Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Columbus V990 Cover : Handmade for fun

Posted by parambyte on 22 August 2016 in English (English)

I love the Columbus V990 as a tool for data gathering, not only for its long battery life (about 12-16 hours) and extreme ease of use, but also for its precision and price. Everything works. But what doesn't is its cover. I took the dimensions of the V990, and had a sleeve handcrafted. Its available for sale at just look for StudioLove (one word).

I am hoping to create a small fund out of sale proceeds to help the community.

Columbus V990

These are hand made in Dharavi. Someone has nicely mapped the bylanes of Dharavi.

Location: Cooperative Housing Society, Dharavi, Sewri Koliwada, Greater Bombay, Maharashtra, 400019, India

OSM in Disaster Risk Management

Posted by Manjurul Islam on 21 August 2016 in English (English)

OSM data is very helpful for disaster risk management. This data is helpful for identification of vulnerable places ,way of passing, important key indicator etc. As the proper authority get the information they will take necessary steps to reduce the destruction of this map we get the data about building condition, material, structure by research this information govt. /relevant authority will identify the vulnerable places and take necessary steps to reduce the vulnerability ,to reduce the damage of any kind of disaster . By using this data Bangladesh Red Crescent society or like this type of voluntary organization or Government organization like fire service , civil defense will plan their search & rescue operation. It will helpful for VCA(Vulnerable Capacity Assessment).

Manjurul Islam

Philippines Admin 4 Shapefile Data!!!!!!!!

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

A Suggestion to Fix Poor LSN in the UK

Posted by alexkemp on 20 August 2016 in English (English)

This is a research document; it is going to attempt to explain:—

  1. The fundamental basis on which Location, Search & Naming (LSN) facilities in OSM work
  2. Why those facilities fail for a substantial part (40%) of the UK
  3. How to fix it

You need to know that the writer has been mapping for only 5 months, and therefore only part-understands what he is talking about. One (possible) advantage is that his is a fresh eye, plus he has the ability to think for himself. As the writer enjoys stories, much of this will be presented in that form.

On Thursday 9 June 2016 I began to map outside of my home patch in Nottingham NG3 and met the Boundary marker which, since 1877, has marked the Boundary Line between the City of Nottingham and Gedling, and also between NG3 & NG4. I was now heading for Carlton, Gedling.

One feature that had been common throughout my NG3 mapping was that LSN had consistently failed with OSM. When I was mapping close to St Anns OSM said that I was in Thorneywood, and so on. By the time that I reached Carlton I'd gotten the basic map methods under my belt & could pay more attention to the condundrum of the fact that when I was working in Carlton (a Suburb) OSM said that I was in Bakersfield (at the time a Neighbourhood, but now a suburb), or even Thorneywood (another Neighbourhood).

Practical examples can focus the mind, and this post is typical. I placed the Diary arrow in Highfield Drive, Carlton, but the result was: “Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom”, which isn't even the correct District. That was just embarassing.

Eventually it became clear that OSM was giving precedence to Neighbourhoods over Suburbs, which seems perverse, and I was deep into conversations with Will & Jerry (my nearest active, senior mappers) on how to handle it all. One of the results of those conversations was Bakersfield being changed from a Neighbourhood to a Suburb, which helped a bit, but that was only a minor part of the truth. A clue was given when a commenter (somewhere) said wrt LSN that “areas are important, not nodes”.

On 16 July 2016 I met, documented & mapped Nottingham's Unparished Areas.

How Location, Search & Naming (LSN) facilities in OSM work

It starts with admin_level=10 BoundaryLine areas. If they do not exist, then OSM will do the best that it can but, as documented above, often fails miserably. If they do exist then, as longe as yur speling is gud, then OSM will be able to find your search item and/or locate where you are and/or name that locality accurately.

Why Location, Search & Naming (LSN) facilities in OSM do NOT work

Whilst there are ~10,000 Civil Parishes (CPs) in England (which is what an admin_level=10 BoundaryLine area is documenting), a very substantial area of the country is unparished (referred to as an “Unparished Area”) (see all the “unnamed areas” in the Civil Parishes page). I've spoken to a very helpful & knowledgeable lady at the Local Government Boundary Commission (0330 500 1525) (hello Joe) who, to my dismay, confirmed that Unparished Areas are the Black Hole of the Boundary world. It was ‘dismay’ because many mappers have a cast of mind which insists that, if the authorities do not recognise it, then neither will they. That means that they do NOT want an admin_level=10 BoundaryLine area to exist for the Black Holes, and that means that LSN will never work for those areas. Oh dear.

Locally to me, the cities of Nottingham, Derby, Stoke-on-Trent and Leicester are Unparished (plus my home town of Hull), as also are Arnold and Carlton (one non-parish) plus Beeston. Notice that the last two are each named, even though they (supposedly) do not exist. St Anns and Thorneywood are both in the City of Nottingham whilst Carlton is within Arnold and Carlton. Thus, none of those 4 neighbourhoods/suburbs was at that time within an admin_level=10 BoundaryLine area, and my assertion is that is the reason that LSN features of OSM were inoperative for them.

The previous paragraphs are mixtures of anecdotal & written evidence, as I did not realise at the time why it was going wrong, but much of it did get documented due to my diary entries. The following is fully evidential:—

Nottinghamshire Civil Parishes - names for unnamed areas: the location arrow for that diary entry is placed in Slab Square, Nottingham. I moved the arrow a tad on 2 occasions when the BoundaryLine setup changed to discover the effect. These are the three location results + the BoundaryLine setup that applied at the time:

  • (Original)
    Location: Nottingham (Unparished), City of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
    ‣ admin_level=10 name=Nottingham (Unparished)
    ‣ admin_level=6 name=City of Nottingham
    ‣ admin_level=6 name=Nottinghamshire
  • admin_level=10 relation removed
    Location: Lace Market, St Ann's, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
  • “City of Nottingham” relation changed to admin_level=10;8;6
    Location: Lace Market, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
    Searching for 'Nottingham' in OSM gives:
    City Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Notes: The admin_level=10 relation was removed without consultation (as I understand it, this is considered by OSM to constitute abuse). Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to test out the effect of those changes, as shown above.

The Nottingham UA relation was changed by me to “admin_level=10;8;6” at 5am in the morning and returned back exactly as before shortly after completing the tests within the hour. That seemed a perfectly innocent action to me, but apparently not.

How to Fix It

All the evidence suggests that no admin_level=10 BoundaryLine area means no accurate LSN in OSM. The simplest fix to my mind is to enter a BoundaryLine for each Unparished area, but that is proving controversial. Even more controversial is my suggestion that, if folks want to discriminate between a CP and an Unparished area, then use designation=civil_parish for CPs & designation=non-civil_parish for Unparished areas. designation is an acceptable key for these folks, but both values are not, even though one non-standard value (and many others) has been promoted on a wiki for many years.

The main problem comes with Unitary Authorities (UAs). It is possible that, with a bit of tweaking, that the UA admin_level could be set to let it work. But maybe not.

Contra-Indications: Completing a recent Diary entry I set the pointer between Valley Road and Prospect Road. That location has an admin_level=10 area set. Saving the post, OSM said it was:—

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

With Nominatim it seems, at times, that no-one actually knows how it all works. I've presented here my discoveries as I got my legs under OSM's table across the last 5 months, plus a simple method to fix it. My pessimistic belief is that no-one will be able to agree on a solution, and my ignorant, blundering efforts so far seem to have only provoked personal abuse and sleepless nights.

Parish Councils + Town Councils

The Ordnance Survey refer to a “Civil Parish (CP)” in their .shape files, but the Parliament Research Paper refers to:

  • Parish Council
  • Town Council
  • Neighbourhood Council
  • Community Council
  • Village Council
  • City Council

The above are the different styles that such bodies can freely adopt.

1894: Parish Councils Act : Parish and Town Councils first establishment.
1972: Local Government Act : source of modern legal foundation.

Powers: In theory Parish & Town Council powers are identical to those of a District. However, they mostly do not have the resources to do anything more than Leisure Services.

County Council: (admin_level=6) : Education, Highways
District Council (admin_level=8) : Bin collections, Cemetaries, Parks & Boundaries
Parish Council (admin_level=10) : (everything else)

Unparished Area (admin_level=??) : parish powers handled at the district level

Coda: The Scale of the Problem

Clearly, we need to know how much of the country is affected by this issue. I'll publish the full figures in a separate Diary entry, but here is the bottom line:

Parished: 11,329 Parishes; Average area/Parish=1,253 hectares; Total area=14,199,250 hectares (61%)
Unparished: 3,069 Parishes; Average area/Area=3,007 hectares; Total area=9,229,902 hectares (39%)

Mapper of the Month : Jorieke Vyncke (Belgium)

Posted by escada on 20 August 2016 in English (English)

Jorieke, a 28 years old Belgian, has spend a lot of time the past few years to support local OpenStreetMap communities all over the world. She worked on several projects in Africa, Europe and Asia to train people and to promote OpenStreetMap by local and international players.

Jorieke at the  Mapfugees in Duinkerke

Where and when did you discover OpenStreetMap?

I discovered OpenStreetMap at the end of 2010, "you will enjoy it", and YES ! I showed OpenStreetMap to my two brothers and together with them I mapped our village Wechelderzande Thanks to my student job as mailman, it was very easy, I knew half of the house numbers in the village by heart! Some time later, I discovered HOT, the Humanitarian OpenStreetmap Team, and Map Kibera. As social agoge, who had the ambition to work internationally and who was enormously interested in participation and spatiality, it simply had to interest me. My studies in 'Conflict and Development' gave me the opportunity to delve deeper in this type of mapping. I even got the chance to work for 6 weeks in Bangladesh for my master thesis. It gave me the possibility to talk with students and professors in architecture and spatial planning, the local OpenStreetMap community and a lot of people living in slums. And yes, it was them who really convinced me to use OpenStreetMap as a tool in humanitarian and development contexts. Precisely because they can put their neighborhood on the map themselves. After this project, everything went fast, a few months later I flew for the first time to Africa for the Eurosha project, in which HOT was one of the partners. And it never really stopped since then...

Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself?

Of course ! The apps OsmAnd and Maps.ME have "saved" me several times when I am abroad. You should see the faces of the taxi drivers in Bamako or Abidjan, when I can navigate them without problems to my destination. And when you show them the apps, their surprise is complete. "OpenStreetMap for taxi drivers", would make a nice little project :-) Those apps also give me confidence when I walk around in an unknown neighborhood, because now you know where you are and where you want to go.

Besides this personal use, I also often use OpenStreetMap for my work. For example, during my last project in Côte d'Ivoire, the complete logistic planning was based on OpenStreetMap. Check out one of the maps I made with Umap for this purpose.

I was very gratefull for HOT's Ebola activation! The western part of the Côte d'Ivoire is about perfect! With a few corrections by people that knew the region very well, we got the logistics running smoothly. Other parts of the country were harder, driving around for 40 kilometers to get in that particular village, was not uncommon.

GisDay 2015 met OpenStreetMap Mali

How and where do you map?

Most of the time I map were I am or were I have been. This means a lot in Belgium, but also in places where I had worked or had spend a vacation. Most of the time, I map the basics: roads, buildings, residential areas or points of interests. I leave more complex stuff such as relations or boundaries to other mappers. [JOSM]( is indispensable for me. The main reason is that this editor does not require a constant internet connection! One can download data and aerial images, work for a few hours without network and electricity, and upload the data afterwards. This comes in handy when you are somewhere remotely in Africa! I am also a fan of less popular projects on the Tasking Manager. During a sudden natural disaster, a lot of attention goes to that one area at that particular moment, but there are a lot of countries with a forgotten crisis, such as Tchad, Mali or [South Sudan( There is a gigantic need for maps in those countries as well.

What is your largest accomplishment as a mapper?

Bangui! I lived and worked there for 3 months, participating in the Eurosha project at the end of 2012. Bangui is the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). Before my stay, Bangui was hardly noticeable on the map. When I had to leave the country, it was there, and the data could be used by humanitarian organisations in times of crisis. The adrenaline was pumping through my body when we got a phone call in Cameroon from UN OCHA on the day of the coup when the whole city was looted, to ask whether we could help them. Of course we could!!!

At this moment there is a map of Bangui, which includes all health facilities and also in other parts of the country the map is improving via HOT remote mapping projects.

I am also very proud of the week I spend in Lubumbashi with Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF): . Although I did not map a lot myself during that period, I instructed people to map for me :-) At the end of the week, around 15 students were walking around to collect data and we got tremendous help from remote mappers. After 4 days more than 60 people from around the world helped us. This synergy with Ivan Gayton of MSF, myself and the students in the field and the remote mappers, was the first seed from which the Missing Maps projects was born a few months later.

Data collection in Bangui

What is your motivation to map?

The community and the enormous passion of the people, which shows in small things. Some examples: Someone visiting a meetup with a bus that takes him 30 minutes more, simply because he had not mapped that particular route yet. The sparkle in someone's eye when her first edit appears on the map. The fire in the email discussions on the mailing lists, ...

But also how all this chaos, somehow coordinates to the result we see today on OpenStreetMap. A database build by ordinary people, but feeding economic development, and a key stone in some humanitarian projects.

OpenStreetMap is for me a great example of the inspiring "commons based economy" of Michel Bauwens.

Besides mapping, do you do other OpenStreetMap related tasks?

Since the spring of 2015, I am in the board of HOT. Besides that, I spend quite some time to answer all kinds of emails and to bring the right people in contact with one another. From time to time I do some translations, update the wiki and make a post on . I also speak on conferences, co-organise meetups and mapathons. At this moment I am busy with the organisation of the HOTsummit and the State of the Map conference.

To conclude, is there anything else you want to mention?

Do not be afraid, just make that first edit. Everybody can participate in OpenStreetMap, I am the living proof of that!

Defragging Fragged Streets

Posted by alexkemp on 20 August 2016 in English (English)

There has been an increased alertness to my changeset comments in recent weeks. I thought it reasonable, since I'm half-inventing words, to explain at greater length what on earth was going on.

I started mapping in March by entering house numbers & names onto the map & have continued doing that most days since. I've been using terracer within JOSM to do it, including associatedStreet relations for each house, something that terracer made easy. The team that maintain JOSM have been working hard to allow it to work under Java-8 (the dependency was previously on Java-7); however, many plugins (including terracer) are unmaintained and, as the chief developer informed me, they do not bother to check what effect their changes have upon any plugin.

Shortly after I started, version-32158 started crashing JOSM when certain options were selected and, shortly after, it was NOT possible to create a relation with terracer under any circumstances. That circumstance continues today, using the current-stable JOSM-10786 (terracer-32699).

This is how to create a new associatedStreet relation:

  1. Select your street ways + all houses
  2. From the menu, choose menu:Presets | Relations | Associated Street
  3. From the dialog, Enter the name of the street
  4. Press “New relation”
  5. (house members should get a ‘house’ role, whilst the street ways get a ‘street’ role)

That was fine, and it worked, but I only knew how to create a new relation, and not how to add new members to an existing relation. Consequently, and especially with big roads, the number of relations for each road began to grow. I was fragging (fragmenting) the street relations.

Eventually, I discovered how to add new houses to an existing associatedStreet relation. This is how you do it:

  1. Select the houses and/or street(s) to add to an existing same-street relation
  2. Switch on the Relations window (menu:Windows | Relations) or (alt-shift-R)
  3. Select the associatedStreet relation to add to and click on ‘Edit’
  4. The houses, etc. that you selected outside of the Relation Editor are now selected in the RHS window; click on the button to add them to the relation
  5. (optional) sort the relation
  6. Click to save

I hadn't done it deliberately but, since it was me that had fragmented so many street relations, It seemed only reasonable that it should be me that defragged them. Hence the changesets. I notified them one at a time so that, if something went horribly wrong, it would be easy to revert any individual street.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Project Map Pinedale - Completion

Posted by MRPockets on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

Project Complete

I have finally gotten around to finishing up the bits & pieces of Pinedale proper that I am aware were still unmapped (according to the goals I gave myself for this project). I believe now that I have succeeded in my stated goals!

Mapping Still Needed

Pinedale proper is extensively mapped (though of course there is much that could be added: sidewalks, more POIs, etc) but the outlying areas as still mostly unmapped (excepting roads). While I will continue to map the area as I can & have a desire to do so, I will not be putting much concentrated effort into it. If there are any other mappers in this area, I invite you to put some work into the areas that are still lacking.

Location: West Pine Street, Pinedale, Sublette County, Wyoming, 82941, United States of America

Weekly roundup of edits

Posted by nammala on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

Here are a few observations from the OpenStreetMap edits between 8 August - 19 August. Most of these helped us understand common mapping issues faced by the new mappers.

  • Added untagged nodes 1, 2. These were reverted by the community.
  • Added nodes with numbers as names 1. Reverted by community.
  • Bad imports of data 1. Reverted by commuinty.
  • Deleted waterway=riverbank , natural=water tags and stream 1, 2, 3 respectively. Asked for clarification.
  • Deleted building 1. Asked for clarification.
  • Deleted highway=service roads inside the park 1. Asked for clarification.

It is always good to let the user know of such issues and encourage them to do active and quality contributions to OpenStreetMap.

Looking forward to another roundup next week. Happy Mapping.

Free Tiles and a Story of Noncommercial Death Spiral

Posted by siberiano on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap has had a spike in tiles usage and, as I understand, the decision among those in charge was to limit tiles usage. Ilya Zverev has written a good summary on the decision in his blog: (use Google Translate) His main point is that OSM is not liable to provide tiles to anyone but the mappers.

OSM owes you nothing, to put it shortly. And it's not a commercial provider to do it for a reasonable rate. That's perfectly true. Except that this case is another step to a death spiral and makes the project end come closer.

I saw exactly this happen in an amateur community network that I used. Its approach was exactly the same and it led to an eventual death of the project. OSM resembles it in many details, decisions and explanations. The community network also was very righteous in its statements.

Noncommercial provider

(I have to clarify the state of the internet providers, to make it clear. You may omit this paragraph.) In 1999, the internet providers in the city consisted almost entirely of (audio) dial-up, that is 56Kbit top speed. The phone network was state-owned, it tried hard to jump on the DSL wagon, but only upgraded its stations by 2004. Unlimited Ethernet or DSL appeared only in 2006-7.

So, in 1997, some 5 guys in a big condo near me, tired of modem speed, connected their computers with coaxial cables and Ethernet cards to make a local network. They were very enthusiastic and made all sorts of things: bought 56K modem and an unlimited plan, installed 24/7 servers, made an internal website with lots of information, and so on. In 2000, they organized consumer cooperative and finally bought in bulk a 1Mbit Ethernet line. By 2001 there were about a 100 users, and I was in 110s when I joined it in October or November.

The service was just fantastic compared to what was available: $4..5 per month, $0.06 per megabyte of data. Overall, I paid around $20..25 per month. With nobody wanting to pay a lot, the 1 Megabit connection to the outer world was always available. Inside the network, everything was free, we had 10..100 Megabits connections and shared lots of files.

There was another similar network in neighbor area, which eventually occupied the same area as ours, and in 2003 that network became a commercial provider.

That was the tipping point. From that moment that commercial network tried harder and harder to implement all the newest things, and our non commercial network invested in cables and hardware but had no means to improve the services and organization. In 2007 I finally left it because the commercial guys offered unlimited data plans, payment via bank card or payment terminals in shops, guaranteed support, etc.

Meanwhile our noncommercial network, had same old tools from 2002. For instance, to buy data traffic, we had to print a bill, go pay it in a bank, then input the numbers in an old form in the internal website, which looked the same as in 1997. Then the admin would just add data bytes to your account in the gateway. To open the gateway (it was closed to prevent your money drain), there was another web form, and no tools to simplify the workflow.

By 2007 when I left, the network had more than a 1000 users, but in mid-2000s many already started switching to commercial providers.

Looking back, in 2001, the noncom network offered the best service in the city. By 2007, step by step, the commercialized networks upgraded their services, meanwhile every time the consumer cooperative made righteous explanations and did next to no improvements.

That's no secret: in every commercial company someone is motivated to shut up and work better and harder. He either earns big money on this, or at least guarantees the company survival. In noncommercial organization, everybody wins a little bit, but nobody is incentivised this much to make big enough an effort.

Back to OSM

What are the reasons for users to switch to OSM now?

  1. free data for GIS work (but in the richer countries, data quality is high enough that, if tomorrow OSM dies, we'll be fine with old planet files)
  2. easy map to add to a website or an app? no
  3. routing? no
  4. addresses or geocoding? no, addresses seem to be scarse and incomplete with exception to countries like the Netherlands
  5. tiles?

A tile layer is too big a commodity to be offered for free, but the point is that the less gateways to OSM exist, the less reasons are for it to exist at all.

In 2006 our noncommercial network rejected the idea of unlimited plans as economically unsound. In reality, unlimited plans are very economically sound. The management insisted that free data traffic would be abused. Same way, OSM insists it's unsound to offer tiles for free.

I'm no expert to give advices. Limiting the tile usage might be necessary right now. My point is that this is another step in a way from the users and the world, which leads to project not needed by anyone. Ask yourself, why WILL one use OSM? (will, not should)

Location: SHCH District (Щ), Советский район, Novosibirsk, городской округ Новосибирск, Novosibirsk Oblast, Siberian Federal District, 630000, Russian Federation

SciGRID project conference on power grid modelling (using OSM data)

Posted by widedangel on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

The SciGRID power network model, written in Python, is mainly based on the "power" relations data available in under ODbL. This data constitutes the skeleton of the SciGRID model.

We are pleased to announce the SciGRID International Conference on Power Grid Modelling and the calls for abstracts and papers. The conference aims at presenting state of the art research on power grids and energy system modelling by bringing together experts from the power network and the energy system modelling communities. The goal is to share knowledge and help identify the common problems encountered in research, industry, and software development topics.

For more information you can contact me or visit

It sounds official: OSM Standard style tiles are for mappers

Posted by BushmanK on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

When someone tries to compare and any cartographic web service (usually, Google) it is hard to make people trust you when you telling them it's nothing more than technical website mainly intended for internal use by mappers. Same problem applies to OSM Standard (aka Mapnik) style. Finally, there is something more or less official to show them as a proof.

Andy Allan just gave this reply on question about expanding tile distribution infrastructure. (Full message text with added emphasis.)

We should be clear here - we have more than enough capacity to handle all the traffic generated by our mappers, editing software and every website run by the OSMF, local chapters and local mapping groups. Several times over.

We've always allowed other people to use our spare capacity on the tileservers, but recently it's got completely out of hand. Most of the use of our tileservers has become developers looking for free maps, nothing to do with the rest of the project. Often these are commercial companies who are using our tileservers and selling their apps. Subsidising commercial companies isn't the best use of community donations and volunteer sysadmin time, when there are many alternative services (such as those run by CartoDB, Stamen, etc) that provide zero-cost map layers based on OSM data anyway.

We do have plans to scale the tile infrastructure later in the year (cascading an old database server), in addition to the current process making sure that our OSMF tileservers are being mainly used for OpenStreetMap related projects.

I just want to keep it here to be able to quote it for any stubborn people, insisting on their own view of OSM infrastructure functions.

Calverton Floral Abundance

Posted by alexkemp on 19 August 2016 in English (English)

Calverton resplendent

(that's a mixture of English & French lavender in the foreground)

One of the glories of English gardens is the astonishing abundance of flowers. Calverton Avenue was built by Gedling Pit in 1954 to provide housing for 80 employees. One of those houses today has the most beautiful and astonishing variety of flowers blooming under the August sun. The lady of the house was kind enough to allow me to photograph some of them. Here is a closer shot:—

blooming lovely

I asked what flowers she had in the borders. Here are the ones that I managed to write down:—

  • Lobelias
  • Ox-Eye Daisies
  • Asters
  • Lupins
  • Marigolds
  • Calendula
  • Nasturtiums
  • Cosmos
  • Petunias
  • Begonias

The whole of the rear of the house had been crafted into multi-level gardening & pond heaven. My grateful thanks for allowing me to photograph the results of so many years' hard work.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Tweety Pie has moved to Valley Road

Posted by alexkemp on 17 August 2016 in English (English)

I was going stir-crazy & got back onto the road to do some field-work in Valley Road, only to discover this:

tweety pie in Valley Rd

(you may be more mature than me, but I found it funny; as a child I liked Warnor Bros cartoons way more than Disney)

I'm sorry to have to say that I found the 1930s detached & semi-detached houses in Valley Road & Prospect Road deeply boring. However, the residents were most helpful in helping me stem off dehydration by providing water + salt on request (both roads are on a hill & it was hot hot hot).

There were two interesting houses in Prospect Drive. This house board was made in Kenya:—


...and I've always got a soft-spot for plaster dolls:

plaster dolls

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom


Posted by Maliha Mohiuddin on 17 August 2016 in English (English)

by Maliha Mohiuddin

Every year Bangladesh is affected by the devastating natural and human-induced disasters . It is one of the most vulnerable countries because of the geographical location as well as meteorological characteristics. According to Country Disaster Risk Management Status Report 2016, during the 10-year time frame of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005 to 2015), over 700 thousand people lost their lives and the total economic loss was more than $1.3 trillion. We all know that it is impossible to turn the scale of vulnerability into 0% but we can reduce the risk and vulnerability by merging with the new technology .The new dynamism of Open Street Mapping can create a huge difference by contributing to the humanitarian purpose . Open street Mapping is a free licensed mapping system , anyone can get free data for using the web -based mapping and anyone can edit the maps. With the collaboration of Dhaka City Red Crescent Unit (BDRCS) and OpenStreetMap Bangladesh community (OSMB), have arranged two days training for the students of Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies. The main vision of this OSM training for the disaster management students was enriching their skills by using the open geographical data to identify the hazard , disaster , the vulnerability of any area , navigational and other humanitarian purposes . Moreover, the IDMVS faculty wanted to improve the capacity of the students, to do web –based map analysis instead of social mapping in their academic research. In 12 -13 August 2016 , the TOT (Training of Trainers ) on OpenStreetMap (OSM) was conducted at Lecture Theatre Building [First Floor] , University of Dhaka, Dhaka. This training was started from 09.00 am -05.00pm and it solely attended by the 20 students of Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability studies , University of Dhaka .

The training began with the presentation by Ahasanul Hoque as Geospatial data management consultant of World Bank Bangladesh. In this presentation, he presented the concept and the use of OSM data by showing all the activities around Bangladesh , especially in Disaster Management sector . After that , the training started with the practical session in which the participants practice their skill using ID Editor and JOSM mapping tools . This training led by Ahasanul Hoque and assisted by Sawon Shariar and Atikur Rahman Atik from OSM community Bangladesh.In this long Open Street Map training for two days has divided into many sessions .

#DAY 1 The first day of the training , the practical session divided into 2 sessions which were

----Introduction and the Use of iD EDITOR in OSM.

----Functions of Field Papers.

This practical session started with opening an account in iD editor , this web-based mapping tool always needed to be connected to the internet . Then all the students made their own OSM account by iD editor before the training began with its own enthusiastic wave . The participants were learned how to configure the background layer and how to do basic edit with iD editor along with knowing additional information and custom tags. Data that used in editing in this session was specially the home address of the individual participants .

