Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

A year's difference, locally

Posted by bdhurkett on 20 September 2014 in English (English)

I'm not exactly why I did it at the time, but this day last year I saved a screenshot of my town in OSM. Today seems a good opportunity to see what difference a year has made - at least, in my little corner of the world.

Here's the old one (2013-09-20) (full-size): Burnie in OSM a year ago

And new (2014-09-20) (full-size): Burnie in OSM today

It already had most of the streets and roads, though quite a few were unnamed or broken since the redaction. It didn't occur to me to take a screenshot at a 'closer' zoom, as the biggest changes might not look too impressive here - the CBD has filled out with just about every building and shop included, there's (almost) no named ways without their names, and there's a lot of smaller detail like footpaths, BBQ areas, bus stops and turning restrictions. Houses and addresses have also started to appear, and most of the urban area has landuse types tagged. However, not everything has changed; the north area near the football oval is mostly blank (construction there having not yet finished, or progressed enough to mark) and the seaport only has a few items marked (presumably due to it being private property and somewhat hard to explore, and in my case not knowing appropriate tags for that kind of thing).

If I look further ahead and compare it to the other map services, considering the relatively small population contributing to OSM locally, it's really doing quite well. There's one spot in particular I'm "proud" of - the section of Bass Highway here underwent changes several months back, with several new roads and one less intersection, but neither Google or Bing Maps have updated to match reality (though Bing at least has almost-current imagery).

So. Not bad at all. But there's still plenty to keep me occupied for another year or more...

Location: Malompto Road, Tasmania, Australia

The Mapbox OpenStreetMap Data Team Guidelines

Posted by lxbarth on 19 September 2014 in English (English)

Earlier this week Danny and Richman joined our growing data team. Alongside Ruben, Edith and Luis they will help us here at Mapbox contribute even more and better improvements to OpenStreetMap. With our data team up to five full-time members, we can redouble efforts on projects like tracing all of San Francisco's buildings, fixing massive amounts of TIGER misalignments and importing 1 million New York City buildings. This is a huge step up in our ability to contribute data and give back directly to the community. To make this work, we're creating public guidelines that ensure our involvement is positive for OpenStreetMap as a community and as a map.

Updates to TIGER roads in US by Mapbox data team

In addition to the rules that apply to everyone in the community, here are the guidelines we want to reiterate and add for ourselves:

  1. We listen to community. We are looking for your feedback on how to make a better map. Get in touch with any of our data team members. For general feedback drop me a line.
  2. Quality is paramount. We hold ourselves to the highest mapping standards as documented on the Wiki or as established as common practice in the community.
  3. Local knowledge first. Where in any doubt, the locally surveyed information prevails over remote updates.
  4. We disclose all ongoing mapping efforts on the OpenStreetMap Wiki.
  5. All full time data team members will be listed OpenStreetMap Wiki and identified on their user profiles.
  6. Where possible we use public tools for coordinating work, allowing anyone in the community to participate.

You can find these guides on our Wiki page. Let me know what you think of them, and what we could do better.

Here's to making the best map in the world!

My problem with GPS traces and my Garmin Monterra

Posted by arogen on 19 September 2014 in English (English)

About a month ago I started doing this thing called geocaching. I had heard about it from someone and was intrigued. We had one right outside our apartment so I took my family on a tiny walk and logged it. Since then I have continued to search for and log caches.

Because I am a geek and like gadgets I realized that I could buy a dedicated GPS instead of using my phone. So in true megalomania fashion I bought most feature rich thing I could find, the Garmin Monterra.

The thing is huge and heavy, not something you want to bring on a hike unless you have leg muscles like the ballerina Jean-Calude Van Damme. Apart from that though, I like the thing. It feels like I am back in the ninetieth when people were carrying around those huge phones, except I can not use mine for phone calls.

So now I end up going for walks all the time, to find caches everywhere. I also record the walks on my new toy.

So the other day I was going to checkout some maps for the device, OSM was of course on the table because who has not heard of that one. I downloaded an IMG file and put it on my device. Imagine my horror and chills going down my spine when the little arrow is placed in a mostly empty area with a single house standing lonely next to me. -This isn't right! I am pretty sure I myself am located in a building, and that there are several apartment buildings in my area.

