News 2024 - Week 15


The latest news about OpenStreetMap in a weekly format. Published every Sunday.

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Building labelling [] | Christoph Hormann


  • [1] Christoph Hormann demonstrated his work during the recent Karlsruhe Hack Weekend to improve the way addresses and entrances are displayed. His modifications include more differentiated entrances icons and a new address rendering strategy. Alternative styles are available in the repository on GitHub.
  • Sven Geggus has re-activated his unique map of campsites in OpenStreetMap that have been mislabelled, which had been offline for two years. It shows campsites that mistakenly contain other campsites.
  • SeverinGeo argued that terrain and highway mapping is better suited for beginner mappers than building mapping, due to its relative ease and the limited availability of high-quality satellite imagery for buildings.
  • The vote on the extended tagging of traffic_sign was cancelled and the proposal withdrawn. Up to this point, there had been 8 votes in favour, 26 against, and 4 abstentions.

Mapping campaigns

  • GoWin wrote about a craft mapping campaign with students from the University of Bohol, Indonesia. The on-site observations were recorded on fieldpapers. The georeferenced photos, collected with OpenCamera, were uploaded to Panoramax.
  • The Hub de Mapeo Abierto, from HOT, organised an outdoor mapping party in Medellín as part of #OpenDataDay.
  • Contrapunctus offered practical advice on organising OpenStreetMap mapping parties, highlighting key areas such as choosing safe and practical locations, effective announcement and invitation strategies, necessary equipment, and efficient teaching and mapping techniques.


  • C-RadaR discussed various topics in their April edition:
    • Anna, from, addressed the inclusion of children in discussions on IT security and encryption.
    • Oliver, from the German Amateur Radio Club, detailed a training weekend for emergency radio communications.
    • Tobias, along with weeman, explored developments in the StreetComplete app, designed to improve OpenStreetMap data.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The OSMF provided details on the timing and effect of the shutdown of OAuth 1.0a and HTTP Basic Auth on OpenStreetMap.
  • The Board of the OpenStreetMap Foundation will meet for two days in Frankfurt on 26 and 27 April 2024. Topic suggestions for this meeting can be submitted via the forum.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation blogged three reasons to join the OSMF as a member:
    • You can nominate to serve as a member of the OSMF Board and influence the strategic plan and some of OSM’s finances.
    • You can vote in the annual Board elections, as well as on other foundation initiatives.
    • To help grow and diversify the OSM membership worldwide.


  • France’s national cartography institute is launching a major cartography competition, in which participants are invited to use the BD TOPO to create a cartographic, computer graphic, or artistic narrative on the subject of France’s territorial continuities and disparities.
  • Cyberjuan introduced the programme and academic programme committees for SotM Latam 2024 , to be held on 7 and 8 December at the in Belem, Brazil.


  • GOwin facilitated a workshop in Iloilo, Philippines, to train local disaster agencies in field mapping.
  • The IVIDES Institute has held a short course on collaborative mapping with OpenStreetMap, which focused on disaster risk reduction (DRR) for civil defence employees from several states of Brazil. Dr Raquel Souto commented on this training in her diary, saying that she has written a preliminary list of features related to DRR and their corresponding tags.
  • Carston Hernke explored sourcing data to map parcel lockers in Berlin. He covered data from Overture Maps and OpenStreetMap, using DuckDB to query and convert the data, and preparing to visualise the mapped data.

Humanitarian OSM

  • OSM India, in collaboration with OSM West Bengal and OSM Jalpaiguri, has launched a mapping project to map all sorts of roads and buildings along the estimated path of the 31 March tornado.
  • Supaplex discussed the use of three OpenStreetMap projects to map areas affected by the 2024 Hualien earthquake in Taiwan. These initiatives will focus on mapping buildings, roads, and waterways to aid recovery and rebuilding efforts. They will consider donating recent satellite imagery to improve mapping accuracy. There are also plans to organise on-site mapping events to support local communities once conditions have stabilised.


  • On 14 April at 17:08 UTC, TheRukk, who is most likely a mapper based in Italy, uploaded changeset 150 million to OpenStreetMap. In this changeset, he used the StreetComplete editor to clarify the road surface of the section of road at the intersection around the Porta San Felice gate, Bologna.
  • Last week we reported on the migration of the Deutsche Post locations map from a market competitor to OpenStreetMap. Daniel-j-h has taken a closer look at the technical solution used to build the map and published his analysis on Mastodon.
  • Christoph Hormann discussed the history of digital map design, highlighting that while digitalisation has brought significant benefits such as increased efficiency, and accessibility to a wider audience. It has resulted in a considerable loss of design skills and cartographic techniques, many of which had been developed and refined to very high standards in earlier centuries.
  • Christoph Hormann reviewed the evolution and diversity of map design within the OpenStreetMap community, examining various projects and styles that highlight both historical developments and current trends in cartography, focusing on different regional and technical approaches to map design.
  • juminet tooted the new symbol renderings for Belgian businesses such as breweries and chip shops.
  • Christopher Beddow explored the evolution of cartography in an article on unstructured reality, discussing how modern mapping techniques, such as the use of digital twins and symbolic maps, blend empirical data collection with symbolic representation to both capture and abstract reality, enriching our interaction with geographical information systems.

