Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Nothing personal, just GPS tracks

Posted by BushmanK on 9 August 2016 in English (English)

GPS tracks, contributed by OSM members still are sometimes very important source of information for mapping. However, built-in OSM database has certain issues, such as inability to delete obviously harmful data, such as airborne tracks, huge wandering spots, created by receivers in standing cars, etc. Currently, all responsibility for GPS data quality is on contributors, since they have to take care of getting rid of wandering spots, super-generalized tracks, tracks with high GDOP and so on before uploading it. While only a few people actually know about all these aspects and care about it. Complexity of track contribution process (at least, it's not a"one click procedure") makes fresh tracks more and more rare.

Strava heat map is another (often - way more dense) source of GPS tracks. But it's limited by running and cycling activities.

For a long time, I've been saying, that any more or less popular mobile map/navigation application, which uses OSM data, can help to improve GPS tracks coverage. And being properly developed, it will not require any actions from its user, except giving his permission to record and upload tracks anonymously. It's an ideal case, where valuable contribution could be fully automated and independent of user's skills or knowledge. Set of simple filters (GDOP, top speed, geolocation source provider) can reduce consumed traffic and improve data quality.

And here is an example of tracks, collected for only a week by Yandex (major Russian web/mobile company) commercial applications. Note, how dense their point cloud is. Yandex GPS point cloud This screenshot was taken by OSM member luiswoo using Bing satellite imagery and Yandex GPS point cloud, which can't be used for OSM mapping.

So, keeping in mind all that recent controversy about contributions, made by untrained users of popular application, based on OSM data, I'd like to mention again, that voluntary GPS data contribution does not require any training, if track recording application is properly developed.

Fixing split buildings in LA

Posted by manings on 9 August 2016 in English (English)

Last time, we talked about how we imported over 1 million buildings in LA. Watch this video from our SOTM-US talk. In this post, we'll talk about our ongoing cleanup.

No data is perfect, the quality of what we imported in OpenStreetMap was generally good, but in all things data, there will always be unexpected cases.

During the import trials, we discovered that the LA City data was split to the parcel boundaries resulting to small polygons that should be part of the larger building (see: #71). We fix this during the import by using the Auto-tools plugin in JOSM but there were cases when it wasn't fixed.

screen shot 2016-07-21 at 11 47 25

Detecting split buildings

We ran a detection for split buildings by analyzing size and shapes of buildings using OSM-QA-tiles, turf and tilereduce. A sample output looks like this:

screen shot 2016-08-04 at 15 07 21

The general idea is that:

  • small buildings are more compact (low area, high shape value);
  • large buildings are complex and wiggly (high area, low shape value).

The reverse is true for invalid/split buildings.

After several trials, we came up with an acceptable threshold for split buildings in LA.

Here are some examples of valid detection:


valid_large_splitThin/narrow rectangles


valid_diagonalDiagonal cuts

Fixing with Maproulette

The script detected ~4K buildings and is available as a task in Maproulette:

Workflow for JOSM

  1. Go to and login with your OpenStreetMap account.
  2. Open JOSM and activate Remote Control tool.
  3. Download the Auto-tools plugin.
  4. Start fixing by merging the split building to the adjacent larger building using Auto-tools.


For ideas how to do this in iD, let me know.

We are continuously improving how we detect split buildings, if you have ideas, comment here or directly in the ticket.

Thank you for fixing!

Location: Nevin, Jefferson, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, 90011, United States of America

Added Houses in my Neighborhood

Posted by jbchurchill on 9 August 2016 in English (English)

I added my house and then decided to add several of my neighbor's houses. While here I noticed a couple of non-existent roads and fixed the location of one of the main roads in the neighborhood. I'm sort of enjoying this!

Location: Parkersburg Road Northwest, Morantown, Allegany County, Maryland, 21532, United States of America

Datos Abiertos De Paraguay!!

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 8 August 2016 in English (English)

Alt text

Fuente y licencia are posted in the github repository where you can download.

Good Way to start the week ;)

Relations for Big Rivers

Posted by bdiscoe on 7 August 2016 in English (English)

My first big river, in 2014, was the Klamath. At first, I tried looking for it using the OSM search box (Nominatim). All I found was a mess of missing river parts, and when I looked closer, I found poorly imported NHD, very old and wrong riverbanks, incorrect tagging, etc. I spend a few days to fix it up and produce the Klamath River waterway relation:


Since then, I've done similar work for other waterways. Sometimes the relation exists but is incomplete, other times I create it; either way, it can take days of work to finish. Here are some in the USA:

Recent work in Illinois:

Outside the USA:

Weekly roundup of edits

Posted by Chetan_Gowda on 7 August 2016 in English (English)

Here are the few OSM edits we have noticed in the last week. Observed that many experienced mappers need to think of a good changeset comments while they upload their changes to main database.

