uMap: from user to noob contributor

Posted by Binnette on 25 February 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 28 February 2020.

In brief: uMap is a webapp that allows you to create a map with OSM layers, add markers/polygons, display OSM objects from Overpass queries, … Then you can embed your map in your site.

Find more info and the differents servers in the wiki.


How do I become a “noob uMap contributor”

Everything began during the OSM-fr administration board of february 15-16 2020 (brief in french here). During this event OSM-fr board members talked about many stuff including uMap and the fact that they were looking for new contributors to its code. In the meantime, I started several months ago to create some maps in uMap: for public bookcases and other stuffs.

public bookcases in uMap

So I started to look to the 307 uMap issues and was really happy to answer to some of them. But I was not able to add tags to issues and close already resolved issues. Fortunately, jocelynj was attending the administration board this weekend. jocelynj is one of the maintainer of the main umap server: So he put me in contact with the main uMap developer: yohanboniface.

Yohan names me “collaborator” in GitHub uMap project. So I started to triage all the 307 issues by applying tags, answering to bug reporters and so on.

During this task, I notice that the exact same questions were asked several times: “I can not open my map”, “how to do this/that”, and so on. So I decided to write new articles in the wiki:

I continue by triaging issues, some were about “translations” (aka localization) in differents languages. So I decided to look around this and update uMap localizations. I made a PR for it and wrote some documentation about how to upgrade translations.

After that, I was looking for more translators in the forum. Simon Poole answered me and adviced me to migrate uMap Transifex project to the main OSM Transifex Team. So we did it with his help. I really hope uMap is gonna get more translators to help us. If you are interested, feel free to contribute.

Then, I started to kack the code a bit and asked yohan to give me write access to the GitHub repository. So here is my really first code contribution pushed to the repo. It adresses this issues.

My “work” during one week

In one week of “spare time” (cause yes I have a full time job and other hobbies):

  • I adressed and closed 28 tickets.
  • I triaged and tagged about 100 tickets.
  • I created and push to master 2 PR.
  • I created 3 others PR.
  • I started to work on 2 existing PR.
  • I create 2 articles in wiki and improve existing articles.

From technical POV, uMap is a webapp in JavaScript with Leaflet for the front and Python with Django for the backend. And about me, I am more a web developer, I never develop with Python before so i will learn with uMap.

How to contribute to uMap?

If you are interested by contributing to uMap feel free to:

  1. Translate uMap with Transifex.
  2. Fix uMap tranlation issues.
  3. Review translations in Transifex.
  4. Give your point of view in the various issues & PR.
  5. Answer to issues.
  6. Submit new issues if you find some.
  7. Review and comment the existing PR.
  8. Adress existing issues by creating new PR.
  9. And so on.

And now?

Next step for me is to make an announcement on Weekly OSM to rally more translators/contributors.

And of course, I will continue to learn “how to maintain uMap” and try to improve uMap on my spare time.

If I can I will join the Toulouse Hack Weekend April 2020.

Comment from stephan75 on 27 February 2020 at 09:18

Thumb up!

I appreciate all your efforts about uMap!

I think there are even some more OSM-related projects that could need help in a similar way …

Comment from Binnette on 28 February 2020 at 08:17

Thanks stephan75! Any help is very welcome ;) Feel free to give your point of view in the differents issues and pull request. Have a nice day.

Comment from DaCor on 9 March 2020 at 21:20

Fantastic work

Comment from gendy54 on 10 March 2020 at 22:58

et puis d’autres aussi… ;)

Comment from Binnette on 11 March 2020 at 16:01

HI @gendy54, thanks for the french translation :) FR: Salut @gendy54, merci pour la traduction en français :)

Comment from barnes38 on 12 March 2020 at 16:48

J’adore uMap, je m’en suis servi souvent, je trouve ça hyper utile, et facile d’utilisation (je ne le connais pas entièrement pour autant), et on à (et j’ai) tendance parfois à oublier que c’est développé “à la main”, par des gens brillants (et sympas !) qui donnent de leur temps pour la communauté, donc lire ton journal ci-dessus m’a rappelé tout ça ! C’est beau ce que vous faites tout simplement ! Merci !!

Comment from M_Popova on 24 April 2020 at 15:49

Hello Binnette! First of all, thank you a lot for useful and convenient tool!

My team working on protection of central Russian nature against of invasive plant Heracleum Sosnovsky Manden and using UMap service for problem demonstrating and works planning:

We have some questions about functionality, but most important question, does the OSM service have any limitations on objects number and which number of polygons could degrade the map performance noticeable ( 1K, 1M, 1B :) )? Currently we only at the beginning, but potentially we could need support of several millions polygons, is it OK?

Thanks and best regards, Maria Popova

Comment from gendy54 on 24 April 2020 at 16:11

In my opinion, beyond 1K, this will be a problem. uMap is a tool for the general public who cannot have mapping tools and has limited needs

Comment from Binnette on 24 April 2020 at 16:44

Hi Maria,

Thank for your message :) I created a question in GitHub in order to discuss it with the main developer. Please, fell free to add any other question there.

GitHub issue =>

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