Contact channels

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for other uses of the term "Contact", see Contact (disambiguation)

The OpenStreetMap community uses a variety of different contact channels. There is no strong sense of internal versus external communication. OpenStreetMap is open, and whether you're a new mapper, a company seeking to use our maps, a government agency offering GIS data, or anything in between, you can consider yourself part of OpenStreetMap. Pose your question on any of these contact channels to find out what the consensus is among fellow OpenStreetMappers. Each of these channels come with their own forms of etiquette. In general, search the website and the FAQ first (see also Where to get help?), to avoid asking unnecessary questions, but feel free and feel welcome to contact us!

Question and answer site

For small questions we have a question and answer site at https://help.openstreetmap.org where you can post OpenStreetMap questions and/or help answer them. Read the help site FAQ page to get started. More info: help.openstreetmap.org

Mailing lists

See Mailing lists. Email-based mailing lists are probably the main communication channel for the community, particularly the "talk" mailing list. You have to "subscribe" to be allowed to post. There are various topic focussed lists, and then mailing lists for most languages, which often have local communities of those languages. They may be the main channel used by a local community, but this is certainly not alway the case. Exceptions include German- and Russian-language communication, a lot of which takes place in the forum (see below).

Forum

There is an international forum at forum.openstreetmap.org. Further Details are on Forum.

Other countries may have their own country- or language-specific forum. For example, there's a French one at [1].

There are also many topic-specific forums, for example forum.pocketnavigation.de, the largest German-speaking navigation community.

Notes

If you see something missing or something wrong on the map, you can add a "note". This is pinned to a particular location on the map, and should relate to a specific problem/omission in the map data at that location. It can be a good way to contribute local knowledge, although editing the map directly is even better. Notes can have some discussion and replies are sent to your email address but only if your "sign in" on the website before adding the note. See Notes

For bug reports on OSM software please use our Trac or GitHub issue trackers.

For other ways to report errors see Error reporting.

Chats

IRC

IRC is a popular realtime text chat. Sometimes there may be fewer users and conversations often get deeply technical, but newbies should feel free to come and ask questions - someone will be always willing to help.

More details about OpenStreetMap’s IRC channels.

XMPP

XMPP is an alternative to IRC for those who prefer the newer standard (accessible via Google Talk, Jabber, LJ Talk, and many more). Multi-User Chat (MUC) channels:

  • [2] : Open Street Map
  • [3] : Austrian OSM channel
  • [4] : Slovak OSM channel

TeamSpeak2

Some people also idle on a VoIP TeamSpeak Server

Server: technoculture.dyndns.org
Channel: "GPSDrive+OpenStreetMap"

Real life

It's mostly the easiest way to meet people and talk to them

Contact a single mapper

Using personal messages at openstreetmap.org

When you are on someone's user page (www.openstreetmap.org/user/[user_name]), then you can use the link "send message" to send a message (you have to log in) to this user (who will be able to respond to your mail, but neither you nor the other will see the real e-mail addresses). You can have a look in the user's recent edits there to see if the user is active currently.

How to get to someone's user page?

  • If you know a user name, type in the URL manually in your browser's address bar: www.openstreetmap.org/user/[user_name] by replacing [user_name] with the mapper's user name.
  • There are various ways you might discover a mapper's name. In the data browser and changeset history displays, you can list users who have edited in an area or a specific object.
  • Find other users via tools which are showing nearby users.

Using changeset discussions

If your query is about a single changeset, you could use the "Changeset Discussion" feature (details: see link) to discuss it.

Diary and blogs

People with an OSM account can use a 'diary' blog feature and there are some major blogs, listed at OSM Blogs.

Wiki

  • Each wiki page has an editable "Talk page". These are primarily intended for discussion of the contents of the 'main' wiki pages to facilitate improving the information, but can also function as a small focussed forum around that topic. Creating discussions and replying to people using wiki edits may seem strange until you get used to it. Many OSM people prefer not to do this, and questions can easily go unanswered.
  • The wiki also allows you to contact individual users more directly in two other ways: On their user talk page (the talk page alongside their user page) you can leave a message which is also publicly viewable. Others can see your conversations and join in. Or you can privately email wiki users via the "mail user" link which appears on the left while view their user page. This only appears if users have supplied their email address in the wiki. Set this in your preferences to make yourself open to this kind of contact.
  • Generally, see also Wiki Help
  • This wiki offers a platform for the proposal process, which is one of multiple ways to introduce and discuss new features (tags).

Social networks and other sites

You can also communicate with the community via these channels, but remember you'll only be reaching whichever segment of the community happens to be signed up there:

See also:

Systems administrators

For technical and operational issues involving OpenStreetMap's servers or systems, and in case of abuse of those systems, please contact the Operations Working Group.

For user accounts see Accounts#Quickstart.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OpenStreetMap Foundation has its own wiki. It's here:

Data Working Group

If you need to talk to someone about copyright violation, vandalism or some sort of dispute, contact the Data Working Group via this link:

https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Data_Working_Group#Contact