Idea: Ask Mozilla for in Firefox new tab page?

I know, I know, they get kickbacks for including commercial websites, but hear me out:
Mozilla’s mission is “(…) to promote openness, innovation & opportunity on the Web”.
The precedent is already there; Wikipedia is or was included on that page.
Could we ask them to include OpenStreetMap in the new tab page:

  • in countries with high absolute FF installs but low relative number of OSM contributors per capita
  • optionally, if they’re not comfortable doing this for all users, just for a fraction of them?

This seems as it could be done within their Experiment framework.
After the link is rolled out, we can observe the impact quite easily in the Pascal Neis’ tools.
If that succeeds, then maybe expand it?

Anyone in @osmf-board being in touch with them?


How much does that cost?

See this:

I doubt Wikipedia pays them. That’s the point. We’re a non-profit (even more so, aligned with their stated mission) and so may ask for special treatment with a straight face.


Oh, and here’s the data compiled manually using, Wikipedia and Statcounter. I just took top ~40 countries by the number of internet users.

There’s some correlation between FF usage and OSM contributorship, but there are many outliers which could be targeted in this campaign.


Relatedly, I suspect it would be feasible to get Nominatim added to Firefox as an optional search plugin, but branded as OSM for discoverability. Each Firefox localization ships with its own selection of search plugins, typically featuring the services that best serve the regions where the language is spoken. Volunteer localizers are responsible for curating and implementing bundled search plugins; some of these localizers are probably also OSM mappers.

This would help to make up for when Mozilla chose to build HERE maps into Firefox OS. :unamused:

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Thanks for this idea, Rico! Do you know someone from Mozilla who we can connect to? Have you discussed this with a Mozilla personnel or contributor/active community member?

BTW, Wikimedia East, South East and thr Pacific (ESEAP) conference organizers has invited OSMF Board to participate. They let us know that they also invited Mozilla. So it can also be an opportunity to connect.

I am open to suggestions :slight_smile:

OSMF Board from ESEAP region


Given the board-required budget cuts I don’t see this as possible. When we’re looking at cutting load to save money we can’t consider adding something like what you suggested.

Not that it’s a bad idea, just the OSMF can’t afford it.

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Just to be clear, this wasn’t a suggestion about the OSMF doing or facilitating anything in particular. It’s always been possible for a Mozilla localizer to get Nominatim added as a search plugin for a particular localization of Firefox in, say, German or Swahili. They would just point the plugin to the same URL that the search box on uses. Mozilla would consult any provider for permission before launching with it, which would be an opportunity for the OWG to decline.

Having gone through this process for Vietnamese many years ago, I’d anticipate negligible actual usage of this search plugin, whatever visibility it brings OSM. Virtually no one would switch their default search engine from Google or DuckDuckGo to a specific interest search engine. I would naïvely expect many more visits from placing OSM in the new tab page, but then again, the homepage and tiles would be more aggressively cached than Nominatim search results.

Note that it points to OSMF-run server (maintained by @pnorman and others).

Sadly I don’t know anyone from Mozilla. If there’s an opportunity to discuss it, that would be fantastic. I need to search whether there’s any info in the open about how these links are being selected, probably it’s documented at some of their project trackers or wikis.

Hi Rico,

I have reached out to friends / osm contributors who are also Mozilla contributors, so essentially, there can be 2 options:

  1. If we create a nominatim plugin for firebox browser it will be like a bookmark we can do it without consulting anyone we can create an extension and publish it.

  2. But the bigger picture what I (Subhash) understand from the idea is asking Mozilla to make osm as one of the search engine just like Wikipedia, google and bing. For example if you want to search any wiki page , on Firefox browser you can type a shortcut @wikipedia and you will get search results for the topic. This is very cool and very very helpful but for this to happen we need to reach out to top people in Mozilla

I have reached out to an active Mozilla tech/dev contributor and he likes this idea and can open this to their upcoming dev call. I told him this is just an idea and we can have formal call if we want to make this happen. Let me know what you think?


There already is a search plugin for OSM. Go to, right-click on the location bar, press 'Add “OpenStreetMap Search”. Now you can choose OSM as the search engine in the search box.

I’ve been happily using this for years together with the Swift Selection Search extension. It allows to mark place names in news articles and jump directly to the appropriate OSM map. Quite helpful sometimes.

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Well, the discussion was derailed :wink:
I was talking about THIS area.
On the picture: a default new tab screen launched on a new Firefox profile with Polish locale.


The new profile bit is important though because if it wasn’t a new profile those buttons would mostly be based on your browsing history, other than a couple of sponsored ones at the start if you have that enabled.

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Yes, sorry for derailing. I figured that placement would run into concerns about bringing additional load to the servers from so much visibility, but in fact my suggested alternative ran into those exact concerns. :sweat_smile: