Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Swanley, Kent, UK - Missing Maps Monday sessions

Posted by Tallguy on 28 February 2015 in English (English)

If you fancy getting involved in the Missing Maps Project, or Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team - HOT, but don't fancy a trip to London for one of the Mapathons which are held there, how would Swanley, Kent suit you.

Brief explanation for those not familiar with HOT or "Missing Maps Organisation"

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) are a team of volunteers who map areas needed by the Aid Organisations.
The American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors without Borders) (MSF) and HOT have teamed up under the banner "Missing Maps" with the aim of mapping those areas in greatest need. There is much more information on their individual websites which you can access from their logo's on the Missing Maps website.

Weekly sessions in Swanley

A small team of us are organizing a weekly Monday afternoon session based in the Christ Church Centre, Swanley (The map below is a clickable link) Swanley, Kent Christ Church Centre

If you already know how to map using the Tasking Manager, then come along and socialise whilst helping with the mapping - we have the upstairs rooms booked from 1.15pm to 4.30pm for Monday afternoons starting on the 9th March 2015. Please send me a message if you are coming in case we are getting full.

We're also running a couple of training sessions, each an hour and a half long, starting respectively at 1.15pm & 2.30pm aimed at getting someone with no knowledge of OpenStreetMap & how to edit, through to using JOSM or iD and making a real contribution towards mapping the areas needed by the Aid organisations. These are bookable sessions for up to 8 people - please message me to book a session.

For our first session on the 9th March we'll aim to do more work on an area in Epworth, Zimbabwe where MSF need a detailed map to help them deal with HIV - There is a lot more information under the description tab of Tasking Manager project #868 . The aim is to get the whole of this project complete before a ground survey at the beginning of April.

What do you need?

Please bring a laptop & mouse (There are a couple of spares in case they are needed - let me know if you need the use of one). Nothing fancy, just a basic laptop which can connect to WiFi. You'll be using a web browser - iD does not work with Internet Explorer, so install an alternative such as Firefox or Chrome. JOSM is a Java application, and it would be good if you followed the link & installed it before coming along.

Skill level - If you've followed the links on this message we should be able to teach you the remaining skills needed. You'll never know unless you try!

I hope to see you at one or more of the sessions - contact me from the links at the bottom of this message for more info.

Cost - Free!

I forgot to mention the cost - free to you. But it would be really good if you did some mapping for Missing Maps Project as they are making this all happen.

Thanks for reading.
Tallguy = Nick

Location: Swanley CP, Sevenoaks, Kent, South East, England, United Kingdom

Washington Milk RUN

Posted by Tparco on 28 February 2015 in English (English)


Editing of our travels in Sudan completed

Posted by Jan van Bekkum on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

Editing of the roads we travelled during our trip from the Netherlands to South Africa and their environment has been completed.


Posted by Super-Map on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

Hi all contributors of Open Street Map project, this is how I draw, represent an amphitheatre in OSM

I specify, I never go over there, it's just an information of an other user, nevertheless I use Bing imagery for to represent it. An area in the middle and steps in several directions...

Enjoy yourself with your favourite editor.

Have a nice mapping.

P.S.: Remember this: "nobody want, like, to use a bad map... but everybody like to use a nice map very useful (who all persons can improve it)... We have "guide" in OSM for to help us, his name: "Wiki" (the last point, it's about several other thing in OSM...)...

I like this fable: "It's not enough that your run fleet, Start early, that the way to beat" Translation for French people: "Rien ne sert de courir ; il faut partir à point".

Why i find vector tiles objectionable

Posted by zool on 27 February 2015 in English (English)

In reply to Steven Feldman on Twitter why do i object to vector tile services, it will definitely take more than 140 characters to explain, and then only partially explain.

The statement that i find vector tiles objectionable was triggered by a positive reaction nonetheless to Mapzen's Vector Tile Service. I'm fascinated to see it serving up GeoJSON according to a tile-based URL scheme like that in use for raster, imagery tiles.

VectorMap District is an underrated Ordnance Survey Open Data project for mid-scale views of maps. You can get it from the OS open data download pages, selecting from a series of National Grid tiles from what may be a horribly familiar image:

OS national grid

The National Grid tiles that we download with clenched teeth today come from grids and scales designed to be read on paper maps.

Registers of Scotland are my employers and they are well known for being some distance from completing a full "cadastral map", registering the ownership of all land and property in Scotland. Their Geographic Information Systems were probably once pioneering early-adoption when originally designed. But the database systems weren't strong enough to handle data on more than a county basis, so that's how the data got distributed amongst systems. Each county stores a set of overlapping tiles of OS data. It's converted back from modern data format into an archival format the old systems can understand. There is quite a maintenance load involved in this process alone.

