Talk:Main Page/Archive 1

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This is an archive of old discussions moved from Talk:Main Page Please do not add further replies to these discussions. If you have further comments to make, or you want to revive a discussion, you might move it back to Talk:Main Page (or other talk pages), or create a new discussion there and just add a little link on here Old discussions remain here deliberately to allow searches to turn up old answers to questions

Japanese translation

I created an Japanese translations of the About and Browsing page. I added it into the About's menu.

But I can't get success to access to, I translated that in my imagination, that are may including impropriety. The page showing message 'loading tie..', but don't to going next to showing any. I thinking that translations are right on still, and thinks to see the page again more times ago. --Akanemoto 16:21, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm also having problems with the site. Connections to the image tile server time-out [1]. And I also can't get the java browser to work, they also time-out (though I am behind a proxy so it could be that). I think some servers must be down. I do hope they fix it! --H2g2bob 00:52, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I presume these comments are out of date. Any issues seeing the maps when accessing from japan at the moment?
Thanks for creating the translations. We'd like to attract more contributors to Mapping Japan!-- Harry Wood 14:49, 15 October 2007 (BST)

"OpenStreetMap" on Wikipedia

Better think about updating wikipedia:OpenStreetMap then, it describes the situation from about 6 months ago... Ojw 23:27, 5 Aug 2006 (BST)

Seems to be reasonably up-to-date now, but one to keep an eye on.
There is also WikiProject OpenStreetMap on wikipedia.
...and we have a page called Collaboration with Wikipedia which lists the various things we are doing/could do. -- Harry Wood 14:40, 15 October 2007 (BST)

et lt Language codes

I hope that et/eesti is really Estonian nad lt/lietuviu Lithuanian, but maybe someone should verify it. -- Square, 19:29, 23 Feb 2007 (UTC)

You talking about the language links at the top of the main page? There's no et or lt on there now. Not sure what the overall wiki translations strategy is, but I guess someone decided that we don't want red links up there (languages for which we dont have a main page translation) -- Harry Wood 14:40, 15 October 2007 (BST)

Another Name for OpenStreetMap

In my oppinion OpenstreetMap is not a good name for the project, because OpenStreetMap suggests that only streets are mapped or that the main purpose is to create a map for street-navigation. But there are although railways, tracks or other topographical information. If you start a project like this nobody knows which possibilities the future will bring. We shouldn't limit by the name the scope of the project. Therefore I would suggest an new name for it, e.g. only OpenMap (ok this already exists but perhaps something similar) or following Wikipedia Wikimaps. Tk 13:44, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It was openstreetmap when it started but now it is so much more. Wikimaps is what I also thourght of, and like the sound of. Ben. 00:35 4th January 2007 (UTC)
why not even get the wikimedia foundation to host it? They certainly have the server power --Deelkar (talk) 13:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I like OpenStreetMap. I see someone opening a map and looking around. It's a great brand. An abstract name like Geospacial Community Licensed Metadata may make a good name for a paper but not a good brand. --Korea 11:19, 21 June 2007 (BST)
Speaking from a marketing perspective, it is way to late to change the name. OpenStreetMap is a brand now and changing the name would severly harm publicity efforts. --Peter.doerrie 13:53, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The original comments were made 2 years ago. Ben 12:11, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

A Forum for OSM

  • Folks, why not creating a Forum for OSM discussion, exchange of experiences, etc? This way people could answer more questions, share thoughts, etc.
  • There used to be one here, but it seems to have been shut down. Most people use the Mailing lists instead. Bruce89 16:34, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I am greatly in favour of a forum - it would be the perfect way of co-ordinating who is doing what in the different countries, prevent the same question being asked many times and be a big improvement over mailing lists, which are not interactive.
  • Since when are mailing lists not interactive? Sure, they are not as easy to use as a forum, but that's just the way things are around here. Bruce89 14:41, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Would Google Groups permit the formation of a OSM discussion forum? Rhoel 13:07, 27 January 2007. (06.07 UTC)
  • I would definitely prefer a web based forum to the current mailing list. "Sure, they are not as easy to use as a forum, but that's just the way things are around here." Well, why not make things as easy as possible for new users? Setting up phpBB is quite easy and gives the users more options. Johnrobot 13:40, 3 Feb 2007
  • In my opinion phpBB is a pain to take care of for all it's security issues. Dekarl 12:57, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Does anyone know why the forum was shut down, I assume it was lack of traffic. Bruce89 23:10, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I noticed this about a fortnight ago (didn't spot this disscussion). Its a little anoying. It was covered in spam, and although I still used it along with a few others it was incredably hard to make out the real posts from the spam. It really needs to be moderated. If nessesery I would have removed the spam because I think the forum was a good means of communication and wouldnt have involved that much effort to keep it clean. Its "closure" is a bit of a step backwards. Ben. 00:24 4th February 2007 (UTC)
  • I am willing to pay for and setup a webbased forum. The forum could then be hosted in The Netherlands on a (shared) co-located server having 1GB storage and 25GB traffic/month (which should be more then enough). To ensure the forum contents stays available to the community, a copy of the database could periodically be uploaded to or so. Please give me feedback on this idea, so I can decide if I put the effort in etc. Thanks. --Lambertus 10:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Your willingness to spend money is commendable. But I wouldn't use the forum. I have a hard time following all the mailinglists and the Wiki, already miss out on stuff discussed on IRC, couldn't handle a forum on top of that. --Frederik Ramm 10:49, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Frederik: please read - you need to subdivide properly, have proper search capabilities, and also you need to worry less, focus more. you are in charge of a BIG project, the importance of which will slowly become more apparent with time. So, you need less "control" and more "structure", so that other people can help. Lkcl 13:59, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm sure the time factor is more important then the money. Your points are certainly valid, but forums sure fill in a gap: Wiki's are great for collaborating and maintaining information, but aren't primarily intended (and properly equipped) for use as a discussion platform. Mailing lists and forums serve the same function and are therefore subject to opinions which may vary. IRC is fine when many users are online, but you cannot easily post a question and check back a day later to see if anyone bothered to answer. So eventually it comes down to gut feelings I guess. There are a lot of people preferring forums over mailing lists and vice versa, so why not give them a choice. After all it is possible to setup a mailing list <-> forum gateway so you won't have to miss anything. --Lambertus 11:24, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • We maybe have too many Contact channels... and definitely too many Accounts (username/passwords/registration procedures)!
  • Here's an option which might be worth investigating: 'MediaWiki Bulletin Board' extension. See an installation running here: This gives us a forum, as part of the the wiki. Same user accounts, and also all the same wiki syntax still works, including [[square bracket links]] to wiki pages.
  • Trouble is it's version 0.1 and very rough around the edges (cosmetically speaking at least). Also posts don't show up in Special:Recentchanges, which means it's still creating another place where we need to go to check for updates. -- Harry Wood 11:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I discussed some of this by e-mail with Steve the other day. The consensus of the OSM community at the moment seems to be against a forum (it was discussed on not that long ago). However, there are definitely things we can do to make it easier for newbies to get help from the community: we're considering them right now. More soon. --Richard 11:43, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
  • The problem is that the opinions on a forum based on a user, or users, opinions from a mailing list are not really going to mean that much. Users, such as myself, that would far prefer to be using a forum to communicate, appear far less often on the ML than those who prefer a mailing list, so its not clear what percentage of people that come to osm would wish to use a forum over a ML. I think a lot of people that arive for a first time at OSM and can't instantly view a forum also would not really see OSM in its real, very active, form. With there being a forum, it doesn't stop, or in any way cause a problem, to the mailinglist, therefore people being 'against a forum' shouldn't be a factor, but rather, how many people are for one.
  • Does anybody know who was behind the levertons forum, what happened to it, and is there anyway of just shifting that one, or even just reopening it? It just seemed to suddenly go in a flash, and nothing said, and nothings ever been answered. Ben. 23:53, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Leverton's forum was disabled mainly because the administrator was unable to stop the large amount of spam entering the forum. I have received a copy of that forum and imported it into a new one. You can find the new OSM forum here. If it proves successful it should be possible to embed it into the Wiki site. Authentication could then be handled by the Wiki, making it even more userfriendly. --Lambertus 13:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • There is a forum on the main server.
Yes, that's the same forum as discussed in the paragraph above. If you browse to you will be redirected to it. --Lambertus 09:28, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Height data/ Contours

I'm pretty new to OpenStreetMap so sorry if this has already been discussed many times before. I'm interested in putting free mountain walking maps on the web. I had thought this would be beyond what was possible using OSM, but note that free NASA height data is available in the tools. Is there any way of getting this data to show contours on the OSM map?

Is there any other way I could do this sort of thing? We at walkhighlands are gps surveying walks around the (Scottish) highlands could potentially offer alot of data to OSM over the next couple of years.

Freemap is a customised OSM map with SRTM contours, but I am not sure how this is done. There was a message today on the mailing list about an SRTM contours WMS server which would be useful, but the coverage doesn't include all of Scotland. Bruce89 14:25, 10 May 2007 (BST)
You could use the GRASS GIS to do that. You can fetch NASA-landsat-layers there, fetch NASA-worldwind_dem (digital elevation model) and import OSM-data. With the grass-module "r.contour" you can create vector-maps with the height-lines from the dem. Here's some pics:
Using landsat as background, worldwind_dem for height-data, green lines is OSM-data (only "highway"-tagged-ways) and blue lines are the heightlines, derived from worldwind_dem --Jannis 15:08, 22 July 2007 (BST)

Lots more useful help over on the Contours page! --Tms13 17:55, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

How to get OpenStreetMap's MetaData for particular city

OpenStreetMap is very good project however it is so difficult to use, especially for new users.

When users want to use OpenStreetMap, the first question come through their mind: "Does OpenStreetMap support my city?"

To answer the first question, users will search for their city name in OpenStreetMap website.

If they can find their city are mapped completely, then the second question will come through their mind: "How do I get my city map in both picture format and metadata format from OpenStreetMap?"

To get their city map in picture format, they just need to save .png file from OpenStreetMap.

However, it is very difficult for new users to get the metadata for their city from OpenStreetMap. They need to know their city lat/lon and get piece by piece metadata or get all metadata from OpenStreetMap.

