Fri 25 Nov 2022 5:29PM

2023 quarterly projects ideas and feedback

GL Gareth L Public Seen by 83

We want to announce all the quarterly projects for 2023 in advance.

This will be in early December.

Tell us what quarterly project ideas you have or think are good! Here's an email sent to talk-gb earlier this month:

We had a call on 1st of November to discuss potential topics. Here’s a digest of what was raised.

I’d appreciate it if you could:

  • Add to these any other topics to consider with potential data sources, metrics, outcomes etc.

  • Add to the already mentioned topics ideas that could make it a good quarterly project.

We referred to https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:UK_Quarterly_Project as a starting point to the conversation.

There was a recap of what a quarterly project should be or achieve.

Easy to measure metrics can make it much clearer to monitor progress and success of a QP.

Some quarterly projects are to bring in brand new mappers, or get novice mappers to map more.

Other quarterly projects are to focus on enhancing a particular subject area on the map, resulting in more detail, coverage and/or tools.

Buses and public transport.

  • Are all bus stations mapped in detail (or at all?)

  • Are bus stops in the correct location?

  • Maintenance on bus route relations

  • Is there a better way we can present the NAPTAN dataset to mappers to help identify misplaced bus stops or missing bus stops? There was an idea floated of having an overlay that could be shown in iD/rapiD/josm etc. that could do a diff of where NAPTAN thinks a data point is compared to if/where it exists in osm and indicate that visually. This wouldn’t necessarily show the exact location of it as recorded in NAPTAN but just highlight a square on the map to direct in person survey, aerial use, streetlevel imagery etc. Added stretch goal doing a diff within NAPTAN itself so it would highlight where something has moved in that database since last update.

  • There was additional discussion on detail mapping other transit stations (like railway stations) though surveying these and tagging for these can be quite complex.

Places of worship.

  • Adding locations that are missing.

  • Enhancing existing datapoints with religion, denomination, wikidata links, etc.

  • Are there compatible 3rd party datasets which could help measure progress and direct surveys?

  • What other adjacent mapping activities could be included?

EV charging points

  • A lot of discussion on this as there are many databases that are all partial.

  • A guide to clearly identify and record the capabilities of common chargers in the UK (compatibility, power delivery, etc.)

  • The government has lots of plans about making this more open in the future using ‘OCPI data standard’ however this looks unlikely to be implemented in 2023.

  • Possibility of scraping through planning applications to direct surveys

  • Including H2 filling stations

Galleries, libraries, archives and museums + public art

  • Could we compare with local authorities lists for libraries (even with more libraries being volunteer run)

  • Public art installations, compare with wikidata and link to node in osm if possible.

  • Verify art installations still exist

  • A lot of metrics would need to be calculated up front.

Notes and fixme’s

Meta quarterly project

  • Nothing to do with the company

  • Focus on improving the wiki or other documentation sources

  • Collate and share data sources for the UK in one place.

  • Where to find the dataset, how you could use them – Think how many times you find a useful data set later than you’d like.

Welcome new mappers

A road and motorway corridor detail + motorway gantries?

  • Using the ample streetlevel imagery, enhance the detail along the corridors of A roads and motorways.

  • Include motorway gantries as they were reportedly under-mapped in 2020 (need to recheck current state)

  • Difficult to measure any metrics on this.


Steven H Fri 25 Nov 2022 6:47PM

Regarding charging points, I mentioned on the last call that I had permission from Source London, who are one of the big suppliers in London, to use their charge point data.

Would someone be able to help me conflate them if this is a potential way forward? I have the dataset available.

Having one supplier sharing their data may help persuade other suppliers to supply theirs too.


Jez Nicholson Sat 26 Nov 2022 12:18PM

It would be a great start to an EV Charging Points project. I'd also like to know about the current vested interests in charging point mapping. Sites exist, can they be convinced to use and contribute to OSM as a datasource?....in short, these don't need to be done ahead of a Quarterly Project, they are the QP


Steven H Sun 27 Nov 2022 8:48AM

When you say "vested interests" do you mean ZapMap or the charge point providers themselves?

It would be great if the providers could use OSM as their master map. I wonder why they don't already? Maybe one fear is the risk of someone maliciously adding phantom charge points to the map. Is there an OSMCha query they could run to monitor this?

I did fill out a page of the OSMWiki about the potential data source I made most progress with. Looking back at the article I might have made it sound like the data was generated on a gmap - I don't know how the geopoints were generated, and was speculating about a potential problem.



Cj Malone Sun 27 Nov 2022 8:49PM

I've not read the details on the wiki yet, but I'll try and help with the conflation process.


Steven H Sun 27 Nov 2022 10:12PM

Thanks @Cj Malone and @joeldn for the offers of assistance, what's the best way to proceed with this? I don't want to swamp this thread with charge points chat if it's not relevant to the monthly project! I've not used Loomio much before, do we start a separate thread here, or on the talk-gb mailing list, or something else?


