Hi everyone,

here in the northern hemisphere summer has arrived, and that means it’s once again time for Google’s fantastic Summer of Code program (typically referenced as GSoC).

I am delighted to share that various OpenStreetMap related projects have again been accepted for funding, and that our co-founder, Marc Tobias will again be serving as a mentor.

For those unfamiliar with GSoC, it is a program in which Google agrees to fund students to work on qualifying open source projects for the summer. The students are mentored by experienced project contributors. The student makes money but more importantly gains invaluable real world experience and the project improves.

This is our fourth time serving as a mentor (past blog post).

This year’s project has to do with improving Nominatim’s support of Japanese addresses, and is titled Improving Japanese Search Capability: Adding Japanese Morphological Analysis Functionality. The work will be taken up by Miku Fukatsu (OSM user miku0), and she has written a post about the scope of the work. Miku’s help - someone who brings local knowledge and the linguistic ability of a native speaker - is sorely needed, and we look forward to seeing the progress on the project.

The project is only possible thanks to a great deal of preliminary work by primary Nominatim maintainer Sarah Hoffmann, who has spent a great deal of time modularising the software, and thus making it much easier to plug in language specific logic. Each language and country has its complexities and edge cases, humans have very complicated ways of describing the earth. If you would like to help improve Nominatim for your language, please get involved.

Thank you to everyone who applied to work on an OSM GSoC project, and many thanks to Google for their Summer of Code program, it is a wonderful way to support open source and grow the community. It is delightful, and a great example for the other global tech brands.

While we’re not quite Google’s size (yet!), we too are doing our part. Mentoring GSoC is just one of many ways we do our best to give back to the OpenStreetMap community.

Happy open sourcing!