Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Mapper in the Spotlight: dkiselev (Russia)

Posted by escada on 12 February 2016 in English (English)

The Russian OpenStreetMap community is one of the largest. Still, I don't know a lot of Russian mappers. Since I wanted to get to know them better, I asked Zverik for some interesting mappers. He was so kind to give a list of candidates. And I just picked one, that happens to be dkiselev

Q: Who are you ?

I'm programmer from Russia, living in Yekaterinburg. Though I've been living in Montenegro for about two years, and it's clearly shown by my hdyc heat map. I like to travel and programming. For one part of my life I'm sitting on my laptop with my back to the rest of the world and for the other part I'm driving or strolling somewhere I've never been before.

Heat Map for dkiselev

Q: When and how did you discover OpenStreetMap ?

If I remember, I saw an article in Linux Magazine with article about OSM, and at that moment I was looking for map which renders one-ways. And OSM was just what I need. I've done some edits near my home, and can't stop edit ever since.

Q: What do you map ? Is there any difference with your early days ?

There are not so many differences in what I map, but in where I map. I could say that I'm armchair mapper, I love to map buildings, highways, rivers - all that basic stuff. An unmapped mid-sized town without mapped streets and buildings is like a Christmas gift for me.

Q: How do you map ? Do you make surveys ? Are you an armchair mapper ?

As I said, I am amchair mapper, but sometimes I like to take some POIs, or some small pathways in new neighborhood in my city. For POIs I use just a pencil and block note. Sometimes a smartphone with OsmAnd and photo-pois.

POI gathering with OsmAnd

Since I have a laptop with a huge screen, so I do not have a fixed place to do my mapping.

My workplace

Q: Where do you map ? Locally, HOT ?

Both ways, sometimes I just pick a random location in the middle of nowhere, sometimes I map a places where I was or have plans to go. Sometimes I map where my friends says "OSM sucks because there is no %place_name% mapped there."

Q: What is your biggest achievement as mapper ?

Some people say that OSM is cool because of complex objects like 3d buildings or public transport routes, somebody else loses their mind from micro-mapping. But still, I could find towns and villages that are not mapped at all and sometimes they are rather big. First thing which you want from map - is coverage for your region of interest. And for me my first achievement will be first million of points added (I'm rather close to that point but still have some work to do). And another achievement would be a size of heat map from hdyc.

Q: Why do yo map ? What motivates you ?

It's rather easy, first, I love process of mapping: follow the road or river and click-click-click. It may sounds rather silly but: modern games like Diablo3 have pretty muchthe same process, follow the pictures on screen and click. And such kind of a game/mapping process gives joy to an enormous number of people. Second, that exact moment, when whole town or river or web of highways pops-out from dull gray mapnik-nothingness really drives me. It's a small world under your cursor. A road to a farmland with farmers, a small pathway from bus-stop to kindergarten through neighborhood with imagined parents and imagined kids on a playground.

Q: Do you have contact with other mappers ?

Yes, but most of such contacts are virtual via email. Not so many person-to-person meetings as I want.

The main reason for that is that we have different interests. Some of us like to map in city, someone else prefers the outskirts and mountain bike trails and others prefers to drive somewhere. So most of our parties are parties, not mapping-parties. Another reason might be that all of mappers around me, including myself, are keen on mapping and attending meetings but not on organising parties.

Q: What is the most difficult part of mapping ?

Mapping, as I see it, isn't a hard thing. Most difficult part of OSM is the "nobody needs that" approach on tagging and talk mailing lists. Guys, just think, If somebody uses a mailing list, which is pain by itself, to ask you what is the best approach to map a thing, there is a demand for that kind of things to be mapped.

Q: What are your mapping plans for the near future ?

I don't have formal plans for mapping, - I just map. I have some plans for programming around OSM:

Improve my own geocoder (Gazetteer) Improve QGIS-OSM interaction Create separate 3d model storage, with off-osm 3d models but with connection to OSM objects.

