Wikimania Haifa mapping party

Posted by aude on 16 August 2011 in English (English)

Wikimania, the annual Wikim(p)edia conference, took place just over a week ago. On Friday, August 5, we gave an OSM workshop and then took ~25 people out onto the streets of Haifa for a mapping party. We split into several groups, each led by experienced mappers (seav, uip, Zvika, Yarl, Polimerek, and myself) and accompanied by Hebrew speakers.

Photos by Sarah Stierch, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Participants learned how to use walking papers and GPS devices to collect data, and we followed up pretty well with inputing the information into the map.

Before and after

Here is the map, before:

and after:

RTL bugs

In preparing for the mapping party, I encountered numerous RTL (right-to-left) language bugs, including the CSS totally broken, not properly flipping the layout and general chaos in the screen layout. Also, Hebrew was being treated as a LTR language. I've spent some time to get some of these bugs fixed, with help from TomH, and RTL support is better. (separate ltr.css and rtl.css files now)

There still are plenty of bugs, hopefully the Mapnik ones fixed soon. Also, osmand don't support Hebrew. Hebrew/Arabic are written backwards as LTR, and transliteration of Hebrew names is very broken, not accounting for the fact that not all vowels are written:

Example in osmand:

  • In OSM = "Ha'Rav Raphael"

  • In OSMAND+ = "hrb rpl"

At least it helps to identify the bugs, and soon as possible, hope more of these bugs can be fixed.

Next Wikimania

All in all, a terrific mapping party in Haifa and great to see so many OSM mappers there. Next year's Wikimania will take place July 12-15, 2012, in Washington DC, at Georgetown University! We're planning to have OSM as a pre-conference activity, allocating an afternoon for a mapping party, and perhaps taking folks somewhere interesting and not yet well-mapped in the DC region, since Georgetown is already well-mapped.

Please mark your calendars and we'd love to see even more OSM folks at Wikimania 2012! -- see

Location: Haifa, Merkaz HaCarmel, Haifa, Haifa District, NO, Israel

Comment from seav on 19 August 2011 at 17:57

Yay! It was my first mapping party outside my country and I had lots of fun. Hopefully I can attend next year in DC. :)

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