Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Progress update of missing turn restrictions in Germany

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

Last week, as a part of making OpenStreetMap more navigable, we started updating possible missing turn restrictions in 5 cities of Germany i.e., (Berlin, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Munich and Frankfurt), with the help of OSM Navigation map which uses Mapillary detected traffic signs. Around 1900 turn restriction were reviewed in these 5 cities and we managed to add 112 OSM notes where probable missing data was found.

screen shot 2016-09-19 at 3 00 19 pm

We have received a great response from the community on this task, and as of now, 71 notes are resolved. It would be great if the community could resolve remaining 41 notes to enhance the accuracy of navigation data present on OpenStreetMap.

Here is the list of OSM notes for missing turn restrictions.

We thank the community for all the support. We look forward to more interactions with everyone. Few of our team members will be present at SoTM Brussels this week, catch up with @PlaneMad, @jinalfoflia, @ramyaragupathy, @pratikyadav and @geohacker to talk more on this and the latest data team projects at Mapbox!


From Mapbox Data Team.

Carlton Fairies

Posted by alexkemp on 18 September 2016 in English (English)

As yet another in the “for heaven's sake, what on earth has this got to do with mapping” series of incidental snapshots, drawn from life & art seen on the streets of Carlton & Gedling, as your intrepid mapper penetrates deeper & deeper into the hitherto unexplored heartlands of England, I bring to you one of the unacknowledged obsessions of the Brits: Fairies

purchased from the internet

This plaque was on a house on one of the eastern slopes of Marshall Hill and caught my attention immediately. The lady householder told me that she purchased it a few years back via the internet.

The Oirish (and, indeed, all the celts in the British Isles) (which is to say, everyone except those descendants of William the Bastard) freely admit to an active engagement with the Little Folk. As is so often the case, this is just the English being disingenuous, since they are as fascinated by the natural spirits of this place as everyone else.

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Stoney Pit Lane, Carlton

Posted by alexkemp on 16 September 2016 in English (English)

I've just added old_name=Stoney Pit Lane to Cavendish Road. This information comes from a historian within #66 (start-date=1930), a splendid lady who, due to old age, now has difficulty weeding her garden. Her body may be becoming infirm, but her mind is as sharp as a pin.

The houses on the north side of Cavendish Road increase quite normally until Belper Avenue. The last house (Short Cut To Beauty) is actually numbered on Belper Av; it's neighbour is 78 Cavendish Road, and the next house on the other side of Belper Av is Dom's Barbers, which is number 206. Originally, Stoney Pit Lane finished at Number 78. Then near the end of the last millennium the road was both extended & renamed to Cavendish Road. This information was not recorded previously.

My historian's mother was born in 1900 & began to attend school in 1903. That was not normal for the times. Each morning, her mum's cousin would call at the house in the morning, make a fuss of her mother, then carry on to school. Then her mother began to follow behind her cousin to school. Each morning a teacher would bring her mother back home until, eventually, after days & days of this happening, they let her stay. Naturally, she sat in on the lessons. By the age of 12 her mum had passed every exam that they could throw at her.

My historian also told me about Farmer Kerry & Farmer Tattersall. Dark-haired Kerry was the farmer that owned the fields on the College (south) side of Carlton Road, whilst blonde-haired Tattersall was the farmer that owned the fields on the Petrol Station (north) side of the same road. She went to school with Alma & Olga (Farmer Tattersall's daughters), and explained to me that the farmer insisted on having roads named after his daughters when he sold his fields.

Another snippet was that the authorities had to grade the top off Carlton Hill, so that the trams could get over it.

As you may be able to tell, I was fascinated by the things that she had researched & had to tear myself away in the end, so that I could return to mapping her area.

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

More Outdoor Khazis in Carlton

Posted by alexkemp on 16 September 2016 in English (English)

I've written before at my surprise in finding large numbers of houses in Carlton, Nottingham NG4, UK built between the 1880s & 1930s, that still had outdoor khazis. The ones that I used as my illustration were opposite the middle of the Carlton Cemetery (16 July, Worth Street).

