Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

The Smallest Street in Porchester Gardens, Nottingham

Posted by alexkemp on 5 October 2016 in English (English) called Ward Avenue and it is now back on the map. Here is the view from Moore Road, looking up the Avenue:

Ward Avenue

Those gates on the right are for a house on Moore Road and the fence straight ahead is the end of the road, which may help to show just how short this road is (there is only one house on the road; you can just see the left-hand front of the house tucked around the end on the right). On the other side of the fence on the left is Westmoore Close, and the reason that Ward Avenue has only just been re-instated onto the map is that a couple of years ago the straight bit of Westmoore was mistakenly renamed to Ward Avenue. Whoops.

I've talked to a few hundred people whilst mapping across the last 6 months. In all that time just two people had already heard of OpenStreetMap. The second one was Martin Dale, and I met him yesterday working outside his house on Ward Avenue. Martin was concerned because his house had been placed onto OpenStreetMap, then removed, reappeared & currently did not appear on either OpenStreetMap nor on Google maps. He was worried that there was some individual that was conducting a campaign against him. I was able to discover who had removed it (you know who you are!) and was able to send Martin an email reassuring him that no, it was an honest mistake & there is no such campaign.

Martin informed me that Ward Avenue used to be much longer, and was the service & access road for a set of Nurseries that were set up at the same time as the instigation of Porchester Gardens (approx 1880) (his own house has start_date=1929). He also knows the chap in the local history society that holds a map of all the allotments (with numbers) established in the Gardens (I think that OSM-Nottingham would like to use that).

Ward Avenue is yet another Unadopted Road (there are pots & pots of these within Porchester Gardens, and pots & pots of those are off Moore Road).

Location: Porchester Gardens, Arnold and Carlton, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Trails vs. social paths

Posted by Inkyatari on 5 October 2016 in English (English)

I worked for a year as a volunteer at Goose Lake Prairie State Park near Morris, IL. I also live nearby, and am intimately familiar with the state parks up and down the Illinois River.

I notice that on OSM, especially at Goose Lake Prairie State Park that many paths are listed on the map, yet these are not shown as official trails on the park maps available at the visitor center. Since these are not trails that the park wants people hiking on is it proper to delete these from the map?


Posted by monisha adithan on 4 October 2016 in English (English)


One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor...

Posted by kocio on 4 October 2016 in English (English)

CJK fonts missing in standard layer (follow-up)

Posted by Littlebtc on 4 October 2016 in English (English)

Noto CJK is still missing in Standard Layer for now (#2391), to help people understand what is missing, this is how the font should like after the pull request: Imgur

This is what is rendered in Standard layer now, as Unifont rather then Noto CJK is used: Imgur

The reason that the font is missing may be the server configuration. Following discussions in pull requests #2396, #2397 and #2398, in Ubuntu 16.04 the fonts-noto only recommends fonts-noto-cjk and other variants. However, in previous version of Ubuntu, fonts-noto acted as a metapackage to install all Noto Fonts. This confusing changes may be the reason. Some server configuration will disable install-recommends which is true by default, causing Noto CJK not installed in Ubuntu 16.04.

A proper fix may be Chaning the chef recipe to match the new dependency in #2398.

I am sill looking forward to a better font in Asia. :)

# Use raster image in JOSM

Posted by Saikat Maiti on 4 October 2016 in English (English)

I got a task to collect sample for my ongoing project (Cartago, Colombia) and I found that it might be helpful for OSM mapper. In JOSM we can get many TMS, WMS service, also we can use very high resolution satellite image after processing. But here I'm mentioning about the very useful plugin for JOSM called PicLayer. Using this plugin we can import simple jpeg image and we can calibrate. After doing few adjustment of the image it is working superb and solve my problem. Any one can try this!

Location: New Panvel, Panvel, Greater Bombay, Maharashtra, 410206, India

Gnome Heaven

Posted by alexkemp on 3 October 2016 in English (English)

A chap on Porchester Road has had quite some fun with his garden:—

gnome 1

(love the Meercats) (again!)

gnome 2

gnome 3

Although I have seen a garden where the householders have put more effort into it — mainly due to size & thus opportunity — this is one of the best pocket gardens that I've seen, with a lovely feeling within it, and I thought that you might like to see it as well.

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

Resistance is Futile 2

Posted by alexkemp on 3 October 2016 in English (English)

Resistance is Futile 1

More tales from the slopes of the Earl of Carnarvon's old stomping ground, formerly known as Marshall Hill and now known as Porchester Gardens.

