Users' diaries

Recent diary entries

Did Lynne Truss Live Here?

Posted by alexkemp on 23 July 2016 in English (English)

Carnarvon Grove comma

Lynne Truss, for those who do not know or have heard of her, is an English humourist & writer who has a particular obsession with the importance of punctuation. She once stood outside of a shop (I believe that it was in London) with a comma on the end of a stick, holding it up at the place that it was missing from text on the front of the shop. Wonderful; I empathise deeply.

I'm a couple of weeks behind in uploading my surveying; this was in Carnarvon Grove in Carlton and, although it may not be the case, I fantasised that perhaps someone bought the house without a comma and, being infected with the same obsession as Lynne (and myself) could not stop themselves from adding it.

Added Sunday 24 July:

This next housename-plaque also (hopefully) has correct punctuation, which is my miserable excuse for placing it here. However, mostly I'm putting it in because I like it; I think of it as an exemplar in the art of house-names & can join other street-art that I've already documented: stone lions; floral display; leaded lights 1; leaded lights 2 + squirrel; plaster boys & girls; leaded lights 3; Bill & Ben + a Silver Salamander; potted displays; house art; brick porn:


Location: Arnold and Carlton (unparished), Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom


Posted by alexkemp on 23 July 2016 in English (English)

(reported spammers now removed)

Incluir no OSM a designação das vias internas do Alphaville Fortaleza e indicação das quadras, lotes (não edificados e edificados)

Posted by RomuloSoares on 23 July 2016 in Brazilian Portuguese (Português do Brasil)

Comecei ontem. Vamos ver quanto tempo levo. Além das quadras e lotes, é necessário inserir os nomes das ruas. O Alphaville é composto de 4 áreas: residencial (Pacoti, Dunas e Iracema), clube, mall e empresarial.

Location: Alphaville Fortaleza, Eusébio, Microrregião de Fortaleza, Mesorregião Metropolitana de Fortaleza, Ceará, Região Nordeste, Brasil

Mawne River Forest Reserve

Posted by Prof Müller J on 22 July 2016 in English (English)

г. Актау, Казахстан

Posted by FlyDyzzy on 22 July 2016 in Russian (Русский)

Всем Здравия ! постараюсь внести правки по г. Актау, 11-микрорайон

Location: 11 микрорайон, Актау, Актау Г.А., Мангистауская область, 130000, Казахстан

Why Search and Rescue Organizations Must Map Out Cellular Phone Towers in OpenStreetMap

Posted by HermannstadtGeographer on 21 July 2016 in English (English)

You are alone and you are in the middle of nowhere – you simply have no clue about what has happened to you in the last few days and you do not know where to go. Fortunately you have your smartphone with you. Even better, you have a offline map based on OpenStreetMap but even so – you are so deep in the woods that the nearest road is dozens of miles away from you. You try to call 911 but there is no signal on your phone.

How can you call 911 if you do not even know where is the nearest cell phone tower? It might seem logical to head out to the nearest road on the map but these forestry roads may not even be usable as some of them are designed to be used temporarily for logging purposes. On the other hand research stations and remote tourist cabins may be nearby and there lies the opportunity to find a cell phone antenna nearby. Needless to say is the fact that your abductor might be following you and regardless of this fact – you need to call 911 as fast as possible.

In a lot of missing persons cases victims who are able to call 911 have a much better chance of being rescued because when they dial 911 their phone can easily get tracked for its location. This is of huge help for search and rescue people as they can narrow the area of search. Moreover, if you have a criminal or abductor that is on your trail it is not wise to head out for the nearest road as he may be waiting for you exactly on that road.

It is far wiser to run away towards the nearest cell phone tower because these towers have ranges that can span for miles (depending on the topography) and even if there are dozens of criminals chasing you when you reach the relative safety area which is the mile wide perimeter in the immediate vicinity of the cell phone tower the chance of being spotted diminishes considerably. More often than not, authorities confuse cases of missing tourists with abduction cases and your primary duty is to take care of yourself and your family.