In the past 2 months I have mapped clockwise down Cavendish Road, Coningswath Road and all the roads of Marshall Hill, Westdale Lane West then all the way back down Cavendish Lane on the other side of the road and yesterday (Thu 15 Sep) struck the western end of the same Cemetery. It should, therefore, not be a surprise to find some more Khazis outside each of these (at a guess) 1930s flats, but it was.

There was a service road supplying (what is now) some waste ground at the back of the flats (you can see the Cemetery on the other side of the fence:—

rest at last

Whilst exploring that I spotted a walk-through to the rear of the flats, and there were the khazis (these are for 4 flats, 2 in each of 2 adjacent houses):—

more carlton khazis

Meanwhile, the front of these flats had the most exquisitely-maintained gardens; I only wish that I had had a cold can of coke to be able to enjoy them on what was a very hot September day:—

the gardens

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

A new tag

Posted by Yoshinion on 16 September 2016 in English (English)

Because I cannot sign up for the osm wiki, I guess that I will have to suggest it here:


to be used when the geometry of the area/line is approximate

depreciates comment=location_approximate


to be used when a local survey is necessary

Also, the railway=light_rail needs a "easy key-value" changer like the normal railway=rail...

Garden Art: Old Favourites & New

Posted by alexkemp on 16 September 2016 in English (English)

I've mentioned Stone Lions before, and have seen many, many more since then in the gardens of Carlton & Marshall Hill (and ignored most, as I do not wish to bore with unnecessary repetition), but these pink-eyed lions on Cavendish Road seemed to call for attention:—

Cavendish Lions

The same 4 lions (only 3 pictured here) can be seen in Google StreetView, but they are grimy & street-dark (Cavendish Road is a main thoroughfare for cars & buses from Nottingham & Carlton). Since then, the householder has not only had them blast-cleaned to bright-white but has had their eyes painted pink. Excellent!

In complete contrast, here is a garden in Cromford Avenue, sheltered & away from that main road:—

buddha contemplates serpent

Buddhas are also one of the recurring themes within Nottingham gardens (within my experience, including across the last 6 months whilst mapping) but I think that you may agree that, by including a comedy sea-serpent swimming through the chalk, that the householder has raised this classic contemplation into another level. I understand that the general thought within the far East is that insanity & religious devotion are but a whisper apart; I cannot decide which this garden best illustrates.

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Update on Using Benchmarks for Imagery Offsets

Posted by DougPeterson on 16 September 2016 in English (English)

In a previous diary entry I documented my use of survey points for creating imagery offsets for Bing and USGS Large Scale Imagery. At the time I did not think to create them for USGS Topographic as the points were not on the map. However, I came to realize I can still improve the offset there if features (primarily roads) in the area survey point are in good alignment and can be seen on that layer. These are not as good as the satellite but it would at least be an improvement for tracing old roads, trails and wetland contours.

I also decided I should create offsets for Mapbox Satelitte. I do not use that layer as much as the resolution or clarity seems a little less. In addition, I sometimes have issues with cloud cover on that layer. Creating the offset does not take that much more effort and it might be of use sometime for myself or someone else. The cloud cover issue means I was not able to create an offset each time.

Entry updated to move personal documentation to personal wiki.

OSM Awards–Decision Guidance

Posted by Nakaner on 15 September 2016 in English (English)

This is the English of my previous posting in German.

How to cast your vote?

Open You will be redirected the OSM login page because the voting platform uses the authentication via OSM to ensure that every OSM account only gives one vote. The voting platform has been written by Ilya Zverv (Zverik), is hosted at his own hardware.

There are six categories I want to explain in the following paragraphs.

Core Systems Award

Following people are nominated:

  • Grant Slater and Tom Hughes who are members of OSMF Operations Working Group and operate the central servers of the OpenStreetMap project and additional services operated by OSMF, e.g. the wiki, the mailing lists, OSM Help. As you might have experienced, they do a great job. Do you remember the last downtime which was their fault?
  • Roland Olbricht has designed and developed the Overpass API and is its maintainer (relevant code contributions have been made in recent time by other contributors, too). He is responsible for the German instance of Overpass API which is sponsored by FOSSGIS e.V.
  • Bryan Housel is the main developer of iD. It is difficult for me as a JOSM fan to find nice words about him and his work. I do not like him very much because he has a mind of his own.
  • Mateusz Konieczny is a co-developer of OSM Carto map style which is used at and is the OpenStreetMap map for many people outside OSM community. He implemented the new road colouring scheme during Google Summer of Code 2015. Thanky you!
  • Sarah Hoffmann is the main developer of Nominatim, the only geocoder which is a community project. (There are other free geocoders but they are backed by a company). She operates the public Nominatim instance on and therefore is member of Operations Working Group. I admire her tilting at windmills—people who abuse the public Nominatim instance to do batch geocoding (converting addresses into coordinates).

