Circeus's diary

Recent diary entries

Got off my lazy ass... to find more frustration awaiting

Posted by Circeus on 23 December 2008 in English (English)

And instead of complaining to myself about being bored or some areas not getting filled, I went ahead and traced a bunch of stuff in the Neufchatel area of Quebec City. Didn't add any street names, but did name a parc or two. Oddly enough, the parc at Charles-Auguste-Savard Community Center is given as "Savard Park" in several places, although the city website clearly identifies on a list of skating rinks as "Saint-André Park" (which is also the name I'd been assuming for it). For some oddball reason, the labels for Saint-André branch library and L'Escabelle schoolground show up twice in Osmarender...

I've also taken to map more land use. There are annoying holes that show up around community buildings and whatnots. I'm not clear whether to leave those off or add a landuse="institutional" or something like that (or simply shove them in residential). Furthermore, mapping landuses in areas that have a lot of small shops and stuff in an otherwise overwhelmingly residential area is giving me a headache. I probably COULD just break up the Saint-Émile core in four (virtually all shops and office are on de La Faune or Lapierre) and do away with a nasty multipolygon, but that would be overkill IMHO. However, without multipolygons, we get areas that are technically tagged simultaneously as residential and retail/commercial(I wish we just used "commercial". Separating those two tends to be a PAIN)/industrial. And there are still a number of shops/offices/parkings etc etc. that are not in the relation, cf. the Caisse Populaire, the community center and the local fast food joint. I'm seriously starting to think I should have kept to my primary interpretation of "landuse as very predominantly X". Or at least request a landuse=mixed tag ARGH.

Location: 46.858, -71.331

I gave up

Posted by Circeus on 21 December 2008 in English (English)

I went ahead and did a brute force fix on that area that annoyed me, even though I suspect it would still not get routed through properly (if only because I haven't added yet a link on the other side).

I traced both the school parking (note the "access=destination", which is, to my great surprise, correctly rendered, at least on Osmarender, but only for areas. Nodes are displayed as normal parkings) and the adjoining Park and ride, the various surrounding accesses (including the short stairs to the church while I was at it). Also threw in the newly erected concrete blocks (you know these things usually found on roadwork zones?) preventing improper parking.


*sigh* next time I guess I'll give up and just trace the church already...

Irritated by right of way issues

Posted by Circeus on 19 December 2008 in English (English)

I'm getting annoyed with the difficulty of representing actual pedestrian movement on the map.

Here's an example I'm familiar with: According to standard routing software, the shortest way on foot between Réal-Cloutier Park, Saint-Émile and Beading Street is a convoluted circulation through either Laurentian Street or via a purported footpath, which is properly part of the "right of way" bordering a parking and leading to a single house and an entrance to the park (hence why I've re-tagged it as highway=service). In practice, the quickest way is obviously walking through Beauséjour School Playground.

Unfortunately, there is no actual ways to tell the software that this is possible. Not to mention that the park is fenced, and I had to move it away from Fréchette street because otherwise the community postbox there would be in the park according to the map. How to tell the software that you can walk from Lapierre and Welcome Street to the entrance, and from the other entrance to Fréchette?

None of the options feel like anything more than a hack: marking a footpath or service way would be both inaccurate and overdetailed, and adding the school parking as an area would be misleading (it's not public access, although the adjoining church parking is a designated park and ride) and not necessarily recognized by routing software. And even if any of these options were implemented, there is no guarantee whatsoever the software will detect the possibiliy of going through the playground.

*wheezes a bit* That was a fingerful to type.

Simplified mess

Posted by Circeus on 18 December 2008 in English (English)

While I have until further noticed stopped cleaning up complex intersection, the one at what is now Louis-XIV and Bourg-Royal, in Charlesbourgh, was just ridiculous.

For the record, what we have (or rather had, given I simplified it), was two streets briefly becoming grade-separated at the intersection. The result:
-Is visually indistinct and confusing both in viewing and editing mode, hence
-Is almost impossible to edit
-Gives little to no advantages regarding e.g. routing
-Is, although laudably accurate, ridiculously too detailed IMHO

It admittedly doesn't help that I needed to run a bus route that turns at this intersection.

And while we're at it, here's a stumper for ya: how would you indicate that the route does not cross itself over, but in fact makes two right angle turn at this intersection? I've rendered it with four separate segments instead of two for the time being, but I'm curious...

