- 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 Category:portals first (see also Where to get help?), to avoid asking unnecessary questions, but feel free and feel welcome to contact us!
- 1 Question and answer site
- 2 Mailing lists
- 3 Forum
- 4 Notes
- 5 Chats
- 6 Real life
- 7 Contact a single mapper
- 8 Diary and blogs
- 9 Wiki
- 10 Social networks and other sites
- 11 Systems administrators
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
The major communication channel for the community is the mailing lists. You have to "subscribe" to be allowed to post. See Mailing lists
There also is a sub-forum at forum.pocketnavigation.de, the largest German-speaking navigation community. However, it's significantly less active than forum.openstreetmap.org.
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 other ways to report errors see Error reporting.
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.
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:
Some people also idle on a VoIP TeamSpeak Server
It's mostly the easiest way to meet people and talk to them
Contact a single mapper
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.
- You can also edit "Talk pages". 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:
- facebook 'OpenStreetMap' page. See facebook for other links
- linkedin group
- @OpenStreetMap on twitter. See Twitter for other links
- OpenStreetMap group on identi.ca (defunct as of March 2014)
- Wikipedia (user category)
- Google+ page
- orkut group (anyone remember orkut?)
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 or the appropriate adminstrator for the system in question.
For user accounts see Accounts#Quickstart.