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India Villages

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 17 July 2014 in English (English)

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Opening Hours

Posted by mvexel on 17 July 2014 in English (English)

Mapping opening hours correctly can be a pain; the format for the opening_hours key can be hard to remember. I didn't use to do it much for that reason. Until I recently discovered that there's a JOSM plugin for that! It works really well, let me show you how I added hours of a local restaurant in seconds.

First, of course, make sure you have the plugin installed:


Then, select the thing you want to add opening hours for:


And select 'Edit Opening Hours' from the Data menu (or use the keyboard shortcut).


If the plugin detects an existing opening_hours tag, it will offer to edit that, or you can create it. It will then offer a graphical interface for setting the hours:


You can move and drag blocks as you would expect. The plugin will parse it in the expected format. A nice little extra is that it supports the 'open end' hours in the format 17:00+ - useful for places that don't have a set closing hour but instead say 'open till late' or something similar.

Perhaps old news to y'all, but it made me happy :)

A Word Of Caution

Several people have pointed out (link is to the German forum) that the plugin is limited in what it can do. It will not cover most complex cases, like exceptions for public holidays and month to month variations) and does not seem to properly cover some of the simpler cases.

I still feel that it is good for a lot of basic opening hours tagging, but please review the opening_hours specification.

There is also a validator tool that I don't quite understand how to use, perhaps someone can explain in the comments? now has OSM-powered bike routing for Western Europe

Posted by Richard on 17 July 2014 in English (English)

I've been working on this for a while and am delighted to be able to unveil it!, my OSM-powered cycling site, now has bike routing for Western Europe: France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland.

You can try it at

It's built with (patched) OSRM and a complex custom profile. It takes account of elevation, cycle routes, surface quality and more. All routes are fully draggable; you can export to GPX, TCX, and PDF, and save routes if you create an account. The cartography is specially designed for the site.

Here's a ride along the Rhine:

Rhine cycleway

Or if you fancy cycling over Mont Ventoux:

Mont Ventoux

Routing details

If it doesn't follow a route you'd expect it to take, this is usually because surface tags are missing.

For example, here in France, the canalside path is tagged as 'highway=path' with no surface tags. guesses that paths in rural areas have poor quality surfaces, so will try not to route along them. Adding a 'surface=gravel' tag to this path, which the aerial imagery suggests, will make the router like it. (Access tags are also good.)

Miscellaneous notes

  • The tileserver is a little slow - please be gentle!
  • There are occasional inconsistencies in the tiles - old styles that haven't refreshed yet.
  • You can't route between the UK and mainland Europe (there's a big lake in the way. Only Chris Froome is allowed to cycle through the tunnel and look how far it got him)
  • I'm planning on weekly updates but it'll be less often at first.
  • Known issue with highway=trunk, bicycle=yes getting undue prominence.
  • Known issue with fahrradstrassen/fietsstraten not being prioritised.
  • You can switch from miles to km if you create an account and set user preferences. It'll be a bit smarter about defaulting to km for Europe soon, but I need to do a bit of work to enable that. Edit: Now defaults to km for routes in Europe.

Still lots to improve but I hope you like it - and, as ever, thanks to all the mappers who have contributed all the lovely data.

You can post comments/bugs/suggestions here, of course, or on the site forum itself.

Experimental Overpass attic support in Achavi (augmented change viewer)

Posted by ikonor on 17 July 2014 in English (English)

achavi screenshot

As you might know, Overpass API has a new "attic data" feature (see Overpass API v0.7.50 almost done and SotM EU workshop). It allows to query for augmented changes by date range and bounding box. I'm very excited about this, because it now really makes sense for visualizing updates in an area, while iterating over minutely augmented diffs was a bit of an overkill. So I couldn't resist and made a hack to utilize this in Achavi:

Zoom in to your area of interest and press load to see changes within the last 24 hours. For continuous monitoring bookmark the Permalink and simply press load each time, the last load date will be preset as start date.

The old version will probably be replaced once the attic database is rebuilt. Code is in the attic branch (only for the brave).

Many thanks to Roland for implementing the attic feature!


