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To start using IRC in your web browser, go to and choose a nickname.

IRC is real-time chat. It's one of several contact channels used by the OpenStreetMap community. Real-time chat can be a great way to ask a quick question about mapping or some more technical matter, or just to get to know some fellow OpenStreetMap enthusiasts.

#osm on

The main OpenStreetMap channel is irc:// #osm (Port:6667) other chat rooms are listed below, but #osm is fine for most purposes, and has the most people on it.

How to use IRC

You can chat on the web at Simply pick a nickname (no spaces) and click 'Login'. It can take a few seconds to log in. You should see some mess with a '***' prefix.

  • Wait a few more seconds to see if you're interrupting any conversation, and then type in the box at the bottom.
  • In general avoid introductory formalities ("Hello!", "Can I ask a question?"), but plunge straight in with what you want to know or ask ("Dont ask to ask").
  • If there is no immediate answer or seemingly no traffic in the channel we recommend to wait up to 15 minutes or try it again at a different time of day.
  • Normal IRC commands work here (e.g. you can set a nickname with "/nick" etc.).

There are other systems for using IRC on the web such as Webchat but many people prefer to use desktop IRC client software (comparison at Wikipedia). You will need to input '' as the IRC server, and '#osm' as the channel. IRC communicates over a special port number which may be blocked by your office firewall.

If you want to establish a connection with SSL, use Port 6697.

How to join IRC channels from a Matrix client (e.g. Riot)

If you are on Matrix, you can use the IRC bridge on to log into any of our IRC channels directly from your Matrix client. The room name you need is the IRC channel name prefixed with "#_oftc_" and suffixed with "", so for example:

  • if you want to join #osm, access
  • if you want to join #osm-dev, access

and you're in!

If you run your own Matrix server, you can also install your own version of the IRC bridge ( to be independent of central services.

Other chat rooms

In addition to #osm, we have the following IRC chat rooms:

By country: