Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

Top 25 cities in the world by the number of POI

Posted by baditaflorin on 9 September 2015 in English (English)

Have you ever asked yourself what are the TOP 25 cities in the world, based on the number of POI in OpenStreetMap ?

To my surprise, the number 1 city is not a European one, but a city in Japan, that have 121.154 POI

I have calculated all the poi from the following category's : amenity, leisure, shop, sport, tourism, man_made, office

I did not include the historic POI, because when i filtered the world planet, i had extracted the history tag, instead of historic

I had converter the ways into polygons, and then combined the 2 data-sets into one.

Then i had counted, based on the bbox of the city, the number of POI in each of the cities. I will give here the TOP 25 cities by the number of POI

Waiting for your opinions, comments, etc

Yokohama 121154 Paris 113165 Tokio 97078 Kawasaki 90576 Rio Grande 85238 London 84681 Saitama 75783 Berlin 74002 Birmingham 65093 Moskau 61579 München 54533 Essen 53935 Dusseldorf 52342 Stuttgart 50712 Madrid 48335 Vienna 47396 Toronto 47324 Köln 45018 Dortmund 44534 Lyon 44441 Hamburg 44334 Sete 41723 Milan 41317 Osaka 40756 Frankfurt 38128

Location: Gruia, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania

Grass&Green: When OSM users ensure the quality of data

Posted by grass_and_green on 9 September 2015 in English (English)

Dear all,

After 12 days of Grass&Green in place. We have around 100 users and contributed in about 500 entities with 90% agreement with our recommendations. However, there is still exist 1000's of entities to be checked. So, we ask for daily contributions to improve the classification of grass-related features. It is just the start, we would feed the system with more categories of entities later on e.g.: water-related features and other natural features. Here is the interface of the system. Just visit and login by your osm account and contribute to improve the classification quality.

Alt text

Thanks for all former contributors and useful comments. I appreciate your feedback

Best, Ahmed Loai Ali

Data disaster: Nukus, Uzbekistan

Posted by PlaneMad on 9 September 2015 in English (English)

While inspecting routing errors using the OSM Inspector unconnected issues, stumbled on this town called Nukus which seemed to have some duplicated data.

screenshot 2015-09-09 10 53 44

JOSM Validator report for the area:

  • Errors 6432
    • Duplicated ways 1355
    • Duplicated nodes 5059
    • Duplicated relations 14
  • Warnings 10299
    • Crossing ways 5748
    • Way end near highway 524
    • Overlapping highways 265
    • Duplicated nodes 192

The changeset which caused this seems to be the case of a large upload gone wrong. Wondering if JOSM should have never allowed such a massive upload without splitting it into chunks.

What a disaster.

Location: 21 микрорайон, Nukus, Xo'jayli tumani, Republic of Karakalpakstan, 231100, Uzbekistan

Photos of the first SotM LatAm

Posted by wille on 8 September 2015 in English (English)

group photo

The first State of the Map Latinoamerica happened this weekend in Santiago do Chile. It was a amazing conference! The talks were astonishing and we had nice conversations between them. Congratulations to Julio and Alvaro for organizing the conference!

I made a lot of photos in the SotM that can be viewed on

Location: Barrio República, Santiago, Provincia de Santiago, Región Metropolitana de Santiago, 8370456, Chile


Posted by Map King on 8 September 2015 in English (English)

People who revise my work really don't know what they are doing. Waste of their time and mine.

Construction sites on highways

Posted by umoser on 7 September 2015 in English (English)

When driving with navigation, e.g. by NavMii (formerly NavFree), it may be good to know where construction sites are but is is no good idea to add them to the standard street map. OpenStreetMap should show the stable net of streets not temporary deviations, at least not with the same type than the normal road. If it should be possible to add deviations to the street map they should be of a separate type so the navigation software can discover that.

I just removed the deviation at the Schönbuch Tunnel when driving from Stuttgart to Singen because this side of the tunnel maintenance is finished already for some months. Still the navigation tells the driver to hold to the left to drive through the opposite tunnel.

