OpenStreetMap and Google Summer of Code

On January 27 2020 Tobias Knerr visited us and talked about OpenStreetMap and the Google Summer of Code.

During the Summer of Code you work on open software from home and will be paid by Google (about 5000€). This event was first held in 2005 with roughly a thousand participants every year, all of which are required to be students above the age of eighteen. Of the 200+ projects every iteration more than 80 percent end up being successful. Participants can apply for multiple projects but will ultimately be accepted for one of them at most. After the organizers have reviewed the applications they request a certain amount of slots for participants from Google. When Google is finished assigning them the actual amount of slots, the project team fills those with applicants. All projects come with a description, which also entails what exactly needs to be done. It is also possible to present original ideas, but a mentor will be needed in either case, whom you will get to know during the community bonding phase before the coding itself starts. Contact can be established directly or via forums, chats, etc. The purpose of this is to learn more about the project and the idea that comes with it and to also leave a good first impression. Coding will take place from May to August with an evaluation every month. Only if the mentors decide you were successful, will you be paid. A successful first evaluation yields 30 percent of the total amount, the second one another 30 and after the third and final evaluation you will receive the rest.

OpenStreetMap is a free map with an open license. Anyone willing to help can be active in two huge areas: mapping data acquisition and work that needs to be done on a computer. OpenStreetMap is used for navigation systems, printed maps, on Wikipedia, as printing motif for shirts and lampshades, ...

Pokémon GO uses OpenStreetMap as well, which is why users changed the mapping data to manipulate Pokémon spawns.

Services are hosted by the OSM Foundation, which forms the small core in a grand ecosystem. The front end has the wiki, forum and the site, the back end encompasses the data, accounts and the history.

During the Summer of Code several projects in connection with OpenStreetMap were made as well. Tobias Knerr mentored and organized some of them and presented a few examples, including a better way to display the maps based on the OSM data or using that same data to generate 3D models.

All in all it was a nice and interesting talk and we were glad to have had Tobias Knerr as our guest.