If OpenStreetMap can provide a simple but effective function like below then it will really good:

1. Search for city name

2. Have a button to save metadata of the map on the screen in current view level to users PC.

For example: Cambridge city map is look very nice in picture format: [2]

Then OpenStreetMap provides a button "Save metadata" next to the Cambridge picture. When users press on that button they will get all metadata which are used to generate that Cambridge picture.

User:Vllp - 04:06, 12 June 2007

Update User can get metadata for their city by using Export tab. -- User:Vllp - on 15-May-2008.
"Meta data"? It's not really "Meta data". It's the openstreetmap XML formatted data. Same as a .osm file saved out of JOSM. It's THE data. Nothing "meta" about it. -- Harry Wood 09:13, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Maps which users can type in the street name

Does anyone know of any programs that allow a user to type in a street name and find it? Do any of these programs allow this?

Also why not allow anons to edit? You can add the simple addition filter (40+3) to this webpage that is already on the registration page without requiring cumbersome registration. Odessaukrain 16:06, 13 October 2007 (BST)

"type in a street name and find it"? Well we have a Search feature (search box appearing bottom left on the map display) Is that what you mean?
And do you mean anonymous map editing or anonymous wiki editing?
-- Harry Wood 14:02, 15 October 2007 (BST)

OH, my GOD! I just deleted like 3000 vectors. What to do?

I had edited an island for many hours when I wanted to merge some vecors so that the island would be made as "one". I unfortunatly pressed shift+del, and I am now almost crying- I deleted ALL vecors! D: Is there any CTRL-Z?? The area mentioned is Lidingö (search for it). Thank you. I am really sorry for what I have done!

First, don't close JOSM or your browser window! Then tell use what you are actually editing in. JOSM has Ctrl-Z, Potlatch also has some undo button. And don't panic :) --Colin Marquardt 21:47, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi! Thanks for the input! I was editing in the browser window. Please if there is a CTRL-Z, what is it? I accidentally deleted the whole border of the island (Lidingö) so now it is no more an island (crying)! What to do?! =(
Oh, I misremembered about th eundo in Potlatch, sorry. Not sure what to do now. You could try it on one of the mailing lists. --Colin Marquardt 22:29, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Well if you were editing in Potlatch then you would've deleted data which was previously uploaded into the OSM database. You're delete command is just the latest edit in the editing history. All the old data is still there in the database.
So all we need to do is do a Change rollback! ...unfortunately that features has not been developed yet :-(
The data is there though. I think the Protocol only supports an operation to look back at who created/editing one specified Data Primitive. In this case we need to wind back time on a whole bounded-box of data. So that, I think, will only be doable by direct database fiddling at the current time (therefore only doable by sysadmins)
...or someone could fish out a BBOX from an old weekly planet.osm dump. That's very doable, and will rescue all the data which was present up till that point. Did you make a lot of very recent edits in the deleted area?
-- Harry Wood 11:43, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Direct database fiddling is always likely to cause trouble later. I think we should just look at a recent planet file and see if we can get the coastline back from there; if not, a coastline is often easily created from existing data so no need to panic. Please don't delete London though. --Frederik Ramm 23:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I have had quite a lot of things to do lately. Hmm... My hometown is still borderless :( I'm really not that experienced with the programs mentioned, I just edited the map online. Is there any possibility someone would like to help me out, restoring all those vectors? :(
Just wait a week or so and you'll be able to use Potlatch to undelete it. Have patience. :) --Richard 13:05, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Yay! Thanks!!
Richard, how's it going with the Ctrl-Z?? Im eager to start using it! Thanks!
I've been waiting for people to test it on their own OSM installs, but they're not being particularly good at that. :( So I'll probably make it live next week anyway. Sorry for the delay. --Richard 16:17, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, it's live! Find out how it works at Potlatch/Primer. --Richard 14:30, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Big problem in North America

Hi, I don't know if this is the correct place to put this, but I don't know where else to put it:

Check out this link:

If you look near London, Ontario, CA you will see two big - square / triangle looking shapes that look like they are part of the great lakes. There are not lakes and I can not figure out how to get rid of them. Anyone know how to fix this problem? Also Anyone know why the great lakes do not appear until you zoom in pretty far?

--Tommycw1 19:24, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah that's a fairly typical kind of mess which happens when there's a small problem with the coastline data. I took a look, and found a section of the coast where the way was in the wrong direction. Probably somebody fiddled with it recently. Direction of the way is important, as explained on Tag:natural=coastline. So hopefully that was the only problem there. We'll see if it renders properly next time around. -- Harry Wood 10:42, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
There's a bunch of land squares off the southeast of the US, a water square cutting into the coastline in the same general area, and northern canada is a mess. Any idea how to figure out what's wrong? Random832 20:41, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Use the coastline error checker -- Harry Wood 11:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Newbie question: key or legend for map?

I can't find pages for e.g. key or legend so I will comment here instead! I noticed that the slippy map at the main page displays lots of lovely little icons for interesting places/buildings without really explaining what they are which is a bit of a fiddle.

Is there some way to get a legend or key up to explain what they all are? I understand that there are probably zillions of them most of which aren't going to appear on any particular rendering, but if there was a map legend section that automatically displayed the relevant symbols that do appear on a particular page it'd be really neat.

I also noticed with the mapnik renderer you can click on e.g. a church icon and it will be centered on the screen which is nice. But some of the icons do not have an obvious meaning, it's a shame that at least for the one you've just clicked on, a label can't come up for it (perhaps only for a few seconds, or which gets switched off if you click on the icon again) that just says what type of thing it is representing? IHaveAQuestion

There is a key - just click on 'Map key' on the left of the page. --Richard 06:49, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
The location of that link is absolutely terrible in terms of usability — I've been using OSM for a year and I never realized it exists. If it's about the map, it should be on the map, not tucked away next to "Blog" and "Shop".
Also, the key describes terrains and roads, but the only two icons it covers are "railway station" and "peak". OpenLayers has recently added hover support, so it shouldn't be too hard to implement IHAQ's suggestion. Jpatokal 12:02, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
The data layer lets you click on things to find out what their tags are. Some kind of hover support might be interesting for the default map, but then it would slow down the page loading time. -- Harry Wood 15:53, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
The key seems to only be for mapnik, and extremely minimal (with symbols). Is there anyway, or more specifically any intention that it's ever going be made so that everyone can contribute to this and keep it updated and a lot more complete in terms of features and what layers it works on? Ben 12:19, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
The map keys are static images, one for each zoom level. They're checked into Subversion here: which kind of means that "everyone can contribute to this and keep it updated", but in practice not really. User:Steve8 created them, and I think he probably has a simple means of re-creating them after adding new things. Somebody else directly manipulating these images would be counter-productive. Better to ask him to do it. A separate set of key images for Osmarender might be a possibility -- Harry Wood 15:53, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


Don't know where to put this but the RSS feed of the "recent changes" page doesn't seem to work. Could this be fixed? Thanks! -- Cimm

Seems to be fine now. I think we've since gone through mediawiki upgrade, so that probably fixed it.
- RSS feed of OSM wiki recent changes
- atom feed of OSM wiki recent changes
-- Harry Wood 14:52, 15 October 2007 (BST)
My Firefox says 'Access Denied' if I want to view the RSS feeds, even If I'm logged in. Would be cool if this would be checked again --!i! 11:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
RSS is currently disabled. Talk:Wiki#RSS Access Denied Error is the correct place to discuss this. I'll delete this section from here shortly. -- Harry Wood 11:54, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, might it be possible to add an RSS feed acess to the last changes in my watchlist? Would be good to notice changes --!i! 07:24, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Talk:Wiki#RSS Access Denied Error is the correct place to discuss this. -- Harry Wood 10:20, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Username or email address?

If I create an account on, I am asked for my email address and a password. If I try to connect to the OSM server with JOSM, I am asked for a username and a password. Can someone explain this inconsistency? Are my username and my email address considered the same thing? Novem 02:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

username and email address work in all cases. It is a bit inconsistent to ask for one in one place and the other elsewhere, but the OSM login page has since been redesigned -- Harry Wood 11:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Description and tags for GPS traces

On the GPS traces upload form, there are two text boxes labeled "description" and "tags". There is no information on the wiki Upload page as to what kind of info I am supposed to write in those boxes. Is there any convention? I have looked at some traces from other users, and there doesn't seem to be one. Some people tag their GPS traces with the name of their city. Some people tag them with every geographical set the trace belongs to, from street to country. Some people separate their tags with commas, some separate them with spaces only. Some people don't use tags at all. Maybe there should at least be some informal agreement. Novem 02:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

now documented here: Upload#Tagging ...although it's still a freeform free-for-all, but then that's how tags work on other services e.g. flickr, technorati. -- Harry Wood 11:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Forum link

Please could the forum be linked to from the main page (wiki and map) i didn't know it existed till i accidentally stunmbled accross this message. I find that with a forum versus a mailing list i can more readily filter the topics im following and ignore those with no relevance, and searching is always useful! --Farrpau 17:33, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

The forum is now linked as from the wiki Main Page. See #Quick Contact Template? discussion above -- Harry Wood 11:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Newbie - uploading to OSM

I've GPSed about 70km of paths, some unmetaled tracks and roads for my own use. I stumbled across OSM and though that it would be publicly spirited to upload them, but was annoyed to see that the tracks are lost and I'm expected to go through and trace over the points to recreate them. Why should I bother ? -- John (Daytona2 · Talk · Contribs) 20:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

You can transform a GPS track into a OSM way in Potlatch, by selecting the GPS track and then clicking the little lock symbol in the bottom left corner of the editor window. Remember though that some tracks might be too long and you then need to split track then by selecting a node of the track and hitting X. You will need to postprocess most tracks anyway to get rid of junk. --Petz 21:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Petz. I'm using JOSM though and I've tried the equivilent option, but I held back from uploading it because of the messages on OSM telling you not to do so. I've already processed the raw GPS data on GPS Utility as far as possible and I switched the GPS tracking off so that I didn't duplicate tracks. There's about 7,000 points and I'd like to keep the resolution (10m) so it's an awful lot of, what I see as, unecessary work. Call me vain, but I'd like to be credited for the work, so not really interested in uploading for others to help <g> ! Part of the problem may be that I'm not that good at finding my way around JOSM - I don't find the help very helpful ! -- John (Daytona2·Talk·Contribs) 16:49, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Licence change box?