I wrote this article due to the fact that there are a lot of people that get lost in wooded areas and they are often abducted. Police may eventually find their cell phone and personal belongings but some victims are never found. In some cases police end up finding a phone with 911 dialed but there is a problem – there was no signal in the area and the victim was never found. A considerable number of victims are able to dial 911 yet even so it is often too late. Criminals love to choose victims who are not familiar with the local geography and they love to choose areas where there is no cell phone coverage. A good example of an area that has this element of abduction and lack of cell phone coverage is the highway of tears in British Columbia, Canada. In any case, I have not examined cases from the highway of tears but I believe that there are many lives that can be saved by the OpenStreetMap community if it would ever decide to engage in an extensive mapping effort of this area.

Given the fact that a lot of people go missing in the woods and are found miles away from civilization it would be wise if the OpenStreetMap community would view things from the perspective of the abduction victim. It is absolutely fantastic that we can go online and download open source maps that do not require an internet connection but it would be a lot wiser if we would map the cell phone towers that are positioned in the most remote areas of our planet.

I will not go into the horrific details that many abduction victims have to withstand but I would like to emphasize the fact that we need to use maps as tools that can save lives. We have done this for a long time already but our current technology is not advanced enough to track absolutely anything on the planet. Moreover, what can one do if a hacker has access to personal details and uses MSISDN pinging in order to track down the victim and get ahead of the search and rescue people? In some cases, the evidence may even suggest the fact that abductors and hackers work together in order to track down their victims. There is one particular case that I do not want to ignore in this article and that is the case of Megumi Yamamoto.

                                        The Bizarre Case of Megumi Yamamoto 

The case of Megumi Yamamoto is so strange and if you consider the fact that there are thousands of cases just like hers you will understand why we need to put more emphasis on safety when we design our maps. I would like to explain her case because her particular case is extremely strange and it goes to prove again that it is always wise to have smart solutions in order to be safe.

The case of Megumi Yamamoto is so horrific that it clearly proves that some of the forces of evil are so weird that they are literally out of this planet. I encourage all of you to study the case of her dissapearance and you should also study a lot more cases related to missing people. You will eventually realize that by mapping out our cell phone towers, we can at least bring in a small contribution that can save thousands of lives.

Megumi Yamamoto was an extremely bright 26 year old PhD student that came on a scholarship to study nanotechnology at New Mexico University. The case of her death is just one of the dozens of deaths of extremely bright students and the technical details of her disappearance are absolutely remarkable. Megumi was out hiking and she got separated from her boyfriend in the Lake Katherine area of Pecos Wilderness Area.

A private investigator has stated that she has called 911 for 9 times and when she called the 10th time her number was finally routed to the real emergency line because when you dial 911 there is also a non emergency line available. It is also interesting to point out the fact that cell phone triangulation has been introduced for well over a year and Greg Solano who was the Santa Fe County Sheriff of the time has stated that the incident of cell phone routing in the case of Megumi was strange to say the least. For some bizarre reason her number continued to get routed to the non emergency line. This is a fact that can simply not be explain in logical terms.

Moreover, when the helicopter had finally spotted her she was in an obvious state of shock but as soon as the helicopter took off a severe storm has started and Megumi along with the helicopter pilot have died when the helicopter has crashed off the side of a nearby mountain. During that day, the wind was so powerful that it could literally throw people in the air. Megumi was fortunate enough to get into the helicopter but unfortunate because the helicopter has crashed and she has lost her life as a result.

In any case, just imagine for a second – how can you survive alone in the woods if such a storm starts out of nowhere in the middle of the summer? How can you even call 911 if the nearest cell phone tower is 10 miles away yet you do not even know where it is and you are simply guessing your way out of the woods (not a bright thing to do considering all the evil things that are taking place in the woods, not to mention wild animals and other dangers).

The pilot of the helicopter was Andy Tingwell and he was type of guy that had a great personality when it came to search and rescue. Just before he crashed his helicopter, he was however fortunate enough to send a signal across those mountains as even search and rescue crews have a huge difficulty when it comes to sending radio signals over that type of terrain.