Q: Where can we find more information about your geocoder ? is a live demo, but coverage is limited to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Montenegro. You can find the code on github Geocoder on

Q: Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself ? How ?

Yes, I use OSM for navigation, day-by-day and for journeys. I love camping and car-navigation with OSM helps a lot. It also helps me to find playgrounds for my kids when we are in a new city, and helps me with pedestrian navigation.

Q: Do you do anything else than mapping that is related to OpenStreetMap ?

Yes, most of them related to programming, I do osm related programming myself and trying to help others to work with OSM data.

Q: Zverik told me you gave some talks about OpenStreetMap. Can you tell something about them ?

Conferences and talks, they form a large part of my work for OSM. This year I have visited 2 conferences. The first one was a local IT conference in my own city. I gave a presentation about OSM from the point of view of management. To summarize in one sentence: "how to manage a party of anarchists." I've described how to encourage people to do something for public good and not to destroy such project with stupid management. On the last conference in Moscow which was mentioned by Zverik, I've been talking about

  • Geocoding (I've tried to make that speech rather broad and general)
  • OSM data processing, building a polygons of populated areas and estimation of population density distribution.
  • 3d - it wasn't actually my speech, it was a kind of open discussion about 3d in osm.

Q: To conclude, is there anything else you want to mention ?

Thank you for your time. Best regards. Dmitry.

Starting around my local area

Posted by winnieryan on 12 February 2016 in English (English)

I've just started around my corner of exurban Hampton Roads, Virginia. I'm really curious how the original materials are mapped because several things were incorrectly placed or not mapped at all (for example one of the nearby post offices and a nearby church while others were mapped). Ah, well, gives me material to add and correct!

Location: Water Street, Yorktown, York County, Virginia, 23690, United States of America

New Osm Postgis Script – Find duplicated nodes.

Posted by baditaflorin on 12 February 2016 in English (English)

New Osm Postgis Script – Find duplicated nodes.

The idea of using a single repository where everybody cand find and fork the same Postgis OpenStreetMap schema scripts, is allowing anybody in the world to run a query on every part of the OSM database.

Read more on the project here Github code here

Even if you want to load a city and run a analysis on that town, or you want to find out where are all the duplicated nodes in Mexico, you can reuse the code that other people had created. Or you can add your own script that will be compatible with anybody that will load the osm.pbf with Osmosis.

To make the loading of a osm.pbf more simple, i made the SCOPE loader script for linux users, that allow everybody to create a postgis database without needing to know how to use Osmosis and other command line tools. Youtube tutorial here

Mexico Example :

In Pgadmin i have run the command to find duplicated nodes on all the nodes that exist in Mexico on a intel octacore, 16 GB RAM Machine

Mexico have 13.000.000 nodes, and the query took 550 seconds to complete. It found 43.000 rows, meaning around 10.000 instances of possible duplicated nodes, ways. For example this building appers on the same location 23 times !!!

JOSM building

This garden way needs smoothing 369775636 Also this way 369775423

The find duplicate nodes it`s available here

PostGIS 2.2 rocks!

Posted by Littlebtc on 11 February 2016 in English (English)

Recently I had worked on a simple server that will import the bus stop data from the New Taipei City government and generate map tiles to be used in JOSM, as they seemed to change their license to be compatible. The result is now available on GitHub.


Historically it was hard to implement a feature in the Transport Map: Group near bus stops with the same name. But after a lot of research, I found it is not hard again: PostGIS 2.2 added friendly spatial clustering functions!

So the problem can be mostly solved by one line SQL command now:

INSERT INTO ntpc_stop_group (convex_hull, name)
    SELECT ST_ConvexHull(unnest(ST_ClusterWithin(ST_Buffer(location, 0.0003), 0.001))),
        name from ntpc_stops GROUP BY name;

Use ST_Buffer to generate circles centered at every stops, use ST_ClusterWithin to place them into groups, finally using unnest and ST_ConvexHull to generate the resulting polygon.

