Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

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?

OSM's 12th Birthday Party in New Hampshire

Posted by Alan Bragg on 13 August 2016 in English (English)

Today, Ruth and I attended the birthday party for OSM at Greeley Park in Nashua, New Hampshire USA.

It's always nice to see old friends and to attach names and faces to folks you recognize from diary entries, mailing lists and changeset comments.

It's amazing how fast a conversation can start when someone says "How do you.....?

Several of the attendees were

  • A 13 year old girl who's made a website for the trails in her town using a tailored cartographic style.

  • One of the "fathers" of the great MA imports.

  • A prolific area mapper who has moved to Portland OR

I'll be checking the OSM Birthday wiki next year to see where the party will be.

Many thanks to rozzin for organizing this event.

Location: Nashville Historic District, Ward 3, Nashua, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, 03064, United States of America

The Problem of Highway Classifications

Posted by Sawan Shariar on 13 August 2016 in English (English)

The key highway=* is the main key used for identifying any kind of road, street or path. The value of the key helps indicate the importance of the highway within the road network as a whole. See the table below for an ordered list from most important (motorway) to least important (service).

"Highway tagging samples"

Roads: motorway, trunk, primary, secondary, tertiary, unclassified, residential, service

Link Roads: motorway_link, trunk_link, primary_link, secondary_link, motorway_junction

Special: living street, pedestrian, bicycle road, track, bus guideway, raceway, road, construction, escape

Paths: footway, cycleway, path, bridleway, steps, escalator

Sidewalks : sidewalk, cycleway lane, cycleway tracks, bus and cyclists, lanes:psv, busway

Lanes: number of lanes, direction instructions ("turn lanes"), signposts

Data Source:

Location: Kalabagan, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

When i am a tariner

Posted by Atikur Rahman atik on 13 August 2016 in English (English)


In 14 May 2015 i joined the #OpenStreetMap team as a mapper . That time i feel so much bad & think why i do this ? But after a long time with osm i learn lot of thinks. Now i am a osm map trainer . That's why i know some common question's answers . Now i share it for new comer who recently joined or want to be joined it .

  • Why Map ?

=> When you trace roads, buildings and houses on a Map that will aid in humanitarian missions. So..

  • What Can I Do ?

=> Join the community of online volunteer mappers. Make a powerful contribution with an Internet connection and basic computer skills, even if you do not live in the area you are mapping. Use satellite imagery to trace the outlines of roads, structures and land features for the creation of openly available data used to produce maps that help the humanitarian and development community.There are several ways to get involved and aid humanitarian crowd-sourced mapping initiatives. This site provides one such path.

  • Why OpenStreetMap ?

=> Through the Open Data Commons Open Database License 1.0 OpenStreetMap (OSM) contributors own, modify and share data publicly. There are many other free maps on the Internet, but most have legal or technical restrictions preventing others from using the data openly. With OSM both the maps and underlying data can be downloaded for free, for developers or anyone to use or redistribute. Additionally, in many places of the world where there is no commercial motivation to develop this data, OSM is often the best available resource.

so don't think why and how, #just contribute data on it and help the world.

Thanks OSM for making this wonderful opportunity for us . Also thanks to BDRCS and Brother Ahasanul Hoque

Location: Hazaribagh, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

A new feeling as a mapper for the first time

Posted by Kanta Reza on 13 August 2016 in English (English)

12th August, 2016 - a day of my lifetime achievement. Ahasan vai just started talking about the techniques of playing games with maps and I was like a baby seeing its desired toy. From yesterday morning to today's evening, it gave me a world full of enthusiasm, love for work and a toy for playing with the world. Love this mapping, proud to be a mapper and wish to make a bunch of mapper too. Hope for the best. We shall overcome.

Data For Action Project

Posted by Atikur Rahman atik on 13 August 2016 in English (English)

Two days long OpenStreetMap training (Data For Action Project) at IDMVS , University of Dhaka; Arranged by Dhaka City Red Crescent Unit, (BDRCS) and OSMBD, Dhaka on August 12-13, 2016.OpenStreetMap training


Location: Kalabagan, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

OSM Training

Posted by aHaSaN on 13 August 2016 in English (English)


Google Earth ==> OSM Earth (EN)

Posted by -karlos- on 12 August 2016 in English (English)

No, I dod not cancel, “OSM go”, I extended the idea. But first, thank you for the Aber erst mal Danke für die suggestion. At first, the reactions was limited, after a week it got nice.

