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”.
SOSM will hold a workshop at DINAcon. We will show how to use OpenStreetMap to create a location map and how to tell stories with a map. This conference takes place for the first time, and we are excited to take part.
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
To reduce clutter I’ve shortened some of the usage strings:
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:
Please add a clear indication of the source in your changesets if you use this data.
Thanks to efforts of Michael (datendelphin) the move of the SOSM
provided services to the new SOSM servers in Bern is nearly complete.
See http://sosm.ch/wikimedia-donates-old-toolservers-to-sosm/ and
As part of the move I’ve updated the osm.ch portal a bit and added the
ability to pull translations from transifex. Up to now the portal was
only in German, I’ve added an English version leaving French, Italian
and Romansh to do.
The transifex project can be found here
Given that there are currently only 43 strings, I fully expect that we
will have the missing three languages covered tomorrow :-).
On a more serious note we are always looking for people that can help
with the translation of content on sosm.ch which is currently
predominantly German and English. If you want to help send us a mail to
Update: translations for all aditional languages were done by Friday the 24th of April!
Two years and a couple of months back I started running daily street name completeness checks for Switzerland. See my original article for more information, information on the changes for 2014 (this article points out some of the quality issues with the GWR) and http://qa.poole.ch/ch-roads/ for the daily updates.
On the 12th of March we passed the 100’000 street name mark implying that in 27 months we have added nearly 40’000 names that were previously missing or unverified, leaving roughly 20’000 to go.
* the GWR values are corrected for the issues discussed in the December 2013 blog post and are not the raw numbers. This is the reason for the decrease in numbers of non-road objects.
Naturally I do not expect to reach the 100% mark any time soon. There is quite a high number of municipalities that do not sign post their roads, making independent verification very difficult to impossible (this is not the same as not having street names in the first place which is not a problem) and naturally these places don’t tend to be where hot spots of OSM contributors are. On the other hand there is still a lot of very low hanging fruit which simply needs verification. Low hanging in this case means that the roads in question can already be found in OSM, but there are simply spelling differences that we need to investigate (see the original article on how to handle differences between the GWR and reality).
Please don’t forget the 2015 SOSM Donation Drive to enable us to continue to operate this and other services.
Dear friends of OpenStreetMap and SOSM
As you may know, SOSM provides a range of services for the Swiss OpenStreetMap community. Currently this is financed for a major part out of our regular membership fees, this however limits some aspects of our operations quite considerably. All services are currently run on a single, small leased server in Germany.
In 2015 we would like to
- move all services to a hosting location in Switzerland
- provide better performing and redundant hardware for our most popular services (map tiles, uMap and routing)
- expand our OSM data and imagery hosting offerings (for example the current imagery covering the Canton Aargau)
While we have the prospect of a number of in-kind donations to support the above, more on that soon, there is still the need for additional funds to cover cash outlays. Example: while we have a computer hardware donation arranged, the hardware will have to be imported and VAT on its value paid, just this single item would be substantially outside of SOSMs current annual budget.
To support the plans for this year SOSM board has therefore decided to explicitly ask for donations to SOSM in 2015 with the goal of collecting at least CHF 5000 over the course of the year.
Donations can made to
IBAN CH54 0900 0000 8505 3542 9
Swiss OpenStreetMap Association
Please note 2015 DONATION DRIVE on the payment. By default we will be publishing the names of all donors, if you don’t want to be mentioned, please add that either to you payment information or send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A couple of weeks back the city of Zürich expanded the available layers on its public WMS server to include areal imagery of the city from multiple years. Of particular interest to us is the 2011 data which is clearly superior to what has been available up to now and is a lot better georeferenced. This will allow us to address some of the issues we have in central Zürich and is a huge leap forward from the Bing/Yahoo imagery we’ve had until now.
We hope that this sets yet another example for other Swiss cities and cantons, to open up their WMS servers. SOSM will continue to negotiate with other cantons and cities (see http://sosm.ch/projects/cantonal-aerial-imagery/ for progress).
Many thanks to the GIS office of Zürich!
Using the imagery in your editor
For JOSM users the WMS server can be queried with
For P2 and iD users we have added the layer to our mapproxy configuration and it can be accessed (with placeholders) with:
One of the lesser known aspects of the Swiss democratic system is the instrument of the “Vernehmlassung”, a formalized call for comments by interested and affected parties on draft laws before they go in to the parliamentary process and debate. The Canton of Berne is implementing new regulations on geo-information and related sovereign duties to be compatible with the equivalent legislation at a federal level and issued such a call for comments late last year.
The tl;dr gist of our answer is that the law should as a principle allow free access to the cantonal geo-data and do so on terms defined in a suitable well-known licence (CC0, PDDL or similar) reversing what is suggested in the current draft legislation. Further we have suggested that any fees for access to the data be based on marginal costs for the distribution.
Our full answer can be found here Kanton Bern geoinf Vernehmlassung. Opendata.ch, the Swiss OpenData Association, supports our position.
Just over a year ago I started running daily street name completeness checks for Switzerland based on a list of street names by municipality generated out of the federal “Gebäude und Wohnungsregister” (GWR), see my original article for more information and http://qa.poole.ch/ch-roads/ for the daily updates.
For technical reasons I decided to move the contents to a new server late December and during the process I’ve made a couple of updates and changes that need some explaining. On the one hand I’ve updated the GWR list to the December 2013 one on the other hand I’ve somewhat changed the logic of the road (contrary to other object types with names) statistic generation. One of the more annoying trends in the GWR list is that more and more municipalities are no longer correctly filing the object type in their submissions and are either using “unknown” or leaving the field empty (which I map to “none” in my statistics”), despite the large amount of building going on, the number has actually gone down in absolute terms by roughly 500 over the year 2013. This naturally makes the data substantially less useful for us, and I would go as far as saying it makes the data less useful for its primary purpose too.
However it is clearly not our job to discipline such behaviour, we just want as good as possible estimates of how many named streets there actually are. To achieve that I’ve now added some heuristics to take this undesirable behaviour in to account:
- assume that if a GWR object has either no geometry type or “unknown” and the corresponding OSM object is a road, it should have been a road in the GWR too.
- if there are no roads at all for the municipality in question in the GWR and OSM has roads as described above, add all the relevant GWR objects to the GWR road count.
The GWR numbers reported are corrected correspondingly. As of today this reduced the object count for “unknown” by 8’374 and for no object type by 4’438, adding a total of 12’812 to the GWR road count. For continuity and documentation purposes the old statistics are still calculated daily and are still available.
More interesting than the above changes is how much progress we have made over the past year. In the following table non-road objects are summarised in one number.
As can be seen from the above we managed to add 20’024 names in just over a year, confirming that we should have as good as possible coverage of street names latest in two years.
To conclude, and most impressive, a map from early 2013, and current versions using the old and new logic
December 2013 Old
December 2013 New
We have added a daily generated OsmAnd map file to the data we are providing on planet.osm.ch Now you can benefit within 24 hours of navigation related changes that you make to OSM. We will naturally gladly support other navigation programs and devices if requested and within the limits of our resources.