Users' diaries

Recent diary entries

2016-2017 Recap

Posted by russdeffner on 24 March 2018 in English (English)

It has been a few years since I last posted what I have been up to as far as my Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) membership involvement as well as my personal contributions to OpenStreetMap (OSM). This time I thought it would be easiest to just do a brief overview by category:

The Homefront: Forest (and other) Mapping in Colorado

My goal of getting Park County, Colorado mapped continues to fall off schedule 😊 – I did get more done, just was side-tracked when a few of us started making a real push to map the forested parts of our state. Most of 2017 was focused on humanitarian mapping, so there is much more work I would still like to do locally. However, although it has been delayed on several accounts, we are so very close to starting the Denver Planimetrics import.

Disaster Response: Activation Coordination for HOT

There were lots of disasters over the last couple of years. Some notables were: Floods in Sri Lanka and Peru, a string of Earthquakes in 2016 (Indonesia, Japan, Ecuador), Hurricane Matthew, a ‘smaller’ outbreak of Ebola in the DRC and lots more that just didn’t require or garner a formal response. Two, I will expand upon…

  • Cyclone Winston: Although we did not elevate this to a full Activation, many of us spent a lot of time mapping Fiji. This is where we discovered the 'cane train' and how that tiny gauged rail is so hard to see. I felt it was a lot of great island mapping and now a large portion of Fiji has good road network and buildings (ie. Basemap for response).
  • Fall 2017 Disaster Response: If you could say there was a ‘highlight’ in HOT disaster response over these two years; this is it. For a while, I think it was literally a new disaster declaration every week. But somehow, we just kept taking them on and managing them well, given the circumstance. Working directly with FEMA for the Puerto Rico response and being that bridge between the local OSM community and response organizations is exactly what we prepare for and was successful with this response. Of course, we wanted to be able to provide more and get OSM into more people’s ‘toolkit’ but we at least got into the conversation and continue working with U.S. response organizations to further solidify the usefulness of crowd-sourcing in emergency response and recovery.

Community Building: The Wildest Places on Earth

  • Colorado & Wyoming: After some initial success having mapathons with the University of Wyoming, we went ahead and started a meet-up as part of our current OSM-Colorado plan. It hasn’t been very successful (yet), but WY is the least populated state in the U.S. so I think patience is key on growing that community. I hope (a) highly motivated individual(s) in Laramie or Cheyenne show some interest in hosting events or we’ll just keep trying to do one or two a year. There was a lot of action around Colorado meetups, I made some connections with OSM/Maptime Western Slope and started being more involved with the Maptime Boulder and MileHigh groups. I think Colorado is starting to get some very sustainable traction as a ‘micro community’ in the U.S.
  • Mongolia Connection: Most important to me was meeting Tunga from the Ger Community Mapping Center (GCMC) when she gave a presentation at Colorado State University in 2016. About a year later, I started helping one of their volunteers – based in Denver – organize mapathons as part of the GCMC’s microgrant program awarded by HOT. It is a very neat circle to be helping Mongolians promote OSM in Colorado after going to promote and teach OSM in Mongolia in 2013. And there’s the whole sister city relation with Ulaanbaatar and Denver, etc. I’m so happy this connection is continuing to promote community in and in-between our mappers.

Project Work: How I Paid the Bills

  • School Safety Maps: While I had some downtime from HOT project work in 2016, I was privileged to help ERCM Consultants with designing some emergency response/campus safety maps for a school near Washington D.C. This is in relation to some non-mapping related consulting I did for The "I love U Guys" Foundation who design and publish (for free) school (and other facilities) emergency response and recovery protocols.
  • End Malaria: In late 2016 I was selected to manage the Malaria Elimination campaign for HOT. This was a multi-partnership collaboration to map all buildings in a roughly 600,000 square kilometers area spread over 9 countries using a variety of tools like Tomnod, Mapswipe and large-scale validation techniques. This work has led to a continued partnership with several of the organizations and HOT will most likely continue to work on the eradication of Malaria until it is gone.
  • Indonesia Roads: There was not much of a gap between finishing up the final reports on my malaria contracts to starting on a new project. In late 2017 I was selected to manage the project to complete the road network in Indonesia. This has been great for me as some of the same mappers that were on our global team for malaria elimination are part of this project as well. It helps show our commitment to the map of Indonesia but also shows how much work it takes to truly complete the basemap of a country.