What we are going to see here is the tale of a householder on Ethel Avenue that wanted to demolish his old cottage, which sits on a 0.16 hectare site, and replace it with 3 new 4-bedroom houses. In pursuit of that he has uprooted almost every green thing on the site (making it a wasteland), blocked access to a green way and received written objections from (almost) every neighbour. The application has been turned down, a judge has told him to restore the Public right-of-way & in response he is throwing a major-league strop, shrouding all his boundary with black plastic. Quite a tale. But first, some brief history of the area.

Marshall Hill was part of land enclosed by the Earl of Kingston (1672), sold in entirety by Kingston's heirs to Carnarvon (1912), and sold in lots to Nottingham citizens that wanted allotments for gardens (1887). Messrs Samuel Robinson, Charles Bennett and David Whittingham acted as guarantors for the latter action (the names of these three are known by householders throughout this 130 acre (52.6 hectares) neighbourhood). Only 2 years later roads began to be laid out & houses built on the plots; that really began to take off in the period following the Great War (1920s & 1930s).

Two things that, in my experience, feature a lot in Porchester Gardens are unadopted roads and Public rights of way; this little tale has both:

The unadopted roads are Emmanuel Avenue and Ethel Avenue. Both are single-track width private roads; Emmanuel Avenue in particular drops like a stone down the side of the hill from Porchester Road, and connects at right-angles to Ethel Avenue at it's bottom. Ethel Avenue looks like your classic private road (badly maintained with lots of potholes) whilst Emmanuel Avenue's tarmac is in superb condition. Here's the view from near the top (this and the photo in part 1 are essentially looking at each other from opposite sides of the valley between them):

view from top of Emmanuel Avenue

Probably the best known local Public right of way is Donkey Steps (photo here). As the ecumenical Porchester Parish boundary runs up Donkey Steps it is likely that humans have been making use of that track for hundreds, and possibly even thousands, of years. It is this tread of history that is the backdrop to the importance of Public rights of way, and how easily they can be lost. To illustrate the latter we have an example close to both the main protagonist (on Kenrick Road) and to Donkey Steps:

Donkey Steps opens at the top onto Hillview Road close to where it meets Standhill Road (and I was told most forcefully “there is no space in ‘Hillview’!”). Opposite the Porchester Junior School, where Standhill makes a bend to the left, is the beginnings of a public footpath that runs first through to Florence Road, then to Daisy Road then Kenrick Road. It should continue next in a dead-straight line alongside 1 Kenrick Road (and the Ordnance Survey map still shows it travelling that way, then emerging onto Porchester Road between numbers 224 & 226, but today it is blocked at either end). A neighbour told me conspiratorially about the Kenrick Road householder that “the judge said that no-one had objected, so he got away with it”. I've been unable to find any report about that loss of rights, so cannot speak with any authority on the matter.

Now on to the heart of this Diary report, which is into the Green Lane which runs from Kenrick Road to the junction of Emmanuel & Ethel Avenue. Or rather, used to run to those two avenues, since Mr Lee Freeley, the owner of 21 Ethel Avenue, has completely prevented any connection between those roads along the green lane. This is a recent view of the way from Kenrick Road (there are also views from Ethel Avenue in a 2015 Nottm Evening Post story and Google Streetview (October 2014)):

view from top of Emmanuel Avenue

Mr Freeley proposed to use this green way as a driveway for one of his new houses. The whole story is perhaps a bit too long, so here are some highlights:—

  1. There have been applications for redevelopment of 21 Ethel Avenue prior to that from Mr Freeley (pdf) (24 October 2014). All have been declined by the local residents and the local authorities, including this latest.
  2. A March 2011 Tree Preservation Order was made upon a Larch, a Yew & a Maple tree. The Maple tree had to be felled anyway. Bing map tiles show a capture date of 10/1/2011-3/26/2012 and a vast proliferation of mature trees on the site, all of which have now been cleared (the site is a wasteland). I also noticed Yew trees at 10 Ethel Avenue (the house opposite); Yew trees in medieval settings are often symptomatic of Religious activity on the site.
  3. There is the curiosity of “a strip of land running along the backs of the properties fronting Kenrick Road. The ownership of this strip of land is unknown”. Cross-referencing this strip of land with the streetregister map suggests that it may have been yet another right-of-way running parallel to Kenrick Road as it seems to join with the other right-of-way running beside 1 Kenrick Road (although some other houses have added it to their own property, and the streetregister map wrongly shows it as part of 21's property).
  4. The Green lane is owned by Gedling Borough Council. Local residents keep it in immaculate condition. A 163-signature petition was presented to the Council in April 2015 to make it into a public Bridleway, and an order issued the following week (see NEP story). Essentially this is the issue that has stopped the development. The PDF states:

