Google Summer of Code/2021

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Google Summer of Code 2021 ( website archive) was the 17th iteration of GSoC, a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. Four students worked on OpenStreetMap projects as part of the program.

Accepted projects

Four student projects have been accepted for OSM in 2021. See the accepted projects page for an overview and information on the projects' progress.

Project ideas

The OpenStreetMap community's ideas for possible Summer of Code tasks are collected on the project ideas page. As a student, we invite you to see if there's a task you'd like to work on. Of course, you're free to come up with your own project idea as well!

Student Applications

If you're a student and want to participate in this year's GSoC, you will need to submit an application on the official GSoC website. We try to summarize what we hope and expect from a student here.

Choosing a project

We accept projects for software around OpenStreetMap core, mapping and usage. This includes the OpenStreetMap website, editors, tools that help mappers, software for routing, map making, geocoding and others. Some project ideas are listed on the project ideas page. If you have proposals for a different OpenStreetMap-related project or have different ideas for already listed projects, we are happy to hear about it. Please get in touch with the organisers and we will help you to develop your idea further and find a mentor.

Preparing for GSOC

To ensure a successful coding period, we expect that students are familiar with OpenStreetMap and the software they want to work on over the summer.

If you have not yet contributed to the OpenStreetMap project, then now is a good time to start. Create an account and start mapping some features in your area. Familiarize yourself with the OSM data model and the community.

You should also familiarize yourself with the software you want to work on. Set up a development environment, dive into the code and make a few simple changes to things that bother you.

NEW: this year we expect that every student who applies will have already contributed in a small way to the software project that they apply for. This can be anything that shows that you have already successfully worked with the project: code contributions, writing tests, improving documentation.

Writing the application

Once you have found a project that interests you, get in touch as early as possible with the mentor. Project proposals are usually very short and you should engage in a discussion to find out all the constraints and requirements.

When the official student application phase opens up, you should supply your application as soon as possible so that your mentor, but also other mentors (who will take part in evaluating applications) have time to ask questions if needed. For the application proposal itself we have compiled a list of things you might want to consider and include:

  • Your name and your OSM account name
  • Course of Studies, Name of your University
  • Website/Blog/GitHub page/past Open Source contributions/...
  • Relevant computer languages and other technical skills
  • Details of any previous and current computer programming projects
  • Have you applied for other project ideas/organizations?
  • Pointers to the contributions you have already submitted for the software you apply for (Please note: having contributed is a strict requirement this year)
  • Time Schedule: Remember GSoC is essentially a 50%-time commitment for the summer, but you may have exams or planned holidays that need to be taken into account.
    • Are you planning any vacations this summer?
    • How many classes are you taking this summer?
    • Do you have any other employment this summer?
    • How many hours per week do you expect to work on the project?
  • Schedule for project completion: Identify the major milestones to completing the project. The schedule should be sufficiently detailed that each step can be completed in at most 1-2 weeks.

The project proposal should make up the main part of the application. Describe what you propose to do, how you propose to do it, what you think the project consists of. What parts of the project have to be done to be successful, what could be additionally done if you're quick and what happens if you are too slow. What do you expect to learn from this project?

Remember, the most 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.


  • The OSM developer community uses the dev mailing list. Some of the projects will use their own, project-specific channels.
  • There is an IRC channel for matters related to GSoC and OSM at #osm-gsoc on (you can join through Matrix as well: Matrix-messaging-logo.png

See also