Andy Allan has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
3 years of welcome messages, more than 3400 of them about 1 month ago

Vincent de Phily - you would need to choose them randomly for it to be effective. If your choice of send/not-send is based on a particular factor (e.g. location) then it skews the results of the experiment.

3 years of welcome messages, more than 3400 of them about 1 month ago

You could try an A/B experiment for a while - take the next 1000 users, send welcome messages to 50% of them, and then see if there's any difference between the two groups of users.

100 € for multiple social accounts in OSM 2 months ago

I think you meant pull request to openstreetmap-website :-)

Heavy Usage on OSM Sites 2 months ago

Hi Alex - the question of tileserver policy, and the outage on Friday, are unrelated. Friday's outage was related to the addition of more disks to our "services" machine Ironbelly, and while the RAID array was rebuilding it caused the machine to become overloaded. Other machines depend on ironbelly, including the servers that power the website and the editing API. We slowed the RAID rebuild, and stopped some non-essential services (including chef runs, log analysis etc), to get the website back online as quickly as was possible.

The network traffic you see on the 2nd November to ramoth is unrelated to the above. In this case, we were rebuilding indexes on the primary database server katla, to compact them which saves space and makes things work faster. The large amount of network traffic is the main server (kalta) distributing the rebuilt indexes out to the slave database servers, including ramoth.

These are all isolated from the tileservers, which have their own servers and databases, and weren't affected by either the ironbelly issues or the coredb index rebuilding. The policy discussion on them is a long-term thing, and the amount of traffic to the tileservers doesn't have any impact on the traffic to the website and/or the API.

I hope this provides some more information to you!

100€ for a subscription to diary comments 4 months ago

Good idea - let's see if the grant works! I've been working recently to make the code (and the tests) around diary entries easier to work with. It's not as simple yet as it could be, but I'd be happy to review pull requests. Hopefully in future these sort of features will be even easier to develop.

Note that it's not OWG as a group, but the maintainer for the openstreetmap-website codebase, that decides whether pull requests are merged.

Ramblings about State of the Map 4 months ago

what do you say to famous people like Andy Allen or Frederik Ramm ?

Anything you like! We're all nice people and happy to chat. Next time you see me, please come and say hello. :-)

Responding to suspicious changes 5 months ago

Of the 250 changesets where you didn't get a reply, how many of the users involved have made further edits? It might be reasonable to expect a response from mappers who are continuing to be involved in the project, but you might be waiting for mappers who never contribute again.

The story of the oldest node in OSM. over 1 year ago

Remember that there were no changesets back in 2005, so it wasn't really the "fourth changeset ever" so much as the 4th artificially-created changeset at the point we created them (in 2009).

Also, most of the low-numbered nodes have been used and re-used a number of times, usually because of badly-executed bulk uploads using them instead of using new node ids. Then someone has to move everything back and/or delete the bulk upload.

Presentation of highway links almost 2 years ago

It's a bug in the stylesheet, and it's being worked on.

Openstreetmap? More like Openwoodmap on low zoom levels almost 2 years ago

Rather than leaving comments on a duplicate ticket, it would be good to have people trying out solutions! It's not going to fix itself and it won't get fixed by people making comments either.

What's up with the GPS traces? over 2 years ago


White Sands Missile Range over 2 years ago

Don't worry too much about the stripes on the map, I expect them to change at some point. Most people interpret the red-stripey bits as danger areas, when they could (for example) just be parade grounds or barracks. I intend to change the rendering so that only danger areas get the danger stripes, and other military landuses will get a bit more subtle rendering.

Doesn't affect your tagging, but I thought I'd mention it since you are interested in this stuff.

An abandoned outdoor movie theater in Desert of Sinai, Egypt almost 3 years ago

Please don't use "abandoned=yes" (or disused=yes etc). This is a bad tagging practice.

It's not a cinema, so you should not use amenity=cinema either.

More on Land Use Tags over 3 years ago

As a quick note - you probably mean "median" rather than "medium" - see

Also, I'd advise caution on the use of the "village green" tag with regards to things that clearly aren't. The wikipedia definition gives some idea - but it's a long stretch to consider a highway median as somewhere to meet, graze livestock in olden days and (especially for the english) enjoy a refreshing pint while watching a casual game of cricket.

The Great DC Parking Lot Cleanup of 2013 over 3 years ago

Nice work Aaron, good writeup too.

Why does MapQuest call it British Colombia? almost 4 years ago

I guess it's either outdated OSM data, or more likely, a mistake in a Natural Earth dataset that they are using. If you zoom in on the BC/Alberta border and check the data layer, you'll see they aren't using the OSM boundary.

My experience with an NHD import and my thoughts on imports about 4 years ago

Bravo, probiscus. I hope you manage to convince other importers to help increase the user base and OSM community instead!

Single Point of Failure about 4 years ago

Rovastar - that's not true, there's are a group of sysadmins, all with the same access levels.

There's also difference between "single point of failure" and "single point of authority". We try hard not to have any single points of failure (e.g. someone who knows a password where nobody else does) but there will always be single points of authority - e.g. someone who is the maintainer of a piece of software, or the chair of a working group, or whatever. Not a dictator, just someone who makes the final decision if consensus can't be found any other way. And of course, in a volunteer organisation there are some tasks that only one person is willing to do - a "single point of enthusiasm", perhaps.

All of these things pose different challenges. Bundling them all together makes for better blog posts, but doesn't help solve any genuine problems.

topographis problem over 4 years ago

I have a new source of height data for OpenCycleMap, which I'll hopefully be adding over the next few months. That should fix places like this, where the SRTM data was missing and the 'void filling' gives bad results.

I'd have it live already, but I've been delayed by dealing with hardware upgrades, hardware failures and surges in traffic. But I'll get there!

ODbL almost 5 years ago

It's not under the new license yet - that's still to come. What has happened is the database has been moved to the new server.