I did not add the deviation for the opposite side as again someone would have to remove it when finished.

While correcting some other mistakes I encountered that it would make sense to be able to mark roundabouts as such, because sometimes, I suppose based on the fact whether the line has been converted to a circle or not, the navigation software discovers a roundabout and sometimes it does not and tells you to turn right and left to enter and leave it which can be quite confusing.

Finally I found that you can mark buildings as restaurants or cafes but not as hotels.

Location: Schleitehof, Gottmadingen, Verwaltungsgemeinschaft Gottmadingen, Landkreis Konstanz, Regierungsbezirk Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, 78244, Germany

What do maps mean to us?

Posted by athaikdin on 7 September 2015 in English (English)

It sometimes still comes as a surprise to me that large swathes of the planet are completely unmapped. With the advent of easily accessible technology (i.e. Google and Bing maps) and satellites, I’d have thought that the entire planet would’ve been mapped years ago. I mean, look at Google Maps. It gives you the option to view almost the entirety of the UK in either satellite or traffic view. It’s this high level of accessibility to maps and the illusion that our surroundings have been fully mapped, I think, that prevent most of us in developed, urban environments from becoming fully aware of the lack of maps in underprivileged areas.

Before I became fully involved in the Missing Maps project, I always thought that satellite images equalled maps. If there’s a satellite image of an area, went my thought process, how difficult could it be to trace those buildings, roads, and the natural landscape? From my experience with Missing Maps, I’ve come to learn that the answer is ‘very difficult’. The world is a very big place, and it takes a lot of effort, concentration, and experience to remotely map an area accurately. Anyone who’s done a small grid of an urban area through the OSM Tasking Manager can probably testify to the complexity of remote mapping. Buildings in other countries are often completely different to what you are used to in your own country. Sometimes what you think is a large apartment block is actually an hospital. And the problems don’t stop there. Satellite images don’t tell you road names or where the boundaries of a district end. You need local knowledge to fill in these gaps, and that’s where the Field Papers stage of the mapping cycle kicks in. A satellite image can visually show you an area, but it’s how you interpret what’s on the ground that matters most because it’s what gives the map its meaning.

A point similar to this was made in a podcast episode I was listening to a few days ago about North American buckskin maps from the late 1700s. Buckskin maps were originally created by Native Americans to help them navigate around their surroundings and plot concentrations of forestry, animals, and water. Essentially, it reflected how they saw life around them - as a source of nourishment. But when American land companies began moving into the very same areas, they hired local Native American guides to create maps for them to plot the locations of profitable land that could be developed industrially. Unlike the Native Americans who were one with their surroundings, the American businessmen mostly sought to exploit the land for profit. The same maps of the area were being used for two, completely different purposes because of how each group interpreted the land.

I’d like to wait and see how the local populations of the places we’ve mapped remotely will use maps created through Missing Maps. What data will they input in themselves? What will they use the maps for? Will it be for navigation around their area or for negotiation between communities? At the moment, NGOs are using ‘missing maps’ mainly for disaster preparedness, assessments, and epidemiological surveys. Hopefully someday soon, we’ll see the full potential of this project of ours.

OpenStreetMap in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, PH

Posted by GOwin on 7 September 2015 in English (English)

Three weeks ago, near the end of August, The Asia Foundation(TAF)[0] organized an introductory workshop on crowd-sourced mapping in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Working with local partners: the Negros Oriental Planning and Development Office; the biker associations in Negros Oriental and the city of Dumaguete, they hope to introduce OpenStreetMap as a platform for participatory mapping activities to improve local maps, help determine infrastructure priorities, or asses the effectiveness of governance or projects.

