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Move your GitHub page to GitLab Pages

4 Jul

If you are looking to move your website from GitHub Pages to GitLab Pages (and stick to Jekyll), here are the few steps you need to follow. Most of it is pretty straight-forward, but I thought I’d list the details and a couple more infos here.

Import your project

First, you need to import your repository from GitHub to GitLab. From the, you can do: + > New project > Import project > GitHub

Check the project settings

In your imported repository, check that Shared Runners are enabled (Settings > CI / CD > Runners settings)

Create a config file

From the online interface, create a .gitlab-ci.yml config file in your repo’s top directory to specify how the CI should test and build the page.
This code should be enough to start with:

image: ruby:2.3

 JEKYLL_ENV: production

  - bundle install

  stage: test
  - bundle exec jekyll build -d test
    - test
  - master

  stage: deploy
  - bundle exec jekyll build -d public
    - public
  - master

Change your URLs

Change your repository name to in both your project name and your path. (Settings > General > Advanced settings > Rename repository; make sure you replace “repo-owner-name” by your own.)

Change your remote in your local copy of the repository. This is probably what you want:

 git remote rm origin
 git remote add origin
 git push --set-upstream origin master

Remember to update your URL in your _config.yml file so your Liquid output markup that makes use of it works as expected.

And of course, remember to update your URL outside of your website too! (i.e. old website, other projects, other websites, social media profiles and pages…)

To redirect your old Github Page, you can use the jekyll-redirect-from plugin that’s already included in the Github Pages gems.

First, add this line to your _config.yml file to activate the plugin:

  - jekyll-redirect-from

… and you can now add an extra redirect_to line in your pages. For example, in your index.html header:

layout: default
  <span id="mce_SELREST_start" style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0;"></span>-

You can also add those two lines of HTML in your default head.html header, so all the pages that use it automatically use the new location (and so search engines take that into account):


(this was hinted by this StackOverflow answer.)


If you get a message from GitLab telling you that “Your pipeline has failed”, with an error message along those lines:

Conversion error: Jekyll::Converters::Scss encountered an error while converting 'assets/css/style.scss':
 Invalid US-ASCII character "\xE2" on line 5
jekyll 3.7.3 | Error: Invalid US-ASCII character "\xE2" on line 5
ERROR: Job failed: exit code 1

… but you can build your Jekyll site locally, it probably means that there is an issue with the language settings used in GitLab’s Docker.
You can try adding the following extra variables in your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

  LC_ALL: "C.UTF-8"
  LANG: "en_US.UTF-8"

(This was hinted from this Jekyll issue thread.)

Start an 8-day data detox

20 Dec

Recommended to me by Mozilla, I started a Creative Commons-licensed “Data Detox” that was produced for the Glass Room London in 2017, and is curated by Tactical Technology Collective. It was originally a printed/PDF kit created for the Glass Room New-York in 2016.

I thought I might try that little exercise to see if I could learn something more about e-privacy. Turns out there were quite a few things that I did not know about, especially when it came to Google settings, and iPhone configuration. (I am currently using a salvaged iPhone 4 which does not want to die – better for the planet.)

The Data Detox runs over 8 days and runs you through little tasks you can follow to leave less of a data trail while using your Internet-connected devices.

It is of course not covering 100% of what could be said about e-privacy, but I was surprised at how much it taught me about a bunch of privacy settings in my Google account, and about location services in my iPhone. I would recommend following the detox even if you feel you have a good grasp of what you need to do to stay safe and anonymous on the Internet.

Here is a couple of things I would add to the tasks already offered by the Data Detox, in no particular order. Feel free to add those to the list if you feel motivated, or cherry-pick whatever you feel like doing.