It is difficult to come to a decision. Whoever you vote, it is no bad decision. I myself prefer Grant Slater and Tom Hughes, Roland Olbricht and Sarah Hoffmann.

Innovation Award

This is the category for inventors of innovative tools.

  • Yohan Boniface founded uMap, the free and OSM based alternative to Google MyMaps
  • The MapSwipe Team has been nominated for the development of MapSwipe app. Non-mappers can look through aerial imagery and mark areas where features are located which can be mapped (e.g. buildings).
  • American Red Cross has been nominated for the development of Portable OpenStretMap. This software makes it possible to go to remote locations (without internet access) do mapping there and upload your changes after the expedition. As far as I know, the main advantage is the multi-user capability. But POSM does not solve conflicts. Therefore its use is limited.
  • Martijn van Exel has been nominated for his work on MapRoulette. This quality assurance tool selects a random map error and presents it to the human user (who will fix it). It has been used much for TIGER clean-up work.
  • Manuel Roth and Lukas Martinelli have developed OSM2Vectortiles which makes vector tiles in Mapbox's format available for download. They have made the processes Mapbox uses to produce its vector tiles more transparent. It seems that they are that successful that Mapbox's lawyer asked them very friendly (!) not to build exactly the same vector tiles Mapbox sells.

Ilya Zverv wrote in the announcement) of OSM Awards that people and projects can be nominated whose work has been published after August 1, 2015. (This does not apply to Ulf Möller Memorial Award) If this rule is still valid, Yohan Boniface and Martijn van Exel cannot be selected because their innovations are older.

Therefor the remaining candidates are OSM2Vectortiles and MapSwipe. MapSwipe is innovative but its use for OSM is limited. It just makes HOT even more efficient. OSM2Vectortiles is the free download service for vector tiles and takes the work of creating vector tiles out of the hands of other developers. It is a little bit like a Geofarik download service but for vector tiles instead of planet extracts.

Influential Writing Award

Three mappers have been nominated for their user diaries:

  • Zu Edil Queiroz De Araujo
  • Joost Schouppe
  • Harry Wood

In addition, Nick Allen (Tallguy) has been nominated for his work on LearnOSM and the WeeklyOSM team (this includes the folks from German Wochennotiz because they are the mother and main source of all WeeklyOSM variants).

I can say as a team member of Wochennotiz that the work which is invested into WeeklyOSM/Wochennotiz is much larger than the time to be invested into a blog. WeeklyOSM is more important and therefore has more "influence" than a simple blog. The German Wochennotiz is also read by people from outside OSM community because Wochennotiz/WeeklyOSM produce a summary of all important and less important news of OSM universe. I did not hesitate to give my vote to myself (Wochennotiz/WeeklyOSM).

Greatness in Mapping Award

This category covers great mapping efforts. You have the choice between

  • a group of HOT mappers (Ramani Huria Team)
  • Nelson A. de Oliveira (naoliv) who does monitoring and quality assurance in Brazil,
  • UK Quarterly Mapping Team who organizes the quarterly mapping tasks
  • Martin Ždila (description says that he has mapped and walked 1.4 % of all hiking routes in OSM and 38% of all in Slovakia)—I hope it is true
  • OSM Los Angeles Building Import Team

It is not difficult to say who will not get my vote—neither Ramania Huria Team nor LA Buildings Import will get my vote. I have not found any reasons why I should vote Ramania Huria Team (I hear the name for the first time). Only the official SotM Twitter account advertises them (which should not happen from my point of view, official Twitter accounts should be neutral!). Imports should not get any awards. "No complains" is the best compliment an import should get.

Because I read the name Martin Ždila for the first time, only UK Quarterly Mapping Team and Nelson A. de Oliveira remain. It is difficult for me to find a final decision.