Nottinghamshire County Council as Rights of Way Authority are currently dealing with a claim to make the Avenue from the junction of Ethel Avenue and Emmanuel Avenue to Kenrick Road a bridleway (Carlton Parish Public Bridleway) and have advised that the Avenue should be treated as a substantive right of way. I note the applicant has a personal right of way over the potential bridleway, as do the owners of the land on the Carnarvon Allotments and their successors in title. There is therefore a substantive number of people who potentially have the right to use the Avenue.

What a tortuous tale!

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

CJK fonts missing in standard layer

Posted by Littlebtc on 2 October 2016 in English (English)

The CJK fonts seems to be missing in the standard layer, as the map in Asia looks strange.

I guess the Noto fonts that new openstreetmap-carto supported is missing in the server, so the Asian font uses the Unifont as the fallback.

Can somebody take a look and fix that?

Ideas from an introductory OSM session at Trichy

Posted by SrrReal on 2 October 2016 in English (English)

On Oct 1st, anandisaac and I conducted an introductory session on OpenStreetMap as a part of a free software camp at Trichy. The participants were a mix of school students, college students from multiple disciplines and teachers.

For the participants, maps primarily meant paper maps used in Geography and History classes or Google Maps used for navigation.

We introduced OSM as an editable map to which everybody could contribute and how its data can be used by all. We showed them some projects based on OSM including the Chennai flood map and the Managua transport map by MapaNica. After showing such examples of how the map data has been used in interesting ways, the participants were given a small activity. They were split into teams and each team had to come up with an idea as to how they would use OSM data. Simply put, we asked them, "What kind of map would you build using OSM data?". The ideas they came up with were both fun and innovative! Listed below are some of them.

  • A map of Trichy to indicate where policemen are likely to check for driver's license, speed limit, helmet, etc so that users can choose an alternate route avoiding cops.
  • A map to highlight all the signals in the city so that emergency services like ambulance can use the map to plan the best/fastest route without signals.
  • A map of forests indicating areas of animal movement. This could be used when humans need to go into a forest they may not be familiar with.
  • A map of all the bus stops in Trichy with details of bus routes and timing.
  • A map to find the nearest recharge (mobile talktime/data) shop.
  • A map of all car & two wheeler service centres.

The activity kindled the curiosity of the participants to understand how they could use OSM. Some of the ideas brought out unique use cases. Though a few ideas may seem wild, the exercise drove home the point that they could use OSM in various ways. It encouraged them to think about map as a tool for their daily needs (beyond navigation) and how OSM powers them to be more than just a user of the map.

One of the teachers present in the audience was even curious to know if the map could be used to track students who do not attend classes regularly. Maybe she mistook OSM for the Marauder's Map.

State of the Map Asia 2016 is drawing to a close

Posted by seav on 2 October 2016 in English (English)

SotM Asia 2016 group photo SotM Asia 2016 group photo

The second and final day of State of the Map Asia 2016 is almost done and it has been great to hear and learn from OpenStreetMap colleagues from India, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, Sweden, the United States, the Philippines, and many other countries.

Location: Xavierville III, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, District III, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1108, Philippines

Resistance is Futile 1

Posted by alexkemp on 1 October 2016 in English (English)

Mapping deep in the heart of Porchester Gardens, Mapperley (named after the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon, who sold the land) (from ‘Baron Porchester’, his 1st title), and here is a little of what some of it looks like:

Kenrick Road, Porchester Gardens

Just around the corner from where I took that view is the bungalow of a chap that used to have an Ash Tree in his garden. Now I love Ash Trees, and I think that many other Englishmen think the same.They are unique for having young branches that are very straight & supple and thus are perfect for making arrows (classically a yard (900cms) long). It was English arrows married with the Longbow that saw victory for Edward III at Crécy, Poitiers & Henry V at Agincourt. However, Englishmen may love them, but French aristos & bureaucrats do not.

