Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Current map thinking

Posted by LollyMay on 1 September 2014 in English (English)


I like trees and I like maps. How can I contribute to detailed mapping on osm of the UK's champion trees (as listed by the Tree Register I have emailed and then written to the Tree Register with a tentative proposal to help them present a portion of their comprehensive database on openstreetmap, but so far have had no response. Not sure of my next move here, need to think about how best to approach them. Maybe I need to approach a more direct contact?

Are there any tree experts within the OSM community? I guess there must be, but no idea how to get in contact with them. Trees + maps = yum.


I've had a go at using Tilemill to make a custom map of the champion trees in my local park (Tilgate Park in Crawley). There's an enormous amount of CSS required to make stuff look good, and am therefore doubly impressed by things such as the awesome runkeeper presentation at Need to find more hours to play with this more. Am currently watching the GitHub feeds of mapbox carto and openstreetmap-carto with one eye.

Regarding the other type of trees, I've uploaded my gedcom (with lat/longs via gedgenie as data into Tilemill. Haven't tried to make it look good yet. Later. More pressingly, I need to formulate some ideas regarding visualisations of locations in family history data with maps, eg, diaspora, timelines, spread of names, families, & etc for my work at

Open Historical Map

Think about what I'd like to do regarding OHM How does it fit in with family history? Might we (as in be able to partner or join in somehow? Very pertinent conversation over this past weekend on the OHM list regarding recording and storage of family and local histories that might get lost. A colleague has just been given a booklet by a relative, written by her great-great aunt, that was published by Haverhill & District Local History Group - just the kind of thing that potentially gets lost in the mists of time, and has oodles of location based data. Also, backwards-projected dates of planting of champion trees could be plotted?

HOT - Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team

Been to two HOT/MSF/Red Cross map evenings, need to set aside regular time each week to get some squares done. Also thinking about doing a start up HOT mapping event at brother-in-law's pub, to get the handful of regular Crawley OSMers and also some newbies interested in HOT.


Posted by ahamedzulfan on 1 September 2014 in English (English)

I have started to mark POI's and the street names in the Al Muteena area in Dubai. I have modified a few old roads and marked down the new ones.

Posted by KDDA on 1 September 2014 in English (English)

Rory has recently moved his project to a new domain name ( ) and has invested a lot of time streamlining the code and adding features which mappers and non-mappers can make use of. Id like to thank Rory for his time and effort.

In true Open Source spirit, Rory has released the code to the community. The source code is on github: Should you wish to get involved, please request new features or report problems via github's 'issues':

Mapping Lesotho v2 (at least for me)

Posted by eireidium on 1 September 2014 in English (English)

A small cadre convened at the Lesotho Embassy in Dublin on Saturday 30 August to focus on keeping up the momentum on this great initiative. Facilities were graciously provided by the embassy and we were hard at work in short order. Hot Task Manager remains a superb tool for keeping the team directed and also providing motivating progress feedback. A rapid, round the room decision was made to focus on the rural task and attempt to move that one forward in a concentrated effort. We were challenged with some network connectivity issues that emerged during the process which conveniently divided efforts between editing and validating based on technological affordances. This arose as IDEditor seemed to place demands on the firewall and the OSM API that prevented certain participants from bei able to get feature updates in real time. Lesson: test all components of the process in situ in advance whenever possible to identify such limitations. As it was it probably was serendipitously beneficial to the process. Through a supremely solid effort we succeeded in breaking the 30% task accomplished threshold. Additionally we had 4% of the overall task validated as well.

Location: Donnybrook, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

JOSM 7480 released

Posted by don-vip on 1 September 2014 in English (English)

The August version of JOSM is now available as version 7480 :)

This version brings a ton of enhancements and bug fixes, especially in map rendering, here's the changelog:

Notable changes

major enhancements

  • Map styles:
    • better view on low zooms (shrink nodes, hide texts and icons)
    • unification of font rendering on all systems (new Droid font)
    • better label placement inside areas (ex: addr:housenumber on buildings)
    • display real speed limit on maxspeed nodes
    • display name of highway
    • more prominent label for place
    • user-settings for mapcss mappaint styles
  • use N as a new shortcut for Move Node onto Way action
  • add offline mode with new command line argument --offline=[josm_website|osm_api|all]

