Google Summer of Code/2012

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= NOTE - this page is a quick conversion from the 2011 page, so may contain errors - please tidy up if you see any =


Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We have worked with several open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund several projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together nearly 2500 successful student participants and 2500 mentors from 98 countries worldwide, all for the love of code. Through Google Summer of Code, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

More information is now available on the GSoC web site

The successful students have now been chosen and have started work on their projects see Accepted Projects.

Time Line

The official timetable for Google Summer of Code is provided on the GSoC timeline page. It is summarised below - If you are involved in the programme, please check the official time line, in case it has changed from this one!

Date Requirement Notes
09 March 2300UTC Deadline for Organisation Applications Complete
16 March 1900UTC Accepted Mentoring Organisations Announced by Google Complete
16th to 26th March Would be student participants choose which organisations they are interested in, and discuss project ideas with them. Complete
26th March to 06 April Students Apply via the GSoC Web Site ( Complete
06th April to 19th April OSM Mentors Review Proposals and select which ones to accept Complete
23rd April 12:00UTC Successful Applicants Announced on GSoC Web Site Complete - See Accepted Projects
24th April - 21st May "Community Bonding Period" - Students get to know their mentors and the OSM community Complete
21st May Coding Begins In Progress
09-13th July Mentors Submit Mid-Term Evaluations of Students Performance
14 July - 13 August Second session of coding
13th August Suggested "Pencils Down" Date
20th August Firm "Pencils Down" Date
20-24th August Mentors Submit Final Evaluations of Students Performance

Accepted Proposals

The student proposals that have been accepted to take part in this Year's Google Summer of Code will be identified in the Accepted Projects wiki page.

Beneath that, each project has a wiki page describing the project in more detail, and reports on progress throughout the programme.

Potential Student Projects

Some possible student projects are listed at GSoC Project Ideas 2012. If you think of another idea, please add it to that list as it will help get people thinking of other ideas.

Project Ideas

Please start with posting your ideas at GSoC Project Ideas 2012, and starting a discussion on the OSM Developers Mailing List to seek views from the community. The idea is to find out from members if your idea is feasible in the timescales of Google Summer of Code. If you would prefer to 'sound out' someone about an idea first, please email iandees at

Project Proposal

Once you have a good idea for a project, you will need to turn your idea into a proposal for a project. We are proposing the following template for student proposals:

   * Name:
   * Emails:
   * Websites/blog/OSM user page:
   * List of Computer Languages known(please rate strength in the scale of 10):
   * Details of any previous computer programming projects you have been involved in.
   * Currently involved in?:
   * OSM Project proposal: (This is the main art of the application - describe what you propose to do, how you propose to do it, what you will need to learn to be able to do it).
   * Time Available to Work on Project:  (Remember GSoC is essentially a full-time commitment for the summer, but you may have exams or planned holidays that will need to be taken into account).
   * Schedule for project completion: (Identify the major milestones to completing the project - research, producing design documentation, first draft of code, code reviews, update code etc.).
   * Handling situations(in absence of mentor):
   * Hobbies/Interests: 

The GSoC FAQ includes the following guidance on student applications that you should consider too: "'Your application should include the following: your project proposal, why you'd like to execute on this particular project, and the reason you're the best individual to do so. Your proposal should also include details of your academic, industry, and/or open source development experience, and other details as you see fit. An explanation of your development methodology is a good idea, as well. It is always helpful to include contact information, as well, as it will not be automatically shared with your would-be mentors as part of the application process. If the organization you want to work with has a specific application template they would like you to use, it will be made available to you to fill in when submitting your proposal via the GSoC web app'".

The important thing about your proposal is to demonstrate that you know what you want to do, have an understanding of the sort of issues that you will need to address to meet your targets, and that the project is achievable on the timescales of Google Summer of Code. We suggest that you include a schedule for completing your project, showing the major milestones and when you intend to achieve them - this will help convince yourself that you can do it, and convince us that you have thought about it. The sort of milestones could be:

  • Produce functional specification (what are you going to achieve)
  • Produce outline design (what computer language, libraries etc. will be used, how will the code be structured).
  • Skeleton code structure produced.
  • Functional code produced for testing.
  • Testing Complete
  • Documentation Complete

Different projects will have different balances of design and coding time.


The window for students to submit their applications is between 28th March and 6th April as shown on the GSoC'12 [ timeline] Applications are made via the Google Summer of Code web site (, not directly to OpenStreetMap.

Please submit your proposal as early as possible as this will allow potential mentors the maximum time to review it and ask you questions to help us decide which proposals to choose.

If you have any difficulty in applying, please email iandees at, and I will help.

Project Review & Mentor Assignment

Google will allocate OpenStreetMap a given number of student places and we must choose the successful applicants from everyone that submits proposals to OpenStreetMap.

Once you have submitted your application, the potential mentors will review the applications and rank them to match projects to available student places. This is all done from the Google Summer of Code Web Site as described here. We may want to contact you to ask you to clarify an aspect of your application, so please include contact details, especially email!

Successful Applicants

The successful applicants will be matched to mentors and announced by Google. We will set up a small mailing list for students and mentors to discuss progress during the programme.

We will be in touch very soon after the announcement to set this up and get the successful students and their mentors working together.

What to Expect

If OpenStreetMap is accepted for this year's Google Summer of Code, we will move this page and replace it with a different one to track the progress of the successful projects - see Google_Summer_of_Code/2011/AcceptedProjects.

Each project will have a wiki page describing the project and providing weekly project updates.

A summary of progress of all accepted projects will be sent to the Dev mailing list to keep other OpenStreetMap developers informed.

Potential Mentors

If you are prepared to act as a mentor on the programme, please add your name and interests here.

Things To Do

To participate in the programme, we will need to do the following (at least!):

  • Make an application to Google for OSM to be a 'Mentoring Organisation'
  • Produce a list of possible student projects - GSoC Project Ideas 2012.
  • Invite students to make proposals to participate in Google Summer of Code with OpenStreetMap. - This is really part of the GSoC application process, but if you know a student that would be interested, please point them to this page.
  • Identify Mentors from the OSM community to look after the students.
  • Choose which student proposals to accept, and match them to mentors.
  • Get on and help them achieve their project goals! - In Progress - see Accepted Projects.

OpenStreetMap's Application to GSoC

The proposed text of OSM's application can be seen at Google_Summer_of_Code/2012/Organisation_Application.