Toronto Hack Weekend March 2012

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Hackers hacking in London [1]

Come along to the hack weekend on 16-18 March 2012 in Toronto. If it's anything like the events in London, it'll be a smorgasbord of hard-core development, tutorials and social interaction!



Participants, please add your tasks and commits for posterity.


I attended Saturday and worked on some visual aspects of Specifically:

I have also outlined some additional changes and work I would like to work on from my fork: patches

  • Improve default text on user GPS traces and edits an pages when empty. [2]
  • Several commits for license change branch, [3]

Other projects and tasks

  • New mapper signups and first edits.
  • Community development, peer coaching.
  • Azimuthal Equidistant projection code.
  • Improve mathematics used in user statistics.
  • New local installation of Tile Mill

Attendee reports


The Toronto Hack Weekend March 2012 is an event from the past. The original text is preserved below for reuse on future events.

Hack Weekend?

An OpenStreetMap "Hack Weekend" is a local event for technical work to improve OpenStreetMap. This may be development of the "core" components, the editors, or any other side projects and pet projects we fancy hacking on. OpenStreetMap has development tasks sprouting from it in all directions. There's work to do in almost any programming language, as well as tasks like documentation, and even some non-technical graphics design and translation tasks.

We mostly take a fairly unstructured free-form format. People turn up and start beavering away on something, or they turn up and see what they can help with. However we can also run more structured workshops if there is demand.


This event is part OSM social event, part technical workshop. The social events are open to the entire OpenStreetMap community.

Introductory Presentation

A presentation and Q&A panel have been added on Friday afternoon. The Introduction to OpenStreetMap presentation is suitable for all audiences from curious newcomers to press to those wondering why so many companies are moving to OpenStreetMap. The hour+ Question and Answer session, and panel of experts will address a wide range of topics. Attend this to learn more about OSM, and / or to be inspired to become an OpenStreetMap developer. 2pm - 4pm Friday, 16 March 2012 at Hack HQ map See below.

Social events

The Friday night Meet and Greet and the Saturday night dinner and Mappy Hour are open to the OpenStreetMap community at large. Mappers and users, App developers and curious newcomers, all are welcome to mix and mingle with the Hack Weekend attendees. We'll each have to pick up our own tab, of course.

Technical workshop

Saturday and Sunday at the Hack Weekend are set up for coding, compiling, theming and testing.

The goal is to allow more programmers and developers to feel comfortable contributing code, etc. to the core functions of OpenStreetMap. The Hack Weekend is intended for programmers, developers, documentation writers, designers, UI / UX experts, cartographers, and all those other skills that go into improving OpenStreetMap infrastructure.


"But, I don't contribute code to OpenStreetMap like those core developers. The Hack Weekend isn't for me ..."

It might be perfect for you. You don't contribute code to OSM yet, but do you want to? That's one of the long term goals. Allow you to get yourself comfortable enough to submit code.

A Hack Weekend is not the place to learn how to program, or to learn "what is a renderer?" A Hack Weekend is an ideal place to use your expertise with your favourite technical tools to make an improvement for the OpenStreetMap community.

You should:

  • know which tools you want to use
  • know how to use those tools
  • know which problem(s) you want to solve
  • know how your solution would fit in the OpenStreetMap world
  • bring your programming environment with you
  • be comfortable programming in a room with other programmers

If you have only a few of these items clear now, you should clarify more of them in the weeks leading up to the event. You might ask on the #osm irc if you want help with these questions.


Hack HQ

Hackers hacking in Toronto

Hack HQ map

The event is hosted by Ryerson University's Department of Geography, Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) program, and the Student Association of Geographic Analysis (SAGA). We'll be in room POD-348 on the 3rd floor of the "Podium" building. SAGA is opening their lounge across the hallway as break-out space and for coffee (which is sponsored by the MSA on Saturday at 10am). The street address is 380 Victoria Street (at Gerrard Street East). However, on the weekend you may have to enter through the Library building at 350 Victoria Street (at Gould Street) and find your way to POD-348, which is an inside room closer to the "Jorgenson Hall" side of the Podium building.

Social events

Friday Meet & Greet Saturday Dinner and Mappy Hour will be held in Downtown Toronto. Exact location TBA. RSVP early to ensure a spot.


A variety of accommodations are available near the venue.

Local mappers are also willing to offer billeting. For billeting please email for information Rw 15:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


It's a buffet-style event - come for the parts you want and leave the bits you don't.

Friday 16th
2pm to 3pm: Introduction to OpenStreetMap (presentation by Richard Weait, with Q&A; at HackHQ)
3pm to 4pm: Panel on OSM development (roundtable discussion; at HackHQ)
7pm until closing: Pre-hackery Meet and Greet, at Social HQ.
Saturday 17th
9am to 5pm: Coding and chatting at HackHQ.
6pm until closing: Dinner and Mappy Hour at Social HQ
Sunday 18th
10am to 5pm: More coding, subdued conversation at HackHQ.

Ideas for themes / targets

Programmer / developer projects

  • OSM Data Contributor statistics. - Richard
  • Ice Roads and Timmies: A Distinctly Canadian Rendering Style
  • A list of Top_Ten_Tasks for OSM developers
  • Your projects / interests here

Tutorial / panel topics

  • Hot, Fresh Data - Why you care. Why you'll be hooked.
  • Introduction to the Rails Port
  • The OSM Tool Stack for Beginners
  • The OSM license
  • Working with MapBox/Carto
  • How (When, Why) to set up an OSM tile server
  • Linked Open Data integration to OSM
  • Working with historical data
  • Toronto street trees project
  • How to implement user interface functionality on top of OSM
  • Your suggestion here ...

Who's coming?

If you plan on attending, put your name and OSM username here. Your early and accurate RSVP helps to control the cost of this event to the organizers!

Name Friday Panel / Q&A Friday Meet&Greet Saturday Hack Saturday Dinner Saturday Mappy Hour Sunday Hack Interests/What you might want to work on
Richard Weait yes yes yes yes yes yes user statistics, custom rendering.
Steve Singer yes yes yes yes yes yes rails port,data analysis/statistics
Colin McGregor yes yes yes yes yes
AJ Ashton yes yes yes yes yes yes Cartography (Mapnik, graphics), UI/UX (CSS, JS, graphics)
Tristen Brown yes yes yes yes yes yes Design, JS, CSS, User interface
Michael Mather yes yes yes yes yes yes
Matt Amos no late yes yes yes yes
Serge Wroclawski yes yes yes yes yes
Rob Warren yes yes yes yes yes no

Old maps / historical layers, Custom POI files.

Claus Rinner yes no maybe no no no OSM use in teaching and research at Ryerson
Joseph Lalonde yes no no no no no
Jadah Folliott yes no no no no no
Ian Darwin maybe yes no no no no Add uploading to jpsTrack Android OSM tracker
Henk Hoff no yes yes yes yes yes
Ralph Janke yes yes maybe maybe no maybe rails port, OpenLayers, UI/UX (CSS, JS, graphics)
Stewart Russell no yes no no no no Comestibles
Max Silin no no no no maybe yes
add your details here