This took me to And there it was, the glistering, inviting, and mysteriously green Edit-button. I pressed it and I could feel my pulse increasing as my browser blacked out before loading the map. I made an edit, then one more, and then some. I sat reading tutorials and added things the rest of the day. I was home sick from work so I had the opportunity to at least exercise my brain. After a while I noted one could upload GPS traces, now there was something I could use I thought. Problem was though, that I wanted to make this as easy as possible. I downloaded and installed Vespucci on my Monterra. It felt a bit old but I found an entry where you could upload a GPS-trace to the OSM-server. I tried it and it worked. Only thing that bothers me is that it would be easier to just press share and have it upload directly to the server. I do have Locus map Pro on the thing as well, and that one can also upload the trace, among the other gazillion things it does. Maybe I could search the Google-Play store for more apps.

The issue at hand though is not my device but that I can not see all my traces, I can only see one at a time. They do get registered on the server, and I even get an email telling me that it has been imported. I see them under my traces, and there I can look at them one by one on the map. But I want them all, and at the same time of course! I marked the show public GPS-traces and some of them show up but strangely none of mine. Maybe it's a bug, or a weird feature. But I want to overcome this so I map things better and let others use my traces.

Next task is to read how to make steaming fresh IMG files for my GPS device so I can enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Location: Frösäng, Oxelösund, Södermanlands län, Svealand, Sweden

I had no idea this was so additive!

Posted by arogen on 18 September 2014 in English (English)

I am new to this mapping thing in OSM. I started some days ago and I could not stop. It's like a voluntarily OCD. At the same time it is kind of hard. There is a lot to learn, and I mean a lot. Unfortunately there is no simple tutorial on how to edit simple things in the one editor I chose, Id. And who would come up with the bright idea to name an editor id?? How do you google support for it? There are some questions popping up all the time 1. What do I call a regular bicycle/walking path? Is it path or foot-path or bicylcle-path? I chose foot-path for walking/biking and path for the things which people have made by cutting through the forrest. 2. How do I model residential area trees? And bushes? I ended up using landuse=grass to tag open grass fields.

I also noted that I could upload GPS traces, I did so with a couple but I can only access them on by one when editing the map. How do I access them all? I made them public but they do not show up when I add the public GPS-traces.

Well well, time will tell. Maybe it is just the OSM server that are working on something else for the moment.

Back to editing, a colorful map of my surroundings await :-)

Location: Frösäng, Oxelösund, Södermanlands län, Svealand, Sweden

Leaving messages for edit-work done

Posted by Synapsensalat on 17 September 2014 in English (English)

Today I learned that every time I safe during an edit session I have to keep the message(s) I made the last time I safed. Otherwise only my last comment will be kept. And I safed quite often with detailed information why I did what. Until I discovered my mistake. That is frustrating. Encouraging is that others have small questions as well and get detailed answers.

Location: Greenmount, Cork, County Cork, Munster, Ireland

New Category

Posted by Illogiko on 17 September 2014 in English (English)

"Wellness Centre" or "SPA", is not present in Categories... How to add it?

How to quickly find opening hours on websites

Posted by ypid on 15 September 2014 in English (English)

As I often added opening_hours and sometimes had to search a bit on the websites. I thought why not letting Google do the searching for me ;)

Here is what I came up with. I am using this Google query:

"öffnungszeiten" OR "opening hours" site:$website

and saved the query as bookmark and added a keyword to it in Firefox.

Now if I am at a website like and I can not find the opening hours right away I just select the location bar with Ctrl-L, hit the right arrow key, add my keyword ("go " for google opening hours) and hit enter …

Excited to Say, I am a Presidential Innovation Fellow

Posted by mikelmaron on 15 September 2014 in English (English)

Today, it can finally be said, I am a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the State Department working on OpenStreetMap for Diplomacy.

This is very exciting, and honestly a bit boggling, how it's all turned out.

9 years ago, I was living in Brighton, UK, and travelled to Nottingham for several days of hacking with some very creative technical people. Invitation was from Ben Russell, "author" of the Headmap Manifesto (read this). Ben was a kind of hero to me, so that was great, and we spent a lot of time with Steve Coast, I built a slippy map for OpenStreetMap. We blew our own minds. Ben summed it up ... OpenStreetMap was going to totally succeed, or fail spectacularly.

The people I've met through pursuing this crazy dream of OpenStreetMap, the adventures, the real places opened up ... I won't even try to sum up how this project has taken over my own life, and changed the whole world for the better. Just this. When we first started talking about OpenStreetMap for Disasters, the response was sometimes polite, often condescending, and always bewildered. Today, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) provides geographic data direct to the ebola response. We didn't ask permission, but believed, listened very carefully, kept working, and created something entirely new.

