Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

AAARGH !!! Those Spammers !

Posted by ika-chan! on 17 May 2017 in English (English)

Can someone please do something about the spammers? I am a regular reader of the OpenStreetMap Blog feed, but recently they have been overrun by spammers that abuse the user diary system and go as far as to peddle software cracking (warez).

Extra: Another thing I noticed is that the OpenStreetMap signup page does not have that "I'm not a robot" captcha, which is a far cry from the days you had to figure out nearly-indecipherable words. If there was one, it would significantly reduce automated spammers.

Extra II: But the captcha I refer to helps Google Street View, even though it will be some time before OSM can excel in the street view sector. So what now? Panic?

OSM has failed me

Posted by n76 on 17 May 2017 in English (English)

Actually, failed is too strong a word. Annoyed or disappointed is better.

I am on a vacation in Bilbao which is a lovely city with friendly people, photogenic streets and very good food. But I can't use Osmand or to find streets named in any of the tourist guides of even by the locals including the very nice staff at our hotel.

Why? Because the directions are in always in Spanish/Castilian and a year or so ago the many of the name=* tags for the streets here were edited to remove the Spanish names and have only the Basque names.

I have been consciously observing street signs and they are consistently are in both Basque and Spanish. Usually with Spanish on top. It is my understanding that OSM multilingual tagging calls for having all languages on the signs tagged. I have no issue with replacing the Spanish with Basque on the default name=* tags. But the Spanish names should have been put into name:es=* tags. That would allow visitors like myself a chance at a much better experience.

Imagine being able to find the street given to you by a friendly local who assumes, correctly, that you speak no Basque.

Not that it would have helped much with as I don't see any setting in that app to specify display or search on anything other than the default name=* tag. Osmand does have a setting for specifying the language but I don't know how well it works as the data is not in OSM for it to work with.

So here I am with a wonderful looking OSM based maps with an amazing number of points of interest. And I have apps that can give me detailed directions once I figure out where I want to go. But I am reduced to using Google to find my destination and then I need to compare the street geometry to see where the location is on my OSM based map.

Maybe not a "fail" for OSM, but definitely annoying and disappointing.

New imagery layers, but...

Posted by AkuAnakTimur on 16 May 2017 in English (English)

... apparently my own memory has failed me.

Last September, I have jotted down places to be added into OSM during a (long) bus trip using the Favourite feature in the OsmAnd app. On top of that, OSMTracker for Android was also recording tracks, and I have also taken some photos.

Places near the destination of the bus trip is quite undermapped in OSM. When I reached back home, I found out that neither Bing nor Mapbox layers that has high resolution imagery. Sentinel 2 imagery can be said to be helpful, but to a certain extent. So, I have kept a backup of the Favourite GPX file, who knows, it could be reused in the future.

As DigitalGlobe (DG) has released two layers of imageries recently, I have decided to do remapping again, based on these Favourite GPX files. Many thanks to DG, apparently places across the mentioned bus journey could be (re-)mapped using the Premium (but not the Standard) layer.

However, it seems that I didn't include adequate contexts while jotting things down... oh no, not a good news. I was not able to exactly recall some of these things. Shame.

P.S. cannot thank DigitalGlobe enough for sharing their imagery layers.

Please remove this commentor

Posted by alexkemp on 16 May 2017 in English (English)

Frinz (removed - thank you) was your classic spammer, and in this case a Profile spammer:–

  • Spammer (Oxford Dictionary) (Wikipedia)
  • Profile Spammer:– Someone that places their spam within their forum Profile & then places at least one post within at least one of that forum's boards
    (the purpose of the forum post is to get a legitimate forum link back to the Profile, something that all search-engines (SE's) will follow — ALL spammer activity is intended to game the SE SERPs; any uplift from direct spammer links is simply a bonus)

In this case, Frinz placed his spam within the Personal page for his Profile. His stats are:–

  • Signed up: 07:18 16 May, 2017
  • Edits: 0
  • Traces: 0
  • Diary: 0
  • Comment: 07:19 16 May, 2017: Comment content: “Hi Hello!”

Fairly transparent once you understand the method & motivations.

To Improve Map

Posted by Eh Doh on 15 May 2017 in English (English)

This place is called "Tagondaing", in Kayin State, Burma.