After I postet that PSM-go, I spend a day to take snippets of old code of mine. And at night, I had that first 3D-View. It enthused me so much, to have a sleepless night, my imagination running wild: Walk through OSM in 3D (not that discouraging Pokemon style, something tidy), overlay data, not only walk but “fly”; thats why I used the term OSM-Earth. Sure, more layers with external- / realtime data are possible. May be switching to 2D mode.

Actual I am fighting with JavaScript Orientation-Controllern (the compass is wrong using Android), someone may take over this. Contributors are welcome anyway, not only by writing code. Also advice, what frameworks exist. I.E: If I got JSON by AJAX, how to convert the OSM data to Javascript arrays and how to index the node ids?

Actual, everything exists already; renderer in 2D and 3D, gamification with OSM improvements. Demotivating? Well - it’ fine, if one has les to do himself. However, its quite difficult to dig into stacks of alien code. And often, only the solutions may be usable because it is not Javascript.

  • A running gamification (in 2D):
  • A Renderer in Javascript (2D): Cartagen
  • A 3D-Renderer (java,static):
  • Ingress, the “precursor von PG" OSM based:
  • Other tools to motivate editing: Mapillary, OSMand and Maps.ME.

With edits there are a lot of doubts because newbies shall do it. I like the idea, this edits to go into a pool, used by “real” OSMer, loaded in an editor and verified.

What next? Just things I will have fun with :-)

  • First get JSON data around the actual position by Overpass. So “real” things will be visible, not dummy nodes etc. That will motivate to show more and more details in 3D.
  • The handling of moves are improvable for sure. A Cardboard mode will come. Gi by keyboard&mouse, touch gestures or VR gadgets to any place and view angle on Earth.
  • And the first “gaming”; just real (GPS) walks will give first point. By personal experience, I think, gather house numbers will be a niche first useful action.

Below a view of my first rendering, an OSM-like style. At the German post, I will append an style, as close as possible to the Pokemon map style. And if you like to test it yourself (without guarantee): or as OSM-style: It works with keyboard, mouse, touch and device turning, but still petting.

(Do I really need to translate my German posts? Anyone interested? Is there a way to only offer automated translation, I would prefer to code)

OSM style rendering

Mapping missing turn restrictions & exit numbers and destinations in Europe - Part 1 : Germany

Posted by nammala on 12 August 2016 in English (English)

Turn restrictions, exit and destinations are important components of navigation system and enhance the routing and guidance accuracy of any routing engine. To improve OpenStreetMap, broaden its reach globally and make it more accurate for routing, we would like to join hands with the community to map missing turn restrictions, exit and destinations in Europe using Mapillary as the primary source.

pasted image at 2016_08_19 04_49 pm


First stop is Germany, we want to concentrate on three major cities: Berlin, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and map turn restrictions, exit and destinations, slowly branching out to other cities and countries in Europe.

Mapping workflow

Turn Restrictions

We have devised a simple way to add turn restrictions using the Mapillary and detected traffic signs using OSM navigation map that displays the detected turn restrictions from Mapillary, making it easy to know the position of the signage and to mark it as valid/invalid once it has been reviewed and mapped if required.

untitled2 Marking a detected no left into a oneway as redundant restriction on the OSM navigation map

You can go through the detailed workflow: guide for mapping turn restrictions using Mapillary to know about the working procedure for mapping, tagging system and certain exceptional cases.

Motorway exit numbers & destinations:

Checkautopista2 by k1wi is a neat tool that highlights all the highways and their exits which makes it easier to add the missing exit and destination tags.

Here's the detailed workflow for mapping exit & destinations using Tasking manager and Checkautopista2 with Mapillary as the primary source.

If you are a local mapper, please review the workflow and provide your suggestions on how it can be improved. When in doubt, notes will be added and local mappers contacted before updating an existing value.

Existing data

Current number of turn restrictions in 3 cities were extracted using overpass.