  • Using a password manager like KeePassX (which is mentioned in the detox) is a good way to safely store a bunch of diverse and complicated passwords, but another benefit I have learned to appreciate is that it constitutes a record of how many accounts you own, and allows you to review which unused ones you could delete. Here’s a challenge: every time you add a new account and password, try to delete a different one (or two?) so you don’t build up a collection of them.
  • When reading your emails, start directly deleting the ones you know you will never go back to. That will make your email account less of a data trove waiting to be mined. Another benefit is that you are freeing some valuable storage space for your ethical privacy-respecting email account provider (because you use one, right?).
  • The Alternative App Centre that the detox recommends is good, but I would also recommend to have a look at the Free services that Framasoft offers (more directed at offering Free Software alternatives to the ones offered by the GAFAM: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, i.e. the main huge data silos of the Internet), as well as the list of alternatives from PRISM Break (more directed at privacy-respecting apps to fight state surveillance). Another excellent website that lists alternatives, tools, add-ons and services to protect your privacy, along with valuable information, is
  • Related to the previous point, if you specifically want to get away from data-gathering social networks, I recommend two decentralised Free Software-based alternatives: Mastodon as a Twitter replacement, and Diaspora* as a Facebook replacement. They are both mature projects with a lively healthy community to interact with.
  • Finally, the detox probably didn’t mention it because of the technical knowledge required to set it up, but I’d also recommend looking into self-hosting your own cloud services. Nextcloud, YunoHost and Sandstorm are good starting points. You can also find a service provider that uses Free Software and guarantees to respect your privacy in exchange for some money. I am currently a happy subscriber of IndieHosters (they use Nextcloud for the most part) but you can find more providers on (at the time of writing, 48 providers mainly located in France).

An alternative to Facebook events

7 Dec

After leaving Facebook, you realise how much people rely on it to organise events. Some organisations and even administrations actually only use Facebook to publicise their events, and people have to have an account to be able to RSVP, or even have a look at the detailed information.


The pleasures of browsing a Facebook event when not signed up. Interestingly, the mobile view shows even less than the desktop website: not even a description of the event.

I thought I’d ask and look around for an alternative that people could use. Heck, even my local council advertises their events mostly through Facebook, how inclusive is that.

Ideally, my alternative event hosting would:

  • not require an account to RSVP or browse the information;
  • be free of charge;
  • be based on Free or Open Source software;
  • be respectful of privacy;
  • allow to export the event in different formats to add to calendars;
  • be easy to connect to Facebook.

The reality is that people still love the convenience of having all their events centralised in their Facebook, which means that if I am to convince some people to use a different service / platform, it will have to be nicely hooked up to Facebook so they don’t have to do twice as much work.

Sadly, the social network I am currently using (Diaspora, part of the Federation) does not have an event element to it. However, I used it to ask the community if they had ideas.

Some people recommended software like OpenSondage, Framadate (based on OpenSondage), and Dudle. Unfortunately, those are only enough to figure out what is the best time to schedule an event, as opposed to a fully-fledged event manager (where people see a description with a picture, find times and the address, can RSVP and share…).

I was also recommended to use ownCloud or Nextcloud to create an event with the calendar app. That is not enough, as it is not possible to advertise the event publicly – only through email. However, Framasoft based their software Framagenda on it, adding some functionalities like sharing the event by public link – but I could only figure out how to make a whole calendar public. It seems like the differences with the Nextcloud calendar element are minor.

Communecter is a great tool that allows to build a network between citizens, local councils, businesses and organisations. It looks very useful but is more directed towards organising and communicating at the local level, to foster inclusion  and involvement in the community. Not quite the simple event-creating tool I am looking for.

Open Event is Free Software (GPL-3.0) with several components to create events that follow a standard format and publish them to the web with a website generator, or to Android with an app generator; another component allows organisers to self-host a fully-fledged event manager that supports venues, programs and invitations. This is a very promising piece of software, and there is a live implementation at, but I could not register an account in order to test the event creation. It is definitely a project I will closely follow as it seems it is the closest to my requirements, but it seems it needs some more work to be usable on the demonstration website (server error when creating an account, 404 when trying to get a free ticket to an event, missing “how it works” page…). Their standardised format also makes it a great candidate for a potential integration in other Free Software projects like Diaspora.

Another very promising piece of Free Software that allows you to self-host is Attendize (AAL). It is already completely functional as a feature-full event management system (messaging, stats, ticketing and payment…), and is also very beautiful. There is a demonstration backend but it is only designed to test the software, which makes it less likely to replace an event manager that you simply need to sign up to. However, the software is very advanced and fits most of my requirements, so it is definitely something I would look into self-hosting.

Finally, Eventbrite is the obvious alternative that ticks most of the boxes. It is free of charge for free events, but their codebase is not entirely released as Free or Open Source software, although the company seems active on different FLOSS projects (see their GitHub account). They work hard on providing a good API to integrate their services to other apps and websites, which makes it super easy for Facebook users to have their event on both platforms.