Expanding the Community Award

You have following options:

  • Pascal Neis for his tools
  • Ahasanul Hoque and Tasauf A Baki Billah
  • Courtney Clark
  • Kathmandu Living Labs—community of mappers who had been mapping before the Great Earthquake
  • Pete Masters

The only candidates, I know, are Pascal Neis and Kathmandu Living Labs. I do not want to give to much of my votes to humanitarian mappers because OSM is more than HOT and Missing Maps and they already gain enough attention from third parties. In addition, I consider usage of the term "leadership" in the description of Ahasanul Hoque and Tasauf A Baki Billah as a bad attribute because OSM is a community of independent-minded individuals, not of people who follow their boss (my country had enough bad experience with leaders in history).

Ulf Möller Memorial Award

This award should memorize the murder of Ulf Möller in January 2012. Ulf was mapper, developer, had been OSMF board member and much more. The idea of having such an award is rather old, it was published) a few months after his death. But the idea fizzled out. The original description was:

The Ulf Möller Memorial Award will recognize an individual each year who improves OpenStreetMap through good mapping, benefit to the community and other improvements to the OpenStreetMap project.

Following persons have been nominated:

  • Kate Chapman for co-founding HOT and "bringing HOT to" the developing world
  • Harry Wood for good mapping, organizing a local OSM group and his work at HOT
  • Frederik Ramm for his engagement to make OSMF (especially the finances) transparent and his responses on mailing lists which helped other people understanding OSM
  • Nick Allen (Tallguy) – has also been nominated for Influential Writing Award
  • Richard Fairhurst as voice of reason in OSM community and his projects (Potlatch 1, Potlatch 2, Tilemaker)

Because LearnOSM is too much focussed on HOT (if a newbie reads LearnOSM, he might not be aware of the other aspects of OSM) and therefore the name LearnOSM is not appropiate, I decided not to give my vote to Nick Allen. People who want to get this award should have done good work for the whole project, not only a part of it.

"Bringing OSM to a significant portion of the developing world" might sound well but it is not the way I want to support. Someone who distributes OSM like a colonial power, should not be awarded. OSM should origin from the local people. If they don't need maps, we should not force them.

I must admit that I am not a fan of the web editors but they attract many newbies (which is good). They lower the entry level. I assume that Potlatch was the main reason why the European OSM communities became so powerful between 2007 and 2010. Richard competes with Frederik for my vote. I admire the time he invests into OSM both as developer, entrepreneur, DWG and board member etc. It took a some time until OSMF became really transparent – Frederik joined the board in 2012. First the finances became more transparent (and published earlier), now even the board meetings are public.

OSM Awards could be better

The OSM Awards are not fair. The majority voting system is suitable for binary decisions (with optional abstention from voting). But it is not suitable for an election where opinions differ widely. I would like to give some negative votes to some candidates but I cannot. A system like STV (used for board election) is also not fair but better (and more complicated).

The best voting system is useless if your choice is limited. The candidates of these awards have been selected by "some members of CWG, SotMWG and the Board" (source). How are they legitimated to decided who will get an award? These awards will have an influence of the public image of OSM. Why do the awards not have a system with rounds? During the first round, all mappers (people with OSM account) could suggest candidates and the descriptive texts (but less than 80 words – otherwise you have to read too much) are written. Maybe you could introduce a minimum number of supporters every candidates should achieve during this round. In a second round, all mappers could vote. Four or five candidates per round progress into the third round.

A look into a sample of edits from MAPS.ME contributors from August

Posted by manoharuss on 15 September 2016 in English (English)

During the month of August this is the approximate changeset percentage breakdown between editors that uploaded user edits into OSM:

screenshot 2016-09-15 15 33 50 Source: OSMCha

As a follow up to our review of sample edits from Maps.Me, we decided to randomly review changesets during August to understand the difference in quality and contributions from this editor from our previous review.