And this year, the White House and State Department created a Fellowship for OpenStreetMap. The Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) has already moved mountains with Imagery to the Crowd, providing satellite imagery for digitization into OSM for humanitarian response. Makes whatever comes next seem easy! I'm really looking forward to working with HIU on MapGive, with eDiplomacy, and with others at State, USAID, and other agencies working with OSM. Our class of Round 3 fellows are an impressive bunch, working on hard problems. We've met many folks at our sister groups, 18F, US Digital Service, White House Office of Science and Technology. There is a vibrant spirit here, true believers in transformation of government, but rooted in smart, sobering, hard work and commitment.

The problems facing the world, humanitarian, climate, environmental, economic, are so extreme, everyone must find a substantial way to work together. No matter if you are a slum dweller in Chennai, or a bureaucrat at the World Bank, you contribute to the same database in OpenStreetMap, and that is powerful. In fact this is the role of HOT, to serve as the interface between the quite different worlds of the OpenStreetMap community and humanitarian response, and bring people together. And this is why I put myself forward to serve as a PIF. There are entirely new ways to cooperate and organize now open to us, and while the answers are certainly not obvious, I felt a calling to explore the landscape of potential.

The specifics of what I'll work on are still being created. But all our discussions so far focus on supporting growth of OSM, building as usual in the open, with reusable work for all. I think there will be three parts. First, contribute to curriculum and guides for teaching OSM, and organizing OSM projects and communities (the "softer" stuff, mostly in our collective heads). Second, build software tools to support community organizing, improve data quality, and flow of imagery. Finally, trial all of this somewhere out there, including connecting with other groups working for OSM in DC, through cross agency and organizational collaborations.

I needed to make a few changes to focus on the PIF. I'm stepping down from my role as President of the Board of HOT (but will remain a dedicated Board member). As well, have minimized other commitments at GroundTruth Initiative, Map Kibera, and Moabi. Yet, I'm not going far. I'm still editing right here, contributing on GitHub, publishing, probably more than ever. And especially listening. In a very fundamental way, I can't do this fellowship alone, and rely on the energy and ideas of our collective. I will need your help.

With nothing else to say at the moment … Maps!

Disclaimer: Views are my own!

Paul Lake

Posted by Arkady4669 on 15 September 2014 in English (English)

Short drive from Kamloops and beautiful day to go there. Neat rocks on lake beach and slow part of trace shows brief hike done on a trail featuring numerous fallen tree obstacles.

Location: Paul Lake Road, Kamloops, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, British Columbia, Canada

Bad day

Posted by gerdami on 14 September 2014 in English (English)

Cannot upload trace from mobile via WiFi and cannot find my track when browsing the mobile's filesystem via a USB connection. Grrr.

Map Somalia

Posted by shakasom on 14 September 2014 in English (English)

Somalia is mapped scarcely. As map lover and GIS analyst i have vowed to contribute the openstreetmap in Somalia. We will start one day our Openstreetmap community in Somalia.

Location: Wadajir (Medina), Wadajir, Afgooye, Lower Shebelle, Somalia

1000th Changeset

Posted by The Temecula Mapper on 13 September 2014 in English (English)

It took me some time, but I've hit the 1,000 changeset mark.

My 1000th changeset was done in the same area of my first edit, a bus station area in the small Southern California Inland town of Perris where a train route is being constructed.

I remember that one of my very first edits happen to be cutting 2nd Street at the tracks because the original TIGER data had that road going through to the other side.

Here are the fruits of my 1000th changeset:

Perris Station Transit Center

Happy mapping!

FPSO Brasil

Posted by Skippern on 13 September 2014 in English (English)

I am onboard FPSO Brasil. What does this have to do with mapping? Actually not much, really. I have internet access, but various services is blocked, so I cannot do any mapping or chat with mappers, so I am kind of stuck here. But if we are going to be "mappy" about this, than actually I can turn this into something of a geospatial font. The project I am working on is to remove FPSO Brasil from its moorings (hopefully without dropping the mooring lines ontop of the wrack of P36. What do I gain in terms of mapping from this?