  • Berlin: 1057
  • Stuttgart: 828
  • Wolfsburg: 72

Current number of exit & destination tags in 3 cities extracted from overpass.

screen shot 2016-08-12 at 5 56 07 pm

Join in!

We have had tremendous support from the OpenStreetMap community so far, guiding us in every endeavor, suggesting us with new ideas and improvisations on how to make our workflows better, calling us out on occasional errors, answering our questions and clearing our doubts. We would love that collaboration and contribution to continue working together. Let's all join in making OpenStreetMap the best!

From the data team at Mapbox

Thankful to BDRCS and OSMBD

Posted by Sawan Shariar on 12 August 2016 in English (English)

It was a memorable experiencing story for my life to visit Gandaria and Moghbazar, Dhaka, Bangladesh for the reason of making digital with the help of OSM, HOT and Data for Action Project. I am Grateful to Mapping Experts Ahasanul Hoque (World Bank, Bangladesh); Dan Joseph (USA) and Nicholas (USA).

What, if anything, should I do about this?

Posted by dcp on 12 August 2016 in English (English)

Last year while hiking in the Algarve, Portugal, I added a house with its name. Recently, I received this message from an observant contributor:

This is the pertinent changeset!

by user

This is his/hers only contribution to OSM!

Bearing in mind that the name of the house was visible from the track I was walking on and that the Bing imagery is far more explicit/detailed than my OSM entry and within the definition of public domain data, then I consider "Dreganius" act to be very petty indeed.

So, what should I do?

  • nothing: What for?

  • reverse the said changeset: Dreganius could consequently do more damage than this petty act.

  • report Dreganius: And have him removed as a contributor. What would we gain?

Open road data for map improvement in Flanders, Belgium

Posted by joost schouppe on 12 August 2016 in English (English)

TL;DR: Government road data, processed to help you map roads in Flanders, Belgium. All the tiled layers are available for use in your favorite editing software.

About the data

The Flemish government has a large project to measure most stuff you find in the public domain, the GRB (Dutch). The data is measured to incredible accuracy, but the project is not focused on maximum recency. Update frequency is once or twice a year. When it comes to roads, only those that need an official streetname are included.

That's a bit limited for some purposes, so they started the Wegenregister (Registry of Roads). The idea is that all roads are included, also "slow roads" (paths and tracks), private roads and even future roads. They started of with the centerlines of roads from the GRB and enriched it with National Geographic Institute (NGI) data for smaller roads. It isn't quite finished yet: a lot of local governments must still validate the data, and there is no automatic procedure in place to feed new GRB roads to the database. So you can expect some of the "future roads" to be quite present. The NGI data is also of varying quality: it is quite complete and has generally good geometry, but it can be quite outdated.

The scope of the Wegenregister is to offer a complete road network, not navigable data. It does not include anything like access restrictions, detailed lane info or max speeds. It does contain road surface information. It is divided into segments, which go from one junction to the next. Only if a new road is added, an existing segment will be split. That means segment ID's are relatively stable. If a segment has a change of attribute somewhere, this is dealt with by dynamic segmentation. Basically, that means you have a table saying stuff like "from meter 0 to 100 asphalt, from meter 100 to end concrete".

Finding missing roads

I did some quick visual checks in my own mapping neighbourhood, and I did find a LOT of missing roads. Some forest paths, several small alleys connecting backyards to the street, some graveyard paths, some driveways. I would say 95% of the missing paths/roads still existed, about 75% worth mapping in OSM.

Enough to warrant some closer inspection.

It is open data with an OSM compatible licence, which you can download through a website. First I tried FME, as we have processes in this software at my dayjob to do similar analysis that I could reuse. Alas, it didn't scale well for larger data. QGIS, after some trial and error, did the job no problem. The main processing operations took about 36 hours on my not-fancy-at-all laptop.

First I took the OSM road data (as a shapefile, from Geofabrik), saved it in our local projection and buffered it by 7 meters. Then I used difference to find the parts of the Wegenregister that were outside of that buffer. Next I threw out segments of under 10 meters (unless they were entirely outside of the buffer). I also calculated the percentage outside of the buffer. The result are A LOT of segments (220.000 out of one million) , which are either missing in OSM or have a very different geometry.

