Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Klaipeda, Lithuania / Nybro, Sweden - watch out for NordBalt HVDC Powercable

Posted by Toliman on 8 January 2015 in English (English)

At present an HVDC link between Nybro in Sweden and Klaipeda in Lithuania with the name "NordBalt" is under construction, which will be in its whole length implemented as underground or submarine cable. As it is most easy to determine a cable track, when it is installed please put attention in Klapeida area and Nybro area for work on the underground cable. A map showing the track in Sweden can be found on and .

Location: Jakai — Dovilai — Laugaliai, Kiškėnai, Dovilų seniūnija, Klaipėdos rajonas, Klaipeda County, Lithuania

Korean language help needed

Posted by Peter Dobratz on 8 January 2015 in English (English)

I am looking for some Korean language help to add name:ko and service_times tags to the following building:

Here's a picture of the sign:

I'm guessing it should be service_times="Su 11:00" but since I don't know any Korean I don't want to assume.

Location: Johns Landing, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, United States of America

Fixing notes

Posted by joost schouppe on 7 January 2015 in English (English)

So after 8 months on the road in South America, navigating with Osmand, I'm now number 37 in the world when it comes to opening/closing notes. I make the notes mostly for myself, so when I get the time (and access to good wifi), I fix the problems I spotted.

Twice in Ecuador and once in Peru it happened that local mappers spotted the errors and started fixing them. A big thank you to users giomaussi, Diego Sanguinetti and agranizo! But that means that in large parts of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina no-one is watching notes.

If you feel like doing some random mapping in South America (mostly Argentina and Chile now), please feel free to correct some of my notes. If something isn't clear, I do respond to questions. Here's a direct link to my notes page

Learn-a-tag: highway=escape

Posted by jgpacker on 6 January 2015 in English (English)

I plan to ocasionally post about a random OSM tag which I believe should receive more attention. Due to usefulness or curiosity or even fun.

The first tag is highway=escape. runaway truck lane

This is used to describe an emergency escape ramp, usually located at the lower end of a mountain, to help stop trucks or other heavy vehicles that are not able to stop while going down the road. It's a very useful traffic device, and literally life-saving.

Currently it's wiki page seems to be a rip-off of the wikipedia page. Let's hope it get's improved soon. :-)

Cheers, John

OSM Hackerspaces Map now updating

Posted by rorym on 6 January 2015 in English (English)

Several years ago, I made a simple map of the hackerspaces in OSM, using the leisure=hackerspace tag. And it used XAPI. And XAPI broke a while ago. So the map didn't update. In the last month about 10 people have emailed me to tell me it isn't updating. Everyone must be looking at it now! So I've fixed it, and it should update now!

New mapping addict

Posted by jimmyjamjar10101 on 6 January 2015 in English (English)

I have only just recently discovered OpenStreetMap's existence, and have since been hooked on it. Now, driving around my home town I see a street, car park or other feature and wonder: Is that on OpenStreetMap?

My favourite edits so far have been entering in my schools that I attended as a child and I'm unsure why exactly, but I love entering parking aisles into all my local car parks.

My current goal is to confirm that every street in Launceston, Tasmania has the correct street name and category; and have the majority of residential buildings entered on the map. Which I understand is a huge undertaking, which is why I wouldn't mind seeing some users making the adventure to little old Tasmania, Australia; especially Launceston :D

Happy mapping everyone!! :D

Location: Invermay, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250, Australia

Calling mappers from Porto

Posted by Zverik on 5 January 2015 in English (English)

Hi everyone, I'll be visiting Porto in two days. Portugal is great, not as cold as Saint-Petersburg. We've already been to Lisboa, from where we recorded a holiday OSM podcast: English parts start at 2:00:30 (featuring Manuel Hohmann, Thomas "malenki" and Jerry Clough) and 3:01:15 (with Ian Lopez). The next issue will be recorded on 8th, 20:00-21:00 WET, and I very much hope to talk with a local, portugese mapper. Maybe even face to face, though usually I use Skype or Mumble.