If you come across any unexplained mapping from an OSM user, let them know through your changeset comments and send them related resources, wikis, tagging system to new mappers, and encourage them to map in good way.

Thank you!!

Mapping lake shore

Posted by kucai on 7 August 2016 in English (English)

I started refining the shore boundary of Lake Kenyir, reputedly the largest (or 2nd?, not sure, another lake is being filled up in Sarawak) in South east asia. Soon enough, I realized that there are jillions of coves that might need to be mapped, which brings the question of what's the acceptable level of fidelity when dealing with this kind of mapping. (this would certainly the case when mapping a country's shorelines too.)

I finally ended up using the 'triangle' method. 2 points at the jutting land ends of a cove (which is also called a point in bass fishing:) ) and 1 in the middle of the cove. If that is still too rough, add a point to either side of the middle point, which usually is good enough to show up as a cove in higher zoom renderings.

Oh well.. I probably need to visit these places with fishing gear.. you know.. verification purposes and all that. hah!

Location: Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

OSM-HU NEWS : "BUD SPENCER PARK" in Budapest ? Maybe ...

Posted by ImreSamu on 6 August 2016 in English (English)

osm: Bud Spencer Park - OpenStreetMap - Not official yet


"Budapest has become the world’s first capital to name a public space after recently deceased Italian film legend Bud Spencer in a Sunday “ceremony” The Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party, a joke political party that has recently received extensive media coverage with its satirical campaigns, found an unnamed public park near the Kaszásdűlő suburban railway station in Budapest’s District III, which it promptly named after the Italian star in an official ceremony. .... ". more ... *

Bud Spencer Park




Street graffiti resembling Bud Spencer in Budapest, Hungary : Street graffiti resembling Bud Spencer in Budapest, Hungary

Mapping issues: Along the Railways

Posted by Ganesh Dhamodkar on 6 August 2016 in English (English)

I've been traveling this morning, adding few till-unmapped stations on OSM with OSM and I see some issues here at places. Please have a look.

  1. There are few small stations unmapped. This is understandable. We don't get local data all the time. I added 2-3 stations that were unmapped till date.
  2. I see one unnamed station mapped, but there exists no station there. I've left a note via There does exist a small crossing with a cabin, but no station.
  3. The track seems misaligned for a long stretch here by good ~10 meters. I've uploaded a gpx track so that you can get idea. Please verify with imagery.

As I mentioned in my earlier diary note, I don't get enough leisure and very irregular internet access. Someone feel free to come up and look into the issues. Thanks.

Dependent thoroughfare

Posted by Gazgez on 5 August 2016 in English (English)

Still struggling to set up addresses with a dependent thoroughfare that can be found in a search

My talk at London Missing Maps evening

Posted by bluestarfish on 5 August 2016 in English (English)

**On Tuesday 2nd of August I gave a short talk to the crowd at the London Missing Maps Mapathon about my experiences of being a validator. I had a scruffy piece of paper with some bullet points scribbled on it so this is my attempt to translate some of what I said that evening into a post.****

It feels pretty special to be standing up here tonight. In August two years ago (2014) I came along to my first mapathon with no experience of HOT, OSM, or any of the tools we’ve been using tonight: ID editor or JOSM. I started mapping with tracing lots of buildings, like tonight’s task, but in Sierra Leone and Liberia. This was at the time of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and there was a lot of mapping to be done.

I started mapping with ID editor but after a couple of months I saw people near me using JOSM and was interested enough to download it and try it out at the mapathons. There was lots of help around and as I got comfortable using JOSM I got asked whether I’d consider doing some validation too. And I, perhaps foolishly, said I’d give it a go.

So how does validation fit into Missing Maps? Well, first off validators are volunteers too. If you’ve been to the Missing Maps website you will have seen this graphic showing the steps in the process starting with remote mappers, it then getting added to by community volunteers, and the third step where the data is used by humanitarian organisations. Validation is part of the remote mapping process, we’re very much a part of what is going on tonight.

The validation is there to provide a second pair of eyes and improve confidence of the end users in the whole process.

So what we actually do? It’s everything from looking to see all the buildings in a square are mapped and the roads labelled correctly to sense-checking the work on a square level and also a regional level. As we have already seen quite a few squares in different countries we’re aware through hard experience of some of the pitfalls in mapping.

