Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries


Posted by mycae-gmx on 31 March 2014 in English (English)

I have an Igotu GT-120 GPS datalogger, for GPS-photo correlation. By combining gps-correlate, and any camera with a timer (or timestamps on files, see my previous diary entry for the code...) I can now do correlation. The device has no built-in display of any kind, so it won't be any use for anyone who needs on-the-fly GPS, with no external connections.


It works, but the connector is a bit worrying. As a simple mapping tool, it should be enough for those who are happy to do photo-correlation, but don't have/want or for some other reason can't use a mobile phone based GPS. It wont be super-high accuracy though!


The chipset in the device is apparently a "SiRF StarIII low-power" device. The usb A->proprietary connector is a bit dodgy (insertion/removal) at the proprietary end. Not sure why they didn't use USB mini...

There is a CHM file available on the manufacturer's website, which give the LED codes. I've reproduced them here for posterity

Warm-up times are claimed to be 35 seconds, but my first power on (albeit without a clear view of the sky) took several minutes after being outdoors before it woke up and started logging. I assume this has something to do with GPS almanac data, and that subsequent power-ons will be better.

LED codes

  • Turning on the device : press button for 1.5 seconds, until blue LED flashes once.
  • Turning off the device : press button for 1.5 seconds, red LED switches off.
  • If red LED blinks twice : memory low
  • If red LED blinks once: battery low
  • Charging : red LED on until charging complete (possibly 2 hrs?)
  • Logging individual waypoints : push button once -> log acknowledge.

The manufacturers claim 65,000 records, so at 1/second should give ~18 hrs. The battery only lasts for 10 hours, according to the specs.


After using the device for a very short while (cycling), it seems to work, and I can load the tracks under linux (debian testing) using the igotu2gpx program. The capabilities include setting the logging time, and downloading tracks, as well as an on-screen display for maps. Most importantly, gpx export seems to work.

A deb file can be built by obtaining the .dsc and .tar.gz files from launchpad. This was quite easy, after

  • tar -zxf igotu*gz
  • dpkg-source -x igotu*dsc
  • ln -s igotu*gz igotu2gpx_0.4.0.orig.tar.gz
  • cd igotu2gpx-0.4.0; sed -i 's@native@quilt@' debian/source/format
  • dpkg-buildpackage -j2 -uc -us;

dpkg complained about missing dependencies. After installing them, everything went smoothly.

I haven't tried realtime logging with gspd; though gpsd seems to recognise the device, but I have no lock indoors. As a cheap entry-level USB device, so far, so good.

Hopefully some good mapping can be done with it!

A year with imagery offset database

Posted by Zverik on 31 March 2014 in English (English)

On this day last year I announced the Imagery Offset Database: a centralized storage for imagery offsets. It was planned as a way to provide every mapper, especially beginners, with a confidence that they are tracing correctly aligned imagery. And for those not knowing imagery can be misaligned, a way to not ruin a map. After the announce, tens of mappers started entering their offsets into the database, and I've never made a local offset bookmark ever since.

Aerial Imagery cannot be ideally georeferenced. Depending on precision of your measurement tools (GPX traces give 1 to 10 meter precision), you may notice that the imagery layer is positioned incorrectly, and use your editor's controls to shift it to the right place, so GPS traces follow roads and paths on the imagery. This is common knowledge among experienced mappers, and I hope beginner mappers learn that soon enough.

Sadly, looking at new editors I can't but conclude than either there is no misaligned imagery (which is probably false), or many mappers, including those who work on those editors, don't bother with aligning imagery to GPS traces. How many of you pressed those little arrows for shifting a background layer in iD editor? Does your favourite mobile editor, with which you upload POI nodes to the database, account for shifted imagery? Do you make bookmarks of such offsets so you can quickly restore them later, or on a different computer?

A week ago Simon Poole added IODB support to Vespucci, making it the second editor supporting it. This is great news, number of editors supporting the database has doubled overnight. Support in iD has been stalled, and I didn't expect Potlatch or iOS apps to support it. So basically, pay attention and don't be suprised when buildings are misaligned with imagery.

Now some statistics. As of now, there are 5180 non-deprecated entries in the database, of which 4078 (70%) are in ex-USSR countries (3180 in Russia). Mappers add on average 14 entries a day and have not skipped a day yet (see the graph above).

Of 5644 imagery offsets 4606 (82%) are of Bing layer, 714 of Russian and Ukrainian regional imagery, and around 150 offsets refer to some HOT-related imagery. Strangely, there are 44 offset of Google Maps, and 30 — of Yandex's. I assume those users were just testing the database and not uploading anything to OpenStreetMap.

I hope someday we won't need that database, but for now, when only a handful of coutries have precisely aligned imagery, it is one of the most important tools for mappers. It will probably be included in JOSM core later this year, and I'd be glad to hear of more editors supporting it.

And by the way, I always planned to publish the server's source code, but got to it only recently: see it on github.

Open Data Poland?

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 31 March 2014 in English (English)

If this article is true (, why can't I find the data anywhere!? Any users have any idea where this data is?

Come and Join the OpenStreetMap Subreddit

Posted by chippy on 31 March 2014 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap on Reddit

There's another forum for communication - an OpenStreetMap Subreddit on the reddit website - It's got 1,400 subscribers already!

път от ул.Р.П.Казанджията 4

Posted by parabadabar4e on 31 March 2014 in English (English)


Location: ж.к. София парк, вилно селище Бел вали, Sofia-City Region, Югозападен район за планиране, Bulgaria


Posted by sudarmohd on 30 March 2014 in English (English)

telupid_tongod_pinangah mapping

Location: Pinangah, Sabah, Malaysia


Posted by doubleDang on 30 March 2014 in English (English)

When I first began tracking my travels, I needed a program that worked with my MBair. I'd looked at a few GPX Import programs and decided on using MyTracks. The program is pretty easy to use and it allows me to view shots over different maps. It also gives pretty fluid tracking data when I import to Fog of the World.

Here are a few Screen Shots. You can find the GPX files here, or see MyTrack shots of my travels at

Alt text

Alt text

JOSM 6950 released !

Posted by don-vip on 30 March 2014 in English (English)

The March release of JOSM is now available as version 6950 :)

Main improvements this month concern circle/alignment functions (thanks to Balaitous, a new contributor), HTTPS support, bugfixes and beginning of Java 7 migration.

This release is still compatible with Java 6, as will be also the next release at the end of April.

After that we plan to migrate to Java 7, so if you're still using Java 6, now's a good time to switch.

Notable changes

major changes/enhancements

  • Enhancement of Align Nodes in Circle, Create Circle and Align Nodes in Line actions
  • Access to OSM and JOSM websites in https by default
  • Remote control: listen also in https on port 8112
  • Make UI messages copy-able
  • Ask Mac/Debian/Ubuntu users to update to Java 7

minor enhancements

  • Add "Add/Edit/Delete" entries to tags/memberships contextual menus
  • MapCSS:
    • Add support for @media expressions
    • Add CRC32 checksum
  • Validator:
    • Check addresses interpolation range/values
    • Check wrong multiple values
  • WMS: filter unsupported image formats, preselect jpeg or png

Summarized changelog

Complete changelog

Milestone view (need login)

This is the first day of my OPENSTREETMAP!

Posted by MollyKing on 30 March 2014 in English (English)

Hello everyone,i am a student of China--a ancient civilization country.I know people in here usually using English and you may not know about my country.My university is located in a small but beautiful city.There are a lot of city like this city in my country.The Chinese are very friendly ,there are so much delicious foods that you cannot refuse it.Aha~I very like to traveling,like making friends also and i have no boy friends now.If you want to go to China,you could call me,i will bring this culture and other things with you !My,Contact with me please!

Location: Hengyang County, Hengyang City, Hunan, People's Republic of China

highway=bus_stop - Mappen für den Renderer

Posted by AndiG88 on 29 March 2014 in English (English)

If #OpenStreetMap had an award for the most used tag for the sole purpose that something shows up on the map, highway=bus_stop would be a promising contender. The headline a common phrase in the German OSM community says just that: Mapping for the render engine.

I've been mapping for 3 months now and after finishing all the house numbers in my village POIs and Bus stops where next on my list and I had never been more confused.

highway=bus_stop is widely used to mark the position where passengers await for a bus service […] however there is not complete agreement within the community on this matter, and some users advocate using highway=bus_stop as a node within the highway=* at the place where the vehicle stops.

Great so what now? A 3rd opinion? What about the German Wiki entry:

This use is incompatible with the new public transport schema and should be avoided.

Are you fucking kidding me.

So I started to look further into this and the next stop obviously was public_transport=, which then also lead me to highlights like:

Use public_transport=platform and/or highway=bus_stop to identify the places where passengers wait for the service.

Digging a bit further I found the to this day most informative page on the whole issue...

Proposed features/Public Transport

20th April 2011: 43-3 a overwhelming majority approves of the "new" public_transport= tagging scheme.

After reading through all of that I can say that there is one sentence above I stand 110% behind, the German Wiki:

This use is incompatible with the new public transport schema and should be avoided.