After this incident new laws have been passed regarding the use of helicopters in search and rescue operations. These new set of laws emphasize the fact that the victim must wait for a longer period of time until search and rescue crews are able to reach them by foot. This implies the concept of self reliance yet again and there is a clear tendency to develop tools that are meant to help the victim to be self sufficient until help arrives on foot. One great tool would be a map with the nearest shelters and communications facilities.

Finally, I would like to briefly describe another absolutely horrific case that went out in the woods and this case clearly proves that the victims have tried to call 911 and they simply had no signal in the area in which they were lost. I would like all of you to keep in mind that this case is similar to other cases and I want you to remember that it would be really wise if we would develop more mapping tools that can save lives. If nothing inspires us to develop these tools than I am absolutely sure that the cases of missing people are enough to not only inspire us to develop these great maps but also to make them popular.

                            The Horrific Story of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon 

Kris Kremes and Lisanne Froon went on a trip to Panama because they wanted to learn Spanish. Since then, nothing has emerged in regards to these two beautiful and young Dutch girls. Many speculate that they were abducted and up until now police were only able to recover part of their bones.

Police have managed to recover one of the cell phones that belonged to the girls and they have noticed that one of the girls took a picture just two hours before calling 911. The shocking fact is that one of these girls has tried to dial 911 but they were in an area where there was no signal. As shocking as it may be, these two girls were just another victim of the no signal phenomenon and it is absolutely surprising to realize that a large number of missing people that have never been found have tried to dial 911 only to realize that they were in an area where there was no signal.

A lot of experienced hikers know that it is absolutely vital to bring in a local guide when you decide to hike in another country. These two girls did not do that and they went on their own. This was not a wise decision however the fact that they have tried to dial 911 is there to testify that something went terribly wrong. Many people speculate that one of the girls must of fallen down a cliff and the other one must of tried to help her and in a surprising twist of fate, both of them must of fallen down and must of gotten injured, other people speculate that they may have been abducted and killed.

I do not like to come up with theories in regards to missing people but I would like to emphasize the fact that if these girls had a offline map with the nearest cell phone towers drawn on the map, they might of lived because all they had to do was to follow the map and head out to the nearest tower in order to dial an emergency number. However they have frantically gone away in the jungle, heading out in areas where there was no signal, only to vanish forever and this is the fact that must never be ignored by fellow cartographers. We need to design apps that can prevent such incidents and now is the time. With tools such as OpenStreetMap and OpencellID nothing can stop us from mapping out cell phone towers and thus we can save lives.

I will not go in many more details about missing people but from my experience, I believe that if people knew where was the nearest area from where they would be able to dial 911, they could of been saved. A lot of extremely smart people go missing and I believe that these people are smart enough to install a free app that is created in order to provide extra safety for them and their families.

I hope that this article will inspire developers who design maps for search and rescue organizations and for tourists as well. We need to map out our telecom towers and we need to have a clear and detailed map of the nearest life saving establishments that are there in the mountains and forests. If we fail to do so we will only witness the statistics and the growing number of missing people in our natural parks and forests.

I would like to end this article with one last advice.Whenever you go out in the wilderness, always go in pairs and you need to stay within shouting distance. You should always carry a smartphone with a offline map and you should always carry a weapon for your personal safety. Far too many people go missing each year and prevention is the best safety measure that you can have in any sort of life threatening situation.

Disponibles mapas de Strava para trazado en OSM

Posted by kaxtillo on 21 July 2016 in Spanish (Español)

Ahora los usuarios de OpenStreetMap podemos utilizar los datos de los mapas de calor generados por strava y disponibles para el trazado en JOSM.

Diseñado por atletas, para los atletas, Strava cuenta con una aplicación móvil y web que conecta a millones de corredores y ciclistas a través del deporte. "El conjunto de datos Strava está creciendo en más de 3 millones de actividades deportivas por semana y ya cuenta con más de 400 mil millones de puntos de datos GPS."