Looking back I’m pretty confident that I have mapped stationary vehicles as buildings in the past… And as an ID editor user I was always relieved by the thought that someone else would be looking at my work and catch any major mistakes. The role of a validator is not a punitive one! We can offer some advice if needed, but by and large we’re just so grateful that you are mapping. There is so much territory that needs still to be covered.

The data that we are producing needs to be fit-for-purpose rather than perfect. It needs to be useable by the people on the ground using it, so we do look at consistency in the data across a region, but there will still be room for improvement work from the ground.

I guess I’m trying to talk here about why I’m still mapping and validating two years on. Dr John Snow often gets mentioned at these evenings (and if you haven’t heard of him do look him up), but I’d like to add someone else to the mix. Octavia Hill is a personal hero of mine and 34 years after Snow’s cholera map she was mapping green spaces as a part of a campaign for clean air and access rights to healthier spaces for poorer people in London. So I know mapping has been an effective tool in the past.

As I mentioned earlier I started mapping during the Ebola crisis. I did find that quite overwhelming at the time: the need was so huge. It was great to support the work and HOT do such a tremendous job of supporting in situations like that. It was really something to be part of that too. But for me it has also showed the value of the vision of Missing Maps to try and map areas before the next situation arises so that this support will already be there. It’s great to contribute my skills to a long lasting project too as all these maps are available in OSM.

We do need more validators though. As you can see from the graphs the green section of the validated areas do lag behind all the mapping. It’s a hugely supportive community we’ve got here: I’d like to thank Nick and Ralph in particular for all the help you’ve given me so far. (I’ve asked about a million questions so far and I’ve got another million to go no doubt.) And you can join us too.

I’d encourage you all to keep mapping those squares and getting familiar with the tools we use. Ask questions, come sit next to us and see what we do, give it a go. We need everyone’s input though so thank you so much for all the mapping you all already do!

You will not starve in Denmark

Posted by Niels Elgaard Larsen on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

The project to map OSM restaurants, cafes, and fast_food places to Danish health inspection reports is showing great results.

We now have ca 12000 food places with at health inspection id (fvst:navnelbnr) many of them added to OSM as part of the project.

Most of the food places are tagged with opening_hours, phone number, cuisine, webpage, etc.

ca 3500 food places are still missing:

The quality of the inspection reports are not as good as we had initially hoped

We have identified 437 food places with completely wrong coordinates:

Hopefully the health inspection authorities will fix this eventually.

Many of the inspections reports, even though they are tagged by the authorities as restaurants, and cafes, concerns retirement homes, schools, hotels, private companies, shelters, etc. This is not really a problem, it is an opportunity to add those to OSM too with the correct tag.

We are now starting to review food places that does not match inspection reports because they might be permanently closed.

In the future we can identify food places that no longer has an inspection ID, as these are most probable permanently closed or renamed with a new ID.


Location: Bramstrup, Musehuse, Nørre Lyndelse, Faaborg-Midtfyn Municipality, Region of Southern Denmark, 5260, Denmark

Some photos for zarl

Posted by alexkemp on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

when i'm cleaning windows

zarl made a comment saying that he “enjoyed my nicely illustrated mapping adventures”. The last photos that I took were 3 weeks ago, because I use Mapillary to store the photos & their site had become dog-slow after an upgrade (it seems to have improved now, so I can stop my desktop surveying & restart doing it on the ground again soonish).

So, here for zarl are a couple of new photos from previous sessions. The first above was taken at Car Wash Factory on Cavendish Road in Carlton, and looks halfway decent at full-screen. One of the things that I find interesting in this is the way that both men in the photo know that they are being photographed (it took a couple of minutes, as I struggled to get the framing correct) but studiously behave as if that was not happening. Natural actors!

The final one is of Hilltop Dry Cleaners on Carlton Hill. What I like about this one is that, if you look carefully, you can see father & son through the door looking back at me as I photograph their shop. I've seen things like that before in old photos from the early days of photography. When I first saw those old photos I thought it quaint, but I now realise it to be the mark of paternal & filial pride in accomplishment. Of course, those old films last for hundreds of years, whereas these modern ones will be lucky to last for 5:

Hilltop Dry Cleaners, Carlton Hill

Location: Thorneywood, Nottingham (Unparished), City of Nottingham, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

5.000 Changesets!!!!!

Posted by BladeTC on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

I'm very happy, joined OSM 5 years ago, and now I made my contribution nº 5000 mapping "São Bento Village", using Bing, IBGE and Strava (great gps tracks).

I'm not using iD, my tool of choice is JOSM.

