A open wold map for aviation data
Ruby Perl C++ C JavaScript
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This is the Rails port, the Ruby on Rails application that powers OpenStreetMap.

The Rails port provides almost all the services which are available on the OpenStreetMap site, including:

  • The web site itself, including the edit pages.
  • The editing API.
  • Browse pages - a web front-end to the OpenStreetMap data.
  • The user system, including preferences, diary entries, friends and user-to-user messaging.
  • GPX uploads, browsing and API.

There are some non-Rails services which the site includes, for example; tiles, geocoding, GPX file loading. There are also some utilities which provide other services on the OpenStreetMap site, or improve its function, but are not integrated with the Rails port, for example; Osmosis, CGImap.


This software is licensed under the GNU General Public License 2.0, a copy of which can be found in the LICENSE file.

Running it

You can find documentation on how to setup and run the software on the OpenStreetMap wiki.

Hacking it

The canonical Git repository for this software is hosted at git.openstreetmap.org, but much of the development is done on GitHub and for most people this repository on Github will be a better place to start.

Anybody hacking on the code is welcome to join the rails-dev mailing list where other people hacking on the code hang out and will be happy to help with any problems you may encounter. If you are looking for a project to help out with, please take a look at the list of Top Ten Tasks that EWG maintains on the wiki.

There are also weekly IRC meetings, at 1800 GMT on Mondays in #osm-ewg on the OFTC network where questions can be asked and ideas discussed. For more information, please see [the EWG page] (http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Engineering_Working_Group#Meetings). You can join the channel using your favourite IRC client or irc.openstreetmap.org.


If you're not already familiar with Ruby on Rails then it's probably worth having a look at Rails Guides for an introduction.

While working with Rails you will probably find the API documentation helpful as a reference.

Coding style

When writing code it is generally a good idea to try and match your formatting to hat of any existing code in the same file, or to other similar files if you are writing new code. Consistency of layout is far more important that the layout itself as it makes reading code much easier.

One golden rule of formatting -- please don't use tabs in your code as they will cause the file to be formatted differently for different people depending on how they have their editor configured.


Having a good suite of tests is very important to the stability and maintainability of any code base. The tests in the Rails port code are by no means complete, but they are extensive, and must continue to be so with any new functionality which is written. Tests are also useful in giving others confidence in the code you've written, and can greatly speed up the process of merging in new code.

When hacking, you should:

  • Write new tests to cover the new functionality you've added.
  • Where appropriate, modify existing tests to reflect new or changed functionality.
  • Never comment out or remove a test just because it doesn't pass.


Sometimes it's not apparent from the code itself what it does, or, more importantly, why it does that. Good comments help your fellow developers to read the code and satisfy themselves that it's doing the right thing.

When hacking, you should:

  • Comment your code - don't go overboard, but explain the bits which might be difficult to understand what the code does, why it does it and why it should be the way it is.
  • Check existing comments to ensure that they are not misleading.


When you submit patches, the project maintainer has to read them and understand them. This is difficult enough at the best of times, and misunderstanding patches can lead to them being more difficult to merge. To help wit this, when submitting you should:

  • Split up large patches into smaller units of functionality.
  • Keep your commit messages relevant to the changes in each individual unit.

When writing commit messages please try and stick to the same style as other commits, namely:

  • A one line summary, starting with a capital and with no full stop.
  • A blank line.
  • Full description, as proper sentences with capitals and full stops.

For simple commits the one line summary is often enough and the body of the commit message can be left out.

Sending the patches

If you have forked on GitHub then the best way to submit your patches is to push your changes back to GitHub and then send a "pull request" on GitHub.

Otherwise you should either push your changes to a publicly visible git repository and send the details to the rails-dev list or generate patches with git format-patch and send them to the rails-dev list.