When the organisation systems really were paper maps, tiled and scaled to the National Grid, Registers stored its model of land in the form of "parcel books". Chunks of OS maps, cut up and pasted onto cloth, painstakingly annotated with land ownership where it was registered, with extra copies at different scales describing "Research Areas" where work was ongoing and more than usual was known. The parcel books are beautiful, and in many ways more appropriate to the shared tasks of land registration and research than the GIS systems that are worked with today.

What does this have to do with vector tiles? My point here is that you get artefacts of the limits of the delivery system taking over the delivery system, being unnecessarily preserved. In addition, real problems are being masked by overdelivery of data, with a lot of detail unnecessarily handed over, or a lack of subtlety about what is appropriate scale in a given area. Standards evolved for raster data are a long way distant from what is now possible given the browser capability and bandwidth available in many places today.

Consider the OpenStreetMap API which limits data download to a maximum area or 50000 objects, whichever occurs the sooner. It doesn't serve up neat square fragments, but sections of longer ways are spilling out the edges of the request. It's hardly subtle as a regulating mechanism, but it's effective enough. The query support in Overpass API is much more powerful, and an application of sufficient size is likely to want its own cached store of GeoJSON, not depend on a third-party service for fundamental mapping.

What I would prefer to see than vector tiles is a data generalisation service that would produce the equivalent of products like VectorMap District & Local from OpenStreetMap data, making it all easier to work with at different scales. Clear annotations about what data sources have been subjected to what algorithmic processes. I also want to see clearer integration with QGIS and other open-source desktop tools. And I think these things will make more difference to delivery and to re-use than vector tiles.

Evolving HOT

Posted by Heather Leson on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

What can we do? This drives us every day to support HOT's mandate and mission. Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is a respected, global community within the larger OpenStreetMap family. For the past 2 years, I have proudly donated my time, network and skills to help HOT grow organizationally as your Board Member. I respectfully ask for a HOT nomination from the membership and community support to continue this mandate.

My previous election posts can be found on my personal blog. These were shared on the HOT mailing list with the wider community.

Summary of Achievements in the 2014-2015 term

Board Secretary

Organizational Development

  • Executive Director support: reviewed, wrote and edited key strategic and organizational process documents.
  • Board Retreat: Recruited Allen Gunn of Aspiration to facilitate the HOT Board Retreat. Curated the HOT Board Retreat Planning
  • Board primer: to better define Board responsibilities, I created the Board Primer
  • Actively participated in the HOT Strategy Planning
  • Actively supported the Membership Chair on Elections

Community Support

  • Supported the Community Working Sprint to better define the engagement opportunities
  • Wrote and gained support for the HOT Resolution process to better help us manage HOT topics.
  • Attended and co-lead a number of HOT Community Working Group meetings. These need some help to move forward.
  • Blogged and shared communications on various HOT Projects and Events
  • Hosted a HOT workshop at the IEEE Humanitarian Tech Conference (Canada) and OKFestival 2014 (Germany)
  • Hosted a HOT Birds of a Feather event at State of the Map US 2014


  • Wrote the HOT Terms of Reference for Fundraising
  • Edited many grant applications
  • Assisted in the community sprint for the Hewitt grant

Getting HOT to the next level

Every organization and especially open source organizations have an evolution. We aim to grow organically while building the healthy parts to support all the moving parts. HOT (the community and the organization) have made tremendous progress. In the coming year, it is key to keep up the momentum. The successful growth of the working groups and membership leadership gives way to a positive, sustainable future. HOT's Board counts on the organizational staff, Executive Director, consultants, membership and community. HOT is a well-established and sought after partner for projects. We have grown with staff and consultancies to support these amazing opportunities. Our funders continue to support HOT's evolution by funding strategic projects like OAM and Activation training. This, in turn, supports the whole HOT and OSM community.

This year I ask for your support to continue as your Board Member on the mandate of strategic planning, fundraising and organizational development.

As an active Digital Humanitarian and HFOSS leader, you can count on me to champion HOT as your Board Member and fellow community member. I will continue to advocate for HOT at events, online and for our community growth. You can learn more about me on my blog (TextonTechs) []

Be a HOT Board Member

To my fellow Hotties, HOT needs strong Board Members. I would encourage you to review the Board Primer, the HOT Strategy and all the Board Minutes. Please ask your current board and former Board Members for guidance. Together we can continue to support the amazing work of mappers, humanitarians and those citizens who want to learn.