There also is an experimental feature for visualizing changesets:

  • drag & drop a changeset link onto the map
    (e.g. URL from changeset page or changeset link from WhoDidIt feed)
  • or use "changeset" URL parameter (optional "&relations=true"),
    e.g. .../achavi/?changeset=24168261

Load URL or file

Augmented diff files - i.e. the result of a custom attic adiff query - can also be loaded:

  • drag & drop local file onto the map
  • or pass the URL to a file as "url" parameter,
    e.g. /achavi/?url=http://.../charging_stations.xml
    This example is an uploaded result of the following query selecting updated charging stations for the recent Wochenaufgabe (en: Project of the week):[adiff:"2014-07-01T00:00:00Z","2014-07-14T24:00:00Z"];((area["name:de"="Deutschland"];area["name:de"="Schweiz"];area["name:de"="Österreich"];);node["amenity"="charging_station"](area);>;);out meta geom;

Note that the url feature is somewhat limited due to cross-origin security constraints.


  • attic data goes back until September 2012 (license change)
  • inconsistencies in old attic data (before June), there will be a database rebuild to fix
  • smaller bounding boxes (>= z15) take a couple of seconds, while larger can take one or two minutes or may time out, esp. with relations
  • only basic support for Relations in Achavi, thus disabled by default, check 'relations' to include
  • Achavi as a whole is still alpha
  • live update feature is removed for now, probably makes sense to separate. Has anybody been using this?
  • ...


Unsure. Right now, there is other stuff I want to get on with. And before adding any more new features, some major refactoring should be done and probably switching to Leaflet.

Of course there is a lot to improve and there are many ideas, e.g.

  • having the textual list of changes of Roland's demo combined with the drill-down summary of Frederik's "Cool Name Goes Here" (WIP), both interacting with map visualization.
  • another idea was to somehow integrate the change visualization into Overpass Turbo to filter changes with your own attic queries, perhaps along with some custom MapCSS styling.
  • highlight only changed segments, esp. for long ways (landuses) and relations
  • ...

Welcome !

Posted by lib2know on 17 July 2014 in English (English)

Welcome to my OpenStreetMap Blog !

These are my very first contributions on OpenStreetMap. Thanks for any hint to improve my mapping!

My first two sessions were just details like buildings, amenities and shops. Even a few very tiny paths and streets which are not obvious on the satellite pictures. Especially shadows of the late afternoon sun and trees hided them.

Very funny: 216 changes now! My initial idea was just to add the restaurant Prat Gran in La Massana where Andorra's weekly Linux meeting is located:

If there is any Andorran mapper out there, or a mapper is willing to visit our little country, please send me a message :-) English, Catala, Spanish, German emails will be understood. cheers lib2know

Fictional cartography and trap streets

Posted by ndm on 16 July 2014 in English (English)

Interesting article on fictional cartography and trap streets:

Native English speakers: Please take action when a Tag name is wrong!

Posted by AndiG88 on 16 July 2014 in English (English)

A comment on the disussion page is often not enough.

After spending a lot of time in the Wiki recently it was really surprising to see how many errors there are when it comes to spelling and to using British English even on well established tags. And some of then are just REALLY obvious like vending=news_papers, which comes from this proposal 8 years ago and just one person pointed it out.

The reason I post this is because I just saw the other diary entry about sport=beachvolleyball...Those errors are more common than people think and become more difficult to fix for every day that goes by.

British English

Even more important if you notice that AE was used, because a lot less people will realize that. For example shop=jewelry is AE and while pointed out on the page itself as well as the talk page nothing happened. What makes it even better is that craft=jeweller is mentioned twice on the same page.

See Also

In some way this is also a follow up to my last diary entry: Please create Wiki entries for Tags!, because for example as pointed out translation errors can become a lot more obvious if you put a image next to them or just looking for an image you might notice the spelling is wrong.

PS: Obviously everybody should act when realizing a tag is wrong, but many errors will probably not be noticed on the spot by non-native speakers, especially AE vs. BE.

Colchester Borough Council address rules

Posted by Peter Mead on 16 July 2014 in English (English)

I've been reading up on the guidlines that Colchester Borough Council publish on how they manage addresses and create address for new buildings. Here's a summary of the interesting points.

Rules for Existing Addresses

  • Under Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847, Section 65 the occupiers of a house are required to show the house number, and replace it if it become unreadable. If they fail to do so a house number will be added whether they like it or not, which they'll then be charged for, and fined £20.
  • Under Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847, Section 64 anyone who puts up the wrong house number will be fined £25. Anyone who damages house numbers or street names will also be fined £25.

