Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

First OpenStreetMap classes in Ayacucho, Peru

Posted by lxbarth on 23 November 2014 in English (English)

The energy at the first OpenStreetMap class in Ayacucho, Peru was amazing. We had about 40+ students come out to learn how to map. This is all part of our effort to build local community in this city of 150,000 in the Andes where Development Seed, (the company that launched Mapbox) was founded and where today we have a growing team of OpenStreetMap data analysts.

Read more about our goals for Ayacucho on our blog in English and on Ruben's diary in Spanish.

OpenStreetMap class at the University of Ayacucho.

Location: Distrito de Jesús Nazareno, Jesús Nazareno, Huamanga, Ayacucho, Peru

Bengaluru ♥ OpenStreetMap

Posted by lxbarth on 23 November 2014 in English (English)

I had a fantastic week in Bengaluru the amazing tech hub in India's south with Shiv and Eric connecting with startups, NGOs, data geeks and geo community. We were part of an OpenStreetMap Geo BLR meetup and the #osmegeoweek mapping party and the turnout for both events was great. We had fun rigging rickshaws with Mapillary and we met inspiring mappers like PlaneMad and NGOs like Kalike mapping rural areas on OpenStreetMap.

Watch India, the map is growing fast! Good places to connect are the India mailing list, the Datameet Google group and in Bengaluru specifically, the GeoBLR meetup group

Geohacker presenting how the Moabi project uses OpenStreetMap software to track forest health in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Great crowd at the GeoBLR meetup hosted at the Centre for Internet and Society.

Getting hands on with OpenStreetMap tools.

Intros at the OpenStreetMap mapping party.

Rickshaw mapping with Mapillary - here's the track.

Location: Sampangirama Nagar, MacIvor Town, Bangalore, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, 560027, India

OS Locator update 201411

Posted by robert on 22 November 2014 in English (English)

Ordnance Survey have recently released their November 2014 version of OS Locator, the comprehensive gazetteer for GB. According to my calculations there are 12,201 new or changed entries and 10,203 removed entries since the last release in May.

I've updated my comparison tool Musical Chairs with the new data. New entries tend to show up prominently in the "recent relevant updates" view mode for a week or so after an update, so this is a good way of taking a look at what's changed in your area.

I'd suggest GB mappers take a look at their area, even if not for the purpose of mapping - new releases of Locator often reveal some interesting things about new building projects and developments.

OS Locator Musical Chairs screenshot from 20141122

Additionally, I've recently added RSS feeds to musical chairs to make it even easier to monitor your area for possibly problematic changes.

Being a newbie

Posted by escada on 21 November 2014 in English (English)

This is story is based on real stories. It is not my story as a newbie, but I decided to write in the first person to avoid she/he discussions. Also, since English is not my native language, so I apologise upfront for mistakes.

I love to ride by bicycle and for plannng my trips I found those great free maps offered by OpenFietsMap. I used them during my vacation in The Netherlands and now I want to improve the map for cyclists in my hometown in Belgium.

I created an account on OpenStreetMap and quickly found out how I could launch the iD-editor. It seems pretty simple to add a separate cycleway, just as I saw on the map in The Netherlands. I think it is important to see the difference between street with and without those separate cycleways. So let's try to add them.

O great, there are arial images that I can use, so I do not have to upload tracks that I recorded with my GPS. OK, let's see, the cycleway starts here, in front of those houses. So I start drawing the line there and continue here, cross the street and it ends here in front of this parking lot. Now add some tags to it...mmm .. a name... mmm maybe "fietspad" (Cycleway in Dutch).

Ok, now the other side. Mmm, the houses that the previous mapper placed are on top of the cycleway. I'll move them so I can draw the cycleway in the correct place.

Hey, that was easy, let's save this so the others can enjoy my work. O, do I need to add a comment... mmm ... "Fietspad" will be ok I hope.

So far the first editing session from an newbie user as I see it. The user honestly tried to improve the map. But could you spot some mistakes ? Here are some

  • the cycleway is not connected at start or end
  • The cycleway has no intersection with the street that it crosses
  • It's tagged with a name that indicates its function
  • the user did not put bicycle=use_sidepath on the main street
  • the user did not remove any cycleway= from the main street
  • the user is unaware of relations for cycle routes on the main street that have to be placed (and splitted for the different directions) on the cycleways
  • the user did not add oneway=yes on the cycleway
  • using Bing images which have an offset, in Flandres we can use AGIV, much better

Not all of those mistakes are made by all newbies and maybe they make some I forgot to mention here. But that is not important for the message I want to bring. One can make many mistakes and none of the editors protect you from making no errors. Some editors protect you from some of the above errors, but many mistakes pass unnoticed.

But now dear experienced mapper,

How do you react when this happens in your neighborhood ?

Do you

  • yell "vandalism" ?
  • contact the DWG ?
  • start complaining on a local maling list about this user that destroys all this hard work ?
  • send a angry private message or changeset comment ?
  • do you ally with your friends to send multiple scaring changeset comments ?

or do you take a deep breath, relax and try to write a friendly, polite message to help this newbie navigate through all the pitfalls and unwritten rules from which the editors do not protect you ? Even if you have to do this for the tenth time ?

So think for a moment how it feels to be a newbie and receive a message from some stranger about something you honestly thought was a good addition to OpenStreetMap, next time you write a comment about someone else work. Heck, even when that person is a more advanced mapper.

Happy mapping & communicating

p.s. I fear that the real story that was the basis for this one does not have an happy ending

Bitcoin "spam" flowers

Posted by dieterdreist on 21 November 2014 in English (English)

Just discovered this POI, someone offering lessons in mathematics and accepts bitcoin. Apparently he is living in the middle of the street:

Location: Ponte Mammolo, Municipio Roma IV, Rome, Lazio, Italy

OSM is useless ;)

Posted by EddieJ on 20 November 2014 in English (English)

What's the use of OSM if a "books=comic" request ( on the London area via Overpass Turbo returns only two buildings as a result ?!

Will I have to use a frakkin' G00gle m*ps kml export to get those shops into OsmAnd ?!!!


Location: Westminster, Whitehall, City of Westminster, London, Greater London, England, WC2E, United Kingdom

Edited Porotnovo ...! Finally

Posted by Mohamed Kaleel on 20 November 2014 in English (English)

Editted Portonovo, Add All the Roads :),

Gently restarting the MD DNR Parks Import

Posted by ElliottPlack on 19 November 2014 in English (English)

Last year I began importing Maryland Department of Natural Resources lands but my progress slowed as I reached the populated areas of Central Maryland. Today I have restarted the process a bit with a custom translation for Paul Norman's ogr2osm tool.

Here are some beautiful new parks on the map:

Adding the parks is fairly manual but produces great looking map data. Let me know if you want to help out!

Location: Marriottsville Road, Driver, Howard County, Maryland, 21104, United States of America

iD Editor - Translation QA tools, Determine Duplicate Elements, Export translated presets to CSV

Posted by ImreSamu on 19 November 2014 in English (English)

I have created a working prototype ( ) for

Detecting duplicate translations.

Export presets to CSV ( example hungarian output imported to google sheets :

I think it is very useful for me and the small hungarian community for detecting translations problems, and errors.

I have created a proposal for a similar service for helping translators:

------ added:

some new languages examples:

my code not working for Korean and Japan language :(

gpx trace

Posted by Toni Dagher on 19 November 2014 in English (English)

how to upload a gpx trace to open street map as a road ? i mean without redrawing it to be a road. can i do it ? if yes, how ?

A Proposal to improve the OSMF by Separating Out the Board from Officers

Posted by emacsen on 18 November 2014 in English (English)

A great deal has been said about the OpenStreetMap Foundation and its issues with effectiveness and interpersonal relationships. In this post, I will outline a proposal which I believe will address both the effectiveness and the interpersonal issues of the board, and result in better results for the Foundation and therefore project as a whole.

One area of commonality in OpenStreetMap is that of favoring doing rather than talking. We're a project that exists because individuals take on tasks themselves, whether that's mapping, software development, project management, documentation, etc. Each OSM contributor knows and understand the value in individual contribution.

But this is not how the OSMF governs itself. Instead, the OSMF uses a committee model. This is despite the fact that we know how generally ineffective committees are. We collectively laugh at jokes about committees and meetings, and yet we have asked our Foundation to use the committee model for its decision-making.

The mechanics of why we have the committee model is that the OSMF board members are also its officers. In other words, when selecting a treasurer or secretary, the board must select one of the seven board members. This has two effects.

Firstly, it means that the board's candidates for who best to fill a given position are limited to a candidate pool of seven, or less, depending on which positions are already filled, or which candidates self-select for a position.

Secondly, it creates a situation within the board that the officer positions are somewhat symbolic. The OSMF Chairman is Chairman, but has no more authority than any other board members.

I propose that we separate the officer positions from the board and instead have the board appoint officer positions such as an Executive Officer and a Financial Officer. These appointed officers would have relative freedom to run the OSMF, and they would report to the OSMF board.

These appointed officers would have a great deal more flexibility than the current officers. The Executive Officer, for example, would be able to lay out his/her qualifications and vision for the organization and let the board elect them, much like is done in many corporations and existing non-profits.

The officers would need to report to the Board any activity, and they would need to be re-elected annually. By having the officer position separate from the board, the Foundation would have the flexibility to either increase the frequency that it changes officers (based on performance), or favor continuity and re-elect the same officer if they've done a good job. Special rules could be drafted in case of an emergency need to replace an officer, of course, but generally the officer would be someone that would represent the board's vision for the Foundation, and the board's vision would be reflective of the OSMF membership as a whole, as board members would continue to be elected the way they are today.

The elephant in the room of this discussion is whether or not these officer positions would be paid. I think that is a question of vision, left up to the OSMF Board. If the Board believes that the Foundation should move in that direction, then it should have the flexibility to pay an officer and or allow an officer to pay for services. On the other hand, it could remain the same. But by separating out the officers from the board itself, we remove the issue of whether or not the board itself should be paid. The board would remain volunteers, thereby reducing or eliminating conflicts of interest.

In summary, separating the officer positions from the board would lead to:

  • Greater Flexibility
  • Greater Transparency
  • Less Bureaucracy
  • More Accountability

And generally a more nimble and agile OpenStreetMap Foundation.

I would like to see this turned into an official proposal by the board.

Hey, Bryce! Bike repair!

Posted by Be A Mapper on 17 November 2014 in English (English)

And this one was inspired by Bryce's mailing list post.


This one is at the Roundhouse in Toronto at the foot of the CN Tower.

Node 3192087354

Cool stuff, thanks for starting this Bryce. :-)

Location: South Core, Toronto, Ontario, M5E, Canada

Bike parking

Posted by Be A Mapper on 17 November 2014 in English (English)

Updated some bicycle infrastructure near the Roundhouse in Toronto.

bike share toronto station at the roundhouse

Relocated the bike share stand per Bing imagery, it's on the north side of that enourmous vent. And changed name to operator, and the old Bixi brand to the current Bike Share Toronto.

Oh, hey, and more post and ring bike parking too.

Location: South Core, Toronto, Ontario, M5E, Canada

Project #OSMselfie: Put a human face on edits

Posted by Be A Mapper on 17 November 2014 in English (English)

I'm writing a new OpenStreetMap presentation and I'm looking for images for my slide deck. Ideally, images of happy mappers and the things that they are mapping and improving in OpenStreetMap. Even better, would be mapping things that are typically way better in OpenStreetMap than in other sources.

An Example

This edit reduced the extent of a parking lot because it is now fenced for imminent construction of a new condo.

and this is the #OSMselfie I took during the survey

Surely you can do better

Go ahead and post your #OSMselfie survey pics.

If you really want to help me with my slide deck, I'm looking for photos that illustrate the people in OpenStreetMap who make a difference by improving local data for others. So if you mapped a new accessibility ramp on a building, or a new public bike rack, or a new playground, or anything else awesome and wonderful. I'd love to have your photo, and your wonderful visage in my slides.

Please feel free to do a better job with the photography than I do. :-)

Best regards and happy mapping,


Location: St. Lawrence, Toronto, Ontario, M5E1E3, Canada

OpenStreetMap this week in Bengaluru

Posted by lxbarth on 17 November 2014 in English (English)

If you're in Bengaluru this week, here are two events you shouldn't miss:

I will be at both events with my colleagues Shiv and Eric - looking forward to catching up!

On Lazar Road heading towards Coxtown Circle, Bengaluru

Location: Cox Town, Bangalore, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, India

I am a bit less of a leech on OSM

Posted by Eric Gelinas on 17 November 2014 in English (English)

Changes I made in Kenya (Left: Mapping work I did as part of the OSM Mapathon Right: a map of Africa centered on the area where I made my change)

I owe a lot to OpenStreetMap (OSM). Some of the projects I am most proud of having worked on in my career would not have been as possible or as cool without it. Since OSM is a contribution dependant project, it is natural that I would have the urge to give back. I have been working with OSM data in one way or another since 2010, but surprisingly this weekend, near the end of 2014 was the first time I actually edited a feature.

I think the main reason I didn’t contribute until now was fear of messing something up. The OSM community has done a great job building user-friendly tools and tutorials, but there was still a little fear that my first edit would somehow break something.

So, what was different this time?

This Saturday, Alan McConchie, a fellow Stamen and renowned mapping mensch, hosted a mapathon event in the Studio. He assured us that if we go, there will be patient people and achievable tasks for all. Saturday I arrived and listened to a quick explanation of the editors available to us. At first I was intrigued by the description of JOSM, which is an installable application. Usually authoring tools which you actually install have a much better workflow than ones you use through the web. The cloud is great but I still prefer to load my spreadsheets in Numbers over Google Apps and my Mail in a client instead of a web browser. In this case however, I ended up being a lot happier with the iD editor which is a web application. iD is integrated into the workflwow as well as nicely designed and implemented. The options are simple and powerful, which exactly what you need as a beginner. JSOM is packed with time-saving tools and indispensable workflows, but it is not made the novice in mind.

With an editor selected, I headed to the HOT project list. This is a list of manageable mapping tasks which one can claim. Each tasks takes you to a specific place on the map in the editor of your choice, with specific and achievable tasks to complete. If you have been following along, so far I had patient people supporting me, iD empowering me to make edits, and now HOT is informing me on what exactly I can do to contribute. I had come close to editing in the past but it usually ended with me staring at a part of my hometown, or an area where I went on vacation, timidly hovering over a part of a Satellite image of a building or trail. This time I am being welcomed by the OSM community and being given measurable tasks to complete.

Over the two hours I spent on my task, I filled out a number of roads, buildings, and fields in a Kenyan town. This area had not yet been added to OSM and maps were needed for humanitarian efforts. Drawing these roads and buildings brought back childhood memories of taking my toy trucks into the yard as a kid and making roads from dirt and building little lakes and bridges with hose water and sticks. Later on, Sim City brought this kind of play to the next level and I was able to build whole simulated cities. I could spend hours watching them develop. This feels similar in a way only a bit more fascinating because you are tracing the result of actual human involvement with the landscape. This isn’t a simulation, you are tracing how roads and fields actually grew out across this valley in Kenya. Then you get to zoom out a bit and see how your map area interacts with areas others have mapped, as well as the rest of the mapped world.

At the end of my two hour session, Whitney came to pick me up so we could go to lunch. I encouraged her to take a moment to map one building before I shut down my computer and released the rest of my task for others to finish. She was sceptical this would be something she would enjoy and easily pick up. I quickly explained the editor, and a little about HOT, and showed her the outline of a building in the satellite imagery. Within minutes she outlined and classified a few buildings and completed a road I had begun. She committed them under my name and looked really satisfied with what she had accomplished. She said this is absolutely something she would do again.

This event made me so much more optimistic in the future of OSM than I already was. As time goes on we will get even better at empowering, informing, and supporting people to use their idle time to contribute to the worlds open data sources. There are lots of ways to use your idle time for good and some of them can actually be fun.

Originally posted on my blog.

Location: Mission District, San Francisco, San Francisco City and County, California, 94110, United States of America

Roadmap: A State of the Map for all communities worldwide

Posted by joost schouppe on 16 November 2014 in English (English)

TLDR: click these links to play with South America OSM contributor statistics on a continental level, in detail. It's ready for the world. Or even easier, get a ready made report for a continent, a country or a region.

