Just 20’000 left to go …

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.

GWR 2014-12-01* OSM 2012-11-01 OSM 2013-12-27 OSM 2015-03-12 %
Roads 121’041 62’258 87’759 100’012 83%
Other 63’673 14’101 8’598 12’465 20%

* 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.


March 2015

December 2013

January 2013


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.

2015 SOSM Donation Drive

umap_screenshotDear 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

Postfinance account
IBAN CH54 0900 0000 8505 3542 9

Swiss OpenStreetMap Association
Heitersbergstrasse 1
8962 Bergdietikon

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 info@sosm.ch.

MapProxy Service Update

We’ve updated the imagery available via the SOSM mapproxy service to include more recent imagery for Solothurn and the recently releast imagery for the city of Berne. The imagery for the canton Solothurn is a mosaic of imagery between 2011 and 2014 provided by the cantonal GIS office SOGIS, replacing the old 2007 and 2011 orthophotos.

Together with the new AGIS imagery, the above has been added to the central OSM imagery index and should be available in iD, P2 and vespucci soon.

If you can’t wait, the imagery is available via the following pseudo URLs:






Updated Aerial Imagery for the Canton Aargau


As already indicated on the Swiss OSM mailing list SOSM has obtained the most recent imagery from the cantonal GIS office of the canton Aargau (AGIS). The imagery was recorded in July 2014 which on the one hand makes it very current, on the other implies that there is more foliage visible than on the 2011 imagery.

The imagery is available with the following pseudo URL for entry in OSM editors


I’ll be adding the configuration to the central imagery repositories as soon as possible.

The tiles from this imagery were produced slightly differently than the previous ones with not quite satisfactory results from a visual point of view. It is possible that I might rerun the tiling later once we have some feedback.

SOSM will be running a donation drive soon to cover the costs of the imagery and a build out of our services, however please feel free to donate now (account details, please indicate if mentioning your name is allowed), your support if very much appreciated.

A thank you to the Hochschule Rapperswil and Stefan Keller for helping us with actually uploading the 190GB of data to the SOSM server.

uMap Tips and Tricks – 1 – Hide the “Edit”-Pencil

This is the start of a likely infrequent and irregular series of posts on stuff that I found out using uMap.

Hide the “Edit”-Pencil

One of the more annoying things about uMap is that there is no obvious way to hide the edit pencil on a full screen map. While only users that you have allowed can actually change  your map configuration, it just isn’t good design to have a control element that just frustrates your users.

The solution: add “allowEdit=0” to the URL as for example below:



uMap Instance for Switzerland

It has been a long time in the making, but at last, we are happy to announce that a SOSM hosted uMap instance is available: umap.osm.ch .

uMap allows you to create hosted map configurations that contain base maps, data sources and manual annotations.

An example of what can be done with very little effort: the “Swiss style” map with car sharing locations queried from the Overpass API.

See full screen

While the data displayed in the example is static, the same can be done with a direct query of the OverPass API or similar sources. Data that is limited to Switzerland can be retrieved from the SOSM Overpass service, and to make that a bit easier we now have a local Overpass Turbo instance.

To create your own map on umap.osm.ch you simply need an account on www.openstreetmap.org and allow umap.osm.ch access to it.

A special thank you to Sarah for setting up the system for us and to Yohan Boniface for developing uMap.

Updated Street Name Completeness Statistics

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.

GWR 2012-06-01 OSM 2012-11-01 % GWR 2013-12-01 OSM 2013-12-27 %
Roads (old) 104’150 62’258 60% 103’606 74’969 72%
Roads (new) 117’598 87’759 75%
Other (old) 77’316 14’101 18% 78’284 21’414 27%
Other (new) 64’292 8’598 13%

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

January 2013

December 2013 Old

December 2013 New