PLEASE support public_transport=

Alt text

It doesn't matter if you are mapper or developer. But I especially appeal to all the people responsible for rendering map tiles, because I won't be able to get people to use public_transport=stop_position if it doesn't show up on the map. And thanks if you already do!

Right now the "or" basically means add public_transport=stop_position to highway=bus_stop if you like or don't, but not that you can use either of those with the same result.

The main reason I write this is because I hope more people will support and use the new schema as there have been several post in the German Forum over the last weeks and it was even discussed in the German Podcast 01:09:30 and the only thing consistent in all discussions is inconsistency.

Wipe off highway=bus_stop from the surface of OpenStreetMap!

...that's my personal opinion. Redirect the Wiki entry to public transport, replace all the tags in the database and remove it from every editor and render engine.

In 22 days it has been 3 years since that proposal was approved...


Btw. if your prefer Reddit's comment style check out /r/openstreetmap:

An Open Call for a New iPhone App

Posted by jonesydesign on 29 March 2014 in English (English)

I've been adding to OpenStreetMap like a crazy man. In the last few months I've cleaned up and added to my local area and far beyond using my laptop. When I'm on the go, I use apps like Pushpin to add points of interest and gather GPS traces with OSMTrack. As an iPhone user, these are the best OSM options I've found. I want to do more though. What I'd really like to find is an easy, on-the-go way to add addresses on my iPhone. If this exists, please let me know about it.

The android world has Keypad Mapper 3 but there isn't anything similar (that I've found) for iOS. What I'd like to see is something created that can be used while walking down a street that easily lets you record house numbers. It would be ideal if these changes/additions could be immediately added to the OSM database, but I'd even take something like Keypad Mapper 3, that requires you to upload it later.

I'm not an iOS developer. I'm a designer and would love to work with anyone who could make this a reality. If you're a developer and interested in creating something like this, please contact me. I'm sure we could collaborate on something very useful for the OSM community.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Mapping Party?

Posted by Ollie on 29 March 2014 in English (English)

I'm contemplating organising a mapping party on the evening of Wednesday 9 April, to map the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which opens finally in post-Olympic mode, the weekend before.

My musings are here:

Wiki page for the mapping party here:

Lanyrd here:

Location: Westminster, Whitehall, City of Westminster, London, Greater London, England, WC2E, United Kingdom

Population estimates in west africa (preliminary results).

Posted by AndrewBuck on 28 March 2014 in English (English)

In order to better understand the villages in west africa fighting the ebola outbreak currently occurring there, it would be good to have better population data for the towns. One way to do this is to measure the number of buildings per square mile in a typical vilage and then just map a "perimeter" residential landuse area around a village and then work out how many buildings there should be based on the size of the area.

I have been experimenting with this a bit using the data mapped in OSM. As of the time I made this dataset we had 43 small villages in this area that had all of their buildings mapped, as well as a footprint to measure the area. I calculated an average building density of 0.00418 buildings per square meter. Then using this figure I pretended I didn't know the number of buildings in the town and then re-computed how many there should likely be based on the area. The results are in the graph below, and look quite good.

Actual number vs predicted number of buildings

If the method worked perfectly they should fall exactly on a line with the predicted number being exactly equal to the actual number. Of course in reality the prediction is not perfect but it does look pretty good.

Location: Balakodou, Kissidougou, Faranah Region, Guinea

Appending OSM data with flat nodes

Posted by Marcos Dione on 28 March 2014 in English (English)

Another analisys on my efforts to import big ammounts of data to my notebook: fixes sone last post, a graph showing memory usage and an analysis on whether it makes sense for me to apply daily diffs, given my space constraints.

Crimea in OpenStreetMap

Posted by Zverik on 28 March 2014 in English (English)

Quite a lot of news sources have asked almost all cartographic providers if they will change Crimea's owner on their maps. No international provider answered positively. In Russia companies are more willing to comply: maps are showing Crimea as a part of Russia, and Yandex now has two separate maps, for Russians and Ukrainians, which show Crimea in different colors. Wikipedia contributors started a tiny edit war between images that show Crimea as a disputed territory or a part of Russia.

Members of Russian and Ukrainian OpenStreetMap communities have discussed the matter during the first few days of the Crimea situation, and have come to an agreement ten days ago. We declared a moratorium on touching administrative borders in Crimea, as well as name tags (since some mappers started changing Ukrainian names to Russian), active until 1st of June, 0:01 MSK. Until at least then Crimea stays a part of Ukraine on our map. Every edit altering name tags or administrative borders will be treated as provoking an edit war and reverted, users who do that repeatedly will be banned. There were some cases of that already.

