Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

1000,000 points on the map.

Posted by matthewsheffield on 8 June 2016 in English (English)

I have finished my millionth item on the map, all done by hand, rather than using a bot. There is substantial data added in Melbourne where I live, but far greater numbers in developing and struggling nations like Iraq, Central African Republic and Burkina Faso.

Thanks to Pascal Neis for the data to allow me to have any idea about this!

HOTOSM recognition by the President of Mexico in Internet Day 2016

Posted by Mapanauta on 7 June 2016 in English (English)

*Versión en Español: Reconocimiento a HOTOSM por el Presidente de México en el Día del Internet 2016 --- Short Link: *

On the Internet Day, May 17 2016 the President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto invited fifty citizens who called Digital Leaders (#LideresDigitales) to have a dialogue on the future of technology and Internet in Mexico, I had the opportunity of being among these group of citizens. The President talked about various related topics but especially appreciated the efforts of humanitarian mapping conducted by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap in Hurricane Patricia.

 Day of Internet 2016- Dialogue with the President of Mexico

 President’s office twitter account

Why the President of México thanked the efforts from HOTSOM in Hurricane Patricia? Here you will find some details so you know what was done.

On October 23, 2015 Hurricane Patricia threatened to touch the states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco with winds up to 325 km/h, authorities of Mexico mentioned "It is very likely that this hurricane is the strongest ever in the Pacific side of our country, since it has records "

 Hurricane Patricia Path from NOAA

Contributors of OpenStreetMap and HOTOSM like Rodolfo Wilhelmy, Humberto Yances, Rafael Avila, Robert Banick, Andres Ortiz, and many others (sorry for not mentioning everyone) in addition to an army of over 500 mappers of Mexico and the world joined efforts to support this area of the Mexican Pacific with data that could be used for the benefit of the population that could be affected. Fortunately, the hurricane lost strength by touching the coast of Mexico causing minimal damage compared to what was expected.

Quick stats:

More than 500 contributors mapped 9,000 kms of roads (5.6k miles of road) + 72,000 buildings in 72hrs It was processed 29,608 km^2 pre-event DigitalGlobe imagery to improved coverage over priority areas. It was analyzed INEGI road data to identify missing roads and road names in OSM data. Mexico Open Data was confirmed by authorities to be used in OpenStreetMap. All these was possible thanks to the great work HOT members, companies supporting OSM project and the local community in Mexico and the World

 Contributors mapping the priority area in 72 hours Gif by Mapbox

The event took place in Los Pinos (The equivalence of the U.S. White House) at the moment the Open Data topic was mentioned, Peña Nieto said he knew someone who had supported the alert for Hurricane Patricia was among the guests so I raised my hand to start the dialogue, the President mentioned "... I just want to thank because it's an example that illustrates very well what we can achieve and I think that you also use open information.” In my participation I could give my point of view on the need for Mexico not only upload open data to be the first in quantity of released Open Data but emphasize the need of quality Open Data in order to take better decisions based on them. Also I could mention the importance of Open Mapping and collaboration between Governments and Civil Society so more Mexicans are less harmed by disasters (find the 3 min video here).

 Fragment of video from President’s office twitter account

In Mexico the OpenStreetMap community is not as numerous as in other countries but in the last two years a group of collaborators we have joined together to promote the project and increase the local community through massive workshops in Universities and courses for Government Authorities and Civil Society. Much remains to be mapped but I believe we are on the right track.

Miriam Gonzalez


I wish I'd known about …

Posted by scruss on 7 June 2016 in English (English)

YoHours earlier. I might actually enjoy (or at worst, understand) entering opening hours now.

OSM Analytic Difference Engine Docker image

Posted by MichaelVL on 7 June 2016 in English (English)

Theres now a Docker image available for the OSM Analytic Difference Engine. This images contains the tracker with a 'region of interest' polygon covering Denmark and an Nginx frontend.

