Polyglot has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Belgian Mapper of the Month: Escada 5 months ago

In the mean time my focus moved over to bus routes (since the stops are all in now) and Mapillary, obviously.

This really shows how helping beginning users to get started is a great investment in building the community as well as the map. I should try to do it more often... Of course it doesn't happen each and every time the "apprentices" become wizards themselves, but that's all right.

It's really great to see how Marc improves the lanes mapping, removing the wrongly tagged ones. Some mappers seem to be convinced all lanes need to be mapped as individual ways. I do it too, when I already modify the way for other reasons.

What is also great is the help he was able to provide in setting up a PostGIS database and querying it to help out with the PT related data. That kind of peer review and assistance is invaluable. Especially, as I'm just an amateur with an interest :-)

If Marc had come in a year or so earlier, he would probably have found me mapping and reviewing cycle node networks. I guess the experience built up doing that, helped a lot to explain him how to map the walking node networks that were starting to be rolled out back then.


Power editing with OverpassTurbo and Level0 6 months ago

Hi Joost,

I wouldn't mind doing a few Hangout sessions with you to show you the wonders of JOSM and how it works. Once you get used to it, it's very unlikely you'd still be put off by the software. It's just that initial learning curve bump you have to overcome.

There are also many tutorial videos on Youtube, created both by myself and by other contributors.

Having said that, there probably is a use case for level0 as a "quick and dirty", hands-on editor.

With JOSM you could have additionally performed Search At that point you could change tags for all selected objects at once (like you did with Level0), or you could have Added nodes to a todo list, to review them and work on them one by one, which makes the 'mechanical edit' a bit less mechanical Switched on MapCSS rules to highlight village name nodes to compare with nearby ones Or enable filters to hide everything that's not relevant for the task at hand.


Sneak Preview of the Next Vespucci Release 6 months ago

Indeed great news. I'm mostly using Mapillary to gather raw data while outside lately, but sometimes it's interesting to change something directly in the data. The easier the editor makes this, the bigger the chance that it will be done before it gets forgotten.


What's your OpenStreetMap story? 6 months ago

To give back to the free software community I've been contributing a lot to Wiktionary. That was fun for a while, until I found I was mostly warding off vandals.

In 2007 I discovered OSM and I thought: oh, I'm so late to have found this. Contributing to OSM is very rewarding. Even back when the map was only rerendered once a week, instead of in a few minutes.

We go out and relive the experience while adding what we saw to the DB. Naturally I started to work on our cycle node networks, then later the hiking node networks as they were rolled out. What's interesting is that it has many facets, going out, converting the survey, programming some scripts for automating the boring parts like checking our fragile route relations.

Over the past few years I got very involved in mapping public transport. Getting on the bus and adding stops little by little, at first. Then, after finally receiving permission, adding all the stops for almost the whole country and having the route relations auto generated (with the correct stop sequences for all variations). Now the job has become to connect the dots between those stops by adding the ways to the route relations.

In the mean time Mapillary came along. This has made it more fun again to go out and 'map' the world the 'photographic way'. Collecting raw source data, which can subsequently be used to more precisely position items on a rainy day (bus stops which can't be seen on the aerial imagery in my case...).

Having said all that, well it's a major time sink. That much is for sure. Still it feels more useful than getting 'addicted' to some on-line game.

Oh, and it's fun, of course. The day it's not fun anymore, or my interests shift once more, it may be game over.


