Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

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.

Presenting about Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap at Wikimania 2014

Posted by seav on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Eugene Villar giving his presentation

Photo Ⓒ Harry Wood, CC-BY-SA 2.0

Over two weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Wikimania 2014 in London. Wikimania is the annual conference for the Wikimedia movement, which includes the Wikipedia project. Coincidentally, the conference occurred on the same weekend as the 10th anniversary of OpenStreetMap. As my way of celebrating the anniversary, I gave a presentation about the collaborations between OpenStreetMap and the Wikimedia projects at the conference.

Read more at my blog

Presentation slides

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

What's new in uMap

Posted by ybon on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Here is an overview of the changes made in uMap recently:

The biggest change, even if it's not the more spectacular, is that Leaflet.Draw has been replaced by Leaflet.Editable as drawing engine. The goal was to have more control over the API, have touch support, and have multipolygon/polyline support. For now two enhancements come from that move:

  • It's now possible to continue a line. There are two ways to achieve this: right click on the last (or first) vertex of the line, or ctrl-click on the first or last vertex:

continue a line

  • It's now possible to draw (and edit) polygon holes: right-click inside of a polygon to start creating a hole:

create a hole

Next step is to handle multipolygon and multipolyglines editing and touch support (Leaflet.Editable is ready for that, but uMap itself need a bit more work).

  • when clicking on an element (marker, polygon…), it's now possible to open a panel, instead of the classic Leaflet popup

popup panel

example of story mapping activate slideshow

  • When using a clustered layer, it's now possible to define the cluster text color:

change cluster text color

  • Added a basic GPX and KML download, thanks to togpx and tokml:

download data

  • Until a proper multipolylines support, they are now merged (instead of being skipped) at import

  • A table editor allows to edit all elements of a layer in one view:

table editor

  • sometimes, we want a polygon to act as background, without being clickable. This is now possible trough the clickable option.

  • it's now possible to take control of the popup template using variables. Those variables will be populated dynamically from the elements properties. For example, let's say you have imported a geojson having the following properties: price, name, image, description; by default, only the name and the description will be displayed. But you can now take control of this. Here is an example of template to use with such data:

    # {name}
    Price: **{price}**
  • Added shortCredit (displayed in the attribution bar) and longCredit (displayed in the caption panel) properties, for more custom captions

  • a basic HTTP concurrency control has been added: if two persons edit a given layer of a same map in the same time, the last to save will be prompted that its changes will erase the changes made by someone else and asked for confirm before really saving:

example of save conflict

  • the "filter" field in the data browser was only filtering on the name property of the elements; this can be now controlled in the map properties

  • added a datalayers parameter, to override which layers will be visible on map load (useful to have different URLs for the same map, or when using the iframe exporter)

  • it's now possible to set a marker lat/lng properties by hand:

set marker latlng

More about uMap on the wiki:

Good umaping!

How do I indoor map my building?

Posted by acaprojects on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Hi, I would like to upload floor plans to create some indoor maps. Is this possible with OpenStreetMap?

We'll map our office as a test and then our client wants to include indoor maps in their app. A point in the right direction would be helpful.


Jon Director,

State Parks and National Parks

Posted by mvexel on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

There is a well-established definition for tagging National Parks in OpenStreetMap.

Hoge Veluwe Nationaal Park Hooge Veluwe National Park Image credit: Wikipedia

The definition,

A national park is a relatively large area of land declared by a government (just as boundary=administrative are declared/recognised by governments), to be set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, animal and environmental protection

would also apply to the many State Parks in the United States, and perhaps provincial and state parks in other countries as well. However, the boundary=national_park page does not give any specific guidance. I am about to map some state parks in my home state Utah, and I will tag them with boundary=national_park for now because they fit the definition.

How do you map state or provincial parks in your area?

OSM for users - in progress

Posted by H@mlet on 23 August 2014 in English (English)


Well it finally happened...

Posted by mcld on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

Well it finally happened... last night I went to a pub, and I printed out an OSM map to find the way. However, 8 days earlier, someone had moved the pub to the wrong location! That's the kind of risk we run in an open crowdsourced system.

Luckily my beer hunting skills outweighed my trust in open data and I found the pub eventually. Pint drunk, map fixed, crisis averted.

OpenStreetMap Sister Towns

Posted by mvexel on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

Playing MapRoulette, you get dropped in all these random locations on earth. This really makes my mind wander sometimes.