This is a writeup for the presentation I gave at State of the Map 2014. Slides available here (since it's such a bother to add images to diary entries, you'll have to refer to the slides for pretty pictures). You know about these motivationals saying things like "do one thing every day that scares you"? Well I did, and I wouldn't recommend it. So I'm thinking maybe a written version might be a little more coherent.


During my one year road trip through South America, I'm trying to do as many things OSM as possible. Of course, I'm navigating using Osmand, contributing tracks, notes and POI's along the way. I'm trying to convince other roadtrippers to use OSM, which in a lot of cases they're already using anyway. Making contributors out of them is harder: a lot of them seem to know they can, feel like they should, but just "haven't found the time to really look into it". Then recently, I did a presentation about OSM in Carmen Pampa, a village near Coroico, La Paz, Bolivia.

But mostly, I want the world.

The job I'm on a one year break from, revolves around generating and providing data in such a way that people can make their own analysis. In a lot of cases, that means taking GIS data or agregated statistical data and simplify them to a geographic neighborhood level. A quite literal example: count the number of green pixels within a neighborhood and devide them by number of people. So here's what I do: a bit of automation, some basic statistics, some self-thaught GIS skills, some translating problems back and forth between humans and database querying. I'm great at none of those, but I understand a bit of all these worlds.

At work, the area of interest is just the tiny metropolis of Antwerp. But the tools we use lend themselves to much wider scales.

So I though, during my trip, why not do the same thing a bit bigger? Antwerp is known for its big egos - and I have to admit I do fit in. So how about the world.

Global Openstreetmap Community Statistics

Slightly obsessed with statistics and with OSM, I felt a lack of mid-level statistics about OSM. Yes, we have some tools telling you how many people edited recently, etc. But there is no "state of the map" for any country, any region. There is a lot of opinion on new contributor mess-ups, or on imports - but few statistics to back it all up.

So here's the one-year plan: make a worldwide tool to see the State of the Map for any region, country and continent in the world.

Minor detail: I wanted to present it at State of the Map Buenos Aires, only half a year away. And it was much more complicated to work from my campervan than I thought. 3G is slow, expensive and often absent from the places we stayed. The amazing 12v-19v converter I found blew up the computer in Ecuador. A total loss in Europe, they fixed it for 100 USD in Quito - but there went another month. Also, I'm not a programmer, so I had to learn quite a lot - and have quite a lot to learn still.

I wanted to go beyond the ad hoc analyses you so often see. People are interested in Switzerland, France, South Africa. All these case studies bring interesting insights, but I wanted to provide the basics to all communities. From what profound research has tought is, we know that often it is enough to look at OSM data to know the quality of OSM data. For example: the easiest indicator of map quality is the number of people contributing.

There are some national OSM statistics available, I wanted to go beyond that. Of course, there are a lot of national communities, but being from Belgium, I decided the national level isn't ideal. And for countries like the US, Brazil or Russia, well, it's just not fair to only give them as much space as Liechtenstein is it? So I decided to go (with some exceptions) for the highest subdivision of countries.

I decided to use OSM as a base for the regions, I don't quite remember why, but I'm sticking to the theory that it was a matter of principle. The principle being: the more people actually use the data, the better it will become. At the time (say beginning 2014), these devisions were very far from complete. I started working on the problem where I could, even wrote a diary post about my cleaning experience. But of course Wambacher's wonderfull boundaries tool had the larger impact. There has been amazing progress in under a year, and now the only larger countries that have severe problems with their top level regions are:

Sri Lanka
New Zealand

Of course, people keep destroying administrative relations. Some of them because they're new and ID doesn't warn you about destroying relations. Rarely some vandalism. And often as well by very experienced users having an off-day I suppose.

It took me quite some time, but now I have a beautiful shapefile of the world with most all international conflicts resolved and anly a few regions claiming their neighbours territory. Yes, I can share this SHP.

Turning historical OSM data into statistics

I believe you can only understand where we are, if you know how we got there. And for a complete view of Openstreetmap evolution, you do need the history files. These contain every version of every thing that has ever existed in OSM - with some exceptions caused by the license change and redaction work. There is no easy way to work with these files. I had to learn how to translate these data into statistics. That meant learning a whole new world of Virtualbox, Linux, Osmium, History Splitter, PSQL. And I'll probably have to learn some C++ and R yet. I could never have gotten on with this whole project without the help of Ben Abelshausen and especially Peter Mazdermind, whom I've bothered enormously. I wrote a bit about these first steps (with links to Peter's tools) in my diary as well. If you like prety maps more than stats, you'll probably not make it back here again :)

The workflow so far, as suggested by Peter, is to cut up the world into small pieces, import them into PSQL and then make some queries. To cut up the world, I convert my regions shapefile to poly files using the OSM-to-poly for qGIS 1.8. So far, I have little more than a proof of concept. Let's take all data for an area, dump unique combination of users and start dates of objects and use SPSS to make some simple indicators.

So here are the first results, a complete basic statistics tool with data on a continental level but also in detail. It's completely interactive and ready for the world. Of course you can compare evolutions, but if you play around with the tool a bit, you'll see the possibilities are endless.

You'll be forgiving for not liking to 'play' with a tool like this, as most normal people don't. To make you're life easier, there's a reporting studio which gives you a ready made analysis of the evolution of contributors in a continent, country or region of your choice. This being SOTM Buenos Aires, the obvious examples are South America, Argentina and the city of Buenos Aires.

All the data in the tool is available for re-use: you can download xls or xml for any view you make, WMS services can be provided, you can remotely query a visualization and you can acces through a basic API.

The tool I've used for the online presention is closed source (I know), but is exactly what you need for a project like this. It was kindly provided by the Dutch company ABF Research.

From my experience at State of the Map, I don't feel like I made quite clear what is the importance of a tool like this. I'll try to give some more examples of what could be easily done with just OSM data.

  • You don't need any other sources than OSM data to get an idea about road network completeness, and how much is left to be mapped.
  • You could make statistics about how many map errors are open In more advanced countries, see how quickly landuse mapping is being completed
  • Does mapping peter out when the map gets more adult? Or is it the other way around, does more data imply more people using and contributing to even more data? Is there an exponential curve of map development. And dare I say, yes? (LINK)
  • How do imports really affect mapping? Is a country which starts of with a larg import likely to quickly grow a large community, or will it start to lag behind after a while?
  • Is the number of mappers proportional to people or to GDP?
  • Do most regions follow the same growth track, but just started of later? Or are there regions that will not ever get properly mapped without special outside attention?
  • Or something very specific: "does the probability of a new contributor becoming a recurring contributor increase if we contact all new mappers in our area"?
  • What does HOT attention do to local community development? Are people recruited through a HOT project more likely to keep contributing?

Any subject leads itself to the creation of indicators. How quickly do notes get resolved? Simple: count the number of nodes still open, three months after their creation. Then you can quickly compare the speedyness of note resolution in different regions. And maybe even adopt a region to watch some notes in. Or some investigator might decide to look into the dynamics of note resolution, and suggest better indicators.

The tool allows 1000ths of indicators to be easily managed and widely consulted.

A cry for help

As I kept saying at SOTM, I don't really know what I'm doing, and I would like some outside checks. I even admitted on stage that I'm a Potlach2 mapper. I'll say it again: I like Potlach. Aparently, that can earn you free beer. But it does mean I need help. I do think I will get some, but I'll take some more effort from my side. For example, I might get some scripts to get the road length out of a history file. I'm also going to look into some C++ scripts that Abhishek made. And maybe OSM France can set up a history server which might make life a bit easier on my poor computer.

Part of my lack of confidence at SOTM was that my numbers of contributors for a given country were much higher than a colleague investigator found. And after my presentations I saw some more numbers that frightened me. So the last week, I've been trying to figure out what went wrong. It turned out: nothing did. Wille from Brazil pointed out that user naoliv produces some statistics of number of contributors for Brazil - and mine where much higher. Only after a while was I sure that he didn't use the history files, but a current world snapshot, which is bound to creat some difference. But even then the differences were much higher than I would have thought. Here's some basic statistics (taken at a random moment beginnening of 2014):

6936 number in history files 5585 number in current world 178 known in current world, but not in the history files 1529 known in history files, but not in the current world dump

How can you be known in the current Brazil map, but not in the history files, as 178 people are? Well, I honestly don't know. Some random checking was in order. Most cases seemed to be people editing very close to the border of Brazil. I use the exact borders, whereas naoliv uses the Geofabrik dump which probably has a tiny buffer to ensure data integrity. But there were also some cases where I have no clue as to what causes someone not to show up in my dumps. Anyway, small differences are bound to arise in databases like this. You'll probably always get some noise in analysis like this - though mostly because of some deeply hidden error or bias.

Another 1529 have contributed to the Brazil map, but their work is not visible anymore at all. I though this not impossible, but still surprising large. Some random checking learned that these people did in fact contribute to Brazil at one time. Here are some statistics I found comforting:

Here we look at the percentage of people found in the history files, lost in the current version of the map. Overall, the number is 22% lost. But when we classify by number of added/touched nodes, you see the number is much higher for people with few edits. Which is exactly what you would expect if the cause of the difference is people's work getting overwited. If you have more edits, less chance that 'all will be lost'.

Percentage lost to current state
1-10    35%
11-50   13%
51-250  5%
251+    1%

The same goes when we look at the last year people have contributed to the map in Brazil. People editing in 2008 have 56% of not being visible in the current state of the map. Again, what you would expect if people's edits are overwritten. The longer ago you've contributed, the more probable that you're contribution has been lost.

Percentage lost to current state
2007    57%
2008    56%
2009    50%
2010    40%
2011    31%
2012    24%
2013    17%
2014    10%

This means that when you make contributor statistics, the difference between using history files and current world dumps are pretty high.

With this I'm feeling a lot more confident. I'm thinking to build up more in depth analysis first, and only then try and do the whole world. At least, further worldwide analysis will have to wait till 2014 is completed. That way I can work on history files that include the whole of 2014. I'll have my friends in Belgium download them :)

Here's a list of things I think I can manage, in rough order of how hard it will be, or how far I've gotten. WE could of course manage much more, much better, much sooner. But that means YOUR help. I should stop watching motivational posters.

  • cumulative number of contributors, or active contributors by year
  • number of nodes, ways, polygons (created, deleted, touched)
  • notes resolution
  • proportion of data contributed by 'local' contributors
  • number of mapped hamlets/villages/towns/cities
  • kilometers of roads by type
  • proportion of area covered by land use

I'm very interested in other suggestions. Especially if they come with a script that gets the numbers out of a OSHistory file.

Location: camino a Uchumachi, Coroico, Provincia Nor Yungas, La Paz Departament, Bolivia

New MapRoulette challenge, Massachusetts Schools

Posted by jremillard on 16 November 2014 in English (English)

This week, I created a new MapRoulette challenge, called "Massachusetts Schools".

Thank you Martijn van Exel, and Serge Wroclawski for making it possible (even easy) to add in your own challenges to MapRoulette. I used the loader python script, which requires a postgis database. It was just a couple of hours of fiddling with the SQL statement to make it work. I still hope to make small adjustments to the help and instructions text.

In Massachusetts, most of the schools were imported twice. Once from the national GNIS database import, and a second time from a statewide MassGIS data set. Both imported data sets are old and are getting stale. A surprising number of schools have moved, closed, or changed names since the data was imported. The schools need some attention.

Hopefully over the next 2 years, we will get them cleaned up.

We also plan on using this challenge in our local OSM OpenStreetMap-Boston meetup

Cross-stitch OSM globe

Posted by Hawkeye on 16 November 2014 in English (English)

Some more cross-stitch to complete but here's the early view of a globe based on OpenStreetMap data :-)


OSM IQ (2go) in the Windows Store

Posted by marco79 on 15 November 2014 in English (English)

A mobile Version of OSM-IQ for Windows 8.1 is now available in the Windows Store. The app is optimised for touchscreens and ideal for mobile use.

OSM-IQ RT Sceenshot

Download now form Windows Store or see Details on

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