What's happened to the licence change box at the top of the wiki? --Davespod 22:20, 9 August 2010 (BST)

Back. I removed it until the upgraded MediaWiki install had settled down. --Firefishy 23:05, 9 August 2010 (BST)

You have killed accessibility! Accessibility is back again

Since today the wiki can not be edited any more calculating plus or minus, now you have to be able to see a captcha image. There is no accessibility feature like acoustic output. Revert immediately. You are inhibiting our blind contributors to stay with us!!! --Lulu-Ann 18:18, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Slightly overstated. Only new signups had to enter captcha or those who posted external links. Suggest links for whitelisting here. Anyway I have fixed the reCaptcha code and enabled that now. -- Firefishy 21:16, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the quick reaction on this issue. :-)) --Lulu-Ann 22:50, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Kosmos Deprecated?

I suggest removing the link to Kosmos (Portals box, Renders section). The Kosmos page says:

"Kosmos is no longer actively maintained, since it has been replaced by a new tool called Maperitive."

--Dobratzp 15:43, 5 October 2011 (BST)

I agree. In fact I've done it -- Harry Wood 19:48, 5 October 2011 (BST)

"upcoming license change" text

Why is the link for "Find out more about OpenStreetMap's upcoming license change" on another website - where ppl can neither edit nor even comment on?? --amai 19:43, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes there really should be a comment option. I've added a discussion link. Is it ok? -- 21:18, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Who has removed the wiki link from ?!

Put it back in place! --Lulu-Ann 08:52, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

The text of the link was renamed to say "Documentation". This discussion does not concern the wiki "Main Page" and should be moved. Perhaps to Talk:Front Page Design -- Harry Wood 13:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Mainpage not fitting on my 1024*768 screen

Resolved: katpatuka 04:57, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

The mainpage is not fitting onto my 1024*768 screen - I have to scroll to the right to see the right side... --katpatuka 12:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Screen size

Can we fix whatever is causing the main page to not fit on screen? Is it the table in template:portals? We can't have a main page that you have to scroll right just to see half of it! Ojw 12:37, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, I suggest a 1024px width layout, and removing the box "Show me the map!". -- ck3d 14:05, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

username change

Hi, can somebody change my username to Olli ? and when are you applying the new Vector skin ? --Ollii 08:39, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

wrong place to ask. Talk:Wiki is probably better -- Harry Wood 21:25, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Two and half years with no follow up. I guess we can archive this -- Harry Wood (talk) 01:01, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Sister projects on Main Page

I just noticed that there are two sister projects mentioned in the Template:Osm_metainfo which is displayed on the Main Page. What about adding OpenAddresses? It is a project for geocoding address data. Together with OA2OSM it can be used to enhance OpenStreetMap with house numbers. --Dwi Secundus 09:43, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I took a quick look at OpenAddresses, because I've never heard of it before.
It uses google maps.
Did you know OpenStreetMap also collects address data (see house numbering tagging instructions) and we do so by asking people to gather locations using GPS units, or based on the street layouts we have mapped out from scratch. We do not use google maps. We'd be happy to work with you and your database, e.g. by importing it all into our database, but first you'll need to throw away all the data you've gathered so far, and build your interface based on OpenStreetMap, so that non of your geo-locations are derived in any way from google maps. You'll also need to request that your contributors release their address location data under the OpenStreetMap License (in fact this may be required if they are pinpointing based on our maps). Then we can use your data. Good idea hey? If you do all that, we may one day think about listing you as a sister project :-)
Currently we list a very small number (three) sister projects: Free The Postcode, Mapstraction, OpenStreetPhoto. We can't list all the geo projects we like around the web (although we do have longer lists elsewhere such as List of OSM based Services) I'm not sure what the entry criteria should be for choosing these, but they are all projects with long-standing ties to OpenStreetMap.
- Harry Wood 13:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
There is a Testimport with OpenAdresses-Data (the inventor of the project is my tutor). You can see it at [3]. --Christian Karrié 18:34, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Why is the dead project OpenStreetPhoto still listed there? Should be replaced by OpenStreetView, some other project or just removed.--Scai 11:45, 29 August 2010 (BST)

Good point. In fact all three of the projects we have there are a little bit stale. I think Free The Postcode and Mapstraction were bunged on there in the early days by Steve, since he was involved in setting up both of them. Free The Postcode stagnated a little bit even before the Ordnance Survey released postcode data. It's still of value in other countries, but UK used to be the main impetus. Mapstraction is still a pretty neat project, but I've heard they're not managing to take patches very well, and certainly the documentation on the website seems fragmented between versions. I haven't heard much from OpenStreetPhoto lately. I think it was only ever a few enthusiastic dutch guys, and I assume they declared themselves a sister project, which probably shouldn't have been allowed. They got some funding and seemed very active a few years back, but strangely distracted by quadcopters. In summary, none these project are really setting the world on fire these days.
I'm not sure which other Related Projects I would pick as "sister projects" these days, if it were my choice, and I've no idea how we'd ever reach agreement on such a choice. Easier to just drop the "sister projects" from the main page That's what I propose.
-- Harry Wood 23:22, 15 October 2010 (BST)
I agree to dropping them. --Scai 09:07, 16 October 2010 (BST)
DONE. I was forgetting about this but Frederick went ahead and dropped them [4] -- Harry Wood 11:25, 25 July 2011 (BST)

Russian translation/namespace "RU"

Hi! Is it possible to create a namespace "RU"? There is certain amount of pages in Russian language already. -- Zkir 09:56, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Add this suggestion to Talk:Wiki#multilingual name spaces. I'm not sure how firefishy's deciding which languages get to be namespaces, but anyway here we are discussing "Main Page" (and translations of it). -- Harry Wood 11:50, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Old discussion. To be archived. By the way. 'RU' has since been added as a wiki namespace. See table at the bottom of Wiki Translation -- Harry Wood 01:33, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Greek translation

I just wanted to tell that I'm interested in helping a mapper to make the Greek translation. I don't think it's that complicated. Someone recommended me to post such a message(from irc at freenode) so here it is. Logictheo 09:57, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Greek translation of the Main Page you mean? The page should be created at EL:Main Page. Think that's the plan. The 'EL:' prefix could eventually mean we create an 'EL' namespace which would allow you to search only within greek language pages. Go ahead and create the page! We'd love to encourage more greek participants. -- Harry Wood 12:19, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Someone's created El:Main Page. That's cool. I've added in the language links -- Harry Wood 11:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

More than one map

Since there isn't solely "The map" anymore, at least a link to a site with all other rendered maps (London tube map, german PSV map, hiking maps etc.) would be handy. I suggest straight below the "Show me the map"-link. RalpH himself 18:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Old discussion. To be archived. Nobody had much to say about the suggestion, but the page was rewritten since. These days with have a slightly less prominent link and the text: "Use the main online map or some of the many other services". Partially adopting the idea you might say. -- Harry Wood 00:45, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


Could someone maintain USEFUL status information on the front page please? For example, the current page says 'Generally stable', but the main map hasn't been updated in more than 2 weeks and I get lots of 'error 500' trying to get the main home page these days. Could someone fess up and put a meaningful status there please? - User:Kmf - 16:34, 15 June 2007

It's fairly likely that that status indicator will be out-of-date at any given time, just because the servers/services are up/down/crippled quite a lot, and because the people who know details about the server status, are not necessarily the same people who regularly communicate via wiki edits. I would encourage everyone to be bold, and whack in new status information themselves. If you observe the API to be down, why not just switch the status to red with quick edit of Template:Platform Status. Obviously if you can confirm with others on IRC for example, then that might be a good idea, and if you know more information about what exactly is wrong, you can provide this on the Platform Status page, but there's a underlying mantra for all wiki editing (especially where things need to be kept up-to-date) which is to be bold. -- Harry Wood 19:19, 22 July 2007 (BST)


I removed it, its been put back; lets discuss. What do people think of it being there, particually in its current form? Ben 22:40, 7 August 2007 (BST)

You could remove it now, on the basis that nobody has awarded it to anybody. It was supposed to be weekly.
But the lolcat of awesomeness is just a harmless little kitten. How can you be so heartless?
-- Harry Wood 11:32, 28 August 2007 (BST)
keep (dutch user ;) ) Alexanderpas 00:26, 23 September 2007 (BST)
Keep because I made the template. Bruce89 00:34, 23 September 2007 (BST)
Remove because of wrong spelling. --Lulu-Ann 15:17, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
keep since a) to much seriousness causes gastric ulcers and b) it is now a part of OSM-tradition invented three years ago. -- Malenki 15:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
PS: please reinvent the "wrong spelling". Without its only half the fun. People with knowledge know why. -- Malenki 15:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
99% of the non native speakers don't get it and therefor don't consider it so funny. --Lulu-Ann 16:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

"gillMapping" by G.N.D.E.C, ldh

gillMapping is the event which is organizd by the civil department of "Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, ludhiana" with collaboration of the LUG(linux User Group )ludhiana. In this event we use the GPS(Global Position Sytem) Technology for Creating the map of the gill village . The event will be scheduled to start 0n 22th nov,2009 at 9:00am in consultancy hall of G.N.D.E.C College ludhiana; Following are the Students Selected for the “gillmapping” from LUG, ludhiana. 1)Daljeet Singh Pathania D3(IT)

2)Jagdeep Singh Malhi D3(IT)

3)Davinder Kumar D2(CSE)

4)Parveen Kumar D2(IT)

5)Adity Arora D2(CSE)

6)Priyanka Sharma D2(IT)

7)Chandeep Singh D2(CSE)

User:Daljeet123 05:41, 19 November 2009

OK. GillMapping yes. Hope it went well. I'll remove this discussion from here now then I think -- Harry Wood 20:19, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

uggiMapping & nakodarMapping events

These two mapping events were organised by the Dr.H.S Rai. of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College Ludhiana. In this event we use the GPS(Global Position Sytem) Technology for Creating the map.The Event uggiMapping was held on december 29,2009. and nakodarMapping was done on december 31,2009.

Only two students named

Parveen Arora B-Tech IT GNDEC LUDHIANA

Rahul Wadhwa B-Tech CSE CT JALANDHAR

mapped these places.