RTC is a sellout

Posted by Circeus on 12 December 2008 in English (English)

In order to get a route-planning service, they moved from their in-house map to a service provided by Microsoft Virtual Earth. This means that even if I could use the data to map bus locations (it's certainly a definite no-no now), the way it is configured makes it thoroughly complicated (you can't get a list of lines stopping at a certain stop anymore grrr). Also, I had been vaguely considering approaching the RTC and STM about whether their buses are equipped with GPSs (I'm fairly sure they are) and freeing that data for OSM, though I'm not clear I'd have gone about that, but the RTC data is now almost certainly locked in some sort of license agreement.

small fix

Posted by Circeus on 25 November 2008 in English (English)

Was browsing around the map and fixed a few things. Added a route=ferry to a way where it was tagged as a relation, so it would be displayed on the map. Also fixed a strange gap in the Metro North railway. Apparently, this way was originally entered with the TIGER CFCC tag B21, which ("Railroad spur track, not in tunnel or underpassing") is not displayed on the map, whereas it was clearly a B12 ("Railroad main track, in tunnel"), though nowadays it appears to be a mere underpass.

Private potlatch/JOSM

Posted by Circeus on 24 November 2008 in English (English)

I've been wondering... How would one proceed to set up a private, offline form of OSM that they could use for private/fantasy/micromapping? I know quite a few people in the Conworld community might be interested in doing so, but there is little to no documentations about the set up, and that which exists is virtually impenetrable for the neophyte.

Cycle map shortcoming

Posted by Circeus on 7 November 2008 in English (English)

Anybody knows what is the best tag for a bicycle shared lane (aka an entire street that is also designated as a cycleway)? Although this is apparently uncommon in Europe (or it would be liste din the tags), it is frequent at least in Quebec (a sizeable portion of the Route Verte network are shared lanes). I've been using bicycle=designated for those, but the cycle map does not recognize them, and cycleway=designated appears to have an entirely different meaning (just WHAT it is exactly, though, I am not clear). Will the cycle map pick up ANY cycleway=* tag? If so I'd be happy to use cycleway=shared. Otherwise, who should be contacted to point out this issue?


Posted by Circeus on 28 October 2008 in English (English)

Mapped a few rivers (The Lorette and the Duberger, as well as the latter's main tributaries) and some peaks in the Charlesbourg/Orsainville area. Smaller rivers are a BITCH to do, especially in non-urban settings. I'm wondering whether the Rivière des Roches isn't actually undergrounded before it reaches the Duberger... Strange fact: AFAICT, the Lorette River starts as a field drain, which actually continues all the way down to the Cap-Rouge River.

Also added in most of the neighborhoods I could remember offhand. Big ones (Duberger, Les Saules, Orsainville...) as suburbs, smaller ones (Le Mesnil, Château-d'Eau) as hamlets: the only actual difference is the zoom level they appear at (it's not a good idea to make Bourg-Royal and Charlesbourg show at the same level, but Orsainville and Notre-Dame-des-Laurentides might be). I'm not clear whether the innermost ones (Montcalm, Saint-Soch, Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Sacrement, Vieux-Québec) are best put as hamlets or suburbs. I'll have to see whenb they render... Haven't yet decided whether to put in the Limoilou neighborhoods (Lairet and Maizerets). Would have put in Val-Saint-Michel and Bélair, but am not sure where best, and whether they are relevant. Not sure where exactly is Champigny either, or what are the actually used (if any) neighborhoods within Beauport, L'Ancienne-Lorette and Sainte-Foy/Sillery/Cap-Rouge.

Maybe a finer hierarchy could be achieved by using the village tag. I'll have to check what the results are.

At some point it would be desirable to trace the built area around the agglomeration, but the outdatedness of the Y!Map images makes that complicated.

So THAT is what was going wrong

Posted by Circeus on 22 October 2008 in English (English)

So, as I said previously, my first instinct regarding Louis-Colin street was incorrect. The impression that something was off, however, was entirely justified, and I should have noticed earlier. That segment of street which continues past Édouard-Montpetit Bld. does NOT actually connect to Côte-Sainte-Catherine (what can be seen on the other side of the tree thicket is a service alley). Furthermore, the name is incorrect, Northmount Av. is on the other side of Côte-Sainte-Catherine, the segment is merely a continuation of Louis-Colin


Posted by Circeus on 20 October 2008 in English (English)

Turns out my instincts regarding Louis-Colin street were thoroughly incorrect.

On the other end, it also turns out my instinct regarding the invasiveness of street numbers is increasingly confirmed the more I add. Côte-des-Neige Street is looking worse off almost every time I add anything. Combining addresses with amenities (e.g. here, here or here) in particular generates a grotesque overlap that causes the amenity icon to almost disappear.

UDEM: more mess

Posted by Circeus on 19 October 2008 in English (English)

Oh gosh, the stuff around UDM is really a big mess. I suspect Gmaps has a big error in giving two segments of Louis-Colin as opposite direction one-ways, and the exit ways are almost certainly incorrect: The Chemin de la Rampe (in both directions) opens directly on the Louis-Colin/Northmount-Édouard-Montpetit traffic light.

Had to split two ways, which apparently I was responsible for originally combining (or at least lengthening Fendall to cover Maréchal). Ugh. Also added several amenities and whatnots. Given the issues I found last time I worked on it, I'm honestly worried about the state of the area... (also wondering how come I see so few post boxes in general ô_o) And I really wish I could figure why every entrance to the UDM campus has at least two different civic numbers attached. While I managed to associate several of those to buildings, the meaning of others has eluded me completely.

It's a rather dense area (e.g. four different banking institutions and three churches within a few blocks), so I'm scared of thinking what it will look like in OsmaRender when everything shows up...

Location: 45.498, -73.622


Posted by Circeus on 18 October 2008 in English (English)

The 2-3 years out of date Y! images, as useful as they are, can get thoroughly irritating at times. (admittedly, I wish the city had chosen not to devellop the area to begin with, but you can't get everything, alas.) I was entering route 81, but it turns out it was rerouted since I last used it and now serves a series of recently completed developments near the Saint-Joseph/Chauveau intersections that are completely missing on the satellite imagery.

Location: 46.838, -71.336


Posted by Circeus on 15 October 2008 in English (English)

We now have spammers accusing each others of being spammers. Clever.

(this is really starting to be irritating.)

keeping track

Posted by Circeus on 15 October 2008 in English (English)

just a diary to keep track of my bus routes

82 (rel 37415)
382 (rel 37534)
282 (rel 37640)
81 (rel 38197)
36 (rel 58455)
800 (rel 38943)

Potlatch splitting

Posted by Circeus on 14 October 2008 in English (English)

That habit of Potlatch of deleting ways without telling you, or causing split ways to generate overlapping ways gets tiring fast, and is a pain in the ass to locate and fix. I'm wondering if this is not the lost-connection-not-saving-changes thing, but since there is no way to actually know whether the "retry" option actually worked, it's impossible to tell...

In any case, it didn't prevent me from setting up another bus route. It was a mess at the entrance on Laurier from Laval campus because not only was the RTC map slightly incorrect (AFAICT), but somebody had set up the one-way exits in the wrong direction, which confused for a while.

Now I just need to figure how to make a relation between relations in Potlatch.

More spam account

Posted by Circeus on 14 October 2008 in English (English)

Bus route

Posted by Circeus on 14 October 2008 in English (English)

Finally got around to do a bus route. Why one in Quebec City? Easy: because the Montreal transport authority has no mapping at all on its website. Also, I ran that route for years over a longer distance than I do the routes here in MTL.

However, the current setup for bus routes is thoroughly inadequate. As currently defined, it is not even capable of handling a simpel case of opposite direction stops on different ways of a double-carriageway. Don't even get me started on loops with different number of stops in each directions!

ETA: ANybody knows how to make relations between relations??

Overlooked spam?

Posted by Circeus on 14 October 2008 in English (English)

I see today's spam is finally gone, except for this account.

Complex intersections mark 2

Posted by Circeus on 13 October 2008 in English (English)

Admittedly, the system does lends itself to messing up. I just spent some time figuring out a mess of overlapping ways, missing connections and misplaced signals.

And there the bit that worried me was that placing the intersection marker on a layer above the bridges would cause problems...

As an aside, how do you people tag prisons? That small service way going to the intersection is a prison entrance, but it doesn't show on the map. I'm not clear whether to use a combination of area and amenity tags. Should I go through the trouble of drawing the buildings? Or should I use a point to show on the map? I'm loathe to having both an area and a point to mark something (which is why I keep fixing that in parkings other small things like that). Of course, it's possible that, quite simply, amenity=prison is not currently shown on any renderers to begin with...

Location: Orsainville, Quebec, Canada
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