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1. Press release: "Bleibt offen" starts in Germany, Switzerland and Austria – the collaborative map of all shops still open during lockdown

Veröffentlicht: 12 Apr 2020 / Deutsche Fassung / Version française
Verfasst von: Claas Augner

Is the bakery around the corner still open? Does my favourite restaurant also offer take-away? And until when is the supermarket still open? These are all questions that many people ask themselves in times of physical distancing and lockdown. The OpenStreetMap-based map of the community project “Bleibt offen” (engl. “Stays open”) has the solution. The goal: to save unnecessary trips and thus reduce the risk of infection with the coronavirus.

“Bleibt offen” consists of a map showing all important shops and places with their opening status: “Green stays open, red is closed.” The trick: if the status of a business is still unknown or outdated, anyone can report it easily, anonymously and with just a few clicks. In addition to whether a location is open, it is also possible to optionally enter different opening hours and details on delivery and take-away.

The map is based on OpenStreetMap, an international project founded in 2004 with the goal of creating a free world map. The OpenStreetMap data can be used and processed by anyone free of charge. An ideal basis for “Bleibt offen”: The map material and the locations of the shops are all taken from OpenStreetMap - in return, “Bleibt offen” feeds the reported data back into OpenStreetMap.

In France, the project already exists under the name of “Ça reste ouvert” since the first days of the lockdown, which began on 17 March. What began as a neighborhood project in the Parisian suburb of Montrouge has developed into a nationwide success: “Ça reste ouvert” received 20,000 reports in three weeks. Several cities officially use it as a tool to inform about open stores, including the major cities of Bordeaux and Lyon. In Bordeaux, the project logo will even be printed on bread bags.

Behind the German branch is a voluntary team of active OpenStreetMappers. Claas Augner heard about “Ça reste ouvert” on Twitter and joined the conversation with the French team. When the extension to the German-speaking area became more concrete, he called on the OpenStreetMap community for support. And he received it: Christine Karch from the Geofabrik, Sven Geggus from the FOSSGIS association and Michael Spreng from the Swiss OpenStreetMap association got in touch immediately.

“Bleibt offen” is already available in Germany (www.bleibtoffen.de), Switzerland (www.bleibtoffen.ch) and Austria (www.bleibtoffen.at). The activity will start after the Easter weekend, when the shops open again. Which ones are open, we’ll see on “Bleibt offen”…

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