Here is Cambridge, Ohio:

Cambridge, Ohio Image credit: Wikipedia

A nice enough town. Probably friendly people. BUT NOT VERY MANY MAPPERS AMONG THEM:

Cambridge on OSM

A fellow mapper suggested this simple & brilliant idea: OSM Sister Towns. Why don't we team up towns (and cities) in need of mapping help with towns elsewhere in the world that have mapping forces to spare? They could use the Tasking Manager, MapRoulette, or just iD / JOSM with aerial imagery to help out the town in need. I foresee face to face meet-ups at SOTM and new global bonds of mapping friendship!

If you need something to do...

Posted by Linutux on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

...check out this area: There are tons and dozens of streets, that have completely wrong positions. It's just crazy! There is months of work to do.

Just switch on TIGER and Bing layer, zoom in a bit and you'll immediately see...


Posted by mvexel on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

Sometimes I wonder if those TIGER surveyors were just having a grand old time making up things as they drove past and casually looked out of the window of their cars...


This whole area needs lots of work - if you want to help out, that would be great!

(I have no personal or other connection to the area, but got dropped there by the MapRoulette 'Ways Needing Smoothing' challenge - freshly cleaned up, so most cases you get should now be real things to fix!

Oh, Amaroussi....

Posted by Amaroussi on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

This survey goes to eleven!

"We can't pay you to hold a mapping party at a location like that, even if it makes Knightsbridge less rubbish!"

Rest assured that it is not my intention to bankrupt OSM with surveys like this.

Location: Knightsbridge, Westminster, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Me and OSM Update

Posted by %20Bunny on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

So I now have a Sat Nav bought in May 2012, which now rely on in the car. Although choose a Garmin model that could use OSM maps by time I downloaded some OSM maps for it onto MicroSD card and tried it with them I then found it did not work as well with them present so ended up removing them.

Since I got a smart phone in Dec 2012 I have used various OSM compatable apps but ended up on just using OSMAND and OSMtracker but tracks not as vital now with availability of Bing aerial background. But still use full for odd path and be road.

I hardly have time to contribute now, but just observe the project from sidelines. Only odd edit now and again. But I was just yesterday showing online ID editor to a collegue who knows GIS well. It will be interesting to see if he starts to contribute.

Importing 1 million New York City buildings and addresses

Posted by lxbarth on 21 August 2014 in English (English)

As of June, New York City buildings and addresses have been fully imported to OpenStreetMap. While we are tackling remaining cleanup tasks I wanted to share a full recap of the effort. I am very happy with the overall result. There are lessons to be learned here from what went well but also where we could have done better - read on for the details.

More than 20 people - volunteers and members of the Mapbox team - spent more than 1,500 hours writing proposals, discussing, programming, uploading, processing and reviewing. Between September 2013 and June 2014 we imported 1 million buildings and over 900,000 addresses. We fixed over 5,000 unrelated map issues along the way.

Here are screenshots of the resulting work:

Building coverage on Manhattan island, the southern tip of the Bronx to the northwest and Wards island to the right.

JFK airport buildings in Queens, bordering on the Hamilton Beach neighborhood to the left and South Ozone Park to the north.

Coverage around Battery Park and Wall Street in Manhattan. This is an area that already had many buildings. We filled in the gaps and replaced buildings where the New York City data set was clearly better.

We imported over 900,000 addresses. Here is an example of the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Buildings contain height information and render nicely as seen here on this example of downtown Brooklyn on Fmap.

The import covers all of New York City's five boroughs


This is a full writeup sharing my experience with the New York City import in the hope that there is one or the other valuable lesson, good idea, or line of code for you to walk away with. Note that this post is very specific to the work in New York City. If you're planning to do an import, make sure to check out the Import Guidelines for a more universal checklist of how to go about imports.

If you're looking for the 30 seconds version, I'd summarize my take aways like this:

  • Importing is a lot of work, make sure you have the time to commit.
  • Be prepared to continuously improve your conversion scripts and already uploaded data throughout the import.
  • Importing is a skill. It looks easy at first, but everyone involved uploading will need proper support, advanced knowledge of mapping practices and data validation by peers.
  • Involve community where possible, clear and frequent communication is clutch.
  • Invest in your tools

Read on for the deep dive.

OpenStreetMap as a collaboration space for citizens and government

Using New York City's data for OpenStreetMap became possible thanks to the then-mayor Michael Bloomberg's open data policy. Local Law 11 of 2012, releases all New York City government data "without any registration requirement, license requirement or restrictions on their use" (23-502 d). This effectively puts the data in the public domain, making it compatible with OpenStreetMap's contributor terms.

Both, address point data and building data fall under this law and are available for download on New York City's open data web site:

The way we used this data in OpenStreetMap is an illustration of how Bloomberg's plan to stimulate the economy with open data is starting to pay off. This data in OpenStreetMap is now benefiting everyone using OpenStreetMap and this includes the New York City based startup Foursquare which is using OpenStreetMap data on its Mapbox powered maps.