The Dumaguete crowd-sourced mapping activity is a continuation of a series of introductory workshops carried out within the framework of the Coordinating Roads and Infrastructure Investment for Development (CR+ID) Project implemented by TAF-Philippines[1]. It is meant to promote the idea of mobilizing and nurturing local volunteer groups and informal associations to assist local governments in mapping their own communities using the OpenStreetMap platform.

I am thankful to TAF for the opportunity to engage other communities in Dumaguete, in particular, two of the biggest universities in the city, the Foundation University[2] and the Silliman University, College of Computer Studies[3] for a quick introduction to FOSS and OpenStreetMap.

So, how did they fare? Check it out for yourself: screencap of

Period: 20-24 August - TAF-CfC workshop + Foundation U + Silliman U

It's been three weeks since, and I am glad to see some participants from said workshops continue to work on improving local map coverage[4] and contributing to OpenStreetMap.

This post was originally made here:

Location: Saint Louis Village, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Negros Island Region, 6200, Philippines

Mid-August Mapathon: Inputting Field Papers Data from Zimbabwe and Bangladesh into JOSM

Posted by athaikdin on 6 September 2015 in English (English)

About 3 Mondays ago, I went to my first-ever Field Papers Mapathon and to my surprise, discovered a smaller group of people to what I am normally used to at mapathons. These were the JOSM experts, the seasoned veterans of remote mapping who no longer relied on the ID-editor that I’ve come to love. They are pros at identifying different buildings and natural landmarks (a result of extensive validation work) and experts at inputting Field Papers data. For this particular mapathon, they were tasked with inputting the names of streets, religious buildings, and other important points of reference in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh into the OSM database.

On one side of the room was the Epworth crew, who were inputting data they had just recently received from Zimbabwe. Tom Hills, a PhD researcher at Imperial College London, was guiding that group, explaining to everyone how to properly input Field Papers data into JOSM. Epworth has been one of Missing Maps’ top priorities because of the risk of water-borne diseases in the neighbourhood.

And on the other side of the room was the Bangladesh crew, led by Carmen who had just recently returned from a field trip to the country. In Bangladesh, she had led Y-Care International and local OSM volunteers in collecting vital field data necessary for updating names of streets, landmarks, and townships both in English and Bengali. It was interesting to see someone who had done some field mapping herself to be sitting in London with the JOSM experts, offloading the cultural knowledge she had learnt in the field and sharing with them her knowledge of the local topography. I think more JOSM experts should be sent to the field just like Carmen for this first-hand mapping experience. And I also think that the Missing Maps project should try to get passionate, local OSM volunteers to come to London to share their local knowledge with us. I mean, the Missing Maps project is as much a cultural exchange programme as it is a remote mapping platform. It would be great to foster such an exchange over the long-term.

As I watched the JOSM experts furiously clicking away on their laptops, I thought it’d be a brilliant idea to interview a few of them to get a better idea of the work they were doing. So I asked Tom Hills, who was leading the Epworth Crew, and Maria Longley, who was working on the Bangladesh Field Papers, to sit down with me for interviews. I’m nearly done polishing up the interviews, which I will link to this post shortly. These interviews will be a part of my new ‘Meet the Mappers’ blog series that I hope will help put faces onto the many hard-working mappers who are a part of Missing Maps.

All in all, the August Mid-Mapathon was a wonderful experience for me. The food was great (breaded butterfly prawns should be a staple at every mapathon), the people were friendly, and most importantly, the passion was present. A mapathon wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the passionate people there. And the food, of course ;)

Mapping Syrian Regional Refugee Camps

Posted by Raimondiand on 6 September 2015 in English (English)

Hi there, I started to map UNHCR refugee camp in the Duhok region in Iraq. UNHCR are distributed across Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. So far, none of these camps (that host 4mil people) have been mapped. For each camp you can find UNHCR df maps with several general info camp's properties and specific info about buildings' properties. If you want to join the quest, you're more than welcome, I'd really appreciate any help.