Sharing the results

The result is still a shapefile of over 60 megabyte, so nothing you can just put on umap. Luckily, it is quite easy to make a TMS service from a shapefile using Mapbox Studio. These services can be used in a little leaflet map like this one, but can also be added in iD or JOSM.

Make sure you open the layers (button top right): you can use three background maps, see the whole Wegenregister, add Strava and see the OSM road network more clearly overlayed.


Mind you, I DO NOT want you to just get out your editor and start copying these features. There are several reasons why a road might be missing in OSM, some good, some bad:

[EDIT: thanks to tyr_asd you can now copy the URL to share your current view :)]


But you don't need to go out surveying for every single change either. In the map I provided, you can combine the view of missing Wegenregister roads with aerial photgraphy, OSM gpx and Strava gpx layers. If they all point in the same direction, you can be quite sure that OSM is wrong and Wegenregister is right.

URLs for mapping

These URLs can be added in JOSM, iD and OsmAND. In iD, click the layers button (righthandside of the screen), then click on the magnifying glass next to Custom or 'Aangepast' to insert one of the URLs. To use this in Osmand, check my previous diary entry on Strava (only works for layers containg .png). If you use JOSM, you know things like this :)

Complete Wegenregister:{z}/{x}/{y}?access_token=pk.eyJ1Ijoiam9vc3RzY2hvdXBwZSIsImEiOiJjaWh2djF1c2owMmJrdDNtMWV2c2Rld3QwIn0.9zXJJWZ4rOcspyFIdEC3Rw

Wegenregister, missing roads only:{z}/{x}/{y}?access_token=pk.eyJ1Ijoiam9vc3RzY2hvdXBwZSIsImEiOiJjaWh2djF1c2owMmJrdDNtMWV2c2Rld3QwIn0.9zXJJWZ4rOcspyFIdEC3Rw

Strava, all data:{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Strava, recent data only (seems to be hard to re-use){z}/{x}/{y}.png?y=2015&v=6


You can download the entire dataset from the AGIV website. And here is the entire dataset of missing Wegenregister roads as a shapefile. Use QGIS to extract your local area of interest. Save as GPX to add it to Osmand and go out mapping. Of course, you already have the Strava layer enabled in Osmand :)

I can also provide just the bits of Wegenregister that are outside of the buffer, just ask.

Better mapping practices

Now imagine you've checked your whole mapping neighborhood. The map will stay red, at least till the next update of the process. But what about the roads that you surveyed and concluded were invalid Wegenregister roads. They should be removed too. I'm not quite sure how to go about that.

  • We could tell the government. And they might actually listen, but by the time the road is removed from the dataset, three more mappers might have analysed the same segment.
  • We could build a list of "untrue" Wegenregister roads and remove these from analysis. There are quite stable unique identifiers available, but it would mean everybody should refer to the same list when marking something in Wegenregister as untrue.
  • We could map non-existing roads in OSM (ooh, taboo!), analogous to the not:name tag that was used in the UK to mark that the official name for a road was wrong. I was tempted into something similar in this case, where a path is indefinitely closed off, but still quite existent (as seen from the street and aerial photography)

Seizing an opportunity

I know the Belgian heavy mappers like to work on stuff, but I think this might be a nice opportunity for expanding the community a little more. I've noticed how small paths and local trails are really something that can still attract new mappers. The Flemish Trage Wegen organisation is behind that for a large part, and I sense we could work together with them on a project like this. It is also very similar to the local "inventarisations" they do.

It is a very well defined task, it is repeatable, all the tools and pitfalls can be explained quite easily. Moreover, local governments could be contacted with a very clear proposal - to help them solve a problem they would have to solve themselves pretty soon anyway.

I see two main options, which are possible conflicting.

  • Option one: a maproulette challenge or Canadian style crowdsourcing tool. It's nice and easy, but it might be a little too simplistic for this task. The Canadian style tool would probably allow to generate a vast error report for the Flemish government, which is quite cool. Microtasking like this is not compatible with the extensive local surveying which we need when the reality isn't very clear though. But it might make the job a little lighter for those working on Option Two.

