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News — 01 December, 2016

HOT's OSM Tasking Manager 3.0 Development Kick-Off!!

Dear Friends,

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)  is leading a community focused software development project to design, specify, develop and release the next generation of its OSM Tasking Manager 2.0 (TM2) software. With the generous support of the USAID GeoCenter, experts in the use of geospatial tools and analysis in a humanitarian context, and the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, experts in finding new ways to solve problems through their Disaster Management Innovation (DMInnovation) Indonesia program, HOT will be able to lead a community driven project, in collaboration with some of the best open source geospatial designers and developers in the world to produce a user friendly Tasking Manager 3.0 that is focused on engaging users to better connect them to the OSM community.

The project is OSM community focused and we are looking forward to involving as many skilled OSM designers, coders and system admin community members as possible. The Tech Challenge we are issuing is designed for collaboration to deliver the final project. If you think you have some needed skills to contribute, you are encouraged to apply, inidividuals, 2 person teams, companies, or consortia. You will be working directly with the Tasking Manager stakeholders throughout the process to support you in agile development.

The existing Tasking Manager 2.0 version of the software has been used by many organizations and 10's of thousands of people to put about 30 million people on the map just in the past 2 years.

Think about the impact of that for a moment, 30 million lives touched for the better in some small ways by a software package.

You and your colleagues in the international OpenStreetMap (OSM) community have really put the software to the test and pushed its limits while making a difference in people's lives.

The overall increase in usage and the new and innovative ways people are using the software have helped identify a number of areas that need adjustments and improvements.

Through a community driven process we will develop and implement significant improvements to functionality of TM2 organized around the 5 key goals for the project, UI/UX improvements, better mapper engagement, improved project creation and management tools, validation and exposing a complete API.

A full description of the Tasking Manager 3 project objectives and methods can be found in the project Terms of Reference here:

Comments on that document are open and welcome, please leave any thoughts or comments on it!

A HOT "Tech Challenge" has been released to find the right team of folks to make the most of this opportunity through their skills and experience in OSM, design, community engagement, and code.

There are many ways for the community to contribute throughout the process. We will have early and often builds for testing and many channels for feedback.

First of all, if you have contributed any comment via the HOT email list about the Tasking Manager, your experiences, new mappers, validation, project design, etc, thank you, thank you! We have already started incorporating those comments into the project. Please keep them coming. Same thing applies to already filed GitHub issues, thank you so much, those are what we are working from as well. Now is a good time to go back to GitHub and look for any issues you have filed and update them if you have any new insights or ideas.

Join a working group is also a great way to be more directly involved. The Tech Working Group will be heavily involved with the back end version control, github and deployments, but the Training Working Group is already playing a huge role in UI, mapper engagement, project creation, etc. and that is just going to continue I hope. I as Project Manager will be at all of their meetings to keep them up-to-date and get their input on every part of the project and after the project as a TrWG member :)

Attend community meetings on mumble. We will have several voice based community meetings on HOT's Mumble server throughout the project.

The 2 co-equal  channels for high involvement or closely tracking progress, you have to sign in, but it is worth it:
HOT Slack -
HOT's GitHub -

No sign in required for:
IRC: channel: HOT
Working Group Meetings
Skype if you already use it (mention it is TM3 related :)

I am HOT's overall Project Manager for the Tasking Manager 3 development process, please contact me anytime if you have any comment, feedback or questions.

Please meet Ethan Nelson ( ) he has been a leading volunteer in the HOT dev community for the Tasking Manager. This project is already off to a great start because of the time and effort Ethan and others have put into the Tasking Manager for the past year and a half. Our software and discussions can tend to focus on mappers, validators and project creators, but the back end development and systems volunteers keep this place going so we can all do what we do best.

I encourage everyone meet (most of) the back-end collaborators via the HOT github repository:

You might be surprised to see who all helps via the back end systems. If you ever wanted to get more in to contributing to open source software projects, documentation, translation, feedback directly to developers, graphics, UI, code (js, java, python, shell) etc HOT's github is a great way to do that. There are opportunities in all those areas to make significant contributions. And you will be volunteering along side some of the best open geo spatial developers in the world to help you along the way.

Signing up for and just glancing at the issues for the Tasking Manager 2 software is a very easy way to increase the impact of your mapping and other activities on the development side of things.

Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to this topic over the past 2 years. We have read literally every email, github issue, document and analysis given to us during that time and will be relying on them and the discussions to come as we develop the next awesome version of the OSM Tasking Manager. We are very glad you are all a part of it!