But the relationship between OpenStreetMap and New York City should be ideally a two way street. How can the creator and maintainer of the building and address datasets - New York City's GIS department - benefit directly from their work being imported in OpenStreetMap? The vision of edits in OpenStreetMap directly helping improve a crucial government dataset is very promising. OpenStreetMap is a unique data collaboration platform while datasets like building or address catalogs are incredibly hard to maintain - even for a large municipal government like New York's. How can government become a part of OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap's share alike license means that OpenStreetMap data can't be taken over directly into New York City public domain datasets but we can use OpenStreetMap to find out where changes happened. We set up a daily change feed flagging modifications to buildings and addresses to subscribers. Here's a copy of a change notification email how New York City GIS receives it every day:

Daily change notifications from OpenStreetMap, flagging building and address changes to New York City government.

The notification contains a list of relevant changesets from the previous day with a link to each modified building and address. We are right now assessing the utility of these emails. Another way of leveraging OpenStreetMap as a change signal would be to periodically extract all building and address data and identify all changes in a certain time frame at once.

All code powering the change feed is available as open source on Github. If you'd like to receive the New York City change feed notifications, please let me know. Happy to subscribe you.

Import procedure

To import New York City data we had to convert it to OpenStreetMap format first and cut it into byte size chunks so we could review and import it manually, piece by piece. Once it was imported, a different person than the original importer would validate the data. This means reviewing it for errors and cleaning it up where needed.

Selecting a task on the tasking manager, opening existing OpenStreetMap data and opening importing data in JOSM.

Each participant would set up their workspace according to documentation we provided on Github. In the same document we laid out the actual import procedure. Some of the key items of the import procedure were:

  • Use a separate import account
  • Run full JOSM validation, fix all conflicts with existing data
  • But also fix all existing unrelated issues in area
  • Spot check data - for instance, do street names line up?
  • Merge POIs where appropriate
  • In case of duplicate data, keep the best data if there is a clear difference. In case of any doubt, keep the local data.
  • Add a note where a local mapper could solve a problem

As we imported, we ran into a series of recurring issues that we shared in a common issues guide - a useful resource for training new mappers and agreeing on fixes for unclear situations.

Community import or not?

From the beginning, the import was planned as a community import. There is no standing definition of this practice, but the rough idea is that uploads to the map would be done predominantly by members of local community familiar with the areas uploaded. Once started into the import, we quickly ran into a series of issues.

For Mapbox data team members participating in the import full time it was very easy to outpace local volunteers by a huge factor. In addition, I underestimated the complexity of the actual review and upload work. While not hard, there was a certain learning curve which meant that every new individual joining required significant training and support to get started - which meant plain and simple time that someone had to spend. Add to this that the individual time commitment is huge. I estimate we spent about 1,500 hours among everyone involved - and this is on the conservative side. Assuming 20 people work on the import, each one of them would look at 75 hours on this project. Very few people spend this much time on OpenStreetMap in a year.

The pace of uploads turned out to be key friction point. At the same time a series of data quality issues arose. This is why a couple of months into the import the loosely formed group around the project including community members and myself decided to pause the import and when we restarted a month later, slow it down and stop billing it as a community import. This would allow everyone to participate better and it would set expectations straight as to who was doing the uploading work. I think this adjustment was a good one. Overall it took us 10 months to get the job done - longer than I thought but still a pace that I was comfortable with to commit help finish the job. In the end a vast majority of uploads, validations and programmatic updates were done by the Mapbox team and I'm glad we had the opportunity to contribute.

Still, community involvement was clutch. The incredible input everyone gave, the many reviews, advice and personal time people invested was crucial to make this import a success. Everyone weighing in has helped make the resulting map better.

Sh** happens

We dealt with data corruption and conversion script bugs all using Github issues. Over the course of the import, we opened and closed 120 issues flagging suspicious data found in data reviews and sometimes working through protracted problems with New York City's head of GIS directly chiming in and helping interpret data correctly.

Some of the issues we discovered required updates to data we already imported. Once we were into the import even a couple of days, updating existing data manually quickly wasn't an option anymore. This is where automated edits came in, updating OpenStreetMap data programmatically. We captured all scripts for automated edits in the same code repository as the data conversion scripts. Some examples of programmatic updates are:

  • We fixed wrong tagging on school buildings where we tagged amenity=school instead of building=school.
  • We added ordinal suffixes like "th" in "4th".
  • We expanded abbreviations we had overlooked like "Ft" to "Fort".