OSM in action

  • PamPam has provided tools for creating simple, interactive maps that allow easy customisation and sharing of maps to enhance interactive geographic storytelling.
  • Rihards Olups presented some real-world applications of OpenStreetMap, including:
    • A fire department that used OSM to map all the houses and fire hydrants in their area and uses OsmAnd to find the nearest hydrants and determine the best routes.
    • A rescue dog handler who has created their own OSM leaflet app to plan their missions.
  • ls65536 has developed a virtual sailing navigation simulator that uses real geographical and near real-time weather and ocean data. It also has the ability to set up races to compete against others.


  • Michel Stuyts has created a user script that adds an OpenStreetMap link to Google search results for geographic locations in the European Union, following the changes in March 2024, when Google removed such links to its own maps.
  • rtnf has built song lyrics that capture the essence of OSM well. Musically, this could be quite exciting, as this AI prototype shows. Surely we have musical mappers who can do this by people for people? But the choir? A task for the upcoming SotM perhaps 😉 JOSM also has its own song.
  • Kamil Monicz talked about the recent improvements and future plans for his OpenStreetMap-NG project. Highlights include faster GPS trace uploads, new trace editing features, and easier navigation. Kamil also mentioned upcoming features and thanked community members and sponsors for supporting the project.
  • Ilya Zverev, the developer behind well-known tools such as EveryDoor and Level0, has reminded us of his browser plugin for the fast editing of tags in OSM (we reported earlier). This plugin allows tags to be corrected much faster, without the loading times of the iD editor, and eliminates the need to copy URLs into Level0.


  • Sam Woodcock from HOT described, in his diary, how the new ODK entities, introduced into the ODK field data collection Suite in 2023, can be used to track OSM objects, collect information about these and eventually update OSM tags for these objects.The HOT Field Mapping Tasking Manager example (background OSM map without attribution) shows how a Server and a Mobile tool from the ODK suite are used to coordinate field teams and collect data from the field. These two tools are available free and open source for any organisation that wants to deploy its own server. Paid hosted services are also available.
    • The ODK Central server stores survey data and lets teams coordinate field data collection. Entities can be stored with geometry and properties.
    • The Android ODK Collect application can be used offline to collect data in the field.


  • OsmAnd 4.7 has been released for Android and iOS. The Android version comes with faster offline navigation, extracted route tags from OpenStreetMap data, and OAuth 2.0 for OSM login. The iOS version has a redesigned tracks menu (long press to upload changes to OpenStreetMap) and many new widgets.

Did you know …

  • … the Babykarte? This is a map showing relevant POIs and information for parents and guardians of infants and toddlers (0 to 3 years of age).
  • … that if you see outdated map tiles on OpenStreetMap then reloading the page without cache might help you?On Windows and Linux this can be done using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+F5, on macOS CMD+SHIFT+R (or CMD+OPTION+R for Safari). In Firefox for Android, hold down the page reload button.If these keyboard shortcuts are not available to you, then open the site in a private window (incognito mode).
  • … that there is a wiki page with a detailed guide to mapping North Korea using satellite imagery? This guide focuses on various elements such as transportation, land use, and specific structures such as buildings and monuments. It also offers specific tagging recommendations for contributors to ensure accurate and standardised map entries, and discusses the challenges of mapping in a region with limited local data contributions.
  • … the Open Brewery Map? A map that shows all the breweries mapped in OSM.
  • … that you draw a circle with a specified radius around a point on the map by using this tool?

OSM in the media

  • Anne-Karoline Distel has completed an extensive photographic survey of Kilkenny City, capturing 360° street-level imagery that is now available on Mapillary. This volunteer effort, supported by a European Camera Grant from Meta, aims to improve OpenStreetMap data by focusing on areas accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

Other “geo” things

  • The city council of Barcelona has organised the removal of a bus route from Google and Apple maps. This decision was made in response to resident complaints about being unable to return home due to the bus being constantly filled with tourists on their way to , the city’s second most popular attraction after the .
  • In episode 229 of the Geomob podcast, Steven interviewed Sean Wiid about UP42, a geospatial marketplace that simplifies access to commercial geospatial data and processing algorithms. UP42 aims to address the issues of complexity and fragmentation in the earth observation and geospatial industry. Sean explained that UP42 is a user-friendly platform, which differentiates itself from competitors by focusing on providing an accessible interface and API for customers.
  • You can learn how to use GeoParquet with Apache Sedona to improve Overture Maps data efficiency. This tutorial explains how GeoParquet improves spatial operations and data interoperability.
  • The Overture Maps Foundation has released a first beta version of its global open map dataset, which integrates multiple open data sources and includes 54 million points of interest and 2.3 billion buildings. The dataset is designed to complement OpenStreetMap by providing users with a ready-to-use geospatial dataset.

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This weeklyOSM was produced by MatthiasMatthias, PierZen, Strubbl, TheSwavu, barefootstache, darkonus, derFred, euroPathfinder, mcliquid, rtnf.
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