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Recent diary entries

Vespucci release candidate available via googles play store beta program

Posted by SimonPoole on 13 June 2015 in English (English)

As an experiment we have made the current release candidate available via the google play store beta program. This allows you to replace the release version from the play store with a pre-release version and back again.

To participate you need to:

The underlying reason for trying this out is that we currently do not get enough feedback from the testing period and this should make it easier for users that don't want to use alternative ways of installing apps to participate.


Did somebody delete Hyderabad, India?

Posted by bdiscoe on 13 June 2015 in English (English)

Not the entire city, but the place node, for Hyderabad, a city of over 7 million people... which currently has no label.

See the unlabeled city here:

It seems unlikely that there never was a label, which means that somebody probably deleted it accidentally, or otherwise accidentally changed it in some way which prevents it from appearing (e.g. change "place=city" to "place=City") It is also missing from Nominatim. Is there no bot or other process checking for when something huge like this disappears from the map?

Location: 17.338, 78.550

Mexico and INEGI present at New York City State of the Map US 2015

Posted by Andresuco on 12 June 2015 in English (English)

Last weekend, Miriam and me presented some of our findings at NYC State of the Map US 2015. We showed the work we have done so far by analyzing some of the datasets released by the INEGI (Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography).

The importance of this presentation was to kickoff the discussion for the use of government geographic data released in Mexico under the new terms of use "Libre Uso MX" as well as giving the audience an idea of the quality of the data that could potentially enrich the OSM map of Mexico.

You can find the presentation slides here and the video of all the presentations including ours at the SOTM US website.

Mexico presentes en SOTM US 2015

If you are interested in supporting the analysis and extraction of INEGI data to improve the map of Mexico in OSM please send me a message or follow any of the Mexico's OpenStreetMap community channels at @OpenStreetMapMX , OSM Mexico in FB and

OAM-QGIS-plugin: Features and GUI design

Posted by tassia on 11 June 2015 in English (English)

Plugin required features

We have listed the following features to be included in the plugin first version:

  • select input data (from individual files, a VRT or a loaded layer)
  • insert/load/change metadata
  • validate metadata
  • choose OIN upload destination
  • upload transaction
  • notify OAM of new OIN resource
  • trigger tile service on OAM
  • authenticate to OAM (if requesting tile service)
  • provide additional OAM metadata (if requesting tile service)
  • re-projecting to EPSG:3857 (optional)
  • convert format to GeoTIFF RGB (optional)

Regarding the metadata acquisition, we didn't discuss yet about what can be extracted automatically from the GeoTIFF and what needs to be informed by the user.

GUI design

The list of features guided the plugin GUI design. I've first chosen Pencil as a GUI prototyping and sketching tool. It is a cross-platform tool based on mozilla firefox which can be installed as a Firefox extension, being accessible through its tools menu.

These quick tutorials demonstrate what can be done with pencil:

The draft mockups I've made with pencil are available in our repository. Here is the extracted png image:

Draft mockup with pencil

Later on, when I was studying Qt-creator I discovered Qt-designer, a GUI prototying tool that does exactly what I needed for my draft mockups with the advantage that it generates code. With Qt-designer, the generated .ui file (a xml) can be later compiled into python code using the command pyuic4.

The other advantage of using Qt-designer is that we can be sure that every element placed in the GUI will have a Qt representation, while with Pencil we could be planning to use elements in a way that might be difficult or even not possible to implement. And even though both programs generate xml files to represent graphical elements, the one genereted by Qt-designer is much cleaner and can be easily edited with a text editor if needed.

The wireframes developed with qt-designer (xml and images) are also available in our repository. Below you have a snapshot of the current version. We are willing to have feedbacks to evolve the design, so if you have any comments or criticism, don't hesitate to get in touch!

Draft mockup with qt-designer - imagery tab

Draft mockup with qt-designer - metadata tab

Draft mockup with qt-designer - options tab

Draft mockup with qt-designer - upload tab

About Qt-creator

Qt-creator is a cross-platform, multi-language and multi-purpose IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Originally developed for C++, Javascript and QML, it currently also supports Python and other languages via its plugin architecture. Not only Qt applications are developed using Qt-creator, but any kind of application written in one of the supported languages.

Debbugging and version control system are some of the features integrated in the development enviroment (within the IDE). Another important tool is the management of translations. We can mark strings as translatable let Qt-creator take care of the rest. Among other features there are code highlighting, various navigation/documentation short-cuts, sessions saving, kits (set of settings) and screen split.

Qt-creator manual can be consulted as a reference. For a quick demostration of the IDE I've watched some videos, such as "Introduction to Qt Creator" by Tobias Hunger, a software engineer from the Qt Company.

Here is the demo summary, for future reference:

  • Ctrl-K: powerfull tool for searching code ("c " search for classes)
  • Navigation
    • ESC: go (closer) to code
    • Alt-Left/Alt-Right: history-based cursor navigation
    • Ctrl-Tab/Ctrl-Shift-Tab: pops-up and rotate among open documents
    • F1,F2,F4: Help, follow symbol, switch header/source files
  • Refactoring
    • Ctrl-Shift-U, Ctrl-Shift-R: find usages, rename
    • Alt-Return: quick fix

4. About Qt development

My next task in the project, scheduled for the following two weeks, is to rewrite the trial plugin used in my Outreachy application to include the list of required features listed above, but this time using qt-creator and QgisPluginCreator. So I thought it was time to study Qt more seriously.

I've decided to go for the basics and searched for a book, which usually builds up concepts without assuming previous knowledge from the reader. I am reading now "Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt: The Definitive Guide to PyQt Programming", and I still have a lot of reading to do...

Oxford routes.

Posted by Govanus on 11 June 2015 in English (English)

Following complaints from local map users about an arificial demotion of a main road I spent 7 hours adding features to premote the rendering of the part-time bus gate in the middle of the road with the lorry turning circles, cctv enforcement camera plus the enforcement zone relation need now and barrier gate tag with timings and used are:highway to clearly show several islands and two one-way cycle lanes area:highway and routing lined sidewalks and lots of extra route lines needed around the traffic island and and the turning circle....

Withen hours it was demoted again. So now I can't use the map for my client today as I hoped all of my efforts would allow.

Someone had mentioned in there reson a note about a list but as no place for where it was I worte this on its changeset and am repeating here:-

Regarding the A420 as it passes through the centre of Oxford.

{{{{{ Where is the list?

I've received complaints about this road being misrepresented. Ordence Survey and Goverment Departments local and National treat this as a major road. It has been rebuilt twice this mellenium because it has become worn out with traffic use. It has so many vehicals that it can still have a traffic queue stretching from Longwall to Turl Street in the rush hour when the through traffic restictions are still in place. Its the main 24hr spine route for two of the lorry access zones. Its wide enough to take five lanes of traffic and two more are dedicated to masses of local student tourist pedestians. It collects all the bus routes from the west side of the city to run down it and around and down St. Aldate's. As the Buses act as the Citys mass transit system and the majority of people working and living in the city avoid driving to the City Centre as it is officialy discoraged through inflated parking charges and a rejection of additional private parking provisons such as adding an underground car park to a college building when its not been already...

In what sort of way is it not a major primary road???

I can understand that a simple representaion of a way running like there is no time restrictions on minority users like cars, but I have spent 7 hours drawing features to highlight and premote the rendering of the traffic gate the runs for only about 10 meters about the width of the carrageway there. Unlike in the past when it was a single line of one colour I left it delibratly as a tertiary middle (when it should be the same as the rest) to delibratly force renders to make it look different to map readers. So on this basis the Note tags should be and had had a bit more time would have been removed for being out of date. I stopped short of using area:highway tags to show the area of a central reservation runnig from the gate to just beyond Queens Lane. For the reasons noted on the notes entered into OSM at that place.

I had warned these routes were likly to be reupgraded when I got the Ref's reentered on these roads last time they went as they are used in some signs and directions espcially for lorry drivers whose delivery diagrams include them.

So where do I have to take the argument to it mentions a list but not where to find it.. }}}}}}

I minded to remove the note and change the routes back to primary to hope the they may be rerendered in time for me to copy them for my client.

The road would not work without the restictions on through traffic as it would overload like other streets currently do at rush hour. Barriers on roads should be well rendered if used for road navigation to avoid this problem and a primary with dead ends isn't unusal as they occur oftern at coasts, land borders and road numbers fragment too like the A34 which after 1930's clasifing extension went from Manchester's City Centre to the middle of Winchester (in Hampshire) today you can travel from the M3 to the M40 by Newbury on one part there are part in and just around Birmingham and other isolated stretches running near stoke and into the middle of Manchester from the south.

ok enough of being annoyed.

I hope this infomation is useful to people.

Location: Grandpont, Oxford, Oxfordshire, South East, England, United Kingdom

Natural Atlas + OpenStreetMap

Posted by Brian Reavis on 11 June 2015 in English (English)

Yesterday Natural Atlas went live (read more)! It's a new topo map and guide to the outdoors that anyone can edit. We got tired of bouncing between guide books, sites for campsites, sites for hikes, google, etc when trying to plan a trip into the outdoors. Natural Atlas is a fix for that. It's a beautiful topo, where anything on the map can be clicked to bring up a page about it (that anyone can edit, add text, photos, and so on).

Topo Map

We love OpenStreetMap. Right click anywhere on the map and click "Edit Roads" to bring up the iD editor to edit OSM. Brandon Reavis and I have been working hard on sprucing up the Wyoming, Montana, Idaho area – particularly around outdoor points of interest (campgrounds, trailheads, etc)

Mapping Party in Iloilo City

Posted by maning on 11 June 2015 in English (English)

group photo

Last May 2015, I joined a mapping party in Iloilo co-organized by The Asia Foundation and several bike groups (IPAD Xtr, ICYC, iFOLD, Augustinian Cyclists) in the city. Originally, we designed to have an editing session using iD. But since most of them did not bring laptops, (they went to the meetup venue mostly on bikes of course!), we focused mapping using SmartPhones installed with OSMAnd.

kids mapping

Thanks to Erwin for updating the adding a new section on OSMAnd2 in learnOSM which I had to review early morning before the event. ;) The good thing with OSMAnd is that you have a lot of options for mapping, the bad thing with OSmAnd is that you have a lot of options for mapping. ;).


Anyway, we focused on using OSM plugin to map bike related POIs. There were some crashes on one device and we were not successful getting the plugin to work on iPhones/iOS. All in all, I think OSMAnd is perfect for groups like this. Even if they don't use any of the editor, they can continue contributing by just uploading POIs. There were some issues along the way such as some POIs in the middle of the sea and other with only name tags. We are fixing it now.


Here's my presentation notes/videos, mapper contributions and photos.

This post was originally shared in the OSM-PH mailinglist.

Location: Molo, East Timawa, Molo, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Western Visayas, 5000, Philippines

Power editing with OverpassTurbo and Level0

Posted by joost schouppe on 10 June 2015 in English (English)

Recently, I came across some villages in Bolivia which have "aldea" for a name. Upon closer inspection, I discovered there were over 600 in the country. The size of the problem is easy to find with Overpass Turbo. Just tell the wizard to search for name="aldea" and it will do everything you want. Thanks to the Argentine twitter feed, I knew that you can search for this in a whole country, as opposed to within a bounding box. Here's what the output looks like. I left some cases as a reference.

Obviously, the name tag is not for the description. These 'aldeas' were already properly classified as hamlet, village, etc, so there was no information in there. These were untouched nodes without a history. After brief consultation with the Bolivian community, I decided to go ahead.

Now, as a Potlach 2 mapper, I didn't know how to fix this in JOSM. I've opened JOSM maybe five times, and every time I shut the thing down after 15 minutes. I know.

I read some use cases for Level0 before, and this seemed to be one. It was much easier than I thought. After running the query, you can hit the "Export" button and choose Level0. This opens the Level0 editor. You still have to log in and allow the editor to access your account. Apart from that, I just copied the text to Notepad++ and did a Find and Replace for "name = aldea" to "fixme = needs a name". Hit save, and you just fixed 500 villages (max 500 objects per edit!).

Now I know, you shouldn't just mass edit these things and walk away. So I though why not create a Maproulette task to check these villages - maybe some of them had a duplicate node around with the name. After reading the simple guide to creating a Maproulette task, I changed my mind. But I did remember seeing a guide to taskfixing in Potlach. So I made a new query for the fixed villages. Didn't work when trying to load as a GPX, but worked a charm when I exported the query to GeoJSON format.

I already knew Overpass Turbo was a killer machine. I knew the beautiful maps you can build around these queries, like making an up to date map of the Belgian breweries in OSM. And now the combination with Level0 is another tool to turn people turned off by JOSM into power users.

And I didn't even need Help this time.

EDIT: I did get ahead of myself a bit: you really shouldn't do this before talking to the people who mapped these things. I'll do that now - it is an easy revert if in fact there is some very good reason for abusing the name tag on this scale.