Y ahora toda esa data esta a nuestra disposición. Desde el Strava Global heatmap se puede consultar la cobertura disponible. Map También puedes consultar toda la información desde la Wiki

Para tener acceso a la información solo se debes abrir el JOSM ir hasta imágenes > preferencia de imágenes Texto alternativo Buscar la capa la activamos y aceptamos Texto alternativo Llamas desde la imágenes la capa Texto alternativo Y voilà! recuerden usar 'source=Strava' Texto alternativo

Location: El Centro, La Maria Occidente, Popayán, Cauca, 19002, Colombia

Feedback from MSF in Chad

Posted by pedrito1414 on 21 July 2016 in English (English)

Just a quick post as I got some nice feedback from an MSF epidemiologist in Chad for everyone who took part in mapping of HOT project 2015 (Missing Maps / Hadjer Lamis).

Hi Pete,

I have gone through the maps and they are really detailed, thanks a lot! We are basically doing a nutritional survey with local surveyors that probably have never used a smartphone or GPS technology before. So these maps will really allow them to more easily locate the randomly generated GPS points corresponding to the households they need to include in the survey. Please thank on my behalf the people who have produced the maps!! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Best regards, Susana

She has also requested the mapping of three more villages, so if you have any time to help, it would be much appreciated. The new project for these villages is #2036

Homemade Mapillary Hood Mount

Posted by Skippern on 20 July 2016 in English (English)

I was challenged to find a way to mount my Garmin VIRB in such a way that it avoids the glare from the windshield, and that no part of the car is captured. After thinking hard about how to do it, I started looking for material to make it. Unfortunately the plastic and rubber I thought I needed was only sold in 10 square meter pieces, too expensive to be a reasonable solution, so I started looking at alternatives.

During fabrication

So I found a plastic and rubber tool for tile laying, and made a few cuts, so I could clamp it on the front of the hood, glued the VIRB socket mount to the plate, and drilled a few holes so that I could tie some strings to it.

Mounted on the car

I have done a small driving test (without securing strings, and without charging cable), and are satisfied with the result, and noted in lessons learned, that the securing string is necessary. The mount slowly slid out due to vibrations and gave my VIRB a flying test, luckily no traffic at the spot and I was able to stop immediately. No damages to VIRB or mount.

Driving test

Total price for the Mount: 15 BRL (~5USD)

Mapillary sequence here

Location: Vila Bela Vista, Belavista, Guarapari, Microrregião Guarapari, Greater Vitória, Mesorregião Central Espírito-Santense, Espírito Santo, Southeast Region, 29215020, Brazil

Let's map missing turn restrictions in Canada

Posted by manoharuss on 20 July 2016 in English (English)

Turn restrictions are the last missing piece in the puzzle to make OpenStreetMap ready for accurate routing. With Mapillary street photographs and their traffic sign recognition, it is easier than ever to start mapping missing restrictions onto the map.

At the data team in Mapbox, we have been experimenting with creating mapping tools to simplify such efforts and after adding over 1,200 turn restrictions in 30 US cities, we are ready to start mapping in Canada with the help of the local mapping community! Our team will focus on the following 5 cities: Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Calgary


How to contribute


If its your first time mapping turn restrictions, read the guide to mapping turn restrictions using Mapillary to understand different scenarios and special cases.

Use the OSM navigation map to compare traffic signages from Mapillary and the map data for potential restrictions to add. You can also review the photograph and mark the restriction as valid or invalid.

Check out our project tracker for all the details and collaborating your efforts with the Mapbox data team.

untitled2 Marking a detected no left into a oneway as redundant restriction on the OSM navigation map


More Mapillary = More detected signages that can be mapped. Check the Mapillary coverage in your city and fill in the gaps! Calgary currently has the poorest coverage amongst the 5 cities. This tutorial will help you can get started with Mapillary.

Measuring progress

We estimate it to take 1 full week to review all the detected turn restrictions in the 5 selected cities with just our team. But could finish it off sooner and add more restrictions with a wider participation. These are the current number of restrictions present that were queried using Overpass:

Canada: 12,700

  • Ottawa: 447

  • Toronto: 1,129

  • Montréal: 372

  • Vancouver: 441

  • Calgary: 64

The road ahead!

It would be amazing to have the Canadian Mapping Community to help us out in making the map of Canada more navigable and enhanced. We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on how to make our existing workflow better. Interested folks can contribute to the Mapillary coverage in Canada which would certainly help us add quality data onto the map! Let's all join hands in making OpenStreetMap the best!