This Porchester Gardens chap’s Ash Tree grew & grew until it was overhanging his bungalow & stuff and the local council told him on threat of law suit to cut it down. It broke his heart, but this is the Ash Tree today (just a stump is left):

remains of the Ash

As an intelligent chap he found a humorous way of celebrating the event by giving his home an appropriate name:


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

Mount Shir Kuh in Iran is now hikeable with GPS :)

Posted by freakyuser on 1 October 2016 in English (English)

Finally I managed to import my hiking trip to mount Shir Kuh near Yazd in Iran into the OSM database.

So far, there was (at least to my knowledge) no map of the 2 hiking paths to the summit and the hut available. I hope that hiking enthusiasts visiting Iran in the future will have it a little bit easier to hike to Shir Kuh!

BTW: A guide is not really necessary (With the GPS map now anyways!)

Unfortunately my GPS accuracy was awful, but I tried to interpolate it with the satellite imagery.

Happy hiking in Iran :) (Yes, you should definitely visit this country!)

Location: پیشکوه, مرکزی, Taft, Yazd, Iran

How many POIs does OpenStreetMap have?

Posted by PlaneMad on 1 October 2016 in English (English)

Might depend on what exactly one considers a point of interest, but looking at some common keys:

we get around 20 million features that could be potential landmarks or points of interest.

Just counting points that have names, we get around 12.9 million features.

Maybe there is a better way of finding out, but here's a new conversation starter at your next mapping party!


Posted by nshehu on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

Hi everybody,

I'm a newcomer enthusiast focused mainly in editing in Tirana (Albania) and Diber (Albania). It seems like there is a greater need for projects like OSM in Albania since foreigners that visit the country, but also locals find it hard to find directions to move around cities.

I really hope to make further steps for the OMS community in Albania in order to grow the project even more.


Location: Rruga e Durishtit, Bërzhitë, Tirana, Tirana County, Albania

Using OSM to improve government data

Posted by joost schouppe on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

Recently, I wrote about how you could use government road data to improve OpenStreetMap. Here's a move in the other direction.

As an employee of the city of Antwerp, I was involved in the recent 'validation' of the Road Registry (Wegenregister) for our city. This registry is managed by the central Flemish government, but final responsibility for the content is with the municipality. Validation means the central government gives us a new dump for us to check for errors. This way of working is only a temporary situation: in the future, we will be live editing in the central database itself.


Some background

There's an amazing amount of cleanup left to do, but we decided to focus on the completeness of the main road network. Before, we did this by comparing with our own city registry of roads. But that is not being updated anymore. So for the first time, we used OpenStreetMap for the validation. Using FME, we identified roads which exist in OSM, but not in the Road Registry. We excluded service roads and "slow roads" (paths, tracks, cycleways), as these are less of a priority right now.

Next time, we will also look at roads that are in the Road Registry, but not OSM. In some case, the lack of road in OSM is really an indication of an error in the Registry. For example when a road has been closed, and the government somehow missed that. This is more work, because the Road Registry contains a lot of little bits of "roads" that are really just driveways. Because nobody cares about them, they aren't in OSM. But they are quite hard to filter out from the Registry data.

The results

The cleaned up dataset of roads that are in OSM and not in the Registry was really quite limited. Only 138 situations needed manual review. Of those cases, 32 were a simple matter of slightly different geometry. For example when OSM mapped the road as a polygon, which we didn't really take into account. We identified 33 cases where the Road Registry was clearly wrong. Then there were 31 cases that looked like they shouldn't have been in the selection anyway: they are private driveways, parking aisles, tramways. About half of those needed a fix in OSM. But the "tramways" were actually dedicated bus roads on top of tramways.

Most of the "mistakes" detected in OSM were caused by larger geometry issues. Sometimes the centerline of a road is debatable, but in most of these cases OSM could be improved, sometimes vastly. These were most often roads that hadn't been touched in years. Only in a couple of cases was OSM really vastly wrong. This happened when the city reorganized streets, and somehow, nobody noticed. Most striking was the Troonplaats, which is a quite popular square. In several cases, OSM had already been corrected in the month or two between data download and final analysis (though to be honest, some of those were fixes of mine). A few mistakes were caused by errors in or outdated road classification.

There was one striking case (pictured above), where we were convinced OSM was wrong, but we apparently missed a big change in the road geometry. Fortunatly there was a [Mapillary sequence], of course one of the 1.1 million pictures uploaded by filipc. Even though the aerial photography in Flanders is excellent and recent, the only place this road shows up is on the OSM map.