Find the source and more information about the OSM Analytic Difference Engine here:

See a running instance here:

JOSM+Terracer Now Almost Unusable for Relation Creation

Posted by alexkemp on 6 June 2016 in English (English)
  • March 2016: I begin using JOSM + Terracer
  • March 2016: my first bug-report
    Leaving “keep outline way” NOT selected + associatedStreet relation IS selected causes an exception when ‘OK’ is pressed
    (the developers have more important matters to attend to than Terracer)
  • April 2016 - May 2016: (after each JOSM update, another bug-report)
    Leaving “keep outline way” NOT selected + associatedStreet relation IS selected causes an exception when ‘OK’ is pressed
    (each time, the developers have more important matters to attend to than Terracer)
  • 5 June 2016: Debian Jessie Updates to 8.5
    (Debian updates 4 June; I update the following day)
  • 5 June 2016: JOSM Updates to 10327
  • 5 June 2016: JOSM Plugins Update to 32158
  • 5 June 2016: the ‘normal’ bug-report, with an extra twist
    Leaving “keep outline way” NOT selected causes an exception when ‘OK’ is pressed.
    Leaving “keep outline way” IS selected causes an exception when ‘OK’ is pressed
    (essentially, terracer is almost unusable if relation is also selected )

It is important now to NOT select “keep outline way” within the Terracer dialog, as otherwise the original house is left beneath the terrace and, for some reason, it is now almost impossible to separate the two. In addition, previously the associatedStreet relation was correctly created for all houses. Now, many houses do not have it created (although the odd one does).

I find the combo of Building Tools + Terracer to be the best method for entering any house (detached, semi-detached or actual terrace) onto the map using JOSM, and the simplest to do so + create an associatedStreet relation at the same time. Now, each & every house causes a software exception.

Oh, spit.

Tuesday 7 June: After more testing, I realise that it is the fact that ‘add to associatedStreet relation’ is selected that is causing the software exception to be thrown (if not selected, no exception). As I understand it, Terracer may have had it's version changed to match all the other Plugins, but nothing has changed within it's coding. If accurate, that means that it is something in the interaction between JOSM & Terracer that is causing the problem.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Zoners Greenhouse Commerce Twp Michigan 48382

Posted by FBrady01 on 6 June 2016 in English (English)

Correct location is:
Zoners Greenhouse 2355 E Commerce St, Commerce Charter Twp, MI 48382 Latitude, Longitude
Latitude 42.596261, Longitude -83.522261 GPS Coordinates 42o 35' 46.5396 N and 83o 31' 20.1396" W ........................................ the location is shown INCORRECT at tomtom, garmin, google maps, mapquest, geocache,, Open Street Maps, Waze, Here Map. Your showing the incorrect location as way at the back of the property. This is Wrong. The Zoners Greenhouse Store is very close to the street "East Commerce St" Please Fix the GPS LOCATION.

Location: East Commerce Road, Commerce Township, Oakland County, Michigan, 48382, United States of America


Posted by Ablocker3 on 6 June 2016 in English (English)


Location: Cedar Street, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 18104, United States of America

Don't Mention the War

Posted by alexkemp on 5 June 2016 in English (English)

Friday 3 June was spent surveying Norman & Morley Roads, both off Porchester Road, Nottingham NG3, and the previous days in the week were spent surveying Forester Road & Cherrywood Gardens + Porchester Road itself.

I live in NG3 but these lands are more foreign to me, since they are within the Gedling council district (my local council is Nottingham town). It is only a kilometre or so away from my home, yet feels very different. One immediate (and welcome) difference is that the signposts each have their postcode upon them. Very useful.

morley st signpost

I also make use of the postcode lookup provided by The following URL added within Preferences (menu:Edit|Preferences|WMS/TMS) gives the postcode within each centroid within JOSM:


Let's first make a brief roundup of some new facts that were revealed when Martyn Fretwell posted a link to his blog in a comment to my diary entry on the NSR part 3. Martyn is obsessed with bricks, and his blog-entry had some very useful facts for streets that I had surveyed:—

  1. 1850: Abolition of the Brick Tax
    Production of bricks (and thus English homes built with those bricks) began to go through the roof (awful pun intended).
  2. Burgass Road, Porchester Road
    Named after William Burgass (together with Edward Gripper, joint Managing Directors at the foundation in 1867 of the Nottingham Patent Brick Co. (NPBC)). Burgass Road was the access road into the Thorneywood Brickworks (it is the vertical road at bottom-right in the 1938 picture below; notice also the railway track that runs to the left of the road, and terminated in the Works at the Engine House, and below at the NSR Thorneywood Station on Porchester Road) Thorneywood Brickworks
  3. Bennett Street, Woodborough Road
    This was named after Charles Bennett, who started as foreman of a yard & ended as NPBC Works Manager. Charles built himself a house at 752 Woodborough Road (now a set of 3 flats, and positioned on the corner of Bennett Street) and also Brick Makers Cottages (756-786 Woodborough Road, and thought to be designed by T.C Hine - they are delightful buildings). Both Bennett Street & the Cottages were directly opposite the Mapperley Brickworks, also called the NPBC Middle Yard.

