Metanet donates hard disks to SOSM

Some of the SAS (this is a fast computer interface similar to SATA) disks we received together with the servers that we run and related services on, have failed due to old age, and while we originally had an ample supply of spares now we’ve now run out.

Unfortunately, these disks are rather expensive to purchase new, if not to say uneconomic. Luckily Metanet has now helped us out by donating eight 2nd hand disks from their stock. This will allow us to defer a complete replacement for at least 1 to 2 years and make an unhurried decision on what to buy.

A big thank you to Metanet for supporting the Swiss OpenStreetMap Association.

New Routing Frontend

Update: the old interface is turned off. The new one is available at


There is a new routing user interface for osrm which I am testing at I would welcome feedback here as a comment or on the Swiss mailing list.

Why the new interface?

There was no easy way forward. A little background: Last year, we bough some shiny new SSDs to speed up our servers. I decided to install the new Ubuntu 16.04 onto the new disks, the new long term support version. In the mean time, most services are moved to the server with the new Ubuntu and the SSDs, except routing. I couldn’t get our old version of OSRM to run on Ubuntu 16.04, so I was forced to upgrade to the newest version. But a lot was changed in OSRM in the mean time: the API for routing requests as well as the syntax for the routing profiles. That is the main reason why we still run such an old version. The old user interface we used is no longer maintained, therefore incompatible with the current API. But there is a brand new one, which does not support multiple routing profiles. So starting at the hack weekend in Karlsruhe, I hacked the profile selector into the new interface.

The plan is now to switch to the new OSRM and user interface on Sunday, March 19th.

update to umap 0.8

A new version of umap was released a few weeks ago and we have updated our instance at to the newest version. New features include:

  • Support for multi polygons
  • A new search interface, returning a list of found places instead of going to the most likely one.
  • Extended editing: For example polygons can now be converted to lines, or lines can be split into several parts.
  • A history of saved states exists, allowing to go back to a previously saved point.
  • The map can now be exported with all its properties and be restored on another instance for example.
  • And many other things have been improved.

Thank you to Yohan Boniface, who is the main developer, for providing us with such a nice tool.

https certificate now provided by Let’s Encrypt

Since almost two years we offer encrypted access to our services. Back then we bought a certificate for two years, which will soon run out. But fortunately, since this year, there is Let’s Encrypt which provides certificates for free. I’m happy to announce that we have successfully switched and are now able to provide encrypted, secure access without additional costs to the association (except the few days of time spent setting it up).

Wikimedia Germany donates old Toolservers to SOSM

New serversOn Friday we drove 870 km to Haarlem in the vicinity of Amsterdam to pick up three servers. Wikimedia has decommissioned their two year old toolservers and donated the hardware to SOSM. Thanks to Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland for making this possible.

This will enable us to run our services on our own hardware in Switzerland. Support the move by contributing to the SOSM donation drive 2015.

Mapping workshop with BERNMOBIL

There was a mapping workshop on 1st of November at BERNMOBIL, to map local Tram and Bus lines. This information should in the Future visualize the routes for passengers. We are of course happy that BERNMOBIL has decided to use OSM for this task. There was a good collaboration between experienced OSM mappers and the employees of the public transport company, who new the lines and stops very well.

Here an article in German from Fabio Walti, who organised this day: To the blog article (German)

As a thank you BERNMOBIL provided a very good lunch an refreshments, as well as a tour through the company and a towel to take home. Thank you very much for the good collaboration.

Schwiizerdütschi Näme / num romontsch / nome italiano / nom français

[ Deutsch weiter unten ]
[ français en bas ]
[ italiano v.s. ]

—– romontsch ————————————–

Hallo cars mappers

Per il 10avel anniversari digl OSM vuless Sosm presentar ina carta per romontsch (e per tudestg svizzer, talian e franzos). Per far gliez supplichein nus vus da notar las translaziuns egl OSM. La carta che suonda presenta las translaziuns gia notadas (ella vegn actualisada mintg’ura): El cantun sura dretg ha ei ina funcziun d’eleger il lungatg. Translaziuns saveis vus aschuntar als place nodes sco tags suandonts:

name:gsw per Schweizerdeutsch
name:rm per Rumantsch
name:it per Italiano
name:fr per Français


—– Deutsch ————————————–

Hallo liebe Mapper

Sosm würde gerne zum 10. Geburtstag von OSM eine schweizerdeutsche (und
romanisch, italienisch und französische) Karte präsentieren. Dafür
möchten wir euch bitten, entsprechende Übersetzungen in OSM einzutragen.

Auf folgender Karte werden die bereits eingetragenen Übersetzungen
dargestellt (stündlich aktualisiert): In der
rechten oberen Ecke hat es Schalter, um die Sprache auszuwählen.

Übersetzungen könnt ihr an den place nodes anfügen als folgende tags:

name:gsw für Schweizerdeutsch
name:rm für Rumantsch
name:it für Italiano
name:fr für Français


—– Français ————————————–


A l’occasion du 10ème anniversaire de l’OSM, SOSM aimerait constituer une carte en français mais aussi en suisse-allemand, romanche et en italien. A cet effet nous avons besoin de votre aide pour completer les traductions dans l’OSM.

Vous trouverez les traductions déjà enregistrées sur le site (actualisé toutes les heures): A droite, dans le coin supérieur, vous pouvez selectionner la langue.

Pour inscrire vos traductions, ajoutez aux noeuds ‘place’ les tags suivantes:

name:gsw pour Schwiizerdütsch
name:rm pour Rumantsch
name:it pour Italiano
nom: fr pour Français


—– Italiano ————————————–

Ciao mapper

Per il 10 anniversario del OSM il SOSM vuol presentare una carta italiana (romanica, svizzero tedesca e francese).
Per questo Vi preghiamo di inserire le traduzioni correspondenti in OSM.

Sulla mappa sequente vengono mostrati le traduzioni già inseriti (attualizzati ogni ora): Nell’angolo destro in alto della pagina potete scegliere la lingua.

Le traduzioni potete allegare ai place nodes con i seguenti tags:

name:gsw per Schweizerdeutsch
name:rm per Rumantsch
name:it per Italiano
name:fr per Français



sotmbannerFive members of SOSM are currently in Karlsruhe, where this years State of the Map EU takes place. It is at the University of Applied Sciences, located in a very nice green area.

On Friday, rendering was a topic, with alternatives to mapnik, alternative style sheet languages, rendering from vector tiles, and also 3D with OpenGL, WebGL and Blender. There were also a few presentations on quality assurance.

sotmeu-grillIn the evening there was a nice grill at the social event and we all had delicious food and good conversations.

On the second day there were a few talks about data maintenance. The state of the license was topic to another talk, with Mapbox presenting the problems they encountered with the current license.

There was also a group photo taken that day.groupfoto-sotmeu14