We re-start our interview series with OpenStreetMap communities around the world today with a look at the OpenStreetMap community in Galicia an autonomous community in northwestern Spain.


1. Who are you and what do you do? What got you into OpenStreetMap?

We are the Galician community of OSM in Galicia. We say this because there are Galicians all over the world!

We work mostly in our region, in order to improve the map and standardize our language: Galician. This is a good platform for this, because sites like google tend to mix Galician and Spanish, leading to inconsistencies, lack of information and little support for minority languages (in the case of Spain: Galician, Catalan and Basque).

2. What would you say is the current state of OSM and the OSM community in Galicia?

OSM has a brutal rhythm with respect to the past, each time it grows more and gets better, that’s a joy.

In Galicia it happens as in most places, we have very well mapped areas and others that are still to be done. In general, the important thing is done, now we need to focus on details such as the landuses and the importation of the cadastre to have all the buildings of the region represented. Logically, the more people, the better, wherever you are.

3. What are the unique challenges and pleasures of OpenStreetMap in Galicia? What aspects of the projects should the rest of the world be aware of?

Our great challenge is to finish normalizing our language, especially in the private sector, which is very abandoned. Thanks to OSM, that more and more companies use it, we can have our own voice and show that not everything is Spanish here. That is one of our great challenges, recover the lost ground with the language. Teaching all our institutions the possibilities of OSM is something that has to be linked with OSM.

There is also a lot to map, Galicia is not a small area precisely. We are with big projects like the adaptation and normalization of all the roads of the territory, learning to use the tools for the importation of cadastre, improving our rural areas with the landuses, adding hydrants for the fire warning that we have due to the heat wave that looming, etc …

In general the work is being very good, with very good volunteers and a remarkable growth of users.

4. What is the best way to get involved? Are there regular meetups, or a place the community chats online?

We currently have a Telegram group for better communication, a twitter account, and the Wiki. In the past, educational projects have been carried out by schools and universities to learn how to use the ID editor and all OSM possibilities. The future? We will see what lies ahead …

5. What steps could the global OpenStreetMap community take to help support OSM in Galicia?

More cooperation between regional communities is needed, everything starts with a follow on twitter and ends with a close relationship between communities. We are all here for the same task and help, or at least promotion, among us is key to attracting users and revenue. All this translates into higher quality in the OSM project.

6. In a few weeks OSM will celebrated its 14th birthday, so we are well into the “teenager” stage of the project. But what will it look likes when it “grows up”? Where do you think the project will be in 10 years time, both globally and in Galicia specifically?

Ten years are many years. Since the creation of OSM everything has changed a lot, imagine in 10 more years! We are positive, and we believe that OSM will improve much more and it will be a tool so used that it will be part of the daily life of millions of people, just as other projects do.

As we know, OSM Foundation has the obligation to keep this project out of private hands, and we are in charge of making this not happen, contributing money and actively contributing to their projects.

Thank you very much for this little interview and see you soon.

Moitas grazas e deica logo.

Muchas gracias y hasta pronto.

Thanks very much, it is wonderful to see yet another local community growing and filling in their corner of the map. One of my life goals is to complete the Camino de Santiago, during which I can hopefully take advantage of the mapping efforts of the Galician OSM community.

Anyone interested in learning more should follow @osmgalicia on twitter.


Please let us know if your community would like to be part of our interview series here on our blog. If you are or know of someone we should interview, please get in touch, we’re always looking to promote people doing interesting things with open geo data.