After the lunch break , the participants were introduced to the Field Papers website . The participants were taught how to create a printable map atlas for anywhere in the world . They were learned how to print and add notes to the field papers. Moreover, as a practical implication , the participants were taken part in Fieldwork around the campus for using the field paper and marked the place which was shown in it

After the mapping party , they were come back to the training room and then upload the data from the snapshot by using the field papers website with the help of internet . The first day of the training session was ended with the horizontal development with the shores of knowledge as well as the fervent smiling faces of the participants .


The next day the training started with its full swing at the same place at the same time like the day before . The Second day of the training , the practical session divided into 3 sessions which were ---Introduction and the Use of JOSM in OSM.

---Introduction in HOT &Teach Tasking Manager .

---Map edit and upload related software and mobile apps.

In the second day of the training , the first session started with introducing JAVA Open Street Mapping (JOSM ). At first the training starting off, when all the participants already installed the java and then installed the JOSM . The training started with the basic knowledge of JOSM and then continued it with the basic editor and tags in JOSM . The participants were learned to use plugs in JOSM , activate imagery providers and upload data by using JOSM. After understanding how to run JOSM quickly , the participants were learned how to use JOSM offline by saving the important files for editing .

In the second session , the participants have instituted by the Humanitarian OSM Team collaborative mapping tool which is known as HOT Tasking Manager and Teach Tasking Manager . They were learned how to divide up a mapping job into smaller tasks that can be completed rapidly. The participants also used how to edit the maps both in teach and hot tasking manager not only editing by ID editor but also editing by JOSM. The data used in editing which was 215 DRM mapping in Kawakhola Union of Sirajgonj sadar upazilla and 2060 Peace Corps Malawi – Liwonde.

After learning the Tasking manager , the participants were introduced by many maps editing Mobile apps . The mobile apps are OSMTracker for Android , Map ME , Vespucci , Mapillary . But the most interesting part of that session was introducing the online Android game "Mapswipe' . Just by clicking every tap, the whole family during the disaster can be helped by putting it on the map through this game . The participants were fascinated by knowing the use of all these mobile apps and installed these games in their android phones .

The training was good . Even though there was not enough space to arrange these 20 participants but the passionate minds of the participants were enough to make them solving this tiny problem .From the beginning of the training, the internet connection that provided by organizer was commendable enough until the end of the training .

The main credit goes to this successful training , by the pioneer of OSMBD Ahasanul Hoque who has to widen the knowledge of the participants by introducing the new wisdom path through the enlightenment of web- based mapping tools. Special thanks go to the director of IDMVS , Dr. Mahabuba Nasrin for permitting the participants to use the IDMVS lab as the training room and encourage the students to implement the mapping knowledge in research . Moreover ,the assistant professor of IDMVS , Khalid Hasan who always appreciated the students to enrich them with the power of diversifying knowledge and help to arrange the whole training properly .

The participants also said that OSM is a great platform for them and it has some extraordinary useful concepts in the context of Disaster Management . They included that they will use this mapping tool during any kind of disaster-related research . Finally, the training was closed by the photo session between trainers and the participants .

Location: Niketan, Dhaka, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

Responding to suspicious changes

Posted by manoharuss on 17 August 2016 in English (English)

Following up on a recent series of posts that summarized the suspicious changes on the map, an interesting question that we bring to the community - what is a good amount of time to wait for a response from an inexperienced mapper before fixing or reverting their edit?

You can see examples of such changesets that do not seem right on these posts:

Observations from last week

  • User added unexplained nodes with alphanumeric names: 1, 2. A community member commented on these changesets and reverted them.

The community is great at responding to mapping issues but there are few issues lying under the rug. When we see unexplained edits without a clear comment or source, we do not go and fix them immediately, but let the user know the best practice and try and encourage them to to become a better mapper.

During the last 3 months the data team at Mapbox has commented on around 78 changesets and fixed only around 10 changesets. Over the course of last 1 year we have commented on around 250 changesets that did not get a reply from the user (quick map of these changesets).

It is a very subjective question to ask how long do we wait before we take the plunge into fixing or reverting changesets like these which may be suspicious, but is difficult to verify from the original mapper. Happy to hear how you approach this issue.


Posted by mtc on 16 August 2016 in English (English)

Big personal milestone met today. Throughout my town, I have mapped all the roads through GPX tracks, and I removed all the TIGER:reviewed=no tags, in openstreetmap. Admittedly, I do live in a small town, but it is a good feeling to finally say that I have seen first-hand all of those little roads.

Where to go now? There is really so much left to do, with stop signs, buildings, street addresses, land types, and social structures. But, I am still excited to continue street mapping, so I will be pushing into the bordering towns and verifying the TIGER data there.

I am starting to find uses for more tools. I used OSMAnd+ to capture some pictures, for the first time. The JOSM integration for GPX images is really terrific. I have installed openstreetview, and I am looking forward to trying that on a future ride. There are still many tools left to explore, and I will continue to improve my street verification workflow.

Introducing OpenStreetView

Posted by mvexel on 15 August 2016 in English (English)

After almost a year of thinking, development and testing, the OSM team at Telenav is ready to present OpenStreetView to all OSM mappers! OpenStreetview (OSV) is the free and open street level imagery platform designed 100% with OSM and mappers in mind.

We officially presented OSV to the OSM community at State of the Map US where we had a 20 minute talk and a booth where we gave away crazy little remote controlled cars to everyone who signed up :). The cars were gone quickly – almost half of the people at SOTM US signed up! - but you can still see the talk thanks to the great SOTM US organizers who had all the sessions professionally recorded. If you have 20 minutes and don't like reading, watching that video is going to be the best way to be introduced to what OSV is and how you can use it to improve OSM. Or if you are coming to SOTM in Brussels, you can come meet our team there (more remote controlled cars? Who knows!) and attend the workshop.


