Google Summer of Code/2018/Organisation Application

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page contains the details submitted for Google Summer of Code 2018 as our organization application.


Public Profile


Website URL

Creating and distributing free geographic data for the world.


Primary Open Source License
GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPL-2.0)

Organization Category
Data and Databases

Technology Tags
postgis, java, ruby, javascript, c++

Topic Tags
gis, maps, crowdsourcing, geoinformatics

Ideas List


Short Description
At OpenStreetMap, volunteer surveyors gather map data of the whole world, laying the foundations for many awesome apps built on top.

Long Description
OpenStreetMap is a project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. The data is collected by volunteers around the globe largely from scratch and released with an open-content license. We allow free access to our map images and all of its underlying map data. We aim to promote new and interesting uses of our data which makes the project's uses, and the possible Google Summer of Code projects, very diverse.


Application Instructions
We have had good experiences with students who introduced themselves to our community and their respective mentor in advance. It helps to get the student and mentor know to each other, to know if they can work together and to elaborate on the details expected for a specific project. This also improves the timeline that has to be provided by our students. Depending on the project or mentor, we might request a software prototype or to solve a small exercise to estimate the student's experience level and their ambition to work with us. For the application itself we will publish a template on our wiki page to help the student submit a good application with everything that's needed from our side. More details are published [here](

Proposal Tags
api, josm, public transport, 3d/indoor, qt, nominatim, other

Contact Methods

IRC Channel

Mailing List

General Email


Google+ URL

Twitter URL

Blog URL

Organization Application

Why does your org want to participate in Google Summer of Code?

We strongly believe that free-to-use geographical data is important for organizations as well as for individuals that want to use the data in creative ways (such as writing routing software or simply counting the number of buildings in a country). While we have plenty of map data contributors by now, we have a shortage of programmers that are willing to experiment and implement many of the ideas that are floating around. By getting motivated students involved in the project we hope to decrease this shortage and encourage them to become long time contributors to OpenStreetMap.

How many potential mentors have agreed to mentor this year?


How will you keep mentors engaged with their students?

Our plan is to choose mentors who are well known in our community, who are highly active and known for their reliability. We also try to balance the workload among our mentors, and tend to assign secondary mentors for each project, in order to avoid burdening mentors with too high a workload. In the past, this approach has worked well for us and there was no need for emergency measures. However, if there's still an unplanned occurrence or the student feels the mentor is not responsive enough the admins will try to provide the student with replacement mentor (which shouldn't be a problem as our community is big and we should have enough possible mentors).

How will you help your students stay on schedule to complete their projects?

We expect students to report at least weekly to their mentor(s) about success but also about problems they face during their project. This way the mentor can spot problems and discouragement in an early stage. If that happens, the mentor will try to get the student focused on the project again and understand what is distracting them. If the student misses one of their scheduled checkins without prior arrangement, the mentor and admins will attempt to contact him using all possible means, be it electronically, by phone or in real life (in case he's a member of a local OSM community). Once in contact, we'll work with the student to determine how to proceed. Typically the student has become distracted with unplanned non-GSoC activities and we'll work with the student to refocus and come up with a new plan for a successful GSoC project. If we can't reach the student or if the student is unable to continue, we have no choice but to fail him at the next GSoC checkpoint.

How will you get your students involved in your community during GSoC?

OpenStreetMap is a large community with several different communication channels. As people tend to stick to their preferred way of communication, we'll encourage any form of interaction, be it forum, blog, mailing lists, wiki, jabber or IRC. We'll require the student to report about their progress and experiences during the program at least weekly, in whatever way that suits them. As a team of mentors and admins, we'll also introduce the students to the community. Where possible, we also give preference to students that already have a connection with OSM in some way, even if it's usually as a data contributor rather than programmer. After GSoC, we'll maintain the relationship with our new developers by involving them in development discussion and encouraging them to continue contributing code or map data.

How will you keep students involved with your community after GSoC?

As we'll try to incorporate the software into OpenStreetMap the student will be rewarded with his software being in daily use. We hope this encourages the student to improve on the project and maintain it for a long time. However, as there are enough open tasks and OpenStreetMap is a great project as a whole, we're also happy if they pick another task to work on, be it further software development or plain mapping.

Has your org been accepted as a mentor org in Google Summer of Code before?


Which years did your org participate in GSoC?

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

For each year your organization has participated, counts of successful and total students:

Year | Successful | Merged / in use | Comment 2017 | 5/5 | 4/5 2016 | 4/6 | 3/6 2015 | 7/8 | 5/8 2014 | 1/1 | 1/1 | via OSGeo 2013 | 1/1 | 1/1 | via OSGeo 2012 | 4/6 | 2/6 | a 5th project finished after the end of GSoC, 2 of the 4 projects have been superseded since 2011 | 3/3 | 2/3 2010 | 4/6 | ?/6 | initially used by our community, but can't tell how many still are 2009 | ?/6 | ?/6 2008 | ?/2 | ?/2

The oldest stats have been lost. Students' code being merged is important to us, so we track it.

If your org has applied for GSoC before but not been accepted, select the years:


If you are a new organization to GSoC, is there a Google employee or previously participating organization who will vouch for you? If so, please enter their name, contact email, and relationship to your organization. (optional)

What year was your project started?


Where does your source code live?

Anything else we should know (optional)?