Events: Where I have Been

  • State of the Map Seattle July 2016: I’ll just say this may forever be one of my personal all time favorite conferences. Did get a scholarship so stayed in the dorms which may have added to the experience, but overall just had a great time.
  • HOT Summit and State of the Map Brussels September 2016: These I went on my own dime; really enjoyed Brussels and there was a great turnout of HOT friends with the Summit attached.
  • Missing Maps Gathering and HOT Summit September 2017: Last year we did the Summit ‘solo’ from another larger conference. The days before I was one of the HOT ‘delegation’ for the Missing Maps gathering which was a great work session and felt we came away with a better vision for the collaboration. The Summit itself was amazing and I would say is maybe my second favorite conference experience.
  • GIS In The Rockies September 2017: I thought about going the whole time, but in the end was too busy and just did our JOSM training workshop. We plan on doing it again this year but probably a longer session with a small fee going to help pay for OSM-CO/WY meetup.
  • State of the Map Boulder October 2017: Of course I was going to be at State of the Map Boulder. This was a great boost to our local community and think much of the action we are seeing in the meetup groups, etc. directly stems from the OSM energy at SotM-US.

Bing imagery

Posted by AkuAnakTimur on 24 March 2018 in English (English)

Today, I (accidentally) found out that the Bing imagery layer in OSM editors has seen an update — the last ever update for my local area, IIRC, is from 2013-ish. Many, many years ago, when some areas (even my state capital) were still stuck with Landsat imagery. There are limited high res imageries too, but it's quite outdated (some are from 2005, for example), for the rest of my country (Malaysia).

Mapbox decided to share their imagery too, roughly mid-2014; and last year DigitalGlobe and Esri chipped in as well. With the availability of more recent and higher resolution imageries, usually DG layers has become my staple for editing, since their debut from May last year.

Bing imagery - in the editors: iD and JOSM - is more or less, DigitalGlobe (DG) Premium layer, but with overzoom. The advantage is that new users might find that it is more bearable to edit in higher zoom levels. DG Premium would only display white tiles, when an editor is trying to go beyond zoom level 19.

Pretty thrilled to be honest, at least new editors will be able to benefit from this, as Bing imagery is the default imagery in the iD editor. Previously, I reckon these new editors (in my country) might find editing OSM so off-putting; seeing outdated imagery, or Landsat imagery where higher resolution imagery is not available.

So I checked Bing Maps, expecting changes. Who knows... Apparently, the satellite layer in their own website is not updated yet. Which baffled me a bit. Probably that will take some time?

P.S. Anyway thank you very much Microsoft for your imagery refresh.

Missing Maps Leaderboard Updates

Posted by dkunce on 23 March 2018 in English (English)

Missing Maps Leaderboard Updates

When Missing Maps started, it was impossible to imagine what it would ultimately become. The goal was to simply make more open map data available before disasters and to help the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team build more local mapping communities.

Early on we realized we needed better ways to quantify and track the impact of Missing Maps to OSM. Nearly 4 years later, we are making great progress on both of those fronts. Our efforts eventually produced the Missing Maps leaderboards, which sought to track individual users and teams.

The Missing Maps leaderboard technology is a streaming, real-time look at who is supporting our work. Initially funded by the Cisco Foundation, the leaderboards became a major way to engage and reward mappers. We were blown away when 4,000 mappers helped out on Missing Maps projects during the first year. Four years later, 52,000 mappers contributed to 1,200 mapping Missing Maps projects, the vast majority of those mappers were making their very first edits to OSM. In 2017, 10% of all new OSM mappers made their first edits in support of Missing Maps. The scale of tracking all these new users created problems for our system.

Thanks to a generous grant from Microsoft Philanthropies, Pacific Atlas migrated the stack to Microsoft Azure, completed a full analysis backfill, and rewrote large chunks to enable things to scale better in the future without dropping edits. As always, all the code is open, including the leaderboard code and the osm-stats infrastructure. We are always looking for help to create new badges or suggest new ideas.