The vIllage uggi with village post office Tehsile Nakodar and District Jalandhar... State PUNJAB INDIA

User:PARVEEN ARORA 21:56, 2 January 2010

I hope the event went well Parveen. Did you want to list this on Past Events?
-- Harry Wood 20:19, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Disaster mapping message

The haiti message is too wide causing horizontal scrollbars (on my firefox at least)

I added a bright message in the news section, because I hadn't see the top message. The top one is now bright too, but in a (clashing shade of yellow/peach)

My suggestion. Consolidate to just one message in the top-right next to the Haiti image of the week. I think the message should link the "resources" we are offering. As far as I can see that should be the main push now actually (getting people use our Haiti maps)

would do it myself but I'm running late. gotta go.

-- Harry Wood 13:59, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I've fixed it by removing width:100%;. It works fine in FF and Chrome under Linux. Please test it with other browsers. --Jarkas 16:58, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Yesterday I consolidated the message -- Harry Wood 13:46, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

I've reduced the size of the message. I guess at some point we'll need to decide that it's old news. Could swap it for a more generalised link to Humanitarian OSM Team. -- Harry Wood 07:40, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Reduced the size again today -- Harry Wood 09:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

The Haiti link got relegated down to a new 'Downloads' info box. I'm dropping the Haiti link altogether today, swapping in a 2011 Christchurch earthquake link instead, and making it bright orange again because this is current. I know that's quite obtrusive for what will turn out to be a much more minor disaster than Haiti, so I plan to leave it like that for just a week maybe, before going to pastel green again. Basically just going with what seems reasonable. Of course it's unfair that we didn't do the same for recent Pakistan & Colombia floods etc, but... well maybe we'll try to do it more often from now on.

It's an uncomfortable matter of judgement, whether disasters are important and for how long after they happen. Hmmm maybe we could base it on google trends to be more objective about it.

-- Harry Wood 18:29, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Chilli earthquake message

Rather than "Please help" I've written "Chilli mapping is currently limited by available imagery".

I'm basing that on the contents of these pages: 2010 Chile earthquake/Mapping Coordination, 2010 Chile earthquake/Imagery and data sources. So if I'm wrong, feel free to correct the message on the main page here, but also please update those pages. It's very important the these pages are updated to reflect what imagery is available and what types of mapping contributions we are encouraging.

-- Harry Wood 13:17, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


I am trying to export an svg-file as Export -> Mapnik Image, but I am not presented with the selection of file types, should I do something else, or does the site have a problem?, --ClausHansen 18:31, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

This is the wrong place to ask this question. Should be on Talk:Export or a different Contact channel. But anyway my answer is "works for me" ... I guess it could be SVG export was temporarily disabled -- Harry Wood 14:23, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Image of the week doesn't work

The image of the week doesn't show up ... can somebody fix that please (and delete the comment here) Greetings, -- Schusch 10:13, 4 October 2010 (BST)

There is a statement of contingency on the page Template:Howto featured images, what to do if an image is not available. :--Ceyockey 13:11, 4 October 2010 (BST)

Image of the week 2010-51

Well - nice image - seems to be a good thing. But no information at all for the people who can't read russian language ... a really bad prepared image of the week. How does this work, is it useful for all buildings in OSM? Not the best timing now, when people have time and take a look at OSM. If the image of the week would have been only in german ... what would have happened? (In reality it would have been translated during the first hours if not before publicating the image ...). Really curious thing - please add at least some english information for the rest of the world! -- Schusch 08:11, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Of course, I've translated title text into English (actually, that was other way around). I tried not to overload it with links. Also, the technology is not polished, and we do not want to flood OSM base with bad data: there is no agreement on how to map building parts. In Russian forum we decided to mark them building:part=yes, but in most of the world there's just building=yes, and it messes the database on complex objects (example: Tennispalatsi in Helsinki). The scheme itself is already described in the wiki, but it's not official. So, to sum up, this is just some fun picture just like the most of images of the week. (And also, this is not my first IotW :) --Zversky 08:38, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
By the way, you can always use Google Translate (the translation is strange, but understandable). --Zversky 08:43, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
nothing against the fun - and I didn't want to be personal. I don't see a problem in linking to a not perfect page :-) so just add a hint at the top of this 3d-page ("Please do _not_ add 3D-information to the osm database for now - this feature is in an experimental stage" something like this in a red box or so). It doesn't have to be "official" - there should only be some information if you have an image of the week. Otherwise it's like standing in a traffic jam without any information at all (for the people not reading russian) ... I will add this link to the iotw, because it makes much more sense than the one to russian forum. -- Schusch 08:56, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
There is no rule in OSM that says "do not add experimental content". --Lulu-Ann 09:04, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
did you read what i wrote? I don't have nothing against experimental content ... just add some information for all - at least in english ... wlkikiv -- Schusch 09:08, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
ok, I now added a small hint (can someone put it in a red box?) to the 3d buildings page ... and changed the subtitle of the iotw a bit, linking to the 3d buildings page now. And I will translate this into german now :-) -- Schusch 09:18, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Good, thanks. --Zversky 09:24, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Retire Lolcat of Awesomeness

Lolcat of awesomeness. This guy hasn't been updated in a while and is kind of an issue with the wiki's home page giving a good impression. Can we retire it? Tmcw

+1 for retiring the lolcat but I think it should be replaced by something that is "unprofessional" in the same way, something that carries the message "look we're a bunch of people having fun, not a commercial enterprise concerned with a good first impression". What you see as "kind of an issue with the wiki's home page giving a good impression" is actually a truthful aspect of the project that mustn't be polished away. --Frederik Ramm 21:28, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
If you have anything particular to suggest, go for it. Can we remove the box in the meantime? Tmcw
I agree with removing it. If nothing else it gives me the feeling that the front page isn't updated frequently, since I've seen that cat there for months... Nicolas17 23:23, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
This is a duplicate of the same discussion above: #lolcat Although that's much older and could be archived.
Originally the lolcat of awesomeness was intended to be awarded weekly. That lasted about two weeks! (before the community lost the energy to maintain such a thing. Doing something like that weekly is unlikely to work) however the situation transitioned such that it became more like a major award for OSMing excellence. A kind of george cross medal of honour. The frequency of awards dropped to maybe three or four awardings per year.
The strange thing is, there's nothing to stop anyone awarding the lolcat to anybody at any time. We didn't devise any rules or decision making process around it. I'm not sure whether people generally didn't realise this, or perhaps people have come to respect and revere the lolcat too much to dare fiddle with it!
However the frequency has dropped off even more these days. There's two easy solutions. Either we award it to it someone else! Or we could drop it off the page unless/until somebody wants to award it (which might mean it gets forgotten about and retires anyway). Deciding to retire it permanently at this stage... I just don't know if we're ready for that. :-)
-- Harry Wood 12:34, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
+1 for awarding this to someone else to prevent the lolcat from extinction! I suggest it goes this time to John Firebaugh for porting the slippy map to Leaflet.
+1 to both of these suggestions --robert 13:32, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

As an update to this old discussion, for some reason we never did award the Lolcat of awesomeness to John Firebaugh back in Dec 2012, but it did got to Zverik in Nov 2013. So very infrequent awardings which tailed off to nothing after it was removed from the Main Page (I notice it has not been removed from all the translations of the Main Page). Think we can archive this discussion -- Harry Wood (talk) 13:13, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Beginner's guide

Currently the main page links to the Beginners' Guide not the Beginners' guide. If there are no objections I'll change the link to a small g while leaving the text the same, eliminating a redirect. --User:Pnorman 21:17, 1 November 2010

Yup. fair enough -- Harry Wood 15:03, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Remove OSM Binary Format link

In the Portals box I plan to remove the link to the obscure OSM Binary Format and replace it with a link to XML (which documents the main OSM XML format) -- Harry Wood 11:09, 6 June 2011 (BST)

DONE -- Harry Wood 18:05, 14 June 2011 (BST)

Making changes...

Opps.. I have just noticed the comment at the top of the page source asking people to discuss changes to this page before doing them. Too late!

Let me now explain what I have being doing and why. My aim is to increase the percentage of people who actually contribute to the map after signing up, a percentage which is currently very low indeed. To this end I have been putting a lot of effort into a wide variety of pages including Map Features and Mapping projects to make it easier to new people to make sense of the project. Today I have made some changes to this page and have:

  • Adding rows for 'Mapping projects', 'Map Features' and 'Help' to the table with appropriate supporting text because these key pages on the index will be central to how people will navigate the wiki in future and it will be good for them to try it early on.
  • I have made some layout adjustments to put information in places where I think it will be more helpful to the beginner and hide away potentially confusing information. In particular I have moved the 'portals' down the page to encourage people to use the primary links in the main box.
  • I have rolled the 'get out of the way, try the map' link into the main table on the basis that it will be clearer that people may want to go down the list of recommendations in order, first trying the map, then learning about tagging and projects and then finally make some changes to the map itself.