So, if you map Portugal, or live in Portugal, or know someone from Portugal — contact me please. Also, I'm up for a osmers meeting in a cafe near Santo Ildefonso on 7th or 8th. I'm Ilya, my phone (for sms only) is +7 921 583-12-91.

update: radio recording today, 8th of January

CLC06 Import Cleanup

Posted by Abbe98 on 5 January 2015 in English (English)

When I first got involved in OpenStreetMap all my mapping was done in the iD editor, a great user experience for new users easy to work with and tagging made easy. My first experience with iD and OSM was terrible. It was because of a old low quality forest import that covers a huge area, shown below.

OSM screenshot

Most of the import is two massive multipolygons with tons of relations. In iD it was impossible to merge other areas into the multipolygons and the forests had to be heavily remapped. The result of other mappers ways to deal deal with this has lead to two massive multipolygons with broken relations, resulting in rendering issues. First image below shows the quality of the import, the second shows a rendering issue in iD as a result of broken relations(Not related to the reverse inner bug).

JSOM screenshot.

rendering issue in iD.

Below is two screenshots from Overpass Turbo, showing how the imported data looks like in the OSM database. The first image shows both ways and relations, the second just shows relations(multipolygons).

Ways and relations.


The imported multipolygons has become a issue to the OSM ecosystem. It makes it hard for developers and designers to use the data because applications such as Tilemill and Mapbox Studio having rendering issues with the data. It becomes a issue for new mappers that has to remap major areas(in iD this means dragging nodes), that can't merge smaller areas such as lakes and has to deal with relations.

I'm looking into solutions for splitting the two major multipolygons into pieces along major roads(they should be it anyway) or in a worst case scenario delete them. If anyone has a idea about how we should deal with this please share your knowledge.

There is other imports like this one in Sweden some of them also from EEA Corine Land Cover 06(Link to latest version of the dataset) but I haven't looked into them as much. I think that we need forest imports at least here but we need to be able to work with them from or usual tools such as JSOM and iD.

Any thoughts?

Link to related changesets

Location: Olofslund, Juresta, Katrineholm, Södermanlands län, Landskapet Södermanland, Södermanlands län, Svealand, Sweden

Bedrock Limo & Town Car

Posted by Bedrocklimoandtowncar on 5 January 2015 in English (English)

Bedrock Limo & Town Car is the only luxury transportation company you’ll ever need! Our company was founded on a commitment to provide timely, professional and competitively-priced luxury transportation. Bedrock Limo & Town Car proudly serves Houston and is widely recommended for providing prompt and reliable transportation. The philosophy of service delivery at Bedrock Limo & Town Car is backed by an experienced customer service staff available 24/7. Our chauffeurs can take you to or from any location at any time of day or night, and are more than happy to recommend shopping, dining or sightseeing venues around town. We know the area well so we take you on the most efficient route, saving you time during your visit and making the most experiences going to and from one tourist destination to another. Bedrock Limo & Town Car is fully licensed and insured, and are committed to accommodating your every need. We pride ourselves on a strong record of “going the extra mile” for our clients, and we want to do the same for you. So when you need luxury transportation you can count on, count on us. Bedrock Limo & Town Car is ready to take you anywhere you need to go – safely and on time! Call 832-473-4263 now to make reservations!

Location: Sharpview Drive, Houston, Harris County, Texas, 77072, United States of America

HOT 2014 Year in Review

Posted by mikelmaron on 5 January 2015 in English (English)

I started my HOT year a worried president of the HOT Board, and ended as a confident regular member.

We all worked hard. Really hard. Most importantly on HOT activations and projects. HOT has had a stunning impact on humanitarian response. But we knew we could this. What challenged us more was ourselves. We worked hard on HOT's organization, the processes and relationships that make the space for amazing to happen.

Ok, let me just say personally, I had a lot to learn this year. I'm not proud of everything I did. But I'm immensely proud of where HOT is now.