Back now to last weeks's surveying:—

Some of the buildings in Forester Road had house-names with dates:

Forester Road

Some of those buildings were very much newer, and then the peculiarity of some numbers just missing altogether from the street. It took until Friday & Morley Street until a local chap confirmed my suspicions; houses were missing/rebuilt because the Luftwaffe paid a visit in May 1941, and a stick of bombs fell across the area. My home town is Hull & I can promise that Nottingham got off lightly; most of Hull centre & the docks were simply flattened, and the population traumatised.

Of course, the story in parts of Germany is far worse than either English city.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom


Posted by rebeccatroike on 4 June 2016 in English (English)

I'm bored plating with a dumb map right now. How lame am I???

Moving Bus Stop Points to Road Points

Posted by Cuenca Bus Sherpa on 4 June 2016 in English (English)

Since so many of the bus stop show up on the wider views of the transport map, and therefore it can look very cluttered, I've been moving bus stop points onto the streets.

I'm hoping this will remove them from the wider zoom levels, especially 2 and 4.

I've also converted many of the stop names from "Linea 3 - 22 - 50" to their actual names that are listed by the buses.

Dado que muchos de la parada de autobús aparece en los puntos de vista más amplios del mapa de transporte, y por lo tanto se puede ver muy desordenado, me he estado moviendo los puntos de parada de autobús a las calles.

Estoy esperando que esto se eliminarán de los niveles de zoom más amplios, especialmente 2 y 4.

También he convertido a muchos de los nombres de parada de la "Línea 3 a 22 - 50" a sus nombres reales que aparecen por los autobuses.

“Mum. There’s an Old Man at the Door”

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

It was Friday 3 June & I was surveying Norman Street, off Porchester Road in Nottingham NG3. The semi-detached house had a house-name on a piece of wood facing on to the street, but that wood was very old. Only 2 metal letters remained attached to it, 5 more were missing and, in spite of a fading imprint left on the wood, I could not decrypt the original name.

In classic programmer-mode (anal-retentive & fastidious) I decided to ask the home-owner what that name was, had gone around the corner to the side door & knocked on it. A young girl — she was probably 3 years old — was staring at me through the glass of a small window ⅔ up the wall at the right-hand-side of the door & had shouted at her mum. Shortly after, Mum opened the door.

I explained that this was the first time that I had been called an “old man”, and asked her to give me a few moments whilst I processed that fact. The young girl was mighty pleased by all this & was beaming all over her face.

(I'm not denying the facts; the government awarded me my State Pension 18 months ago, but it was still a bit of a shock)

Just before I finish, allow me to recommend surveying for OpenStreetMap as a useful pastime for other old farts like me. It guarantees some fresh air & physical exercise — and particularly if you live in a hilly district like NG3 — and is a good reason to meet & talk to other people (none as lonely as the old). Plus, improving the Map is good for everyone, so helps to offset those feelings of being utterly redundant.

Mum did not know what was on the plaque, so adding a house-name to OSM was abandoned.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

France Open Address Data

Posted by MapMakinMeyers on 4 June 2016 in English (English)

Where are the Builders / Building Contractors in the JOSM Presets?

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

This is a strange one to have as a quandry:—

I'm surveying Porchester Road (formerly Thorneywood Road), Nottingham NG3 & have reached the corner of Norman Road / Porchester Road. Down the side of Norman Road is 180 Porchester Road (go figure), which is the Registered Address of F. Holmes & Sons (Porchester) Ltd.:

F. Holmes & Sons sign

This chap is a builder (he has converted his former home into a set of 4 terraced houses which, let's face it, is what a building contractor is likely to do, and the reason that his registered office is now tucked down the side of Norman Street). Now here is the quandry:—

I guess that a builder can be called a ‘trade’, or it could be called a ‘craft’, but regardless of it's group-type, non of the sections in JOSM feature either a “Builder” nor a “Building Contractor”, so how on earth am I to enter this commercial activity?. It is difficult for me to believe that no-one has come across a builder in the previous 10 years whilst entering stuff into the map.