Jez Nicholson Sat 26 Nov 2022 12:21PM

An idea from Jerry's post on Talk-GB: a focus on pubs. Resurveying/detailed mapping/FHRS/closures


Jez Nicholson Sat 26 Nov 2022 12:23PM

Another idea from when I put a call out to map buildings in my Mother-in-law's village when I was visiting: a group blitz of remote building mapping + on-the-ground StreetCompleting for specific places.


joeldn Sun 27 Nov 2022 4:22PM

hi @Steven H, i'd be keen to help out with conflating ev chargepoints from open data. with thanks to @RobJN, i previously conflated a batch import from GLA charge point data in 2019 (OGL is compatible with ODBL) although never went ahead with the final import. that particular instance of ilya zyerev's osm conflation tool has now stopped running on glitch, but i could get it going again or review other options.


Cj Malone Sun 27 Nov 2022 9:30PM

Places of worship

So it's "Religious Buildings" included in some OS Open Data products. It is close to our definition of place of worship. In terms of location, there accuracy is obviously perfect. In terms of metadata, there is nothing, also it's not great on age. It has some old things in there, and presumably missing new ones.

Metadata is more interesting. I don't know of any usable dataset for this, but that just means our dataset is more valuable, we should draw attention to it. It's possible to get data for for some of the big ones, but it's not usable for us.


Gregory Marler (former Director) Mon 9 Jan 2023 10:02PM

If OS Open Data has a religous buildings layer then that could be helpful, as would looking at existing OSM data. I wonder how many are mapped but without religion/denomination or name? You often get that data by OSM's favourite method: going outside and looking at the signs!

I've already done a video tutorial about mapping religious buildings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lVuKtNgrkY

If there was a quarterly project on this I would let some people know that might want to put some time into it.


Adam Hoyle Mon 28 Nov 2022 10:54PM

Mapping graveyards as part of places of worship would be interesting.


Steven H Tue 29 Nov 2022 8:02AM

If this extended to mapping blocks and rows of burial plots, that would help volunteers fulfill requests from people all over the world to have someone get a photo of their ancestor's grave, like these:


I nearly volunteered once but found that the council only had maps to the block level and that rows weren't sequentially numbered, so gave up. But there is a name index so it would be possible to infer the row numbers from a few identifiable graves.


Jon Harley Tue 29 Nov 2022 9:21PM

What makes 'notathons' a good idea is that people only leave notes on things they're interested in - it's a strong signal that something interesting is missing from the map. We could attach some competitions for extra motivation, eg who resolved the oldest note, who resolved the note that's furthest from any place point, what's the funniest and the weirdest note anyone has found etc.


trigpoint Thu 1 Dec 2022 11:12AM

Mapping graves is an interesting idea.

One slight niggle is that the wiki at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag%3Acemetery%3Dgrave states "please map only significant and notable graves", my question here is why? Finding a grave is far easier if all are mapped so you know it is y rows up and x graves along.


Guy Hayward Tue 20 Dec 2022 5:07PM

Bit late to the party probably but I run the British Pilgrimage Trust, and Harry Wood directed me to this conversation, particularly around places of worship. We define 'pilgrim places' more broadly than just places of worship, including all these: ancient tree, ancient/prehistoric monument, mosque, synagogue, temple, war memorial, parish church, chapel, cathedral, labyrinth, hermitage, cave, grave, holy well, waterfall, source, or mouth of, a river, island and hilltop. Is there capacity to include these other categories as well? Even with the places of worship it'd be great for walking/cycling pilgrims to know if they are open or closed during the day for people to walk into; whether they have loos or kitchens; bit of history including date of origin; vital stories, any famous gravestones; most important features; etc


Gareth L Wed 28 Dec 2022 4:19PM

Hi Guy,

These project topics help direct attention on a particular focus, but can encompass a great deal. The things you have listed, in my opinion, are just as valid.

"Places of Worship & Cemeteries" is listed as the Quarter 4 project in 2023, starting in October.

I've only recently started the wiki page detailing what the project is about and giving information on data sources and examples of the kinds of things to map. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UK_Quarterly_Project/2023/2023_Q4_Project:_Places_of_Worship_and_Cemeteries

The examples you've summarised above would be useful to capture!


Guy Hayward Tue 3 Jan 2023 8:59PM

This is great to hear and just what we need!

Ancient trees are already mapped on Woodland Trust's 'Ancient Tree Inventory' https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/

Megalithic.co.uk has loads of prehistoric sites on it

https://labyrinthsinbritain.uk/ has labyrinths mapped

There is a Holy Wells facebook group with mapped holy wells in the documents section of the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/244060782427611/files/files

Hope that helps!