Public Transport VIENNA 6 months ago

Hallo Emergency99,

Hier ist ein Overpass Query falls du gerne mit die Routen als Skelett arbeitet:

[timeout:900]; area["name"="Wien"] -> .AT;

( node(area.AT); ) -> .allnodesinArea; ( rel(bn.allnodesinArea) ["type"="route"] ["route"~"bus|tram"] ->.routes; // All bus and tram route relations .routes << ->.route_masters; // Their route_master parent relations // rel(r.route_masters) -> .more_child_routes; // Possibly more route relations //(.routes // .more_child_routes) -> .routes; ( node.allnodesinArea ["highway"="bus_stop"] ->.stops; node.allnodesinArea ["amenity"="bus_station"] ->.busstations; node.allnodesinArea ["railway"="tram_stop"] ->.tstops; node.allnodesinArea ["public_transport"] ->.platforms; node ["highway"="bus_stop"] ["network"~"VOR|ÖBB.*"]; node ["railway"="tram_stop"] ["network"~"VOR|ÖBB.*"]; node ["public_transport"="platform"] ["network"~"VOR|ÖBB.*"]; ) -> .stopsPlatformsAndStopPositions; // All bus_stop, tram_stop, platform nodes // inside of Belgium and some outside of Belgium // in case they are served by De Lijn or TEC ( way(bn.allnodesinArea) ["highway"="bus_guideway"]; way(bn.allnodesinArea) ["railway"]; ) ->.tracks; // all bus_guideways and tram rails node(w.tracks); // and their nodes way(bn.allnodesinArea) ["amenity"="shelter"] ["shelter_type"="public_transport"] ->.shelters; // all PT shelters node(w.shelters); // and their nodes node.allnodesinArea ["amenity"="shelter"] ["shelter_type"="public_transport"] ->.shelternodes; // shelters mapped as nodes node(r.routes); // nodes for all the routes way(bn)->.parentways1; // the ways they belong to node(w.parentways1); // all nodes for those ways rel(bw.parentways1); // and all relations they are members of way(r.routes); // member ways of all the routes node(w); // and their nodes //way(bn); // side ways of these ways //node(w); // and their nodes too way(bn.stopsPlatformsAndStopPositions); // parent ways for platforms and stop_positions rel(bn.stopsPlatformsAndStopPositions) ["type"="public_transport"] -> .stopAttributes; // stop_area relations ( rel(br.stopAttributes) -> .SAG; // stop_area_group relations rel(br.SAG) -> .SAG2; // parents of stop_area_group relations rel(br.SAG2); // grandparents of stop_area_group relations ) -> .stop_areas_and_groups; //r.stop_areas_and_groups >>; node(r.stopAttributes); way(r.stopAttributes); node(w); ); out meta;

Das kannst du direkt in JOSM benutzen wenn du das mirrored_download plugin installierst. Oder in Overpass Turbo.

Ich habe alle HS in Wien die Teil sind vom highway auf public_transport=stop_position umgestellt. Wenn du jetzt die public_transport:version=2 auf die Routen setzt wirst du sehen das automatisch stop und platform Rollen korrekt gesetzt werden.

Ich habe die so gesucht:

public_transport=platform child (type:way -(highway=platform | public_transport=platform | highway=footway ))



Mapillary-Straßenbahnmapping 6 months ago

Nicht nur 'wegen' Nakaner. Es gibt auch Leute die ein cam unter ihren Sattel auf dem Fahrrad montieren. Für Mapillary ist das wichtigste das die guckrichtung richtig steht.

Ich meine es wäre noch etwas fremder wenn die Sequenzen umgedreht werden.


Mapillary 1.0 for Android 9 months ago

Oh Peter,

You found my diary entry before I was quite done with it :-) Usually I change it a few times when rereading. Anyway, glad you like it. I still feel a bit bad that it took 2 weeks to get started on it.

Also glad to hear you're working on that overexposure problem. Looking forward to help with testing that too :-)

Busroutes in Brugge 9 months ago

The data coming from De Lijn is refreshed 4 to 5 times per month, so I don't see how it can be outdated. Anyway, after the 'dispute' with Peeweeke I've mostly left Bruges alone. More recently I've been checking and updating all the itineraries all over Flanders region though. It would of course be better that somebody with actual local knowledge does this.