Location: Thorneywood, Sneinton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

What's up with the Rann of Kutch?

Posted by Alan on 3 June 2016 in English (English)

I started looking at the Rann of Kutch in India, and it doesn't look very well mapped. I also can't find any mentions of it on the wiki, or Googling for "Rann of Kutch" in conjunction with OpenStreetMap.

Christoph Hormann's post is the only thing I can find:

Does anyone know if there's been any previous discussion (perhaps on the talk-in list?) about how to tag it? Or does the local community prefer it this way?

Here's what it looks like now: screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 1 20 37

Which looks very different from the image in Christoph's blog: rann

He notes in another post that it's the largest area of incorrect coastline in the world, according to his metrics: His map shows that most of the coastline in that area hasn't been touched in OSM since 2007: cl_date_512

According to Wikipedia, this area is only submerged during the monsoon season, and is dry the rest of the year. So it seems like the correct tagging would be to move the natural=coastline further out, and most of the currently wet areas in OSM should be retagged as natural=wetland and wetland=saltmarsh (see wetland=saltmarsh) on the wiki. But I don't have any local knowledge, so I'd want to be sure about that.

Here's an overpass turbo query for natural=wetland in the area:

screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 12 55 17

There are four large polygons (one is a multipolygon relation, actually), all four of which have natural=wetland but no additional tags... no wetland=saltmarsh that I was hoping for. And mostly these features cover the current OSM land, not the incorrect water areas anyway.

I also did an overpass query for wetland=* just in case there were any polygons that had wetland=saltmarsh (or similar) and which might have accidentally left off the natural=wetland tag. But no luck, there's basically nothing using wetland=* that's useful:

screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 1 01 35

As a last resort, to see if there are any OSM features we can work with (perhaps someone is using non-standard tags), I zoomed into a bit of the India/Pakistan border near the coastline. There is a line of barrier islands that probably mark the true edge of the Great Rann of Kutch, which is where we should see any hidden features, if there are any. Here's the data overlay layer:

screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 1 10 51

Pretty much all of these islands (like this one) are from the PGS import back around 2007 or 2008. screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 1 11 43

Finally, if I zoom in enough to edit, we see that the satellite imagery is good enough that someone could trace the correct edges of the salt marsh... but it would take them a bit of time to do it well.

screen shot 2016-06-03 at 3 jun 1 16 22

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this area?

Location: Shah Bander, Thatta District, Sindh, 73070, Pakistan

West Africa

Posted by doubleDang on 3 June 2016 in English (English)

I travel off the beaten path a LOT and I've begun tracking the GPS of my travels. My most recent uploads are travels through these countries:

  • Ghana
  • Togo
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Guinea (Conakry) (But I have Bissau in an earlier upload!)
  • Gambia ( East to West, but i have Serekunda more in depth in an earlier upload)
  • Senegal
  • Mauritania (+Iron Ore train travel across Sahara Desert, and drive to Choum)
  • No Mans Between Mauritania and Morocco
  • Morocco (to the first main town - I have a bunch of morocco past uploads too)

I traveled many surface and dirt roads during my travels, so hopefully of some use (Esp in Mauritania where I seem to have the first upload!)

Any Questions (or answers), you can email me at:


Mapping points that aren't on Bing are not accessible closer than one KM but can be seen clearly.

Posted by andy mackey on 3 June 2016 in English (English)

A group of wind turbines were constructed at Gravely Cambridgeshire UK around 5km from my home and have been mapped by Great Britain's Ordnance Survey, It took a couple of years for them to map them which was quick, for them. Note our OSM openstreetmap was purposely similarity named to promote it, that was how I discovered osm within a year or so of it's creation by Steve Coast. I looked at OSM and noticed the turbines had not been mapped, how could I plot them? ( without copying from the Ordinance Survey Map). The turbines are by private ground and most are at least a kilometre from any public access. I gave the problem some thought and looked at the area and noticed that from some directions the turbines were in two lines of 4. I now had a plan I would position myself and my gps on these lines in turn and plot four points, that would give me two lines that the turbines could be plotted along. I used field papers and printed the map so i could sketch the rough layout and take notes. I used my Garmin Oregon 450 and recorded 12 waypoints at positions along the surrounding roads where either four or two turbines aligned. Using Potlatch2 the plan was to join pairs of the waypoints with an untagged way then do the same with a cross pair, the intersection of the two ways should be where a turbine could be plotted. The untagged ways were then deleted. I repeated the process for the eight turbines, job done. I checked ( and only checked) against OS.All my results were within 40 meters most within 10 meters of OS. THEY could be wrong!! The downside is you can only see them in an editor as none of the Map Page maps render them...yet.

