Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

There appears to be new Bing and Mapbox Satellite imagery.

Posted by alexz3 on 31 August 2014 in English (English)

This is good news for people who have been tracing tracks in remote areas that didn't have bing imagery or gps tracks recorded.

Mapbox Satellite is visible as an available background in the Potlatch 2 editor.


Posted by kaisako on 30 August 2014 in English (English)


Location: Michalová, District of Brezno, Region of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Adding data to Cypress Cay and Gateway Elementary

Posted by iansan5653 on 30 August 2014 in English (English)

I have added a ton of data to Cypress Cay, Fort Myers, FL and Gateway Elementary School, which is next door. Before I continue, I'd like some feedback on what I have added. I am relatively new to this, so I just need to know what I am doing wrong/right. Please check it out and give feedback.

Location: GES Bus Ramp, Gateway, Lee County, Florida, 33913, United States of America

Long Path

Posted by rescue on 29 August 2014 in English (English)

Currently working on adding the Long Path to the map.

More information:

Any help, especially GPX files would be most helpful.

Kenosha Mapping

Posted by JacalynK on 29 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm currently in the process of creating a working map of Kenosha, WI. This is where I am from so it is a relatively easy task. Much of the city has already been done, however not very thoroughly. I am frustrated that, while there are so many polygons created, none have any information attached with it. The whole purpose of doing something like this should extend beyond simply placing points, lines, and polygons.

So I'm slowly working on not only fixing many lines which are not drawn accurately, but also including important information. Part of me wishes that I could just erase everything and start from scratch! I guess that is what you get when you are a "neat freak".

Changing the real world to map the renderer....

Posted by kevjs1982 on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

I know that tagging for the renderer is frowned upon but how about changing the real world to match the renderer, which is what indeed appears to be happening to the national cycle network over in Derbyshire...

"It has come to our notice after studying both Sustrans and Open Street maps, that numbers of the NCN Routes on the ground in the Etwall area differ from those on the maps. This is the result of stretches of new routes being built piecemeal over the years.


This is a far more logical way to number these routes, so we are proposing to change the signing to agree with the maps. "

(Now watch the map change to match current reality until the signs are changed :p )

Location: Etwall CP, South Derbyshire, Derbyshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Missing Maps Project mapathon - 26th August at British Red Cross building

Posted by Tallguy on 28 August 2014 in English (English)


If you followed a link in a message to get to this diary entry, you're probably one of the people who went to the event. I'm the old, tall, bald & bearded one who stood at the front & talked for part of the time.

The event was laid on by a large team of people all hoping that we could give new mappers the information they need to get started mapping for HOT, from , but I think we're all aware that with such a big group of people 'zero to hero' is unlikely in the 2 hours that were available. We've given you a start & we're planning to help you keep going, but we do need you to try! It's 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.

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 & it's worth reading them. contains more information and links.

I'll be validating shortly, and I always try to leave feedback on the squares I validate – I'm intending to start on (#606 - Central African Republic. Refugees in Cameroon, Garoua-Boulaï - Meidougou ), and then move on to (#624 - Ebola Outbreak, Eastern counties, Liberia, road network ) . I have other bits & pieces to do as well, so please bear with me if it takes a long time before your squares are validated.

There will be other Missing Maps Project events, and I hope you can come to another. We have concentrated on the information for new mappers, and kept things simple so far, but there is plenty of scope for variety, with faster methods of editing, importing the names of objects after surveys 'in the field' by local people, and perhaps you would like to try validating?

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)

Water in OpenStreetMap

Posted by Peda on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

This article is supposed to give a brief introduction about water in OpenStreetMap. It will show you typical errors made by mappers and how they can be fixed with the help of MapRoulette.

The Water Network

Mapping water in OSM can be divided into two categories. On the one hand there are area types of water like ponds, lakes, reservoirs and even whole river areas (waterway=riverbank) and as a special case the sea (natural=costline). On the other hand there are simple ways, the waterways: These are rivers, streams, canals, ditches and drains.

The water network is thus built by the waterways. This also means that a broad river mapped as riverbank additionally contains a waterway=river in between. Thereby the direction of the way also denotes the direction of the water flow. If you follow a river or stream, you should at some point reach a big lake or the see. How to identify the direction of a way is explained on this wiki page.

Unfortunately the water network in OSM is broken at many places. As a result, some rivers appear to flow uphill or spring from the sea.

SRTM and MapRoulette

SRTM provides height data for mostly the whole planet for free. It makes it possible to determine for any waterway in OSM if it flows downhill or uphill. Though the data is unprecise, many waterways are quite long which makes it quite reliable to identify the direction of flow for many rivers and streams. However, one can't advise to start an automatic mass edit based on SRTM. MapRoulette Having said that, there's a neat project called MapRoulette, helping to solve such problems by letting the OSM community decide on small tasks. Thus there is a new challenge in MapRoulette to check on the waterway's direction. Each task is one waterway that supposedly flows uphill and its flow direction has to be turned.