The Board Face to Face was a real turning point. Sincere thanks to the Board for putting our all into this. And thanks to our guide Gunner.

Some other things I spent time on: helped coordinate to get V2 of the OSM Tasking Manager developed; formalized imagery coodrination; put together trademark applications for HOT; formally employed our Executive Director.

I joined the US government for a year, and really just getting started. My HOT 2015 orbits around this. Since I'm no longer on the Board, I'll have more time to put into working groups, community building, technology.

done by mistake but unable to revert it back.

Posted by Zartminthar on 5 January 2015 in English (English)

Way: 320467114

I mistakenly deleted the river bank with about 200 nodes as I was separating part - nodes of Strand Rd and Riverbank but there is no feature to revert it previous state . Can somebody fix it, please ?

HOT/OpenStreetMap 2015 Aspirations

Posted by samlarsen1 on 4 January 2015 in English (English)

In follow-up to my last post: HOT 2014 Review, here is a brief post regarding my aspirations for 2015.

Continued contribution to mapping

  • I'd like to increase my HOT mapping activities throughout 2015, contributing to more projects, and contributing more significant task content in those projects.
  • Continued and increased contribution to global mapping in areas with low map detail but sufficient imagery to contribute. I've previously contributed significantly in Ghana and Burma and i'd like to keep up these contributions and engage with local mappers to offer assistance.

Assisting with new mapping techniques

  • Enhancing before/after intelligence to HOT tasks. This could be useful for tasks in places like Gaza where there is focus on mapping change over a period of time (i.e. before & after the bombing of 2014)
  • Automated feature extraction & change detection with visual checking steps. Viewed by many as an unattainable goal for OSM, but i believe there can be a certain level to be gained in OSM by these techniques. This will most likely involve Python and JavaScript libraries to create some kind of prototypical solution.

Community involvement

  • Engage and assist newbie mappers in Ghana. I did some of this a few years ago, but would like to get involved again and offer any assistance i can.
  • OSM Events & Conferences. I'd like to make it to and potentially present at a variety of events this year including SOTM, GeoMob, OSM London etc..

Happy New Year and good luck mapping,

Sam Larsen

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Location: Sunnyside, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, East of England, England, United Kingdom

HOT 2014 Review

Posted by samlarsen1 on 4 January 2015 in English (English)

Greetings, this is a brief recap of my contributions to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in 2014.

HOT Community Relations

HOT emails over the last 18 months have become quite counter-productive and personal. I feel as though we have lost our way as a constructive contributory community. For that reason i have stopped reading them, it has also affected how much i interact with the community and alarmingly how much i contribute to HOT mapping tasks. I'd like this community to be a bit more constructive and work together. For my part, i will not create unnecessary noise on shared communication channels and attempt to set an example by chipping away at a few areas i feel i can add value to.

HOT Mapping Contributions

Reduced involvement in HOT

Over the last two years i have been less involved in HOT due to a number of factors

  1. I was somewhat disenchanted by the membership process within HOT, i felt a lot of the organisation around members and voting went some way to making it a less inclusive closed group - which was a big attraction when i first started mapping for HOT during the Haiti Earthquake.
  2. Having a 1 year old child
  3. Increased pressures and responsibility in my professional career. Ironically i have been working on a large mapping task management system for government and i was able to use some of the ideas from HOT and the tasking manager to achieve this goal.

Regrettably i was unable to contribute to any Ebola mapping tasks in West Africa as i had sever pressures on my time throughout most of this year although i would have loved to contribute and i'll continue to push myself to make at least a minor mapping effort in the future.


Sam Larsen

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Location: Sunnyside, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, East of England, England, United Kingdom

Voting is bullshit

Posted by imagic on 4 January 2015 in English (English)

On of my professor at university quite often told us that "Marketing is bullshit". He reasoned that marketing never tells you the whole truth. I guess everyone who ever watched an ad or read some marketing brochure tends to agree with him - except marketeers, of course.

