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Below, we'll talk about what we did this summer, but let's talk about the near future first. We'll be at two big events!



The Belgian open source geo community is organizing their second FOSS4G Belgium conference. And this time, we have an official OpenStreetMap track there! We’ll have talks about how we’re using open data to improve the map, how organizations are using and improving our data, about new tools for the mapper and about the state of the map in Belgium. Mark your agenda’s: 26 October 2017 in Brussels. Register for free.

OSMbe @ Trefdag Informatie Vlaanderen

We also got ourselves invited to the Trefdag Informatie Vlaanderen. This is a huge event where local and regional government people working with GIS and data in general come together. Ben Abelshausen and Joost Schouppe will present our work on tools and methods to integrate especially Wegenregister into OSM – and how that can make life easier for government too. Register for free. For your agenda: 30 November 2017, Gent.

Mapathon @ MSF Belgium

Doctors without Borders is inviting us again to help them make the maps they need for their missions! We'll work on an area together, and beginners are welcome. Make sure to register.
Already some experience with mapping? We need you to help out new mappers! Send a mail to November 28th, Brussels.
At the Trefdag, we will get the chance to talk to local government. Time and again, OpenStreetMap is the first to map larger changes in Belgium. How long did you have to wait to navigate correctly in Brussels, Gent, Leuven or on the A11 using commercial maps or GPS devices? In all these cases, you could start using OSM data the day the plans became real. We think we’re on to something here. In this opinion piece, we try to show how empowering it can be for local government to work with the OpenStreetMap community.
Big news from the global community: contributors can now flag their own changes to OSM as “please check my work”. So if you’re not entirely sure about what you’re doing, you can get someone to have a look. The feature is quite popular, so now we have to review them! There are many ways to do that, but we’ll describe two workflows here.

Using OSMCha

  • This filter will get you started. Click “Filters” to see what we did. You can adjust the bounding box to just show your local area.
  • You can now click on the list of changesets on the left. Read info about the changeset and see edits on the built in changeset. There's a tab to see existing OSM discussions on the changeset. You can also open it on, Achavi or your favourite editor.
  • Once you have checked or corrected, you can mark an edit as good or bad (button top right). This is not passed on to the contributor, but is only used for filtering ("this changeset has been reviewed already") and as data for automated learning (to help identify “bad” edits faster).
  • After doing that, you can add some tags to the changeset. For example, if you think there was a problem, but couldn’t fix it yourself, you can mark the changeset as “Unresolved” for further analysis. 
  • It is important to leave a changeset comment based on your assessment! That way, the requesting mapper knows someone had a look at it. It is also the only information that people using other validation tools are likely to see.

Using OSM-suspicious

You can validate using Pascal Neis’s tool. It is a bit harder to divide the work, and it can only show the more recent edits. On the other hand, you can limit your search to Belgium and you can subscribe to an RSS of your result. This query will get you started.
Always leave a changeset comment, as it's the only thing anyone will know about your validation work
The OSM Belgium Board had a meeting at the end of August 2017. We talked about the Road Completion project, methods to get funding, our participation in Foss4g and a Code of Conduct for OSM Belgium. You can read all about it here. Contact if you have any remarks or questions.
This summer for the first time, OpenStreetMap Belgium coached projects at the Open Summer of Code. Open Summer of Code is a project where companies can pay students to work on open source solutions to real problems. That way, both students and companies get practical experience with open source.
For our project, the Brussels-Capital Region wanted to work on the use of their cycle data. The best way to put that data to use, is to integrate it into our global database. So we made a tool for the mapper which we used to correct and complete the cycle network data from Brussels in OSM. Now, the site is constantly monitoring for differences in the two datasets. The team wrote a real nice blog post about the project.

A second project was to make a very simple navigation app that could help you navigate through Brussels, by giving absolute preferences to the safer and faster routes that Brussels developped.

We're looking for projects and students for next summer. Just reply to this mail if you're interested.
Our mailing address is:
OpenStreetMap Belgium
Open Knowledge Belgium VZW/ASBL
Cantersteen 12
Brussels 1000

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A special thank you to Julien Minet, Pierre Parmentier and Jonathan Beliën for help with the French translation

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OpenStreetMap Belgium · Open Knowledge Belgium VZW/ASBL · Cantersteen 12 · Brussels 1000 · Belgium

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