Rules for New Street Names

  • No duplicate street names in the whole Borough, even if in different towns or villages.
  • No similar street names in the same town/village. This includes street names that differ by thoroughfare type, e.g. Butterworth Drive and Butterworth Road, and phonetically similar names, e.g. Willows Avenue and Winnows Avenu.
  • Simple spelling. Words of more than three syllables should be avoided. Street names can't start with "The", and preferably be no more than two words long. Words can't end in "s" to avoid ambiguity between possessive or plural. All punctuation, including apostrophes, shall be avoided.
  • Do not cause offense. Street names that may be considered or construed as obscene, racist, sexist, etc. are not allowed. Streets won't be named after living people to prevent elitism. Street names that could be graffitied or shortened into something offensive should be avoided.

Rules for New House Numbering on New Streets

  • New streets should be numbered with odd numbers on the left hand side and even numbers on the right. The direction of the street is from the "primary entrance" or the end of the street nearest the centre of the town/village.
  • Consecutive numbering may be used in a cul-de-sacs.
  • Number 13 cannot be ommitted.
  • At intersections between roads the houses are assigned to streets based on which one the front door opens onto.
  • Whether new build flats are assigned house numbers depends on how easy it is to get to the front doors.

Rules for New House Numbering on Old Streets

  • New houses should be numbered rather than named, unless adding to an existing street which is only named.
  • Letter should be used as a suffix, e.g. 15A.
  • New flat buildings will be treated the same as cul-de-sacs. The block of flats will be named and the flats numbered, e.g. 1 Fiddlers House, 27 Ipswich Road.
  • Houses converted to flats should have the flat numbers, e.g. Flat 1, Flat 2 etc., and not letters or names, e.g. Flat A, First Floor Flat, etc.

Generall Addressing

  • Garages, sheds, greenhouses, etc. in a street will not be numbered.
  • Land parcels will not be given addresses, only properties.


Posted by The Big C on 13 July 2014 in English (English)

Having worked with individual planners in Lesotho to map the country in February, and with work continuing very gradually ever since we now have the towns of Mafeteng, Qacha's Nek and Hlotse finished or close to being finished. The vast bulk of the rest of the country remains unmapped other than the national highways and the tourist spots.

#MapLesotho is now a big push to crowdsource in the extra help needed to create a decent basemap of the Kingdom. It takes place on July 25th 2014.

Watching the Watchlist

Posted by mvexel on 12 July 2014 in English (English)

I like the Watchlist on the wiki - it helps me keep track of changes to pages I care about. When you are logged in, you will see a link to your Watchlist in the top right corner:

watchlist link

If you click on it, you get an overview of changes to the pages you added to your watchlist:


You can filter the output in various ways to make the result less cluttered.

Adding pages to your watchlist is simple - just click the star at the top of a page:


The biggest drawback is that you actually have to go to the page. I would rather be notified of changes on my phone.

This is where the Atom feed comes in. On your Watchlist page, you will find it in the left margin:

watchlist atom

The Atom link provides the latest items on your watchlist as a feed, meant for software to do something useful with. Much like RSS. Actually, if you use an RSS reader, you can probably add the Atom link to your reader.

I don't use RSS readers, but I do use IFTTT, or If This Than That. IFTTT is a very smart web site that you can feed all kinds of information from the internet, and perform actions on it based on triggers. For example, it can send you a text message whenever it is going to rain, based on weather data it gathers. IFTTT calls these things Recipes. People have come up with tons of useful recipes, and IFTTT is constantly adding interesting input options.

Let me show you how I created a simple IFTTT Recipe to get a notification on my phone every time someone updates an OSM wiki page I am watching.

First, if you don't have an account with IFTTT yet, create one.

Once you are logged in, you will be able to create new Recipes:


The first step in creating a Recipe is defining your 'this' or input:


Click 'this' and choose 'Feed' from the list:

choose feed

You can choose to pull this trigger on each new Feed item or just one that matches a certain string.

choose each or filter

Choose 'new feed item'. In the next step, you paste the Atom URL:

copy link

paste link

Then click to Create the Trigger.

This is the 'this' step that takes care of the input. IFTTT will monitor your Watchlist through the Atom feed and pull this Trigger every time it sees something new. I am not quite sure how often it goes and looks, but it's about every 10-15 minutes in my experience.

Next is the 'that' step, or what do you want to do when the Trigger is pulled?

that step

options that

There are a lot of options, most of which you will need to 'activate' by downloading an app for your phone, linking another account, or something similar so that IFTTT knows what to talk to on your end. IFTTT has native apps for iOS and Android that it can talk to to send you notifications. This is probably your easiest option if you want notifications on your phone.

notifications apps

You activate these 'Channels' by downloading the app from your app store and linking it to your IFTTT account. I use a third party notification app called Pushover myself, because it has an API that can receive notifications from elsewhere as well. If you don't care about that, go with the IFTTT apps or even the SMS Channel option. The example here assumes Pushover, but the steps are the same.

