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This section of future will be for collecting dreams. Which dream (which can also be a nightmare) do you have for OSM in 7 years time, 2020? Please fill it in with a signature.

Attendants of workshop 'Road map to the future', SOTM Birmingham, 7 September 2013

1. People: end-user

  • Useful car navigation in all first world countries
  • Be embraced by the open source software community
  • Have a business model that supports the OSM ecosystem and at the same time provides a good end-userexperience
  • Ease of use (data). My gran can create a map in 10 minutes
  • An easy and 'default' place for people to find options to a specific need
  • For the general public to understand the possibility of different map styles (and power it gives)
  • User selectable rendering
  • It should be open gl
  • To be able to select features much more dynamically than today. That the map can be a street map, orienteering map, cycle map or powerline map without having a specialized project making tiles for it
  • That people or organizations have the tools to make the maps they need using OSM
  • Enthusiastic embrace of multiple projections and warps. Warps to match OSM with historic maps that you don't want to distort, or diagrammatic distortions eg one-dimensional maps.

2. People: community

  • SOTM's everywhere
  • Local chapter growth
  • Community specific groups
  • Not a single map on osm.org (sign-up should make clear that OSM is much more than a single map like Gmaps)
  • Put a map of meetings on the frontpage, including conferences, SOTM, HOT, pub meetings.

3. Technique: editing/tools/quality

  • Focus on routing particularly during editing. Height, weight, turn restrictions (+ view)
  • Ease of use (editing). Mobile: place + label within 2 minutes. All maps have an 'edit me' buttonk
  • Easy for non-techies to add data
  • High quality data
  • Automatic collection of data from non-technical peoples devices to enhance quality (people not interested to be mappers)
  • Consistent tagging format or rules (described)
  • No federated tagging / worldwide consistency / no federational mappers
  • Polygons on as polygons. Treat them as their own type
  • Customized tools for interest groups (hike, tree, walking)
  • Ability to move on from poor initial tagging conventions
  • Niche/long tail mappers/users: a. Custom map display showing a1. Task based custom editor a2. Stored in global OSM DB (problems)

4. Competitive advantage

  • OSM should be the default map everywhere
  • OSM gps units
  • All imagery should come directly from DigitalGlobe in the highest quality and accuracy and cut out the "middle men" aka Micro$oft, Google, Govt etc.

5. Go temporo-spatial (open history map)


  • Dreams 1: To use OSM seamlessly in my phone to add data, navigate, find a place of interest, an address. Right now the interface is cumbersome. Even to switch between online and offline is a pain, and the offline maps feature *IS* one of OSM strengths.
  • Dream 2: To choose what to map and how. I want to choose a map in a different language. And if the data is not there, to allow me then to gather it. I want to choose the color, the layers, what POI (or not) to map. I want to become the cartographer. I want to map historical changes: how has an area changed over a given period of time.
  • Dream 3: Data access. Is it easy to use the data for a normal mortal?
  • Nightmare 1: To map an area which is so crowded with POI's that it becomes impossible to find anything.


  • OSM improves peoples lives, for example by providing geolocation to places which were uncharted for whatever reason or being no advertising object anymore;
  • OSM has a vibrant community, fuelled by easy to use apps, a progressive culture instead of a conservative culture, communication à la the German wochennotiz and community members with a technical background energetically cooperating with designers and other disciplines
  • 1 out of every 100 mobile phone owners uses OSM for routing and finding places;
  • 1 out of every 1000 mobile phone owners actively improves OSM;
  • Apps using OSM data have learnt from Instagram, Waze and Foursquare which lead to a huge increase in the number of downloads
  • An intuitive and simple user interface on apps makes it possible to update POI's within seconds;
  • Restaurants, hotels, fuel stations and other business owners use OSM in their apps and on their sites;
  • OSM is the number 1 choice for governments and NGO's to provide geolocated info;
  • OSM works closely and actively together with professional developers like Foursquare, MapQuest, AND, Skobbler, Mapfactor, Navmii, Mapbox, Telenav and Garmin to create amazing user experiences and to encourage mapping;
  • OSM works closely and actively together with Wikimedia Foundation, tourist offices, organizations for disabled people and humanitarian organizations;
  • All addresses in the European Union are usable in OSM after contact between OSMF and the EU, applying the EU Open Data Rules under ODbL ([1]);
  • OSMF has a small staff, mainly consisting of paid system administrators. The UK is still a EU member in 2020, which made it possible that OMSF acquired structural funding from the EU.