I highly recommend that these skills be part of your personal toolkit to support HOT's future.

  • Strong network, partnership relationships, fundraising capabilities
  • Finance or legal background
  • Strategic and management experience
  • Language skills (Do you speak Arabic, Mandarin or another language?)

Thank you again for your support and here's to a great year.

Location: Al Dafna (60), Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar

Walking is good for you

Posted by dle0 on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

I did something to my ankle last Christmas, and have been walking recently as part of recovery. Birkdale has many hidden little nice places; I'm continually impressed by the quality of the local council's parks and water diversions.

OpenBelgium 2015

Posted by escada on 25 February 2015 in English (English)

OpenBelgium 2015 took place in Namur on February 23.

Ben Abelshausen organized a session on OpenStreetMap and asked me to be co-presenter. I arrived early in Namur, because I wanted to avoid the traffic jams around Brussels. Hence I had plenty of time for a short walk in the town center. Although a lot of POIs are already mapped, I still took over 300 pictures and hope to find some missing features. And yes, so far I found a couple of missing memorials, statues and it turned out that some POIs could be updated as. Haven't finished this yet.

Back to the conference. The session on OpenStreetMap was titled "It's the community, stupid" to emphasize that this data is not coming from the public sector, unlike most other data discussed in the other sessions.

I had the honour to kick of the session and talked about the daily life of a crazy mapper. After me, Jorieke showed the audience that mappers do work together via a variety of tools and that mapping can be a social event as well. She also talked about collaboration with communities in developing countries through HOT.

Next, Ben talked about imports and how good imports can enrich the community. Finally, Glenn talked about using OpenStreetMap data and how consumers can be part of the community as well.

Afterwards we had to answer several questions on quality, possible collaborations with the government and how people could start using data. It seems that there will be follow-up meetings on the use of and the contribution to OpenStreetMap within the public sector as well.

Exiting times and I hope this will increase the interest in OpenStreetMap.

It was also great to see Nicolas and Julien back, as well as meeting Marc Ducobu, who is doing the translations to French of our Mapper of the Month interviews.

The next event is a mapping party in Brussels with as main topics cycling and wheelchair access. The event will take place on April 25, for more info, see the wiki.

Hope to see you there.

Location: Bomel, Salzinnes, Namur, Wallonia, 5000, Belgium

February release delayed

Posted by josmeditor on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

The February release is delayed a few days until we clarify a certificate problem with OpenStreetMap Foundation.

What could help us: if you are a StartSSL customer (or know one), please ask them when they intend to be included in Java list of Root Certificate Authorities.

The goal is to be able to keep HTTPS access to the OSM API and website, for old and new versions of JOSM.

Busroutes in Brugge

Posted by peeweeke on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

A month ago the busroutes changed for a the eveninglines (avondlijn). (90-98)

I am planning to dig in, who wants to help out?

Kind Regards,


ATMs in Belgium

Posted by peeweeke on 24 February 2015 in English (English)


I have started to scroll through the websites of the big Belgian banks to locate the ATMs in Belgium.

My procedure is checking off, bank by bank, province per province.

I started with ING in West-Vlaanderen. If you pass through Alveringem, you'll see my first change.

This is a big task, so if you want to dig in ... go for it :) I started a task on Producteev to coordinate the effort. Sent me a private mail to be added as contributor.

Kind Regards,

Brecht (peeweeke)

Home Town Areal View

Posted by renewableenergy8838 on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

Areal image of my home town "Negombo- Srilanka"


Location: Taladuwa, Negombo, Sri Lanka

First Contributions

Posted by Mister_Contributor on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

Added a few basic points with iD on Avondale Lane, Aberdeen and Dunlop & Lisk, Matawan to gain basic familiarization with use of iD.

Mapping Parcel Data in Canada

Posted by DenisCarriere on 24 February 2015 in English (English)

Add TMS Parcel layer

Using OpenID in your browser, you can add custom overlays to your map.

Simple Workflow:

  1. Edit in OpenID
  2. Click Background settings tab B
  3. Click Custom
  4. Enter the URL below{u}&AppToken=MPAC_AMP_1383280_B00FB22218E02B82

It's not because you have accurate data that you have to upload all of them in OSM

Posted by Pieren on 23 February 2015 in English (English)

After reading this blog post:

I checked one of the created ways done after a survey with centimeter accuracy:

Unsurprisingly, all surveyed nodes have been imported in OSM. But OSM doesn't need a node every 30 centimeters, even not every meter if the angle is null.