CLC06 Import Cleanup Part Two

Posted by Abbe98 on 6 September 2015 in English (English)

In January I proposed cleaning up a lot of imported CLC06 data manually to preserve the OSM ecosystem. Mappers had a hard time working with the large multipolygons and tools such as Tilemill/Mapbox Studio/iD all had rendering issues. Because of those issues the multipolygons become even more broken by mappers trying to handle them.

The two main multipolygons had areas about 80x120KM. Overpass image over the multipolygons.


Today I removed the last major imported multipolygon(the east one). The first one I removed all way back in January, then I spend about a month mapping all the forest back from scratch. I moved on to the next multipolygon and ran into ±5.0 × 10−324 to ±1.7 × 10308 errors and moved on to do other things.

I learned some more powerful Overpass queries and earlier this Sunday morning I pulled the trigger on the second multipolygon, done in less then five minutes. I brutally smashed some "smaller" low quality CLC06 multipolygons into nothing.

Imported CLC06 multipolygons, currently:

overpass screenshot


OpenStreetMap lost tons of data as a result of my work, still I believe that the lose of bad data allow OSM to faster gain high quality data. I mentioned earlier I mapped most of the forest from the first multipolygon back in smaller pieces and with higher quality. Mapping it all back will take time but the forest data will end up being usable.

All the CLC06 relations and ways:

overpass screenshot

As shown in the image above all easy edible such as small not broken multipolygons and areas is still in there, progressive updates of those objects will eventually make the underlying low quality import obsolete.

Location: Granhammar, Flodafors, Katrineholm, Södermanlands län, Landskapet Södermanland, Södermanlands län, Svealand, Sweden

Vandalism in Vancouver...

Posted by Paul Johnson on 5 September 2015 in English (English)

Top 10 Reasons why you should attend State of the Map Scotland

Posted by Hawkeye on 5 September 2015 in English (English)


30 Sept - 4 Oct 2015

  1. We've got lots of great speakers from across Scotland and beyond. The line up includes representatives from government, charities, communities and companies. Check out the programme. talk

  2. There's a big focus on international development - a day of talks with contributions from many key organisations including NIDOS. Also we have an International Development Fair which concerns all aspects of International Development which we be held on the first day of the conference missingmap

  3. We have great support from a broad number of sponsors - should be some nice goodies...

  4. It's being held in great venues within the University of Edinburgh / Edinburgh College of Art building

  5. We're not just talking about maps, we're making them - on Sunday there is a map making workshop 3d

  6. On Friday 2 Oct, there will be a hands on demo of collecting aerial imagery using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

  7. We get to celebrate the amazing mapping going on in Edinburgh and across Scotland map

  8. It's free, but you need to REGISTER for Fri, Sat, Sun here. Sign-up now, places are limited.

  9. If you love maps, there's no better place to be - there will be a guided tour of the Maps at National Library of Scotland on Friday 2 Oct.

  10. Go to the programme now and think of your own reasons to come! Tweet your reason #sotms15


From Windhoek to Luanda

Posted by NicEd on 3 September 2015 in English (English)

After about 2 months of extensive corrections and additions of various Elements of Windhoek, NAM, I've decided to temporarily shift my focus on Luanda, ANG, and surroundings. Many much more experienced mappers did an excellent job in making this place look like a city, but there's still a lot of work to do. Primary focus will be public wifi spots and tertiary road names. After that, I'll focus on residential areas of difficult access, and then get back to the main points, which by now are fairly tagged already.

Location: Mutamba, Kinanga, Luanda, Angola

Grass&Green. Hurry up and participate to improve the data quality

Posted by grass_and_green on 3 September 2015 in English (English)

After 5 days Grass&Green contributors agree or partial agree to our recommendation by 91.5 %. Dear OSM users hurry and participate in the contribution to the tool. It is a research project. The project has many objectives: 1) develop an appropriate classification of entities to support more use;2) guide the participants towards better understanding of the class;3) enrich the OSM data; 4) correct the miss classified data.

Participation after 5 days

Do you could tag the following image as a park? Absolutely, This tag is inappropriate and the appropriate tag should be grass.

