OpenStreetMap Forum history

A short description of the OpenStreetMap forum history.

April 2006 - Take 1:
While the OpenStreetMap has many ways from which you can choose to communicate with, a forum has long been absent. Dave Leverton filled in this gap and started a forum on his family’s website. It was initially intended as a testing forum for Dave, but soon members of the OSM community discovered it and began actively posting to the surprise of Dave. Unfortunately spammers also found their way to the forum, quickly filling it with spam which forced Dave to shut it down in December 2006.

March 2007 - Take 2:
While using the mailing lists and the IRC channels works fine for me, I feel that OSM needs a forum so that it becomes easier accessible to potential new users and contributors to the OSM project and will therefore be a benefit to the community. During discussions on the IRC about the use of forums v.s. mailing lists someone (Ben?) informed me about the former existence of Dave’s forum. When I contacted him, Dave kindly provided me with the contents of his forum’ database. I created a new forum on and imported the users, topics and posts from the old forum. Hopefully this one will prove useful to the OSM community for a long time.

April 2007 - Now official: now points to Thanks to Nick Hill for setting the referrer up! Unfortunately the hosting provider does not have the proper vhost configuration so the referrer does not work.

October 2007 - Now really official:
A new attempt to point to this forum leads to success.

November 10, 2007 - Look ma, without registering!:
One of the most frequent requests in the past has been to get rid of separate usernames/passwords for the forum. This has now been solved by using the main OpenStreetMap user account authentication as provided by the API. Everyone with an account on OpenStreetMap should be able to post to this forum without the need to create a forum account.

September 2009 - Growing and growing:
Move the forum to a new host sponsored by Oxilion due to increased bandwidth usage which is exceeding the hosting package on which the forum was running previously. This move has been used to migrate the forum to the latest version of FluxBB (the non-commercial punBB spinoff) which should fully support UTF-8.

June 2010 - Evolution:
Update to FluxBB 1.4.0.

February 2012 - All about securiy and easy of use:
Update to FluxBB 1.4.8 including all available language packs. The EasyBB Code plugin is also installed for easier quoting and markup of new posts.

August 2015 - major spamrun:
Moderation is outpaced by a notorious and relentless spam run so more (temporary) moderators were hired and an extra admin button added that not only allows a moderator to ban a user but removes all posts/topics and all profile information of that user in one go.

September 2015 - Who’s boss?
The spammers don’t give up easy so the forum is updated to FluxBB 1.5.8 which allows spam control through automatic usergroup promotion and the post moderation mod.


  • Open link in new tab mod.

  • Authenticate against main OpenStreetMap website
    Custom made mod exclusively for this forum.

  • Post moderation for new users
    This mod became necessary after a notorious spam run that could not be defeated using existing methods.

  • Disable password editing in user profile
    Forum uses OSM API for authentication

  • Added favicon.ico

Some more history is described here: