Welcome swisstopo!

Today we are welcoming the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) to the open data community. After many years of free access for consumers, today, finally, it is providing reusable open government data that can be used to build and enrich new applications and datasets.

This is a high point of a development of open data availability in Switzerland in which the cantons have been leading for many years starting with the Canton Solothurn over a decade ago and is now policy in nearly all of them.

What does this mean for OpenStreetMap?

Short term nothing is going to change. While at the time I’m writing this we don’t have access to the final terms of use, we do have a good idea of what the content will be and some of the terms will not be completely compatible with our distribution licence, the ODbL. This rules out direct inclusion in our data, but will allow use as reference data for quality assurance. We are negotiating with swisstopo for compatible access terms, just as we have previously done for the municipality administrative boundaries way back in 2011 and more recently for use of the GWR address data and expect these issues to be resolved soon.

The most interesting data for us right now is access to swisstopos “swissimage” aerial imagery. This will at last provide us with good coverage in Switzerland’s mountainous regions, something that has been sorely missing from the global orthophoto mosaics.

To keep up with the developments, follow us on twitter @SwissOSM and subscribe to the Swiss OSM community mailing list.

Map image ©swisstopo

Swiss Castles and Fortresses Day, Sunday, October 4, 2020

On Sunday, October 4, 2020, 25 Swiss castles invite you to the 5th National Castles Day. Their gates and drawbridges will then be open from 10 am to 5 pm for a varied program. So – come on in!

The association Wikimedia CH and the Swiss OpenStreetMap association (SOSM) will complement the event with a Swiss Fortresses Day 2020 (Burgentag 2020). Young and old medieval enthusiasts alike are invited to discover a castle ruin on their own. You decide the program yourself. Every castle has a history and many have something mystical about them. And there is often a fireplace nearby. Find out more with the following tips:

  • Map with selected castle ruins sites (see picture below),
  • A photo challenge to upload missing photos of castles.

Illustration: Interactive online map of selected castle ruins (realized with uMap and with OpenStreetMap data). [Large map]

The photo challenge is simple: Work through this list of castle objects without pictures and upload the photos to Wikimedia Commons! For each uploaded photo there is a tweet (from @trending_places) with the hashtag #CastleProject. The photo is then usually immediately visible on the Castles project map.

The interactive online map of selected castle ruins shows a hand-picked selection of castles in Switzerland that are freely accessible and easy to reach. Depending on the castle, it can be up to one kilometer (i.e. approx. 20 min.) or more away from the nearest public transport stop or parking lot. Please follow the signs and treat nature with respect (e.g. make sure that there is no danger of forest fires in the area, watch out for ticks, don’t leave litter).

The map contains only a small part of the castles and palaces as they are managed in the Castles Project Switzerland. The Castles project links open data directly from the four open data projects OpenStreetMap, Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons (photos).

The Swiss Burgentag 2020 was initiated by the SOSM association and Wikimedia CH. The event is also kindly supported by the Swiss Castle Association. We thank the association ‘Die Schweizer Schlösser’ for agreeing to link the two action days Swiss Castles Day and Burgentag 2020.

Inquiries and contacts:
Verein SOSM, Stefan Keller
Wikimedia CH, Kerstin Sonnekalb

«Bleibtoffen» («It stays open») now showing hotels

One of the differences between Switzerland and other countries during the pandemic is that hotels have been permitted to stay open. Not all have done so, but there are around 400 that have kept their doors open.

“Bleibtoffen” now has support for displaying both open and closed hotels, and if your establishment is open, or you know of one that is open, please update this information on bleibtoffen.ch.

Candidature for State of the Map 2020, HSR Rapperswil, 19-21 June 2020

Update
The SotM 2020 will be in Cape Town. We congratulate the team from Southafrica and look forward to the conference next year.

We would like to inform you about some recent developments. Every year the OpenStreetMap community meets at the international conference “State of the Map” (SotM). This year the event will take place in Heidelberg.

Up to two weeks ago no applications for the SotM 2020 event had been received by the SotM working group. In light of that situation we, the HSR Hochschule Rapperswil and the association SOSM, were asked if we could submit a bid, which we have now done.

We see this as an opportunity to expand the Swiss community and to present ourselves as a cosmopolitan host.