Legal stuff (edit)

As Stereo pointed out in the comments, OSM cannot be copied by a non-ODbL source. I always translated the license of OSM as "if you merge your private data with OSM data, you have to open up your data". But that's not correct, it should be: "if you merge your data with OSM data, you have to open up your data AND prohibit anyone from ever making it private again". In this case, the Flemish government allows (and explicitly wants) TomTom and Google to take official data and use it to improve their private data.

Because of that, us government workers are not allowed to copy features from OSM. But there is a precedent: the New York City government uses OSM to track changes to their buildings as imported into OSM. I'll trust their research that ODbL does not exclude using OSM to detect errors, if you then proceed to do your own surveying before making changes to your own dataset. This is also what the License Working Group believes, as Simon Poole (thanks!) pointed out in the comments. I understand this bit of text was supposed to have landed in the Legal FAQ page, so I went ahead and did that. Please revert if this is inappropriate.

The ODbL always made sense to me, and it kind of still does. Say I was to download all of OSM to my own server, and redistribute it under a more open license. Then someone else could just take that data and close it off. But this case does help me understand those who aren't very happy about this license a bit more. In the case of government, it means you can't -really- integrate OSM into your processes. For example, you couldn't take OSM, validate it with your own data and redistribute the result under the license of your choice.

Have a look

You can have a look at the cases here. There's a bit of work left on the cases with a difference in geometry. The easiest way to get the Road Registry into your editor is with this (slightly outdated) WMTS:{z}/{x}/{y}?access_token=pk.eyJ1Ijoiam9vc3RzY2hvdXBwZSIsImEiOiJjaWh2djF1c2owMmJrdDNtMWV2c2Rld3QwIn0.9zXJJWZ4rOcspyFIdEC3Rw

You can contact me to get the FME models we used to identify these roads - they aren't very complicated. You could easily do similar things in open source software.

Location: Kluisbos, Buizingen, Halle, Halle-Vilvoorde, Flemish Brabant, Flanders, 1501, Belgium

OpenStreetMap Mapathon (arranged by OpenStreetMap DhakaCollege)

Posted by Atikur Rahman atik on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

Get ready for 1st Mapathon at Dhaka College!!! Mapathon Link : OpenStreetMap Mapathon

Any one can join the event. If any new comer interested then He/She also can come to the program.

#Also Online available.

Location: Nijhum Residential Area, Hazaribagh, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, 1209, Bangladesh

OpenStreetMap DhakaCollege

Posted by Atikur Rahman atik on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap DhakaCollege OpenStreetMap DhakaCollege

Location: Nijhum Residential Area, Hazaribagh, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, 1209, Bangladesh

Weekly roundup - common errors and unexplained edits observed

Posted by nammala on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

Continuing from our previous weekly round up, these are the observations between 12 September - 30 September.


  • Deleted buildings: changesets 1, 2, 3.
  • Deleted admin boundary of region in Burma: changeset.
  • deleted mosque: changeset.

Community members commented on following changesets:

  • Adding numbers on the name tags for lot of buildings: changeset.
  • Renamed a department store in Italy to multilingual name tag with Chinese added: changeset.
  • Deleted name tag of a multipolygon and other features: changeset.
  • Deleted lake that exists in the imagery: changeset.


  • Deleted tertiary roads: changeset community member reverted the changeset.
  • Bad imports: changeset. We reverted the changeset.
  • Uploaded learnOSM test data to the map. changeset community member reverted the changeset.
  • Added fictional roads and deleted many existing highways & other features: changeset. We reverted the changesets.
  • Deleted buildings in Philippines. We reverted 4 of his changesets 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Added natural=water to all the nodes of the lake. changeset. We deleted the edits with proper comment.

These were some of the inconsistent edits for this week. Do keep an eye and please comment on such changeset, this will help in maintaining the data on OSM accurate and coherent.

Look forward to another roundup next week.

Overpass API - pre-release test drive available

Posted by mmd on 30 September 2016 in English (English)

I'm happy to announce a time limited Overpass API test drive that is based on the official 0.7.53 release + some experimental features. The server is updating continuously like the main instance, but doesn't have so called attic data.

That's a great opportunity to try out your favorite queries and post your feedback below

Switching to the test drive instance

In overpass turbo, go to "Settings", enter the following server address, hit the save button and you're all set for testing.

(sorry, http only at this time, i.e. you need to run overpass turbo via http as well)


Remember: you can always switch back to one of the 3 public servers listed in the "Server" drop down list, in case there's some issue with the test drive.

A few examples:

(you need to switch to the dev server first)

Have fun!

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