We prepared this import well and we had good peer reviews on the imports list running up to the first uploads. We could head off many issues before we started importing. But in the end, the amount of issues we encountered after we started was still an unpleasant surprise. Having gained a lot more experience with this import I am sure the next time we can avoid a series of pitfalls - but the need for being able to programmatically update data after it's been uploaded is crucial for a successful import. You simply cannot plan for all eventualities and you need to be prepared to apply fixes as you go.

From this perspective, the next time I would want us to write data integrity tests from the get go. These tests would assert data quality on data before it is uploaded. This would allow us to be much more agile in updating and refactoring conversion scripts as we go.

Another set of tests would assert data quality of already uploaded data. This would help to identify existing systematic problems and catch data issues due to negligent uploads fast.

So far, we have a rudimentary directory with validation scripts we started to build up during the import. There is a real need across the OpenStreetMap community to further develop and share easy to use tools to test and validate data. What if we could reuse the validators available in JOSM from the command line on arbitrary portions of OpenStreetMap data?

Data processing

To get source data ready for upload, a conversion script would download the data, split it, convert it and store the resulting files in OSM XML format on Amazon S3. We set up a tasking manager job that would expose each file as a task for people to import. To upload a dataset, a mapper would select a task, download OpenStreetMap data and load OSM data. We used the excellent JOSM editor to merge and review data before uploading to OpenStreetMap.

The entire data processing script is captured in a Makefile and can be run from download to upload to Amazon S3 with a single command. In sequence, the processing script would perform the following actions:

  • Download and unpack buildings (polygon data in shapefile format)
  • Download and unpack addresses (point data in shapefile format)
  • Reproject and simplify building geometries
  • Reproject addresses
  • Split buildings and addresses into byte size chunks
  • Merge: Where only a single address is available for a building, merge the address attributes onto the building polygon.
  • Convert: Map attributes to OpenStreetMap tags, convert street name formatting and house number formatting and export in osm format
  • Put to S3

All code is open source under a permissive BSD license - feel free to lift where convenient.

Repeatable conversion

The conversion script is repeatable with a single command and it is organized in stages: Each significant processing step creates files on disk and can be run separately. All that's needed are the output files of the previous processing stage. Running the entire script would take on the order of several hours on an extra large Amazon EC2 instance. Being able to run steps like the merge stage or the convert stage separately was saving important debugging time. Throughout the import, we wound up reprocessing the data countless times as we fixed issues.

# Download, convert and push to s3
make && ./

# Download and expand all files, reproject
make download

# Chunk address and building files by district
make chunks

# Generate importable .osm files.
# This will populate the osm/ directory with one .osm file per
# NYC election district.
make osm

# Clean up all intermediary files:
make clean

# Put to s3

# For testing it's useful to convert just a single district.
# For instance, convert election district 65001:
make merged # Will take a while
python merged/buildings-addresses-65001.geojson # Very fast

Reprojecting and simplifying

New York City data comes in its own special projection and it is way too detailed for OpenStreetMap, so we reprojected and simplified it using ogr2ogr:

ogr2ogr -simplify 0.2 -t_srs EPSG:4326 -overwrite buildings/buildings.shp buildings/building_0913.shp

Splitting into byte size chunks

We couldn't upload all data in one go, it had to be cut into byte size chunks for manual review and upload. For splitting up the data we used New York City voting districts. This was an arbitrary choice, it just so happens that New York City voting districts are of a manageable size for manual uploads. There are 5,285 voting districts, the processing script generated an OSM file for manual upload for each one of them. The script uses the great Shapely and Fiona libraries for doing this. It is nicely reusable for any task where you need to split up one geospatial dataset by the polygons of another geospatial dataset.


In OpenStreetMap, addresses tend to be merged onto building polygons where only one address is available for the building. We wanted to follow this convention and thus merged addresses where only one was available onto the corresponding building. The python script uses Shapely, Fiona and Rtree to do this. The script also converts data into geojson format - which was extremely useful for debugging as we could inspect them in any text editor. Here is an example output file of the merge stage.

Most of our fixes during the import happened on later stages so we could always work off of the merged files, saving about 50% of the total processing time.


This is where most of the actual conversion is happening - this is also the part of the script that was the most significant time investment. It captures the full complexity of the conversion and handles hairy problems like house number conversion, street name conversion, cleanly merging geometries, generating multipolygons and more. The script uses Shapely and lxml for attribute mapping and exporting data in OSM XML format. OSM XML is directly readable by JOSM, so the resulting files of this stage could be opened and directly uploaded to OpenStreetMap with JOSM.

One tricky problem we're solving on this stage is merging T-intersections. OpenStreetMap's data model is unique in that it allows for sharing vertices between polygons. In the picture below, you see a typical T intersection. The node with the arrow is supposed to be part of the two ways describing the corner of one building but also part of the ways describing the straight walls of the other building.