Location: 1, Tagondaing main road, Kyainseikgyi, Kawkareik, Kayin, 13071, Myanmar

How do volunteer mappers use crowdsourced Mapillary street level images to enrich OpenStreetMap?

Posted by NunoCaldeira on 15 May 2017 in English (English)

Interesting reading:


An increasing number of crowdsourced geo-data repositories and their services allows volunteer mappers to utilize information from various data sources when contributing data to a crowd-sourced mapping platform. This study explores to which extent OpenStreetMap (OSM) contributors use the crowdsourced street level photo service Mapillary to derive mappable data for OSM during their editing sessions in the iD and JOSM editors. We cross-check the location of OSM edits with the geographic areas from which OSM contributors loaded Mapillary images into the editors to determine which OSM edits could have been based on information from Mapillary images. The findings suggest that OSM mappers are beginning to utilize information from street level images in their mapping workflow. This observed “cross-viewing” pattern between different datasets indicates that the use of data from one VGI platform to enhance that of another is a real phenomenon, leading to implications for VGI data quality.

Location: PR 12, Relvinha, Madeira, Portugal (territorial waters)


Posted by briansalemink on 15 May 2017 in English (English)

Long term goals: Complete Geoje-si, South Korea

Completed 1.Roughing all roads 2. Redraw coastline 3. Rough zoning of west part of island 4. Detailed Streets and buildings of A. Gohyeon B. Janpyeong C. Junggok D. Suwol/ Yangjeong E. Sangdong F. Okpo G. Aju H. Jangseungpo I. Neungpo J. Irun-myeon K. South east coast of Dongbu-myeon L. Mundong M. Yeoncho-myeon N. Sagok in Sadeung-myeon O. Central Section in Geoje-myeon 5. Next A. Complete Dongbu-myeon (1-2 months) B. Complete Geoje-myeon (< 1 month) C. Complete Hacheong-myeon (1-2 months) D. Complete Jangmok-myeon (2-3 months) E. Complete Sadeung-myeon (2-3 months) F. Complete Dundeok- myeon (2-3 months) G. Complete Nambu-myeon (2-3 months)

Location: Yongsan Village, Geoje, South Gyeongsang, South Korea

Update of M37 from Bayramaly to Ashgabat

Posted by apm-wa on 14 May 2017 in English (English)

I used a road trip from Bayramaly to Ashgabat to collect GPS traces as well as several megabytes of imagery with OpenStreetCam on May 11, and today plowed through the data to update the M37 between Bayramaly and Ashgabat. In several places it remains under construction and signage is minimal to nonexistent. There is more work to be done but the roadway itself is largely done. We also found another couple of gas stations (always useful) and a good fish restaurant, the Seljuk Kafe-Otel!

Location: M37, Ahal Region, Turkmenistan

OpenStreetMap in Tunisia : OpenCage Interview

Posted by Mohamed Chedli Ben Yaghlane on 14 May 2017 in English (English)

New blog interview w/ Mohamed Marrouchi about the OpenStreetMap community in Tunisia

OpenCage Data Blog

Blog Post Link: Alt text

Better Maps #2 - Plaza pitfalls

Posted by wolfbert on 13 May 2017 in English (English)

Todays' case is a problem reported by OSM Inspector. As I know the location, I decided to investigate.

OSMI problem

Inner touching outer

At first sight, the situation appears to be straightforward. A plaza in front of a train station has been mapped as multipolygon with highway=pedestrian. A patch of grass and a building, both tagged as inner areas, touch the multipolygon outer border along a line, which is not permitted.

The solution is usually simple, just remove the inner areas from the multipolygon relation and redraw the outer border so that it excludes the inner areas. In this example, this works fine for the patch of grass to the left. Looking more closely at the building, however, reveals another problem.

Walking on the roof

The "building" has in fact been tagged as building=roof , layer=1, and correctly so, as the image below shows. Roof in front of train station The roof, however, is at a different level than the pedestrian area which extends under it. In other words, the building should not have been part of the multipolygon in the first place (there's no point in excluding the roof from the area below), and no redrawing is required.

And the name goes where?

It is customary to tag the name of the plaza on the pedestrian polygon. Once we start excluding areas from that polygon (e.g. a kiosk, fountain or greenery), things get tricky. The name of the plaza describes the whole area, while the pedestrian area is only the part we can walk on. In the above example, the plaza - being identical with the pedestrian area - does not include the grass.

A number of solutions come to mind:

  1. Tag the name of the plaza and associated information separately with a node and place=square
  2. Move the plaza name from the multipolygon relation to the outer border way of the multipolygon
  3. Draw a separate (multi)polygon and tag it with place=square and the name

(1) Works, but we lose the spatial information about the plaza.

(2) The trick here is to exploit the fact that the outer border is evaluated separately from, and in addition to the multipolygon relation. This approacch works only if the outer border of the multipolygon completely encloses the plaza (not in the example) and consists of a single way only.

(3) Works, but requires additional drawing/elements.

Happy mapping, and remember, quality matters!

A Pepperpot within Pepperpots

Posted by alexkemp on 12 May 2017 in English (English)

There are hidden gems at the corner of Arnold Lane & Mapperley Plains, both above & below ground.

The first item to be found travelling out from Nottingham town is a gas pipeline site, but let's gloss over that.

Next is the 3WScouts site, and I think that it may be the best pocket-location for Scouts in the UK (it was locked up when I called last Wednesday, but this shot taken through the gate may give an indication of the delights behind) (or look through the photos at the 3WScouts website):–

3WScouts clubhouse

The 3WScouts training ground is called Pepperpots. The photo below comes from the 3W website (I'm hoping to be able to arrange to take one of my own), and is one of the two sources for that rather odd name (the other Pepperpot is hidden within the woods at the eastern end of the site):–

Pepperpots Pepperpot

The reason for these odd structures and for the long, thin nature of much of the site lies beneath the ground. Mapperley Tunnel was built to carry the Great Northern Railway under Mapperley Ridge (I love tunnels! see here to find someone that is even madder than me about these things). As geology would have these things, Plains Road and Mapperley Plains (they are one road in spite of the name-change) run along the ridge, whilst the tunnel passes diagonally directly under the place where Arnold Lane & Gedling Road (also one road) cross the ridge-line.

That tunnel explains the Pepperpots, as they were built on top of the tunnel vents. In more recent years those Pepperpots were used as dumping grounds for rubbish, and that may also explain how the Scouts managed to obtain their grounds. Whatever is the full story, the Pepperpots training site is based directly above & along the Mapperley Tunnel.

Further geology interfered with the tunnel after only 50 years of it's existence. The tunnel was in use by 1875, but in 1900 the first shafts were sunk by the Digby Coal Company almost on top of the tunnel entrance. The railway now became a Mineral Railway, and was mighty useful for what became Gedling Pit, but only 25 years after the pits were established Mapperley Tunnel suffered it's first subsidence. Such problems continued & in 1960 the whole line was shut down.

As a sad postscript to this story, the Gedling Access Road (GAR) threatens this wonderful site. Read more on

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Back mapping again after a 7 year absence

Posted by Fieldhog on 12 May 2017 in English (English)

I noticed that my Garmin was missing a few footpaths while i was walking around Maidenhead the other week so decided to add them onto the map. I'd forgotten how nice it is to spend some time mapping. Must get out more and do more mapping.

Things that have changed over the last 7 years.

My i5 with SSD can process the Great Britain map into a Garmin map in about 40 minutes now. Wow. It used to take several hours.

Editing via the open street map website is quick and easy, a much nicer experience than downloading partial maps and editing them in JOSM.


Must spend some time on my styles file, maybe try and make it more OS like.


Does anyone know what/why i get "unnamed/other" buildings all over my Garmin map?


Posted by Eh Doh on 12 May 2017 in English (English)

'''Winyaw(Wonraw) River''' is a river of [[Burma|Burma (Myanmar)]], arising at {{Coord|15|34|28.9|N|98|02.5|E|display=inline}} in southern [[Kayin State]]. It flows north past [[Htimahto]], [[Hlarkada]], [[Winyawseikkyi]], [[Phatele]], [[Kawankathaung]], [[Tagondaing]] and [[Kale]], where it flows into [[Mon State]]. The Winyaw(Wonraw) River is a tributary of the [[Ataran River]], which on a grander scale is part of the [[Salween River]] Basin.

Location: Tagondaing, Kyainseikgyi, Kawkareik, Kayin, 17031, Myanmar

Another walking site using OSM

Posted by ndm on 11 May 2017 in English (English)

Found another walking site using OSM, e.g. shows OSM as a base layer.

Unfortunately, there's little/no OSM attribution, only Google :-(

Brussels drinking water fountain revival.

Posted by philippec on 11 May 2017 in English (English)

Last year some ornamental drinking water fountains in Brussels, suffering from scoliosis gave so little water that I hardly dared send anyone to them to drink. I decided to go the scientific way and measure their flow rate. I took four samples, the rest I saw to be OK. The worst gave 0.11 l/m of water per faucet.

The biggest blind spot in Brussels is the Oude Graanmarkt. With two not working drinking water fountains and a fountain on the ground. I decided to ask the local drinking water company if this water is drinkable. But as some drinking water fountains were restored this year, I checked first. And, Holy Moses, drinking water came out of the broken fountain, in abundance.

I changed the status with the app "Drinkingwaterfountains". Yes folks, some people map drinking water fountains and do not check if water comes out of it. A precise location or picture is recommended to find them as our drinking water fountains live an inconspicuous life.

I nevertheless wanted to know if all fountains in Brussels provide drinkable water. Usually there is no mark on them. I presented myself at the water distribution company as the big expert (is there a complicated word for that ?). But after talking to three people, including the receptionist, I gave up. I don't want to pass the rest of my life trying to find out who is responsible for the fountains in Brussels.

It is my opinion that those ornamental drinking water fountains should be melted down.

Location: Quartier des Quais - Kaaienwijk, Brussels, Ville de Bruxelles - Stad Brussel, Brussels-Capital, Belgium

How would you map this?

Posted by mvexel on 11 May 2017 in English (English)

I am trying to figure out mapping complex intersections and I am a little stumped :) To completely represent all possible lanes and turns in an intersection, you would need to define:

  1. The lane layout (turn lanes, through lanes)
  2. The lane connectivity (which lane connects to which at the far end of the intersection)

If I asked you to map this intersection completely, how would you do it? Which (combination of) turn / lane tagging schemes would you use?


(If you're interested, this type of intersection is a CFI or continuous flow intersection.)

Now I get Pushed Down Some Stone Stairs

Posted by alexkemp on 11 May 2017 in English (English)

(Wednesday May 10)
Some experiences I could do without but, at the same time, you can rarely choose those that you get. This particular one I have to be a touch careful about as (I very much hope) it may lead to criminal proceedings & I most certainly will not prejudice those.

Added Friday 12 May:
Initially, after posting this I removed it & put in place a “(removed due to possible criminal proceedings)” notice. Today, John on the Newsdesk of The Nottingham Evening Post informed me that only once criminal proceedings are issued does there need to be a news embargo, so this diary entry can go ahead, as I have yet to receive any notice of any action.

Most of my recent time has been spent mapping Gedling NG4, UK, and had reached the point that it seemed right to extend a little further away from Nottingham, so I returned to the furthest place that I've mapped in an anti-clockwise direction, but further out. This was a large, recent development in the corner of the junction of Mapperley Plains and Spring Lane.

It was a blisteringly hot day. I normally set out at 9:30am, but this morning needed to finish off entering the previous survey, which took until midday. It was damn cold in the morning so I took 2 coats (English experience) but in the event needed neither after the first hour.

The emotional ripples on the way there were not very agreeable. On the evening at home I saw the Full Moon and went “oh, of course!”. Everyone is wound up tighter at the Full Moon, and unstable folks are more tripwire dangerous (mad dogs). I'm getting tired of continually only becoming concious of this after the fact. I need to complete my transfer to Java of an astronomical ephemeris that I wrote for VB4 35 years ago, and then I should be able to display the tides of human emotion on my desktop. Every good sailor needs to keep their eyes on the tide-tables.

The first part of this estate calls itself “Chartwell Grange”. I got pleased by the fact of one of the houses having a turret (recently I keep finding houses with turrets). The lady owner was fine with a photo, so this will give you a flavour of both the day & the estate:–

it's got a turret!

Many on the estate are detached houses with the most astonishingly large garages. There are lots & lots of 1920s/1930s houses in Nottingham and some of those were built with attached garage extensions. Those garages are tiny! They were fine for most of the cars of the time, but there is barely a modern car that can fit through the width, let alone park within the length of the garage. Those garages within Chartwell Grange have gone to the utter extreme in the other direction. There are some houses in Nottingham that are smaller than those garages! (I had a long conversation last week with a couple on Wood Lane, Gedling that are in the middle of converting their garage into a cottage for themselves). However, my problems appeared not amongst these properties but within a section that had apartments.

I guess many folks reading this will know how apartments are typically mapped. Entrance doors are commonly used for a number of flats, and usually there is a board next to such doors announcing the numbers of the flats/apartments within. If the number of floors is few, and there are not too many flats, then I prefer to map each apartment individually & place a level=0 (ground floor, etc.) for each one to indicate which floor. Most of the time that isn't practical, so it needs a building outline with entrances attached to the outline & flats/apartments listed within the entrance. What is annoying about that is that I build a Relation for every street (better searching, and links all parts of distributed streets together). However, flats/apartments do not automatically register within the Relation as a ‘house’ and it needs to be added manually.

To make the survey & subsequent addition easy I take a photo of the boards. Each is public-facing & there's no-one that can argue with such an innocent activity (a stupid statement, of course). You may have guessed that today that happened. So that you can make an independent assessment, here is the photo that caused these guys to try to cause me injury:–

apartment number plate

I could not see the boards from below, so had to climb the 15-odd stairs on the outside of the building to check them out. I could not see any bells/buzzers & with only two boards in view decided to photo them. After photographing the first one a young chap within a flat began to sound off asking what I was doing. Nothing unusual about that, but he opened the window, climbed out (followed by his mate) & began shouting with ferocity; this man wasn't interested in keeping his home safe, he just wanted a barney.

With hindsight, and after a lot of thought, I think that if I had tried to mollify him then he would have escalated the issue. Anyway, that's academic, because I reacted at least partly from my male genetic & insisted that as public info I could photo it if I wanted. The main protagonist was close to me throughout all this (too close for comfortable dealings) and as I walked towards the board he simply pushed me off the top of the stairs (a very hard push to achieve that as I'm 6' 1" (1.9m)).

Fortunately for me I'm nimble & quick (not bad for almost 70 - my attacker is in his mid-20s) and I was able to turn & save myself as I fell, so it was only a few steps & just a torn trouser & not a torn head. I jumped back up the steps, but my intelligence stopped me, and I phoned the police. No injuries on my side so no emergency & no swift attendance. My protagonist was stupid enough to come very close & sound off right next to my headphones for extended periods as I was talking to the police - the operator could not hear me clearly. I was getting riled & the operator suggested that I walk away (sensible). Much later these two idiots followed me with their mobile camera recording & trying to cause me to react (lots & lots of vile comments) and telling me that it was going up on Facebook.

It is a “I said... he said...” situation. I'm hoping that there is some CCTV or whatever, but these guys need locking up. My instinct says that they have a history of this kind of thing; it is a classic bully-boy scenario. I think that the two coppers that eventually turned up were satisfied with me & my story. We shall see. It's not going to stop me mapping.

12 May 10:30pm update:
Phoned by police constable to give me an update; CCTV is available from upstairs resident; points down at parking area but also shows entrance doors; looking good. I emphasised 999 (she agreed to review recorded call) + torn trouser (I was ignorant of that when initially talking to constables & only aware later that afternoon when I bent down to pat a dog).

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Hello, OSM.

Posted by Andrew​ on 10 May 2017 in English (English)

StreetComplete brought me here.


Posted by Super-Map on 10 May 2017 in English (English)

Today It's my 2000 Changeset on the map and near 5000000 of changes!

The bike lanes: Broken!

Posted by Yoshinion on 9 May 2017 in English (English)

Okay. It's been a long while since I've been here. Chalk it up to school. I don't know if any other cities have the same problem, but a few roads in Charlotte were simple lines, with all information removed, names included, other than bike lane information. I fixed a few, check around for other issues.


  • 05/14/17: Sent message to mapper "mdsuper82". Awaiting response.
  • 05/14/17: Mapper "mdsuper82" has been a mapper for 11 days as of May 14th.
  • 05/15/17: According to the PM that mdsuper82 sent me, this is a project between the City of Charlotte and "People for Bikes". mdsuper82 also works in the City of Charlotte Transportation Department.
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