The current result looks great and I think further optimization is still possible. :)

OSM introduction and training with Hlalele and Portmarnock high school students

Posted by Khahliso on 10 February 2016 in English (English)

Introductions of what OSM is, its importance and relevance to the country were made by Motsieleli Mafatlane to both ha Hlalele and Portmarnock high school students and overall it went well.

After introductions were made, training began by helping each student create their own OSM accounts by Refioe Leotla, Motsieleli Mafatlane and Lineo Mothae. Then basics about ID editor were introduced and mapping began with all the instructors ensuring that every one understands what they are doing.

Later in the afternoon we were joined by four APPs from Botha Bothe District council and all were assisted in creating OSM accounts

Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

Mapping small / lesser known businesses in Slums of Mumbai

Posted by ArunMaharajan on 10 February 2016 in English (English)


I have been walking the Mumbai back alleys and streets lately. I have noticed a lot of businesses. Either B2C or B2B setups, but small ones. They definitely do not have computers. Some setups do not even have a name board. They are industrious and produce useful products. For e.g. the Leather Industry in Dharavi produce export quality products.

Problem / Issue

It is very probable that an outdated system of selling through middle men is the one prevalent by which the artisans and skilled / semi skilled labourers get money. If we connect them with people who would be interested in directly dealing with them, they might make more money and possibly lead improved lives. Possibly.

Initial Thoughts on Mapping solutions

I was wondering about making a mapping project where we put such shops / businesses on the map with 2 tags : 1. A phone number 2. A list of words describing the products / services provided

Feedback ?

I would appreciate feedback on this - at a technical execution level, your comments on feasibility, references to similar work done in other places, best way to approach this etc. Apart from this, is there any value in collecting more data along the way which might be useful for other work? Some advice?

Mapping bus routes in South and West Yorkshire for 2016

Posted by Paul Berry on 10 February 2016 in English (English)

No sooner had I formally started to work on the very incomplete and mostly out-of-date bus mapping in South and West Yorkshire (see my profile page for details) then this happens to one of the major operators of rural services in the area.

We wait and see if there any permanent changes to the affected services before re-mapping.

Adding buildings in SF peninsula

Posted by saikabhi on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

This month local mappers, in collaboration with our data team at Mapbox, completed the task of adding missing buildings in the SF area. Our sprint focused on the whole of SF Peninsula covering the areas of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park areas covering ~1290 This is a continuation of our earlier efforts from 2014 when we addded ~114,000 buildings in San Francisco.

Based on the existing building density, we estimated a total of ~180,000 missing buildings in the project area, and finally traced ~173,447 buildings over the last two months.

Methodology and Observations

  • An initial trial run was conducted to determine a rough estimate of the amount of buildings to be added. It was crucial to gather an idea to timebox the task to a particular timeframe.
  • Regular reviews were conducted to determine any gaps in coverage and accordingly create new tasks.
  • There were outdated imports in the area which needed to be cleaned up. Accordingly clean up tasks were created for these areas. Since these misaligned footprints aren't due to any mapping efforts a separate ticket was created for the clean up tasks in mapping repository.
  • Imagery is outdated in some cases, where new buildings have cropped up. One such instance was the new Apple spaceship campus in OpenStreetMap which was absent from Bing/Mapbox imagery.

Timelapse of building footprints added in the SF peninsula over the last 3 years

This task provided us with an opportunity to streamline our mapping efforts in the open and how we engage with the local community in the form of blog and diary posts. Feel free to join us in our current effort to clean up imported buildings in Palo Alto and Cupertino and also suggest other areas that require improvement.

Do drop into our mapping repository to track our latest OpenStreetMap mapping projects and provide your inputs in how we can be doing better. Happy Mapping!

Location: Indiranagar 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, 560001, India

fingal county council 4th year training

Posted by Lineo on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

So much has changed on #MapLesotho. I first joined training provided by Fingal County council in 2013 and the main focus of the training was on ARCGIS. However, so many changes had to be put into place as it became too expensive to maintain the software licences annually.