  • Option two: we set up a Belgian tasking manager (as in an instance of and divide the job. It allows for very specific instructions, providing the analysed Wegenregister as imagery to people who have never used iD before and makes it really easy to track progress. Time-out for the tile you picked should probably changed from two hours to a couple of days though :)

One thing I've learned from working on Missing Maps, is that you need to use an existing network to recruit new mappers. You need an easy, repeatable task to make the work easier on OSM supporting volunteers. And you have an opportunity to take their passion (in this case "helping poor people") and try to channel it into a passion for OpenStreetMap. Change MSF for local government, mapping buildings with mapping roads, and a passion for doing good with a passion for local paths, and there you are.

Working on it

To make such a project possible, we should probably set up an online service doing something similar to my analysis. So newly mapped roads in OSM are removed from the "to map" list, as well as invalidated Wegenregister roads.

My analysis is more a proof of concept than anything else. It would be interesting to go further. For example, one could make a map with just roads that have a different name in OSM than the official name. Or just focus on the planned roads. Or suggest surfacing information for inclusion.

It would of course be nice if it were easy to take the Wegenregister geometry and apply it to the OSM data, but that might be a little too much of a challenge right now.

If you feel like working on such a project, get in touch, start on your own, or come to the SOTM Hackathon in Brussels.

Land of the Giant Polygons

Posted by mtc on 11 August 2016 in English (English)

map Consider the blank region. Nothingness. Terra Incognita.

It may make you feel uneasy, with strong urges to know this unknown space.

It makes me want to explore and to discover. I want to find out the best parts, and share these places online.

Now consider this same space, under a the cover of a giant polygon. This polygon says the land is defined as a parking lot or perhaps it is a wetland? The OSM notes say that the data comes from a governmental organization of those particular area types. They are the authoritative information source. Do we conclude this map location is finished ...?

On one hand, I can see how filling a map with information is a good thing, especially when none exists. But I question the methods used on these massive polygon imports, specifically creating data that appears certainly correct. In contrast, the TIGER data was imported with an expectation that the road data was certainly incorrect. Indeed, my time is spent verifying roads and correcting the street names. A tag was even created verified=no emphasizing the questionable accuracy of the data.

But on my way to survey the TIGER roads, I pass many terrain types that are head-shakingly incorrect. In the OSM database, they appear as a mass import, from some government agency that focuses on that land type. Yes, I understand these geometries can and should be adjusted, but there is no way to know how accurate it is presently. Has it been checked through satellite imagery, does it overlap another terrain type, or has anyone surveyed? None of these things are specified in the polygon tags, so we assume it is correct. Worse, would-be mappers are now discouraged from exploring the area, because it seems to be already defined, so the incorrect data remains unchecked.

I sympathize with mappers who want to cover up all the uncomfortable blank spaces on the map. It drives my OSM involvement, too. But don't trade incompleteness for inaccuracy.

  • Take ownership of the verification of imports.
  • Limit the import scope until verification is managable.
  • Consider using a node for your area data instead of a polygon.

There is still something beautiful and special about the unexplored places. Let's not cover it all in polygons.

Public domain image credit: Il designo del discoperto della Nova Franza by Paolo Forlani, ca. 1566

Derbyshire Civil Parishes - names for unnamed areas

Posted by alexkemp on 11 August 2016 in English (English)

(see also Nottinghamshire Civil Parishes - names for unnamed areas)

I'm in the middle of “Walking the Bounds” for Rushcliffe and need to find which Derbyshire ‘unnamed_shape’ (aka “non-civil parish”) is the one for Long Eaton (it is on the Rushcliffe border). That means ploughing through all those ‘unnamed_shapes’ in the list of Parish gpx. Whilst I do that I may as well document all the shapes:—


See Also:

(council pdf) Districts + Parishes
Derbyshire Civil Parishes (wikipedia)
(note that a Civil Parish (CP) has zero connection with an Ecumenical Parish)
OSM Wiki: What is a Relation
OSM Wiki: Relations for BoundaryLines
OSM Wiki: HowTo Add a New Member to a Relation
Proposal for UK Admin Boundaries
Parish Codes (2015)