-- PeterIto 14:28, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I have made some other minor layout changes. In particular I have reordered the entries in the main table to match the order in the left-hand menu better. I have changed the section called 'Beginners' guide' to 'Getting started'. I have created direct links to the 'Help Centre', 'Mailing lists' and OpenStreetBugs. I have demoted the 'community contact channels' below the calendar because all of these links are already available (and more) in the main table or by clicking on 'Help'. I have removed 'reference guide' which not that useful an article. PeterIto 07:00, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Moving legal and Using OpenStreetMap links into main panel

I suggest that we move the copyright link and 'Using OpenStreetMap' link from the separate panel towards the bottom right of the page into the main panel (at the top left). See Main page beta for my proposed new version of this page and the diff for details of the proposed change. Do adjust the beta page if you feel it isn't right yet or discuss the change here. I will put the change live in 48 hours if there is no objection. PeterIto 05:11, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I like the idea, but I would formulate the teaser line in this box more attractive. See Main page beta -- Roland 14 Jan 2012 08:40 UTC
Thanks for the adjustment. Makes a lot of sense to clarify that this is saying that you can do stuff, rather than that you can't do stuff. PeterIto 12:50, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I have now updated with main page with these changes. PeterIto 09:07, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Legal line to Portals section

I am proposing to add an additional line to Portals beta for legals including links to the Disclaimer, Copyright and License, Contributor terms and to the Open Database License. Any suggestions? I will roll it onto the main page in a few days unless there are any objections. PeterIto 19:27, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I have now added a legals row to the Portals template. PeterIto 11:57, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Switching Calendar and News sections

I have been noticing that the calendar section changes length dramatically over time and is currently much longer than news. This currently pushes Portals way down the page. I am proposing to switch calendar to the right hand column after lolcat where it can get a long as needed and move the news section to the left column which makes Portals much more accessible. See Main page beta for what I am proposing. As usual let me know if you disagree or I will make the change is a few days. PeterIto 12:03, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I have now implemented this change. PeterIto 11:46, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

An edit by Leedsescorts25

I noticed this user made this edit to the Main Page, which I undid because it is a spam edit. Leedsescorts25 should be at least blocked for a period of 1 day for these spam edits. --BrandonSkyPimenta (TalkContribs) 06:03, 27 May 2012 (BST)

That user has been banned permanently. We get spammers like that every now and then, unfortunately. --Tordanik 18:36, 27 May 2012 (BST)

Link to

Issues with the site need to be reported on trac. I suggest adding a link in the "portals" section under either "community" or perhaps better "Get involved". --Guttorm Flatabø 10:27, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

+1. I already added a similar comment under the section Contribution List.--Scai 13:50, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
As no objections appeared, I added it as Bugs & issues (trac) under "Community". --Guttorm Flatabø 17:56, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Software list

Currently the software list on the portals section refers to osmarender, but doensn't have iD even though it the other editors. Unless there are objects, I'll remove osmarender and add iD. Pnorman (talk) 10:58, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree. In fact I've done it -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:10, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

New section about using the map data

I have struggled to get information on how to implement my own OSM map on my web site. It is very hard to find this sort of information on the wiki, partly because the information is spread all around the wiki. We need to put it all together like we have with Map Making - we need a Map Using section too!

I now have found such a section/page - Using OpenStreetMap - and I now suggest we put a link to that page at the Main Page:

Map Using
Everything you have to know to use our maps.

What do you think about my suggestion?

--Peter289 19:59, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Did you know about the "Using OpenStreetMap" page? -- Harry Wood 00:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Arrrgh, no I didn't! :-( I have really looked around for a page like that now and then under the last six month, but did not find it. Of course this is the page that we should link to from the Main page! -- Peter289 17:28, 8 March 2009

Promoting OSM Usage

My edit to the main page was undone because it was not discussed here... It was, but who needs to approve? Since it is a useful addition, I will propose it again.

After Map Making, I added the link for Map Usage. The link is not new, it is now referred to from the "Map Making" page.

Of course, USAGE has nothing to do with the MAKING. Furthermore you won't contribute to something without knowing what you can do with it. So referring "Usage" from the "Making" page is world upside down!

I think promoting the different usages from the main page will benefit all, so please allow an undo of the undo.

User:Altijd Verdwaald Sept 3, 2009

In principle I agree with the idea that "Using" should be at least as important as "Making". However....
the Using OpenStreetMap page is dreadful. For starters it needs a once-over grammar check by somebody who can speak english. (This seems to be the case for any wiki pages edited by User:F... No maybe I shouldn't pick on him) Additionally the page doesn't work as it is conceived at the moment. hopelessly wide scope. It needs to be condensed right down into some kind of textual summary. The top sections are OK, but it goes off on some kind of attempt to cover every aspect of "Using OpenStreetMap".
Linking to this page would encourage people to fix these problems, but in the interim it would also direct a lot of web traffic, and newcomers to the project, onto a very badly written bit of text. Let's improve the quality of that page first.
-- Harry Wood 17:35, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I see you're working on a Map Usage page. Could be a good first step although a lot of these links are duplication with other pages around the wiki. I hope that spreading across more pages can be a temporary measure, to be followed by some page merging. -- Harry Wood 11:56, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
To get order in chaos it is always good to take a step back. But I'm wondering what you mean by merging. Hopefully not back towards the Map Usage page. I deliberately didn't want to put any details on this page. Just a clear overview and high level description of the possible use cases. But opinions may differ, so it might be best to define the strategy for the 2nd layer pages (assuming it will become a second layer). In other words: what do you want to see on the second level and what on a third? --User:Altijd Verdwaald Sept 27, 2009
Well mainly I mean doing something with the Using OpenStreetMap page, e.g. just deleting it and redirecting it to Map Usage, or moving the 'Map Usage' content to overwrite the 'Using OpenStreetMap'. Some kind of merge to avoid duplication -- Harry Wood 10:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

As an update to this, the Using OpenStreetMap is now quite respectable, but only because all the mess was moved onto linked pages. More rewriting work needed still. Discussion of this at Talk:Using OpenStreetMap. I don't think it's ready for linking from the Main Page yet. -- Harry Wood 13:24, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


We've had a Template:news which reappeared here on the Main Page a few months back for Gerv's OSMFieldwork announcement. I've removed it again now because that particular news is a bit old now anyway.

So do we want news on the Main Page? Could be good except that the blog is kind of the official OSM announcements channel right? Dont want to create duplication (or extra wiki maintenance tasks) So I guess the logical thing would be to somehow bring an RSS feed into a wee box on the Main Page here. This would require a wiki plugin. Thoughts on that?

-- Harry Wood 16:06, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

We have it again now. People are adding to it occasionally too. Someone's also set up the News Archive, so please move entries which are more than a month old, onto that page.
Do we want this? It is another bunch of tedious wiki maintenance, and duplication of other channels. It doesn't offer any machine readability (RSS). On the plus side, it's openly community maintainable, although I can imagine we may hit the problem of starting to need some kind of news-worthiness criteria.
- Harry Wood 13:35, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. That was 2009. Past six months this wiki-maintained news box.... has not been maintained.
The current entries on there are form January and February. Its now the middle of March. The most recent two new entries and scalablemaps were put on there by the authors of those projects. They're using the news box to pitch their product, ...which is fine maybe, but only if it doesn't outweigh other more genuine news entries. In other words the "news-worthiness criteria" problem I mentioned above. If you had to think of the top two news stories about OSM recently... they would not make the list. I added a couple of more genuine news entries about 64bit identifiers, and the new iD editor launch. These are MASSIVE news stories for OpenStreetMap, and yet I added these myself in a sort of half-hearted attempt to update this news box several weeks after the news broke. It seems nobody else is attempting to maintain this.
So... I think it's time to retire the news box in its current form. Someone can prove me wrong by updating it (you're welcome to!) but right now it's not well maintained.
I suggest we figure out which mediawiki extension would allow us to pipe in the RSS feed into this box instead.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 14:20, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you mean a new bulletin each week like featured images? --Andrew (talk) 11:10, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
No I mean we ask User:Firefishy to install the RSS mediawiki extension, and then sit back and do nothing on the wiki. Disadvantage would be that wiki editing enthusiasts no longer have a place to wiki-maintain news items. -- Harry Wood (talk) 13:22, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Or the other option would just a prominent link in that box to the weeklyOSM and . Link or maybe icons. Trouble is the blog doesn't have an icon other than the osm icon, and we already have too many of those (two of them) on the main page -- Harry Wood (talk) 17:14, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Would there be any objection if I added a link to the weeklyOSM? Manfred suggested it at SotM in 2016, and again today, and no one ever objected. -- Stereo (talk) 16:16, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
A link to weeklyOSM was already added in 2017 by Verdy p, see this edit. Or did you mean something else? --Tordanik 21:29, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
It's quite well hidden! I doubt it gets many views there. I'm picturing a fourth panel linking to the weeklyosm news in the three-panel thing at the top. A lot of work goes into it, and it's the best source of news we have. -- Stereo (talk) 18:09, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

User Anouncements/ Call for Research

Im researching how volunteered geographic information (volunteer produced maps) is valued by users and developers, or what factors effect the value of VGI Maps. OSM is an example of this.This is for my PhD, with more information available on my blog (

I am hoping to interveiw as many users, contributers and developers within the UK as possible, so I thought maybe I can put a 'call for interview participants' on the news section of the wiki.

Would anyone object to this? How would I go about doing this? Any other comments?

User:Kyral210 10:49, 13 May 2009

The mailing list is the main Contact channel for reaching everyone. I guess it might qualify for a entry in the news box too... but then again maybe not. It's not very core project news (See discussion above) -- Harry Wood 08:46, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


What about adding a quick navigation panel on the main page, whith some links to freqent visited (portal) pages. A suggestion template can be found overhere: Template:Portals. - Pietervp 12:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add to the Renderers section a new portal for other renderers, like the ö And trains, busses and trams for the routes section. --RalpH himself 17:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I've added a new portal that collect download facilities. The reason for this is that still a lot of people try to download from the main server although there are alternatives like XAPI and Overpass API, but these were hard to find starting from the main page. -- User:Roland.olbricht 22:15, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

But have you seen we already have a page called "Downloading data"? -- Harry Wood 23:50, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
No, I haven't. Thank you for pointing me to. I think, it would make sense to gear the content of Downloading data more from the main API towards the other API services. I'lll move the relevant content of Download there. -- User:Roland.olbricht 18:21, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Quick Contact Template?

There has been some discussion (see posts 13 on) recently on the forums about the lack of clear links for contacting the community on the main wiki page (this one). It was pointed out that Germany do have such a section, so I've created a roughly translated version and wondered whether anyone would object to it being added just above the lolcat. I'm aware details are available on the Help page which is easily reached from all pages, but the discussions suggested that making something a bit more prominent on the main page would be desirable.