It took us a while into the import to notice unmerged T-intersections. What makes this issue vexing is that OpenStreetMap's native decimal precision is lower than our source data. The result was that data we uploaded to OpenStreetMap looked fine, but once we downloaded it again it came back with truncated precision, moving nodes just far enough to place some within neighboring buildings.

Nodes on T-intersections between buildings need to be part of both buildings.

Our conversion script merges all incidents of T-intersections. This requires truncating decimal point precision to OpenStreetMap's native 7 positions and buffering - the technique to test not only whether a point sits on a line, but whether a point is in the close vicinity of a line. Read up on appendBuilding() in for details.

Pushing to S3 and exposing the data in the tasking manager

For exposing tasks to mappers we used the OSM Tasking Manager - a great tool for coordinating mapping tasks among large groups of individuals. We used a patched version that allows for tasks shaped as arbitrary polygons - instead of the usual squares. Each task polygon pointed to the file we've made available on s3, and the tasking manager exposed two buttons: one for loading OpenStreetMap data into JOSM, the other one for loading the import data into JOSM. We labeled those buttons "JOSM" and ".osm" which doesn't make all too much sense, but hey!

Loading data into JOSM from the tasking manager.

Reusing and the elusive import toolchain

Writing these scripts we avoided overthinking the problem. Creating generalized solutions for these functionalities is hard and we simply didn't have enough data points to do so. Now having gone through this import, I see a couple of opportunities to solidify a toolchain for import:

  • Generalize a command line script for splitting data (like a properly abstracted
  • Generalize a library for converting Simple Features to the OpenStreetMap data model, including XML export
  • Consider using PostGIS - I avoided it intentionally here, but built in spatial operations and indexing is appealing
  • Identify a pattern for reusable validation scripts that can be used to assert data quality before and after uploads

Continuously improving the map

Here is the full time line of the import:

We are not done yet. While all data has been imported to OpenStreetMap, there are final cleanup tasks we are tackling as we speak. Help us further improve the map: if you find a building or address related issue on the New York City map, please let us know by filling an issue on Github. As soon as new data is available from New York City, we will also take a look at updating OpenStreetMap where it makes sense.

Thank you

Huge thanks to all who have helped make this import happen. Through your work reviewing, coding, organizing mapping parties and doing data uploads you have helped make this import better than it would have been without you: Serge Wroclawski, Liz Barry, Eric Brelsford, Toby Murray, Ian Dees, Paul Norman, Frederick Ramm, Chris MacNally, and many others. A special thanks to Colin Reilly from New York City GIS who has helped on many occasions fully understand the source data and find the best decision translating it to OpenStreetMap. A big shout out to my colleagues who've put a ton of work into this endeavour: Ruben Lopez, Edith Quispe, Aaaron Lidman, Matt Greene, and Tom Macwright among others. Say hello if you bump into them on the internet, or maybe at one of the next conferences.

Cheers to making the best map in the world.

Location: East Village, New York, New York City, New York, 10003, United States of America

My first day on OMS

Posted by NRgizR on 21 August 2014 in English (English)

This is my first day on OpenStreepMap. I'm staying in Philippines at the moment, and because OSM was helpful in the past I'm trying to contribute as much as possible.

Location: Pililia Poblacion, Pililla, Rizal, Calabarzon, 1910, Philippines

How to prepare for your first mapping party!

Posted by pedrito1414 on 21 August 2014 in English (English)

So, a friend invites you to a mapping party...

Or, an NGO you really respect asks for help mapping the area they are working in....

Or, you see an article calling for mapping volunteers and sign up...

But, you've never mapped before!

What do you do?

It's easy. Just remember this catchy acronym: HPSSU

on flickr

Firstly, get your HARDWARE ready. This is a posh way of saying make sure your laptop is working and, if you have one, your mouse is in your bag (a wheelie one is best)

Secondly, create your Open Street Map (OSM) PROFILE (do that here - it takes almost no time at all)

Thirdly, select your preferred SOFTWARE. As a complete beginner, the iD editor is the easiest to use. You don't need to download anything, it's all available online. No fuss. However, the java based editor, JOSM, is also an option. You'll need to download and install it (do that here), but once you have it, it is well worth it. It is very easy to use, makes editing much faster and has much more scope than iD if you continue to develop as a mapper. Having said that, iD is perfectly fine for your fist time!

Lastly, SWATTING UP will help. If you have an hour or two before you come to do a bit of online training, you will find it that much easier at the mapping party. There are loads of resources available for OSM. A few from the LearnOSM project are listed below, but a search on your preferred engine will bring a myriad of interesting results. Go explore!