Changesets: JOSM - 4720 Potlatch - 269 (my first tool) iD - 10 (nah, not my style...) Vespucci - 1 (???) to more info...

Thanks to Talk-BR community, user "naoliv" (hug in the back, bro) and sorry if I broke you stuff, my bad....

Lodestone Golf Course

Posted by jbchurchill on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

I got a call from the Golf Course Manager yesterday (Aug. 3 2016). He told me that people have been showing up late for tee times because google maps and GPS directions have been routing them to the WISP which is their parent organization (and incidentally is a ski resort and not a golf course). I was able to add the roads on Google Map Maker and wanted to be sure they were correct on OSM as well.

Canada Road network 2015 - StatCan Open Data

Posted by manoharuss on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

Sharing this open dataset of Canada road networks from the Canada Open data website. The wiki mentions Statistics Canada(StatCan) as one of the data sources, but the StatCAN wiki page, provides a link to an outdated portal where road data is available only until 2010.


The data quality and technical specifications of this 2015 dataset is detailed in the new StatCAN page.

The road network supplied includes road classes, road names, city etc. Through a preliminary look in QGIS I have these findings.

screenshot 2016-08-04 14 53 51 Coverage as seen on QGIS, road classification on the left

The road classification is represented in numbers in theclass attribute. screenshot 2016-08-03 14 54 03 Major highways are given under class 12 in the attribute table

Data Quality

There were few concerns on OSM wiki page of StatCan regarding geometry of the roads. But the wiki page seem to be outdated and the concerns were in regards to the older data (2010). The geometry of the roads in this data set seem to align with the OSM layer in QGIS.

screenshot 2016-08-04 14 06 51 Roads in Toronto overlayed on OSM layer in QGIS

screenshot 2016-08-04 14 46 18 The street names on the data seem to be same as on OSM as well

screenshot 2016-08-03 15 00 53 Coverage in Toronto without OSM background

This seems like a great dataset to evaluate the quality of data and coverage of roads in Canada. Would be great to hear from the Canadian OSM community of any previous work using this dataset that can be taken forward.

Closing In

Posted by Zabot on 4 August 2016 in English (English)

The corners of the sky have been ironed out and the last few issues with lighting have been resolved. Sunsets now have a gradual lighting change instead of an instant threshold. Sunset

This image isn't actually a render from OSM2World, its the view of a cubemap generated from the center of times square. Now that cubemaps can be generated from the center of each building, calculating the reflections on that building is just like calculating the reflections with the mountain cubemap from last week, just with a separate cubemap for each building Cubemap

That cubemap was actually generated in 4K resolution, and the performance impact was hardly noticeable compared to the geometry computation time. A cubemap of that size does however take up a ton of graphics memory. Because the clarity of reflections is not as important, the resolution can be easily reduced depending on the system and number of buildings that have to be processed.

OpenStreetMap Carto release v2.42.0

Posted by Math1985 on 3 August 2016 in English (English)

Dear all,

Today, v2.42.0 of the openstreetmap-carto stylesheet (the default stylesheet on has been released.

Changes include:

  • Add rendering of amenity=charging_station and tourism=artwork
  • Change icon of shop=department_store
  • Increase font size for various labels
  • Change playground color
  • Various bug fixes

Thanks to all the contributors for this release, including David Gianforte, a new contributor.

For a full list of commits, see

As always, we welcome any bug reports at

Kind regards, Matthijs Melissen

Validating Basic Routing with CartoType Maps

Posted by ryebread on 3 August 2016 in English (English)

I am using various OSM-based applications as a deily driver for navigation purposes (this month I am fascinated by Magic Earth. They have recently added relief data and traffic-based routing, so go check them out).

I've been testing routing primarily with demo OSRM and Valhalla servers, but these services take time to be updated, and I want to make sure my changes don't break things now.

While browsing the Routing I found CartoType Maps, which is a closed-source desktop application that renders and perform routing locally.

CartoType Maps

A separate makemap application is required to convert from OSM XML to CartoType internal representation.

I found that sometimes the application gives false positives, claiming roads are not connected only because it does not seem to handle turn restrictions properly. Far from ideal, but still better than waiting for the remote servers to catch up.

CartoType - Route Not Found

What do you use to test routing?

Id Editor Tutorial 01

Posted by Atikur Rahman atik on 3 August 2016 in English (English)

Hi ! i am Atikur Rahman atik. i am trying to make tutorial about OSM id Editor. So i share it for New & Casual Mapper. sorry because it is only video file without audio. But it is helpful. . Please comment your valuable opinion .

Location: Kalunagar, Hazaribagh, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, 1209, Bangladesh
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