Now. Help us and improve grass-related entities tags. These entities are used in various applications.The inappropriate tags make them of limited use.

New sat image and alignments

Posted by kucai on 3 September 2015 in English (English)

Partially finished realigning buildings in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. It seems that a new sat image was available, and a mapper(s) traced the highways according to the new image but leaves the outline of buildings from older image intact. Therefore, those buildings have to be moved manually by selecting each one of them to align with the new image. (ignore lat long accuracy for the moment).

Perhaps, anyone who discovers an area with new sat image should first align existing hiways/buildings. Once the hiways/buildings matched with the new sat image, only then the sat image & hiways & buildings be offset to the accurate position. (can also be done the other way around, align the image to the existing highways/buildings, whichever is more accurate). That way we don't have to align things two or three times manually. (Anyway, anybody knows how big an area is offset when we realign a sat image? One tile, 10sqkm, whole state?)

Or perhaps, people should try not to accidentally realign the map (new mappers especially).

OAM-QGIS-plugin: development update #5

Posted by tassia on 2 September 2015 in English (English)

For 2 weeks in August I was "abducted" by DebConf and that slowed down the development of the plugin from my side. Fortunately we have a new coding contributor in the team who kept the ball rolling while I was busy, thanks @yojiyojiyoji!

At DebConf I had the chance to show the plugin to some folks who gave us some good ideas of how to make it more user-friendly. I also managed to gather some potential translator contributors, who I'll poke as soon as we have the strings file ready to be translated.

As a result of that, we decided to change the design of the uploader from tabs to wizard, due to its step-by-step nature. Apparently users expect an unrelated and non sequencial flow with tabs, which I was unaware of, but it makes a lot of sense indeed. With the help of yojiyojiyoji I migrated all the uploader code to this wizard design.

Here is how the new design looks like for the final wizard page:

Uploader wizard

Now we have space for short instructions at the top of each page, this is very helpful. Also, buttons for page navigation are already implemented by the wizard, and are always at the same place, which is a good usability point. The biggest challenge of this design change was to place the QgisMessageBar inside the wizard. After some workaround it is working, but we definitely need to improve the code, there should be a better way of doing that :-/

I've also designed the dialogs for "Edit settings" and "Search imagery", take a look at those screenshots too:

Edit Settings dialog

I was hardly blocked to propose a design for the search dialog. Anything I started to do I threw away after a couple of edits. But I've finally accepted that this is what I have for now, it is a starting point, and I'm happy to receive comments and suggestions of improvement. If you look back at my first mockups for the uploader you can have the feel of how things evolve along the development process ;-)

Edit Settings dialog

Edit Settings dialog

My idea is to have a thumbnails browsing as the result of the search and checkboxes beside each one of them, so the user can select the ones to be downloaded. I still don't know how to implement that with Qt and I couldn't find those elements in Qt designer, that's why the mockup has only this blank widget.

My following tasks are basically packaging, testing and documenting. With this I'll close my internship commitment, but I really hope to continue the development with the rest of the team after that.

On a side note, HOT Outreachy interns will present the results of this experience to the HOT community. It will happen by mid September, stay tunned for more details!


Posted by Michael Jarmark on 2 September 2015 in English (English)

Very cool functionality on openstreetmap ....

Never been to this site before today and am amazed at a project like this and how much impact it could have on our perception of different places

Umap and Wiki Loves Monuments 2015

Posted by Paolo Bubici on 2 September 2015 in English (English)

On the occasion of the participation of the City of Albisola the contest Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 have mapped the property to photograph through umap and it has aroused some interest .... well even with little you can achieve interesting things .... keep it up!


Posted by TheDude05 on 1 September 2015 in English (English)

Started working on putting houses into the map in Corinth. I have no idea how long this will take drawing them individually. It's daunting tasks like this that makes me wish that building footprints derived from the aerial flights for the cities were in a creative common license.

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