Microgrants/Microgrants 2020/Proposal/StreetComplete as an entry point to OpenStreetMap

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StreetComplete as an entry point to OpenStreetMap
Extend StreetComplete with more functionality that introduces and incorporates users to the OpenStreetMap ecosystem: other editors, news, their local communities and communication channels
budget (Euro)3600
location(s)please fill in where you are located, and/or where you are focusing efforts, if applicable
granteeTobias Zwick
contact(s)• osm@westnordost.de

About your Mapping Community

The community in Hamburg is quite active, there is a lot of activity on Telegram, monthly "Stammtische" and irregular common activities, like recently the indoor-mapping of the central station. More relevant to this application however is the "mapping community" of StreetComplete which in big parts consists of first-time users.

There is a missing link between these users and the local communities or OpenStreetMap in general because currently, StreetComplete is just an easy editor but not much more.

What do you need the grant money for?

Over the time, I received a lot of good feedback for StreetComplete. Surprisingly for me, many users mentioned that even though they are now mostly mapping with JOSM etc., it was StreetComplete which first got them into OpenStreetMap editing in the first place: because the app offers such an easy entry point to OpenStreetMap.

As the app's target audience are primarily beginners, why not facilitate the inclusion of these new users into their local community and the OpenStreetMap ecosystem in general with this app?

Since January, I work full-time on StreetComplete (on my own account) and amongst many other things, such feedback inspired me to work on features that do exactly this, in a subtle gamified way: Essentially, by contributing, users are "awarded" texts and links to OSM introductions, editors and to projects that show how OSM data is used (v19.0 currently in beta)

But there could be more, direct facilitation of entry and involvement in OpenStreetMap. I need the grant money to be able to develop the features outlined below.

If you receive a grant, what do you aim to achieve?

I'd implement the following features which all aim at introducing / involving the user more closely into the community.

  1. Write a Java library to make use of the osm-community-index (maybe interesting for JOSM and Vespucci?) and display local and global OSM communication channels in the app (#1797)
  2. Make the app a newsreader for OSMWeekly (#1796)
  3. Make the app read the feed of openstreetmap-calendar (or wiki) to inform users of local OSM events happening in their vicinity (#1798)

Budget breakdown

The estimation of the budget (3600€) is based on an estimation how long I need to implement these features. My ~optimistic estimation is:

  • ~7 days for openstreetmap-calendar integration
  • ~4 days for the osmweekly integration
  • ~7 days for the community index integration

So in total, 18 days (optimistically). I'd roughly work half-time on it and could start anytime. Since I do not plan to make a profit, if we assume an hourly rate of 25€, we are at 3600€. I may be willing to work for even less for the benefit of the OSMF, but then we'd need to negotiate that. (Hourly rates for freelancers in Hamburg in my profession roughly range somewhere between 50-90€/hour)

Do you receive funding from any other sources at the moment?

I have profiles on Liberapay, GitHub and Patreon and get monthly donations from some StreetComplete users who want to support my development and maintenance of the app. Currently, it's 60€ per month.

Is there anything you would like OSMF to support you with?

It is not that related to this application, but since you asked... :-)

An OpenMapTiles/MapBox/MapTiler-based vector tile map server for private use for StreetComplete and other projects directly beneficial to OpenStreetMap would be really really nice and make many things easier. Of course this is not necessary, just really nice. The alternative for StreetComplete and similar applications is to either use an own on-a-shoestring solution or go to commercial vector tile providers but that would mean that on top of spending free time on developing such app, I'd need to pay for that the app is actually used.


By submitting this form to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, you certify the information contained in this application is correct, and that if you are awarded a grant, you will use it only for the purposes described above. You will provide written documentation and receipts for all of your expenses to the OSM Foundation to demonstrate this. You understand that the decisions made by the OSM Foundation Microgrants committee are final.

I, Tobias Zwick (westnordost), agree to follow the above declaration.


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

chris_debian [1]: I fully endorse this project request. I have been using StreetComplete, since the initial release, and have added almost 3000 survey edits. This proposal is a great candidate for spreading the word and recruiting new contributors.

Nordpfeil [2]: I fully endorse this project request. I am using StreetComplete since a long time and after more than 5000 Street Complete changes I am totally convinced of that perfect tool for underway mapping on a mobile device without knowing anything about syntax and correct key value combinations. Especially I am considering Street Complete as the best tool for new contributers, because they do not even see keys and values, but have only to answer easy questions or make click on a selfexplaning foto o graphic. For that reason it's the best chance to enhance the community of people providing support to that great OSM project. They must have an easy chance to start mapping today and to benefit from a manageable and handsome tool like StreetComplete!

