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Interessante Orte

Posted by Chaedouin on 3 December 2014 in German (Deutsch)

OSMF Members: Please Vote at the General Meeting this Weekend

Posted by SimonPoole on 3 December 2014 in English (English)

Dear OSMF members

You have likely already seen the announcement for the upcoming general meeting on the 7th of December. I would ask you to make the small effort and either participate directly in the meeting on Sunday or, better, vote via proxy now.

As I pointed out in the original proposal for this general meeting, actually achieving the 75% votes to carry the special resolutions is a very high hurdle and unlikely to be achieved without support by the board. But even if we do not pass the 75% mark, a high as possible support for the term limits will send a clear signal to the board that we want the issues to be addressed.

It has been suggested that the main problem with the proposed term limits is that they actually affect some of the board members ability to continue to stand for re-election. Without us sending that clear signal to the board, it is very likely that the board will implement placebo limits that only serve to pacify their electorate and have no real effect.

Please make the small effort to participate in this vote and make your voice heard!


Geoládák környékének utólagos OSM szerkesztése

Posted by veelaci on 2 December 2014 in Hungarian (Magyar)

Mostanában több olyan érdekes hely környezetét is sikerrel pontosítottam, amit még korábban kerestem fel, geoláda keresés közben. Ott és akkor általában semmilyen trackelési és térképezési szándékom nem volt.


Ládakeresés közben többnyire van nálam GPS, melynek tracklogjait ömlesztve is archiválni szoktam (nem sok helyet foglalnak). Ládakeresés közben általában fotókat is csinálok a környékről, melyeken sok olyan dolog látszódik, amiknek egy térképen is helye lehet. A fotókat is archiválni szoktam, válogatva, de ömlesztve is.

Ezek így együtt remek térképezési alapanyagok, a JOSM pedig támogatja könnyed használatukat.

A módszer

  1. Kinézek egy ládát, amit már megtaláltam és a környéke nem túl kidolgozott az OSM-en.

  2. A ládaoldalon, a logolásom dátumából látom, hogy pontosan mikor jártam ott.

  3. Előveszem az aznapi tracklogot és az aznapi fotókat.

  4. A JOSM-ban letöltöm a környéket. Bekapcsolom valamelyik műholdképet majd egy közeli forgalmasabb és látható kereszteződés, illetve az ott futó trackek alapján beállítom az eltolást.

  5. Ráhúzom a szerkesztőre a tracklogot, majd a fotókat is. A JOSM megpróbálja a log pontjaihoz párosítani a fotókat. Szerencsés esetben a fényképezőgép, vagy a mobil órája pontosan van beállítva (a GPS műholdas időt használ, így mindig pontos). Erre mobilnál nagyobb az esély, főleg, ha be van állítva az automatikus idő szinkron. Ha valamiért nem kerülnek a kis fotó ikonok a helyükre a szerkesztő ablakban, akkor manuálisan kell beállítani az eltolást. Pl. megkeresni a jelszóról készült fotót (és készítési idejét), majd a logban megkeresni azt a részt, amikor a láda körül tipródtunk (és az ottani pontok idejét); vagy egy jellemző, műholdképen is látható tereptárgyat keresni (pl. kereszteződést), amit le is fotóztunk. A két idő különbségéből megvan az eltérés a két eszköz közt. Az eltolást a JOSM-ban, a jobb oldali "Rétegek" ablakban, a "Geotagelt képek"-re jobb egérgombbal kattintva, majd a "Képek korrelálása GPX nyomvonalhoz" menüpontot választva tudjuk beállítani. (A hivatalos megoldás ilyen esetben, hogy le kell(ett volna) fotózni a kütyü óráját, de itt most utólag vagyunk...)

  6. Ezután a képeket aprólékosan végignézve, majd a légifotókkal egyeztetve, illetve emlékeinket felelevenítve rengeteg apró dolog megrajzolható. Ha a tracklog jó minőségű, vagy a légifényképen látszik az út, amin mentünk, akkor akár azt is megrajzolhatjuk.

Szóba jöhető objektumok, pl.: információs táblák, emlékművek, pihenők, padok, ösvények (+iránya és járhatóság), kisebb hidak, épületek, turistajelzések, útjelző táblák, stb.