Continuing OSM-PH's DRR Mapping with local communities

Posted by maning on 10 June 2015 in English (English)

One of the on-going initiatives by the local OSM Philippine volunteers is to go to local communities to assist in training the local population to update and use OSM for disaster risk reduction.

One partnership we are nurturing with is the DRR mapping work by the Philippine and Swiss Red Cross in small island communities in Busuanga, Palawan. Last April 2015, mappers GOwin, feyeandal and dichapabe, went to Busuanga to start the mapping community with the local government and Red Cross volunteers. After the training the online mapping community lead by GOwin continues to assist the Busuanga mappers in updating the maps.

This work was featured in an article in Channel News Asia.

CNA video

By combining local knowledge and OSM tools, we hope to continue building the local mapping capacity and data that will empower communities to respond to any crisis.

Location: Purok 2, Maglalambay, Busuanga, Palawan, Mimaropa, 5317, Philippines

First release candidate Vespucci 0.9.6

Posted by SimonPoole on 10 June 2015 in English (English)

A release candidate of 0.9.6 is available Note the "signed" APK is signed using the same key as used for the play store and should not need an uninstall if you are replacing a 0.9.5 install.

The only change that is forseen for release, outside off resolving any last minute issues, is inlcuding the release notes.


First two weeks in Outreachy

Posted by rekth on 10 June 2015 in English (English)

The project I'm contributing to through the Outreachy program is Usability Testing for the Tasking Manager User Interface. The kickoff for the internship was very powerful, yet loaded. Working remotely with someone I've never met has come to be – as opposed to my initial assumptions – quite easygoing and the community has been very welcoming and helpful in the first steps.

During the first two weeks of the internship I got introduced to the community and the workflow. The issues on github were reviewed and the label UI was added to those that were related to the user interface. There has been sorting of the issues in terms of primary (User UI, Admin UI etc) and sub-sorting (Frontpage, Instructions, Feedback etc). Additionally vague issues and those already dealt with have been asked to be clarified in order to either categorise them or close them.

The aim for sorting the issues was that when someone that wants to contribute for a specific issue, they can filter and see other closely related reported issues or feature requests. This also means that when we want to focus on a specific area in the Tasking Manager, for example the Frontpage, then again all we would have to do is filter out the issues that have been filed.

This week we will be working on identifying places that people have trouble with as end users of the Tasking Manager and we will gather ideas for forming a questionnaire for testing the user interface.

Missing Maps data in action (Burundi Crisis)

Posted by pedrito1414 on 9 June 2015 in English (English)

Just a quick note to say well done to everyone who contributed to Missing Maps task #1068.

Data contributed by you in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp is now being used by NGOs within the camp. The image below is a map of the camp, made by MSF and featured on reliefweb.

Map of Nyarugusu Refugee Camp

Tracing with ENERGIC (VGI) Training School in Malta

Posted by Enxsjp on 9 June 2015 in English (English)


I am having a lovely week on the Island of Malta and as part of the ENERGIC summer school we were asked to undertake a mapping party of the University and learn to download GPS data and digitise our dataset, in the hope to improve the location information.

Let's see how it goes ...

Learnt a great deal, but did not save the data as there were many duplications across the class.

Until next time.

S :)

Map Darjeeling District

Posted by uZalP on 9 June 2015 in English (English)

Been mapping Darjeeling District since May 2015. mapped most of Salbari, meethi bari.

NY waterways

Posted by RussNelson on 9 June 2015 in English (English)

I've finished adding NY waterways. Lakes and ponds came from a NYS shapefile. I threw away everything but the latitude and longitude, and used it as an index to trace bodies of water. I got the name off the USGS Topographic map. Streams and rivers came from Wikipedia's list of New York State Rivers and Streams. All it has is the name and watershed. I used that to locate the waterway, and traced it off Bing.

Also fixed up the Hudson River bank, which was a bit under-digitized. Too few clicks. Much better now.

Use case using OSM!

Posted by Gianfra on 8 June 2015 in English (English)

After almost three years I started my PhD I will finally handle a case using OSM data! Back on track, I will enjoy mapping monce more! London here I am

Location: St Pancras, Somers Town, London Borough of Camden, London, Greater London, England, N1C, United Kingdom

Outreachy - Week Two

Posted by Arushi Vashist on 8 June 2015 in English (English)

Dear all,

Here is my second report on my Outreacy project.

