, local remote disaster response staffs, Government organizations dealing with public services etc. I have been introducing HOT since I got inception and spreading that knowledge by every chance I get. There is a strong OSM community has been built who are mapping for Bangladesh and different disaster affected areas of the world through task manager of HOT. Our community is also observing different international day by doing mappathon or mapping parties. In last 17th November 2015 we have organized a mappathon in Dhaka for observing #osmgeoweek (please see the photos in OSM Bangladesh FB group). I believe that our Bangladeshi dynamic and enthusiastic OSM community have the capacity to catalyse the development and growth of OSM around the world. Recently they have worked with MissingMapProjects and AmreicanRedcross for some local projects.

For any country wide project implementation, government administrative system is the best vehicle therefore I have been trying to fit OSM/HOT in government project. Recently I have done an OSM piloting in a remote village for Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) who are responsible for all sorts of household level data collection, storing, assessing and dissemination. Now BBS showing interest to get the geo location of all households better managing and locating the vulnerable communities as a pre-crisis preparedness.

I have attended as a presenter in State of the Map US 2015 in UN HQ New York, State of the Map Asia 2015 in Indonesia and also participated in HOT Activation Workshop in Jakarta in September 2015 what gave me more motivation to be part of the global humanitarian cause through HOT and OSM by myself and our growing community. I have actively contributed by mapping for many HOT Activations post-disasters, such as Nepal Earth Quake, Flood in Ivory coast, Ebola in South Sudan, and so on.

To me HOT is not only a non-profit organization but also a family with open mind members who always thinking same to serve the global community affected. HOT has no geographical boundary, they are for all, for the planet. I believe that as voting members of HOT I will have the honour to be part in sustaining the amazing uniqueness as it's nature of serving global affected communities wherever they are and whoever they are. During voting I shall try my best to provide the logical and right judgement what is best for HOT and its sustainable growth in future.

Though I myself feeling and doing like an ambassador of OSM/HOT but the voting membership will give me the official identity what will make my stand bold in future venture regarding OSM movement and HOT activation among communities.

To me, HOT’s biggest challenge is to sustain the local OSM communities and their interest to doing edit. Another big challenge is the fund for operating HOT activities; lack of OSM community or OSM knowledge in many countries are also a challenge. As a voting member I will try my level best to ensure the sustainability and activity of our community first. In addition to that I will do the advocacy for other South Asian countries too by my active participation through physically or virtually. I will be enhancing the networking and collaboration with other HOT members globally and participated in fundraising activates through my all channels.

For more about me and my activities please visit my personal blog

Please read an interview I given to OpenCage Data Blog last year.

Thank you very much for nominating me as a voting member of HOT. I wish continuous growth of HOT in near future.


Location: Kalabagan, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh


Posted by aHaSaN on 23 November 2015 in English (English)

Bangladesh has the highest number of slum dwellers – 60% of the urban population – in the South Asian region, according to a report launched recently by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Bangladesh also has the highest number of urban people living below the poverty line – 21%, as opposed to 14% in India, 13 % in Pakistan, 5% in Sri Lanka and 15% in Nepal, the report states. A large portion of the city dwellers are living in slums that do not have access to their basic rights, such as fresh water and sanitation, education and health. Different national and international organizations are trying to ensuring the basic rights and service of the poor slum dwellers in different manners since last two decades to eradicate the poverty and uplifting their livelihoods. Save the Children in Bangladesh won the ‘Urban Innovation Fund Challenge’ in a region-wide competition. The winning idea was to design an information visualization and feedback system to provide better information on what really matters to those who need it most. So there will be a virtual knowledge bank set up named as Kolorob for slum dwellers to help them navigate their city using web and mobile applications. Users can also locate services in slums via a digital map—which will boast a feedback component—through kiosks in user-friendly community centres. Equipped with computers, internet, and room for gatherings, these safe spaces for children, especially adolescent girls, will host local facilitators who will offer information to slum dwellers. Kolorob’s vision is to create an on-line platform to improve access to information on essential services aimed at reaching a large proportion of the estimated 2-3 million residents living below the poverty line in Dhaka. This application has potential to impact a growing young population and social mobilisers in local neighbourhoods. Bangladesh has 13.2 million social media users which presents a unique opportunity to go to scale across Dhaka. As a pilot project Save the Children is going to test KOLOROB in two slum areas in Dhaka city where the location of various services will be mapped through and stored in OpenStreetMap. The strength of OSM is its adaptability and the freedom it offers for people to use it for whatever purpose they wish. Because the map data are available free of cost to everyone, maps can be created, downloaded and modified as desired using various software tools and visualizations. Therefore, OSM has proven to be an important tool to visualize and monitor the community and livelihoods.

GIS and Data management specialist Ahasanul Hoque(ahasan4u) have conducted four OpenStreetMap training for 80 student volunteers and coordinated field mapping/data collection in the project areas as well as data uploading in OSM platform in August – October 2015. For imagery tracing and data uploading techosm task were created and used.

Time frame and schedule: Each training were two days long and started from 9AM-5PM. The data collection was done by 6 days, starting from 8:30 AM-4PM each day.

Data management: Each day after collecting the data using field papers, were stored in community office in slum area and data collected for two days were uploaded to OSM platform third day.

There are about 360 different category roads & tracks, 4000 buildings/houses and 300 different service points have been mapped in pilot slum areas. Since, Kolorob will enable users and service providers to search, rate and crowd-source feedback on essential service provision and in addition it will offer online access through information kiosks, therefore the map database will make the application highly resourceful and the free editable nature of openstreetmap will reflect the real time changes in the concerned service points or features. For more about the project, visit here

For map activity and photos, please visit/join : KOLOROB and OpenStreetMap Bangadesh FB group

Location: Sector 10, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh
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