Once you have selected a 'that' Channel, you may need to choose between various output options. Pushover for example has two, normal and 'high priority'. In the app, you can have these two types trigger different alert types / sounds.

pushover prio

In the next step, you get to craft what your notification looks like:

notification definition

The text with a grey background will be replaced by text from the feed when the notification gets sent out. There are some more of these placeholders available under the + button:


Unfortunately, there is no 'preview' available, so sometimes it takes a little guess work to see what the results will look like.

I ended up with this:

notification result

The final step is to create the Recipe.

Now, when someone edits a wiki page on the OSM wiki that is on your watchlist, you will know right away!

notifications in action

(Note that these notifications are not about editing wiki pages :) I did not take a screen shot of those yet. The notifications you see here show whenever someone edits OSM in your area - something I wrote about on my old blog a while ago.

Please create Wiki entries for Tags!

Posted by AndiG88 on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

I have been spending some time in the Wiki recently cleaning up a lot of tags, mostly emergency= and vending=. The one thing I noticed over and over again was that the lack of a initial tag page often causes problems that could have been easily avoided (Translation errors, different understandings how to use a tag or even definitions on different wiki pages). It also allows you to link to similar tags (or be liked to), proposals, wikiepdia pages etc. which helps a lot.

Creating a new page

There are a lot of different ways, the easiest is probably that you just klick on a tag red link. Another option is to open a similar tag and just change the URL or just replace it here and hit enter.

Always use the Template

99.99% of the time you need the first one. Just copy the whole first column from the grey table into the empty wiki page you created. Now you should at least always add key= & value= One of the main benefits of the template is that it includes the language bar. It's also from where taginfo gets its description.

DO NOT DELETE ANY LINES YOU LEFT EMPTY! It does not have any negative impact. There is nothing more annoying than wanting to improve a page later and you have to go to the template and find the parameter.


Add images, especially in the template. Especially with all the translation errors this can go a long way.

Upload file:

But you can also link to any file from wiki commons ( Best way to find images is with google:

Found nothing? You can always look on Flicker or other websites for images licensed under CC. There is also a Uploader for Wiki Commons which checks the license and creates the attribution for you.

Countdown to #MapLesotho International Mapathon on 25th July - 14 days to go

Posted by DaCor on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

Its been a busy few weeks since we kicked off plans for the #MapLesotho and there has been a lot of activity going on since my last diary post.


Plenty of activity and support showing up for our hashtag #MapLesotho with lots of people supporting this activity

International #MapLesotho Mapathons

  • Maseru, Lesotho - Regional planners and local OpenStreetMap members will be having their Mapathon at a location to be confirmed
  • Medialab Katowice - In conjunction with OpenStreetMap Poland, are having an event
  • Fingal Council - Irish OpenStreetMap members in conjunction with Fingal Council will be having a mapathon on 25th July in the County Hall in Swords, Dublin
  • Munster, Germany - A group of students will be hosting their own mapathon, again at a location to be confirmed

Individual Mappers Taking Part

There has been a fantastic response with mappers from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Canada, Ghana, India & Japan all signing up on an individual basis to take part.

Current Tasks

If you would like to assist, but will not be able to do any mapping on 25th July, there are currently 3 open tasks for mapping Lesotho cities Hlotse, Mafeteng and the northern part of the capital, Maseru. Please feel free to take a tile and participate in those tasks.

Spread The Word!

We would ask that people please spread the word for this mapathon as we hope to map large portions of Lesotho during it and simply put, we need a lot of people to do it.

If you wish to spread the word, please use hashtag #MapLesotho and shortlink

Plymouth is really in the South West

Posted by Amaroussi on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap would like to assure the UK Department for Transport that we are not the data source that placed cities in the wrong regions. You might have confused us with OpenGeoFiction: the title of that map was so obviously clear.

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about anything notable, from a stretch of motorway to a humble tree. A majority of what is on the map comes from what they actually saw. What you see is what you get.

The remainder comes from non-copyrighted sources, such as dataset donations from the likes of MapBox to help newbies get started, other ODbL compatible data like nananananananana NaPTAN!... and legislative texts from most countries.

This is why OpenStreetMap is one of the most accurate and up to date maps in the world. When the new Indian State of Telangana came into effect on 2 June 2014, PlaneMad immediately uploaded the necessary boundaries, in the right location. BAM! Just like that.

