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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.).

Another in-browser IRC client is Webchat.

Desktop IRC clients are compared 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

A Matrix client, for example Element (formerly known as Riot), can access IRC channels. The magic is done by the IRC bridge hosted on

An advantage over any IRC client is that you are kept logged in after the Matrix client is closed, so you can turn off the computer, turn it on, and read the chat logs and private messages that were sent from IRC in the meantime (as if Matrix were a bouncer).

For example,

For advanced configuration (custom nickname, ...) see the Wikimedia Foundation's guide.

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

Jabber gateway:

Other chat rooms

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

By country: