Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Happy 10th Birthday OSM. What's your OSM story?

Posted by maning on 8 August 2014 in English (English)

(Re-posted from the talk-ph list.)

I discovered OSM around Jan 2006 (user# 1417) while trying to look for PH vector data I need for a research. Free geographic data in the PH back then is very limited. The idea of building it from scratch got me interested. However, I wasn't able to edit right away because I can't get the then java-based web editor to run. ~10 months later I stumbled upon JOSM in the wiki and created my first node.

The oldest rendering I was able to save was this. As far as remember, it was Mike Collinson who made those edits. After several borrowed, hacked, broken, lost GPS since, Marikina is still not complete. So, I'm still here mapping.

location, location, location....

Posted by TorCguy on 7 August 2014 in English (English)

For lack of a minus sign, my previous entry got tagged with a location in China! I hope this one's right.

Location: White Sands Missile Range, Sierra County, New Mexico, United States of America

dry streams

Posted by TorCguy on 7 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm adding streams, arroyos, buildings well as updating roads in Sierra County NM. Most of the drainage in this area is dry except immediately after rains. Tagging them "intermittent=yes" does not seem appropriate, as they are really ephemeral. I have started tagging these dry streams and arroyos as "intermittent=dry" and I will go back and change the rest as time permits.

Location: G316, 留坝县, Liuba County, Hanzhong City, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China

Qatif Vector roads

Posted by zman950 on 6 August 2014 in English (English)

Currently drawing vectors from Bing maps, will confirm with GPS as soon as possible and add names to roads

New version of Quality Assurance Tools script (v0.6)

Posted by coso on 6 August 2014 in English (English)

I have released v0.6 of Quality Assurance Tools script: a script to download OpenStreetMap errors in JOSM from different error detectors (OSM Inspector, Keep Right, Osmose, Housenumbervalidator) and fix them in sequence.

This video shows how the script works; see the Wiki page for more information.

Release changes

  • New supported tool: Housenumbervalidator, by Gulp21 (feature request by Poppei82).

  • New Favourites tool, where the user can save his/her favourite checks, by choosing among the ~200 supported checks. Add a check to Favourites by right clicking on it.

Saving a favourite check

  • Each check has an help link pointing to a Wiki page with info about it, if this page exists. E.g. help link for duplicate nodes reported by Osmose. Right click on a check to find the help link.

Help link for a check

  • A new dialog shows information about the error currently being fixed and the last user who touched the affected object (feature request by Poppei82).

Error info dialog

  • It is now possible to create more than one favourite zone (to fix only the errors falling inside a polygon or an administrative area). Their shapes are now shown on a map in Preferences dialog (credit to JOSM's imagery preferences).

Favourite zones dialog

  • A local file with errors' positions (GPX waypoints) can be opened from "QA Tools" menu (more info).

  • Tools can be updated by clicking a button from Preferences, if new checks or translations are available, without having to manually download all the script again.

  • The code has been refactored and cleaned up.

See this page for all changes.

Thanks to: Gulp21 for changes to Housenumbervalidator, Poppei82 for features suggestion and German translation, operon for French translation, Xmypblu, akks and mcheck for bugs reporting, fixing and testing.

Happy mapping :)

Update Bunda Map

Posted by wilsonandolo on 5 August 2014 in English (English)

I should update the Bunda Map by November, 2014.

A New Journey

Posted by TA777 on 4 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm new to OSM, found it by chance when I was looking for a Japan map for travel use.

Google does not allow offline use of Japan map and my phone isn't compatible with the Japanese phone network. The only Garmin map I found was expensive, not worth for a single trip travel. Continuous search brought me to OSM, although the Japan map isn't too comprehensive in it's coverage, it's more than enough for my intended purpose.

Tried to replace my Garmin unit with OSM on my phone for use locally but found it lacking. Decided to contribute back to where I benefited from and so here I am. :?

It's my first attempt at mapping so I'm starting small, labeling missing street names, later will be adding new traces which is yet on OSM. Especially after buying a new phone few months down the road, the current phone will be dedicated to mapping purpose.

Location: Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Fixing common & possible Tagging Mistakes

Posted by AndiG88 on 3 August 2014 in English (English)

I have been trying to document all the common tags for keys like amenity, shop, craft etc. in the Wiki using TagInfo. In the process I found several low usage tags that might have other matching well established tags. I put a small section with a Taginfo box and Overpass API link on those pages allowing mappers to find these tags in their area to fix them with local knowledge as some Tags might indeed be valid. Now I also added a category to them to make it easier to find all such tags in one's area!

Example how it looks on the page: Alt text

Would be great if everybody could take a look in his/her region and maybe clean up some outdated tags!

Bolivia Trip 2014

Posted by csch on 2 August 2014 in English (English)

I traveled to Quesimpuco and Chijmo, Bolivia for a service project (July 22-28, 2014) that included construction on an irrigation system and mapping the area using GPS and field observations.

Location: Bridge, Provincia Charcas, Potosí Department, Bolivia

Recycle for OSM's 10th Anniversary

Posted by robert on 2 August 2014 in English (English)

Next weekend is OpenStreetMap's 10th anniversary and people around the globe are celebrating.

If you've been around OSM for a while I'll bet you have a pile or two of these old flyers which have now been superseded by these ones, generously produced by Andy Allan. These old ones are therefore kind of useless. However, not being one to want to throw things away I've been searching for a use for my old ones for a while.

Required items

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Two old OSM flyers

Tape applied Lining up other leaflet

Use tape to join the ends of two flyers, making sure you get the orientation the way you want it.

Joined in a ring

Join the remaining ends of the flyer strip, producing a continuous ring of flyer.

Cutting corner

Re-fold flyer ring back on top of itself and cut off top corner at approximately 45 degrees.

Completed hat

Unfold, don:


And.. oh god I look like an idiot.

Happy birthday OpenStreetMap.


Posted by malenki on 2 August 2014 in English (English)

Soon I will hike central Albania starting in the Mirdita and after a double S course hopefully ending on the Tomorr.
Between my messages on twitter and on my Blog you can have a look at older journeys of mine from 2011 and last year (the latter two both in German, but there are also pictures).


not matching image

Upcoming Vespucci 0.9.5 release

Posted by SimonPoole on 1 August 2014 in English (English)

Vespucci receiving GPS data from RTKLIB

Vespucci 0.9.5 is now very near the feature freeze for the 0.9.5 release, numerous tasks that have either been been requested by users for a long time or have been on my personal to do list have been completed and there are only one or two left to do.

Some of the more interesting new functionality

  • On device help and some usability improvements
  • JOSM compatible OSM file reading and saving
  • Auto download
  • Fast address tags adding with house number prediction
  • Import and upload of GPS tracks
  • Function to add node at current GPS position
  • Support for external GPS sources (for example RTKLIB)
  • Basic conflict resolution
  • and numerous "under the hood" changes

If you want to give the beta version a spin, it can be downloaded from

1000 Addresses

Posted by Peter Dobratz on 1 August 2014 in English (English)

I moved to Portland, Oregon, and then I added 1000 addresses to the map. You can see what has happened when the numbers follow a grid, but the terrain is hilly.

Location: Hillsdale, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, United States of America

Update on Ottawa Mapping Parties to help #MapLesotho Mapathon

Posted by spatialfrog on 1 August 2014 in English (English)

We've had two mapping parties in the last two weeks (awesome). Our focus was to help with the Lesotho mapathon, unfortunately at the first mapping party we were having issues with our Chrome browsers crashing when using the HOT Task Manager (didn't think to try Firefox @ the time). Our last mapping party we were rocking with edits. We had three local folks fueled up on late night coffees in Westboro working on edits. We focused primarily in the urban areas.

I think the default grids that the HOT Tasking Manager provides is too much space to map. I'm a fan of the option to split the large grid into four squares. This is much more manageable.

I would really love for iD to have the ability like the JOSM Building plugin, I've filed an issue for this but can't find the link at the moment. This would be awesome, since it's so easy for new mappers to get going with iD.

We're throwing another mapping party/hangout tomorrow night (Friday Aug 1), I'll definitely be doing a bit more mapping for Lesotho.

Using Open Street Maps

Posted by JAGDNC on 31 July 2014 in English (English)

So, I know that Open Street Maps are usable to software developers and for embedding into websites, but I would like to use a map of a local park where I do loads of volunteer work to create a hard-copy map sign for the park. This sign will also include a QR code for updates to the map as features in the park change.

Is it possible to export a map to jpeg or other graphic file and use that graphic as described above?


Missing Maps Project mapathon - evening of 29th July

Posted by Tallguy on 30 July 2014 in English (English)


This is the text from a message being sent to all the attendees of a mapathon held in the MSF offices in London - Hopefully it will be of help to someone.

"Hi, and thank you for helping to make the 'Missing Maps' session such a success. I'm the old, tall, bald & bearded one who stood at the front & talked for part of the time.

All of the people who helped the evening work are hoping that you will persevere & do some mapping from , but I think we're all aware that with such a big group of people 'zero to hero' is unlikely. We've given you a start & we're planning to help you keep going, but we do need you to try! I meant what I said about it being a simple process, but sometimes there are little hiccups with the software that can make it seem difficult, just keep trying & you'll get there. By the way, I still make mistakes - it's a human thing, just don't let it stop you & try to learn from them.

Personally I'd like to try to organize a regular mapping session at which we could go along, do some mapping, learn a bit from each other, and drink coffee - the coffee's optional. Learning from each other is a lot more fun than reading instructions on a web site. Would you be interested?

I'd recommend that you sign up for HOT emails - this link for a howto:

If IRC is your thing then (obviously I'd recommend the HOT group!)

There are quite a few places to get more help from (The tasking manager has recently been upgraded & many of the screenshots are out of date - we're working on updating the guides, but the principles are the same). has several different modules & if you're new to mapping it's worth reading; should be updated during the course of the day (keep checking for updates please) - there are also links from it to other guides to mapping. Loads of links - you can spend your life reading & never get any mapping actually done! ..... think the title is self explanatory.

When you mark a square as 'finished', it should be validated by another mapper. That mapper will leave feedback which you can use to improve your future mapping. I'm one of the people that does validating, and my aim is to get you to map more squares, but better! Check for how to get that feedback.

Feedback to us / me. What can we do to improve? We need to know please.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to validate some of your squares soon.

Nick (Tallguy)"

Drawing roads and paths in Chihuahua state, Mexico

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

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

Hiking with Mapillary

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

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


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


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

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


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

A list of the hardware:

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

And two things I won't take with me

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


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

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

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

Speculations on the number of images:

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOSM 7347 released

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

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

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

Notable changes

minor enhancements

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

major bugs

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

Summarized changelog

Complete changelog

Milestone view (need login)

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

Cheers, Vincent

Smartphone mounts

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

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

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

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

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


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