Jó kísérletezés és rajzolást!

[Minta fényképek, hamarosan...]

Website for asking to improve just one area in OpenStreetMap (or paying for improvement)

Posted by karussell on 2 December 2014 in English (English)

I know that HOT and other community processes improve exactly one area and I also know that paying people for OSM could be seen strange under certain circumstances.

But sometimes there is a need for a company which wants to improve exactly one area. E.g. to make self driving cars less dangerous with OSM data in one area or showcasing an OSM based application in the companies its district or whatever.

So, is there a website, company or process where one could ask for such specific area improvements for OSM? And what problems you see if there would be such a solution?

Belgium: Mapper of the Month December 2014

Posted by escada on 2 December 2014 in English (English)

The second article in this series. Nederlandse tekst - Texte français

Mapper of the month: Guy Vanvuchelen

Guy's username is GuyVV. He is 70 and lives in the area around Tienen. He has worked all his life for a bank. During the last years of his active career he made a lot of statistics, using tools such as Framework, DBase, Excel and Access. He bought his first computer, a MSX, in 1988. A few years later he switched to a "PC". Although he lost track, he assumes that he already owned 20 different models. He is an amateur photographer since his 16th birthday. Later on, he also made digital videos and recently he is into digital photography. Since his retirement he started to walk, slightly pushed by his wife. After buying a Garmin Etrex, he enjoyed it more since he had something to do; namely recording tracks!

How and when did you discover OpenStreetMap?

While I was looking for free maps for my Garmin, I discovered OpenStreetMap. Almost immediately, I realized that those free maps were often better than the official, expensive maps from Garmin. For this reason I use OSM on my Garmin and with OsmAnd.

What kind of mapper are you and where are you mapping?

Wherever I go for my walks, typically signposted walks with a club, I make notes. I do not really make structured notes. For this purpose, I use OsmAnd with voice recording. At the moment I try to "write down" the width of roads, the maximum allowed speed, the surface or type of track, the start and end of villages. Furthermore I am interested in all chapels and wayside shrines, so I mark them as well. From time to time I also encounter footpaths ("Trage Wegen") that are missing. After a walk of 10 kilometers, I have 30-50 minutes of voice recorded notes. From time to time I get some unexpected help from my walking buddies when they let me know beforehand when we are approaching a wayside chapel. They do not really know what I am doing and they think I am only interested in taking a picture.

What do you map and do you have any specialization?

When I started, I thought we should only map roads. I know better now. I'm not specialized in a certain topic, but I will never pass a little chapel without making a note! For awhile, I also collected some address information. I started around my house and walked all the street in the neighborhood. After the arrival of AGIV, I did some couch mapping of house numbers. At this moment I am not sure whether I should continue or now. There has been a lot of discussion on the Belgian mailing list and I do not know whether it is worth the effort to collect the data by surveying.

Why do you map? What motivates you?

I would love to make the map better than the commercial maps, especially around Tienen. I hope that this will make it easier for me convince family and friends to use OpenStreetMap. One of the problems I see at the moment is that the data for car navigation are not complete enough and therefore people do not start using it. Most mappers are mapping from walking or cycling perspective and seem less interested in that type of data. Let me explain this a bit more. I drive with a caravan behind my car. Therefore I do not want to drive along small roads where it is difficult to pass a car from the opposite direction. My TomTom does not help me in this case. Therefore I want to add the width or the number of lanes in OpenStreetMap, so that in the end the map is better than the commercial ones.

Do you do other things related to OpenStreetMap?

Not really, only an occasional attempt to convince friends.

What are your ideas about expanding the OpenStreetMap community? How can we motivate more people?

It is still to difficult for people to start contributing. This is partly due to the lack of documentation in Dutch. I think that meeting on a regular basis for small groups of people could be very helpful. We could stimulate, learn together, etc.

What is in your view the greatest strength of OpenStreetMap?

The data that is available for hikers and cyclists, e.g. via Garmin maps

What are the biggest challenges for OpenStreetMap?

To bring the car navigation on the same level and to keep all data up-to-date

To conclude, is there something else you want to share with the readers?

Start simple. Take one topic, study the documentation and focus on that for awhile

Location: Hakendover, Tienen, Leuven, Flemish Brabant, Flanders, 3300, Belgium

The Magic MapRoulette Machine

Posted by mvexel on 2 December 2014 in English (English)

Making a MapRoulette challenge has always been a bit of a, well, challenge. I wrote a tutorial in an attempt to explain the process, but in the end, it is still more work than I would like it to be, and more technical than I would like it to be, too.

So I made something new: the Magical MapRoulette Machine!

The MMM lets you create a MapRoulette challenge interactively. Just answer a few simple questions and your own challenge can be live in minutes. The key component, the part that actually defines which OSM ways or nodes you want to have fixed, is an Overpass API query. If you are not familiar with writing queries in the Overpass Query Language, that would be the only thing you would need to learn a little bit about.

How do I use the Machine?

First download and install it using the instructions on the project page.

Once you have the Machine on your machine, you can just run it in interactive mode by calling it like this: ./ It will then ask you a series of questions about things like the Title, Instruction, Help text, etcetera. All those bits are explained in the MapRoulette Tutorial.


Next, it will ask you which MapRoulette server to use. It will default to the dev server, which is a great place to start. It is publicly accessible so you can use it to 'battle-test' your Challenge idea. It will also ask if this is a new Challenge or not. Unless you are uploading your Challenge for the first time, you should accept the default, which is to update an existing challenge.


(By now you will have noticed that there are default values for each question. These represent an example challenge for shops and restaurants without opening hours around Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. They are just meant to give you some more guidance.)

Next up is the most interesting question: which OSM nodes / ways will actually represent your tasks? You tell the Machine by way of an Overpass query.


Let's look at that a little more closely. Consider this simple example. Say I am a Dutch mapper and I want to create a challenge to fill in all missing lanes on motorways in and around the Netherlands. The Overpass query for that is fairly straightforward.

The Overpass QL looks intimidating at first, but the basics are easy to learn. And for the Magical MapRoulette Machine, you only need the part that actually queries the nodes (or ways). The rest is taken care of internally.

query stub You only need the highlighted part

Once you have the Overpass Query, you are 95% of the way there!

The Machine will now talk to the Overpass API and retrieve your tasks. Depending on the size of the area you are querying, and the complexity of the query, this could take a little while. The machine will eventually respond, and ask you to confirm one more time:


At the bottom it will give you the link to your new challenge! Yay! (The example one is online as well to prove that it really works!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Location: De Guigne Drive, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California, 94086, United States of America

OSM issues apparently ?

Posted by PmaiIkeey on 2 December 2014 in English (English)
  1. Missing road type : Dual Carriageway.

Significant as legislation is different on this type of road.

  1. Street naming style

I'm playing with Millom - notably King St and Queen St, chopping and changing cuts/sections so that the priority streetname crosses the streets that have to give way.

Comments ???

  1. Map rendering(?) issue - random beach appearing at some zoom levels well inland in iD edit mode. Nr. Silecroft. I've captured images of the problem. Various triggers cause the issue to come and go (SAVE, ZOOM+, ZOOM-, REFRESH PAGE). Maybe it's stopped happening now ??? !

  2. Are we supposed to mark settlements with a large residential area ? I see some are and some aren't so marked.

  3. tag search results: '1 result for "war memorial" ' - yet "war memorial" doesn't come up in the results to be chosen. It's 'difficult' finding the correct tags as they're not always available - e.g. Level Crossing.

  4. Adding points to lines - is there a better way than adding a stand-alone point to the map and then dragging it onto the line you want to add a point to ? Why can't there be an 'add point' icon at all positions along a line rather than just at the ends ?

  5. Is this the best forum for discussions and issue-raising ? I looked at the wiki but it needs another login - something not even needed on Wikipedia !

Having got that lot off my chest....

Hi, I'm new here - and recently rejoined the OSM contributors - having found updating Google maps so tricky!

  1. How do you 'read' from the maps - having just noticed the lat/long boxes below - that's a useful tool ('use map) - just wish both co-ords were in one box !