The OpenStreetView booth at SOTM US

If you do prefer reading, read on! I wanted to quickly introduce OSV, what the components are, why we believe it is the #1 choice of street level imagery for OSM, and of course how to contribute and use it.

OpenStreetView components

OSV is a web site,, free and open source mobile apps for Android and iOS, a specialized Map Editor, a plugin for JOSM, and of course a back end server. Support for iD is also planned.

The web site is where you go to explore imagery from all over the world, see leaderboards and your own profile and trips. To see your personal stuff, of course you will need to sign in. Your OpenStreetView account is linked to your OSM account, so you don't need to create a separate account. All we store when you sign in for the first time is whatever is public on OSM. (If you want to check what that is, go to, changing 8909 to whatever your OSM ID is -- unless you want to see my details.)


The apps are free to download from the play / app store. For Android, you can also download the APK directly. With the apps you can capture trips. They are optimized for driving but also work well for biking and walking scenarios. Apart from recording trips, you can also upload your trips to OSV. This will happen automatically when you enter WiFi, if you want. Finally you can review your local and server trips and see your profile. Even if you have not logged in on the web site, you can log in to OSV with the apps, also through OSM OAuth. Either way, this will create an account for you on OSV.


One thing that is really specific to OSV is that you can link the app to an OBD2 dongle in your car. Those are little devices that read from the OBD2 port in your car. Almost every car has one. (Challenge: find yours!). The dongle reads all kinds of diagnostic info from the car and broadcast it over Bluetooth or WiFi. They cost around 20 Euros. A list of OSV compatible ones is on the OSM wiki. (Ehm, a very small list so far. If you have a different model, please add your experience!)

obd2 dongle

OSV will read the speed and curve to improve the accuracy of the GPS signal that is recorded for your trip. It comes in extrememly handy when GPS reception is poor or lost altogether, for example in dense tree cover or in tunnels. The dead reckoning provided by the OBD2 unit will maintain proper alignment to the road. Here you see what that means when you are driving through a tunnel (blue = GPS only, signal lost, red = with OBD2 connection).


The OSV apps also have sign detection built in. So this is not done on the server but at 60FPS on the client! This means that it will detect speed limit signs, and more to come, in real time and can warn you if you are speeding. This warning feature is almost ready and will be in one of the next builds. (We update the apps very frequently.)


The JOSM plugin is in an early beta stage. Right now it will simply display the locations of images on the OSV server, and you can click on them to show the image in the OSV panel. Basic functionality, but it works :) and we hope that you have ideas (or even code) to improve it.


Speaking of ideas, we already have an active community reporting issues and suggestions on Github. This is the best place to let us know of any bugs and ideas you have about any part of OSV. Github is also where all the source code for all the components mentioned here is located. Almost everything in OSV is open source, and if it is not we are looking at how we can make it open source.

If you do not like Github or do not want to create an account there, you can also write to with your ideas or bug reports. We are also on Twitter as @openstreetview and we are getting on Facebook and Instagram if you're into that kind of thing.

If you check Github, you will see that we also have upload tools for your existing Virb / GoPro and other action camera images. These are Python scripts, but we also have a GUI tool that you can just drag and drop directories onto to upload. This is in early beta but if you want a copy, let me know.


There are two components that I have not mentioned yet: the Map Editor and the back end. I want to save those for a separate post that I will write soon. Here is a screenshot of the map editor:


Why OpenStreetView?

We think that OpenStreetView is the #1 choice for street level imagery for OSM. Not only because it is almost completely open source. You also remain in full control of the data you upload to OSV. You can always delete individual photos, trips or even delete everything and remove your account if at any moment you don't want to be a part of OSV any longer. This option is on the web site, no need to email anyone or submit a request.

Another reason is because we are building a platform that is very tightly integrated with OSM. This is obvious from the way we handle user accounts: log in with OSM, no separate account. But also deeper down the integration with OSM is tight: we map all trips to OSM ways, so we can link back and forth between trips / images and OSM way objects. This opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities, and I want to spend a separate post on that as well.

For now, it would be cool if you would give OpenStreetView a try. Download the app for your phone, sign in and start capturing. Tell us about your experiences. Explore what is already there. And most important please use it to improve OSM!

Note that OpenStreetView is not a project run by OpenStreetMap or the OpenStreetMap Foundation. It is maintained by Telenav, where I work, for the sole benefit of improving OpenStreetMap.

My Trip to Public Works

Posted by mtc on 15 August 2016 in English (English)

Accessing forested trails is a particular interest of mine. Learning about a new accessable trail encourages my participation in OSM. Discovering a couple "secret trails," by studying and updating maps, has given me new - and especially enjoyable - local recreation areas. In order to record more GPX tracks in wooded areas, I need some verification that the lands are publicly accessable.

The city government holds many information records about the land, and I asked their advice today. As I expected, several of the first people that I met did not fully understand my interest in exploring wooded areas, but they kept directing me toward more knowledgable people: from City Hall, to Public Works, to Engineering, to the GIS Coordinator.

Finally, in the small office of another map enthusiast, the city maps of land ownership were examined, including a two hundred page online PDF of land lots made public after being abandoned by their owners. I would never had thought to look there.

This information will keep me very much engaged with mapping the woods in my area. I recommend asking for help to all other OSM mappers. I found people in these city offices understanding of a desire to explore natural areas, and I never found myself defending my interest in learning about public spaces.

I appreciate the patience everyone gave me. Great seeing an actual office where GIS is used in city planning.