Import account

Posted by Noel_import on 20 July 2016 in English (English)

This account is solely for the purpose of imports for HOTosm.

Up-to-date open data imagery - it is available, use it!

Posted by imagico on 20 July 2016 in English (English)

Last week BushmanK wrote about the use of up-to-date open data satellite imagery for mapping in OSM and noted what i also frequently experience - that awareness and interest within the OSM community regarding the large bandwidth of up-to-date near real time open imagery that is available today is astonishingly very low. Mappers do complain that imagery in Bing and elsewhere is frequently outdated and poor quality but few are aware that newer imagery exists and is available and in contrast to Bing etc. is often truly open data.

The real problem here is that as a result of this mappers keep wasting energy and time on tracing things from images that are hopelessly outdated and at the same time often also poorly aligned. At the moment approximately 15-25 percent of the Earth land surfaces are shown in Bing and Mapbox with 15 year old imagery that is poor quality in a lot of aspects.

With this blog entry i hope to somewhat further increase awareness of this subject among mappers. I have been for quite some time making available recent imagery from open data sources for mapping in OSM. This is only a small contribution for select areas but shows that a huge body of primary data is available today and is largely unused for OSM-mapping.

Here a list of the most recent additions - you can find the full set of images currently available on the OSM images for mapping and some more details in various blog posts:

satellite image samples

Northern Greenland July 2016

Images from 2016-07-17, the most recent ones of this remote area, better detail and more up-to-date than current mapping in OSM.


Northern Ellesmere Island July 2016

Images from 2016-07-08 to 2016-07-15, recent images, partly overlapping the previous, poor and largely faulty data there in OSM based on imports.


Vostochny Cosmodrome

From 2016-06-23, showing most recent building activities.


Panama Canal

From 2016-06-07 - the new locks.


Darwin and Wolf islands, Galapagos

From 2016-03-11 - two small islands with poor coverage in other sources.


Batam, Indonesia

From 2014 to 2016, quite a few islands missing or poorly mapped in OSM just a short distance from Singapore.


All of these are prepared from open satellite data, of course the main advantage of this is you do not depend on my or others' services to make use of it. Processing raw satellite data is something you need to learn to do it but it is not that difficult in principle. You just need time and an open mind to get the necessary experience and some background in photography or color physics definitely helps. There are quite a few mappers who routinely map from custom processed Landsat images for example.

And since the remark will inevitably arise - yes, these are all lower resolution than what is necessary for tracing smaller buildings or other small scale features. That is the downside of having up-to-date open data for everywhere in the world. But as said the main target here is abolishing the 15 year old even lower resolution and much poorer quality imagery. A nice secondary use is supplementing older high resolution data with information on recent changes like in case of the Vostochny Cosmodrome and the Panama Canal.

Cameroon Manyu Division

Posted by Prof Müller J on 20 July 2016 in English (English)

I am mapping the remote area of the Bitieku clan in Manyu division, South-West Province of Cameroon (on the border to North-West Province). Data is based on Mapbox Satellite and own GPS tracks.

Location: Ayukaba, Mamfe, Manyu, Southwest, Cameroon

Reporte de la jornada de la generación de datos en Guapi, Cauca

Posted by kaxtillo on 19 July 2016 in Spanish (Español)

OpenStreetMap Colombia anunciaba hace una semana el apoyo a la iniciativa de pre eliminación de la malaria en sitios de baja transmisión, un proyecto de vanguardia en salud pública en el país, liderado por la Secretaria de Salud del Cauca en convenio con la Universidad Nacional de Colombia y el Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute en el Municipio de Guapi, Cauca, ubicado en el Pacífico colombiano, en la subregión de Suramérica.