  • Changesets reviewed: 475

  • Problematic changesets: 12

  • Minor issues: 33 Raw notes

  • No obvious issues: 430

Problematic changesets

1.Changesets 1, 2 with a lot of amenity=fountain and tourism=camp_site tags on residential areas with alphanumeric names. We commented on the user's changeset.

screenshot 2016-09-12 17 44 14 The edits looked like this on the map

2.Changeset with 91 toursim=attraction POIs. A community member commented and DWG reverted the changeset.

screenshot 2016-09-13 16 42 30 Density of artworks as seen on OSMCha

3.Changeset with 78 ATMs. Community reverted this changeset.

4.Changeset with a lot of of tourism=camp_site tags in one area and some are on water. We commented on this changeset asking for clarification.

5.Changeset with a lot of tourism=attraction tags in names such as I, Pa, ps and gym. We commented and reverted this changeset.

6.Changeset with POIs on roads. We commented on the changeset to let the user know of this.

7.Changeset advertising apartment in demand. We commented on the changeset.

8.Changeset added a bookshop and an outdoor shop at a stadium. We commented on the changeset asking for clarification if these are temporary stalls.

9.Changeset added tourism=guest_house POIs with personal names. We cleaned up all his changesets.

10.Changeset added tourism=attraction & tourism=camp_site POIs to map railway bridges, switches and crossings. We reverted the changeset with a changeset comment.

11.Added amenity=bus_stations over a residential area. A community member commented and reverted the changeset.

Changes observed since our previous review

  • We have not observed name=* modifications from users.

  • We have not come across partial upaloads and changesets with no changeset comments were very few.

But we have continued to observe below issues:

Comparatively, we saw less number of problematic changesets with respect to the number of changesets we reviewed. Let us know what you think of the editor and where it should improve.

Number of new contributors on OSM Source:

There has been a significant spike in new contributors to OSM that coincide with the launch of edit feature in Do you think it correlates with new user contributions using Let us know what you think.


Chetan, Krishna & Manohar

Iraq placename and internationalisation notes - WikiProject Iraq edits

Posted by Øukasz on 15 September 2016 in English (English)

Many of the placenames have been renamed once or more over the last decades. It is common in official sources to refer to such as 'New Placename (Old Placename)'.

It is common for the same name to be recycled and applied for multiple places (villages, city quarters/suburbs), however usually not within the same governorate.

There are cases where a village or a city quarter is named according to origin of people inhabiting it, so there may be a quarter in a city called after another governorate, district, or a city.

There are multiple languages used in Iraq. Two official languages are Arabic and Central Kurdish (Sorani), both written in Arabic script. In many pockets of various ethnic groups additional languages are used: Syriac/Neo-Aramaic (locally referred to as 'christian language') which uses Syriac script, Azeri ('Turkomen') in Latin and Arabic scripts, Norther Kurdish (Kurmanji) in Arabic and Latin scripts, and others. In areas of mixed ethnicities it is common for a village or town to have a name in each of multiple languages - often these names sound completely different, so they are not the same names in multiple scripts. City and street name signs throughout the country often feature Latin transcriptions of those, usually inconsistent.

Reverting huge changesets using JOSM

Posted by Jothirnadh on 14 September 2016 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap is a great place where we can share the on ground information with the community. Most of the time the data we add is good, but sometimes we might end up adding bad data. We might even come across unspecified bad imports which are supposed to be reverted. To overcome this we have a reverter plugin in JOSM, which helps in reverting data on changeset basis. The plugin works fabulously in reverting small changesets but fails to revert huge changesets with the below popup:

screen shot 2016-09-14 at 5 22 16 pm

There is no proper documentation for reverting huge changesets. On through research found that it's because of the less socket.timeout given by default in JOSM. If we adjust the socket.timeout then the reverter plugin started to work well with big datasets. The below values worked for me.


You can adjust your socket.timeout by going to --> JOSM > preferences > advanced preferences

For more tools to revert, see the OSM Wiki ->

Hope my findings help you in better mapping. Let me know if there is any other simpler way to revert as there is no proper documentation for reverting huge changesets.

Happy mapping!


Posted by DaveF on 13 September 2016 in English (English)

[Alt text](I:\dwgs\docs\Pictures\2928379511_6e867cd680.jpg)


When new values start appearing in OSM…

Posted by naoliv on 13 September 2016 in English (English)

and developers just don't care if they are wrong or not…

Data Misalignment issues in Taiwan

Posted by srividya_c on 13 September 2016 in English (English)

Over the past few weeks, Mapbox Data Team has been reviewing the OpenStreetMap Data quality in Taiwan with respect to Satellite imagery. By running a comparison against Bing Imagery and available GPS traces like Strava Heat Map we were seeing a notable data offset of 15-20 meters with respect to GPS Traces.