The Numbers

  • Total Contributors: We did a complete backfill of OSM history using OSMesa to capture dropped edits and editors (and to update our calculations). You'll notice that our number of total contributors is well over 52,000 now.
  • Total Edits: The total number of edits has increased.
  • Building Edits: This is a big change. In the past we we tracked Buildings Added to OSM. After doing some reflection, this wasn't a good representation of the total volume of edits Missing Maps contributes. Building Edits now reflects both new additions and the contributions of our validators to clean up and coach new mappers.
  • Road Measurements: We've got some egg on our face here. We fixed some math errors (briefly: edits were counting the full length) and we are now correctly reporting the total km of roads added and edited.

Missing Maps Stats

What's New

  • New Data: We now have data for all changesets (previously we'd only been tracking #hashtagged ones). This means that user profile pages now include all edits made, rather than only those associated with hashtags. Users can still find their contribution to an individual hashtag by searching for the hashtag and user name in the leaderboards.
  • More POIs: Edits with amenity=* were previously the only POIs accounted for; we've expanded the set of tags tracked to better match Missing Maps editing activity.
  • New Leaders: With the new data we've got some new leaders. I'm totally amazed at the commitment and dedication of Missing Maps mappers. From the first-time mapathon volunteer who manages to complete 40 buildings to the repeat mappers who make literally hundreds of thousands of edits.
  • User Map: We changed the way the user contribution map is showing. Instead of a heatmap, we now display a simple choropleth that breaks down contributions by country.
  • Badges: We dropped support for the GPS Tracks Badge. We weren't seeing a big uptick in new tracks added to OSM and this is already supported on the OSM user profiles.
  • Slightly less real-time: Due to the increased volume of data that we're tracking, we had to reduce the aggregation frequency in order to keep things sprightly. Expect data to update approximately every 10-15 minutes.
  • OSM Stats API: OSM Stats API now supports some additional queries and options, not all of which are documented yet but will be in the coming days.
  • OSM Stats Workers: OSM Stats Workers was almost completely rewritten; metric calculations have been simplified and stream handling made more robust.

Missing Maps Leaderboards

Some notes I want to resolve

Posted by Sequatchie on 23 March 2018 in English (English)


Posted by NickF on 23 March 2018 in Russian (Русский)

Обновите спутниковые снимки по Самаре, много изменений

Location: 18-й км, Кировский район, Самара, городской округ Самара, Самарская область, Приволжский федеральный округ, 443028, РФ

OpenStreetMap Carto release v4.9.0

Posted by kocio on 23 March 2018 in English (English)

Dear all,

Today, v4.9.0 of the openstreetmap-carto stylesheet (the default stylesheet on the OSM website) has been released. Once changes are deployed on the it will take couple of days before all tiles show the new rendering.

Changes include

Major changes

  • A bug where closed ways with natural=cliff or natural=tree_row were not rendering has been fixed. This required fixing a transform bug. The fix will apply to all objects when they are created in OSM, but there is no migration for existing databases. Deployments will have to decide if the effects are serious enough to require them to reload the database.


  • Adding place=square name rendering
  • Adding rendering for different types of towers and masts
  • Making gardens to use grass color with plant nursery pattern
  • Adding rendering for intermittent water bodies
  • Give oceans outline and simplify shapefiles on z0-7
  • Simplify (generalize) admin borders
  • Move natural=grassland and landuse=meadow earlier
  • Start rendering aerialway name
  • Adding icons for amenity=bbq, amenity=shower, leisure=sauna and advertising=column
  • Adding special icons for shop=dairy, shop=medical_supply and shop=music
  • Move amenity=toilets to higher zoom levels
  • Fixing some SVG icons artifacts
  • Make military=danger_area font dark pink and slanted
  • Changing rendering for construction=steps to distinguish it from roads
  • Changing label colour of private parking
  • Small documentation and code fixes

Thanks to all the contributors for this release, including james2432, Penegal and jragusa, new contributors.