Routing error in San Fernando, Cadiz, Spain.

Posted by jutezak on 21 August 2014 in English (English)


On my holiday I found a very illogical route using Osmand. Now that I am home I see that OSRM is doing the same: not taking the on-ramp to the highway.

When I inspect the map with iD, nothing seems wrong with connections, oneway or nodes. ITO maps also doesn't show recent edits in that area so the problem should still be there:

How to progress now to fix this?


Location: Carretera de Andalucia, San Fernando, Province of Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain

Midwest/Plains Trip - Secondary Routes and Street Names

Posted by mdroads on 21 August 2014 in English (English)

Spent the last few days after vacation going over my OSM notes from the roads of the Midwest and Plains (trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota).

I noted some of the differences in naming and signage conventions between counties, especially secondary level numbered roads (ref=) and street names (name=) in counties with mile after mile of PLSS grids. Many of these differ from TIGER, and will have been renamed, especially for E911 purposes. On the way back I even saw two separate name signages, one the old street names in town, and the other a new grid naming system.

Pennington County, SD

Blade signage:

White on green, standard pentagons on end of sign. No county numbers given, only blank pentagons with county outline on blade signage, and also logos for USFS or city maintained roads.

Route markers:

County roads are marked with (unnumbered) pentagons reading “Begin Pennington County Road”

Street grid:

Number grid system in the flat parts of the eastern county. Was driving, so no further details.

Deadwood, SD

Had brown street name signs for walkways within Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Standard green in the rest of town.

Custer County, SD

Blade signage:

White on green, standard pentagons on blade signage for county, also logos for USFS or city maintained roads.

Route markers:

Small vertical markers, white on green, “CUSTER CO ### CS”, also some National Forest markers.

Street grid:

No system to speak of, too mountainous to have an obvious grid system, except in the towns.

Crook County, WY

Blade signage:

standard with road names only

Route markers:

Standard pentagons.

Street grid:

None observed, no numbered names. US/State Highways had no other names.

Rest of South Dakota in grid areas

Street grid:

Streets EW, Avenues NS, numbers increasing eastward and southward.

Kansas overview

Blade signage:

Most areas small, white on green. Small variations between counties. Route markers: No county shields noted along US 36 corridor where I traveled.

Street grid:

Varied by county. NOTE: roads near/on county lines are named by both counties in their respective grid systems.

Brown County, KS (Hiawatha)

Street grid:

  • EW Numbered Streets from 100th in the south to 340th in the north, increasing 10 per mile. Intermediate streets ending in 5 as well.
  • NS Roads, alphabetized proper names with one or two grid streets beginning with each letter, increasing eastward. Intermediate roads share the first letter as the full grid roads. (example Goldfinch, Hazelnut, Horned Owl, Jackrabbit, Kestrel.)

Jewell County, KS (Mankato)

Street grid:

  • NS Roads Numbered, 10 Road to 310 Road increasing 10 per mile eastward.
  • EW Alphabetized Roads southward
    US 36 was P Road.

Marshall County, KS (Marysville)

Street grid:

  • NS Roads Numbered, increasing 1 per mile eastward.
  • EW Alphabetized Roads southward
    US 36 was Pony Express Highway along this route, but would in the grid would be a name beginning with K.

Nemaha County, KS (Seneca)

Street grid:

NS Roads lettered, EW Streets lettered. Increasing south and east. Letter and number for intermediate road. Observed an M4 Road halfway between M and N. along US 36.

Republic County, KS (Belleville)

Street grid:

  • NS Numbered Roads, 10 Road to 310 Road increasing eastward. TIGER may have these as “County Road 1“ through “County Road 31“
  • EW Lettered Roads A Road to Z Road, increasing southward. TIGER may have these as “County Road A“ through “County Road Y“

Smith County, KS (Smith Center)

Street grid:

  • NS Lettered Roads, increasing eastward, A-Z,AA-EE.
  • EW Numbered Roads southward, 10 per mile..
    The geographic center of the contiguous USA is at the intersection of 130 Road (K-191) and AA Road.

Washington County, KS (Washington)

Street grid:

  • NS Alphabetzed Roads, increasing eastward, including AA-CC after Z.
  • EW Numbered Roads increasing northward
    US 36 was named 19th Road along much of the trip before turning SW diagonal, then taking up 17th Road.


Street grid: System varies by county, mostly saw numbered.

Minnesota along I-90

Route markers:

White squares along I-90 until reaching the eastern half of the state, then pentagons.

Street grid:

Avenues NS, Streets EW, increasing 10 per mile northward and eastward. Statewide?


Blade signage:

In the town of Castalia, there were still old blades with the Tiger name (Merrill St), and a new set of number-based grid (128th Street)

Route markers:

Standard pentagons. CR Numbering system is Axx-Jxx for EW routes, and Kxx-Zxx for NS. In the northeast corner, EW were A-B prefix and W-X for NS. The central part of the state reaches further east, and this is where the Zxxs are located.

Street grid:

Streets EW, Avenues NS, incrementing upward 10 per mile westward and northward.

Ohio Turnpike overpasses

Route markers:

None seen until Portage and Warren Counties. White square marker Street grid: Signs on overpasses had both standard name and grid-based number, e.g., “Brown St CR 500 N”

New Bing imagery

Posted by naoliv on 20 August 2014 in English (English)

Finally Bing has updated some old imagery here (from 10~12 years ago).
Unfortunatelly the new images are just a big and nice void:

"Thank you", Bing.

OpenStreetMap birthday weekend (including wikimania etc)

Posted by Harry Wood on 20 August 2014 in English (English)

Tonight we're heading out mapping again! Join us for a London mapping evening in the Bond Street/Mayfair area.

I'm not doing very well at catching up with my diary entries on all the interesting things which have been happening. Since my last diary entry more things have happened, mostly all in one weekend! The weekend before last it was the OpenStreetMap 10th birthday party of course, but for me at least, that was not all:

  • Friday - Open Addresses Symposium
  • Friday night - wikimania entertainment
  • Saturday a.m. - wikimania OpenStreetMap sessions
  • Saturday midday - appearing on sky news
  • Saturday p.m. - OpenStreetMap birthday pub!
  • Sunday a.m. - breakfast with Frederik
  • Sunday - more wikiania sessions

The Open Addresses Symposium was an event put together by the Open Data Institute who have got funding to implement an Open Addresses project (dataset / software / community). In the UK we had an opportunity to make Royal Mail's Postal Address File an open dataset (Why? Because it's infrastructure. Make it free and open, and all kinds of innovation are quietly but obviously enabled) Instead our government recently sold it off as an asset along with the rest of Royal Mail, and this publicly-owned dataset was lost forever. Stupid. PAF was the topic of an open data campaign for years. It's ended badly, but on the plus side it means we can write that off and move on. So at the Open Addresses Symposium, a couple of hundred address data experts and corporate users gathered to discuss this, and the idea of creating Open Address data. Steven Feldman has a write up here. The actual plan wasn't laid out yet (discovery phase) but it will probably involve joining together various open data sets in clever ways, combined with some "crowd-sourcing" element.

Jerry and I were there representing OpenStreetMap. Being so busy lately I was grateful to not be doing a talk. Jerry did a great job of this:

on flickr

When it comes to OpenStreetMap there's two big bits of bad news: (1) In the grand scheme of things we have data on only a tiny proportion of addresses in the UK (2) Our data has share-alike restrictions which this project would be aiming to avoid. But Jerry talked up the positives, and in particular the fact that OpenStreetMap community has a lot of experience (and open source code) in the "crowd-sourcing" side of things, on-the-ground surveying, and crazy JFDI approaches in general.

There was also a talk from the legendary Bob Barr. Always with an enjoyably passionate presentation style which gets the audience excited. I remember first seeing him give the opening talk at State Of the Map 2008, in which, coincidentally, he passionately argued for liberating address data sets!

Some good conversations with people in the pub afterwards too, but then I had to head off to...

Friday night - wikimania entertainment. I wanted to start taking in the buzz of wikimania. It is a buzzy kind of conference with a lively community, much like State Of The Map, only three or four times the size! Actually the buzz on Friday evening at the Barbican was a bit subdued. I suspect the real party was in a pub somewhere. I did however bump into some OSMers, Tim Waters, Edward Betts, and Paul the Archivist. There was a screening of the movie about Aaron Swartz which was inspiring, thought-provoking, and a bit depressing (available to watch on youtube there) Mostly it made me think "oh that's what that SOPA thing was all about". Maybe I should've paid more attention at the time.

Saturday a.m. - wikimania OpenStreetMap sesssions. Back to the wikimania venue the next day (which was looking a lot more lively) to catch the sessions about OpenStreetMap.

Andy Mabbett gave an introduction to OpenStreetMap for wikipedians. I realise I've probably now given more talks introducing OpenStreetMap, than I have seen other people's talks doing so. It was interesting to see his way of explaining the project to a semi-technical audience. Very rich with examples of different map displays from Birmingham (and from the mappa mercia site), and "guess what this map is showing" audience participation. He also touched on some ways that we can look to link wikipedia articles to OpenStreetMap elements.

on flickr

Great to meet User:Seav. He's setting up OpenStreetMap Philippines, but was over at the the wikimania conference and giving a talk about various collaborations between OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia. He went into some thorny license issues around (not) cross-sharing geo-data between the projects, which prompted some questions. I thought he did a great job answering all of these. It was one of those Q&A sessions where the audience is left in no doubt that the speaker really knows their stuff.

on flickr

After that Katie Filbert was running a HOT mapping workshop, apparently this went well but with some troubles due to poor wifi. I had to duck out just at the start of this unfortunately because I had to get to...