minor enhancements

  • Presets/Map styles:
    • new icons for barrier=block, barrier=chain, natural=peak + tourism=viewpoint
    • new styles for highway=track, embankment=yes, landuse=residential/garages, barrier
    • new presets: man_made=embankment, natural=bare_rock/stone/ridge, place=farm
    • updated presets: natural=water, power=generator, tunnel, sport=handball, tourism, addr:*, bicycle=use_sidepath
    • removed presets: natural=land
  • Plugins:
    • openstreetbugs and nearclick plugins are deprecated
    • core changes for better integration of notes plugin
  • Validator:
    • Check MapCSS assertions in local rules (new option validator.check_assert_local_rules)
  • Improved performance of multipolygon computation
  • WMS: Improved exception handling. Proper message is now displayed on tiles

other enhancements

  • show undo/redo buffers state in Command Stack dialog
  • ask for JOSM update in case of crash with old version
  • add last error/warning messages to bug reports
  • Linux: add .desktop and AppData files
  • OS X: use native look-and-feel by default

major bugs

  • Incomplete menus on small resolutions
  • Text rendering issues on OS X

Summarized changelog

Complete changelog

Milestone view (need login)

Remember we're still holding a logo contest until 30th of September :)

Cheers, Vincent

Interesting city.

Posted by BladeTC on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

Many broken and missing streets. Correcting and mapping ....

Location: Kerkuk-Sulaymaniyah road, Kirkuk, Iraq

Mapping Botswana report for August 2014

Posted by Mapping Botswana on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

August 2014 was a busy month, we unveiled our Mapping Botswana website officially on August 12th, the 10th birthday of OpenStreetMap, and several new contributors joined the cause.

The map below shows the nearly 70 locations, some large and some small, that were updated during the month.

Locations of edits in Botswana August 2014

Nearly exhaustive list:

  • Beetsha
  • Bokaa
  • Bokaa Dam
  • Borolong
  • Chadibe, Central Mahalapye
  • Chadibe, Central Tutume
  • Dikgathlong Dam
  • Dobe
  • Dukwi
  • Eensterus
  • Eretswa
  • Etsha 1
  • Gaborone
  • Groote Laagte
  • Gudingwa
  • Gulubane
  • Gunitsuga
  • Juanqu
  • Kanyu
  • Kasane
  • Kauxhwi
  • Kazungula
  • Keng
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary
  • Lebala
  • Letsibogo Dam
  • Lotsane Dam
  • Mahito
  • Makaleng
  • Malotwana Siding
  • Maposa
  • Martin's Drift
  • Maun
  • Mawana
  • McCarthy's Rust
  • Metsiimantsho
  • Mmanxoate
  • Mogithlo
  • Mogomotho
  • Mohembo
  • Mokgacha
  • Mokobeng
  • Moremi Game Reserve
  • Nata
  • Ngarange
  • Ngwapa
  • Ntimbale Dam
  • Nxamasere
  • Palamakoloi
  • Qangwa
  • Sand Road
  • Sangoshe
  • Sefhare
  • Sekondomboro
  • Seronga
  • Shashe Dam
  • Shashe-Mooke
  • Sherwood
  • Tamacha
  • Tau Pan Camp
  • Tjiponga
  • Tlokweng
  • Tsodilo
  • Tsootsha
  • Xakao
  • Xamshiko
  • Xaree
Location: Moremi Game Reserve, North-West District, Botswana

Maps and Ale at OpenStreetMap’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in London

Posted by seav on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

The OSM 10th Anniversary blackboard greeting

The London OSM community is quite active having their regular pub meetups, so it was exciting for me to attend their 10th anniversary celebration, which was held at The Artillery Arms. Intentionally held near the Barbican Centre, where Wikimania 2014 was held, the party had a pretty good mix of people from the OpenStreetMap and Wikimedia communities. It was really great meeting people and talking about OSM over pints of ale and beer.

Read more at my blog.

Location: Saint Luke's, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Missing Cardrona Trails

Posted by Foolscap on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

They all seem to have been deleted or edited away in the last month.

Just back from cardrona to add the missing whitestar and valley quad and where there was trail maps there is now nothing.

I have all the gps traces so I can recreate them but where have they gone ?

Slightly annoyed.


There appears to be new Bing and Mapbox Satellite imagery.

Posted by alexz3 on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

This is good news for people who have been tracing tracks in remote areas that didn't have bing imagery or gps tracks recorded.

Mapbox Satellite is visible as an available background in the Potlatch 2 editor.