For a full list of commits, see

As always, we welcome any bug reports at

Zurich bus stop experiment

Posted by Varun Ojha on 23 March 2018 in English (English)


гора Шарха 725 м

Posted by Serg Podarevsky on 23 March 2018 in Russian (Русский)

Странное дело с высотными отметками этой горы. 725 или 734 метров? Проверить нужно 😎

MapaBabae - an OSM workshop for women, with women

Posted by GOwin on 23 March 2018 in English (English)

Yesterday, a unit of the Social Welfare Department organized and hosted MapaBabae - an OpenStreetMap workshop for Women, with Women - in their central office in Quezon City, to mark Women's Month, and to introduce OSM as a tool for mapping, and to promote the value of diversity and inclusiveness in any community.

Kudos to the organizers for a refreshing take of mapa-thons, and the interesting discussion about language, empowerment, the potentials of open data in their work.

image Jen, draws inspiration from the local Geo Ladies first (and only?) meet-up from 2014

As with other mapping activities, they also learned and edited maps of their communities. However, I found the discussions, and questions, more interesting.

A notable query was: "what's the tag for baby feeding rooms?" I did a quick search, and to my surprise (and dismay), there's no accepted convention. And yet, a proposal for baby_care was made in 2015.

I wish to see (and hope to support) more outreach activities to encourage diverse participation, and with more people organizing thematic mapping activities, to help map the communities they live in, work with, or simply because they love to map. The challenge of gender and language (and even the use of "mapa-thon") as a possible discouragement to mapping was eye-opening.

image Helping change the ratio. 17:24

There are a few more photos here.

Location: Batasan Hills, Commonwealth, District II, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1119, Philippines

The effect of the new iD release on restrictions

Posted by Zverik on 22 March 2018 in English (English)

Turn restrictions are pretty common to OSM, them being the second most popular relation type, after multipolygons. Usually a restriction is a relation with two highway ways, "from" and "to" and a "via" member connecting these. The value of "restriction" tag adds a meaning: which kind of turn is forbidden on this route. For example, "restriction=no_left_turn" (and any other no_* value) forbids going from "from" to "to" way using "via" intermediate objects. Alternatively there are "only_*" values, forbidding any routes from the "from" way except the one leading to "to".

Usually "via" members are nodes, which makes them redundant for all types of restrictions except "no_u_turn" (which has the same way in "from" and "to" roles). Thus supporting them in a routing libraries has been easy. But — a "via" member can also be a way. For example, on a dual-carriageway, like the one pictured below. Supporting ways for "via" members is hard, but they constitute less than 3% of all restriction relations, so developers have often ignored these.

Screenshot of the new restriction editor in iD

On the 5th of March, a new major version of iD editor was released. Among the changes, one stands out: the restriction editor got a big update. Now — finally — it allows adding "only_straight_on" restrictions (and others of the kind). And using ways in "via" roles. It looks awesome, and I'd like to thank Bryan for this feature. It is very intuitive, and I like that the iD team puts user experience first.

This change will obviously affect the number of restriction relations that have ways in "via" roles. And these have been hard to deal with. I don't know if all routing engines support such restrictions. MAPS.ME currently does not.

So to decide if supporting these restrictions should be a priority, I conducted a small research on how the change to the editor affected the map. First, I looked at the number of restriction relations by "last edited" date:

A chart of restrictions by four categories

The black vertical line marks the day before the announcement.

You can clearly see that after the announcement, mappers started adding all kinds of restrictions, not just the new supported types. The most popular kind are "no_*" restrictions (e.g. "no_left_turn") with a node in the "via" role. But you can notice the surge in "only_*" restrictions (e.g. "only_straight_on") after the announcement, which by now has almost receded to the pre-March levels, ~100 a day. And there is a clear rise in new relations having ways in the "via" roles, from 10-20 before the new iD version, to 50-200 (!) after. While coming in waves, the number does not seem to decline.

Let's calculate percentages of these previously rare kinds of relations:

Percentages of only_* relations and ways in "via" roles

I have extended the period a bit, to account for a "calm" two-month period. Obviously, the rate of "only_*"-type restrictions did not change at all. The increase in their absolute numbers coincided with the similar increase in relations of other types.

But the percentage of relations with ways in "via" roles has definitely started to rise. From 3-5% before the new iD to 10% and rising after. It is entirely possible this line will settle on around 15-20%, which means around 300-400 new such relations every day. Which means, if you make a routing engine, you can no longer ignore relations with ways in "via" roles.