Data offset

Some observations

  • City centers have varying offset which is not aligning to GPS Traces.

  • Some major highways running between cities are having huge offset.

  • Roads in mountain areas are not matching to Strava traces

  • Some motorway junctions don't match with the GPS Traces


Community Involvement

  • With respect to the offset and data realignment, there have been a few discussions from our side in Taiwan mailing list and Taiwan OSM group in Facebook and members of Taiwan community have expressed their support in fixing these alignment problems.

New Mapbox Satellite for Taiwan

Seeing these imagery offset issues, Mapbox Satellite is now rendered with fresh imagery for major cities in Taiwan.


  • New Mapbox Satellite imagery samples


Mapbox and Strava aligning compared to Bing Imagery

  • Mapbox Satellite aligning with Strava in misaligned motorway junction


These are the cities where new Mapbox Satellite imagery is rendered. With respect to data misalignment and improvement, we hope Mapbox Satellite imagery will now enhance mapping in Taiwan!

Weekly round-up of edits

Posted by manoharuss on 12 September 2016 in English (English)

Continuing from our previous weekly round-up, we would like to keep you posted on some of our observations this past 2 weeks.


We commented on the following changesets:

  • Deleted a tertiary road: Changeset.

  • Deleted landuse=residential polygons: Changeset.

  • Deleted buildings: Changeset.

  • Added duplicate buildings: Changeset.

  • Added POIs with numbers in the name tag: Changesets 1, 2.

  • Building, parking lot and service roads deleted: Changeset.

  • Some of the POIs added are on roads and river: Changeset.

  • Created duplicates of highways and buildings: Changeset.

  • Deleted highway=tracks and waterways: Changeset.

Community members commented on the following changesets:

  • Deleted highway=path: Changesets 1, 2.

  • Added a POI in the middle of the sea: Changeset.

  • Changeset using Google as source: Changeset. A DWG member commented on the changeset.


  • Untagged ways in the same area: Changesets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. We reverted these changesets.

  • Added bus station over residential area: Changeset. A community member commented and reverted this changeset.

  • Added operator tag with personal name for bus stops: Changeset. A community member commented and reverted the changeset.

  • Imports with not tagged according to OSM: Changesets 1, 2. A community member commented and reverted these changesets. The import looked like this.

screenshot 2016-09-12 17 31 20

Look forward to these posts as we wish to continue posting weekly round-ups to inform the community on our findings on OSM.

We're going to be at SOTM in Brussels next week. Catch up with @planemad, @jinalfoflia, @ramyaragupathy, @pratikyadav and @geohacker on the latest data team projects at Mapbox!

Can you use the copy paste function in JOSM from the Keyboard ?

Posted by baditaflorin on 12 September 2016 in English (English)

If i try to use the copy and paste function from the keyboard, more times than not it will not work.

Only when using the menu Edit -> copy it will copy and paste in the first go.

Are you having the same problem or there is something local with me and my colleagues from the map analyst team that we are having this problem ?

I made a ticket

And for simplicity, also, a video showing the error.

UK Unadopted Roads - What are the Accepted Mapping Keys?

Posted by alexkemp on 12 September 2016 in English (English)

I've come across my second un-named un-adopted road (2 in 6 months). I cannot seem to find any info on the wiki for how to map these. I used the following page as my reference:

In the absence of specific info, in brief I mapped using the following values:

noexit=yes (it is a cul-de-sac)

Links to wiki pages on values to use, and why, much appreciated.

For those unfamiliar with the term “unadopted road” (they are common in England), the following comes from a UK Government publication:

‘Unadopted’ roads are those roads not maintained by a highway authority as defined by Highways Act 1980

For most unadopted residential roads the duty to maintain it falls to the frontagers, ie the owners of the property fronting that road, which may include those where the side, or length, of their property fronts the unadopted road.

