Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Improving the road network coverage in Myanmar

Posted by Jothirnadh on 2 February 2016 in English (English)

Myanmar is witnessing an unprecedented growth in international tourist arrivals following major democratic reforms since 2011. On OSM, around 70,000 kms of roads have been mapped so far, or roughly 42% of the total reported roadways.

Most of the major highways (motorways, trunk, primary, secondary and tertiary roads) are well mapped in the major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw, but there are a lot of missing residential and unclassified roads visible in the imagery. Over a period of three weeks, the Mapbox data team was able to add a total of 7,690 missing streets, out of which 2559 and 5131 streets were added in Mandalay and Yangon respectively.

yangon changes Missing streets in Mingaladon locality in Northern Yangon

Full map of all objects added or modified by the Mapbox data team.

Issues we faced

  • Lack of an active Myanmar mailing list or forum made it difficult to reach out to the local mapping community for collaboration.
  • Identifying the streets in densely populated places is difficult because of the buildings and thick tree canopy. Lack of GPS traces in these areas also hampered the process to add missing roads.
  • There is a lack of road network classification guidelines for Myanmar in the OSM wiki and the general highway classification guide was used for this purpose.
  • Most roads that were previously added seem to be from lower resolution imagery and required cleanup.

How you can contribute

  • Prepare an OpenStreetMap wiki for the road tagging classification in Myanmar similar to Indian roads tagging classification.
  • Community members can engage in contributing to other cities of Myanmar by adding missing roads.
  • It would be good if local mappers can add more GPS traces so that we can add the roads covered under canopy and buildings.
  • Community members can also review our edits and give feedback.

Dhammayangyi temple in Myanmar. PD user:Hintha

Location: Indiranagar 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Bangalore Urban, Karnataka, 560001, India

Create "Proximity Alert" for Garmin devices

Posted by Humitos on 1 February 2016 in English (English)

I've trying to create "Proximity Alert" for my Garmin devices for more than 6 months and I couldn't yet. I will detail the steps that I'm following so maybe you can give me a hint on where is my mistake:

  • Download data from geofabrick:

wget -c

  • Uncompress file

bunzip ecuador-latest.osm.bz2

  • Filter data to get only "traffic_calming=bump" (that's what I'm interested in):

osmfilter ecuador-latest.osm --keep= --keep-nodes="traffic_calming=bump" > ecuador-traffic_calming.osm

  • Create "Proximity Alert" with GPSBabel:

gpsbabel -i osm -f ecuador-traffic_calming.osm -o garmin_gpi,alerts=1,proximity=50m,speed=15kmh -F ecuador-traffic_calming.gpi

  • Copy this file into my Garmin device. It recognices my file but when I pass trough the POIs it doesn't generate the Sonor Alarm.

Do you know what I'm doing wrong?

Just added humps

Posted by rukku on 1 February 2016 in English (English)

Tomorrow I'll focus on crossings. And then maybe trees after that.

Location: Xavierville III, Loyola Heights, Quirino 2-C, District III, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1108, Philippines

OpenStreetMap POI finder

Posted by ruthmaben on 1 February 2016 in English (English)

We recently built this new tool which shows all amenities in a given area or between two points by dynamically spooling amenities using the overpass API. During the initial stage of the project, my initial though was just to have a POI map for Bengaluru but, we landed up building a map which shows POI's around the world.

Check this out - POI finder using OpenStreetMap data, it's a great outcome!


Map Features:
  1. Find POIs within a radius of 1km for any point on the map.
  2. Highlights all POIs within a radius of 1km for a route between any two points on the map.
  3. Filter POIs based on type.
  4. Using the Geocoding API, you can go to any place in the world and place a marker and it generates a buffer between the points.



We continue to think on ways to develop and improve this map. Thank you for reading!

The New Me

Posted by philippec on 29 January 2016 in English (English)

After consulting the forum, I have accepted to add incomplete information to OSM.

Mapping Andhra University College of Engineering (Andhra Pradesh, India) using Field Papers:

Posted by nammala on 28 January 2016 in English (English)

Hello OSM mappers,

I ‘m new to OSM community and this is my first diary post in which I want to explain my mapping experience in using field papers

As a part of mapping using Field Papers for which I selected an area in my neighborhood (Visakhapatnam), I have chosen Andhra University college of engineering. The main reason for selecting this region as area of interest (AOI) is, I had done my bachelors from this University and also it is not yet mapped in OSM.