In no particular order:

  • OSM contains over 90% of addresses for North America, Europe, South Korea and Japan.
  • Within Europe detailed vegetation types are mapped for most nature reserves, national parks etc.
  • In addition to a free-format tagging schema at the base of OSM, either under the auspices of OSMF or independently, there exist OSM datasets which make use of more traditional schemas. It is clear that we create very clever & elaborate ways to handle a range of conditions which are better suited to regular database schemas (opening hour, parking lane syntax are classic examples). Additionally many more tags are being created which are essential attributive (dependent) and as this number grows the it becomes harder to recognise the relationships implicit in groups of tags. On the other hand we will have a huge database which can be mined to determine relationships between tags, and thus semi-automate translation between free-form tag and traditional data structures.
  • OSM objects can be permanently identified, and links created outside OSM which will continue to refer to the same object whilst it exists in OSM.
  • Every village has its own OSM mapper acting as a data curator, with commensurate numbers for larger places.
  • OSM is a worthwhile source of analytical data for a range of sectors, including wildlife conservation and environmental planning, but, also some straightforwardly commercial industries. (I would particularly hope this is true for small players, SMEs, who are often unable to use costly data & tools)
  • OSM forms the heart of a toolkit for local communities to engage with planning decisions which affect them (aka the NIMBY toolkit).
  • OSMF employs a small core team dealing with necessary administration activities for the Foundation, and server administration. No board members are employed by the Foundation.
  • OSMF has created membership benefits for all classes of members (ordinary, corporate, etc.) which deliver a real sense of value to members. Obviously, these must not be exclusionary to non-members, but without addressing what the value proposition is the OSMF will never increase membership to the levels desired to provide a regular dependable source of cash.
  • OSM is much more widely used by ethnic minorities in countries of Western Europe, US, etc. (Put another way I don't want to be the person who has used halal=yes more than anyone else for much longer).

as at SK53 (talk) 19:54, 1 September 2013 (UTC)


  • Dream 1: All children can learn about OSM for own life in elementary school.
  • Dream 2: Immediately after large-scale disasters, we can be delivered the latest map to the affected areas.

as at User:Mapconcierge (talk) 14:07, 7 September 2013 (UTC)


  • Self-sustaining revenue streams that allow freedom of operation
  • Map data of choice for govt.'s, councils etc all over the world
  • Complete worldwide road network
  • Complete worldwide building footprint
  • Import process streamlined so that groups/govt's willing to donate data have a safe, logical & controled method to do so without causing damage
  • New member retention rate increased
  • Standardised jump-off point for local chapters / specialised mapping
  • SOTM's the world over


  • More diversity. Lets set a target for gender parity
  • Fully Routable, doorway to doorway
  • Clickable map
  • Satalite imagery customized for OpenStreetMap
  • Dedicated, full time, executive director, systems admin, fundraising and communications staff
  • Funding to developer applications and tools
  • Reaching out with training and support to develop communities in underserved areas
  • Tagging restructured with an organized classification system
  • Active mappers in each country exceeds 200 mappers per 1 million population

Glassman (talk) 17:56, 2 September 2013 (UTC) Update Glassman (talk) 23:39, 7 September 2013 (UTC)


  • Many more personal navigation devices and apps use (or offer as a choice) OSM
  • Address data is very usable and we have found the key to effectively crowd-sourcing it in quantity
  • At least one online map service of significance is based solidly on OSM (rather than just having it in the lab)
  • At least one vehicle manufacturer supports OSM maps in its navigation systems
  • We have editing tools that allow non-scary mapping even in densely-mapped areas
  • We have editing tools that a non-specialised technophobe can use
  • It is uncommon for people to argue that useful data "doesn't belong" in OSM just because of the editing complexity it would cause (because of the editor advances mentioned above)
  • OSS developers and advocates wishing to use maps prefer to use OSM and actually manage to do so (APIs and other high-level services will be available to them, regardless of whether provided by OSM project or others)
  • "Edit Tab everywhere": users of OSM on all kinds of platform have access to a platform-optimised back channel to improve the map to ensure that the virtuous feedback cycle exploits the power of the user.

--Mackerski (talk) 18:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


  • For the project: every map-related site (or site that also provides map-related functions, e.g. photo sharing sites etc) relies on OSM data;
  • For the project: every site/app that relies on OSM data provides a method to fix/augment the data (be it even just calling some external editor in the specific whereabouts);
  • For the project: _competitive_, appealing map-related services (location, routing, etc) are offered on top of OSM data by websites/applications
  • For the OSM website: it can act as a _hub_ for these services

--Gbilotta (talk) 18:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)