In conclusion:

  • If you are ready to self-host, go with Attendize: it is Free Software and seems to do everything you might need it to as far as managing events goes. Also keep an eye out for developments in Open Event.
  • If you are advertising your events on Facebook but want to make them available to all, please create them on something like Eventbrite. They have a one-click Facebook publishing button that will make life easier, and you won’t coerce people into (re-)creating a Facebook account.

Do you know of other alternatives that would match the requirements?




Save vous emprisonne en rendant la suppression de compte fastidieuse

5 Jul

J’ai récemment créé un compte sur afin de télécharger quelques ouvrages en format EPUB, sans DRM (il y a quelques titres disponibles dans leur catalogue). Malheureusement, comme beaucoup, je n’ai pas lu les conditions générales de vente avant de faire ça.

En effet, après avoir réalisé que mon compte n’allait pas m’être d’une grande utilité, j’ai décidé de le supprimer (j’essaie de conserver une liste des comptes que j’ai créés sur Internet, et de les supprimer rapidement s’ils ne vont plus (ou peu) m’être utile dans le futur). Quelle n’a pas été ma surprise quand j’ai vu qu’ils demandent aux utilisateurs de leur envoyer une copie d’une carte d’identité ou d’un passeport pour supprimer votre compte et vos données de leurs serveurs. (Voir l’article 14 de cette section ou l’explication dans la page d’aide dédiée.)

J’ai horreur de ce genre de pratiques, qui à l’évidence existent seulement afin de rendre extrêmement difficile la suppression d’un compte, pour que vous décidiez au final d’y rester, contre votre grès. Les conditions générales de vente stipulent que cela est conforme à la « réglementation en vigueur » mais il me semble que cela ne s’applique pas nécessairement à la simple suppression d’un compte en ligne.

Voilà ce qui m’a été dit lorsque j’ai demandé la suppression de mon compte par e-mail :

Conformément à la réglementation en vigueur, votre demande de clôture doit être signée et accompagnée de la photocopie de votre pièce d’identité portant votre signature.

Merci également de nous préciser une adresse postale pour la réception de votre réponse qui arrivera sous un délai maximum de 2 mois.

Quelle pratique d’un autre temps ! Je crée un compte en deux seconde sur leur site, puis pour le supprimer je dois leur écrire une lettre, leur fournir une pièce d’identité et attendre qu’ils me disent si ça leur plaît par voie postale ??

La démarche de désinscription est décrite sur plusieurs sites, dont et Des commentaires indiquent qu’ils conservent également des données après la suppression, et que c’est une des seules entreprises à exiger une pièce d’identité. Est également justement évoqué le risque que vos documents d’identité soient volés en chemin.

Mon conseil : ne créez pas de compte sur, et si vous en avez déjà un et qu’il ne vous sert pas, supprimez-le en précisant que ces pratiques sont abusives.

Mise à jour (2016-07-11) : après m’être plaint de la difficulté de la démarche, et avoir demandé que l’on me communique la « réglementation en vigueur » à laquelle ils font référence, j’ai reçu un e-mail du service client pour me notifier de la suppression / désactivation (les deux termes sont utilisés de façon inconsistante à différents endroits) de mon compte, malgré le fait que je ne leur ai pas envoyé les documents d’identité demandés. Preuve selon moi qu’ils n’en ont pas vraiment besoin, et que c’est uniquement destiné à vous garder contre votre grès.



Upgrade CKeditor when migrating from Drupal 6 to 7

10 Jun

Here is a quick fix that might help you if you are migrating from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

If your CKEditor version is stuck at 3.6 in your status report, but you are sure you have the latest version of the module in your module folder, you might think that Drupal 7 deliberately only offers the CKEditor 3 branch.

Actually, you can use CKEditor 4 by checking if the path to your installation is right, and by making sure you have the actual latest library files in the right folder.

First, download the module and unpack it into the right module folder (probably sites/all/modules/contrib). You might have to remove a pre-existing CKEditor module folder. (Or better, rename it to ckeditor_old for the time being, and delete it when you are sure everything works fine.)

Then, download the library files add the library files into the ckeditor/ckeditor folder (where the COPY_HERE.txt file is).

Finally, you can change the path to the CKEditor library files by going to your website’s /admin/config/content/ckeditor/editg page and pointing to %m/ckeditor in the “Path to CKEditor” field.

This should allow you to use the latest version of CKEditor. Check in your status report that the right version appears. If everything goes well (and if you have copied your custom configurations to your new installation, specifically to the ckeditor.config.js file, if needed), you can delete the old module folder and the old library files.

Ebay and their encryption double standard

9 May

I am not often using Ebay, but every so often it happens to be one of the only options for a specific kind of purchase. I recently bought a product to expand my MPC’s internal memory, and tried to communicate with the seller by using my email account (as an Ebay “guest” user).

I have been automatically signing my emails with PGP for a while now, and haven’t had any major problem (except for a Brisbane council issue that somehow filtered my emails because of the unrecognised attachment, an issue that was fixed a while ago, at least in the particular section I have been volunteering at).

Interestingly enough, Ebay rejected my signed (unencrypted) email, with the following explanation:

To better protect our members from identity theft and unwanted emails, we don’t allow encrypted emails. Because your recent email message to [xxx] was encrypted, we didn’t send it.

Please remove the encryption and resend your message.

The notification email links to a messaging help page [snapshot] that states the following:

Emails that are encrypted before they are sent (or are automatically encrypted when sent) will not be delivered through eBay Messages. Encryption is a way of scrambling or coding information before it’s sent, and then decoding the same information when it’s received. If you’re using encryption software, you may need to turn it off before sending messages.

At first, I thought I sort of understood why they would filter out encrypted emails: so they can apply a keyword-based spam filter. However, I still haven’t heard about spammers making use of encryption. It seems to me that encrypting is an obvious massive obstacle to the main objective of spamming: sending large amounts of emails that are not specifically targeted. Encrypting would require the spammer to collect each recipient’s public key and scramble each separate message accordingly… It does not sound likely to become a common spamming practice, which leads me to think that there might be other incentives for Ebay to only have plain-text messages transiting through their servers (data collection and analysis, anyone?).

Add to that the fact that Ebay obviously does a terrible job at telling apart signed plain-text emails from encrypted emails…

In their help page titled “Keeping you safe on Ebay” [snapshot], they state the following:

We use procedural and technical safeguards, including firewalls, encryption and Secure Socket Layers (SSL) to help protect your personal information against loss, theft and unauthorised access and disclosure by users inside and outside the company.

In “Protecting your privacy” [snapshot], it is said that Ebay provide:

Secure communication for all external parties—including customers, vendors, and any business partners outside of eBay—by monitoring every email message, except in countries that have laws prohibiting monitoring of email. If an email contains private information, it will be encrypted through our eBay Secured Email system.

However, the users using encryption themselves (or even just PGP signatures) are considered a threat and denied privacy. What about people who want to make sure they are keeping a particular transaction private from a member of their family, a threatening community, a potential online criminal organisation, or from an oppressive government, for whatever reason?

Funnily enough, at the time of writing, the link to “eBay Secured Email” is a dead link, so good luck if you want to find out more about this particular “system”…

This issue draws me further away from Ebay – as if I needed more reasons.

Exportez vos anniversaires depuis Facebook via Evolution

27 Apr

Si vous dépendez de Facebook pour vous rappeler des anniversaires de vos amis, il est possible de récupérer cette information pour l’avoir sous forme de tableur, ou pour les transférer à un autre calendrier. Voilà la marche à suivre :

Sur Facebook, allez dans « Évènements ». Dans une boîte sur la droite, vous trouverez des instructions pour ajouter des données à un calendrier externe. Copiez le lien « anniversaires » (il devrait commencer par « webcal:// »).

Dans Evolution, allez dans l’onglet Agenda et choisissez « Fichier > Nouveau > Agenda ». Sélectionnez « Type: Sur le Web » puis collez l’URL que vous avez copié dans la boîte « URL ».

Si tout se passe bien, vous avez à présent vos anniversaires dans votre agenda. Mais comme ce nouvel agenda reste connecté à votre compte Facebook, il se peut que vous vouliez extraire cette info et garder un fichier statique, sous forme de tableur par exemple.

Pour cela, il faut exporter l’agenda en question en format CSV (clic-droit sur son nom, « enregistrer sous > Format: .csv »). Vous pouvez à présent manipuler cette information comme vous le voulez, avec LibreOffice Calc par exemple, ou l’importer dans un autre calendrier, local ou externe à Evolution. Et ne plus dépendre de Facebook pour vous rappeler d’envoyer vos souhaits !

My business on OSM in five minutes

4 Oct

You might have seen Google ads around, suggesting people to add their business to Google Maps. I thought I would write a short post to help out people trying to add their business to a different project: OpenStreetMap.

You can very easily add your business to OpenStreetMap (OSM), a crowd-sourced map of the world that is more and more widely used as the data is released under an Open Database License (ODbL).

Here are the five easy steps to add your business in the database for everyone to find. It is very likely it will actually take you less than five minutes.


Go on the OSM website, find where your business is located and click on the “edit” button.

Find where your business is and click on "edit".

Find where your business is and click on “edit”.

You might have to create an account if you don’t have one already (it only takes a few seconds!).


Click on “Point” and add a node to the map where your business is located.

Click on "Point" and add a single node to the map.

Click on “Point” and add a single node to the map.


Search for the business type, or the closest matching category, and click on it.

Search for your business category.

Search for your business category.


Add details about your business in the fields.

Add information about your business.

Add information about your business.

You can add extra information by clicking on the icons below the fields, like phone number and website.

Extra fields are also available at the bottom.

Extra fields are also available at the bottom.

The only tricky field is for the opening hours. Make sure you have a look at examples on this wiki page. In my example, in have to use the syntax Mo - Su 10:00-24:00 for a business opening seven days a week, from 10 am till midnight.


Save your changes by clicking on “Save”, and add a commit message like “my own business” to justify them.

Save your changes.

Save your changes.


You will be able to see your changes on the map just a few minutes after you saved your changes. And your business will be that much more visible!

If you have any question or need some help, feel free to comment below or to have a look at the OSM wiki, where you can search for information specific to your business type.

Cheers for reading!

Happy 10th birthday, OpenStreetMap!

20 Aug

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a open data project focused on mapping our entire physical world. Just a few days ago, the project turned ten.

The wiki introduces the project as follows:

Welcome to OpenStreetMap, the project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. We started it because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

The Wikipedia article describes the project as “a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world.”  It adds that “two major driving forces behind the establishment and growth of OSM have been restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.”

OSM started on the 1st of July 2004. I started helping out as a simple local contributor almost three years ago, and I have closed more than 200 changesets. It isn’t much, but I feel like I am doing my bit for an amazing project. I sort of moved from Wikipedia to OSM as the open knowledge project I contribute the most to, although I never really stopped editing Wikipedia. I might even focus on it again later on, who knows!

For the tenth birthday of this project I really love, here are a few random examples of the great thing that the freely available data OSM offers lets people do and create, just in the two last years. Another example would be OpenBeerMap, a project I wrote about recently. I gathered them (with their captions) from the great selection of images offered by the Featured Images page on the wiki. Click on the pictures for more details.

3D-printed models

File:Gorbals 3d.jpg

3D printed model of the Gorbals, Glasgow, location of the Commonwealth games 2014. Created using osm2world to convert from .osm to 3D and SRTM elevation data. Printed using a Ultimaker 2.

Some information from Gary Martin:

“Duncan Bain documented the data extract process nicely in his blog post I followed the same process, but also added elevation data from SRTM when using OSM2World; Blender was for the 3d clean-up work; Cura for slicing the 3d model to gcode; and an Ultimaker 2 for the final 7 hour PLA print.”

HOT is a humanitarian mapping project

File:HOT changesets west africa 2014-04-05.png

HOT (Humanitarian OSM Team) is coordinating mapping efforts for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The map shows all changesets with #HOT in and around Guinea. The tool visualises changesets of the last seven days with a certain comment.

HOT coordinates humanitarian mapping projects depending on what happens around the world, and often helps others do a better job at delivering aid on site after major natural disasters of health issues.

File:Three large poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc.jpg

Large OSM-based poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc printed and delivered by International Organization on Migration in DSWD Operations Center in Tacloban Airport. The maps will be used to coordinate the relief and rescue efforts for the victims/survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

User-friendly open-source mapping tools

File:Nfgusedautoparts gps 1000x664.jpg

A car dashboard kitted out with gadgets. This is just one of a wide variety of mapping techniques. Visible here (left to right): A smartphone running OsmAnd (information and map display) and a tablet computer set up with OSMtracker (POI recording).

Interdisciplinary workshops

File:2014 Cochabamba workshop.jpg

1st “OpenStreetMap Workshop from scratch” – a free and open event that brought together artists, cartographers, marketing companies and territorial planning/computer science students as part of the activities of the HackLabCocha in Cochabamba, Bolivia. View the full set of photos.

GIS integration

File:QGIS tram lines black.png

Viewing OpenStreetMap buildings and tram data within the open source QGIS software.

Rendering data for events

File:Sochi Olympics Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster.png

The 2014 Olympics ski venues in the Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi) mountain cluster. This spontaneous mashup using Leaflet shows OpenSnowMap’s ski pistes and lifts on OpenTopoMap as baselayer on a slippy map.

Base for displaying meteorological information

File:OpenWeatherMap for Leaflet 2013-10-28 15-03-01.jpg

Wind speeds and directions of storm Christian at 28th October 2013 in Northwest Germany overlaid on an OSM base map. The leaflet-openweathermap JavaScript library shows free OpenWeatherMap data in a slippy map.

Cool-looking things

File:Lille toile.jpg

A colourful artistic map of Lille (France) with its characteristic star-shaped citadel, made using OpenStreetMap data and QGIS as described in the tutorial here.

File:20130223 DSC1072 Looking at Buildings.jpg

OSM contributor Hawkeye admiring his laser-etched acrylic map (bounding box at of OpenStreetMap buildings in central Glasgow, made at the MAKLab in The Lighthouse, Glasgow.

File:Softcities map leggings.jpg

OpenStreetMap leggings. A prototype on show at State Of The Map U.S. 2012 of a new product from


File:IMG 20120428 164740.jpg

Maps copied onto shoes (by tracing over a projector image).

Crowd-sourced mapping activity visualisation


No volcanic eruptions, no wildfires, but burning passion of OpenStreetMap volunteers – represented by a map showing the colourised node density of OpenStreetMap data. Alternative views: full world as slippy map, full world as single image (67 Mpx, 1 MiB); full world scaled down, more info how this was created.

Empower websites


Le Monde, one of the largest French newspapers, relaunched their online paid edition with interactive French maps powered by OpenStreetMap. Read more on the MapBox blog.


The University of Cambridge’s new online map was made live at in late September 2012 (and also linked from the University’s home page). This prestigious, year-long project has contributed lots of data to OSM and uses OSM data for its street index and custom renderings.

Video games

File:STK Rostock compare.jpg

Supertuxkart is a free, open-source racing game. Using 3D data from OpenStreetMap we can race around real-world street layouts, such as this suburb of Rostock.

Fun data visualisation


Taginfo shows what tags are used in the OSM database. Here, the size is correlated to the number of times the tags are use.

File:Data tiles with 32MB of OpenStreetMap data.png

This curious map of the world, shows the result of dividing the OpenStreetMap dataset into quarters until each of these vector tiles is less than 32MB in size. An experiment by Eric Fischer (details).

Decision-making in urbanism

File:Glasgow park access network.png

Map showing distance from parks in Glasgow, using openstreetmap data and GRASS/QGIS network analysis. Dark red means further away from a park.

File:Surging seas climate change New York 10ft.png

The “Surging Seas” map blends OpenStreetMap and aerial imagery to interactively simulate sea level rise due to climate change. Here we see New York after a 10ft rise, the maximum setting. The storm surge of Hurricane Sandy brought a rise of up to 13ft.



Students from Azores Islands, Portugal, visiting Germany on a training course in JOSM and QA Editor as part of the Life Long Learning Mapping Project.

File:T garmin.jpg

“Life Long Learning Mapping Project : Şeyma, Kader, Neslihan,(teachers: Manfred, Miray) Simge, Özge, Our project aims to tackle the issue of gender-stereotyping. Students from Karacabey, Turkey, learning how to use a tracking device (Garmin) to improve OSM in Turkey.”

