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Clearly the main page has an influence on the design and growth of wiki content in general, but it might be better to discuss general wiki content ideas and structure on the WikiProject Cleanup page. For technical ideas for improvement to the wiki, see Wiki#Ideas for technical improvements.

Older discussions were moved to Talk:Main Page/Archive

Discuss the contents and design of the wiki Main Page here:

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)

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)

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)

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

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)


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)


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)

Any chance the Mediawiki RSS feature can be turned on now that we have the new servers? --abunai 18:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

RSS for recent changes across the whole wiki? Discuss this over at Talk:Wiki#Why: Recent changes by RSS give me a Access Denied Error?
I was talking about specifically an RSS feed for news, or pulling in an RSS feed to display on the Main Page.
-- Harry Wood 08:50, 15 May 2009 (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 code 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)

Discuss BEFORE adding things

Obviously the Main Page is important. It has a significant role to play in shaping people's view of the project. The design of the page needs to reflect the correct weight of importance of pages being linked to (and not link to pages which are not important) There's nothing new or mysterious about this.

What it means though, is that we can't be having people slapping their ideas on here willy-nilly. For the most part we've been quite good about this over the past year or so (since we had a nice redesign of the homepage) but there's been a couple of, shall we say, 'under-developed' wiki ideas appearing as prominent links lately. So from now on the rule is simple...

Do not add/change things on the Main Page without discussing on this talk page first (and preferably leaving the discussion open for a while before applying a change). Edit's of the Main Page in violation of this rule, should be reverted.

Note that discussing your idea does not make your idea immune from being removed! It just means it is not in violation of this rule. It might still be deemed inappropriate for the Main Page.

I'm hoping that this will be universally accepted as common sense. If someone wants to argue about it, then I might have to write a "Wiki Policy". Don't make me do it! I will you know!

-- Harry Wood 16:08, 5 September 2008 (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)

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)

General project discussions (IN THE WRONG PLACE)

The following discussions are technically in the wrong place. This talk page is for discussion the contents of the Main Page on the wiki. These discussions could be moved onto talk pages of more relevant wiki pages. Newer discussion added here erroneously, could be left here for a few weeks to give the poster time to read the reply

Looking for a general forum? check out

Import/Export and Integration

Here is a list of tools that, through the correct development of plugins and import/export tools, could mean that openstreetmap would benefit enormously, and also vice-versa these tools would benefit:

Leo in particular is very exciting, because it allows scripts to be run, on-demand, from the menu, or from a context menu on a "node". So, for example, you could "drill down" to a particular area, searching by running the "fuzzy-match town name" plugin, to find nodes which matched what you were looking for. Then, you could right-mouse button and click the "upload" plugin, which uploaded your raw text and associated it with the node. Then, you could run the "process" plugin, which automatically identified and parsed the map. You start to get the idea?

And the neat thing is that, with the correct "extensions", you could get a wiki with graphwiz display, and a PNG converter plugin, and everything like that - thrown in! so that only mad people would use Leo (site admins and experts) but everyone else would use the Web Interface, which you would get for free!

Oh - and take a look at the freegis site, because on there you will see that there are even converters to take GIS data and convert it to blender, so you can combine openstreetmap with Geodata, to do 3D scene walkthroughs!

Lkcl 14:13, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes there's loads more work to do creating scripts to move data in and out of OpenStreetMap formats. This is a (somewhat chaotic) open source development community. We tend to start with people hacking quick perl scripts to go to & from .osm format. Ultimately it would be nice to have lots of these kinds of outgoing transformations built into the Export web interface. And at the other end of course there's loads of work building plugins for software to help it bring in maps. It's an endless ongoing development task, but one we should get more organised about. -- Harry Wood 11:38, 12 May 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)

All Export modes currently broken

I'm trying to get a printable (roughly 3000x1500 px) image of central Helsinki out of OSM... but the Export tab is entirely refusing to cooperate today.

  • "XML data" [1] gets me a 500 Internal Server Error.
  • "Mapnik Image" [2] works (very, very slowly) for low resolutions, but times out if I push the size to anywhere above 1000x1000 (even though this is still well below the max 1:25500 scale it's suggesting).
  • "Osmarender Image" [3] is riddled with "Unknown type" error tiles eating half the city.

Known issues, temporary bugs or what? I eventually managed to snarf the XML data from, but c'mon, this shouldn't be this hard. Jpatokal 10:37, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to move this comment to Talk:Export
The Export feature currently has an known issue. It stops working or gives very spurious results on a Wednesday, while the PostGIS database on the tile server is being emptied out and re-populated with the new planet dump. Beyond that, we have other service reliability issues. The "XML data" problem can only mean that you are testing this at a time when the API is down, which is bad. Certainly something we try to avoid. Hopefully other issues with exporting will be tackled gradually and we'll see some improvements, indeed there may have been some improvements since you wrote that message (although the Wednesday issue was still under discussion recently) Always open to helpful contributions from developers!
-- Harry Wood 11:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Are you discussing the contents of the wiki Main Page? If not, you're in the wrong place. See note at the top