The note above says to leave discussions open for a while, so I'll check back here in a week or so to see if any comments have been made before adding it. --EdLoach 08:37, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree. This looks like a good idea. -- Harry Wood 08:51, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
+1 -- Firefishy 09:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
+1 --Farrpau 11:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
DONE. I've added Template:Quick contact to the page on the right.
I also changed it to slim down the text a lot because your translation was a bit too verbose, and all the text didn't fit well with the layout.
-- Harry Wood 13:14, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

{{quick contact}} was removed again in this edit by Peterito in Jan 2012 -- Harry Wood (talk) 17:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Reorganising the calendar

The calendar is getting rather big these days; it could well be even bigger if everyone is assiduous as the Germans at listing their events. I propose to keep the {{Calendar}} template for international events with a link to the Current events page for a fuller listing and to have a separate template for each country. A template for Germany already exists at {{Template:DE:Events}} (although following a country abbreviation with a colon risks confusing wiki editors between country-based and language-based pages) and events for Finland are inside Fi:Main Page. Each main page would have events in relevant countries as well as the international calendar and Current events would list all of them. Country projects could also include a template of events in the country if they want to. --Wynndale 10:09, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that's warranted. Major international events are very visible because they are shown in a larger font. If the list becomes too long we could consider listing the monthly events only for one month ahead. --Ulfm 14:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah lots of regular events getting scheduled way in advance definitely making the list too long. A new rule "we list the monthly events only for one month ahead" could be good. I can see why somebody would want to slap them all on there all at once to save hassle though.-- Harry Wood 14:04, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

RIT Imaging Department

I took part in the Crisis Camp-Boston on 1/23 and did some work on the OSM project. I have since been chatting with some contacts I have at Rochester Institute of Technology which has a cutting edge imaging department. They have recently flown their WASP sensor imaging equipment (see link: over Haiti and have been processing the images with teams of grad students working 24x7. One of the things they have done is used algorithms to identify crisp images of blue plastic tarps, often associated with camps in Haiti. This is something we were trying to do manually and I found it difficult at best. They are also using algorithms to determine "trafficability" of roads. Again, similar to one of our tasks at the Boston camp. I mention all of this because RIT is busy doing all of this work, yet they really don't know to whom they should hand it off. Their plan was simply to post it online along with the data. I would like to get them in touch with the right person at Crisis Commons. I think they could add tremendous value with their state-of-the-art imaging technologies and team of grad students. I sent a general email about this to Crisis Commons, but does anyone have any other ideas of how I can get them engaged to help?

User:Ewhite647 03:57, 27 January 2010

Sounds good
The obvious thing would be to add this WASP imagery as another alternative available to OpenStreetMap folk to use for map tracing. We already have access to a number of imagery sources listed here: WikiProject Haiti/Imagery and data sources How does to the WASP imagery compare? higher resolution?
OpenStreetMap editing software can bring in imagery for tracing if it is rectified and made available either as a WMS or as a tiled map service following Slippy map tilenames structure. We have a number of people who have become quite expert at taking geo-tiffs and converting imagery to be set up in this way.
OpenStreetMap people have already attempted to identify damaged buildings and people camping using GeoEye imagery. We have invented special tags for this, and show them here: If the WASP imagery is higher resolution, the RIT folk may have done a better job of this. It would be interesting to compare. RIT data on that could perhaps be imported with some other tags, but initially somebody should set up a map overlay display.
-- Harry Wood 10:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually it looks like crschmidt is already on it: [5] [6]. I guess this means some of the imagery on is the WASP images? -- Harry Wood 17:01, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Project of the week

I'd like to put something small on the front page below the image of the week to draw attention to the Project of the week. Without that pulling in people, I think it may be a lot harder to make it a success -- Steve 18:45, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I've added a link within the news box. That'll probably send some traffic that way at least until it becomes old news -- Harry Wood 19:17, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
What about adding it to the portals box on the Community projects line? Nakor 22:03, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Can't see the link. -- Marc 20:38, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Would it be ok if we put POTW every week on the news? Otherwise it wouldn't be recognized in that way... --!i! 20:54, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Quality Assurance

In order to keep OSM useful quality assurance of the data is an important aspect, especially when trying to attract many new and therefore unexperienced mappers. There are quite a few good tools to help spot and correct potential errors, but they are all, in true osm nature, distributed in many different places, and thus probably not as widely know as they should be. Can I thus propose to add a link to the Quality Assurance page on the main page to give it the imho deserved prominence? -- User:Amm 14:29, 14 February 2010

Agreed. Let's add a little link next to 'Tools' -- Harry Wood 18:45, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

more weight for 'Country projects'

please set the link in bold; because is the importantest way for beginners and guests!
";-) " --Abonino 11:03, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Purpose, name and structure of the "Main Page"

What's the purpose of this page, why is it called "Main page" and where is the structure?

OK, wikipedia:Main_Page is also called "Main Page" but this name is not written in big bold letters on top of it instead it reads "Welcome to Wikipedia". I never saw a book, journal or newspaper having a main page. There are title, table of contents, introduction, overview and index pages which have a clearly defined purpose. But what's the purpose of a main page, especially of the OSM main page. I guess there's no agreed purpose and it's appearance confirms this. It's a collection, I feel tempted to say bunch, of links which deamed to be important. I couldn't figure out a structure. The information isn't clear, sometimes misleading. E.g. "Beginners' Guide: All the resources for a complete beginner to learn about and get involved with OpenStreetMap." unclear if targeted to a user or contributor. Or e.g. "Routes: Bicycle · Hiking · Other maps" is confusing: you can find routes on maps but maps are no routes.

The subtitle "Welcome to OpenStreetMap" indicates introduction and overview for people who are new to OSM as purpose of the page. But "Data: Binary format" or "Wiki: cleanup" indicate it's a table of contents or directory for advanced OSMer.

Therefore I would like to suggest the following steps:

  1. Agree on the purpose of the page.
  2. Redesign the page.
    I made an initial draft Welcome to OpenStreetMap (Draft).
    It's incomplete and it links to existing pages which fit at least a bit. I've also integrated the links of the boxes on the left side "recent changes", "navigation", "toolbox" but can't remove them in the draft. I suggest to integrate them as well.
  3. Restructure and may be rewrite the rest of the Wiki.
    My proposal is to structure it top down from the "welcome page" thus building a chapter / subchapter structure as in a book.

This would be quite a lot of work, a project. I'm ready to contribute, to write or rewrite in English and German and translate from one to the other. Willi2006 12:49, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The Main Page has evolved over time a little bit, although actually there was a sudden redesign which happened a couple of years ago, which we've stuck with for the general structure of the page. "Main Page" is the default Mediawiki name for... the main page.... of the wiki. So no mystery there. We've just kept the default name. That's the title which appears at the top of the page, and the title to which can link with [[Main Page]]. We could call it something else I suppose, but that would create major link moving work. Another possibility might be to set a different {{DISPLAYTITLE}}.
So the purpose of the main page is to do what any website front page might try to do. We try to present a compelling welcome message and an interesting image, then we provide what we judge to be the most important links to other parts of the wiki. We can think of it as the top level of a navigational hierarchy, though it's not just about links. Also hierarchy is can be the wrong way to think about it. Wiki pages are interlinked to form a web. Often this should look hierarchical (tree shaped), but its not required. I guess the purpose of the main page should reflect the purpose of the wiki as a whole. We've got some philosophical thoughts about this at WikiProject Cleanup#Objectives.
In fact I'd encourage you to get stuck in to some of the cleanup tasks we have identified there, because you say "Restructure and rewrite the rest of the wiki" "quite a lot of work"... errr understatement! But it makes sense to tackle things in that order. If we tidy up the important parts of the wiki, or create new important (tidy) parts of the wiki, then we can think about linking them from the Main Page here, and maybe dropping some links we deem to be no longer so important. In this way the main page can be gradually and organically redesigned.
...or we can go for a big bang redesign. but I don't see your current design as being anything radically different. It's just another bunch of links which you have deemed to be important. Also do you really want to ditch the image of the week? ditch the bigger links? I kind of prefer the current Main Page design I'm afraid. But worth prototyping other designs certainly.
-- Harry Wood 21:22, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
"Wiki pages are interlinked to form a web. Often this should look hierarchical (tree shaped), but its not required." That's the point I tried to address: A structure, typically hierarchical, is not required, but is a big help not only but especially for beginners. Links are pointing to related subjects, but can't show the whole structure of such a manifold project. Books tend to have a table of contents as well as an index as well as references within the text to related text.
Yes, my proposal is also a bunch of links but I tried to clearly organize them by activities to show the newcomer and outsider what he can do with and in this project. And it shouldn't be more than a first draft, the links are more or less examples but not meaningless. I didn't want to say that only these links are important and all missing stuff has to be ditched.
Only one response here in one month and few activity on WikiProject Cleanup, which I read before I posted here, indicate in my opinion few interest for a redesign. May be too early.
--Willi2006 11:55, 5 August 2010 (BST)

Rename this page / suppress the title

As suggested above, we could rename this page. HannesHH suggested it here too, as he thought about sidebar navigation improvements, and I think it makes a lot of sense. "Main Page" is obviously misleading, when you consider the project as a whole. HannesHH suggests renaming it "Wiki homepage" which seems sensible to me.

How to go about renaming this page? We can do a page move. We can then fix any incoming links within the wiki content, to directly link the new title. There would also be some hassle around Translations of the page, but mostly just a matter of moving pages. Quite a lot of post-move tinkering needed, so it could be good to get a few volunteers to be on hand to do that at the time of the move. We could set a date and time to coordinate this.