  2. Google has 'My Maps' function - is something similar available with OSM ?

All for now,


Location: Lancashire Road, Copeland, Cumbria, North West England, England, LA18 4BT, United Kingdom

Street Markets Santiago Chile

Posted by arielcardeal on 1 December 2014 in Spanish (Español)


tengo archivos de los mapas de las ferias libres de santiago. Como los puedo subir al mapa?

Location: Barrio Franklin, Santiago, Provincia de Santiago, XIII Región Metropolitana de Santiago, 8940000, Chile

One year older

Posted by walley on 1 December 2014 in English (English)

Mapper since: December 01, 2006. two more years and it'll be 10 years. I will probably forget, so congratulating myself in advance.

Happy mapping.

Location: Novosady, Litovel, okres Olomouc, Olomouc Region, Střední Morava, 78401, Czech Republic

HOT 2014 Review

Posted by russdeffner on 1 December 2014 in English (English)

Greetings, this is a brief recap of my contributions to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in 2014.

In February 2014 I was nominated and accepted as a Voting Member of HOT and in March I was elected as the Chairperson for the Voting Members.

At the end of March, as some of you well know, we began an Activation to assist Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), aka Doctors Without Borders, with the Ebola crisis in West Africa, see for details. I assisted the Activation Coordinators at the beginning of the Activation by updating that wiki page for about the first month, as well as completing a handful of mapping tasks. I also remotely contributed to the Map Lesotho Mapathon in July.

As Chairperson, my focus was less on the mapping, and more on the ‘behind-the-scenes’ operations of HOT. I attempted to assemble the Voting Members for an ‘annual meeting’ twice, but was unable to get a quorum (at the time a majority) of our members. This was obviously a problem and after many meetings and conversations it became fairly clear that with a worldwide membership, even meeting electronically, would be difficult.

So I shifted my efforts to helping re-ignite the HOT Working Groups, especially the Governance WG. Although I also participated in the Activation WG, Training WG, Community WG, Communication WG, and attended a few Technical WG meetings; I’m going to focus on the achievements of the Governance WG here. Our first priority was to address the issue(s) of assembling our membership to hold legitimate meetings in order to conduct business. We decided our best course of action would be to ease the quorum requirement; the alternative would have been to start removing members (which would have been an extremely difficult and much longer process). In order to do so, we needed to get a majority of members to assemble in order to ratify a change to the bylaws. So first, we drafted and proposed Proxy Rules which were approved by the Board of Directors to use for a Special Meeting of the Voting Members to adopt an amendment to our Bylaws changing the quorum to ¼ of our members – which the Gov WG also drafted.

This culminated in our first ever meeting of the Voting Members, on October 16th, where a majority of us were present or represented by a proxy; i.e. able to conduct business. The meeting was specific to ratifying the quorum clause of the Bylaws and that was approved. Although I had high hopes to accomplish more in my first year as Chair, I am pleased with the progress we made as this should make future meetings of the membership much easier to conduct. Now the Governance WG will set its sights on the (quickly) approaching new member nominations and HOT election cycle.

As a side note, I also had to address an issue with several members regarding how we speak to and respect each other and hope I brought enough of a resolution that no further disciplinary action is required. Also throughout the year I continued to support our OSM community in Mongolia, see for the backstory and spoke at the University of Colorado on the subject in February.


Russell Deffner

Chairperson for the Voting Members

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team


Posted by Дмитрий26 on 1 December 2014 in Russian (Русский)


Location: Бештау, Иноземцево, городской округ Железноводск, Ставропольский край, Северо-Кавказский федеральный округ, Российская Федерация

NYC Community Garden Project and OSM

Posted by emacsen on 1 December 2014 in English (English)

I did a little writeup on what the NYC OSM community it up to.

How to improve OSM: kill the bureaucracy

Posted by Tom Morris on 1 December 2014 in English (English)

I've been mapping for a while now. I have some issues with the way OSM currently works.

  1. The current tagging/import approval process is silly. To get a new tag approved formally, you are supposed to post about it on tagging-l. Then you are supposed to write a wiki page, then have comments on the wiki page, then have an RfC on the wiki talk page, then announce the RfC on the mailing list. If someone says "yeah, I'm not wild about this idea", that's pretty much a blocker for it happening at all. The alternative to this process is to simply start putting tags on things when you edit them and create an informal convention. Because the former process is so ludicrously painful and slow, it is much easier to tell people who you meet who say "I'd really like to start putting X on OSM" to just go ahead and do it quietly without telling anyone, and then it probably won't be a problem.