Fnordson [3]: I fully endorse this project request. I had this account since 2013 and did a few edits back than but somehow my interest faded out until I found StreetComplete. Not only did I participate using the app but it also got be interested in the whole project again. Since than I've been following local groups, newsletters, the wiki. I learned a lot and today I am a proud active contributor with 239.775 changes. I've been advertising the app to friends and co-workers and since they have to create an account here I've been able to spread the interest for OSM through this.

Mateusz Konieczny [4]: I fully endorse this project request. Tobias Zwick work produced great results, it would be a smart idea to fund more of it. This proposal will have much larger impact than other similarly priced proposals and expands project known to work well. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:28, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

RubenKelevra [5]: I fully endorse this project request. I use the app quite often and did something like 10k edits with it. It's the easiest way to get people started on OSM - which likes the idea, but are too overwhelmed by the other editors. StreetComplete is the perfect entry-point for OpenStreetMap right now, and I've recommended it 5 times - while I never recommended any other editor or starting to edit OpenStreetMap at all to other people. --RubenKelevra (talk) 01:21, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

rugk [6]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete is an app that keeps empowering new users and introduces them to the idea of contributing data to a map that is open and accessible for all. Exending this with this proposal could further tighten the integration into the OSM community and allow users to develop to more experienced mappers and get in contact with the mapping community. --rugk (talk) 15:10, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Tuxayo [7]: I endorse this project request. It's easy when beginning to be completely oblivious to a local OSM community. --Tuxayo (talk) 18:34, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Mapward [8]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete motivated me to more than 7000 contributions and with this app I answered all "quests" in my quarter. Please support further development. It makes mapping much easier. --Mapward (talk) 08:14, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Eda_n [9]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete rocks <3 for beginners, for teaching, for making your walks nice, for helping as a hack to take good notes on field for OSM mapping on Desktop later :) --Eda n (talk) 00:29, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

buergi [10]: I fully endorse this project request. I'm contributing to OSM since 2008, after my first edits I had a long time were I committed only very little, and it is only due to Street Complete that I found my way back to contributing on a regular bases. It simplifies the process so much that I consider it the ideal tool especially for beginners.

Delighted to endorse this request, Street Complete is a great tool to grow the community. Ed Freyfogle

I endorse this proposal on the condition that it will be translated into different languages, including Russian – Sildream

See translating documentation. In basically all cases translation work is decoupled from writing software code. It is both efficient and necessary, as at allows to make programs available in languages unknown to any app developer. Hopefully "translation into Russian supported the same way as in any open source software project that allows translations" is good enough Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:34, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

kmpoppe [12]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete has brought me back to OSM and it is a wonderful tool to add information to the map with real ease. No knowledge on advanced tools is needed and so it's accessibility to new users is great. --Kai M. Poppe (talk) 07:59, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

TheBlackMan [13]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete is a very good entry point for new users - I myself encouraged several people to use the app to map in there neighbourhood. So to bring the new users in contact with other parts of the OSM-universe is a very good idea :-) --TheBlackMan 12:35, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

mkotzjan [14]: I fully endorse this project request. StreetComplete with its easy to use UI is a great starting point to improve OSM. It helped me a lot at my early days with OSM and I'm still using it frequently. It would be great to further increase the amount of information the users get about the OSM project. --mkotzjan 11:54, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

skorbut [11] I endorse this project request under a condition. https://github.com/westnordost/StreetComplete/issues/1167 needs to be addressed: The unmutable sounds are annoying and an unnecessary hindrance for potential new contributors.

I find it strange to dig out a 21-month old Issue, that the author has twice addressed, once as WONTFIX and once with a commit that changed the behaviour to what he thought was needed. I myself hadn't noticed that SC was making any noise that was annoying to me when I started using it. If you want to convince the author to reconsider his position, my feeling is that it would be fair play to open a new Issue containing your arguments why this is needed. You could go to the OSM de Telegram Group and start a poll there - there are over 300 users most of which have used SC for sure. Please be considerate about making demands towards a project that is free to the community, thank you! --Kai M. Poppe (talk) 15:31, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

I endorse this project. -- mikeg

SLMapper [12]: I fully endorse this project request. I am mapping using osmand, the iD editor and nowerdays also using StreetComplete. What I like is that it is very simple to find and add missing information. Much faster than opening the PC, I can directly see missing info and in additon to osmand even add details to ways. This app makes it easy and nice for beginners and more advanced contributers to improve osm data and so should be sponsored. I hope sponsoring can also result in getting a well-usable offline mode. Integrating connection points to local communities totally makes sense. SLMapper1 (talk) 00:15, 29 July 2020 (UTC)