En el desarrollo de la jornada, el proyecto "Herramientas, formación y redes encaminadas a disminuir la carga por malaria en Colombia" contrató un sobrevuelo con dron de la cabecera municipal de Guapi y facilito los productos generados para servirlos en el TMS de OpenStreetMap Francia y luego abrió el proyecto de mapeo en la tarea HOT #26, para actualizar la cartografía en OSM de la zona a estudio del proyecto, por medio del trazado de las edificaciones desde la imagen aérea, usando editores de mapas como JOSM o iD, bajo la etiqueta "source=#MapatonXGuapi #UNAL #SSDC #SangerInstitute #TM-CO Secretaría de Salud del Cauca", parametrizado automáticamente en el proyecto de mapeo. El voluntariado de la comunidad OpenStreetMap Colombia y Latinoamérica, que vienen trabajando durante años para formar un grupo de creadores de datos geográficos que ayudan a la toma de decisiones en situaciones de crisis, participaron activamente del proceso y en menos de una semana entrego el 100% de la tarea, generando mas de 3.174 edificaciones del casco urbano que se puede ver consultando la herramienta de análisis de OSM. Sumado a la tarea de mapeo remoto los miembros de la comunidad Guapireña se encuentra adelantando un proceso de captura de datos en terreno utilizando FieldPapers.

Comunidad utilizando FielPapers Comunidad utilizando FielPapers

Los datos generados en OSM como datos geográficos abiertos estarán a disposición bajo la licencia ODbL, para las organizaciones académicas, humanitarias, de gestión del riesgo, de planeación urbana u ONG's que puedan usar estos datos para sus objetivos.

Agradecemos una vez más el esfuerzo del voluntariado de openstreetmap y a la comunidad de Guapi, quienes participaron en el desarrollo de esta tarea que fortalece la iniciativa de eliminación de la malaria en Colombia, muy pronto esperamos compartirles más noticias.

Texto alternativo

Location: 20 de Julio, Guapi, Cauca, Colombia

1 million buildings in Los Angeles

Posted by manings on 19 July 2016 in English (English)

Part of our series of diaries sharing experiences on the ongoing LA Building Import into OpenStreetMap. Last month, we talked about the tools. Today, it's all about the data.

Just last week, we've hit 1.1 million buildings imported in LA City!
A great milestone as we are in the final stretch of import, validation and clean-up for LA City. Here's a few map-shots on what happened in the last couple of months.

What happened?

We made sure that the import process followed the community accepted guidelines. Instead of importing everything with scripts/bots, we used the Tasking Manager to allow volunteers to take part. We divided LA City into four TM projects and organized mapathons within LA City to kick start the process. The animation below shows the weekly progress starting from Southside all the way to SF Valley. Large chunks of buildings were added during and after every mapathon.

time Weekly progress, March - July 2016.

We asked volunteers to use a dedicated account and over 100 usernames participated. You can see this checkerboard pattern when you color the buildings by username/id.

user Colored by user ID, > 100 usernames.

Before the import, a lot of buildings already exist. In recognition and respect to the mappers before us, we made sure that existing buildings were properly merged/conflated (in JOSM, we use the Replace Geometry tool). This is a tedious process but this is how it should be done. By doing this, we are keeping the editing history of existing buildings.

version Feature version. Blue = v1 to Yellow > v4.

What was imported?

Aside from the good quality of building footprint, we included several tags that describes every building. This is not visible in our default map rendering, but these tags exist in most of the data we imported.

Building types

We've included building types based on LA Country's Assessors information.

types Colored by building type.

Year the building was originally constructed

There's a lot of history in the urban expansion of Los Angeles starting from the pueblo in 1700s up to today. The import data has a year_built attribute which we included in the import. You can now see the city's settlement history in OpenStreetMap.

year_built Colored by year built, 1800 - 2015.

Building heights!

Rendered in Mapbox gl-js

These are a few of the tags we've added. I'm excited to see what the community creates out of this data. Our friends at MaptimeLA started experimenting with the data already!

cm0fn3_vyaaws-x jpg_large

Photo by MaptimeLA.

Are you planning on using this data in your own map? Catch the team this weekend at the SOTM-US and show us what you created!

More info about the import is available in the following links:

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

Mapping with Strava

Posted by joost schouppe on 19 July 2016 in English (English)

So I've been using the Strava data quite a bit recently. I knew the service from before, but then it was quite empty. The tip came from our übermapilliariator Filip when I was making too much notes mapping a nearby forest.