We would also modify this: MediaWiki:Mainpage so that the wiki software defaulted to the new title (without redirecting) when going to

-- Harry Wood 01:42, 12 October 2010 (BST)

Hello, Harry. If there were a way to suppress the name of the page being displayed, so that "Main Page" did not appear on the . . . main page, I think that would suffice. Do you agree? --Ceyockey 03:12, 12 October 2010 (BST)
Maybe. hmmm I see there's a trick to hide the title, so we can just do it.
The title is another thing taking up excessive vertical space on this page too, so could be a good improvement. The slight downside is that it makes it slightly harder to understand how to link to it to the page, but that's not the end of the world. Shall we try it?
-- Harry Wood 09:49, 12 October 2010 (BST)
"Wiki homepage" is a rather technical title. And not all linked pages are Wiki pages. This page is the "door" to OpenStreetMap. And I think at your door you should say "Welcome to OpenStreetMap" or short "Welcome". Willi2006 14:54, 14 October 2010 (BST)
Philosophically I'm not sure if everyone would agree that the wiki homepage is the "door" to OpenStreetMap. The door to OpenStreetMap is the front page ("The Map") the wiki is a sub-site relating to help information, technical documentation of the project.
Well actually if we go with the plan to suppress the title (make it invisible) on this page, then the title nearest the top of the page will be "Welcome to OpenStreetMap". I think we should do this. Any objections to that part of the plan?
After that the question of what the actual page title is, will become less significant... although it is still a question, because people have to know it to link to it, and ideally the sidebar link text would be the same. Do you think "Wiki homepage" is too technical for the link text appearing in the sidebar?
-- Harry Wood 18:10, 14 October 2010 (BST)
It would be quite interesting to know if there is more traffic at than ; I presume that the traffic would show a 95:5 ratio, but it's worth checking. Just by way of a really simplistic look at search results, Google top hit for "openstreemap" is the Map page, as it also is for the query "OSM", but the information presented is quite different; for the "openstreetmap" query, you get sublinks which includ the Wiki, whereas for the "OSM" query you don't get this. --Ceyockey 03:50, 15 October 2010 (BST)
Are you worried about loss of google rankings as a result of suppressing the "Main Page" title? We might rank lower for the keywords "Main Page", but otherwise all the content will remain as before, in fact the page might rank higher for "Welcome to" -- Harry Wood 10:21, 15 October 2010 (BST)

OK DONE'. I have suppressed the 'Main Page' title via the css method. We can always put it back though. As said above, this isn't really the "Main Page" of the project, just the wiki, so a misleading title perhaps. But also the title is another thing taking up excessive vertical space on this page. The slight downside is that it makes it slightly harder to understand how to link to it to the page. -- Harry Wood (talk) 00:14, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Categorization of this page and other language main pages

I will be accused of wiki-fiddling, certainly, but what do you think about placing this as a page in the Category:English and other language main pages including in other language categories; for instance, Ar:Main Page would go into Category:Arabic. Now the drawback (perhaps benefit) of this would be that Categories would be created for each of the languages represented in the OSM Wiki.

Alternatives to this which are equally OK are

--Ceyockey 01:30, 25 September 2010 (BST)

I don't think 'Category:Arabic' would be a good idea (language categories) because that implies that there should be a 'Category:German' (or 'Category:DE'?) which would have many hundreds of pages in it, requiring a lot of maintenance without doing anything very useful. Note that Ar: pages can be listed with this: Special:PrefixIndex/Ar:
I'm quite happy with not categorising the Main Page, it's not like anyone will have trouble finding it.
but then I'm not really all that obsessed with organising wiki categories in general. If there's a scheme that this needs to fit in with, then I guess you might want to add categories.
-- Harry Wood 11:55, 13 October 2010 (BST)


Add a link to Software page in Tools box and Desktop/mobiles software --Esperanza 16:19, 1 November 2010 (UTC) --Esperanza 15:58, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Main page beta

See also: Main page beta

I have created a new page Main page beta where we can propose, discuss and explore options for modest changes to the Main Page before they go live. In effect this it providing a 'moderated' or 'peer review' stage to all edits to the Main Page. I suggest that any discussion about changes continues to take place on this talk page. For contentious, major or speculative changes that are unlikely to get immediate resolution please use a different page to float the ideas and have a discussion.

Proposed changes Jan 2012

I am proposing some changes to this page on Main page beta as follows:[7]

  • Move the image of the week back to top right given that it evidently isn't properly visible on all displays when it is below the status information.
  • Move the intro text into the top of the left hand panel which will promote the image of the week and other right-hand column stuff further.
  • Change the 'Press' link to an 'About' link which is of more general applicability and can have a 'press' section.
  • Swap lolcat and usedata to keep all the new and calendar stuff in a block.
  • Remove the Portals include given that the important links are already in 'getting started', 'use data' and 'help' or could easily be. This is about reducing the complexity of the Main Page for beginners.
I don't see where all the links of the portals are contained in these pages. And even if they were: The portals page is the best approximation to a table of content and thus should not be removed. -- Roland 2012 Jan 4, 10:25 UTC
Thanks for getting back on this. Many items in the portal are available via two clicks however I am relaxed about having the portal in for now. Lets leave it in for this update. PeterIto 14:24, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I would rather remove the news section. Having two weeks old news is not very active, and a link to would fit better. -- Roland 2012 Jan 4, 10:25 UTC
Personally I think the news is good for the first time viewer. Lets not consider taking it out at present anyway. PeterIto 14:24, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to make further changes or reverse some of my proposed changes on Main page beta until we are in agreement.

-- PeterIto 12:32, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

I have recreated the changes described above based on the new home page which has had a bunch of html issues fixed. I will transfer it to the live home page later today unless anyone indicates that they have any issues with the changes. One change - I have removed Project of the Week which appears to not be running any more anyway. PeterIto 08:31, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

New Portals beta article

See also: Portals beta

I have created a new Portals beta page where we can discussion proposed changes to Template:Portals. Please make your change to the beta page and then use this talk page (not the talk page on Portals beta) to explain the motivation for your change. We can then discuss the change and make further alterations to the beta page. If no objections are raised the contents of beta can be put live after 48 hours. PeterIto 15:01, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Reworked Portal

I have reworked the Portals beta into what seems to me to be a more logical order, which is as follows:

  • Contributing first - because we want people to contribute so put it at the top. I have moved everything which is relevant to people contributing data to this section, including imports.
  • Mapping projects - because this is the top one in the left hand menu for the wiki and this supports the main priority which is to increase the number of contributors. A longer list of mapping projects should probably be added here (and the list on the main top left panel on the Main Page itself could probably then also be reduced somewhat).
  • Using OpenStreetMap - because we want people to use OpenStreetMap data.
  • Data and quality - I put this next because anyone using OSM or contributing should be interested in quality.
  • Editors - I moved this down because it is of less interest to the novice.
  • Routes - I have left this in, however I am not sure what is it really useful for.
  • Software - I moved the renderers themselves to this section
  • Contributing to the wiki: Stuff about how to make the wiki better!

-- PeterIto 15:24, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Fyi, I have just made a minor layout tweek directly to the main page to move the Portals Template into the left-hand column rather than having is span both colums. PeterIto
On the basis that there has been no comment or objection to the proposed changes above I have now updated Template:Portals to the version on beta. PeterIto 19:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Minor layout changes

I have proposed some further minor layout changes to the Main Page on Main page beta. These are as follows:

  • Rolled the Welcome to OpenSteetMap heading into the top of the left hand column to streamline the page avoid using unnecessary depth.
  • Made minor adjustment to wording of intro para and added 'Welcome to OpenStreetMap' at the start of the first sentence.
  • Changed 'Legals' to 'Licensing' and adjusted the text for clarity - lets include the words 'attribution' and 'share-alike' on the main page!
  • Moved the 'Portals' section into the left hand column for balance.

-- PeterIto 16:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

The current layout is subtantially broken with IE. Further please reduce the amount of redundant text that seems to be turning up, there is no need to point out that a link leads to more information when it is already appropriately named. And one more thing, a significant amount of useful information doesn't seem to be reachable via the main page anymore, for example the name of the OSM Twitter account. SimonPoole 10:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • IE9 seems to work OK, what exactly is broken for you and which version of IE are you using. I note that changes have been made to the table formatting recently - but can't comment on the effect of these. Regarding redundant text, can I suggest that you make any changes you feel are appropriate on Main page beta and in relation to Twitter, we can indeed add a link to Twitter, but I am not aware that there ever has been such a link on this page. Again, do suggest what you would like to see and where it should go. PeterIto 19:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Fyi, Twitter is linked from the Help page, as are the mailing lists and many other resources. We could potentially create a line in the Portals section at the bottom of this page for things like email lists and twitter etc. Would that be helpful? PeterIto 19:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I have now integrated the above proposals onto the Main Page. Do please base any further discussion on this version, in particular discussions about IE compatibility and 'redundant' text'. PeterIto 19:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Link to contributors page

It has been pointed out to me that we lost the link to the Contributors page on the 4th Jan (my edit). I now notice that the copyright page doesn't contain a link to the Contributors page either. Any thoughts as to whether we should put the link back on this page and/or get someone to update the copyright page with a link 'Contributors'? PeterIto 16:16, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

IMHO we are under an obligation to provide the contents of the page in a reasonable form. Obviously a solution that merges this in some way with the other attribution page is what we should be aiming at, but as long as we don't have that. We should revert the change. SimonPoole 16:47, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think 'reverting the change' from the 4th Jan which removed the 'download and use data' include would be sensible given that all of the other links within the include are already been integrated into the main page. We could, however include a link to Contributors from somewhere else on the page. Would that be acceptable to you? PeterIto 17:50, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
The 4th Jan change also lost the Quick contacts template. I think that should be added back as well, as it was useful for showing ways of connecting with the OSM community EdLoach 11:51, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
However... the quick contacts include was a pretty random list of stuff - for example there was no mention of Twitter or the copyright infringement contact details in that template. All of these are available in the Help page which is also available from the menu. Personally I would suggest that we add a line to the 'Portals' template for 'Community' with the key links to mailing lists, twitter, copyright infringement etc etc and also retire the Contact page by merging it into the Help page and turning it into a redirect - that way all the contact details are available directly from the left hand 'help' menu and the key ones are available from the 'Portals' template on the Main Page. PeterIto 13:50, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I've fast tracked one of Peter's rewordings seen on his Main page beta so that we now have a Contributors link somewhere on the main page. It's also just been added to the wiki sidebar though. -- Harry Wood 10:20, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Further adjustments following comments above

In response to comments above I have created a new proposed main page (see Main page beta) and a new proposed Portals template (see Portals page). Note that the adjusted Portals template does not appear in the proposed new Main page, but both will be updated together if the changes are approved. I will update the main pages in about 48 hours unless there are objections. The main changes are:

  • To tightened up text on the Main Page to reduce bulk
  • A new row for 'community/support' in the Portals Template, including a link to Twitter, mailing lists, IRC etc.
  • Links to the Contributors page from both the Main Page and from the portal.

