Filtering OpenStreetMap Changesets by a Specific Comment

by Pascal Neis - Published: February 2nd, 2014

In my last blog post I showed that OpenStreetMap (OSM) changesets offer a great opportunity to visualize the latest changes to the OSM map or to compute some up to date descriptive statistics of a particular region (Typhoon Haiyan OSM Response Map). Oftentimes OSM contributors use tags, comments or hashtags in their changesets to provide additional information about the features they mapped. For example it is quite common to add a specific hashtag, such as #notlm (Night of the living maps), to the changeset comment to link to a mapping party or another event. To filter or collect changesets with these notations, I developed a new webpage:


The newly created website allows you to search for specific terms that have been used in a changeset’s comment section within the past 7 days. The changesets are based on an hourly updated OSM database. Every colored rectangle that is visualized on the map depicts one changeset. Additional descriptive statistics, such as the total number of contributors or map changes, are displayed on the left side of the website. Furthermore, charts illustrate the history of the number of changesets and contributors for the most recent 7 days. At the bottom of the left pane the TOP 5 countries with the most map changes that include the searched term are listed (for this computation the center of the changesets’ rectangle is used).

It is quite interesting to search for “bing” or “survey” (or “gps”). Give it a try and see which tags have been used in recent days. I hope that this tool is quite useful for any type of event or mapping party. It is available here:

Thanks to maɪˈæmɪ Dennis