Changing this account to Cuenca Bus Sherpa

Posted by Cuenca Bus Sherpa on 3 June 2016 in English (English)

Hi! My name is Christopher King, and I run I use OSM Transport maps for my atlas of the Cuenca, Ecuador bus system.

I've been contributing changes to Cuenca's map for over a year, mainly adding names of bus stops and adding new roads that buses take that weren't on the maps.

I'm working on new editions of my maps, so I've been changing all the stops named after bus lines (for example Line 3 - 50) over to the names as the are announced on the buses themselves.

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Christopher King, y yo operar Yo uso de mapas de OSM Transporte para mis atlas del sistema de autobuses de Cuenca, Ecuador.

He estado contribuyendo cambios en el mapa de Cuenca durante más de un año, principalmente agregando nombres de las paradas de autobús y la adición de nuevos caminos que toman los autobuses que no estaban en los mapas.

Estoy trabajando en nuevas ediciones de mis mapas, así que he estado cambiando todas las paradas con nombres de las líneas de autobús (por ejemplo Línea 3 - 50) a los nombres como se informa en los propios autobuses.

Is that a country?

Posted by PlaneMad on 3 June 2016 in English (English)

Found this oddity through Chetan, that I never recalled seeing before.

At first thought someone squared a border, but this was created 4 years ago and is a disputed border area between Chile and Argentina.

Not been able to find many maps that show the border like this, but here is some interesting reading:

The Southern Patagonia Ice Fields from ISS. Source

Location: El Chaltén, Municipio de El Chaltén, Lago Argentino, SC, Argentina

My latest additions.

Posted by InputMan on 2 June 2016 in English (English)

I've been adding in the Kingdom Halls for Australia mainly, and confirming that they are all named the same, and have a correct address. It's a work in progress, and hopefully I can complete it at least to a certain date. After this, I may/may not look at other countries.

The other thing I've been doing is editing the small town of Gilgandra's roads and rail, as well as some of the surrounding areas. This is a place I know extremely well, and have driven or walked up every single street, including the tracks through the forest, although I no longer recall all of them. It's a slow town for change, although it does happen, such as the industrial area opening up, and in the last ten years or so, some dramatic business changes...some good, some bad, but each to their own opinion on that eh:)

The information for addresses is researched by asking "from the horses mouth" as such, if there seems to be some discrepancy. Some answers I'm waiting back on a response from, so I don't know when this will be, but as new information comes in, I'll add the info in.

Well, I really should be asleep, so see ya.


Posted by AkuAnakTimur on 1 June 2016 in English (English)


(Later edit)

It's a good thing that MAPS.ME somehow increases the number of new OSM users in Malaysia (though I suspect most of them did not realise that OSM is a thing). At least they could add missing places into the map database easily, and at a faster rate. Thank goodness.

Personally, I find that it is easily one of the best OSM viewer / editor app (on Android) - on top of that, I am able to download a "daily update" from its official source. Still, OsmAnd is the best to quickly jot down places (creating favourites) not in the database yet.

However - it's probably just me - I am a bit concerned over those whom has put their real, full name (as their username) and explicitly tagging places, such as X's House or Y's Office; revealing sensitive info. Some even has put tourism=viewpoint, labelled as name=My House (I guess it's OK to do so if someone wants that?). For the latter, probably they haven't found the correct tag, so the tourism=viewpoint tag is the last choice provided on the drop-down menu - and hey, simply put it into OSM!

In some occasions, there would be notes lying across, instead of uploading elements (nodes or ways), but at least notes can be sweeped (resolved) easily. It can get quite quirky, see above screenshot. I chuckled myself.

I wished that I could receive a response from commenting changesets or sending a PM, but I don't think they would log into here (or bother checking e-mails, hmmm).

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