The difficulty of the tasks will grow over time. If the difference of height is some hundred of meters it's simple in most cases. For smaller differences, e.g. 10 meters, it might well be a error in SRTM. However, the challenge will start with the easy tasks. And still there will be extra help: Each task's instruction contains the height difference from the start to the end of the way as an additional help.

False Positives

It's not always as easy as one might think. There are some cases that need special attention that are listed below. * A canal might be tagged as a river or stream. In contrast to rivers or streams a canal may "flow" uphill. Particularly: What's the direction of a canal anyway? * Not every fork is a confluence. There are cases where a river splits up into two ways. * There are rivers and streams that dry out or drain away. Thus they "disappear" from the map. But you may not conclude that this is a spring.

Errors and Error Detection

The following paragraph will show some scenes with errors in the water network. It should give you an impression, how to determine (and repair) common mistakes.

All screenshots showing imagery are proprietary and based on GEOIMAGE-AUSTRIA® (c.f. wiki)


In mountainous regions you typically get a large difference in height. An example of this can be seen in the following JOSM screenshots: The complete stream, the start and the end of the stream all end start As one can clearly see, the stream originates high up in the mountains and finally leads in a larger river in the valley. Downloading the data in the surrounding area one can additionaly check, if the stream and river are connected or not. The right image below shows the result after correcting the direction of the way. data fixed


If you check a waterway, it is also wise to investigate the complete way for forks. It happens quite often that more than one stream flows uphill as it was tagged by the same author. This might look like this: multiple

Water Mouth

Quite easy cases are rivers and streams that end in the sea. This can be detected, as the waterway is connected to the coastline. Thus, the way's direction has to lead to the sea. coastline

Defective Parts of the Way

In some cases only parts of a waterway are directed in incorrect. In these cases one part has to be wrong, but one also has to be cautious to correctly determine which part is wrong. wrong

Additional Notes

The network of waterways should be fully linked. Thus, it is advisable to also verify that ever way's end is connected to the next waterway. Especially ways should not end at riverbanks but at a river or stream.

Further typical errors or missing notes are welcome. I'd add them here

Any changeset's source tag should at least contain SRTM as a source.

What's up with the GPS traces?

Posted by pkoby on 27 August 2014 in English (English)

I've noticed recently that a lot of the GPS traces in my area are doing weird things. Many of the traces are fine, but a good portion of them are what can only be described as 'dashed'. I thought it might not be just mine, so I checked other areas of the world, and it's happening other places too.

Here's a sample from my region. Most of those traces are my own, but some are dashed and others are smooth. I think that the dashed ones are more recent. Screenshot of weird traces

What's also perplexing is that I can download the trace from OSM, and it displays all the detail that there should be.

Does anyone know what's going on?

EDIT: I looked back over my traces, and everything back to about July 26 is fine, but prior to that for a couple months is all funky.

Very impressed with Vespucci

Posted by Pgd81 on 27 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm a bit behind the times with smartphones. I only got my first a couple of years ago, a small-screened, low-powered model on a cheap-ish contract. It did the job, but I recently upgraded to a far more powerful, larger-screened model with 4G capability and WOW suddenly I'm finding I can do all sorts of cool things. One of those things is OSM-ing on-the-go with Vespucci. I'd heard about it ages ago but dismissed it (who'd want to fiddle around with a phone when you can sit at home with JOSM?), but I installed it recently and it's brilliant. Smooth, intuitive, & great features like the "recall last tags" button and the fact it won't let you download new areas without finishing off the last area. I've become a father recently so don't have time for long hikes in the country right now, so instead I'm doing small things like POIs and addresses whilst walking to the station, and uploading them via Vespucci on the train to work. Perfect.

Presenting about Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap at Wikimania 2014

Posted by seav on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Eugene Villar giving his presentation

Photo Ⓒ Harry Wood, CC-BY-SA 2.0

Over two weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Wikimania 2014 in London. Wikimania is the annual conference for the Wikimedia movement, which includes the Wikipedia project. Coincidentally, the conference occurred on the same weekend as the 10th anniversary of OpenStreetMap. As my way of celebrating the anniversary, I gave a presentation about the collaborations between OpenStreetMap and the Wikimedia projects at the conference.

Read more at my blog.

Presentation slides.

Location: Saint Luke's, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

What's new in uMap

Posted by ybon on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Here is an overview of the changes made in uMap recently:

The biggest change, even if it's not the more spectacular, is that Leaflet.Draw has been replaced by Leaflet.Editable as drawing engine. The goal was to have more control over the API, have touch support, and have multipolygon/polyline support. For now two enhancements come from that move:

  • It's now possible to continue a line. There are two ways to achieve this: right click on the last (or first) vertex of the line, or ctrl-click on the first or last vertex:

continue a line

  • It's now possible to draw (and edit) polygon holes: right-click inside of a polygon to start creating a hole:

create a hole

Next step is to handle multipolygon and multipolyglines editing and touch support (Leaflet.Editable is ready for that, but uMap itself need a bit more work).