A note on wiki URLs: HTTP fails to redirect to HTTPS:

When finding the wiki Key:highway page just now Google gave me a HTTP url for the page. I manually changed it to HTTPS, and it showed fine. However, it did NOT redirect from port-80 to port-443 of it's own accord. It was announced recently that Google is due to begin penalising HTTP pages. Act now, webmasters!

Butterflies & Marshall Hill

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

I've been mapping houses south of Westdale Lane, Mapperly/Porchester/Gedling/Carlton (people seem to give it different names - I call it Marshall Hill) for the last couple of weeks. I kept seeing butterflies fixed to the outside of houses, but they seemed exceptionally kitsch (see the comments), so I ignored them. However, finally, the garage at number 10 won me over, so here it is for your delight:

butterflies & ladybirds

Location: Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Is there any point in UK Ecclesiastical Boundaries for OSM?

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

Ultimately the answer will lay in whether you want to get married, or not, and whether OSM can source open-GPX, shape files, whatever, for all the UK Ecclesiastical Parishes.

Until the Parish Councils Act of 1894, there was zero difference between a Civil Parish and an Ecclesiastical Parish. The 1894 act extracted all non-Church features & vested them in newly-created Civil Parishes. The principal feature that the Established Church retains, and which affects all members of the public living within an Ecclesiastical Parish, is the right to be married within their local Church. Now obviously, in order to be able to know which is that ‘local Church’, a person needs to be able to search for it upon a suitably equipped map. At this moment, that is NOT OSM.

example: the Porchester Ecclesiastical Boundary

11 September: I stated in my 27 August Diary that “The Ecclesiastical Boundary runs down Marshall Hill Drive”; not true. The vicar at St James, Porchester, the Revd. Phil Williams, gave me a copy of the Porchester parish boundary (many thanks to him) and the Boundary runs along Valley Road and across the bottom of Marshall Hill Drive, and then up Simkin Avenue. However, at no point does it run up (nor down) Marshall Hill Drive apart from that tiny little segment at the bottom.

For reference, the Porchester Ecclesiastical Boundary (Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, Gedling Deanery) that the vicar gave me was traced on an Ordnance Survey map (grinds teeth) and only part-follows existing streets:

Starting in the north-west corner:

  1. Mapperley Plains (B864) junction with Spring Lane
  2. Spring Lane junction with (uncertain, though probably Gedling Country Park)
    On the OS map this appears to be a mysterious ‘103m’ marker to the east of Crimea Farm, but neither of these waypoints are on the OSM map; indeed (mental note), the whole of Spring Lane needs a thorough survey. The boundary falls south through the wastelands of the former Gedling Colliery, passing by the Household Waste Recycling Depot (closed).
  3. Arnold Lane junction with (uncertain, probably High Hazles Close)
    High Hazles Close is on the other side of the road, and the actual junction is to the east of that road. A stream is reported to be culverted and to cross Arnold Lane at that point, so that is a likely way-marker for the ancient boundary.
  4. West up Arnold Lane to junction with (most uncertain)
    It is clear that the Ecclesiastical boundary was established before any of the current streets in Phoenix Farm estate were created. At some point before the old service road for the former Recycling Depot it leaves Arnold Lane and falls SSW, missing High Hazles Close but slicing indiscriminately through The Fairway, Sherwood Academy and Chesterfield Avenue before hitting near the end of Rufford Avenue, travelling west along that road just beyond Welbeck Avenue, then travelling at a strange angle south west towards...
  5. Westdale Lane East junction with (most uncertain)
    The boundary has finally hit a patch that I've surveyed! In fact, the boundary joins Westdale Lane at a point north of Westdale Court (service road) (probably opposite 217a) and, as it happens, I updated the map there yesterday. I recall nothing to suggest a way-marker.
  6. West along Westdale Lane East to junction with (most uncertain)
    The boundary doesn't quite reach the end of Westdale Lane East when it turns south-west, passing through Mapperley Furnishers and running along the top part of what I called at the time wet dead-rat walk (because it was raining & there was a dead rat on the tarmac). However, whilst dead-rat walk turns left the boundary carries straight on, running along the bottom of all the gardens between the bungalows on Elmhurst Avenue and the semi-detached houses on Portland Road, then does the same for Fraser Square until, after crossing Gardenia Grove (which runs along the brow of Marshall Hill) it turns from SW to SSW and finally joins the existing road network near the top of Ernest Road.
  7. Ernest Road junction with Valley Road
  8. Valley Road junction with Marshall Hill Drive
  9. Marshall Hill Drive junction with Simkin Avenue
  10. Simkin Avenue junction with Donkey Step walk
  11. Donkey Step walk junction with Hillview Road
  12. Hillview Road junction with Florence Road
  13. Florence Road junction with Porchester Road
  14. Porchester Road junction with Moore Road
  15. Moore Road junction with Whittingham Road
  16. Whittingham Road junction with Woodborough Road (B864)
  17. (north back to the 1st junction)
Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Mapper of the Month: SomeoneElse (United Kingdom)