Appearing on sky news. This has to be one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. The day before I had a few emails and was suddenly lined up to be giving an interview about H.O.T. and our ebola response mapping. It seemed to be a live TV interview, but I wasn't 100% sure until I got there. I headed over to the sky news studio at an address by the houses of parliament, which turned out to be a very grand old building entering via a cavernous wide stair-case. I saw an office full of desks and a big news studio type thing, but nobody around apart from one bloke who let me it. He was on the phone to their other studio and merrily led me past the office and into small dark cupboard. He sat me on a chair with TV camera pointing at me, and a small TV in the corner. His instructions were to "watch the monitor, then look at the camera".

After a minute an ordinary newsreader woman appeared on the TV, except that she was picking her teeth and getting ready, which was a strange thing to see. Then suddenly, at 12:30 I suppose, she was reading the news headlines, and I was watching the very ordinary looking news as I relaxed sitting in my dark cupboard. Then she said "here with me now is Harry Wood from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team" at which point I suddenly thought "ooh that's me! look at the camera! look at the camera!". I answered some questions about OpenStreetMap, and how MSF and Red Cross are using maps. Not sure if I got the key points across very well (fairly sure I didn't in fact!). It felt like less than a minute and it was all done and dusted. Left the studio. Out into the sunshine.

I should've taken a photo of the news studio to prove I was there. Since then I haven't been able to find an archive of the news online anywhere. One person on twitter said she'd seen it, but aside from that I have no evidence that my appearance on Sky News wasn't just a weird daydream!

No time to ponder that though. I had to get back. I snapped this photo then got the tube back round to the barbican just in time to miss the end of the HOT mapping session! Worth getting back to appear in the wikimania group photo though. Also the OSMers at wikimania group photo:

on flickr

OpenStreetMap birthday pub! This was the main action of the weekend of course, although for me I was looking forward to chilling out with a beer after all the excitement. In the run up to this weekend I'd been bombarded with all sorts of the OpenStreetMappiness. I haven't even had chance to mention how I was sent to Washington for H.O.T. the weekend before. Craziness! All of which meant I hadn't had chance to do any spectacular preparation for the 10th OpenStreetMap birthday. Dan had a few ideas, and worked on putting out a press release (thanks!). When I sat down in the pub, I needed to finish writing a blog post!

on flickr

I was imagining I'd get time to do this before many other people arrived, but actually (despite me largely failing to promote the event properly) we had a lot of people coming along, and from quite early after the 3 o'clock drinking kick-off. Good show everybody! Also I was sad to have failed to organise any cake, but who needs to organise when we have a surprise distributed doacracy in action. Matt showed up with cake to make things OSMbirthdaytastic!

on flickr

Let's just take a closer look at that.

on flickr

He was attempting to bake an OpenStreetMap logo through the middle of the cake! Looks a bit squashed, but it kind of worked. Good effort! Robert also got cake-creative. He was also worried we might not have a cake and so rapidly baked a parkin style cake with the Thames river icing sugar design sprinkled based on OSM map data of course.

on flickr

The choice of venue worked pretty well in the end. The Artillery Arms pub is pretty tiny, but as I had hoped, it was mostly empty at 3 on a Saturday, so we were able to rearrange tables and essentially take over half the pub. The take-over was complete when Dan wrote a birthday message on the blackboard behind us! And our numbers were swollen in the evening as people finished at wikimania nearby and popped over to join us.

on flickr on flickr

I should've got a better photo of the whole crowd, but I reckon we probably had 25 or 30 people there.

Of course... I was very drunk at time. Luckily Frederik was staying with me, so he could carry me home.

Frederik was also treated to some glorious english summer weather as we headed back to wikimania the next day. Despite having umbrellas, we got absolutely soaked on our lower legs. So yeah Sunday I was sat watching some wikimania talks with soggy trainers, feeling hungover. It reminded me of that time when I fell in the canal at SOTM Amsterdam... but that's another story.

So yes. That was one hell of a weekend! But things are back to normal now. No cake at tonight's pub (unless someone surprises me again!) but we do have a cake diagram! Edit that page to grab a slice of cake, if you want to help nail those Mayfair building outlines once and for all (is it ever going to happen?) Or just come to the pub from 8pm. All the details on the wiki for tonight's event

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