Monthly Archives: June 2016

OpenStreetMap Monitoring Tool for Python

In the last couple of weeks we were interested in finding a way to monitor changes in the OpenStreetMap database. This could help to provide better feedback after mapathons and could allow us to measure how many objects like buildings or roads were created or modified during a mapathon. (We could even spot the decline during the ‘pizza break’. 😉 )

Finally, we can now present a first version of a python based tool. More technical information and the source code can be found here:

We tested this tool during our second Sokodé mapathon on June 16. Overall our motivated GIS students created more than 1,000 buildings. Most of thes were created between 7:02pm and 7:41pm. We are also happy that some buildings, that has already been stored in the OpenStreetMap database, were modified and corrected during our mapathon.


We think that monitoring the OpenStreetMap database during mapathons can help to motivate volunteers and can help us in the future to better understand where and when problems during the mapping occur.

The results of the tool can also be visualized on a webmap immediately at the mapathon. (Open the .osc files in JOSM and then export the data layer as GeoJSON. Then add this as a new layer to uMap.)


If you are interested in using this during your mapathon or have any other related questions feel free to contact us! 🙂

Mapping SokodĂ©- Remote Support to enable local development

On Wednesday June 08 students of the “Citizens as sensors” seminar will organize a mapping event to support local development in SokodĂ© (Togo) at the Department of Geography Heidelberg University. Thereby they want to add to previously successful mapping events organized by students, the disastermappers HD and GIScience HD in Heidelberg.

For many places in the world there are no maps. Sokodé, the third largest city in Togo requires digital maps for urban and regional planning. For this reason we organize an OSM mapping action for the region Sokodé in collaborations with the end users of that data that also will add further local data and knowledge. This collaboration was enabled in the scope of the Master thesis of Kerstin Meyer of the TU Kaiserslautern.

WHERE? Berliner Straße 48, PC-Pool/ Hörsaal

WHEN? Wednesday 08 June from 18.00

GIS knowledge can be useful for creating the maps in OpenStreetMap, but are not a prerequisite for this event. In the beginning a small tutorial will be given, which explains the relevant practical basics of OpenStreetMap and the specifics of the region and the mapping task.
Those who prefer to bring their own laptop can do these and we recommend to bring a mouse.

We are looking forward to mapping jointly with you for Togo!