  • I will know the exact date (and time) when the FPSO is taken off its moorings. The node marking the position is in the database, and should than be removed.
  • I might get the exact co-ordinates of the P-36 wreck. I don't think this is in the database. It is still premature to say if I can import that position though, but since water depth on the location is 1260 meters, the wrack does not impose any form of hazards, nor works as any form of artificial reef or fish haven, except that it is a large obstacle for installing subsea infrastructure on the Roncador field.
  • Since this requires a few trips between my home place and Campos, I will be able to gather a few GPS tracks and validate a little road data integrity. On my way south yesterday I noticed lots of work ongoing on BR-101, mostly asphalt repairs, but there is a bridge repair where a secondary bridge have been installed, this might be early step of duplication of that stretch of road. I might get a few more hotels in and around Campos because of this (I will check if Terazzo was on the map when I upload the GPX track)
  • I still don't know how and where I will get back to dry land when the FPSO have been disconnected and is on its way, I might be among the people going off by helicopters, so I might end up in any one of several heliports serving the Campos Basin (Campos, Farol de São Tome, Macaé, Cabo Frio), or I might be basket-lifted to another vessel and brought to any port in the area (Rio de Janeiro, Macaé, Vitória), which might mean new interesting GPX tracks.
Location: P-52

Osmose's News since March

Posted by frodrigo on 12 September 2014 in English (English)

The biggest step in this period is the coverage of new countries:

  • Full Africa support
  • Europe: a number of new small countries: Azores, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Isle of Man, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
  • Europe: a new analyser server in the Netherlands, country divided in regions.
  • Southeast Asia is a new server in Germany covering Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • Add countries in Asia: Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.
  • Add Central American countries: Belize, Cuba.

Countries that are not supported by new servers were supported on OpenStreetMap-France or Iceland ones. Now there is a Coverage Map on Osmose.

Meanwhile, new translations came Portuguese, Polish, Japanese and Hungarian.

On the back side engine, fewer bugs and more unit testing and improving mechanisms for testing. Also, added support for a variable number of objects involved in an error.

For data integration proposal analysers, redesign the code format to go to something more descriptive and structured, so less code, more configuration and convention. Improved data integration proposal analysers to add a "dynamic" support. It means manage a large number of different tags for the same OpenData set (typical French sports fields that have 180 different combinations of tags for the same dataset).

On the side of analysers them self, not so many news. This period was a time of maturation, improve the quality and "conquer the world".

  • 2060/6 Improved Analysis "number twice in the street"
  • 2060/10 addr: housenumber does not start with a number
  • 2060/11 Multiple names for the same reference FANTOIR (France only)
  • 2060/12 Tag "addr:city" not consistent with the city
  • 2060/13 the object does not match the type FANTOIR (France only)
  • 7090/3 Isolated barrier
  • 8160/1 Unintegrated Paris Autolib ' (Paris only)
  • 8170 Dynamic analyser for sports pitch integration (France only)
  • 8190 Unintegrated French military Police (France only)
  • 8040/71 Bus stop in Wallonia (Wallonia, Belgium only)
  • 1150 Big optimization on "intersection between surfaces", save computation time on large countries.
  • suppression of import of OpenStreetBugs

On the web interface, adding export to RSS, GPX and remote "everything to JOSM."

Finally, a bridge between Osmose and Maproulette was established. It allows send certain types of errors on the addictive interface of Maproulette. For now, a small number of test categories are sent. These are the categories that begin with "[world]" and "[France]." Maproulette

For the near future we have plan to support all America except the two biggest countries. On large countries (in data) we still need your help to find new servers for Osmose backend analyser.

Osmose web site

Don and Donna Williams 9416 75th St Wapello

Posted by Khoeg on 11 September 2014 in English (English)

The streets are incorrectly listed on this site. I sent a message to get it corrected 09/11/2014. County Road X61 is not listed correctly and there are others in the area that need fixed too. KH

Help needed with reverting changeset

Posted by TimConze on 11 September 2014 in English (English)

Hi, I probably did a dumb mistake.

I had noticed that a bike-road was closed due to construction, with a small chance of being permanent. This has messed up navigation in the area, suggesting to drive through construction fences etc :)

As a "solution" I have removed the bit of road that is no longer accessible. :(

Since then I have read up a bit and understood that may have been wrong. Worse, this may have affected some longer-distance roads (Sverigeleden, a bike trail through all of Sweden).

How do I revert a changeset?

I did the edit in the standard browser editor, without selecting JOSM or potlatch or anything.

Can I please have help to resolve this? Either you revert it for me, or (better) tell me how to do it myself?

Sorry if I messed up as a newbie...

Location: Bagartorp, Solna, Stockholms län, Svealand, Sweden

"Wisepilot map reporter" is absolutely useless

Posted by zarl on 10 September 2014 in English (English)

I just stumbled over a pile of absolutely useless notes like this one: they are sent by anonymous users so it's not possible to ask them for further information. The accuracy of the note placement is very low, it seems the user isn't able to push the note to the right spot on the actual osm map. Also they seem to provide ready-to-go phrases like "Links abbiegen nicht möglich" ("turning left isn't possible") without a hint about the direction. I also suspect that tool only allows for a radically reduced number of characters in the description of the note.

Thanks "Appello Systems" for giving us such a "great" tool!

Location: Hansapark, Bezirksteil Land in Sonne, Stadtbezirk 07 Sendling-Westpark, St. Vinzenz, München, Upper Bavaria, Free State of Bavaria, 81373, Germany, European Union

1.6 Gigapixel image - OSM Point of Interest density map of Europe

Posted by baditaflorin on 10 September 2014 in English (English)

After doing the Romanian OSM node density map, i wanted to do something more globally

The map was created by exporting using Qgis Print Composer in 4 different 24806x17716px , because of the limitations of QGIS that does not allow the export of bigger files yet.

The date was obtained using overpass-api, but for simplicity, if you want to do something similar, use the europe planet extract.

There where over 7 million shop,amenity, tourism and leisure POI in Europe that where combined in a single file using the Qgis Plugin > Vector > Data Management Tools > Merge ShapeFiles to one

Using Qgis plugin mmqgis i created a network of around 800.000 hexagons, and using the Qgis plugin "count in polygon" i was able to figure it how many POI are in each hexagon. To get to a more correct answer, i calculated the area for each of the 800.000 hexagons, that is ranging from about 18 square kilometers in south of Sweden to 28 sq km in Madrid, Spain and did a POI/area to get a more exact answer, POI per sq km

TOP 200 POI by number or POI

top200 And the download link

OpenStreetMap POI density per km2

density openstreetmap poi Download link

1.61 GigaPixel OpenStreetMap POI Map of Europe gigapixel openstreetmap POI

Explore the 1.61 gigapixel on photosynth :

Just how much of Europe have at least 1 POI per km2 ?

  1. 361701 km2, similar with the area or Germany, have a density of just 1 POI per km2
  2. 169428 km2, similar with the area or Greece, have a density 2 POI per km2
  3. 97592 km2, similar with the area or Hungary, have a density 3 POI per km2
  4. 68037 km2, similar with the area or Lithuania, have a density 4 POI per km2
  5. 48142 km2, similar with the area or Slovakia, have a density 5 POI per km2
  6. 35867 km2, similar with the area or Moldova, have a density 6 POI per km2

The total sum is 983412 km2, to put this in perspective, this means the area of Ukraine and Germany together. The rest of Europe has a density that is less then 1 POI per km2

data stats openstreetmap europe

What i learned.

  • Trying to so something as big as this is impossible in QGIS < 2.4
  • Except UK, Germany and neighboring county's, the rest of europe has good POI coverage only in big and medium cities
  • There is still no simple way to extract all the POI of a country or a continent ( amenity, shop, leisure, tourism )
  • There is no possible way to export this map in a interactive way, at least from the Qgis Plugins
    It would be possbile only country by country, if somebody with coding skills could make qgis2leaf work with rule-based colors

Can I produce a Hypsometric tints in OpenStreetMap?

Posted by dpyzik on 9 September 2014 in English (English)

Dear colleagues,

I am very new to the OpenStreetMap. Can you please let me know if it is possible in OpenStreetMap to generate a Hypsometric tints, e.g.: If yes I would be very grateful for any hint where to fina amanual?

Many thanks in advance!


Location: Breitenlee, Donaustadt, Vienna, 1220, Austria

Find facilities which are missing an opening_hours tag but have a website tag

Posted by ypid on 8 September 2014 in English (English)

I recently played a bit with the Overpass API, mainly to finally solve issue number 1 of the opening_hours_map. So I read the Overpass QL wiki page a few times and tried it. After a certain learning curve I now have understood all the basics of it. I have to say, if you work with OSM, knowing the overpass API and the ability to query for arbitrary constellations is a big advantage.

A couple of days after fixing the initial problem I thought about another use case. Since I have been working with opening_hours for some time now I came up with the idea of a query which shows facilities for which opening_hours could easily be added ;) So if your area looks all shiny on the opening_hours_map try running one of those queries ;)

The queries use a relatively new feature of the overpass API to search over keys with regular expressions: See issue 59.

Shameless self plug: If you do not know the evaluation tool yet, I would recommend to check it out since it makes this task so much easier. Just copy the opening hours from the website (check this blog post for how to find them quickly), add a few semicolons or other rule separators, copy the prettified value over to your editor and you are done …

So, lets add those missing opening_hours ;)

Older Entries | Newer Entries