- for tagging communications cables etc Key:communication, for tagging contact phone details Key:contact
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, to avoid asking unnecessary questions, but feel free and feel welcome to contact us!
Question and answer site
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.
The major communication channel for the community is the mailing lists. You have to "subscribe" to be allowed to post. See Mailing lists
IRC is realtime 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.
Other chat channels
This is an alternative to IRC for those who prefer the newer standard (accessible via Google Talk, Jabber, LJ Talk, and many more):
- [xmpp:firstname.lastname@example.org?join] : Open Street Map
- [xmpp:email@example.com?join] : Austrian OSM channel
- [xmpp:firstname.lastname@example.org?join] : Slovak OSM channel
Some people also idle on the VoIP TeamSpeak Server
- Server: technoculture.dyndns.org
- Channel: "GPSDrive+OpenStreetMap"
Linux, MAC OS and Windows Clients can be downloaded at: http://www.goteamspeak.com/index.php?page=downloads
It's mostly the easiest way to meet people and talk to them
Contact a single Mapper
If you know a user name, log in and go to page "www.openstreetmap.org/user/[user-name]" by replacing [user-name] with the mapper's user name. Click 'Send Message'. You can write your text there, but you will not see the mapper's e-mail address.
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.
Diary and Blogs
People with an OSM account can use a 'diary' blog feature and there are some major blogs, listed at OSM Blogs.
See Wiki Help
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.
Social Networks / 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: