Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Drawing roads and paths in Chihuahua state, Mexico

Posted by rimugu on 29 July 2014 in English (English)

And if someone wants to bicycle ride them, I am looking for partners.

Hiking with Mapillary

Posted by malenki on 29 July 2014 in English (English)

Like last year I plan to have a walk in Albania during my holidays.¹ The planned route is this. Valley between mountains Dhëmbel and Nemërçka


Though the mobile phones I use are Siemens ME45 I already had had contact with Peter Neubauer from Mapillary now and then and also heard him on Radio OSM (German OSM podcast #31). So I asked him about recommended hardware to run the Mapillary app for some days far away from civilisation and power sources and to store away the lots of images created.


In walking mode the Mapillary app is set to make a picture every two seconds as default AFAIK. After having had a first walk with Mapillary this seems to be a reasonable choice. Since my average day trip lasts up to eight hours and I assumedly will hike on 18 days I calculated the following:

pictures/minute x 60 minutes x 8 hours x 18 days x picture size 5 MB = assumed amount of created data
30 x 60 x 8 x 18 x 5 = 1.296.000 MB


After some mail exchange he sent me in the name of Mapillary the stuff we assumed would be best. Aside from the mounts mentioned in the other blog post I purchased an Y-OTG cable which allows USB drives to be powered from an external source while connected to the smartphone as host. Although there are dedicated backup devices – a HDD with battery and card reader attached² – we skipped purchasing such a device because it would have cost additional 250 EUR.

A list of the hardware:

  • 2x 128 GB microSD card
  • 1x magnet charging cable
  • 2x deltaco Powerbank 10 Ah
  • 2x short cables USB-A–µUSB- ~20 cm
  • 1x long cable USB-A–µUSB- ~100 cm
  • 1x µSD card reader für USB
  • 1x 8 GB-µSD-card (assumedly forgotten in the reader)
  • 1x OTG cable µUSB–USB-A-Buchse
  • 1x Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (w/o SIM-card)
  • 1x external 2,5" USB 3.0 drive 2TB

And two things I won't take with me

  • 1x Speedport miniature 4xUSB-Hub
  • 1x power adapter for the above


Last weekend I had everything ready to make a test under real conditions. The app was set to use continous autofocus and stable shot.

Trekking with a lot of hardwareI still looking a bit knackered after walking some km with the stuff

The following I could observe: Running Mapillary about one hour discharged the battery by 30% and the phone got quite warm.
(I already had disabled/uninstalled a lot of needless stuff and installed BlackouT to dim the screen as far as possible to save energy)
Although I had walked for two hours Mapillary "only" made 1118 photographs needing 5220 MB of space. 30 images/minute in two hours would theoretically have resulted in 3600 images.

Speculations on the number of images:

Although the camera is a good one for smart phones with a 1/2,3'' ccd it in total numbers the lens is not fast. This results in low shutter speeds in shady environments and relative high noise. When I walk through a dense wood, for one I am moving and this in a dimly lit environment. Although the camera is mounted near the shoulder where it is not moved too much the app still has to wait for moments where the movement is small enough to make pictures not blurred by movement. example sequence at mapillary I'd also assume that the camera has problems focusing in low light. I think these two points are the main reason that the number of recorded images is only one third of the images the app should have recorded theoretically.
Maybe one should also consider to mount the camera at the shoulder strap a little more to the sternum and away from the arm since it seems I lifted it a little with the arm sometimes.

Now for the quality of the images: As explained above the phones camera doesn't perform too well in shady environments.
I had not expected the number of defocused images I got (example). I assume this was mostly caused by me using trekking poles which I assume irritated the camera (you see them in some of the images). Since the continous autofocus also consumes some energy I disabled it which sets the camera to fixed infinity focus. So far I only could do a small walk with this setting and without poles but at least the pictures aren't worse.

Copying the remaining 4,4 GB of good images to the external drive took about five minutes. For testing purposes I had copied 32 GB of files sized ~50-100 MB from µSD (in the smartphone) to hdd which took 20 minutes.

It seems I cannot test how often I can charge the phone with one of the 10 Ah battery packs – I will see during holidays. The long cable mentioned in the list is for charging the phone while walking. This I also have not tested but I don't think there will be problems.

For now I thank Peter Neubauer and Mapillary that they allow me to add another 1,2 kg electronics to my luggage, to shoot (and later host) tons of images during my hiking trip – and most notably the confidence that they borrow me all the stuff.

¹ German blog post linking to some reports
¹ English description of hike at wikiloc
² Two not insanely expensive devices with 1TB are this and this
There is also the possibility to combine a barebone device with a HDD of the own choice, maybe with the additional battery for better being safe than sorry.