Someone to contact Ragi Burhum, AmigoCloud CEO, to explain that JOSM is also providing a "simplify way" function ?

Turn lane (how to)

Posted by Super-Map on 23 February 2015 in English (English)

Hi OSM contrubutors, here you can see the result in the software (because on the classic map it isn't visible with classic layer)

We need to use the key lanes = x (x is the number of way in the both direction) in this case: lanes=4. We indicate the number of lane in the both directions: lanes:backward=2 lanes:forward=2 We need to use the lane on the left road if we want to turn left placement:forward=left_of:1 This is the mark sign indicator on the road turn:lanes:forward=left;through|through;right

Enjoy yourself

Of course all can improve it again (my work, my contribution)

P.S.: Don't forget, it's for to do a "map" and if we want somebody use it, it's must be a little bit "pleasant"...). But in the reality, it isn’t a simple map...

traffic_calming and lanes key tag

Posted by Super-Map on 22 February 2015 in English (English)

This is an example of traffic calming = island, we need only to draw one way and not two with several tag one it.

On this picture (the link below), you can see the lanes (numbers of lanes forward/backward and turn lanes) the result in the software and the mark on the real road (it isn't a trunk and motorway), so in the middle it' isn't a "guard_rail" so we can considered that like a "traffic_calming = island" (the road in the bottom is a bus way and we can't turn on it probably we can use a relation with "no turn" on it)

Before changeset:

After changeset

Location: Avenue Pierre Point, Lieusaint, Melun, Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, Metropolitan France, 77127, France

Upload complete

Posted by datasa_import on 22 February 2015 in English (English)

I have uploaded the entirety of the file processed_processed_fix_v7.osm as described on the wiki page

I will now begin some minor manual editing to deal with locations where recent user edits overlap with the imported data.

Third Anniversary of Mapping in the Peak District National Park

Posted by dudone on 22 February 2015 in English (English)

Yesterday marked three years from my first OSM changeset. Not long after starting mapping I set myself the objective of adding enough data to be able to make a good walking map of the Southern part of the Peak District National Park in three years. The main objectives were to survey and add all the remaining public rights of way (PROW) (footpaths & bridleways) and also to add all the field boundaries. When I started there was reasonable PROW coverage in some areas and virtually no field boundaries.

To put this objective into perspective there are, according to the National Park figures, 3510 PROWs in the park covering 1867 miless and 5440 mile of dry stone walls within the park. There are also good number of fences and hedges so the lenght of field boundaries to be mapped is probably half as much again.

I’m afraid to say I have failed to achieve the objectives in the three years I set myself.

Image of Southern Peak District Field Boundaires and Public RIghts of Way

The above gives a representation of what has been mapped to date. I was hoping to have achieved single figures for the PROWs but it stands at around 20. In retrospect it was a mistake to have a target for achieving the objective in the middle of the UK winter. The weather and short daylight hours have certainly been against me. It is also proving quite time consuming to pick off the last few footpaths. Parking is often problematic so you end up walking several times the length of the footpath just to survey it and get the gps trace. Survey is also not that efficient when trying to cover new footpaths. I've walked almost 1500 miles in the last 3 years but probably only mapped a quarter of this in new footpaths.

Field boundary coverage it quite good along all the footpaths that have been mapped. There are still a few empty patches. Some of this is moorland without field boundaries. Other areas don’t have any footpaths so they have been the last on the list to map.

After initial experimentation with note taking, voice mapping I became an avid photo mapper. I use to take a few composed pictures but this was time consuming and you could almost guarantee you hadn’t taken a picture of something when it came to editing. I now don’t stop to take pictures but just shoot several picture is an arc at regular intervals. I seem to have amassed 378,099 pictures to date! They have certainly made editing in JOSM much easier and hopefully more accurate and detailed. Editing has generally taken up more time than surveying.

With luck I will complete the above objectives for the Southern Peak District National Park in the new few months and is should be possible to produce, with the addition of contours, an alternative walking map for this area. It is then on to the Northern Peak District. Although it covers a larger area, large parts are moorland so the actual number of field boundaires is probably less. I was hoping to do this in another two years but logistically it is more difficult and surveying will have to be limited to the summer months.

The Peak District is a good place to go walking so hopefully this work will prove useful.


datasa waterbodies import

Posted by datasa_import on 22 February 2015 in English (English)

I have commenced the upload process for the import described on this wiki page:

Older Entries | Newer Entries