OpenStreetMap knows that because anyone can contribute to the map, vandalism can happen: however, OpenStreetMap will quickly revert such edits faster than the time it takes to top-up your Oyster card, and deal with them like the Terminator: Hasta la vista! The chances of downloading vandalised data is one in a googol, and even then the end user can catch and correct most vandalism in minutes.

Judging by the screenshots in the BBC article, the Maybe the UK Department for Transport should quit Google and come to us. Once you get used to OpenStreetMap, you'll never see Google in the same way.

Location: Pennycomequick, Plymouth, South West England, England, United Kingdom

User Tracks

Posted by Nick-Malvern on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

Just a small suggestion. User tracks are displayed in a very light feint blue - on many backgrounds they are very difficult to see! How about a slightly brighter trace?


Posted by Memoire on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

So, I'm a newbie, but I've caught on quick. I really like this project and hope to contribute more in the future. I've made my focus the Black Hills; this is where I'm located, and the coverage of the area is mediocre. I was especially disappointed by the state of the mapping of Deadwood, one of the most legendary towns in the American West... so I fixed 'er up! Or, at least, as well as little new me can.

I'm calling for help to outline parts of the US, especially the Midwest, that are often overlooked.

If you're also from the Black Hills, or, well, just want to chat, feel free to contact me here on OSM.

I feel nostalgic

Posted by Amaroussi on 10 July 2014 in English (English)

The title explains most of this post: given that OpenStreetMap is 10 years old this month, I wonder if anyone still has the original default map style, so I can render today's London in 2004's Mapnik (or its predecessor), preferably in Maperitive?

I've only got Maperitive, so if it isn't possible then can the OSM community help me accomplish this?


Location: Mildmay Park, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Broken multipolygons in California

Posted by bdon on 10 July 2014 in English (English)

I've created a Gist of invalid multipolygon relations in California (having Closed ways that do not form a complete ring)

New Twitter account: @OSMBristol

Posted by Laurence on 10 July 2014 in English (English)

Just started a Twitter account for Bristol OSMers. If London has its own, then surely Bristol deserves one too.

Tweet at @OSMBristol if you want something mentioned. If you sound trustworthy, you might even get the password!

White Sands Missile Range

Posted by J B Crawford on 9 July 2014 in English (English)

Previously, OpenStreetMap has shown the White Sands Missile Range and related military installations here in New Mexico to include their "call-up" areas, or areas reserved for occasional use.

I am currently in the process of redefining this area in OSM to include only the main part of the range. I think the reasons for this are worth discussing. When users see a military installation marked on a map, particularly one shown in red diagonal stripes as the standard renderer shows it, they probably mainly expect restricted access. However, the call-up areas surrounding White Sands are entirely open to the public except for rare scheduled closures, during which signs are put up. Lately, many of the northern and western call-up areas have not had closures in quite some time.

Map users will likely be confused to see a large area marked on the map as a military reservation, but then to find no fence or any other kind of indications at the marked border. This is because the security fence is possibly many miles farther in, around the actual main area. The new outline will reflect the location of the security fence (the point at which public access is no longer allowed), which I think is the best representation of "what is on the ground."

That said, it may be useful to mark the call-up areas, and so I plan to add outlines that enclose them, but I am not sure about how to tag these.

A good source of fairly up-to-date and authoritative information on this is the White Sands Missile Range Proposed Land Use and Airspace Strategy Plan (LUASP), which you can find online. It provides names and definitions for the call-up areas and main range, as well as maps which usually show enough detail to allow you to locate the fenceline in satellite images.

I hope that this change will be useful to people like me that use OSM as a source of information for offroading, because the old outlines marked as inaccessible a huge amount of land, some of which is very beautiful and isolated country in the Quebradas, when that land is actually perfectly open to the public as long as there are not posted closures (which I have never once seen happen in the northern FIX area).

FYI for anyone else who works on this area: the entire call-up area north of the main range I am marking is called Fix, to the west of the main range, from north to south, are call-up areas Aerobee, Abres North, and Abres South.

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

San Francisco building footprint data completed

Posted by lxbarth on 9 July 2014 in English (English)

We've completed work on the San Francisco building footprint dataset. We added or modified over 150,000 buildings in about 5 months of tracing with a team of three. My colleague Ruben just posted stats on the Mapbox blog. Here's an animation of all changes.

Location: West SoMa, San Francisco, San Francisco City and County, California, 94103, United States of America
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