That's the reason for writing these and for creating some screencasts:

( ( (

I hadn't realised I stepped on people's toes back when I was adding/updating those thousands of bus stops and I apologise for the inconvenience caused. When stops were already present, I conflated them manually, mostly keeping the positions from the original mapper. The stops with inaccurate positions were the ones which couldn't be placed based on the aerial imagery available. Each and every one of those stops has been checked manually, so it was certainly not a blind import.

I went digging in my mailbox. Apparently I resurrected a stop that wasn't served anymore for a line that changed. Since this was in 2014 it surprises me that the current data of De Lijn wasn't totally accurate at the time. When I hear about a change around here where I can check the ground truth, it's always accurate.

Anyway, I hope the work I did on the conversion of the data and the scripts can still help you to keep the lines up to date. It's all meant to make things easier, not harder.

The script to help with creating/updating the routes needs some more work to be really useful, but at the moment my interests are shifting toward Mapillary and their recognition of traffic signs, so I don't know when I'll continue to work on the itineraries or on the PT data.


An idea for making it easier to link external data to OSM 10 months ago

Euhm, doesn't seem to exist!

Concerning wikidata, there is also:

subject:wikidata that's who/what the statue or picture depicts architect:wikidata name:etymology:wikidata for streets or objects named after the wikidata item operator:wikidata=* brand:wikidata=* artist:wikidata=*

So it's rather versatile.

There is the issue of whether wikidata wants entries for, for example camp sites, but they want to include a lot more than just items noteworthy enough to deserve a wikipedia page, so normally that shouldn't be a problem.

It was indeed a bad move to refer from wikidata to OSM relations for named areas. I've been telling them that from the start. The only effect it had is that they didn't create more such properties, I believe.

What they also need on their side, is a way to use the OSM wikidata tag in a Wikipedia page, for example. Overpass is the ideal glue here. Unfortunately they deleted my attempts to create such links:

They kept this one:

Anyway, I think wikidata can get us a long way towards the goal for permanent ids. For the items which really don't fit in their DB, we might still need other types of foreign keys. I'm curious how they would react if I'd start importing 50000 bus stops into wikidata, let alone those of the whole world, but I didn't ask, so maybe it'd be just fine. For the time being I'll keep using ref:OPERATOR=xyzxyz.

Also don't underestimate OSM contributors, we're generally quite an intelligent lot, able to decide whether something deserves to keep the same identifier or not. OTOH, it's also through that those external DBs will need to run Overpass queries to check whether all their identifiers are still present in OSM and if they should be on exactly 1 object only, they'll have to come over and repair occasional damage. At least they'll have a practical way of doing that.

What would be nice is editor support for the wikidata tag, though. Showing the identifier in the user's language and fall back if it isn't, instead of the Q-number.


Address evolution in Belgium 10 months ago

The addresses on nodes in the Brussels region can be explained by houses with more than 1 house number. Many houses on corners have 2 over there and ofc many have also been merged.

The data conversion was quite easy, as we started with high quality data, including building contours to booth. OTOH, I don't think a lot of checking has been done during the import phase.

Anyway, I only converted the data and added a few streets here and there. The import was executed by local contributors, as it should.


Mapillary 10 months ago

Hi Waldir,

There are 2 reasons why Commons is not suitable for the kind of pictures I'm taking. On the one hand we need some very specific, but to most people quite odd 'details', like housenumbers, opening hours, collection times for mailboxes, bus stops, and whatnot. Taking pictures of that stuff, makes people look at you funny, upload such pictures to Commons will get you scolded at :-)

The reason why my 'whortwhile' pictures were deleted lies in Belgian law. We have no Freedom of Panorama in this country. Germany does and The Netherlands too to some degree, but here and in France we don't. I call the North and the East progressive and us and the South outdated... So all the pictures of artwork, where the artwork was the central theme can't be uploaded to Commons, unless one gets explicit permission from the author. It's not entirely trivial to get that permission, especially with people who willingly talk to you when you meet them in person and on the phone, but who prefer to not correspond by email.

So I don't think the situation can be helped. If I find particularly interesting picture of a plant or an insect, I'll upload it to Commons, but for most of the pictures I make, they're out.

I'm not sure how Mapillary works around this FOP rule. If you consider all those pictures as a collection, then the artwork in some of them is not the central theme, but if you consider each picture separately, some of the pictures I (and possibly others) submit will contain pictures of statues/paintings and other artwork. I read a bit about FOP in Sweden, and the conclusion I came to is that information panels are problematic over there, while artwork isn't.

I'm not a lawyer though and I never will be. All that dribble gives me a headache, so I'll just accept it if those pictures would be removed/hidden at some point.


Mapillary in iD 10 months ago

Hi Peter,

Please don't take it as a criticism of your work. It's great you did the integration. I'm merely commenting from my own perspective as a user. A newbie as far as iD goes, but an old hand as far as OSM editing goes (with both JOSM and Potlatch), which may not be how 'real' newbies perceive it.

Anyway, it's mostly criticism of how iD works. Not sure if I'll ever get comfortable with it. I'm really grateful for the work you did on it!



Mapping public transport in Belgium 10 months ago

On the one hand, it might. On the other hand it would Megan changing 70000 nodes once again. The scripts I'm developing depend on these tags, so they need to be changed wholesale. Doing it gradually would take ages and it wouln't be practical. I wasn't aware of this convention to add BE. I'll keep it in mind if I feel compelled to make a change to a large amount of them for other reasons. It's unlikely such need will arise during the next few months or even years, though.

Mapillary 11 months ago

By pointing to one representative picture, the person clicking through gets convenient access to several pictures + the surroundings.

I do think Mapillary deserves special consideration, as it's an open project like wikipedia and wikidata. The best thing we can do is make symbiosis among open projects as easy as possible.

You mention Google Streetview. Shame on you :-) As far as I know we didn't receive permission from Google to play with 'their' toys. Even though they are doing an extremely useful job of photographing the public space and they are nice enough to let the world have access to it. Hopefully one day they'll prove there more than merely 'not evil', as they claimed, but actually become nice on top of that. Until then, it's good to be able to fall back on and contribute to an open alternative. Of course, Google can never give more than a general view from where they can drive with their cars, so Mapillary will always have that little bit more by providing access to such places and much more for actually letting us use it as source material.

Mapillary 11 months ago

Thank you. That's great!


Mapillary 11 months ago

I'd love to see a proper plugin for JOSM to integrate mapillary in the workflow. The mapillary tag would rather be for a site like, so it becomes possible to look around near the referred object or to view it from different angles, to get an idea what it is, without necessarily having to go there.

Learn-a-tag: highway=escape 11 months ago

I added links to 2 Youtube videos to our wiki page

and a link to Overpass Turbo on ( and (

Editing with Overpass and Level0 11 months ago

Hehe, my first thought was also: mechanical edit. On the other hand, anything that helps mappers be more productive has my blessing.

I would probably have used Notepad++ to perform the search/replace as it supports regex (regular expressions; a very powerful way to work with text and morph it).

Thanks for looking into this. There is a good chance it will come in handy later on.


GORDON'S ALIVE about 1 year ago

Frederik Ramm is on his way to add support for undelete in JOSM. He changed something to the API already during the latest Karlsruhe hackweekend.

I'm a complete JOSM convert now, but at some point I was using both Potlatch1/2 and JOSM alternatingly. Glad to see it got some improvements.


What is the OpenStreetMap convention? Do we tag addresses on buildings or on separate nodes? about 2 years ago

Or an Address relation containing the building, an entrance=main node at the front door and a node where the mailbox is located? I almost forgot to add the parcel to it.

Everybody happy!

Polyglot (who would also be in favour of a node per address, but does it go inside the building outline, or as a node of the building outline where the front door is?)