  • when clicking on an element (marker, polygon…), it's now possible to open a panel, instead of the classic Leaflet popup

popup panel

example of story mapping activate slideshow

  • When using a clustered layer, it's now possible to define the cluster text color:

change cluster text color

  • Added a basic GPX and KML download, thanks to togpx and tokml:

download data

  • Until a proper multipolylines support, they are now merged (instead of being skipped) at import

  • A table editor allows to edit all elements of a layer in one view:

table editor

  • sometimes, we want a polygon to act as background, without being clickable. This is now possible trough the clickable option.

  • it's now possible to take control of the popup template using variables. Those variables will be populated dynamically from the elements properties. For example, let's say you have imported a geojson having the following properties: price, name, image, description; by default, only the name and the description will be displayed. But you can now take control of this. Here is an example of template to use with such data:

    # {name}
    Price: **{price}**
  • Added shortCredit (displayed in the attribution bar) and longCredit (displayed in the caption panel) properties, for more custom captions

  • a basic HTTP concurrency control has been added: if two persons edit a given layer of a same map in the same time, the last to save will be prompted that its changes will erase the changes made by someone else and asked for confirm before really saving:

example of save conflict

  • the "filter" field in the data browser was only filtering on the name property of the elements; this can be now controlled in the map properties

  • added a datalayers parameter, to override which layers will be visible on map load (useful to have different URLs for the same map, or when using the iframe exporter)

  • it's now possible to set a marker lat/lng properties by hand:

set marker latlng

More about uMap on the wiki:

Good umaping!

How do I indoor map my building?

Posted by acaprojects on 25 August 2014 in English (English)

Hi, I would like to upload floor plans to create some indoor maps. Is this possible with OpenStreetMap?

We'll map our office as a test and then our client wants to include indoor maps in their app. A point in the right direction would be helpful.


Jon Director,

State Parks and National Parks

Posted by mvexel on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

There is a well-established definition for tagging National Parks in OpenStreetMap.

Hoge Veluwe Nationaal Park Hooge Veluwe National Park Image credit: Wikipedia

The definition,

A national park is a relatively large area of land declared by a government (just as boundary=administrative are declared/recognised by governments), to be set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, animal and environmental protection

would also apply to the many State Parks in the United States, and perhaps provincial and state parks in other countries as well. However, the boundary=national_park page does not give any specific guidance. I am about to map some state parks in my home state Utah, and I will tag them with boundary=national_park for now because they fit the definition.

How do you map state or provincial parks in your area?

OSM for users - in progress

Posted by H@mlet on 23 August 2014 in English (English)


Well it finally happened...

Posted by mcld on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

Well it finally happened... last night I went to a pub, and I printed out an OSM map to find the way. However, 8 days earlier, someone had moved the pub to the wrong location! That's the kind of risk we run in an open crowdsourced system.

Luckily my beer hunting skills outweighed my trust in open data and I found the pub eventually. Pint drunk, map fixed, crisis averted.

OpenStreetMap Sister Towns

Posted by mvexel on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

Playing MapRoulette, you get dropped in all these random locations on earth. This really makes my mind wander sometimes.

Here is Cambridge, Ohio:

Cambridge, Ohio Image credit: Wikipedia

A nice enough town. Probably friendly people. BUT NOT VERY MANY MAPPERS AMONG THEM:

Cambridge on OSM

A fellow mapper suggested this simple & brilliant idea: OSM Sister Towns. Why don't we team up towns (and cities) in need of mapping help with towns elsewhere in the world that have mapping forces to spare? They could use the Tasking Manager, MapRoulette, or just iD / JOSM with aerial imagery to help out the town in need. I foresee face to face meet-ups at SOTM and new global bonds of mapping friendship!

If you need something to do...

Posted by Linutux on 23 August 2014 in English (English)

...check out this area: There are tons and dozens of streets, that have completely wrong positions. It's just crazy! There is months of work to do.

Just switch on TIGER and Bing layer, zoom in a bit and you'll immediately see...


Posted by mvexel on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

Sometimes I wonder if those TIGER surveyors were just having a grand old time making up things as they drove past and casually looked out of the window of their cars...


This whole area needs lots of work - if you want to help out, that would be great!

(I have no personal or other connection to the area, but got dropped there by the MapRoulette 'Ways Needing Smoothing' challenge - freshly cleaned up, so most cases you get should now be real things to fix!

Oh, Amaroussi....

Posted by Amaroussi on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

This survey goes to eleven!

"We can't pay you to hold a mapping party at a location like that, even if it makes Knightsbridge less rubbish!"

Rest assured that it is not my intention to bankrupt OSM with surveys like this.

Location: Knightsbridge, Westminster, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
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