I’m happy to report that OpenStreetMap was again selected to receive funding for Google’s Summer of Code program, and proud that we will again be providing hardware support and our CTO will help provide mentorship on two of the four projects. The accepted projects are listed over on the OpenStreetMap wiki.
Both of the projects we are supporting have to do with improvements to Nominatim, one of the main geocoding systems we rely on. Both have to do with making it easier to report and surface bugs. The projects have started and will provide regular updates, you can follow along in their progress via their OSM diary pages:
Over the last year or so, the pace of development on Nominatim has increased significantly thanks to the stewardship of Sarah Hoffmann, Nominatim’s primary maintainer. We are delighted to help financially sponsor that work, and very appreciative of the other organizations that have joined us. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah about the Nominatim project on the Geomob podcast. Like OpenStreetMap itself, Nominatim is a project of huge scope with many technical challenges. More contributors are always needed, not least as a big focus of the recent work has been getting the project to the point where it will be much easier for native speakers of different languages to improve support for their language or part of the world. Hopefully all of the groundwork that is being laid will lead to a thriving community of contributors in the coming years.
Thank you to everyone who applied to work on an OSM GSoC project. There were many qualified applicants. Many thanks also to Google for funding Summer of Code, it is a great service that really benefits OpenStreetMap (and many, many other software projects). While we compete against Google in the geocoding space, we’re delighted to cooperate with them here.
One of the great joys - but also pains - of working on geocoding is that the work is never done, as evidenced by our similar support of OSM GSoC Nominatim in 2020 and 2019 (blog post). There is always more to do.
If you are looking for an interesting geo technical challenge please get involved in the development of Nominatim.