Contact channels

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For other uses of the terms "Contact" and "Communication", see Contact (disambiguation).

The OpenStreetMap community uses a variety of different contact channels to communicate with fellow mappers. These communities are open to anyone no matter your experience, gender, race, or nationality. Questions and discussion from entities ranging from individuals to governments or companies are welcome. Their friendly and experienced communities are here to help you and each other work together on this global project!

The content of this page is organised mostly by type of channel. Links are then provided to lists of topical or local groups. So you can pick your favorite medium, and see if the people you need are on there. Towards the end of this document, there are some hints on finding local groups.

The OSM Community Index collects roughly the same information in a different format, which makes it easier to reuse on a map (e.g. https://openstreetmap.community/) or to filter them by country or type of channel (e.g. https://community.osm.be/). The same info is also showed to any mapper using the web editor as they save their changes. The channels that people use to communicate vary a lot between different regions. Local communities can provide an ordering based on their relative importance in the local community.

Q&A

For small questions we have a question-and-answer website 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.

Mailing lists

See Mailing lists. Mailing lists offer communication via email. You must "subscribe" to be allowed to post. Mailing lists can have a range in message lengths based on what is being discussed. There are various topic focused 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 always 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 forum.openstreetmap.fr.

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

The forum is an official one and you login with your OSM account.

Realtime chats

Realtime chats offer quick access to services you may already have access to and accounts for. You can easily join and use them. Ask questions to multitude of online users in dedicated chats.

Discord

Discord is a real-time, multi-platform messaging, voice, and video application that consists of groups of members and bots in "servers" that have text or voice/video "channels" for dedicated topics of discussion.

The OpenStreetMap World Discord Server is a global community for mappers new and old, where members in dedicated channels can for assistance, discuss tagging, imagery, projects, development, Tile servers hosting, join mapathons, and much more.

The Open Historical Map team have a dedicated channel to discuss their project, along with OpenGeofiction.

See Discord for a list of country specific servers.

Slack

 Slack (software) is a very similar service to Discord where there are dedicated channels for discussion.

See the List of OSM centric Slack workspaces.

In addition, the OSM United States Slack workspace is particularly active and is popular with OSMers from around the world.

Telegram

 Telegram (software) is a messenger that also has groups, channels, and bots. Here is a long List of OSM centric Telegram accounts.

Matrix

 Matrix (protocol) provides a similar service to Discord and Slack.

Here are Matrix servers.

IRC

 Internet Relay Chat is a popular real-time 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.

Social networks

openstreetmap.org

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 for the OSM website, please create a New Issue on Blacktocat.svg openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues.

Personal messages

When you are on someone's user page (www.openstreetmap.org/user/[username]), 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 username, type in the URL manually in your browser's address bar: www.openstreetmap.org/user/[username] by replacing [username] with the mapper's username.
  • There are various ways you might discover a mapper's name. In the Map Data layer 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.

Changeset discussions

If your query is about a single changeset, you could use the Changeset discussion feature to discuss it.

Diaries

You can view and create User Diaries to see and share community members' OSM experiences!

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, focused forum around that topic. Creating discussions and replying to people using wiki edits may seem strange until you get used to it. Activity is pretty low, typically used for internal discussion about page itself—general questions about for example tagging are likely to be answered by a single person or not at all.
  • 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 not disabled this feature. Technically, every user must provide an email address to edit here.
  • 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).
  • Some countries offer a landing page for their country on the wiki. Try searching your country or region, perhaps combined with "wikiproject".
  • Users can create a user group to organize meetings of local mappers.

Blogs

There is an OpenStreetMap Foundation blog and other various OSM Blogs.

Real life

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

Systems administrators

For technical issues with user accounts please contact support@openstreetmap.org for assistance.

For policy issues involving technical matters with OpenStreetMap's servers or systems, please contact the Operations Working Group at operations@osmfoundation.org.

For user accounts see Accounts#Quickstart.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OpenStreetMap Foundation has its own wiki on wiki.osmfoundation.org.

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 their contact methods.

Local communities

Different local communities are organised in different ways. Some of them have a website, some use a forum, others a mailing list. There's country specific mailing lists, local chapters and local user groups. Many also have a local Twitter account, and some have a presence on Meetup. Many of these local channels are grouped by country or region in the OSM Community Index (map interface). There's also a map of wiki user groups.