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

Maybe a thread under this category for requesting, with a template that can be used? There should also be a demonstratable use for the category, and inactive ones should be archived.

As for the imagery-resources, it’s pretty active, mainly used for discussing imagery layers, and I’m sure there are people who’d be willing to moderate (I can help if needed).

As for users migrating from the mailing lists, I’m unsure. OSM has conventionally been more accepting than other FOSS related community on adopting new technologies (e.g. IRC is basically unused, Discord and Matrix are being used more and more), but the mailing lists have become so engraved into the community it might be hard for a switch.

1 Like

It is a key goal of this platform to offer local chapters and communities, such as OSM France, an opportunity to have their conversations on OSMF-hosted infrastructure and reduce the fragmentation between different communication channels. So I hope we can find ways to make this platform work for you! If it’s not suitable, then IMO we would have to reconsider the platform’s architecture.

I suspect the limit on nesting categories is one of the biggest challenges here. Do you think your category hierarchy could be flattened?

For example, the “Regions” category seems to mostly exist to give more structure to the category page, not so much as a category in which one would post directly. It seems to be possible, albeit a bit hacky, to group categories below a heading as an alternative way of giving structure to them (I’m thinking of the CSS solution – not solution in the last post):

Also, there is nothing stopping us to have biggest/high traffic communities with a top level category and their own subcategories if needed.

1 Like

Thanks for the idea, I’ve started with a #site-feedback:issues subcategory to get all issues and requests (With tags to differentiate), we can always split into a separate category-request subcategory if needed in the future.

One of the criteria will be the migration of all the content we have (26K+ posts, 4K+ topics) and all the accounts (1K).
There’s many tool to migrate existing phpBB/fluxBB and other BB to Discourse. Is there something similar to migrate a Discourse into another Discourse ?

Our Discourse instance has been setup one year ago by migrating all the content from a 12+ year old phpBB.

Oops… maybe I missed something !

Are you considering migrating the (almost inactive) forum at users: France / OpenStreetMap Forum or merging forum.openstreetmap.fr into community.openstreetmap.org ?

There are no current plans to migrate any content.

Unfortunately people jumped the gun on launching this somewhat and OWG didn’t have a chance to revisit the question of what if any data should be migrated - we have discussed it in the past but it was quite a long time ago and I can’t remember what conclusions we reached.

That was purely about osm.org content though - stuff from forum.openstreetmap.org, help.openstreetmap.org and lists.openstreetmap.org. I don’t believe we have ever considered bringing in content from third party sites.


Yeah, as Tom commented, there are currently no plans for content migration, but rather encourage and support transitions to the new tool.

The conversation about content migration happened a few times and it was clear that the amount of work and complexity was too high compared with the outcome.

Having the old content hosted/served as a html/static site can help preserve content for historical purposes and, at the same, allow the new forums to be clean and tidy from the start.

This is what some big forums have done in the past, since it’s unlikely that 5 year-old discussions/questions are relevant anymore, and in any case they can always be linked to start a new fresh and updated conversation.

Are there any specific concern with this approach? We can talk about this on a separate topic if there are more people who are not sure about this approach.

tools & software subgroups, e.g. ID, JOSM, Overpass, etc.
specific interest groups, e.g. HOT, etc.
i’m particularly interested in OpenHistoricalMap seeing as i’m on the advisory board, but most any well identified special interest deserves serious consideration. look to slack and discord groups for a list of candidates.


As a new contributor last year, it took me a long time to understand how region-specific and country-specific forums work. Among the causes I can list a year later, there are:

  • the existence of forums managed by local chapters vs forums for local chapters managed by OSMF, on which you tend to focus;
  • but also the confusion between languages and regions. Having been raised in open source communities, I was not interested specifically about France. It’s only after discovering that my favorite topic (hiking) was only discussed in languages I can’t read that I fell back on the (very active) French-speaking community to try and find other people interested in the same topics. It’s only after some time that I understood that for many contributors language is an issue.
  • the (non-existent) parallel with the wiki did not help either. There again it took me some time to understand the difference between FR: and France/

In my opinion this topic is far more reaching than just organizing the forum categories. It decides whether OSM is an international community or a set of national communities that send delegates at the international level. The current situation definitely fosters innovation in tags, but also cultural fragmentation; I’m still unclear why there are so many tag/relation patterns for hiking routes, for instance. Unfortunately I have no solution to propose, just this analysis to share.


Maybe it would be helpful to describe what would be your perfect experience as a contributor, trying to imagine a perfect future environment? How would it look like? (don’t be constrained about the current situation or tools, just describe your ideal contributor journey)

Is there a specific place listing all of these channels we should be looking into? Which requirements you think we should ask for categories to be approved?

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Handling categories and languages

I think the OSM World Discord might have a good list of possible channels:

List of channels in OSM World Discord








Now obviously I don’t suggest we copy verbatim all the channels, but I think some, are quite useful. Especially things like a wiki channel, imports, etc. Some of the OSM mailing lists may also be useful.


look at slack & discord, and see what’s busy and what’s not.

I would say that community dynamics on synchronous tools (chats) don’t usually behave the same as asynchronous ones like this discourse (or mailing lists), but it can give us a sense on where the community is most active. Thanks.


There will almost certainly always be an osmf-talk@ mailing list. But we could have 2 places.

Speaking of OHM, this might be a good opportunity to include topics that pertain to Openseamap.

1 Like

I’m not familiar with the structure in discourse yet but would it make sense to have a category for “Thematics” and ‘sub-categories’ for each of these topics (trails, humanitarian, teaching, etc)?

1 Like

i’d kind of like to see some actual categories set up. some are obvious - discussion areas for specific commonly used tools (as i said, JOSM, ID, Overpass…). and discussion areas for various sub projects and side projects (OHM, TeachOSM, the sea mapping and rail mapping efforts…). and of course, there is always a need for a place to argue about tagging.

But would it be category = tools with subs for specifics (tool = josm)?