Some Important Questions for OSM Trainer

Posted by Sawan Shariar on 14 August 2016 in English (English)

If you are a Trainer of OSM Platform you have to face some common but very important questions. I want to try to find out this kinds of questions and give its suitable answer.

****01. What is Map?

-----> Answer: A map is a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, and themes.

****02. What is OpenStreetMap?

-----> Answer: OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map of the whole world that is being built by volunteers largely from scratch and released with an open-content license. OpenStreetMap is, as the name suggests, an open source map of the world ( It has been built up in a concept similar to Wikipedia. It is called the free wiki world map, a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. A digital map is always handy for various purposes. It can be used in navigation, in research, in development of location based applications. When the map is free, its usability is guaranteed for everyone. And as OpenStreetMap is open source, its development is rapid and dynamic.

****03. Why OpenStreetMap?

----> Answer: OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map of the whole world that is being built by volunteers largely from scratch and released with an open-content license.

****04. Why don't you just use Google Maps/whoever for your data?

----> Answer: Because that data is copyrighted and owned by multiple organisations like the Ordnance Survey. Google/whoever just licenses it. If we were to use it, we'd have to pay for it.

****05. Who owns OpenStreetMap?

----> Answer: You do. The data and software is owned by you, the contributors. There is an organisation called the OpenStreetMap Foundation which exists to protect, promote, and support the project, but does not own the data.

****06. Why would you use OpenStreetMap if there is Google Maps?

----> Answer: There is no ultimate answer as to which one is better. These two have as many similarities as differences. They are based on different fundamentals, but they solve the same basic human need to know “WHERE”. The key difference between these two mapping environments is a philosophic “Open” vs. “Closed” approach with how the data is collected and distributed. The main difference between these two services is that every edit you make to OSM is owned by you and the community, while every change you make to Google Maps… will be owned by Google. The OSM community is what makes the project so special. Thousands of volunteers from all around the globe are updating the map as their world changes around them. Every update is immediately visible to all other users and is version controlled. There are no corporate map cycle releases, approvals and KPIs that are typical to large organizations. This community is also what ensures the high quality and granularity of OSM maps. Although Google spends quite a lot of time and resources on keeping maps up-to-date, its data quality is not necessarily better than OSM. In many, especially less developed areas, the OSM community has managed to gain even higher data granularity than any other map source. Commercial map data suppliers usually focus on updating map features which are most profitable to sell. Since the OSM community does not have to worry about selling maps, it allows the community to be creative and make maps focused on hikers, cyclists, physically challenged, sailors and practically any interest group. You can map crops, the number of windows on Empire State Building or even the age of a particular tree. Even when it comes to routing and navigation, OSM doesn’t stay behind. Telenav has started using OpenStreetMap data in their Skobbler navigation app.

****07. Advantages of OpenStreetMap

----> Answer: Free:- UOpenStreetMap® is open data, licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt our data, as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors. If you alter or build upon our data, you may distribute the result only under the same licence. The full legal code explains your rights and responsibilities. The cartography in our map tiles, and our documentation, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (CC BY-SA). Full:- Actually no mapping service has 100% of the planet’s geographic information. However, OSM is constantly updated through collaboration of companies, government institutions and the wider community that often send information of new locations or corrections of the existing ones. This allows the service to have more precise information of places that are poorly known. Unlike Google Maps that focuses on detailing the information of the major cities. Without restrictions:- In services like Google Maps you must pay to use the service when the access traffic is high, while in OSM access is provided free and without any restrictions. Standard: OSM uses the standard EPSG: 4326, one of the most currently used in cartography. Customizable:- OSM is a service, and as such, it may be used by third party applications for customization. Currently there are APIs like Openlayers (Implemented in JavaScript) that allows you to create web applications using the OSM service, providing a rich set of functionality (set markers on the map, labels, overlapping layers, widgets, popups, among many other elements that can be seen on the website of examples). Fast:- Even sometimes it gives the impression that its loading is faster than Google Maps. Stable: Backed by the University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London (ILC) where the main servers stay. They also have distributed servers around the world to meet demand of users in a reliable and robust way. Effective:- The group of developers are constantly working on adding new features to the service.

****08. Disadvantages of OpenStreetMap

----> Answer: Documentation:- The official documentation is not complete and not very clear. Many times we must search in forums and blogs to understand some functionality. Incompatibility:- Some users have reported OSM erroneous behavior when it is used in conjunction with other tools. For example: Maps are displayed distorted when OSM is used with Twitter Bootstrap. However, this bug is easy to fix (we will share the solution in another article later).

I’m not saying that OpenStreetMap is perfect. No map is. But when you consider all pros and cons, maybe Google Maps is not the best solution for all use cases. There are many applications where the map should be treated as an important public good, rather than a commodity controlled by large organizations. At the end, why would you rely on a global corporation to tell you what is the name of a street in your own neighborhood? So don’t be afraid and try it out here

Location: Kalunagar, Hazaribagh, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, 1209, Bangladesh

Learning the OSM Way

Posted by mtc on 14 August 2016 in English (English)

Today, I searched for a school in OSMAnd+, with a POI search. I was surprised to see so few in the area, so I jumped onto JOSM to investigate.

I saw some schools with building=school tags, while other schools had amenity=school tags. What is going on here? On to the OSM Wiki to learn more. wiki image Ah, ha! The schools are supposed to have a border defined which uses the amenity=school tag, for the perimeter of the school grounds. The amenity tag, not the building tag, should carry the name of the school complex. I assume the building's name= tag is used to define the name of the building, instead. Clever.

There are some non-obvious ways of doing things in OSM, but the more that I learn, the more other OSM methods become more intuitive. Are there other boundaries that are better defined by the amenity= tag?

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