JOSM 7347 released

Posted by don-vip on 28 July 2014 in English (English)

The July version of JOSM is now available (almost on time) as version 7347 :)

This version is mainly a maintenance one, here's the changelog:

Notable changes

minor enhancements

  • New look-and-feel preference to display ISO 8601 dates globally
  • Add colorbar for active GPX layer
  • Remote Control:
    • improved certificate handling on Windows for https support
  • Presets/Map styles:
    • XML style removed
    • new icon for amenity=charging_station
    • add 10 shop=*, refactor shop subcategories
    • add landuse=religious
    • add highway=turning_loop

major bugs

  • Remove insecure certificate installed on Windows with previous version if Remote Control was enabled

Summarized changelog

Complete changelog

Milestone view (need login)

Remember we're holding a logo contest until 30th of September :)

Cheers, Vincent

Smartphone mounts

Posted by malenki on 28 July 2014 in English (English)

Since I got borrowed a Smartphone from Mapillary (more about that soon) but no mounts for car nor anything, I had to make up some. As I needed one for the car I had nothing usable with me than an old T-Shirt which was dedicated for cleaning purposes. I just ripped a strip from it – et violá: Handyhalterung fürs Auto lowest cost smartphone mount ever
A sequence recorded this way

A mount for walking was not as easy to create. I purchased what seemed to be a durable smartphone cover for about 8 EUR and a 30 cm long strip of 5 cm wide hook-and-loop fastener for ~1,50 EUR.

From hooks part of strip I cut two parts each as long as the smartphone cover was wide. Those I glued to the back of the smartphone. The other half of the hooks strip I glued back to back to the loops strip. Hooks and loops So I had a wristband and was able to use the the smartphone as smartwatch with the biggest screen ever: multi purpose scratchy wristband multi purpose scratchy wristband Biggest and most inexpensive smartwatch ever Biggest and most inexpensive smartwatch ever
phone backside with hooks phone backside with hooks
(You should spare some loop strip to cover the hooks not covered by the mount. Else it could happen that the hooks stick now and then to the shirt you wear.)

But since I also want to use the smartphone with Mapillary while walking, I had to work a little more and punched some ugly holes into the side of the cover. Now the phone could be put into the cover with the back to the front without the buttons being pushed all the time. ruined smartphone case To use it while walking I put the hook-and-loop Band around the left shoulder strap of the backpack, let the Mapillary app record in walking mode, put it back-to-front into the cover and attach the latter to the hook-and-loop band (aka mount) at the shoulder strap.
Addendum: Maybe one should also consider to mount the camera at the shoulder strap a little more to the sternum and away from the arm since it seems I lifted it a little with the arm sometimes. Trekking with a lot of hardwareI looking a bit knackered after walking some km with the stuff


Info Lost at different zoom levels

Posted by JAGDNC on 28 July 2014 in English (English)

I am new to Open Streets but have added a pond and a trail to a local park where I do lots of volunteer work. I have notices that at different zoom levels the pond either disappears of part of it is cut off, only to reappear at a new zoom level. Anybody know what is all about?

Location: Sandy Creek Drive, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, 27705, United States of America

#MapLesotho - Fantastic Day with a serious number of edits!

Posted by RustyB on 28 July 2014 in English (English)

The 25th of July proved to be fantastic day for the all! We had teams working in Fingal, Maseru, Muenster, Qacha's Nek, Katowice, USA and Canada. The edits were coming in thick and fast. Some 220,000 nodes were created on the day alone, made by 106 OSM users.

The key tool used were the tasking manager from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap and the iD editor on We promoted the use of iD as it has a very simple learning curve, where users can be shown how to create areas, lines and points; how to assign the attributes and commit to the database.

To keep people going I found it was very useful to the brilliant live changes map from osmlab. You can see it in action in this short video I have prepared showing some the work done in Muenster. Checkout our youtube video of this in action. Imgur

Finally to show some of the progress made during the day here in Muenster, we focused on an area in in the south west of lesotho called Mohales Hoek. You can see that the area really did not exist on the map before. image of mohales hoek

Afterwards, although we have not completed all of the tasks, we will be pitching in on Tuesday night for another #MapLesotho with MissingMaps, MSF and the British Red Cross to polish of the remaining tasks.

image of mohales hoek after

To all the users who contributed, a MASSIVE Thank YOU! There are still many, many tasks to complete. If you would like to help out #MapLesotho please see and Choose a tile and map away :)

Location: Dom, Altstadt, Münster-Mitte, Münster, Regierungsbezirk Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, 48143, Germany, European Union

#MapLesotho - Great fun, great Energy and a superb cause!

Posted by Shawn Day on 27 July 2014 in English (English)

I was out to Fingal County Council's offices on 25 July along with 25 odd volunteers to participate in the world-wide challenge to build the OSM data for Lesotho. I was most pleased to decided to use ID Editor. I am used to JOSM (A very fine tool) but was won over by the simplicity of ID for the task at hand. I fear I had not tried it in the past few years probably experiencing some discomfort with the older Flash-based tool. No longer. Great implementation and superbly intuitive. I was also usefully situated next to the Ambassador from Lesotho would gave me some great perspective from on the ground - those things that look like the top of Canadian silos? Those be huts. Brilliant!