Alt text

Now there is no need for software licenses as MapLesotho has moved into another phase of opensource. It now uses JOSM, Mapillary, Hotosm software that do not require any expensive license fees. This is what the situation is now after three years of mapping since it started in 2014. Lesotho is now the most mapped country in Africa. Its something we should actually be proud of as Basotho nation.

Alt text

Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

#maplesotho# A Thank YOU

Posted by hipzo13 on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

I only started mapping last year through my colleague and mentor,Tshedy Thobei,she showed me a lot of things about OpenStreetMap.

There were a lot of challenges along the way,we would not have enough data to draw due to lack of support from our superiors, we only had one laptop to use so you can imagine how challenging it was. Today is my second day of training in OpenStreetMap and I am glad that all of the things I learnt from her are now coming up in training.THANK YOU MADAM!!!!!!!

Alt text

Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho


Posted by hipzo13 on 9 February 2016 in English (English)


Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

I won the #MapLesotho validation challenge

Posted by Fifi1984 on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

I first used opensteetmap in February 2015. There was a #MapLesotho Validation Challenge at the beginning of this year whereby I came in the first place and I won a Samsung Galaxy Tablet


I was given a #MapLesotho printed T-shirt yesterday and I walked down to the mall with one of my colleagues. Our T-shirts drew a lot of attention from the people we met. They might be eager to know more about openstreetmap and participate in #MapLesotho.

My first OSM diary post

Posted by Khahliso on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

I first started using OSM to help #MapLesotho in June 2015 in the mapathon that was held in Lesotho Maseru Avani. All thanks to my instructors from Action Ireland and my colleagues in Lesotho, Lineo Mothae and Mats'eliso Letsie who introduced me to all the necessary steps to mapping. I am now a very happy mapper.

me at OSM training

Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

Mapillary joins #MapLesotho

Posted by oscarlorentzon on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

I have just joined the Fingal County Council #MapLesotho team in Maseru for this years training sessions. Fingal are arranging two weeks of training and workshops that will give a number of members in the #MapLesotho community better tools for mapping. One of the tools for improving the detail of the now almost completed base map of Lesotho will be Mapillary. I will be holding workshops explaining how to use Mapillary and there will be mapping events.

Flying in to Lesotho was beautiful - clear sky, mountains, fields and in the end these neighbourhoods surrounding the airport.

Landing in Maseru

Location: Mazenod, Ramokholokotha, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

Starting with album of unofficial bicycle routes around Malacky

Posted by MiroJanosik on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

Starting with album of unofficial bicycle routes around Malacky. It can be found at , it is of course based on OSM data (and my paper notes) and drawn by hand in UMAP.

I'm expecting to slowly add new tracks as I find them and as I get contributions from other cyclist in the region. I found a local cyclist group "SCK Záhorák Malacky" which will have knowledge about local paths.

Location: Malacky, Region of Bratislava, Slovakia

Releasing GraphHopper 0.6

Posted by karussell on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

A new version of the routing engine GraphHopper appeared!

Read more here

alternative routes with GraphHopper

Re-tagging quadrant routes in Pennsylvania, USA from `ref` -> `ref:penndot` (Part 2)

Posted by oini on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

Continuing from the previous diary post.

Last week, the quadrant routes (routes having 4-digit route numbers prefixed with SR) in Pennsylvania were re-tagged by replacing the ref key with the ref:penndot key.


Total routes re-tagged: 6787

screen shot 2016-02-05 at 6 58 55 pm

Breakdown of re-tagged routes

  • ref=Sr **** -> ref:penndot=SR ****: 35
  • ref=SR **** -> ref:penndot=SR ****: 3151
    • This was a mass-edit and have been uploaded in one go
    • After the edit was done it was noticed that in 29 of these routes SR **** was followed by a non-state route number like T*** , PA ***, Historic PA ***
  • ref=SR**** -> ref:penndot=SR****: 3592
    • This edit was done in 7 parts, each changesest containing the following number of routes:
      • 32: In this case, ref=SR**** was changed to ref:penndot=SR **** using the TODO list plugin in JOSM. Since changing the rest 3560 routes in a similar way would have taken a very long time, from the next step only ref was changed to ref:penndot by mass modification and SR**** was left as is
      • 474
      • 179
      • 325
      • 592
      • 1422
      • 568
    • Also this time it was ensured that none of the routes of the order of SR followed by a non-state route number were edited
  • ref:penndot=Sr -> ref:penndot=SR: 9


