[OSM-dev] OpenID for OpenStreetMap?

Samat K Jain lists at samat.org
Thu Feb 10 00:46:52 GMT 2011

Recent discussions on IRC have been making me want to bring up—why does OpenStreetMap not yet support OpenID?

Apparently, OpenID is already (mostly) implemented in a dev install of the rails port:


It doesn't appear to work anymore, however; at least I'm unable to login with my normal OSM credentials and associate my OpenID with them.

OpenStreetMap now has (at least) 3 sets of logins, just for the web:

 * OpenStreetMap.org
 * Help.OpenStreetMap.org, though this has an SSO mechanism
 * Wiki.OpenStreetMap.org

This situation is only going to get worse. OpenStreetMap supporting OpenID (at least, as an OpenID consumer) for its web properties alleviates this problem for the far majority who have an OpenID (use GMail? Yahoo Mail? you've an OpenID! You can also setup your own trivially[1]).

Just to reiterate the problem OpenID will solve: instead of having multiple username/password pairs for each of these services, users will only need to use their single OpenID (or many, should they want to associate multiple OpenIDs with their account, which is a feature the best OpenID consumers have).

I should make it clear: it's unlikely that OpenID replace the normal OpenStreetMap.org credentials that we already have. But it does alleviate the need for separate logins for all these other sites.

OpenID also provides a platform to build an SSO (single-sign on) system in the future E.g. see Ubuntu and how they tie Launchpad, the Community Wikis, etc together with a single username/password pair. Annoyingly, Launchpad doesn't let you associate your existing OpenID with their login system.

I haven't been able to find much previous discussion on the mailing lists, and the discussion on the wiki[2] is less discussion and more a few persons' opinions. I'd like to open up the debate again—especially when it's just a matter of merging code that's already written.

  [1]: http://intertwingly.net/blog/2007/01/03/OpenID-for-non-SuperUsers
  [2]: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Single_sign_on


Samat K Jain <http://samat.org/> | GPG: 0x4A456FBA

For the world is divided, experience teaches, into two parts: things to be murdered, and things that would hinder the murder of things...
-- Grendel, John Gardner (60)
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