Posted by kaisako on 30 August 2014 in English (English)


Location: Michalová, District of Brezno, Region of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Adding data to Cypress Cay and Gateway Elementary

Posted by iansan5653 on 30 August 2014 in English (English)

I have added a ton of data to Cypress Cay, Fort Myers, FL and Gateway Elementary School, which is next door. Before I continue, I'd like some feedback on what I have added. I am relatively new to this, so I just need to know what I am doing wrong/right. Please check it out and give feedback.

Location: GES Bus Ramp, Gateway, Lee County, Florida, 33913, United States of America

Long Path

Posted by rescue on 29 August 2014 in English (English)

Currently working on adding the Long Path to the map.

More information:

Any help, especially GPX files would be most helpful.

Kenosha Mapping

Posted by JacalynK on 29 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm currently in the process of creating a working map of Kenosha, WI. This is where I am from so it is a relatively easy task. Much of the city has already been done, however not very thoroughly. I am frustrated that, while there are so many polygons created, none have any information attached with it. The whole purpose of doing something like this should extend beyond simply placing points, lines, and polygons.

So I'm slowly working on not only fixing many lines which are not drawn accurately, but also including important information. Part of me wishes that I could just erase everything and start from scratch! I guess that is what you get when you are a "neat freak".


Posted by Tomektel on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

Hey, I am happy to be here with you and share my knowledge of the beautiful city of Koszalin

Changing the real world to map the renderer....

Posted by kevjs1982 on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

I know that tagging for the renderer is frowned upon but how about changing the real world to match the renderer, which is what indeed appears to be happening to the national cycle network over in Derbyshire...

"It has come to our notice after studying both Sustrans and Open Street maps, that numbers of the NCN Routes on the ground in the Etwall area differ from those on the maps. This is the result of stretches of new routes being built piecemeal over the years.


This is a far more logical way to number these routes, so we are proposing to change the signing to agree with the maps. "

(Now watch the map change to match current reality until the signs are changed :p )

Location: Etwall CP, South Derbyshire, Derbyshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Missing Maps Project mapathon - 26th August at British Red Cross building

Posted by Tallguy on 28 August 2014 in English (English)


If you followed a link in a message to get to this diary entry, you're probably one of the people who went to the event. I'm the old, tall, bald & bearded one who stood at the front & talked for part of the time.

The event was laid on by a large team of people all hoping that we could give new mappers the information they need to get started mapping for HOT, from , but I think we're all aware that with such a big group of people 'zero to hero' is unlikely in the 2 hours that were available. We've given you a start & we're planning to help you keep going, but we do need you to try! It's a simple process but sometimes there are little hiccups with the software that can make it seem difficult, just keep trying & you'll get there. By the way, I still make mistakes - it's a human thing, just don't let it stop you & try to learn from them.

I'd recommend that you sign up for HOT emails - this link for a howto:

If IRC is your thing then (obviously I'd recommend the HOT group!)

There are quite a few places to get more help from (The tasking manager has recently been upgraded & many of the screenshots are out of date - we're working on updating the guides, but the principles are the same). has several different modules & it's worth reading them. contains more information and links.

I'll be validating shortly, and I always try to leave feedback on the squares I validate – I'm intending to start on (#606 - Central African Republic. Refugees in Cameroon, Garoua-Boulaï - Meidougou ), and then move on to (#624 - Ebola Outbreak, Eastern counties, Liberia, road network ) . I have other bits & pieces to do as well, so please bear with me if it takes a long time before your squares are validated.

There will be other Missing Maps Project events, and I hope you can come to another. We have concentrated on the information for new mappers, and kept things simple so far, but there is plenty of scope for variety, with faster methods of editing, importing the names of objects after surveys 'in the field' by local people, and perhaps you would like to try validating?

Feedback to us / me. What can we do to improve? We need to know please.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to validate some of your squares soon.

Nick (Tallguy)

Water in OpenStreetMap

Posted by Peda on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

This article is supposed to give a brief introduction about water in OpenStreetMap. It will show you typical errors made by mappers and how they can be fixed with the help of MapRoulette.

The Water Network

Mapping water in OSM can be divided into two categories. On the one hand there are area types of water like ponds, lakes, reservoirs and even whole river areas (waterway=riverbank) and as a special case the sea (natural=costline). On the other hand there are simple ways, the waterways: These are rivers, streams, canals, ditches and drains.

The water network is thus built by the waterways. This also means that a broad river mapped as riverbank additionally contains a waterway=river in between. Thereby the direction of the way also denotes the direction of the water flow. If you follow a river or stream, you should at some point reach a big lake or the see. How to identify the direction of a way is explained on this wiki page.