  • Of these 6787 re-tagged routes, 1031 routes were found with the penndot_ref tag alongside the ref tag. Following the OSM Wiki guidelines, the penndot_ref tags were deleted for these routes.
  • @rickmastfan67 pointed out that 4 nodes with exit numbers were wrongly re-tagged to ref:penndot in this process. This change was reverted back here

Next Action

  • 37 routes were found where SR**** is followed by a non-state route number like T*** , PA ***, Historic PA ***
  • 79 routes were found where a non-state route number like T*** , PA ***, Historic PA *** is followed by SR ****

For the above 116 routes, the ref tags were not changed to ref:penndot as we're unsure of the correct tagging convention for these cases. We would appreciate any input on what would be the correct way to tag them and if the 29 similar routes that were unintentionally re-tagged to ref:penndot in the second step need to be reverted back.

My last visit to Lesotho

Posted by DeBigC on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

I am in Maseru to train 14 members of the #MapLesotho OSM community. This is the third, and final year of the training. That is explained here here

14 mappers form clusters

So far the community members have decided that they will form three clusters of interest, and these are:

  • Training and Engagement - main mission, to make Lesotho be as mapped as it possibly can be, and ensure that lots of users are recruited and make a contribution to the map

  • Technical Quality - ensure all that is mapped is traced and tagged in an orthodox way to increase usability of the map

  • Spatial Analysis - will use the data as much as possible to investigate matters relating to the physical layout of Lesotho.

I will be sad to leave, but to see the OSM community become so focussed here is a wonderful thing for me, knowing that in some small way I helped it. Right now the guys here have the basemap for the whole urban area 1% from completion and 2% away from validation.

13 mappers working hard here

Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho


Posted by DeBigC on 9 February 2016 in English (English)


Location: Hills View, Maseru, Maseru District, Maseru, Lesotho

Grass&Green: with more entities to enhance the classification

Posted by grass_and_green on 9 February 2016 in English (English)

Hi mappers,

OSM, as a VGI mapping project, inherits various challenges: naive contributors, flexible contribution mechanism, and uncertainty of spatial data. The facts that rise subjective classification problems in the resulting data. Whether a piece of land covered by grass is classified as “park”, “garden”, “meadow”, or “forest”; whether a water body is classified as “pond”, “lake”, or “reservoir”. In OSM project, such of these classification answers are likely dependent on contributors’ perceptions. However, the appropriate classification of entity is strongly related to some qualitative observations and quantitative measures.

Thus, Grass&Green is a tool that has been developed to help contributors to assign the most appropriate classification of some entities of grass-related features. The role of contributors is needed not only in adding new data, but also to revise and confirm the existence one.

• The tool has an access and contribution to users accounts

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• It has very supportive and easy to use interface

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On the right hand, it presents the entity under investigation with some qualitative descriptions of its context. On the left hand, it show the OSM entity combined with some recommendations and suggestion, with full flexibility to update/confirm/reject these given recommendations.

• The tool provides the user with textual and visual descriptions of the target features and similar identical features.
Alt text

Example of classification improvements:

o The next was only grass with fence, the contributors with our tool makes it "Garden" which is more expressive information than grass with fence.

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o The next was labeled as "Park", however its characteristics is far from being park for amusements and entertainment. Out tool correct it to the reasonable classification as "Garden"

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The status of contributions: We have around 250 participants from more over that 30 counties. They checked around 3000 entities in about 3 months. However, we are seeking for more confirmation and rejections. The data need to be check and we adapt the methodology of crowd-sourcing revision.

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They are mostly agree or partial agree with our recommendations and working to improve the classification quality of these features.

So, please feel free to contribute and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Send us your feedbacks. Every small contribution even for one entity would be appreciated.

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