Voting in OSM

What does this have to do with voting in OSM? The result of a vote has the same problem as marketing: it never tells you the whole truth. Ten, maybe twenty, sometimes even thirty hardcore mailing list and wiki writers gave their vote and decided for the rest of humanity, what to do and what not to do. But are those who voted really the ones who actually improve our data?

What if Joe Mapper thinks, that the approved tag does not fit his needs and he uses a different tag? We have an approved proposal, so we can replace his tag with the approved one - right? What if Joe Mapper proposed something and it was rejected, but he still uses the proposed tags? They were rejected so lets delete them - right?


Our core values

The foundation of OSM is that everyone can use every tags they like. No approval needed. Just don't provide incorrect data or destroy others work. Lets have a look at the core values of OSM: Do-ocracy, Actions speak louder than words, without need for central sanction or even post-hoc approval.

I guess, that's pretty clear. If no one needs an approval, why do we ... sorry, I meant... why does a very limited number of people vote? If an approval is not necessary, why does something have to be approved?

Isn't voting itself against our core values?

Data consumers

It seems obvious to me why proposal-writing and voting-ecstasy got a little out of control: data consumers.

All our data is completely worthless without someone processing it: drawing some nice maps, leading us our way and much more. And data consumers need clear definition: this tag means this and that tag means that. So they want approval: this tag is "good" (as in "approved") and this is "bad" (as in "not approved" or even worse: "rejected"). If everything is clearly defined, it is easier to process our data. But there is one thing, that is quite often forgotten:

You can not process voting results.

Clarification added at 21:00 CET 04.01.2015: In my opinion the pressure comes from the data consumers, but not only directly. Sometimes mappers want something supported in their favorite application and they think that all they need is some "official" and "approved" tag. Gladly this is not true.

Back to do-ocracy

Clear definitions about how our data can be interpreted are in the interest of all. But those definitions should not be approved, they should evolve. If we approved a tagging scheme and no one uses it, it is useless. If it is used, but completely inconsistent, because it is too complex, it is useless.

We should not vote on new tagging schemes, we should support them - or not.

Lets replace voting in our proposals by usage numbers like taginfo and a list of supporters (mappers and consumers). No rejecters. If you don't like the proposal write your own, convince others to use it and try to get some support from data consumers. Adapt it from time to time, if necessary. And after a while look at the usage numbers and the number of supporting consumers.

Let the numbers do the voting.

P.S: No, I will not put that proposal up for a vote.

A look at Scout Signs

Posted by malenki on 3 January 2015 in English (English)

Here the email I just sent to Scout/Skobbler:


I've had a look at Scout Signs. I agree that this is a comfortable way to collect maxspeed data. What I've compared in my region leads me to the following conclusions:

  • the average Scout Sign I verified is misplaced by averagely 20 m¹
  • all of the speed limits shown by Scout Sign I verified were already mapped in OSM
    –> I'd find it helpful to only show signs in JOSM for highways without maxspeed=* or maxspeed:forward/backward or where the by Scout collected maxspeed doesn't match the one on the highway
    –> because: after closing a lot of Scout Signs with "it is already in OSM since 1-4 years" the task gets boring
  • the OCR seems not to be failsafe: alt text (Sign ID 25587, here)

I would welcome if discussions regarding this plugin would happen in the public, but regrettably there is neither a page for the plugin in the OSM Wiki nor is it mentioned there nor is there the possibility to discuss it at the place where you introduce the plugin.

Additionally it would be very useful to provide a link with the plugin to be able to learn just something about it. Scout Signs is one of only some plugins not providing any additional informations on plugin list: alt text

Best regards

(I sent a second email with this content):
PS: the following would enhance the workflow and usability, too:

  • ability to click on the Scout Signs from the acitve data layer (atm one has to switch to the Scout Sign layer to can do that)
  • hide solved/invalid Scout Signs (or at least show them in a different style)

¹ Examples where I could measure the offset:

Five years later – five thousand tagged embassies

Posted by Serpens on 3 January 2015 in English (English)

Five years after my last blog entry („Now over thousand embassies tagged with country code“): Now we have five thousand embassies tagged with country codes!

