Make OSM the default map layer #163

merged 1 commit into from Jan 25, 2012


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7 participants



Most software users never change the defaults, and in Ushahidi, the includes the default map. This whole community can start off on the right mapping foot by using OpenStreetMap from the start. The quality is definitely at the same level, and often better. The spirits of Ushahidi and OSM share a strong belief in the power of open data.



Agree but no clue where I can click on a plus


I am a huge supporter of OpenStreetMap, but for crying out loud, can't they make the maps a bit more visually attractive? I would +1 this if that was the case (not that I'm -1'ing it either).


there are more attractive renderings of OSM data, like mapquest's that could be an option for ushahidi default.

the default mapnik rendering isn't design for attractiveness, but to aid mapping. that being said, it could definitely improve.

in the bigger picture, Ushahidi could have it's own rendering ... what features and visual style would be most useful to Ushahidi users?


That's awesome - how can we do something similar? Are we allowed to use mapquest's rendering or what will it take to create our own?


Should be able to use the MapQuest rendering yes:
It would be worth talking to them, just so we can be clear on their long term support, urls etc.

Creating tiles takes setting up a process to keep up to date with OSM data updates (, and a tile rendering infrastructure ( It would take some hardware investment, and admin support. I'm definitely willing to explore that more with Ushahidi if there's interest

... but I would put it at a more medium term goal, before simply making OSM more available via the current tile options.


@mikelmaron I'm happy to insert whatever available time I have into this so I think we need to make this happen (the sooner the better). I'll have to check with David/Brian before making any commitments on server resources though.

Right now it's Christmas but could we get back onto this early in the new year?


Sure let's chat in the new year ... send me a direct message and we can set up a time to talk.

IMO, first step is to implement something like Chris Blow's map choice screen in the installation process:

MapQuest Community Layer is probably the best option to push up front, Nestoria just switched to them:


Sounds like a great idea. I'll send you a PM sometime in the next week.

Ushahidi member

I'm happy to help out with the installer changes


@mikelmaron Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I tried to send you a message just now, but GitHub tells me you haven't provided an email address when I hover over the "Message" button...


@mikelmaron Sorry, seems like there is a separate internal notification / messaging system and that button is just standard email. Never attempted to message someone on GitHub before. :)

Got your address now so will send you mail shortly.


We're going to go ahead and switch the default map to OSM. We'll be adding an additional wizard to the installer (as well as deployment set up process on Crowdmap) so users can make a decision based on coverage in the area they want to center their map on. If they skip that section, they will default to OSM.

@brianherbert brianherbert merged commit c0a1a5b into ushahidi:master Jan 25, 2012

Excellent news, great work guys!


bright idea :)


That is great news. It's been a long time coming, but it's completely logical that ushahidi should default to OpenStreetMap, not just because we're philosophically aligned in terms of open data, but because OpenStreetMap is usually better, or can quickly become better than google in disaster struck regions.


Good news I got on our (India) Republic Day :-)

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