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Final OSM Tips

Hello newsletter readers, thanks for your continued interest in my irregular writings.

In my last message I wrote:

I enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge about OSM and its community. So this is something I want to keep doing. However, it's not something that I can put high on my list right now as I focus on moving MapRoulette along and giving it the attention it deserves. So, expect less frequent newsletters for the time being.

Less frequent it definitely has been. For the reason I stated—MapRoulette is getting a lot of my OSM time right now:

  • I was able to work with the awesome MapRoulette leadership group to prepare and submit our application as an OpenStreetMap US Charter Project

  • I just onboarded two new Major League Hacking fellows to embark on some very meaningful feature work over the next few months

  • We released two major new features: a Challenge reporting feature to further build trust and transparency in the OSM and MapRoulette user community, and an admin dashboard so we can get much better insights into what types of challenges are being created and worked on.

My hope is that the OSM US Charter status, if awarded, will take some of the (mental) load of leading the project off my shoulders and in the capable hands of a steering committee.

In the meantime, whatever free time I have left for OSM, I have mainly been reconnecting with why I got into OSM in the first place: mapping the world. Recently, I've been testing alpha releases of the new version of Rapid, the OSM editor Meta built to make it easy to gently work external data from external sources into OSM. Rapid is really coming into its own as a powerful general purpose OSM editor. A beta will be out soon, and I encourage you to try it out. I also want to focus more on connecting with local mappers in person. I've been hosting a local OpenStreetMap meetup for more than a decade and I am working on getting more people to join on a regular basis. If for whatever magical reason I have more spare time that I'm not applying to restoring a 1977 Rhodes piano, there's a couple of OSM related open source projects of mine that I'd love to dust off: osmdiff and overpass-api-python-wrapper.

So that brings me back to the future of this newsletter. I told myself I would keep it going for three months and see how it would go. I sent the first email out on October 29 of last year, so we find ourselves past that three-month mark. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm not very motivated to continue with it. I find myself struggling to come up with interesting topics to write about now that I am less plugged in to the larger OSM world while focusing on MapRoulette. Plus, there are plenty of folks worth following if you're interested in OpenStreetMap and the broader geospatial world. I'll leave you with a few suggestions before I pull the plug on this account:

Thanks for reading. Please stay in touch! My contact information is on my website.