Posted by escada on 9 September 2016 in English (English)

Mapper of the Month: SomeoneElse

Who are you ?

I'm Andy, and I live in Derbyshire, in England. Since leaving college many years ago I've been working in the computer software industry (mostly development and implementation). The "SomeoneElse" name came from the music site - it was just an alternate playlist to the normal one (as if literally "someone else").

Staffordshire new year 2015 mapping walk.jpg Photo by SK53 License: CC BY-SA

When and how did you discover OpenStreetMap ?

I've always done quite a lot of walking, including "long distance walks a bit at a time", and while on one of those the display on the GPS that I'd been using was failing. I was looking for somewhere to store the POIs that I had (villages, pubs etc.), and found OSM.

What do you map ? Is there any difference with your early days ?

It's still mostly footpaths, bridleways and pubs :)

How do you map ?

It's usually "collect a GPS trace with lots of waypoints" and then fetch combine that with imagery and whatever other information's available back home. I use a small Garmin handheld for collecting waypoints and tracks and (when it's not raining) collect other details on a phone. Various bits of software to glue them together are at In terms of OSM editors it's mostly Potlatch 2 (because of better GPX waypoint support)

Where do you map ?

Mostly places that I've been. is as usual startlingly accurate.

What is your biggest achievement as mapper ?

It's not really a personal achievement - but together with other East Midlands mappers any OSM-based map locally is significantly better than the alternatives whatever you're looking for (does anyone else show whether a country road's safe to walk down because it has a roadside footpath, or what sort of trees are in a wood?).

Why do you map ?

It started out as recording the stuff that I needed when I was going from A to B that wasn't up to date elsewhere (where I live a lot of the landscape has been opencasted - Ordnance Survey maps used to have large white "we have no idea" areas).

What is the most difficult part of mapping ?

OSM has always been a story of "map it from less perfect sources now, but use better ones next year", but sometimes the process of improving what's already mapped is more time-consuming than just mapping from scratch.

What are your mapping plans for the near future ?

I'll be going walking in South Wales in a month or so - that always generates a lot of mapping work.

Do you have contact with other mappers ?

The local East Midlands mappers meet up in a pub once a month, and have a wide variety of mapping priorities and different backgrounds. It's always interesting to get different points of view...

Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself ? How ?

I've created "maps of things that are useful to me" based on OSM data for the car satnav, Garmin handheld and for something to glance at on the way to somewhere on the phone The idea that people would rely on something that could change at any minute for that (and then complain when e.g. Google changes their map UI) seems very odd to me indeed. Example of self created map Image CC0

Do you do anything else than mapping that is related to OpenStreetMap ?

I'm also fairly active on the help site, and was asked to join OSM's Data Working Group a couple of years ago. The latter is probably wrongly named; we deal with "people" issues far more than "data". "Data" problems are usually just mistakes or misunderstandings (I'm amazed that compared to other online spaces OSM still has so little real vandalism and organised trolling); but the "people" problems such as "what language(s) to use for the name of X" are often rooted in real-world disputes and are much harder to resolve.

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

Despite the "people" problems mentioned above, and despite the cultural differences, most OSMers get on just fine - just check the comments on any day of the week. New mappers (even if they're phone application users who didn't even know they were adding to OSM) generally get welcoming messages and offers of help. That's not to say that there isn't more that we can all do here, but (as with the low vandalism rate) I'm sometimes surprised that things work as well as they do.

Andy, thanks a lot for the interview and enjoy your hikes in South-Wales !

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