Richard has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 17 days ago

Heather and Kate -

As board members, a really good first step you could take is shutting down the osmf-talk@ mailing list.

When people accuse the lists of being "toxic", this is invariably the one they mean - indeed, for the novice OSM contributor who joins OSMF in good faith, it's probably the only one they see.

The other lists have generally become fairly inoffensive, inane even, in the last few years, a very far cry from the combative days of the licence change. talk@ is a pussycat these days.

But osmf-talk@ is a disaster area, full of wild accusations, bikeshedding and off-the-planet wibbling. Force-subscribing new members to it might have made sense when OSMF had twelve members who all knew each other, but those days are long gone. Can you imagine any other membership organisation - say, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the National Trust, or examples from your own country - force-subscribing all new members to a policy discussion list? It's a recipe for trouble and, unsurprisingly, trouble ensues.

My suggestion would be to close osmf-talk@; use either CiviCRM or a no-public-posting osmf-announce@ account to tell people about important foundation news like board elections; and set up a foundation-discuss@ list that people can optionally subscribe to, tell members about it, but don't subscribe anyone by force. If you could reboot CWG so that members are kept informed of OSMF doings no matter their choice of communication channel, so much the better. But that's a nice-to-have. Closing osmf-talk@ will solve 90% of the mailing list "tone" problem and you could do it tomorrow.


Network Rail - Sectional Appendix 2 months ago

That is seriously cool. Well done.

National Cycle Routes Dec 2017. 4 months ago

Ah, right, I see!

National Cycle Routes Dec 2017. 4 months ago

Could you say what routes you're talking about? I can't see any huge divergences. The two York-Tadcaster routes are missing and so too the spur off NCN 67 in Harrogate, but that just needs someone to go and survey them.

The Regional Route 52 mentioned above (did you edit your posting?) has been renumbered and slightly rerouted to become National Route 165 - as is the case for most Regional Routes outside East Anglia.

10 years of OSM data history 6 months ago

Brilliant. Haven't seen that code in years!

10 years of OSM data history 6 months ago

Just the bit about introducing the version number on objects. The version number was already present in the db - see - it just (IIRC) wasn't visible through the API. So "exposed" would be better than "introduced". Only a minor gripe - I'm just slightly aware it's good to get these things on the record before we all forget them. :)

10 years of OSM data history 6 months ago

I don't think that's quite accurate.

OSM has always been versioned, from the very first pre-Rails site onwards. (All of this was managed in a file called dao.rb, I think, if you can find it in trac.) However, when segments were abolished in the move from 0.4 to 0.5, the history was not migrated into the revised database schema.

I believe someone (Firefishy?) has a database dump from the time of the changeover, so it would theoretically be possible to reconstruct the pre-0.5 history.

diary spam 6 months ago

The case for highway=trunk on Texas frontage roads 6 months ago

Have just spent half an hour down a Google Street View (wash my mouth out...) rabbit-hole. :)

Hooee, that's a difficult one. Having a frontage road as trunk really does seem to break the purpose of the highway tag, but on the other hand the physical characteristics in this case are pretty compelling. So I can see your point now along TX-121, though I could also see the case for highway=primary with a lanes= tag.

But (say) the road alongside I-35 in Waco looks fine as a secondary to me, or could even be a tertiary. Alongside US-34 in Waco is either tertiary or unclassified.

The case for highway=trunk on Texas frontage roads 6 months ago

Eeek. highway=trunk for frontage roads doesn't make any sense to me.

The highway= tag is meant to reflect a road's importance in the through-highway system. It isn't solely a reflection of physical characteristics.

A frontage road is by definition unimportant in the through-highway system: its purpose is to serve local traffic (and, importantly, to provide an alternative route for traffic that might be prohibited or uncomfortable on the main road, such as bikes or slow-moving agricultural vehicles).

That suggests highway=tertiary, or highway=secondary at a pinch. Definitely not trunk.

presets are a sensitive topic 7 months ago

Martin - personalising the issue like this is really unhelpful and exactly the sort of thing that made me burn out after however many years of maintaining Potlatch. Please please don't do it, we have few enough developers as it is.

Returning to OSM 7 months ago

Yay! Welcome back.

My ongoing relationship with OSM 8 months ago

Great to see all your work - from the other side of Oxfordshire!

OSM: Why can't contributors check/correct their own work! 8 months ago

most errors are generated using Potlach and ID

"Why can't contributors check/correct their own work!"

It's called "Potlatch". With two 'T's. You should use the validation tool in your browser (the spell-checker). ;)

Balkan matters 8 months ago

Understood. Happens to us all. :)

Balkan matters 8 months ago

Suggest reporting it to the Data Working Group who, I imagine, will ban the user in question, and rightly so.

Using vector background layers in Potlatch 2 8 months ago

Do you have a link to the shapefiles?

Rendering of Muslim cemeteries 10 months ago

Add a mew issue at

AAARGH !!! Those Spammers ! 10 months ago

Yeah, the problem with the most popular (and successful) captcha is that it's used to crowdsource data for Google's proprietary mapping database, which is kinda contrary to the OSM project.

AAARGH !!! Those Spammers ! 10 months ago

In particular see