Admin Tags for Derbyshire:

boundary=administrative: (on the relation grouping those ways)

admin_level=1: n/a
admin_level=2: (Border, external (with Irish Republic))
admin_level=3: n/a
admin_level=4: (Border, internal (with Wales/Scotland))
admin_level=5: Region is “East Midlands”
admin_level=6: County/Unitary_Authority is “Derbyshire, City of Derby”
admin_level=7: n/a
admin_level=8: Borough/District (eg Amber Valley District)
admin_level=9: n/a
admin_level=10: Parish (eg Alfreton CP)



Extra Tags:

designation=non-civil_parish (OS designation for Unparished areas)
is_in:region=East Midlands
is_in:district=Amber Valley District
name:old=Hucknall Torkard CP
old_name=Hucknall Torkard CP
ref:gss=E04002838 (Government Statistical Service codes; this is Sawley; obtained from within the Parish GPX)

Unnamed Shapes Named:

Q: When is a Civil Parish not a Parish?
A1: When it is a Non-Civil Parish
A2: When it is a Municipal Borough or an Urban District

In short, there are 8 areas in Derbyshire that, if it were drawn as a map of CPs, would have 8 holes within it, each of which is given the generic classification of being “unparished”. Whatever that means.

  1. Unnamed_shape_691.gpx
    This is Buxton (Unparished).
  2. Unnamed_shape_692.gpx
    This is Glossop (Unparished). It is notable for having about 5/6 of a perfect circle in it's border.
  3. Unnamed_shape_724.gpx
    This is Swadlincote (Unparished).
  4. Unnamed_shape_766.gpx
    This is Ilkeston (Unparished).
  5. Unnamed_shape_767.gpx
    This is Long Eaton (Unparished).
    2016 August 13: Entered as just “Long Eaton” (no ‘(unparished)’, as some folks seem to dislike the suffix, even though that is how the Council refers to it; also, no ‘CP’, since it is not a Civil Parish) (make your own joke here).
  6. Unnamed_shape_836.gpx
    This is Riddings (Unparished).
  7. Unnamed_shape_967.gpx
    This is Chesterfield (Unparished).
  8. Unnamed_shape_9340.gpx
    This is the City of Derby (a Unitary Authority, but is also completely Unparished).
Location: New Zealand, Allestree, Derby, East Midlands, England, DE22, United Kingdom

Mapping exit numbers and destinations in Canada

Posted by poornibadrinath on 11 August 2016 in English (English)


Exit numbers and destinations on highways are an important aspect of navigation since they guide the user where do they have to exit the freeway in order to reach their destination and which other cities or towns or areas the highway interlinks. Making any map more navigable or any routing machine more accurate includes all the minute details and improvements. In an effort to broaden the reach of OpenStreetMap to the people and make it better in routing and guidance, we are adding exit and destination tags for highways in five priority cities of Canada.

The Approach:

We are concentrating on five major cities of Canada: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary to add the exit and destination tags and the method we intend to follow 👇🏻

  • We are using tasking manager for loading the highways as a separate task and open it directly onto checkautopista2. Checkautopista2 by k1wi is a neat tool that highlights all the highways and their exits which makes it easier to add the exit and destination tags. taskmanager_checkautopista4

  • You can get involved with the project and know about adding exits and destinations from the detailed workflow.

Here's how you can get involved:

Adding exit and destination tags is based on good sources: Mapillary, local knowledge and official documents. You can contribute to this project of making one of Canada's most detailed maps by contributing to:

  • Mapillary coverage of the higways that would aid us in adding right destination tags.
  • Adding exit and destinations to highways. Community participation has already ensured that around 1500 destination tags are added across Canada 👏🏻 🎉
  • Validation of our edits. You being local mappers have more knowledge on the highways than us and it would be great to have your eyes on what we add.
  • Refer to any other verifiable source like official documents, secondary sources which would help us in adding the missing tags.
  • Suggesting on how better to improve our existing workflow

A few questions:

After an initial groundwork into the already mapped exit numbers and destinations, some observations are:

  • We noticed that destination (places, cities) and destination:ref (highways) tags are being added to the nodes of exits as name tags.
  • Few exit nodes have destinations given in the ref tag, instead of ways
  • The destination:street ( for ways that lead towards streets, avenues, boulevard, rue) tags are not being used.