Traditionally such relations were made for restricting u-turns on a double-carriage highways. This chart confirms it:

Number of no_u_turn relations compared to others

The main increase is still in u-turn restrictions: as many as 260 a day the week after the announcement. Naturally, a developer might think they need to implement the support for only that type of a relation with a way in "via" role. It probably could be done with some kind of a shortcut patch.

Alas, other types of restrictions with ways as "via" are no longer virtually non-existent. From 1-2 a day, mappers now add 20-40 relations of other types daily. Here is the list of restriction types for relations with "via" member ways (thanks Roland and Martin for the Overpass stack!):

  • 23429 no_u_turn
  • 690 no_left_turn
  • 442 only_straight_on
  • 386 no_right_turn
  • 240 no_straight_on
  • 185 only_left_turn
  • 114 only_right_turn
  • 7 only_u_turn

Okay, no way around this issue. Looks like any routing engine that does not support ways in "via" roles won't be able to route properly from now on. And we in MAPS.ME have to catch up.

But... Is that all? Let me show you this:

Chart of relations with more that one "via" member

Yay, iD editor supports restrictions that span two and more ways! We had 800 such relations in total before March, and in just two weeks mappers have added 150 more. I am pretty sure there are no more than two routing engines supporting such chains of "via" members, and that's being generous. So — get to work, developers: the routing over OpenStreetMap has just got much more complicated.

"Muss man das taggen?"

Posted by MKnight on 22 March 2018 in German (Deutsch)

So oder ähnlich kommt's gefühlt täglich im Forum in irgendnem Thread. Aktuell mal wieder stillgelegte Bahnstrecken ohne Schienen und diverse andere Baustellen. Die Relevanzkeulen kommen immer näher.

Muss man das taggen? Nein, muss man nicht. Man muss auch keine Häuschen taggen, Hundekotbeutelspender oder Autobahnen. Muss man nicht, wirklich.

"Ich würde das nicht taggen". Ja, dann lass es doch einfach, verflucht?!

Парагельмен 857м.Широта 44.62141 Долгота 34.33791

Posted by Serg Podarevsky on 22 March 2018 in Russian (Русский)

С удивлением наблюдаю разницу в координатах вершины горы и её высоте... Речь идёт о репере триангуляционый пункта. ПАРАГЕЛЬМЕН 871м (857м) MAPS.ME 44°37′17.01″N 34°20′14.91″E карта 44.621393, 34.337475 карта 44°37′24″ с. ш. 34°20′18″ в. д. википедия

OSMAND Широта 44.62140 Долгота 34.33747 44,6213934, 34,3374765.  N 44 37.400 E 34 20.300

Мои данные (репер) Широта 44.62141 Долгота 34.33791

😎 Разберёмся.

Location: Алуштинский завод железобетонных конструкций, Алуштинский городской совет, 298540, Украина

I am an Indigenous She mapper

Posted by HaonHiAki on 22 March 2018 in English (English)

I had not taken OSM seriously until I began to need info and wanted to correct current map information in my locality. But I only edit maps here whenever I am in the mood or when I have time. In the early part of my mapping on osm, a great part of that was dedicated to correcting info on places that I am very familiar with.

My being female of the species has not really concerned me until I read an article today regarding the small percentage of women among mappers. In the listed members of WikiProject Philippines, I could see that I am only 1 of about 4 female names among 49 contributors. This made me edit Preferences on my wikipage. I clicked on "She edits wiki pages" on the question, "How do you prefer to be described?"

Let me emphasize another fact.

I belong to an indigenous community.

I am a full-blooded indigenous person.

OSM Shantou Project - OSM 汕头计划

Posted by weng_housing on 22 March 2018 in English (English)


OSM 汕头市计划

Greeting to all OSM editors,

As (former) local citizen of Shantou city I've recently begun to edit the Shantou Area OSM (Wikipedia of Shantou: The project is not, however, limited to Shantou municipal area. Several modifications of mine were located in Jieyang and Chaozhou (the Chaoshan Intl. Airport and Chaoshan Railway Station as well as their proximity areas).

So far I've completed some blocks of the center city area of Shantou, particularly those around big commercial center, schools and some hospitals. The airport and railway stations are also completed from my point of view.

Since I've lived in the center city, the local knowledge serves well.

Generally there are already some works done at Shantou area: most of the main streets and highways, the coastline. I believe that there were some OSM editors who had already made some contributions (probably students of Shantou University since there is a well structured STU area on OSM now).

The project consists rougly of:

  1. The center of the Shantou City (Jinping* and Longhu Districts): buildings, neighbourhoods, local streets and alleys, etc. which is relatively easy for me to complete.
  2. The rural area (Chenhai, Haojiang, Chaoyang, Chaonan Districts, of which I don't possess enough local knowledge for these areas).
  3. The island Nao'ao County: I've made some modifications about the landscapes and added some buildings but it's far from done.

The project can be expanded to a Grand Chaoshan Area Project if local editors of Chaozhou and Jieyang City join in.

  • It would be very interesting if the historical area of Jinping District (老市区), especially the area of Sun Yet-Sen Memorial Pavilion (小公园纪念亭) be completed by marking all historical buildings. It would be useful for the memorial protection work (actually some NGO in Shantou has done some remarkable works, ex. 汕头山水社).
Location: Longhu District, Shantou, Jinping District, Shantou City, Guangdong, 515000, PRC

That's weird the Premium DigitalGlobe imagery

Posted by ilasolthah on 22 March 2018 in English (English)

#Premium DigitalGlobe imagery

With Premium DigitalGlobe imagery at 100m you can see buildings and it is not comfortable to edit them at this zoom level being too small but the height when you zoom out 50m the buildings disappear. As I use JOSM frequently, I tried ID editor and it's the same thing. That's weird. photo 1 zoom at 100 m photo 2 zoom at 50 m

Location: Terminus, Saguia, Niamey, 10973, Niger

3D models in OSM?! 3D Model Repository has just launched!

Posted by n42k on 21 March 2018 in English (English)

It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of the 3D Model Repository, available at!

The main aim of the project is to enable a better 3D rendering of OSM data, placing 3D models at everything from landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, to benches on the street.

Starting off from my Google Summer of Code project, over the past few months, along with my mentors, Jan and Tobias, I have been working hard on setting up the infrastructure required for the launch, namely a web server and the domain, which have been warmly provided by FOSSGIS. Along with this, some new features and bugfixes were added to the repository, including a PR by dkiselev. Finally, the last few miscellaneous issues before the launch have been resolved, and a few sample models were added to the repository.

On the renderer side, -karlos- has been making great progress with OSM go, having provided us with an easy way to show off the features of the repository. An example rendering can be seen here or in the picture below.

Screenshot of OSM go showing the benches in Viana


Contributions are always welcome, in any form! There's several ways to contribute to the repository, such as modelling or developing. If you know how to use Blender or SketchUp, you can get started right away modelling features of your town, consult the wiki for more information. Otherwise, if you'd rather develop, you can implement the repository in a 3D renderer (more information available on the wiki and the API documentation), or add new features to the repository itself (a Gitlab repository is available). Other than that, if you have any other idea, make sure to get in contact.

Hope to see your additions!

Điện thoại Bình Trang Bạc Liêu

Posted by binhtrang on 21 March 2018 in Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)

Điện thoại Bình Trang Bạc Liêu

Location: Trần Phú, Bạc Liêu, Việt Nam

Taginfo ( Africa,Central-America,Antarctica) - public testing ( for 2 weeks )

Posted by ImreSamu on 21 March 2018 in English (English)

I am testing "taginfo" instances:

  • "Taginfo is a system for finding and aggregating information about OSM tags and making it browsable and searchable. It was created by Jochen Topf." link

You can reach my testing site here for the next 2 weeks( after I will shut down )


  • Africa: every country - daily refresh
  • Central-America: every country - daily refresh
  • Antarctica: daily refresh
  • other (Asia ,Antartica and Oceania, Europe, North-America, South-America, Russia )
    • just some examples ... - no refresh .


About ~ 120 testing areas, some examples:

I am also looking hosting/dev sponsors - if it is useful.

After 2 weeks - you can reach the latest info in the source code repo :


Posted by shin_kansen on 21 March 2018 in Abkhazian (Аҧсуа)


Wpis testowy

Posted by vovdol on 20 March 2018 in Polish (Polski)

Witam, to mój pierwszy wpis testowy. Zobaczymy co z tego wyjdzie :)