Cj Malone Thu 12 Jan 2023 11:49AM

Ancient trees are already mapped on Woodland Trust's 'Ancient Tree Inventory' https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/

Are you involved with this one? Do we have permission to use this data in OSM?


Guy Hayward Mon 16 Jan 2023 3:54PM

I called Tom Reed this morning, who says this is good timing as they are creating a subset of "Heritage/Named" Ancient Trees data points which could be applied to the OSM base layer map. He says email him on [email protected]


Adam Hoyle Wed 21 Dec 2022 9:52AM

@trigpoint the point about only mapping significant and notable graves is something that's been kept from the original version of that wiki page - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:cemetery%3Dgrave&oldid=1144148

I imagine it is due to concerns about the resources that micro mapping can take up (as outlined here - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Micromapping). Personally, I think the global value of micro mapping outweighs the technical challenges of hosting extra data (and the need to handle extra data isn't going away as more and more of the world is mapped), so long as the micro mapping is of high quality I personally think it's worth it.


Gareth L Wed 28 Dec 2022 4:21PM

Quarterly Projects of 2023

In case you missed it, the quarterly projects for 2023 are as follows:



SK53 Wed 11 Jan 2023 3:39PM

I will try and write up my experience of trying to improve mapping of Places of Worship in Wales. I tried to do obvious ones whilst adding roof top solar. There are quite good resources in terms of open data and old maps/documents, but they do need to used together. UPRNs can be useful for identifying chapels which have been converted into flats for instance.

I also did a tiny bit of grave mapping in a Welsh churchyard where my uncle (who died of Spina Bifida long before I was born) and my Great-grandmother are buried. Last time I visited I couldn't find the former grave and had to give up because my Dad couldn't cope with the rain, so I'd like to able to locate it quickly in the future. Unfortunately I only took close-up photos on my last visit which was prior to owning a GPS. (Note the Church of England are engaged in some graveyard mapping as well).


Megalithic (Andy B) Mon 16 Jan 2023 5:59PM

Hello, I am the founder and editor of the Megalithic Portal ancient sites web resource.

I am strongly opposed to adding megalithic sites to OSM as ‘places of worship’. That would be adding way too much subjective interpretation. They should be added as archaeological sites, nothing more, nothing less. 

To a lesser or greater extent the same applies to sites such as labyrinth, hermitage, cave, grave, holy well, waterfall, source, or mouth of, a river, island or hilltop etc.

They should be added as what they are, not as someone’s subjective interpretation of what they are.



Guy Hayward Tue 17 Jan 2023 10:28AM

Is there another way these ancient (and natural) sites could be added to the OSM base map by the community on this forum, if they are not categorised as 'places of worship'? I don't think it is inaccurate to say that some of the behaviour of people around these site categories is what many would call 'worship', but I appreciate Andy's more neutral definition is less controversial.

I also think the world would benefit from a broader definition of 'place of worship', as the demographic of 'Spiritual but not Religious' continues to grow, and now represents a larger proportion of the UK population than identifying as 'Christian'.

The British Pilgrimage Trust promotes all the different types of sites equally (human-built and natural), but recognise that for some people, some storied ancient trees and holy wells and springs are more 'Places of Worship' than churches and cathedrals, due to them being seen as more connected with nature. It depends on your outlook and so we say: 'Bring Your Own Beliefs'.

But if the site categories listed by me above end up being categorised as something apart from 'Places of Worship', does it mean we would have to wait potentially years beyond Q4 2023 before they are added to the OSM base map? Or is there another way of expediting their inclusion on the map?


Tony Shield Tue 17 Jan 2023 11:37AM

I agree with Megalithic that archeological sites should not be interpreted on OSM. The form of the site can be important without giving undue interpretation.

Not sure how in fact to notate Guy Haywards Pilgrimage site - but see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:pilgrimage which tag routes/ways. There some tags for shrine - maybe the concept could be extended - however I do not have any firm view on an appropriate word to use - a word that is acceptable to all needs to be used.


RobJN Tue 17 Jan 2023 12:44PM

But if the site categories listed by me above end up being categorised as something apart from 'Places of Worship', does it mean we would have to wait potentially years beyond Q4 2023 before they are added to the OSM base map?

Step 1 is to agree what tags we will use. That is done by us, the community. At that point anyone can add these sites to the map database.

There are many visualisations of the map database (what most people would simply call "maps") and it's down to the maintainers if each to decide which tagged features to show on their "map". By "base map" I assume you mean the default one shown on OSM.org. It can take a while for that to start showing a new tag but we shouldn't worry about that. We can easily make our own visualisations.


Cj Malone Tue 17 Jan 2023 1:43PM

Yeah, we aren't recommanding that these literally tagged `amenity=place_of_worship`, just that they are covered in the "Places of Worship" Quarterly Project. Historic is probably a better key for some of the data discussed.