Of course users are encouraged to map non-political things, like buildings and landuses, and add language-specific name tags: name:uk, name:ru and name:crh. Right now there is a mapping event in progress, focusing on improving Crimea's coverage on OpenStreetMap, which has attracted around 70 mappers.

Crimea in Russian colors (not in OSM data though)

For Russian patriots I've made a special political map which shows Russia's position on Crimea, Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia to users with Russian IP addresses, and a normal map with Ukrainian names for visitors from other countries.

Fingal and Lesotho

Posted by The Big C on 27 March 2014 in English (English)

Fingal County Council and The Kingdom of Lesotho have a memorandum of understanding which seeks to improve the profession of Planning in both territories. As part of an evolving relationship there is work underway to impove the spatial data analysis capacity of the Lesothan planners.

Given various considerations about this including cost, adaptability and sustainability mean that stimulating the (underpopulated) potential of Open Street Map is an important step. Planners themselves will get involved in populating OSM and will get involved in seeking others to do so. The ultimate objective would be to have a sufficient OSM community in Lesotho to sustain a detailed resource, free and available to all from which Planners can work optimally to create an evidence based decision making culture within their profession and system.

Planners require OSM projects for the areas in which they are most familiar. These initial areas are (subject to expansion):

town (district)

Maseru City and suburbs (Maseru)

Ha Foso (Berea)

Hlotse (Leribe)

Mafeteng (Mafeteng)

Qacha's Nek (Qacha's Nek)

Location: Letlapeng, Thaba-Tseka District, Kingdom of Lesotho


Posted by CA Steve on 26 March 2014 in English (English)

3-26-2014 Update Warbler Rd. Asphalt surface. Edit Sahara Rd.

Location: Sahara Road, Yucca Inn, San Bernardino County, California, 92371, United States of America

#Ebola Outbreak in #Guinea - MSF Suisse needs maps of three towns! #OpenStreetMap

Posted by AndiG88 on 26 March 2014 in English (English)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland rapidly needs maps of three towns in order to support their relief efforts of an ebola-like outbreak in Guinea. MSF are requesting assistance from HOT as this area is currently unmapped.

Hot Logo

Just wanted to share this here as I guess more people check this blog than the homepage.

Location: N.2, Somédou, Guéckédou Prefecture, Nzérékoré Region, Guinea

Sheffield Hallam University - Collegiate Campus

Posted by Paul Berry on 26 March 2014 in English (English)

A cursory look at the mapping for this area shows:

  • Out of date areas, eg new construction work at Main Building not yet shown (I've started this).
  • Buildings marked as part of the University when they are not.
  • Paths, drives, walls not shown correctly.
  • Parking provision (which is permit only) not shown.

Will fix in the next couple of days.

Apart from on-the-ground surveying the other source material will be

Location: Port Mahon, Walkley, Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber, England, United Kingdom

vespucci 0.9.4 available on google play store

Posted by SimonPoole on 24 March 2014 in English (English)

Vespucci Release 0.9.4 Highlights

This release contains a lot of “under the hood” improvements and some work on making the UI more consistent and easier to use. In particular the following changes have been made

  • selectable overlay layer.
  • support for multiple simultaneous presets.
  • added find action to lookup location with nominatim.
  • add per zoom level imagery offsets with support for querying and saving to the imagery offset database or manual entry.
  • added support for name suggestions and auto preset setting.
  • added goto current GPS location.
  • added action to arrange nodes of a closed way in a circle.
  • limited support for geo: URIs and JOSM style remote control.
  • add action to directly set position of node by entering coordinates.
  • major rework of imagery provider configuration, now based on .
  • make https API default.
  • major refactoring of projection code.
  • lots of bug fixes and stability improvements.

The full change log is available here

We will be updating the documentation to include the new features as soon as possible.

Upgrading from previous Versions

There are a few points that you may want to consider when upgrading from previous versions of Vespucci:

  1. some of the new features may cause degraded performance on older phones, see
  2. 0.9.4 uses a new configuration file format for imagery as mentioned above. As a consequence the internal identifiers for the background tile providers have changed with the exception of the “standard” mapnik tiles and Bing imagery. If you have extensively used any other sources you will be left with unused tiles using space on your device. You can delete unneeded directories and tiles by navigating to the andnav2/tiles directory on your system (where exactly the directory is located depends on the device and Android version, but it will be in the same place as the vespucci directory) and simply deleting the directories with the exception of BING and MAPNIK.
  3. some of the defaults for preferences have changed in 0.9.4, your old values will continue to remain the same, however the new defaults seem to make much more sense. See
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