  2. The wiki doesn't match reality. The RfC process is so ludicrously over-complicated partly because nobody is sure whether the wiki exists to document existing behaviour or to specify what ought to be done. That is, nobody is sure if the wiki is descriptive or normative. It has thus ended up being both and neither.

  3. There doesn't seem to be a process for ever tidying the wiki, and no feeling that we should ever bring discussions to an actual consensus. Over on Wikipedia, for all its faults, admins do at some point close discussions and say "here's the rough consensus: X". On OSM, the discussions just rumble on forever.

  4. The culmination of this slow and silly process for approving proposed tags or imports is that now when friends come to me and say "I've got this really awesome idea for using OSM and we could contribute data back", I now say "yeah, good luck with that: the community process is so slow and bureaucratic, it often isn't worth bothering with". That's toxic. It's absolutely ghastly that smart, informed programmer types come to me and say "we've potentially got some amazing data we could contribute to OSM" and my answer is "that sounds awesome but the process is so broken that you shouldn't bother doing it officially, just do it quietly and unofficially".

There's some simple things we could do to fix this.

  1. Close most mailing lists. Mailing lists suck. Over at we eliminated all our mailing lists and just use a wiki instead. See wiki is better than email.

  2. Get rid of most of the RfC process. It doesn't work.

  3. Switch to a default of "let's allow things to happen, then fix them when they break" rather than the current "let's have long, pointless mailing list discussions and then say no".

  4. Develop a process that is based around evidence collection. When I proposed the dress code feature, I provided comprehensive examples of different types of dress code that people were actually publishing on the web. The point is that when deciding on a new tag or feature proposal, we should be guided by the evidence of what people are already trying to express in other settings. The alternative process to this is called "making shit up out of whole cloth". It has a proud and noble tradition in standards-making. Alas, that tradition is also accompanied by a history of complete failure.

If we want enthusiastic contributors to work on making OSM fill all sorts of interesting and unpredictable new use cases, we should welcome those people in rather than keep around processes that are slow, bureaucratic and alienating.

† Церкви в Брянске

Posted by JaromirJagr on 1 December 2014 in Russian (Русский)

Тихвинская церковь XVIII в. в стиле барокко Последнее время пишу в блоге о наиболее примечательных брянских церквях и храмах и заметил, что далеко не все корректно обозначены тегами и зачастую не имеют названий на OSM, когда встраиваю карту. Непорядок! Захоронение протоиерея Более того, на территориях, как монастырей, так и церквей, есть захоронения священников, монахов или гражданских лиц, которые не обозначены вообще ни на каких картах из доступных. Причём, порой встречаются массовые захоронения, как в Спасо-Гробовском монастыре, Церкви Воскресения Христова, Тихвинской церкви или у стен Свенского монастыря. Захоронения священства Сложность в нанесении на карту заключается в том, что спутниковые снимки Bing Maps не имеет высокой чёткости, а зачастую область захоронений скрыта деревьями или постройками. Выручает то, что являюсь местным жителем и довольно давно знаю эти места.

Собственно, буду продолжать начатое дело.

Location: Володарский район, Брянск, городской округ Брянск, Брянская область, Центральный федеральный округ, Российская Федерация

COFFEEDEX & the single-tag revolution

Posted by tmcw on 1 December 2014 in English (English)

COFFEEDEX is a thing I made to track coffee prices worldwide.

Late in the iD Editor sprint, I wrote osm-auth to make the OAuth dance easier for potential future editors, thinking that a lot of common editing tasks would require super-focused UIs. COFFEEDEX is more or less the first attempt at doing that: it edits a single tag on a single type of node, amenity=cafe, and only on local nodes.

It's also made to be a pretty decent example for people who want to write their own editors: it's ~500 lines of terse JavaScript, pretty well-organized with React & the latest goodies.

Does this bloat the database? My back of napkin math says that if we tagged all 150,000 cafes with 32 chars of <tag k='coffee:price' v='$10' /> we'd end up with a grand total of 38.4MB of bloat, on a database that weighs 38GB, so we're talking a tenth of one percentage of an increase.

Which brings me to the idea: what other things can we conquer in a single tag? Wheelmap is the great-grandaddy and most awesome example of this. How about:

  • An editor that asks you how many stories the building you're currently standing in has. Or what color?
  • Bridge height entries
  • Opening-hours-only editor


See a bug? If you have a GitHub account and want to be super nice to me, please file a bug in the GitHub issue tracker!

Location: Hedges Road, Chester, Morris County, New Jersey, 07930, United States of America

Mapping Botswana report for November 2014

Posted by Mapping Botswana on 30 November 2014 in English (English)

November is at an end. The efforts of the Peace Corps make their mark on the map but many others have contributed to the map.

In December we hope to publish a tool to help show the mapping status of settlements. Stay tuned! Mapping Botswana in November 2014

Not a conclusive list of updated places:

  • Bobonong
  • Bokaa
  • Borolong
  • Borotsi
  • Chobe National Park
  • Dagwi
  • Deception
  • Diloro
  • Dobe
  • Francistown
  • Ghanzi
  • Gootau
  • Groote Laagte
  • Inalegolo
  • Kachikau
  • Kasane
  • Kazungula
  • Khawa
  • Kutamogree
  • Lecheng
  • Lesholoago
  • Lesoma
  • Mabalane
  • Mabuasehube
  • Mahalapye
  • Marobela
  • Maun
  • Mmadinare
  • Mochudi
  • Modipane
  • Moiyabana
  • Molalatau
  • Natale
  • Palapye
  • Pandamatenga
  • Pilikwe
  • Polenswa
  • Radisele
  • Ramokgonami
  • Robelela
  • Satau
  • Sefophe
  • Selebi-Phikwe
  • Shashe
  • Shashe-Mooke
  • Shoshong
  • Tati Siding
  • Thamaga Tlokweng Tobane Tutume

Eintrag 1

Posted by GeoGladbecker on 30 November 2014 in German (Deutsch)

Hi, mein Nutzername ist zwar GeoGladbecker aber nach einem Umzug bin ich wohl eher ein "GeoGelsenkirchener" geworden.

Ich mappe hauptsächlich in Scholven. Mache aber auch Abstecher in die nähere Umgebung und korrigiere Kartenfehlermeldungen ( ) und einiges mehr :)

Gruß GeoGladbecker

O poder do OSM

Posted by Ivaldo on 30 November 2014 in Brazilian Portuguese (Português do Brasil)

Li numa página do OSM (não lembro em qual), que as aplicações do Google, Waze o Google Maps, não permitem adições e atualizações rápidas. Mas permitem sim e, no caso do Waze, com replicação instantânea.

Porém, ambos os sistemas são (impressão pessoal) complicados e de entediante edição, mesmo para usuários mais avançados (que não é o meu caso).

Testei ambas as aplicações (links abaixo), sendo o Waze com melhor usabilidade que o Google MapMaker, mas ambas muito inferiores ao OSM.

Google Map Maker | Waze Editor

Medyum Yılmaz Eren Hoca

Posted by Medyum Yılmaz Eren Hoca on 29 November 2014 in Turkish (Türkçe)

Merhaba Ben Medyum Yılmaz Eren Hoca Sizlere Aşk Bağlama Büyüsü Vefkleri Konusunda Uzman Medyumdur. Medyumluk mesleğini daha önce duymuşsunuzdur ancak bazılarınız bu meslek hakkında kulaktan dolma bilgiler ile hareket ediyor ve yalan yanlış bilgiler nedeniyle bu mesleğe bakış açısı da her geçen gün daha kötüye gidiyor. İstanbul medyum hakkında bilinmeyenleri aktarmak için sizlere bu yazıyı sunuyoruz ve öyle zannediyoruz ki bu yazı ile birlikte akıllardaki soru işaretleri de gidecektir. Medyum İstanbul, bir cami imamı, ya da bir hoca değildir. Medyumluk ve hocalık yani imamlık arasında çok fark var ve iki mesleğin de görevleri farklıdır. Bu işi yapan hocamız kendini insan sohbetini seven ehil kişi olarak tanımlıyor. Karakter yapısı düzgün ve kendini iyi tanıyan bir isim diyebiliriz onun için ve daha da önemlisi kusursuz bir karaktere sahiptir. Daha Detaylı Bilgi İçin Lütfen Medyum Hocamız İle Adresinden İletişim Kurun.

Visualizing improvement in improving Carroll County in OpenStreetMap

Posted by skorasaurus on 29 November 2014 in English (English)

Before I went to visit Carroll County in North Central Ohio for a weekend in July, its state in OSM was really poor. It consisted mostly of TIGER-imported ways that hadn't been whose geometry hadn't been changed since the original TIGER Import in 2008. In many cases, the roads' geometry didn't make up with reality. Some roads were 30 meters off of where they really are; small townships of 10-20 streets on the map were like jigsaw puzzle pieces that needed to be rotated; random roads were in the middle of grassy fields. One exception to it was Carrollton, the largest city in the county, which was improved very well by OSM user Evan Edwards.

After that weekend, I corrected some road geometries and added a dozen or so POIs. and wondered how long it will take me to fix all of the roads in the county and what would it reveal about editing TIGER data.

Answer: a lot longer than I thought! (~30 hours over a couple months). Near the end, it honestly became a chore. But I want to see how it would like visually, I didn't want to do that work for nothing...

How I did it (very briefly): I was able to more quickly improve the ways by using where I'd copy the geometry from a TIGER2013 file; verify that the TIGER13 matches the aerial imagery better than the existing way.

This a great strategy and I'd advise anyone who is interested in improving TIGER-imported ways in the future.

Watch a quick example of this workflow in the GIF.

GIF - editing osm with tiger2014 and josm

If you're interested in a detailed workflow, skip to the end...


Here's a first draft of my visualization: -

Now, I'm trying to visualize the improvements that I made by displaying the distance between 2 linestrings (before I edited with OSM data from spring 2014 - which a postgis table named old_line, and OSM data from Nov. 2014 which is a postgis table named new_line))

How I'm planning to do this.

A] select each point in the every linestring from old_line as oldpointdump

SELECT ST_DumpPoints(way) FROM old_line as oldpointdump

B] FOR each point in oldpointdump, find the closet linestring in new_line; measure this distance

C] create a new column for this distance (as distfromtiger)

F] then in every line string in old_table between 2 points (let's call these points J and K), add a column and assign that column a value that is (.5 * (distfromtiger for J) + (distfromtiger of K))

G] style the linestring in mapbox/cartodb using the value that I derived in F


A much more thorough workflow follows:

I used ogr2osm to convert 2013 TIGER Shapefile (then tiger2014 once they became available) into an OSM file and then loaded that file in josm and deleted all of the unnecessary tags that were created in it, except the fullname field; to ensure that the name was matching up with the correct road, and saved on my computer for my workflow.

Then, I went to editing. I downloaded some OSM data from JOSM, opened the TIGER osm file, and checked out a particular area with bing imagery. For a particular street, go over the entire street to see if the 2013 road is in fact closer to matching the aerial bing imagery than the existing road is. I'd also load up the history for the road to see if any nodes were changed. (Cntrl+H). Many roads were changed to proper highway type (tertiary) but didn't have any of the geometry modified since the original tiger import.

If the 2013 is more closely aligned than the existing road, delete the name tag in the TIGER 2013 way you're about to select; copy (cntrl+c the highway as it is in a separate layer with the separate layer selected in josm); switch to your osm data layer, and then paste into your data layer of OSM data. Then select the two ways, the new way and the way you're replacing; and hit cntrl+shift+g. CNTRL+shift+g is the 'replace geometry' shortcut that keeps the history of the original way and relations that the way belongs to.

I looked over each way that I imported. In some cases the imported way was about 5-10 meters from the center of the road in the bing imagery but still better than before and within the general margin of error that we have in OSM.

After you finish all of the ways in your area; hit the JOSM validation, first fix all of the errors marked highway duplicate nodes; then hit the josm validation button again; and go to the ways ended near other nodes, right click on each one in the list which brings me to the location of the node, hit 'N' for each. At this point, I'd go back to the ways I modified, and simplify them (cntrl+y) because TIGER with deletes any excess nodes without deleting the nature of the geometry.

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