Our questions are:

  • Is the usage of name=* instead of destination=* on the exit nodes the usual protocol?
  • Is it acceptable if we change the name=* tag to the appropriate destination tags and move the tags from the Exit nodes to the correspoding ways?

---> A full breakdown of the observations and here's the OSMWiki for adding destination tags.

We would like to hear from the community about the agreed method of mapping exit numbers and destinations in Canada to take this further.

The turn restriction sprint in Canada was met with an immense support from the OpenStreetMap Community who guided us in all stages by improving our workflow, keeping an eye on the errors and contributing to adding turn restrictions and also Mapillary. It would be great to have you working with us in adding exit and destinations in all the five priority cities of Canada and making sure all the gaps are filled :)

भोपाल वार्ड नक्शा

Posted by pratikyadav on 11 August 2016 in English (English)

screen shot 2016-08-11 at 4 16 52 pm

नगर पालिका भोपाल द्वारा प्रकाशित नक्शा जो के सारे वार्डस को दिखता है.

OSM पर यह जानकारी अभी नहीं है.

English version

Published by Bhopal Municipal Corporation, the map shows all admin-wards.

The information is not yet in OSM and could be a good addition.

Location: Idgah hills, Bairagarh, Bhopal, Bhopāl, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, 462001, India

Shiny Windows!

Posted by Zabot on 11 August 2016 in English (English)

Its finally coming together, here's a look at the building windows, now with reflections. This first image is using a high resolution for the reflections, 1000px, while the second reflection only has a resolution of 100px. High Res

While intended to allow the user to modify the performance and memory necessary to handle reflections, I actually think that the blur produced by the lower resolution reflection is quite interesting. Low Res

Mapping pedestrian crossings

Posted by mvexel on 10 August 2016 in English (English)

I am on a roll mapping pedestrian crossings (or 'crosswalks' as Americans tend to call them.

First I download a sliver of the map that covers a major road in JOSM:


I think you could also use 'download along way' in JOSM if the road is not nice and straight, but around here they usually are.

Then I pan along the way and add crossing nodes using Shift-R to quickly copy pedestrian crossing tags from the previous node.


This way I can add about 15 pedestrian crossings a minute.

Bicycle Mapping

Posted by mtc on 10 August 2016 in English (English)

I have been following (and enjoying!) the diary entries through my RSS news reader, and so I am encouraged to share my own thoughts here, as well.

When I first got into the openstreetmap project, I was verifying on-foot. I took a six-year break (how time flies!), and now I have a bicycle and a cheap smartphone at my disposal. The increased mobility is quite an improvement!

While I still encourage new mappers to print a paper with a couple blocks to verify, using the wonderful Field Papers web service, I myself have moved to verifying miles of road in a single outting. I am knocking out big chunks of town, each week, where previously it would take me the entire Summer.

I have not totally figured out all the details, but my typical outting looks like this: Print a few blocks using JOSM and the US Forestry Service layer for a while background. I use the Ubuntu operating system, so I capture the JOSM display using the Screenshot application. I jump on my bicycle and activate OSMAnd+ trip logging, with the one second logging interval. With my printout, phone, and golf pencil, I head out to my target area. So fun is being on this secret mission!

Using the bicycle is socially better, too. When I walked, I often got strange glares from people, who were uncomfortable seeing strangers on their less-travelled road. It is my understanding that outside the USA, people are more accepting to pedestrians traversing their property. We do not have the idea of Right-of-Way here. What we do have are many property owners who enforce their No Trespassing signs. But with a bicycle, I am not lingering long enough for people to notice or work themselves up for being concerned. With a bicycle, I enter roads that say "Private Road, Residents Only" when before I would skip these areas.

When I am back home again, I copy the GPX track to my laptop, fire up JOSM, remove a few TIGER verified=no tags, and improve the road data. I look forward to verifying the remainder of my town, soon, then moving onward to other towns, next. Verifying OSM data gets me excited to get outside and moving, and now I am using my bicycle so much more, too.

If you see a bicycle on the road with a smartphone strapped to his back, be sure to slow down, drive safely, and smile. It might be me out there collecting OSM data!

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