File:UCAD team Dakar.JPG

Team from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop after a five day training course in AUF Dakar. 23 students and researchers focussed on mapping the Medina municipality of Dakar, Senegal. See the HOT blog write-up by Augustin Doury.

File:Cubbon Park OSM Map.png

Pedestrian Map for Cubbon park, Bangalore, created as part of a class project at NID. Students developed a system of navigation and wayfinding for visitors to the park. Data was collected using Walking Papers, added to OpenStreetMap, and then exported and processed in Adobe Illustrator for the final output.


Students and teachers from five countries meet in Saarburg, Germany to learn how to gather data, use mapping devices, feed in and maintain the OSM data. Meetings in Portugal, Slovenia, Romania and Turkey will follow as part of this two year EU funded Comenius project.



One of the many apps available for navigation purposes, this is a screenshot of OSMAnd on an Android phone.

Want to help?

Obviously, there are many more great things to be said about this project and the data’s many uses. If you want to help make this this great project grow, feel free to have a look at the beginner’s guide on the wiki and navigate the rest of the pages to learn more. You can also ask questions on OSM help. (With more than 7000 questions, it is likely yours is already answered!) But you can also go straight to the main website, create an account and click “edit” to contribute your local knowledge to you area’s map!

OpenBeerMap: what beers are offered nearby?

6 Aug OpenBeerMap close-up

I am a big fan of OpenStreetMap (OSM), the collaborative map of the world, in particular because of what people can create from all the information contained in that open database.

One really nice one is the OpenBeerMap project. It focuses on where a beer can be found close to you, but also what kind of beers are served (if the information was added to the database).

OpenBeerMap's website. Find the closest Karmeliet. Quick.

OpenBeerMap’s website. Find the closest Karmeliet. Quick.

Noémie (nlehuby on Github) has created a nifty website that uses that data with a nice minimalist Stamen background, integrated with Leaflet. You can share your location in your browser and find the closest bars/pubs/cafés, and if they are tagged with the “brewery” key in the OSM database, it will tell you which brands of beer they offer. You can find the sources of the website (and fork it) on its Github page, and a detailed account of the developing process on Noémie’s blog (in French).

This website is a more modern version of Open Brewpub Map, or rather complements it as it shows slightly different information: it only reveals the places that have been tagged with the “microbrewery” key, i.e. the places that produce their own craft beer.

I think that the website becomes even more useful on a smartphone. Here is the (very) easy guide to OpenBeerMap on Android.

There is no dedicated app for it yet, so head to from your stock browser. There, you can browse the map and see information about the surrounding bars.

One great thing is that you can add information about the particular bar you are sipping a beer at, straight from the website. Just click the “add information about this bar” and you can update what beers that are available, add a new brand if it is not listed already, confirm WiFi availability and fill in the opening hours and even the happy hours to help your fellow cerevisaphiles! (Although for the moment the two hour fields are greyed out because, according to Noémie – and I can confirm that! –, the formatting for the OSM tags related to time are a bit tricky to get right.) Note that your edits will be credited to the user account OpenBeerMapContributor, and not yours. If you want your contribution to be credited to you, you can always use the link “éditer directement dans OpenStreetMap”.

Node modified via OpenBeerMap

Node modified via OpenBeerMap

To make it easier to access it on your phone, bookmark the website and select “Add to home screen” in order to create a launcher (see pictures below). It will even have a nice maß icon.

Another way to do it is to use Firefox to visit the Firefox Marketplace and get the OpenBeerMap app, for a more native experience (launcher, updates and uninstalling all work). And if you are on Firefox OS, go straight to the Marketplace to find it!

One known issue with the website is that it will only show nodes, and not the polygons that have the right tags. Another problem is that, as the website looks for places tagges as pubs, bars and café, even the ones not tagged with the “brewery” key, the beer glass icon does not necessarily mean that you will find beer there: you might just be able to have a cup of tea instead.

Now, hopefully this new website will attract more information to the database. At the time of writing, only 1883 objects are tagged with the “brewery” key. Contributing to the database will make it more useful for everyone. And give you a good excuse to drink more beers.


Edit: This article was edited on the 11th of August 2014 to integrate the comment I got from Matthias Ämmm on Diaspora (about Open Brewpub Map) and the comments from Noémie herself (about the actual map background and the Firefox integration). Thanks guys!