OSM Photos

Note: This project is still in its conceptional stage. There is no app that you can use yet. I am looking forward to your feedback and ideas (see below).

What is OSM Photos

A photo uploader for Wikimedia Commons and OpenStreetMap

The main purpose of the app is to make it easier to upload photos of buildings, monuments etc. to Wikimedia Commons and link them to the corresponding objects in the OpenStreetMap database, making them available for OSM apps as well as Wikimedia Projects and external users of Wikimedia Commons content. Contributing should be so easy that it can be realized while walking down a street.

A OSM photo viewer

OSM Photos can also be used to view photos from Wikimedia Commons on a map. Instead of showing photos as pins or thumbnails at the location where the photos were taken, OSM photos highlights the object (e.g. building, monument) that is shown on the photo. This makes it easier to find for example all photos of a certain building without the need to look at all photos that were taken near the building to see whether the building is the subject or not.

Why do I need a new app for that?

Uploading photos of OSM objects

At the moment finding objects that need photos, take and upload photos to Commons and link them to OSM is a complicated process with at least two apps involved:

  1. Use an OSM app, inspect the object to see if it already has an wikimedia_commons tag.
  2. If not, open Commons app, take a photo, add descriptions, find and add fitting categories, upload.
  3. Copy file name.
  4. Open an OSM editor, add the file name as wikimedia_commons tag. Upload.

With this the OSM Photos app, the workflow will be much more convenient:

  1. A map will show you at a glance which objects already have wikimedia_commons tags and which don’t.
  2. Select an object that needs a photo, press a button and upload a photo. You are done.

The app will automatically add fitting descriptions and categories to the Commons page of the file. It will then add the wikimedia_commons tag to the OSM object and upload that change to the OSM database.

Viewing photos of OSM objects

There are already apps for viewing photos of OpenStreetMap objects like Osmand or OsmAPP. But with OSM Photos it will also be possible to see photos of additional kinds of objects, like unnamed buildings, streets, trees etc. Other apps also don’t have an option to filter the map to only show those objects that have an image.

How can I help?

As this project is still in its conceptual stage, I need help in the following areas:


I don’t need pull requests yet, but if you have ideas how the app could best do what it should do, any help would be appreciated. Especially people familiar with Commons API and OSM API would be a big help.

UX and features

If you have ideas how the app should behave to be as helpful and easy to use as possible for Wikimedia and OSM contributors, please contribute your ideas. Feature requests are also welcome.


If you are a designer and have ideas how this app could be designed, I would be grateful for your ideas. The difficult task is that this app is intended for Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap contributors, so the app should, if possible, have a design where both of these user groups can feel at home.


Copyright (C) 2022 Michael Brandtner

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


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