The general idea was to micro-map this area using field papers by identifying the number of missing buildings,roads,hostel blocks,canteens,shops,paths,tracks,statues,gallery stands,layout maps etc. For this, I printed the field paper copy (which consists of already mapped OpenStreetMap data) of the selected area and went to the field for collecting the missing data. It was very interesting to go to the field carrying the field papers, pencils, erasers etc. Basically, it was my first experience to survey in this manner because previously I had carried out survey using instruments like Total station to collect the data, go to laboratory for analysis and finally make edits to prepare a map. So, it’s a different kind of exposure for me to survey using field papers. Then I started going through the area and I have drawn sketches on the paper of particular buildings and gave numbering to that so it will be easy for me to identify while mapping, and I carried out the same procedure for rest of the area. It approximately took 2 hours for mapping the entire University. Mapped Field Paper Uploaded

After completing the survey mapping I scanned the mapped field paper and integrated it into the digital environment i.e., JOSM using the field papers plugin. I used scanned field paper as one of the base map above Bing imagery for reference while editing, which made my work much easier in identifying the AOI’s.

In this way I completed mapping Andhra university college of Engineering (AUCE) using field paper procedure. Thanks to Mapbox for assigning me such a skillful task and giving me the exposure to this kind of open mapping. I would really appreciate the OpenStreetMap community members if they can review my work and give their valuable comments or suggestions in which I can improve further. Final Map

best day of mapping

Posted by mushisolomon on 27 January 2016 in English (English)

26/1/2016 was my best day of mapping

Location: To Cathedral, Mbale, Eastern Region, 2021, Uganda

Lima maps updates

Posted by Diego Sanguinetti on 26 January 2016 in English (English)

Hi all! I'm making a few updates on the city of Lima (Peru). In this city I did some contributions from GPS traces with notes to improve the city and reduce risks on the streets. This information continues to grow over time and can compare from this website.


  • Improve the Pan American route (in Spanish: Panamericana Norte and Panamericana Sur; Reference PE-1N, alternate tracks and the corresponding exits)
  • Improve the Expressway (Vía Expresa) of the Costa Verde (which implusor was Ernesto Aramburu Menchaca with an avenue that leads his name in Paseo de la República). You can access the Armendaríz exit to connect the two highways.
  • Add information from districts: Los Olivos (including speed bump or sway), Comas and Rimac. About center of Lima I would add buildings.
  • Improve information continues for the Panamericana malls (some are pending).
  • Built tolls Pan American Industrial Separator with a limit of 10-20 kph. They include specified lanes for trucks and private light vehicles. See:


  • Add bridges (on the highway), pedestrian crossings and traffic lights.
  • Add neighborhoods (pending).
  • Add other places as hotels, parking lots, cinemas and restaurants.
  • Information to sports village of Callao (pending).
  • Added the pedestrian tunnel in Los Alisos.
  • Added features at the Jorge Chavez International Airport. For more information you can see this directory website.
  • Added center speed limits in this sector and to specify route time in Chorrillos map.
  • Considering the rigid area (zona ríginda) in Caquetá Avenue by the townhall. Information next stage was also added.
  • Fixes names and speed limits in the district of Pachacamac. In the future, according to El Comercio, It will be a commercial place.

Planned or under construction

Highlight the most important and that may affect the traffic of the city:

Please note that I'm adding information from other cities as accurate as possible and that can take a long time. If there are problems of translation of the original note you can do it in the comments. Cheers!

Myth of Newbie

Posted by BushmanK on 26 January 2016 in English (English)

Quite often you can read a reference to newbies in discussions of almost every aspect of OSM project. Someone could use that reference to say, that something is too complicated. For example - certain tagging scheme. In other cases, it is used to motivate someone, like, "you'd better translate that Wiki page, otherwise, newbies will not understand ..."

Actually, only a few references like that making any sense. Usually, it's nothing more than demagogic method to convince others. And here is why.

For example, in marketing people conducting studies, tests, using focus groups and panels to learn about target group of certain product, service or public statement. Even after that, they are not completely sure about results. And here goes John Smith, who indirectly claims, that he knows how OSM newbies think and so on, when he refers to them. No, he knows almost nothing.

There are only a few statistical studies, showing basically only one thing: spread of amount of edits (statistical or geographical). But there is no studies of behavior. I completely understand, that it's really hard to conduct a study like that, I don't even claim that I know how to do that. But what I'm trying to say, is that referring to newbies does not make much sense without it. Intuitive "knowledge" is not a knowledge at all.

Indeed, some people (only a few of OSM contributors, actually) have certain experience with newbies because they organized mapping parties or workshops. But is that empirical knowledge universal? Most likely, no.

For example, HOT volunteers have different motivation from people, who want to improve/fix map for their navigation device.Those who want to "help everybody at any cost" (importers of illegal data) have completely different motivation too. Lack of skill of reading in English or German also changes the situation, and if combined with overestimation of this skill, makes a disaster for translations.

Digging through these cases, it's easy to conclude, that only a fraction of issues, usually attributed to newbies, are actually linked exclusively to them. There is another term - amateur (in negative meaning, like, "one, who knows not enough to do certain job well and who doesn't really want to learn"), which describes the source of real recurrent issues, because it's quite hard to convince experienced amateur to change his attitude and a manner of work.

Obviously, newbies have to learn to make usable contributions. And it will eventually turn them into confident mappers, who understand own level of competency. In general, being regular people, they don't need any special treatment like if they were people with special needs. While many references to newbies include something, that renders them as extremely shy individuals. Likely, in cases like HOT projects, it makes some sense, because motivation of helping developing countries could attract those who are barely computer-literate, while self-motivated geeks in the rest of OSM are of different kind. But the whole OSM project is not equal to HOT and is not a subordinate of it. So, treatment should probably be different.

My claim is that currently Newbie is a mythical creature, that serves for rhetorical (demagogic) purposes. Its imaginary character is ridiculous: shy, illiterate, clumsy, stupid, incapable to learn, emotionally unstable and fragile, aggressive, ignorant, but in the same time - precious and very important for further OSM improvement and development. These epithets are not my fantasy - I took it from different statements, where reference to newbies was used for reasoning. Telling about it, I want to call for an active skepticism towards any statement like that.

personal electrical location info links

Posted by Govanus on 26 January 2016 in English (English)

these are some links I may use to help with cross-refenced data checkeing about the electric supply in areas I map the mapsdon't show the smallest voltage substations as they are very numourus and I guess may be semi-bypassed on a back feed.

In the UK verious enviromental based iniciatives have seen the need for the uk electrical distribution network that had once been organised with a top-down economies of very large approch start to be able backfeed for people originaly just supplied to one of these pages shows that current spare capacity to achive that for a new generator. Of course SSE will probably provide more capacity if requested with potentialy network enhancement costs which could cost more than a basic backfeed as well as the addtional time for new cables,trenches,towers and transformers to be built into the system. The other is a map of declared power cuts, small ones happen a lot from oftern from things going on around infrastucture like digging and things simply bashing into overhead lines, etc. the effect of cold weather is designed into the system but things not design to handle high winds like cars, trees and rubbish bins can crash into strained lines during high winds as if hurled by a battury of catapults in an anchient battlefield. Floods also cause headaces but works are underway in some places to impove isolastion from flood water through rasing or encapsulation.

A global map of all HOT contributions

Posted by dekstop on 26 January 2016 in English (English)

I've tweeted versions of this in the past (Feb 2015, May 2015), and used it in talks. Here's an updated version with data up to 13th January 2016.

In total this covers around 120 million changes to the map, by almost 20,000 contributors across 1,000 projects. This required an estimated 165,000 hours of volunteer work! There's a monthly breakdown of this activity in this Google spreadsheet: "2016-01 HOT activity timeline".

Global map of all HOT contributions

I'm keen to do an animated version at some point! Also, could a cartography geek please recommend a suitable projection for this map? Atm it's just the default WGS84, with apologies :)

The Asia Foundation OpenStreetMap Workshop :: Butuan City, Caraga, Mindanao, PH

Posted by GOwin on 26 January 2016 in English (English)

Butuan Edits


Early this month, Butuan City was again the site for a crowd-sourced mapping workshop using OpenStreetMap (OSM), part of the Coordinating Roads and Infrastructure Investment for Development (CR+ID) initiative for industry mapping series run by The Asia Foundation.

The Industry Mapping Workshop proper was held in Y Hotel, Butuan City, on 13th-15th January, while the OpenStreetMap workshop track started in the afternoon of the 14th. This OSM workshop is the sixth of a series of workshops being carried out by the Coalitions for Change (CfC), of the CR+ID project meant to familiarize participants with the OSM platform, and other Open Source mapping technologies they can utilize in their respective communities. It is also meant to promote the development of interest by local government authorities, formal organizations, local volunteer groups, and informal associations to map their communities and other areas of interest using the OpenStreetMap platform. In this particular case, the activity is focused specifically in teaching the participants the rudiments of mapping establishments, infrastructure, and other points-of-interest (POI) that relate to the tourism industry.

OpenStreetMap Workshop

The workshop series is an introduction to the OpenStreetMap platform, and builds upon the participants prior knowledge about mapping. Many of the participants already have working knowledge of geomatics and geographic information systems.

Participants were also introduced in the use of Smartphones and the OsmAnd application for mobile field data collection. Early next morning, participants were give an opportunity to exercise their field data collection skills in downtown Butuan. The late morning was spent on editing and processing the field data, and sharing their learning experience.

Activity results

Workshop edits in Butuan

An Overpass-Turbo query reports the following changes by the participants during the workshop day itself: nodes: 219, ways: 18. The edits are mostly in downtown Butuan, where new POIs had been added to the local map during field work. Some mappers, made updates in their own neighborhoods, as well.

Workshop edits for Caraga

Kudos to the new mappers. I'm looking forward to seeing more editing activity from that area of Mindanao.

Location: San Francisco St., Urduja, Agusan del Norte, Caraga, 8600, Philippines

Updating your changeset source comment easily using imagery layers in JOSM

Posted by PlaneMad on 25 January 2016 in English (English)

This handy feature in JOSM fetches the titles of visible imagery layers that you have loaded into JOSM and adds it as the changeset source.


Never knew it existed till someone pointed it out to me. Hope you find it useful.

Mapathon at the American Embassy

Posted by GOwin on 25 January 2016 in English (English)

American Embassy Mapathon

Last Saturday, the U.S. Embassy in Manila hosted a workshop and mapathon to add data to Project 1129: Missing Maps: Leyte, Philippines. Organized by Celina Agaton/Map the Philippines and OpenStreetMap Philippines(OSMph) advocates. I took a few photos, too.

During the closing activity, the top new mappers were awarded with prizes, but only new mappers were taken in consideration, and I neglected to give due recognition to two "old" mappers who contributed significant number of edits in the area of interest during the mapathon, namely curran74 and Sea Tea Zen.

Edits made during American Embassy Mapathon

Cheers for these two awesome mappers. Their edits, combined, is responsible for one third of the total mapathon edits made in the Leyte task. Guys, I hope to see you both in the next mapathon. Do remind me that I owe you a bottle of beer each. ;)

Many thanks to the Mr. Allen Phelps and his team for hosting the mapathon at the American Embassy, including the refreshments, Celina Agaton for organizing the event, and the usual suspects from OpenStreetMap Philippines who were physically present - seav, Rally, schadow1, and Ge-Mapper, and two remote participants jmbangante (from chilly France) and maning (from warm Bengalore) for the support.

Should you be interested in the edits made during this particular mapathon, they are hosted on github as a geoJSON gist generated by Overpass Turbo.

For related posts, check your favorite social media stream for the #ManilaMapathon hashtag. Group photo above is snipped from Celina's tweet about the event.

The spike in mapping activity over the weekend is attributed to this mapathon (from Pascal Neis' Neis' One country stats):

mappers online, 2016-01-23

mapping activity, 2016-01-23

Location: Ermita, Manila, Fifth District, Manila, Metro Manila, 1000, Philippines

Sizes of various map formats

Posted by malenki on 24 January 2016 in English (English)

Out of curiosity I had a short look at various map formats how much space they need for a certain country. I picked (for no certain reason) Bulgaria.

PS: Of course various maps may contain a various degree of details in the data which I did not check.
PPS: Fixed OSMAnd and mapsforge after Zverik's hint (used a third party website before with obviously outdated data).

Sentinel-2 satellite imagery released in the open

Posted by PlaneMad on 21 January 2016 in English (English)

Just found that the raw satellite imagery from ESA's Sentinal-2 project is now open. The resolution of the imagery is 10m/pixel, so not good enough for street level detail, but can be quite useful to monitor vegetation changes and infrastructure construction progress since the update cycle seems to be around 1 month.

Band 8 imagery with false color mapping showing the 5km long Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai

This is a great source for multiband imagery that you can use to do some interesting raster analysis in QGIS.


EU law grants free access to Copernicus Sentinel Data and Service Information for the purpose of the following use in so far as it is lawful4:

  1. reproduction;
  2. distribution;
  3. communication to the public;
  4. adaptation, modification and combination with other data and information;
  5. any combination of points 2 to 4.


Where the user communicates to the public or distributes Copernicus Sentinel Data and Service Information, he/she shall inform the recipients of the source of that Data and Information by using the following notice:

  1. 'Copernicus Sentinel data [Year]' for Sentinel data; and/or
  2. 'Copernicus Service information [Year]' for Copernicus Service Information.

Where the Copernicus Sentinel Data and Service Information have been adapted or modified, the user shall provide the following notice:

  1. 'Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [Year]' for Sentinel data; and/or
  2. 'Contains modified Copernicus Service information [Year]' for Copernicus Service Information.

The users' rights on their personal data are protected under European law6. Such data will only be used by the European Commission and the providers of the said Data and Information for providing services to the user and for statistical as well as evaluation purposes.

Read the complete terms of Use

Sentinel-2 Free Imagery

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 21 January 2016 in English (English)

Latest sweeping changes to some roads in NC.

Posted by PiedmontTriadRoads on 21 January 2016 in English (English)

Since NC D.O.T. may and have realigned a few roads in North Carolina, so, I had to realign the paths, delete redundant ones and added planned ones.

See what you guys think!

Cygnus Field Report

Posted by mvexel on 20 January 2016 in English (English)

It has been a few weeks since I wrote about the public beta release of Cygnus, the Telenav conflation engine for OSM data. Since then, I have since been approached by a few folks who wanted to take it for a spin. One of them is long time OSM contributor MikeN. He is preparing an import for Holt and Atchison counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. We worked together on scaling some technical hurdles. Here's a report of what we (well mostly he) did.

Source Data

Mike obtained the source data from Holt and Atchison counties from their official GIS:

I obtained an updated road network from their official GIS, extracted and translated the tags, and followed up with a review against current aerials as well as checking for connectivity, glomming like road segments, and simplifying geometry. The final goal is to obtain permission to import, go through the import process steps, and merge new data onto the existing OSM data.

The next step was to convert the data into the OSM PBF format that Cygnus requires. This is when Mike got in touch with me to work through some technical difficulties:

Since Cygnus required the PBF format, I used Osmosis to convert. This failed because the nodes did not "have a version attribute as OSM 0.6 are required to have". I have learned from Martijn that OsmConvert works without a version attribute, and was able to verify this on my second county.

The next catch was that PBF doesn't accept negative node numbers. The simple workaround is to just use a text editor to remove the minus sign from id='- and ref='- . This seems a bit dangerous - would that file upload if accidentally selected? If so, many low numbered objects would be corrupted around the world. Hopefully, the conversion from OSM to PBF can be moved to the Cygnus chain so that it can accept zipped OSM since most users will start with .OSM data.

That is a great suggestion. On the one hand, we don't want to make Cygnus too easy to use. (Cygnus is in the end a tool to help with imports. It should never be easy to just import data in OSM. There are strict guidelines, and any tool to help with imports should make the user consider the process very carfully.) On the other hand, handling the conversion from JOSM XML (including the negative IDs) to valid PBF is a mechanical step that most any Cygnus user would need to perform, so I would like to include that in a future version.

With that out of the way, we worked together to produce the Cygnus JOSM XML change file.

The result was that it did pick up the new roads and they appear to connect properly into the existing road network. The cases of modified geometry were also detected. And although the node placement was different, the rest of the roads were properly untouched.

It turned out that the number of changed / new roads was fairly minor. A future import would therefore not be too invasive. Here is the OSM base data versus the updates suggested by Cygnus for one of the counties Mike is working on:


In total, Cygnus suggested 68 updates. 31 entirely new geometries, and 37 updated geometries. The updated geometries were mostly caused by connecting the new ways to the existing network, adding a node to the existing way where that happens.

Mike is still working with the counties and the community to move this import forward. Working with Cygnus gave some good insights and will hopefully help prepare the actual import when it happens. This is pretty much an ideal use case for Cygnus, and I hope to see more of them.

Mike also has a wish list for Cygnus:

Future enhancements - In my case, I extracted the surface tags from the GIS source. It would be interesting to have more control over tag merging - such as taking surface tags from the 'new' ways if there is no current surface tag. And in the case of renamed roads, to be able to give the new name a priority for the merge.

I already discussed this with my team and this is high on our list of Cygnus improvements - together with support for POI type nodes.

Get in touch with me if you are ready to give Cygnus a try with local data you have!

OpenStreetMap community in Albania

Posted by rskikuli on 20 January 2016 in English (English)

At Open Labs we wanted to kick off the local OpenStreetMap community in Albania since the first year of our hackerspace in Tirana. For many unknown reasons (aka lack of time) and different this did not happen until Open Source Conference Albania 2015, where we organized a competition for the best OSM editor of a specific area in Tirana. This was followed by meetups in September and November inside and outside our hackerspace. After the first baby steps I strongly believe that 2016 will be even more intensive and hopefully more OSM contributors will join us. If you want to be part of the community ping us at our mailing list. Have a look at some of the OpenStreetMap meetups at Open Labs Hackerspace in Albania

Here is for an OSM-er 2016!

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