Richard has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Please remove this Spammer about 1 month ago

There is some irony in pinning permanent notes on trees to complain about other notes on trees which are removed, while the permanent notes stay there forever...

IRC: go to; type a nickname (e.g. 'alexkemp') in the first box; select #osm (general channel), #osm-dev (development), #osm-gb (Great Britain) in the dropdown; click 'Login'; type away and ask your question!

Tools I wish I had: smarter paved vs unpaved road defaults. about 2 months ago's routing does this to some extent: it has different surface assumptions in urban vs rural areas. In particular, in the US, it assumes that highway=residential, tiger:reviewed=no is paved in urban areas, but not in rural areas. But yes, getting more roads explicitly tagged would be a big win.

Trails vs. social paths 2 months ago

This has been discussed a few times before. OSM maps "what's on the ground", so it's not wrong to map these paths; however, if access is forbidden, then the consensus is to tag them as:

  • highway=path
  • access=no
  • informal=yes

You can read up on the background at and the various linked pages.

Merkaartor: Call for new features in 0.19.0 release 2 months ago

Great to see Merkaartor being revived.

OSM editor for mapping on iOS mobile devices? 3 months ago

Go Map!!

Introducing OpenStreetView 3 months ago

@jesolem "As far as I can see there is no license granted for metadata on OSV either and with no API for the metadata, how are you going to get it?" Well, we shall see! Martijn's comments here and elsewhere lead me to think that the intention is to offer it openly, and with the project less than a month old I'm not going to call them out for not having implemented everything yet. If there's no progress six months down the line then yes, of course, I'd be less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Introducing OpenStreetView 4 months ago


The API is open, the images have an open license, we give all images and data to OSM.

But the metadata is not open. Yes, you can download photos of a random motorway somewhere; but without knowing where it is (i.e. the location metadata) then it's fairly useless.

You do permit this information to be used in OSM, which is terrific - just as Bing and Mapbox do with their aerial imagery. But until the metadata is available openly, Mapillary isn't open like OpenStreetMap is - it's more like Google Map Maker, where contributors send their work to a third party, but only that third party can use the results. That's why OpenStreetView is exciting as a truly open solution. is a new evil (instead of Potlatch)? 6 months ago

@jml: dude, seven years of knocking Potlatch and you still haven't learned to spell it correctly ;)

Reporting Spam (or not) 6 months ago

Why is it impossible to report spam in these diaries? A simple ‘report me’ link would do it.

Because no-one's yet coded the feature, and as alluded to in the ticket linked by CloCkWeRX, it's not quite as simple as you might think. Patches very welcome!

C'mom people 6 months ago



Creating accurate maps 7 months ago

Ah, the curse of unreviewed TIGER. I wrote a bit about the challenges of fixing it last year:

Improving the OSM map - why don't we? (13) 7 months ago

at this moment OSM is a map for mappers, not for users is a map for mappers, not for users, and intentionally so. But OSM is a lot more than

why can't be a bit more user friendly?

Because you haven't made it so. There are no magic fairies who will swoop in and make everything awesome. Learn to write stylesheets, or to code, and send some patches!

London mapathons: switching the emphasis to JOSM 7 months ago

I don't really have any skin in this game as I use iD infrequently and JOSM basically never, but what's your "squaring buildings" issue in iD? Select any building in iD and there's a "Square the corners of this area" option right there, with a key binding described.

1-877-737-3904 Antivirus tech support number USA & CANADA, 7 months ago

You might want to call an antivirus hotline, it looks like you have some malware which is affecting your comment posting ability.

It is not safe to cycle in Britain (a rant). 10 months ago

"Not safe at all"? Don't be daft.

Are you at risk on a bike? Of course you are. The risk varies from place to place, from road to road. But extrapolating the bad shit that happens - and I wouldn't deny it does - to the one-in-six lethal odds of Russian Roulette is utterly disproportionate.

Yes, things need to get better. But try driving across London instead and watch what that does to your blood pressure and general life expectancy. The bike is still the best choice for sub-5 mile journeys, most places, most of the time - especially if you're canny about your route choices, which is where OSM comes in.

And if you'll now excuse me I have an awesome cargo bike project to build up.

Cygnus Field Report 11 months ago

This looks really good. I like Mike's mention (in your other diary entry comments) that "I populated my reference data (from latest county GIS) with a surface attribute, as well as an updated review against current imagery to identify roads that have deteriorated into tracks". If we could use this to add surface=unpaved to unpaved rural TIGER roads, then hallelujah.

personal mapping links 11 months ago

I wasn't aware of the fact that the collected user diaries were introduced after the user diary.

They weren't. I coded the 'all diary entries' view on May 4 2007, one day before the Rails port went live for the first time.

Since I started following about 2 years ago, I never considered the user diaries to be personal diaries, but to contain topics interesting for a wider audience

The user diaries were intended for mappers to write about their mapping activities.

10.000 broken Turn_Restriction in the OSM Planet File 11 months ago

@Amaroussi: would you like to provide a citation for your blanket statement? iD's turn restriction editor is excellent IMO.

Geolocations of Wikipedia articles on the OSM map 11 months ago

That's very cool. Did you parse the full Wikipedia dump yourself or is there a dump of just coordinates and article IDs/titles?

Potlatch editing 12 months ago

A handful of things, all in my obviously highly biased opinion:

  • P2 is very efficient to work with when you know the shortcuts
  • the P2 UI is well suited for fast browsing and fixing across a modestly wide area or along a linear route (e.g. via Tasks palette)
  • P2 has very good support for working with vector data - GPXs (as SomeoneElse describes), shapefiles and others, and combines "doing the right thing" with some powerful transformation possibilities
  • Floating imagery window lets you work with two imagery sources (or one imagery source and one topo map, or whatever) at once

Broadly speaking, for me P2 offers all the power I need but without a complex interface. When you say "I don't see much advantage to it compared with the other two", I'd say the same but the other way round - I don't see much, or indeed any, advantage to JOSM compared with the lighter and simpler P2. That's for my type of editing, of course, which is principally roads/cycleways/etc. rather than buildings, and principally rural rather than cities; and I'm sure that many people have editing requirements that P2 doesn't fulfil. P2 is really bad at fast worldwide tagfiddling, for example - JOSM is the unchallenged champion there. ;)