About Michael

SOSM board member and admin of the osm.ch server.

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): http://www.osm.ch/lang. 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): http://www.osm.ch/lang 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):
http://www.osm.ch/lang 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): http://www.osm.ch/lang 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

Mapping party and SOSM AGM

Burgdorf Oberdorf

We held our annual general meeting at the restaurant Schützenhaus in Burgdorf this year. The associations activities of the last year were presented,  mainly the new SOSM server and the services provided with it.

After (a good) lunch as announced we held a mapping party. Simon distributed printouts of the surrounding municipalities and their missing roads and off we went. After successfully collecting data many of the mappers met again at the Schützenhaus and added it to OSM after which we had dinner (participating in SOSM events is not good for your waistline :-)).

While we didn’t manage to get everything “green”, the situation around Burgdorf is substantially better now; with only a handful of street names missing in some of the municipalities.namestats_post_mapping


Updated: Swiss LV95 and LV03 projected tiles

We have a new set of tiles in LV95 projection (aka. CH1903+ or EPSG:2056). It is the standard osm.ch style, rendered with mapnik in LV95. You can look at it on the test page http://www.osm.ch/chlv95.html. This is our first try, without having real applications for it yet. Feedback would be welcome. If you find this useful or if you find any issues, please leave a comment.

The tile server URL template is http://tile.osm.ch/2056/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

chlv95 projection

Switzerland in LV95 projection (© OpenStreetMap contributors, ODbL 1.0)


Geonick told us in the comments that LV03 (the “old” one from 1903) is still widely used. For now tiles in both projections will be served. To keep the load low on the server, we would like to serve only one set of swiss projected tiles. So depending on usage and performance requirements we might shut down one set of tiles in the future. The test page for LV03 is at http://www.osm.ch/chlv03.html. The tile server URL template is http://tile.osm.ch/21781/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Data quality of OSM in Switzerland

I had a presentation at the FOSSGIS conference in Rapperswil about the data quality of OpenStreetMap in Switzerland (recording and presentation in German).

Some of the analysis was already posted to this blog previously (post about street names). But there is also a lot of new stuff in this presentation.

Address density

address density 2013

This map shows house numbers per person, so it shows where we already have lots of house numbers. For more details see the address layer of qa.poole.ch. As a reference value there is the address import of Denmark with a density of 0.4 addresses per person.

Public Transport

history railway lengthrailmap_2013The railway network was completed in 2010 in OSM. Interestingly, the length continued to grow. By now, most of the network is mapped with track accuracy.

 Points of interest

It is quite difficult to get reliable references for points of interest. One source I found is the “BFS Betriebszählung 2005”. It knows 23’077 restaurants and 4’683 hotels in Switzerland. OSM has about 10’000 restaurants and 2’500 hotels.

restaurants historyhotels history

Hiking cycling and skating routes

Hiking routes in OSM: 10’103km
Hiking routes according to wandern.ch 60’000km

Cycling routes in OSM: 7’957km
National routes are complete in OSM: 3’452km (officially on veloland.ch 3’242kmb)
Regional routes 4’581km (not yet complete)

Skating routes in OSM: 678km
National routes 460km (of 625km according to skatingland.ch)

How will we continue?

Will the mapping activity stay the same, and will we have:

  • All street names in 2015?
  • All hotels in 2018?
  • All restaurants in 2020?

Thank you to Sarah Hoffmann and Simon Poole for their contributions to this analysis.


SOTM day three: Simon Poole elected to the OSMF board

The topic of the third and last day of SOTM was the community. For example, Peter Miller presented his very numerous speciality maps, or Bob Barr had a heart-warming talk on weather open street mappers are rather pirates or pilots. There was also a presentation on OpenStreetMap addiction and how to diagnose and treat it. I personally enjoyed Kinya Inoue’s presentation very much. He talked about his mapping of historical places in Japan (and how that suddenly brought him in a quite dangerous situation).

During lunch time, there was the annual general meeting of the OSMF, the worldwide OSM organisation. During this meeting, the OSMF board was elected, and we congratulate Simon Poole, the current president of SOSM, to his election as an OSMF board member, together with Henk Hoff and Frederik Ramm.

View from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

And now it’s time for me to travel some more around Japan. Tokyo is huge (see picture, view from the metropolitan government building) but there are also other places to visit apart from the capital.

SOTM day two

The swiss delegation on the night cruise

The Swiss delegation on the night cruise

The second day was focused on routing and navigation. A lot of companies are interested in this topic. Some of them requested to include auxiliary information into OSM which would not be about physical objects, e.g. identifying the extent of big junctions or whether a turn should be announced at a bifurcation. Over lunch a group picture has been taken.

The evening was spent with causal talk and drinking: We had delicious Japanese food on a night cruise. We went on the boat in Kachidoki and did a tour around the harbour to the landmark building of a TV station. During the whole cruise many different dishes were served, so we got a broad culinary overview.

SOTM 2012: ODbL planet announced

Tokyo by night

Near studio Alta in Shinjuku

Right now the State of the Map 2012 is taking place in Tokyo. This is an impressive city, and sometimes you feel like you jumped right into the (very crowded) future. The first day of SOTM was mostly about humanitarian and crisis mapping. (There were also some talks in Japanese, though I can’t judge those.) Today, there are more technical talks.

The most important announcement for all mappers was at the opening of the conference from Michael Collinson: The next planet will be ODbL licensed. So the redaction period is finally completed!