Unfortunately the water network in OSM is broken at many places. As a result, some rivers appear to flow uphill or spring from the sea.

SRTM and MapRoulette

SRTM provides height data for mostly the whole planet for free. It makes it possible to determine for any waterway in OSM if it flows downhill or uphill. Though the data is unprecise, many waterways are quite long which makes it quite reliable to identify the direction of flow for many rivers and streams. However, one can't advise to start an automatic mass edit based on SRTM. MapRoulette Having said that, there's a neat project called MapRoulette, helping to solve such problems by letting the OSM community decide on small tasks. Thus there is a new challenge in MapRoulette to check on the waterway's direction. Each task is one waterway that supposedly flows uphill and its flow direction has to be turned.

The difficulty of the tasks will grow over time. If the difference of height is some hundred of meters it's simple in most cases. For smaller differences, e.g. 10 meters, it might well be a error in SRTM. However, the challenge will start with the easy tasks. And still there will be extra help: Each task's instruction contains the height difference from the start to the end of the way as an additional help.

False Positives

It's not always as easy as one might think. There are some cases that need special attention that are listed below. * A canal might be tagged as a river or stream. In contrast to rivers or streams a canal may "flow" uphill. Particularly: What's the direction of a canal anyway? * Not every fork is a confluence. There are cases where a river splits up into two ways. * There are rivers and streams that dry out or drain away. Thus they "disappear" from the map. But you may not conclude that this is a spring.

Errors and Error Detection

The following paragraph will show some scenes with errors in the water network. It should give you an impression, how to determine (and repair) common mistakes.

All screenshots showing imagery are proprietary and based on GEOIMAGE-AUSTRIA® (c.f. wiki)


In mountainous regions you typically get a large difference in height. An example of this can be seen in the following JOSM screenshots: The complete stream, the start and the end of the stream all end start As one can clearly see, the stream originates high up in the mountains and finally leads in a larger river in the valley. Downloading the data in the surrounding area one can additionaly check, if the stream and river are connected or not. The right image below shows the result after correcting the direction of the way. data fixed


If you check a waterway, it is also wise to investigate the complete way for forks. It happens quite often that more than one stream flows uphill as it was tagged by the same author. This might look like this: multiple

Water Mouth

Quite easy cases are rivers and streams that end in the sea. This can be detected, as the waterway is connected to the coastline. Thus, the way's direction has to lead to the sea. coastline

Defective Parts of the Way

In some cases only parts of a waterway are directed in incorrect. In these cases one part has to be wrong, but one also has to be cautious to correctly determine which part is wrong. wrong

Additional Notes

The network of waterways should be fully linked. Thus, it is advisable to also verify that ever way's end is connected to the next waterway. Especially ways should not end at riverbanks but at a river or stream.

Further typical errors or missing notes are welcome. I'd add them here

Any changeset's source tag should at least contain SRTM as a source.

What's up with the GPS traces?

Posted by pkoby on 27 August 2014 in English (English)

I've noticed recently that a lot of the GPS traces in my area are doing weird things. Many of the traces are fine, but a good portion of them are what can only be described as 'dashed'. I thought it might not be just mine, so I checked other areas of the world, and it's happening other places too.

Here's a sample from my region. Most of those traces are my own, but some are dashed and others are smooth. I think that the dashed ones are more recent. Screenshot of weird traces

What's also perplexing is that I can download the trace from OSM, and it displays all the detail that there should be.

Does anyone know what's going on?

EDIT: I looked back over my traces, and everything back to about July 26 is fine, but prior to that for a couple months is all funky.

Very impressed with Vespucci

Posted by Pgd81 on 27 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm a bit behind the times with smartphones. I only got my first a couple of years ago, a small-screened, low-powered model on a cheap-ish contract. It did the job, but I recently upgraded to a far more powerful, larger-screened model with 4G capability and WOW suddenly I'm finding I can do all sorts of cool things. One of those things is OSM-ing on-the-go with Vespucci. I'd heard about it ages ago but dismissed it (who'd want to fiddle around with a phone when you can sit at home with JOSM?), but I installed it recently and it's brilliant. Smooth, intuitive, & great features like the "recall last tags" button and the fact it won't let you download new areas without finishing off the last area. I've become a father recently so don't have time for long hikes in the country right now, so instead I'm doing small things like POIs and addresses whilst walking to the station, and uploading them via Vespucci on the train to work. Perfect.

Older Entries | Newer Entries