Strava for forest trails

I have mapped a lot of trails in Flemish forests. We're a densely populated piece of land, with very little forest (in fact, our environment minister literally said that "the purpose of a tree has always been to be cut down"). But even here, I have hardly ever visited a forest where all forest paths were mapped.

It requires local surveying as paths below trees are completely invisible, and we tend to do a better job mapping stuff you can see on sat pics... But even when you do go out to the woods, the resulting GPS tracks can be of bad quality. Strava to the rescue! Several million trips by hiking and biking-nerds are mashed together to give a clear indication of where people run and bike.

The easiest way to use it, is with the [Strava ID editor](, which comes preloaded with the layers you need. I often switch of the satellite imagery to improve visibility of the tracks. This ID version also contains the Slide tool, which lets you adjust geometry to the available tracks. I haven't had very satisfying results with that myself though. In Belgian forest, you can basically zoom in anywhere and find missing tracks. (For JOSM instructions, see the wiki)

Strava ID

Strava and surveying

Of course, you still have to combine this with some satpic reading skills, other sources and/or local knowledge. For example, when Strava, Wegenregister and Groteroutepaden GPX all point in the same direction, you can be pretty sure there's a path present.

I did spot some situations where people seem to be running straight through a meadow where no path is visible. And the standard view does not take into account time. Sometimes, clear changes are visible over time, see this experiment. So just looking at the global heatmap might get you mapping former paths.


Strava in Osmand

If you don't have other sources, or just want to go hiking somewhere you suspect mapping is incomplete, you can add this layer to Osmand. It will help you find paths with bad geometry, and help you find unmapped paths.Vague lines on the map, combined with a visible trailhead can be enough to verify the existence of the path. So you can add much more paths with just one survey. Note: I hid all polygons and road details on my view, which helps keep the map readable.

In Osmand

In the tradition of the app, the feature is well hidden. First of all, you need to have the "Online maps" plugin enabled. This is just a setting, no downloads required. Standard available layers include "Microsoft Earth" satpics and online OSM maps.

Strava isn't standard. To add it as a layer, you need to open the "Map source" menu, available under map settings. Scroll down till you find "Define/edit". The URL example is with blue lines. You can find more about this URL on the wiki

Setting it up in Osmand

Now your standard Osmand map is replaced with some blue lines. Great! Re-open the Map Source to get your "Offline vector maps" back. Now you can add the Strava layer as an Underlay or Overlay map. In the example above, I used it as an underlay with the basemap completely opaque. Forests (and other polygons) were switched off - but that does make for increased visibility.

(Note: I already contacted the Osmand Google Group with a feature request to make adding custom tiles just a little easier to use)

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

OpenStreetMap HackWeekend: Hacking and more!

Posted by poornibadrinath on 19 July 2016 in English (English)

It was two fantastic days of hacking, discovering, sharing and generally having fun. OSM HackWeekend opened a lot of doors in the process of learning new things, sharing new ideas, building new tools, hacking on amazing stuff. It was the first time Mapbox BLR played host to two days of hacking, working on tools that build and escalate OpenStreetMap and the results were anything but ordinary.


Hack weekend (2 & 3 of July) served as a platform for meeting a lot of new and interesting people and the turn out we had for the event was equally diverse and intriguing. We had twenty one people attend the event from different places across India and it was fascinating to hear what their interests are and why they thought OpenStreetMap HackWeekend would broaden their perspective and give a new edge to their work profiles.

Day 1:
  • Day one of Hackweekend started with Arun (PlaneMad) taking the participants to the world of opensource mapping with a session on OpenStreetMap. Many participants were new to mapping on OpenStreetMap and this introductory session was the icebreaker and a conversation starter. With people slowly getting the idea of open-source mapping and how it came into being with OpenStreetMap beginning its reign, the focus slowly turned to the tools that maintain and perfect OpenStreetMap. Kushan took charge of explaining the goals of the HackWeekend and what we planned on accomplishing over the weekend and thus, the hacking ---------------- began!