OSM HotTask is also a superb tool. It really makes collaborative marathons smooth, well focused and intuitive to newbies as well as veterans. One of the most impressive aspects? The ability to break an assigned task into more manageable components when you realise you have been over ambitious. It really helps to make things seem more achievable and give you the sense that you are accomplishing tasks and keep great forward momentum. I learn there has been great progress on #maplesotho and the good work continues.

Location: Main Street, Swords, Fingal, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Statistic of OpenStreetbugs in Notes

Posted by werner2101 on 27 July 2014 in English (English)

In May the last bug in OSB has been closed. What happend with the bugs that have been moved to OS-Notes during the phaseout?

Grant provides a dump of OS-Notes (

I've created a small stat now, looking for bugs that have been opened with a comment that relates to OSB.


  • Moved from OSB: ~9800 Notes
  • Already closed: ~3800
  • Remaining: 6000

source of the stat script: (

#MapLesotho - Help get us over the finish line

Posted by DaCor on 26 July 2014 in English (English)

A tremendous amount of work was completed yesterday so I want to say thank you to all

Over the course of the day, we had 106 people create over 220,000 nodes of new information for Lesotho

There are many, many half-completed tasks where people finished up for the day but did not finish the task they were working on.

These are mainly on the urban task on the HOT tasking manager so I would urge people to head on over to the tasking manager, take a task (especially where you see cities/towns nearly complete) and start mapping to help us finish off these tasks.

Alternatively, an even easier, quicker, less intensive task that is available is the rural task where a great many tiles were completed but due to the size of the task it looks like a drop in the ocean.

Take a tile or two and help create a data for Lesotho

GPS Accuracy of Garmin, Polar, and other Running Watches

Posted by d1g on 26 July 2014 in English (English)

An infographic of the accuracy of the GPS running watches. The top right corner represents the most accurate watches. (This graphic uses ISO 5725 terminology.) An infographic of the accuracy of the GPS running watches. The top right corner represents the most accurate watches. (This graphic uses ISO 5725 terminology.) Source: GPS Accuracy of Garmin, Polar, and other Running Watches

Then and now

Posted by mvexel on 26 July 2014 in English (English)

I joined OpenStreetMap in June 2007. A lot has changed since then!





Silicon Valley

silicon valley

Using OSMand on the road

Posted by joost schouppe on 25 July 2014 in English (English)

There is no navigation app like Osmand. But it is quite complicated. So I made this write-up based on what I've learned over the past two years using it. I wrote it with people like myself in mind: navigating overland trips in third world countries.

Feel free to suggest changes, additions or to copy/paste.

Walking Papers

Posted by dcp on 25 July 2014 in English (English)

Does anyone know what has happened to It has stopped responding.

The last print was 29 days ago!

Big hole in the Hautes Fagnes, Belgium

Posted by gerdami on 25 July 2014 in English (English)

Someone made a big hole in the Hautes-Fagnes betwen Eupen and Sourbrodt. Members of relation 308380 might have been deleted by inadvertance. Don't know to repair this mess.

Location: Malmedyer Straße, Jalhay, Verviers, Liège, French Community, Wallonia, 4845, Belgium

#MapLesotho International Mapathon now on - Feel free to jon in

Posted by DaCor on 25 July 2014 in English (English)

So after 2 months of prep, several hundred tweets, emails and facebook posts we're finally here!

Today is #MapLesotho day!

There are mapping parties happening in:

  • Lesotho (2 locations)
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK

To help out, go to either the urban or rural mapping task, take a tile and start mapping.


Posted by kentp on 25 July 2014 in English (English)

Updating the coastline of Orust according to new better satellite data.

Aw, snap!

Posted by mvexel on 24 July 2014 in English (English)

I'm seeing this all the time now when trying to use iD on my Mac!


What's up? There's a recent bug that seems related. If you're experiencing the same thing, see if you can weigh in there.

It looks like there's a more recent version of iD up here, give it a try if you get crashes as well.


Posted by cya on 24 July 2014 in English (English)


NC 885 does not exist and does not appear to be planned, why is it on the map?

Posted by Clay Hobbs on 24 July 2014 in English (English)

Does anybody know where this NC 885 highway on the map came from? It doesn't exist, and searching the NC DOT website and the web didn't turn up any relevant results for planned projects. It appears it was added by REFJR with no comment about a day ago. I don't want to just undo his hard work, but since I can't find any evidence that he isn't just making things up and adding them to OSM, I'm not sure why these edits shouldn't be reverted. Any input would be appreciated.

Articles about OpenStreetMap

Posted by lib2know on 23 July 2014 in English (English)

Hey :-)

last week i added two articles about editing OpenStreetMap at the webpage of the Andorran Free Software and Free Knowledge Meeting: and

A further article is planned - yet another tutorial to get started with OpenStreetMap.


Older Entries | Newer Entries