Google Summer of Code/2022/Organisation application
This page contains the details submitted for Google Summer of Code 2022 as our organization application.
Please select all years in which your organization participated prior to 2022.
Create and distribute free geodata for the world
Primary Open Source License
GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPL-2.0)
What year was your project started?
Link to your source code location
Data, End user applications
Maps, Open data, Crowdsourcing, GIS
OpenStreetMap is a crowdsourcing project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. Our data is collected by hundreds of thousands of contributors around the globe and released with an open-content license. We allow free access not only to our map products, but all the underlying map data, which powers websites and apps used by billions of people worldwide.
OSM data can be freely used in both open and closed source software, and has attracted many commercial users. Still, the success of OSM wouldn't be possible without open source software and volunteer developers. The database, website and api running on our own servers, the editing tools used by contributors to improve the map, and many of the most popular libraries and end-user applications within the OSM software ecosystem are all open source software, and developed through a community-driven process.
As our Google Summer of Code participation spans this diverse set of software projects, most of which are maintained as independent efforts under the OSM umbrella, contributors will encounter a wide range of programming languages, paradigms and use cases. We hope that we have interesting challenges to offer for any developer, no matter their background!
Mailing List: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/dev
Why does your organization 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 who want to use the data in creative ways. In many parts of the world, we have a healthy community of map data contributors by now, but at the same time, we're facing a relative shortage of programmers who are willing to experiment and implement many of the ideas that are floating around. As a result, a lot of the wealth of OpenStreetMap's data is hard to access for end users, and our contributors aren't working as efficiently as they could with better tools at their disposal. By getting new, motivated developers involved in the project we hope to decrease this shortage and encourage them to become long time contributors to OpenStreetMap.
What would your organization consider to be a successful GSoC program?
If all or at least the vast majority of our GSoC contributors manage to implement the intended features and have their code merged, we consider that a success.
We also hope that some of them continue as volunteers after the end of GSoC. To this end, we require public communication with the community, and encourage participation in activities and meetups. However, this happy outcome is comparatively rare and not fully in our control, so we see it a stretch goal, not required for a successful summer.
How will you keep mentors engaged with their GSoC contributors?
We routinely choose mentors who are well known in our community, who are highly active and known for their reliability. Many members of our mentoring teams have successfully participated in GSoC as mentors or contributors before. We also try to balance the workload among our mentors, and 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 a contributor feels that their mentor is not responsive enough the admins are prepared to step in and, if all else fails, provide the contributor with a replacement mentor.
How will you get your GSoC contributors on schedule to complete their projects?
As part of the application process, we require the contributor to commit to a schedule for project completion with suitable milestones. Once the coding has started, we expect contributors to report to their mentor(s) at least weekly. These reports allow mentors to compare progress against the schedule and to catch technical or social issues early. In addition to direct communication with mentors, we also require updates on public community channels (e.g. blogs or mailing lists). These updates are primarily intended to improve community involvement and to ensure contributors don't work in isolation, but they also serve as an additional means to keep track a contributor's progress and instill a sense of accountability. If a contributor misses a scheduled check-in, or if major issues are spotted, a mentor will try to get the contributor focused on the project again and understand what is distracting them. The goal is to work with the contributor to refocus and commit to a new plan for a successful GSoC project. If we can't reach the contributor or if the contributor is unable to continue, we have no choice but to fail them at the next evaluation.
How will you get your GSoC contributors 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 encourage any form of interaction, be it forum, blog, mailing lists, wiki or chat. In addition to global online communications, there is a big network of regular OpenStreetMap meetups, hacking events and conferences in many locations around the globe (although, for the duration of the pandemic, these have mostly been replaced with remote events), offering additional points of contact for contributors. Participation in these is optional but encouraged.
As a minimum requirement, we ask contributors to provide reports about their progress and experiences during the program at least weekly, which are often featured in our weekly OpenStreetMap newsletters. The added visibility boosts contributors' confidence and helps start a dialogue with other community members. As a team of mentors and admins, we make an effort to actively introduce the contributors to the community. Where possible, we also give preference to contributors who already have a connection with OpenStreetMap as a map data contributor ("mapper").
Anything else we should know (optional)?
Is your organization part of any government?
How many Mentors does your Organization have available to participate in this program?
Number of accepted contributors (2021)
How many of those are still active today?