osm hackday

Day 2:
  • Day two, even though it had lesser turnout than day 1, was no less fruitful. Everyone continued to work on the projects they started the previous day and by the end of the day we had a solid progress on the tasks initialized. Here's the hackpad of the ideas that everyone worked on, and to summarise what everyone worked on:
    • Manoj, Maning, Jinal and I worked on localising iD editor by translating instructions to Malayalam, Tagalog, Gujarati and Kannada respectively.
    • OpenStreetMap main website has had some translation to Malayalam by Manoj and also, he worked on visualising 3D buildings.
    • Ram Gopal (VoidSpace) worked on Open GTFS: a way to generate GTFS feeds for anywhere in the world.
    • Prashant and team worked on using GL JS to visualise population and literacy rate in India.
    • Asif and team worked on creating an app using android SDK that tracked the location of a transport and estimate the amount of time it would take to reach the next stop or station.
    • Ravigopal did a Jekyll and css re-organisation of the OSM India website.

starred photos

Amidst all the hacks and so much information to process, we didn't realise it was time to conclude the event. With a brief session of discussing what everyone worked on and what were their learnings from two days of hacking, we wrapped up the OpenStreetMap HackWeekend. Eagerly looking forward to more hacking and more fun!

dscn1694-001 Cheers!

living_street und maxspeed...

Posted by MKnight on 18 July 2016 in German (Deutsch)

... hab ich mich da eigentlich schonmal ausgekotzt? Nein? Nun denn:

livingstreet mit maxspeed Bild zeigt JOSM mit allen in Deutschland gemappten living_street, die zusätzlich mit maxspeed gemappt sind. (schlappe 11.000 Stück...)

Ja, ich versuche mich so kurz wie immer zu fassen:

Gesetze in .de sind grob verallgemeinert so formuliert: es gibt kein maxspeed, Höchstgeschwindigkeit ist Schrittgeschwindigkeit. Das wird je nach Ordnungshüter und/oder Gericht unterschiedlich interpretiert. Die Meinungen gehen im Groben von 5-11km/h auseinander.

Sagte ich schon, dass es kein Maxspeed gibt? Oh, tatsächlich.

Was es übrigens überhaupt ganz und gar nie nicht gibt* sind living_street mit maxspeed=30 oder maxspeed=50 oder dergleichen. Wirklich nicht! Indianerehrenwort!

(* maxspeed=7 (etc.) ist zwar genauso falsch, aber der gute Wille ist erkennbar. Fühle Dich nur leise und ganz lieb angeschnauzt!!!!1)

Sodala, als Kaufmann noch paar Statistiken:

  • maxspeed=20 - 0492 ways
  • maxspeed=30 - 3751 ways (!!!)
  • maxspeed=40 - 0002 ways (was isn da kaputt?)
  • maxspeed=50 - 0114 ways
  • maxspeed=70 - 0008 ways (nee is klar!!111)
  • maxspeed=100 - 0006 ways (DU! MICH! AUCH!)

Ein paar overpass-turbo-abfragen für die 2-3 Leute, die das Problem aus der Welt schaffen oder wenigstens verkleinern möchten:

oder die grosse Keule:

Disclaimer: bevor wer auf die Idee kommt meinen Namen zu scannen, ja ich habe auch Leichen im Keller, wo mir das entweder nicht aufgefallen ist oder ich mangels Ortskenntnis nur eine Note gesetzt habe.

"History of Cartography" in PDF format

Posted by ImreSamu on 18 July 2016 in English (English)

"On this site the University of Chicago Press is pleased to present the first three volumes of the History of Cartography in PDF format. Navigate to the PDFs from the left column. Each chapter of each book is a single PDF. The search box on the left allows searching across the content of all the PDFs that make up the first six books."

( via Hacker News: )

 The History of Cartography, Volume 1

Simple Reflections

Posted by Zabot on 18 July 2016 in English (English)

Another quick update, this is the first step on the road to reflections. Mirror Lake This looks pretty good, but we can immediately see a few issues. The trees on the left are not visible in the reflection, and we had to use a prebaked skybox instead of the procedural sky. The surface of the lake is also incredibly still and perfectly reflective, which looks great for a small lake or pond, but would be off-putting if seen on a large river or the ocean.

Stay tuned for more as I make the water a bit less perfect.

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