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”.

Map on osm.ch now includes contour lines

The default style on osm.ch now includes contour lines and is updated to the latest version of the openstreetmap-carto style sheet.

(c) OpenStreetMap contributors

Elevation data created from a mash-up of SRTM and ASTER GDEM data. ASTER GDEM is a product of METI and NASA. Post processing was kindly provided by Yves Cainaud from opensnowmap.org.

New Routing Frontend

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

 

There is a new routing user interface for osrm which I am testing at routingnew.osm.ch. 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.

Pre-announcement: 2017 SOSM AGM, April the 8th in Fribourg

The 2017 SOSM annual general meeting will take place on April the 8th in Fribourg, venue to be determined.

We will likely keep the format from the previous events: formal meeting before lunch, lunch, mapping and back to the venue.

If you have suggestions for or contacts with a suitable venue please get back to me.

The formal announcement will be published towards the end of March.

Looking forward to seeing you in Fribourg.

Building Addresses Canton Berne

As you may remember early this year we got permission to use the open address data from the Canton Berne in OpenStreetMap, this after a couple of years back and forth due to the new cantonal legislation and older usage terms that sounded as if the data might be usable but in reality didn’t allow it.

The address data is available from the cantonal open data portal however it is rather unwieldly (a good 400’000 addresses) and problematic to handle even in JOSM. I foolhardly promised to do something about that at the time, but didn’t get around to doing anything up to now. It should be noted that nobody has stepped forward and volunteered to organize an import of any kind, so my focus is simply proving it as reference data that can be used at a small-scale.

While my current solution is not perfect and will likely see improvements over time (for example the layer is currently opaque), it is probably  the best solution for now. I’ve produced a background layer from the data that shows

  • usage
  • house
  • street/place

josm-bern2

 

To reduce clutter I’ve shortened some of the usage strings:

  • Wohnhaus – WH
  • Bauernhaus – BH
  • Garage – G
  • Scheune – S
  • Gebäude – B

The data is hosted on sourcepoles QGIS Cloud system, many thanks to Marco and his team for supporting us. To make things simpler for iD users and work around some issues JOSM has with WMS servers we actually proxy this through our mapproxy instance.

The relevant tile URL is:

http://mapproxy.osm.ch:8080/tiles/GEBADRBE/EPSG900913/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?origin=nw

Please add a clear indication of the source in your changesets if you use this data.

Missing Crosswalks – A MapRoulette Challenge

Take part of this MapRoulette Challenge which is about checking if there’s a pedestrian street crossing (crosswalk) or not. This verification goes on until it’s all done. MapRoulette is a kind of gamified website and a mapping campaign similar to MapZen’s targeted editing series.

image

Once integrated in OpenStreetMap (OSM), crosswalks are shown in web maps (e.g. OSM Cycle Map/OSM Radfahrerkarte/OpenCycleMap, OSM France and OSM2World). And they are useful for pedestrian navigation apps (like OsmAnd).

So help OpenStreetMap to improve this missing information!

image

Figure 1: Cycle map from OpenStreetMap main page showing pedestrian street crossings (crosswalks) as yellow dot markers.

A crosswalk node needs to be placed as part of a way. It requires the tag highway=crossing (search for “Crossing” e.g. in built-in online editor “iD”). For the capture of other attributes like the existence of islands or traffic signals see Key:crossing on OSM Wiki.

Important notes: When using editor “iD” the presets suggest tag crossing=zebra. This tag is mainly used in UK. Since this challenge is in Switzerland you can delete this tag. Finally: When saving, a changeset comment is needed. You can use there e.g. “Missing Crosswalks Challenge”.

image

Figure 2: A “Street Crossing” node shown in the online editor “iD” built-in OpenStreetMap main page.

The street crossings (crosswalks) in fact are coordinates our automated process found in aerial images by using a parallel image detection algorithm. This new software works mainly with yellow crossings of Switzerland on aerial images with certain quality at zoom level 18.

The coordinate data around eastern Switzerland has been extracted at December, 2nd. 2015. This covers about a tenth of the total area of Switzerland.

Contact us if you have questions or ideas around this hot topic.

Happy mapping!

This article was originally published on geometalab.

SOSM 2015 Annual General Meeting

Agenda for the 2015 Swiss OpenStreetMap Association Annual General Meeting

Saturday, April 18th 2014, 11am,Lago Lodge, Uferweg 5, CH-2560 Nidau

  1. Opening and Welcome
  2. Election of the minute taker and vote counters
  3. Adoption of minutes of the 2014 AGM
  4. Activity report 2014
  5. Financial results 2014 –
    • Presentation by the treasurer
    • Auditors report
  6. Membership fees 2015
  7. Budget 2015
  8. Elections
    • Board (candidates for all positions are welcome.)
    • Auditors (note Otto Wyss will no longer be available)
  9. Trade registry registration
  10. Application for OSMF Local Chapter Status
  11. Any other business