-- PeterIto 02:01, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Having noticed that there was no link to the Foundation or blogs from the main page I have added links to these from Portals beta. Also to the OpenGeoData blog. PeterIto 08:38, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The OpenGeoData blog is already listed on Blogs, I'd say that the direct weblink is redundant.-- Tordanik 19:57, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Done. PeterIto 03:06, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I have also added links to Donations and Import in the 'contribute' section. PeterIto 08:51, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Can we drop the "Routes" line please? The "Other maps" (links to List of OSM based Services) belong to either "Using OpenStreetMap" or "Software", imo. And the "Bicycle" and "Hiking" links have no more reason to be listed there than, say, Buildings or Addresses - they are just overviews of tagging for a particular topic. --Tordanik 19:57, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I totally agree with you. I have made the adjustments you suggest. PeterIto 02:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

I have done some further clarification work on the Portal template on Portals beta; mainly by reorganising existing links into clearer categories with clearer text, also added wkink to Data Primitives. PeterIto 03:21, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The changes described above are now live on the main page and Template:Portals. PeterIto 21:01, 21 January 2012 (UTC)


Can I paste Vespucci and!? --Canabis 11:40, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

The "Software" section in the portals box currently only includes overview pages, renderers that are used directly on the front page, and the top 3 editors. Is there a good reason why Vespucci and should be added, while a lot of other programs are not? There are several editors more popular than Vespucci according to Editor usage stats. --Tordanik 12:15, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Adding a link to those things would open the floodgates. There are hundreds perhaps thousands of apps and software projects in and around OSM which we could link to from the main page. We have to weigh up the importance of links and other use of space on this page. At the moment it's easy to have things like this linked temporarily particularly via the news boxes (And incidentally the developer of gary68 was playing this game for a while by announcing every point release there, and so it already gets more Main Page linkage than it deserves in my opinion. I mean how many people actually use ) .-- Harry Wood 14:03, 2 February 2012 (UTC)


Can we change the link to the twitter account in the portals section to the wiki page? --Flaimo 17:05, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Make a lot of sense given that there are many different twitter accounts for OSM. I have adjusted the link in the portals section as requested. If by chance anyone objects to the change then let's discuss it here and possibly revert the change, however I think that is very unlikely. PeterIto 17:46, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Quick contacts

See 'Link to contributors page' section above as a background to this comment

The quick contacts was very useful, and probably what a lot of people are looking for - I think it should be added back. There are often people saying they never knew about the forum/mailing lists etc. Having it as a single line hidden in the portals template or the sidebar doesn't help much. Though its true that the quick contacts template should be improved, with a link to etc. I don't think Twitter is useful as a link on the contacts. --Vclaw 16:48, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

I would suggest that we add Contacts to the sidebar for starters and also add a new row to the main 'Welcome to OpenStreetMap' table rather than creating an additional inclusion. Would that help? PeterIto 19:19, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Sidebar review

Discussion about sidebar moved to MediaWiki talk:Sidebar. PeterIto 15:20, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Vietnamese main page

I started to update the Vietnamese main page to reflect the recent changes in the English version. But after applying a bit of artistic license and getting carried away, I ended up with something completely different. (Automatic translation into English) It's pretty minimalistic compared to the English version, because I tried to whittle the lists of links down to something less intimidating to newcomers. (I think you can still reach most of the remaining pages via the links I kept.)

The first thing you'll notice is a big slippy map up top. If for whatever reason a newcomer first lands on our wiki instead of the main map, it's the slippy map that'll draw them into the project, not a list of links or verbose introduction. The map widget is documented in detail. It could act as a second "featured images" section for showcasing well-mapped areas. It also comes with a link to the Wikimedia Toolserver's localized map, since in my opinion that's a big advantage over every other map service.

The rest of the portal is broken down into six sections, the first three for the audiences we'd expect at the wiki: end users, contributors, and Web developers. I tried my best to tame the existing Image of the Week, news, platform status, and events templates for the remaining sections.

For wide screens, the slippy map fades out on both ends. For narrow screens, the columns wrap more or less gracefully. I haven't tested the design in Internet Explorer, so it probably looks hideous there.

I realize you've all put a lot more thought into the English main page, so it'd be unfair for me to ask for the Vietnamese one to be adopted wholesale. But I hope some of the ideas there can be incorporated into the other main pages. Please let me know what you think!

 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 04:48, 26 March 2012 (BST)

Really nice! I have added a link to the English translation to your comment above. PeterIto 17:36, 26 March 2012 (BST)
Yeah really nice. The fadey effect on the map is clever. I don't know if we'd want to put a map on the Main Page really, but I like the effect! Perhaps the most useful idea there is to contain the events list in a scrollable box. I think we should do this on the english main page. The events list has always been too big. -- Harry Wood 12:38, 27 March 2012 (BST)

Functionality and reliability under opensource conditions.

Hi all, after (and in) several discussions on tags and localities, I have tried to write something like a meta-instruction: Mappers, evaluators and feedback.--Ulamm (talk) 13:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Fund raising drive 2015 banner

To promote the recently launched I've put a big fat banner on the Main Page (within the news box). Hopefully we'll hit the target within a reasonable timeframe, at which time we can remove that banner again -- Harry Wood (talk) 10:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

How to link from a wikidata item to a way

Wikidata can already link to a point, using coordinates. Wikidata would also really like to link from wikidata items like countries, towns, motorways, rivers to a 'way' which defines the borders (including ways for historic/obsolete borders) of these linear and spatial objects. There has been talk of having a datatype for ways in wikidata but the general feeling is that OSM is a much more sensible place to create, edit and maintain such geographical objects rather than wikidata trying to duplicate your efforts somehow. The problem is that Wikidata keep being told that OSM doesn't have any stable ID for such ways.

Please join the discussion at Talk:Wikidata#How to link from a wikidata item to a way if you have a comment on what could or should be done about this. Filceolaire (talk) 19:49, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

New Icons and Tools

I just wanted to acknowledge this. I love the new Icons, and the reflect tools made me scream of happiness! (These are the things that exite me in life xD) But yeah, thanks to the community! --AragonChristopherR17z (talk) 19:17, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Uploading building layer -Colombo highrise residential


I am planning to upload a building layer of the high-rise apartments in the city of Colombo (Sri Lanka). It contains the footprint of the buildings, number of floors and the name of the building where the information were available.

I was advised to first consult the community before uploading the data.

Please follow this link to download the osm file.

Looking forward to your response.



Hi, please check out the Import Guidelines and follow the instructions. --Lyx (talk) 06:51, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Cyprus borders

Hello. There are some Data and Resources (esriREST, json, wms, SOAP) about Cyprus borders. [8]. It has the borders of municipalities (with their quarters) and communities. I don't know how to use them. How can we add these borders to openstreetmap? Xaris333 (talk) 04:31, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

License (CC BY 4.0) is incompatible with OSM license. You would need convince them to release it under CC0 or ODbL or something else that is compatible Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Correction: CC-BY-SA is not fully compatible (with the way its existing "Share Alike" restriction is written), but may be with an additional waiver that needs to be signed: there's a dedicated page about CC-BY-SA 4.0 which makes it possible, and an online form which details why the waiver is needed. But CC-BY is more liberal (open data from Australia was accepted under CC-BY !). Make sure you identify the source and the exact licence. The only requirement is attribution, but there's full freedom of adaptation (which then allows preparing the data for OSM before import, and allows further changes and edits, and changing the resolution of data for higher scales). — Verdy_p (talk) 08:07, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
So, what I have to do? Xaris333 (talk) 15:24, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Do you really need that data ? Are there really borders missing or mucch less accurate than those in the dataset ?
For my CC-BY 4.0 is valid for OSM (CC-BY-SA is not), as it just requires attribution, and allows derivation/modifications/transformations needed for the integration and reuse of related objects not part of the dataset you want to use. Note that you cannot blindly import it because there's already lot of existing data. But it may be used in a background layer to improve the existing data (without erasing and redrawing, as it will often erase other useful data). For me all municipalities (and higher level entities) are already present, but not all quarters. Be carefgul about the complex adminsitrative status of Cyprus, notably international borders, and the two competing governements with their own claims. Also be careful about the UN buffer zones which are overlaid on part of adminsitrative borders. Also some entities defined by the Repuyblic of Cyprus are not recognized by the Northern Cyprus government which rules de facto these areas. Avoid creating edit wars about them. It's already difficult to reach an acceptable consensus that can correctly represent all parties. — Verdy_p (talk) 15:34, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
The quarters are important. For the municipalities under control of Cyprus Republic. Xaris333 (talk) 19:14, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
The problem is that this dataset comes only from the Republic of Cyprus and includes lot of data which is absolutely not in its control (including areas in the British bases, where there's only an agreement of usage by Cyprus population on both sides, provided they remain peaceful and are correctly identified, and respect the environment, and repect all Cyrpus laws that don't contradict the laws applicable by Britain). None of the data recognize anything about the UN buffer zones, Northern Cyprus, delimitation lines. At least there should be quarter delimitations based on demarcation lines. Cyprus is still far from reaching a peace agreement with coexistence in a federal systeml recognizing the two governments and even the application of British laws that were ratified by Cyprus and UK. Apparently all this data seems to reflect the old situation before the Northern Cyprus coup, and OSM wants to represent the world as it is effectively governed today (OSM makes no political choice, it is about serving people today in their curent situation, it cannot solve political problems).
Anyway I'm sure we can refine the approximative borders of municipalities, anf adding the few missing "quarters". But we also need to keep the place as well for the Northern Cyprus representation and reflect the world as it is today. There are several wyas to have concerted data, and I think that this should not be done alone, but by a concertation in a group of people from all parts, that want to work together and peacefully to represent their life. But many borders in this dataset are just theoretical and not effective today (so importing it as is will not help solve any problem and may just add to the confusion if this is not coordinated by local welcoming groups). Unfortunately it ithe the people of the Republic of Cyprus that voted against the peace agreement,when those in Northern Cyprus were ready to accept many concessions to create a federal system where communities could have coexisted and both governements would have coodinated their efforts to put an end the very complex situation. For now people just have to adapt constantly to veryu local situations, and OSM progresses more easily at a much finer level, and the adminsitrartive styatus is still not clear to be really important to help them (on all areas) in practice in their life.
There's no easy solution for now, as long as we don't balance the situation by also asking the point of view of the northern side (seen first as a respectable population rather than just trusting one governement or the other when they can't reach any applicable agreement). — Verdy_p (talk) 19:33, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Top banner promoting the last day of membership with a valid vote

Hi. I propose a top banner with:

information sign

Today 15. nov. 2018 is the last day to become a member of OSMF and be able to vote (by email) in the election to the board in the Annual General Meeting held the 15. dec. 2018. Please join the organization now to balance the corporate sponsored membership signups.

--PangoSE (talk) 17:09, 15 November 2018 (UTC)