Which are the initial categories we want to enable? Which communities would they support?

Since the original goal for this tool to be deployed is to modernize certain existing OSM tools, we believe that at least we need to kick-start with 3 top-level categories:

  • Help and support: To be used for gradually migrate OSM Help site.
  • Communities: To host country-level categories and allow their migration from the old OSM forums.
  • Site feedback: This category to discuss and talk in an open and transparent way about OSM Community discourse, it’s governance, issues and improvements.

Additionally we would like this instance to be used for other functional OSM groups, including working groups and event-related groups, such as global and local SoTM or Humanitarian Open Mapping discussions for example.

Request for new categories will be organized from this very same category and we will prioritize existing active community groups that want to migrate from old OSM tools. Note that we don’t have the capability to import content/users from other tools and we suggest old tools to archive their old content as an static HTML site and start fresh over here.

Are there other categories you consider should be prioritized for this initial phase? Why?

Update (April 2022)

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I’d suggest a minimal set of initial categories - an early habit with boards like this is to make too many categories, making everywhere seem deserted. Start with a few big headline categories, then expect to add several more categories as particular topics start to dominate.

I’d start with something like…

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Tagging
  • Imports and data sources
  • Editors and tools
  • Possibly a few of the most likely regional boards?

The need for more will come up, and they can be created organically as needed.


Maybe a category for (each) local chapter(s)?

Some local chapters have their own (discourse) forum… for example https://forum.openstreetmap.fr/

How de we handle that ?

In one way it can be seen as some fragmentation if the goal is to have a large global forum here, but in another way, it can be seen as fragmenting existing active forums.

For very active local communities or chapters, the 2 levels categories/sub-categories will not fit in a global OSMF forum.

About categories, here is what we have on the OSM-France Discourse:

  • Introductions
  • I’m beginning !
  • Contribute : advanced tools, data sources, photo based
  • Use: osmand, QGis, uMap
  • Themes: outdoor, education, public transport
  • Announcements: OSM-FR, jobs, events, SOTM
  • OpenStreetMap France
  • Regions: one sub category per french region
  • Local groups: one sub-category per active local group

We reused the categories we had in the previous phpBB based version of our forum (which had been transfered to Discourse), and created new ones due to the gradual switch from mailing-lists to Discourse for regions and local groups.

I’d be interested in thematic categories. For example, cycling, humanitarian mapping, long-distance trails, waterways, that sort of thing. A lot of OSM mapping is done by enthusiasts for a particular theme, but at the moment there’s not really any easy way for them to share good practice or learn from each other, particularly across country boundaries. A few have their own international mailing lists but not many.


One more thing Discourse brings is tags/keywords that can be attached to a topic.

You can subscribe to tags, get notifications based on them, select topic with them, etc.

Is it even possible to have tags automatically added based on word lists: someone mentions osmand or umap in its post, the tags are added automatically.


In case of migrating OSM forum here we need a “Poland” subforum for Polish community.

(most discussions would be in Polish, with occasional foreign language poster from abroad)


Would it be worth having a forum for the OpenStreetMap Foundation (i.e. as a forum equivalent for osmf-talk@)?


A post was split to a new topic: Import tags from OSM Help

2 posts were split to a new topic: Handling categories and languages

I think mirroring the categories of some mailing lists, like tagging, would be useful. Also regional categories.

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For Poland subforum I would propose giving moderator rights to people holding them at forum.openstreetmap.org.

The same may be a good idea for other similar subforums.


Thanks for the ideas Sam. From the categories you suggested:

  • How active they are in other existing tools currently?
  • Do you think there is/can be desire for a transition from the current tool to this one?
  • Are there super active/committed users that could moderate these categories?


How do you think categories should be requested and which requirements should they fit?

We can have local chapters as top level categories to allow them to have sub-categories. Would that work?


That’s great to hear. What do you think should be the requirements to request a category for a community? Are there people over the Polish community who can commit to moderate the category?

Is there a desire from the current channel to transition over here? What would be the scope for this category? Are there a few people who can commit to moderate it?

Thanks for the suggestion. How do you think communities or groups should request new categories? What requirements they should have?

It’d be good to have an OSM-related tech category, similar to #imagery-and-resources on the OSM World discord ^-^

Thanks for the suggestion.

  • What’s the current activity of this channel?
  • Do you think there is potential desire to transition to these forums?
  • Are there people who could commit to moderate the category here?