Metanet donates hard disks to SOSM

Some of the SAS (this is a fast computer interface similar to SATA) disks we received together with the servers that we run and related services on, have failed due to old age, and while we originally had an ample supply of spares now we’ve now run out.

Unfortunately, these disks are rather expensive to purchase new, if not to say uneconomic. Luckily Metanet has now helped us out by donating eight 2nd hand disks from their stock. This will allow us to defer a complete replacement for at least 1 to 2 years and make an unhurried decision on what to buy.

A big thank you to Metanet for supporting the Swiss OpenStreetMap Association.

New Routing Frontend

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


There is a new routing user interface for osrm which I am testing at 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 The old user interface we used is no longer maintained, therefore incompatible with the current API.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.

Assemblée générale SOSM le 8 avril 2017 à Fribourg

Comme annoncé précédemment, l’assemblée générale aura lieu le 8 avril à 11:00 à Fribourg. La manifestation 2017 se tiendra à l’adresse suivante :

Université de Fribourg,
Département de géographie, salle 226,
Chemin du Musée 4

Nous remercions l’institut de géographie pour le soutien accordé. Le bâtiment se trouve ici : ; un plan de situation peut être consulté à l’adresse suivante :

Nous allons conserver le format qui a fait ses preuves, à savoir : une partie officielle relativement courte (environ une heure), suivie du repas de midi, puis dès 13:30 d’une cartopartie (MP) informelle.

Les personnes extérieures à l’association sont les bienvenues, que ce soit pour l’AG ou la cartopartie, que ce soit pour une participation active ou simplement pour en apprendre plus sur OpenStreetMap. Tous les participants (membres ou non de l’association) sont priés de s’annoncer par e-mail à l’adresse afin que nous puissions en particulier réserver le bon nombre de places auprès du restaurant. Vous trouverez ci-dessous l’ordre du jour.

Je me réjouis de vous rencontrer à Fribourg !

Simon Poole

Agenda for the 2017 Swiss OpenStreetMap Association Annual General Meeting
Agenda der Generalversammlung der Swiss OpenStreetMap Association 2017

Saturday, April 8th 2017, 11:00,
Samstag, den 8. April 2017, 11:00,
University Fribourg, Geography Unit, Room 226, Chemin du Musée 4, CH – 1700 Fribourg

1. Opening and Welcome / Eröffnung und Begrüssung

2. Election of the minute taker and vote counters / Wahl des Protokollführers & der Stimmenzähler

3. Adoption of minutes of the 2016 AGM / Annahme des Protokolls der GV 2016

4. Activity report 2016 / Tätigkeitsbericht 2016

5. Financial results 2016 / Jahresrechnung 2016

  • Presentation by the treasurer / Bericht des Kassiers
  • Auditors report / Bericht der Kassenprüfer

6. Membership fees 2017 / Mitgliederbeiträge 2017

7. Budget 2017

8. Elections / Wahlen

  • Board / Vorstand
    Candidates for all positions are welcome. The board recommends to elect at least one assessor to the board (candidate Stefan Keller). .Kandidaten für alle Positionen sind willkommen. Der Vorstand empfiehlt mindestens einen Beisitzer in den Vorstand zu wählen (Kandidat Stefan Keller).
  • Auditors / Kassenprüfer

9. Any other business / Varia

Building addresses of canton Bern

Like Simon has already noted in a previous blog entry, we may use the Building Addresses of the Canton of Bern (GEBADR) for OSM.

In the last months the data was prepared to be suitable for OSM and a tasking manager was set up. Further information can be found in the documentation on the OSM wiki about this project.

Some are already mapping the addresses and are drawing the missing building outlines. But the task is rather large with a total of 400’000 addresses and it will take a long time. Further mappers supporting this project would therefore be really welcome. So please spread the word!

A special thank to Michael Spreng for his support and setting up the tasking manager. The tasking manager was set up on the servers of SOSM and is now available for other projects as well.

OSM Werbung in Wangen an der Aare

Das ist doch eher selten: Im Moment hängt in Wangen an der Aare ein Plakat, das für OpenStreetMap wirbt. Dies haben wir Roman Härdi und Markus Bubendorf zu verdanken, welche mit Erlaubnis der Chäsi Wangen das Banner am Baugerüst angebracht haben für die Dauer des Umbaus.

Das Banner hatte Roman Härdi drucken lassen nach diesem Design. Es war zuvor auch schon mal am GEOSummit zu sehen.

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.

update to umap 0.8

A new version of umap was released a few weeks ago and we have updated our instance at to the newest version. New features include:

  • Support for multi polygons
  • A new search interface, returning a list of found places instead of going to the most likely one.
  • Extended editing: For example polygons can now be converted to lines, or lines can be split into several parts.
  • A history of saved states exists, allowing to go back to a previously saved point.
  • The map can now be exported with all its properties and be restored on another instance for example.
  • And many other things have been improved.

Thank you to Yohan Boniface, who is the main developer, for providing us with such a nice tool.

SOSM is now an OSMF Local Chapter

When we founded SOSM in June 2012 one of the topics was if we should aspire to becoming a formal local chapter of the OSMF. At the time it wasn’t urgent since the OSMF hadn’t actually finalised a template agreement or actually accepted a local chapter, it took nearly another 3 years for the first chapter to be admitted (Iceland early in 2015).

In 2012 and every time we had discussed the matter at an AGM the SOSM board had made clear that we would hold a members vote when the time was ripe and that took place at our AGM in April of this year. Still even with the approval of our members it has taken us another 5 months to actually get the agreement signed at the global State of the Map conference last week.


We don’t expect any drastic change with this step, however given that so much of our work deals with government offices, political and other advocacy groups, having « official » status cannot hurt. The other part of the equation is that the agreement gives us a formal licence to use OpenStreetMap and other related trademarks in Switzerland.

Looking forward we expect to see more collaboration with other local chapters going forward and expect them to grow in importance as stakeholders in the project.

https certificate now provided by Let’s Encrypt

Since almost two years we offer encrypted access to our services. Back then we bought a certificate for two years, which will soon run out. But fortunately, since this year, there is Let’s Encrypt which provides certificates for free. I’m happy to announce that we have successfully switched and are now able to provide encrypted, secure access without additional costs to the association (except the few days of time spent setting it up).

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



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:{z}/{x}/{y}.png?origin=nw

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