I took ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes [1] and tagged the embassy’s sending country (for example the German embassy in Paris: "country=DE"; see also [2]). I tagged at least a third of these tags.

There are around 5,600 objects marked as embassies, but some of them don’t have a name or a name that doesn’t sound like an embassy.

[1] [2]

Belgian Mapper of the Month: Guy Roman

Posted by escada on 2 January 2015 in English (English)

Nederlandse tekst

Texte français

Guy Roman


Since five years Guy Roman is retired. Before that he was technical electrician for a engineering company. He mainly followed up projects for energy distribution and automation. So he was already "drawing" during his career.

How and when did you discover OpenStreetMap?

I accidentally discovered OpenStreetMap in 2008.

What kind of mapper are you and where are you mapping?

I map a lot, mainly in Hainaut, a province in Belgium, but I also map abroad. Partly based on trips I make during my vacations, but I also base my mapping on photos that appeal to me. An example is a photo of St Rambert-en-Bugey in France that I found in a magazine about railways. I looked up the area in OpenStreetmap and then mapped it based on the picture and Bing arial images.

What do you map and do you have any specialisation?

I mainly use the aerial images from Bing, but I combine this with the available GPS traces for ways that are invisible on Bing, e.g. in forests. Further I also do surveys, to determine the type of the roads for example. Quite regularly I go cycling 50 or 70 kilometers, where I verify my database of geographical data and if necessary I change things on OpenStreetMap.

Why do you map?

It is fun, and it allows me to explore the world without leaving my house!

Guy's contributions Guy's contributions

Do you do other things related to OpenStreetMap?

I try to convince possible "passive" users to use OpenStreetMap, such as organisers of hiking trips.

How can OpenStreetMap be improved?

I hope that the rendering of some details can be improved on the default map. An example are areas tagged as "natural=scree" for example near mountain rivers. It could be rendered similarly to beaches, but in grey. Another example: it would be nice to have a rendering for a stream on a bridge. At this moment it is only possible for a canal. Unfortunately I do not have enough knowledge to help out to improve this.

To conclude, is there something else you want to share with the readers?

Only change an object when you are sure that it will be more precise or closer to reality than the current version. Also, when you have doubts about something, please contact the previous mapper to ask more details about the current mapping! Furthermore, please respect the classification of the roads. The classification of a road does not suddenly change to residential, because there are few houses.

Improve a map - before and after

Posted by lib2know on 2 January 2015 in English (English)

When i had to make some changes of the OpenStreetMap in Andorra la Vella i took a screenshot before and after. See the differences: * Before before * after after And what it looks like right now

Untaggable and unacceptable parking reality

Posted by Skippern on 2 January 2015 in English (English)

I live in a tourist town, a town that in its sleepier time of the year hardly have parking enough for the commercial downtown area to function, let alone when 300.000+ tourists invade the city for new year.

Take a look at the picture below. This is taken from my office window late on the 1st of January. The majority of the parking madness have left.

Caotic Parking Conditions

The yellow square shows the last of 5 cars parking in a space large enough for 3, it is not signed as a parking area.

The blue square shows a car parked in front of a garage, but what a direction? Breaking pattern?

The red square shows a car parked on the sidewalk, there where up to 6 cars parked like this during the day, and I counted a total of 20 cars parked like that.

Doesn't seem to help calling the police to remove illegal parked vehicles, they are too busy doing that 200 meters down the road (in front of the banks and restaurants), and politicians doesn't care much since these tourists are bringing in money to fill their pockets.

Location: Centro, Guarapari, Microrregião Guarapari, Greater Vitória, Mesorregião Central Espírito-Santense, Espírito Santo, Southeast Region, Brazil

Description added to bush camps

Posted by Jan van Bekkum on 2 January 2015 in English (English)

Description added to bush camps we visited in Middle East and Africa.

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