#Week No: Two

##Target Milestone: Improve UI of the mockup and prepare questionnaire for survey.

###Summary: Last week's UI was revised and improved along the lines of the existing web pages. A questionnaire was prepared to survey the community members.

Experimented on Mapping By Photo-geotagging

Posted by Chitetskoy on 7 June 2015 in English (English)

I am still trying the quirks of mapping on OSM by means of taking photos of interests using my smartphone and tablet with geotagging enabled.

Today I went on mapping the stretch of Lilac Street in Marikina, which is fast becoming a "Restaurant Alley" for more and more restaurants are plopping up on this street in the past years.

The restaurants there had not been mapped before to OSM.

Just what I am concerned, it seems that in some cases the GPS data saved on each of my photos are not accurate enough, with error up to 50 meters. Sometimes I had to use my reckoning in an attempt to plop points in the map correctly. I still haven't installed yet any OSM editors on my smartphone, and I am too reluctant to edit OSM data on-the-spot, given how bad is theft situation in the Philippines. Imagine busy mapping a Manila alleyway when someone suddenly grabs your phone.

I am using a Korean variant of Samsung Galaxy SIII. Priming up geotagging in my device takes a minute or so, and I realized this halfway through my mission. I also have minor accuracy issues on the GPS of my smartphone; I am noticing some discrepancies of up to 20 meters when I reviewed my cycling track on a route-plotting map on my phone.

I may still well experiment with this method and refine it if needed. Aside from the security concerns which i mentioned above, currently, the best OSM editors on the market still have bugs on offline editing, so I am reluctant on using those apps. I may well have to refine my current method and use my computer in mapping based on the geotags of the photos which I took.

shops as closed-Way building outlines, but also as Nodes in the center?

Posted by Peter Dobratz on 7 June 2015 in English (English)

I seem to be going around in circles in discussion of changeset 31269952 with a professional GIS user. He's added on purpose, a node for a hardware store for which there is already a closed-Way polygon for the same hardware store.

Maybe someone can weigh in on the changeset discussion and add clarity to the discussion.

Location: 45.472, -122.684

A researcher's scrapbook: understanding contributor engagement in humanitarian mapping

Posted by dekstop on 7 June 2015 in English (English)

Hallo! My name is Martin Dittus, and I'm a PhD student at the ICRI Cities at University College London. I research community engagement in the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), a volunteer initiative with thousands of contributors. At its core this is quantitative work, and my main outputs are statistics and data visualisations. I also spend a lot of time with the HOT community, am a contributor myself, and have spent much of the last decade with a range of similar community organisations.

I like that my job allows me to combine my experience in large-scale data analysis with my personal interest in community organisations. I spend a lot of time exploring data sets, producing things like this:

OpenStreetMap contributor density map

A big part of my work is about developing means to reason about HOT as a social phenomenon. I make use of "hard" evidence of data sources like the OSM edit history, but also the "soft" evidence of knowing the practices and motivations of the community. Together they allow me to develop conceptual models that help us reason about HOT. (I strongly believe you need both.)

In conversations with other community members and HOT organisers I realised that a lot of the data explorations I produce can be of interest to a wider audience. In early May 2015 I gave a talk at the HOT Summit under the title "Contributor Engagement in Humanitarian Mapping". The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive, and there was quite a lot of debate afterwards. Then Alyssa Wright approached me and strongly suggested to find more public forms of sharing my findings. I shall aspire to do so! I can't promise a regular schedule, but I'm keen to share my observations.

In particular, I noticed that many people have a lot of experience about how to make HOT work, but also that people's perspectives tend to be local: they are focused on particular aspects or initiatives. This is in the nature of the practice, which is highly distributed across dozens of interest groups and concerns. As a result few people have a good global overview of what HOT is and how it works. In addition to these local experiences I think there is also an opportunity to develop a broader understanding of HOT, and I think I can contribute to that.

This may take different forms:

  • Analytics and visualisations that highlight key contribution patterns.
  • Contextualising the data: what do the numbers mean?
  • Conceptual models, for example reasoning about coordination tactics.
  • Evidence to substantiate design choices: currently, HOT planning decisions are often intuitive rather than evidence-based.
  • Critical thinking about community and coordination activity.

You can follow me at @dekstop where I will also announce any future posts.

Location: St Pancras, Somers Town, London Borough of Camden, London, Greater London, England, N1C, United Kingdom
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