Please reserve the 19-21 June 2020. We hope for an active participation, and that some volunteers will contact us as helpers as soon as it is clear which location will win the bid. The decision is expected by the end of September. 

Burgen-Dossier – Eine Kooperation von Wikimedia und OpenStreetMap (Schweiz)

Wikimedia und OpenStreetMap wollen in der Schweiz enger zusammenarbeiten. Den Anfang soll ein gemeinsames schweizerisches Burgen-Verzeichnis mit Karte, Fotos und weiteren Informationen machen.

Für den Samstag, 27. April 2019, ist ein Arbeitstreffen beider Communities und weiterer Interessierter auf Schloss Lenzburg (AG) geplant, um die verschiedenen Arbeiten zu koordinieren und sich gegenseitig die verschiedenen Projekte und Unterprojekte näher zu bringen.

Wikipedianer und weitere Interessierte erhalten eine Einführung in OpenStreetMap. Mapper und weitere Interessierte bekommen Wikipedia-Projekte nähergebracht. Am Nachmittag stellen Experten die Projekte OpenStreetMap, Wikipedia sowie Wikivoyage, Commons (Fotos) und evtl. Wikidata näher vor. Sie werden zeigen, wie man editiert, und stehen für Fragen zur Verfügung. (“Ask Us Anything”)

Das Ziel ist die vollständige Darstellung aller Burgen und Schlösser auf OpenStreetMap (OSM) und Wikipedia (WP), angefangen mit den Kantonen Aargau und Zürich.

Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung zur kostenlosen Teilnahme auf dieser Wiki-Seite.

Allianz faires Urheberrecht

Der Vorstand der SOSM hat diese Woche beschlossen, die Allianz für ein faires Urheberrecht in der Schweiz zu unterstützen.

Auch wenn wir von der am meist diskutierten vorgeschlagene Änderung, die “Linksteuer” nicht direkt betroffen wären, scheint es uns nicht sinnvoll Regelungen einzuführen die, zugunsten von einzelnen Unternehmungen, versuchen die Zeit zurück zudrehen, und in diesem spezifischen Fall auch noch handwerklich katastrophal sind.

Die weniger besprochene weitere Änderung, die Einführung eines Äquivalents des Lichtbildschutz, den wir aus anderen europäischen Ländern kennen, betrifft uns aber direkt.

Bisher hatte die Schweiz eine sehr hohe Hürde, die überwunden werden musste um einen urheberrechtlichen Schutz einer Fotographie zu erhalten (Bundesgerichtsurteil “Meili Foto” ). Dies wird nun ins Gegenteil gekehrt, mit dem Resultat, dass man davon ausgehen muss, dass auch automatisch und mechanisch aufgenommene Bilder in Zukunft geschützt sind (also Luftbilder, StreetView, Mapillary und so weiter) und ebenso daraus abgeleitete Werke nur noch mit der Erlaubnis des jeweiligen Rechteinhabers erstellt werden dürfen. Der Bundesrat schliesst dies zwar in seiner Botschaft zur Revision aus, der Gesetzestext selber scheint aber dazu im Widerspruch zu stehen.

Auf jeden Fall ist die Rechtssicherheit für uns bei der Benutzung solcher Quellen nicht mehr vorhanden, was nicht in unserem Interesse sein kann.

OpenSchoolMaps.ch – Promotion of open maps in the classroom

OpenSchoolMaps.ch is a new initiative to promote open maps in geography and computer science lessons in Switzerland. Teachers at secondary and grammar school level are the main target groups. To all who know teachers in geography and computer science: Pass this news on, www.openschoolmaps.ch!

Both the maps (data) and the materials are made freely available (so-called “Open Educational Resource”), so that everyone can contribute to them, use them freely and pass them on – even outside the classroom. Mainly free data from OpenStreetMap is used.

This small project was initiated by Stefan Keller, SOSM board member and professor at the Geometa Lab of the HSR. It fits to the two focal points, school and tourism, which the association has set itself this year. The SOSM also owns the web domains openschoolmaps.ch and openschoolmaps.org.

The content on OpenSchoolMaps.ch is just the beginning. We are looking for contributors who want to take part in the project, be it with feedback, translations or software tools. Interested parties can contact the project managers as described under OpenSchoolMaps.ch > “Weitere Unterrichtsideen”.