SOSM has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
"Welcome-to-new-mappers" program in the Netherlands comes to an end. 3 months ago

@Glassman historically the signup confirmation message used to be localized and contain pointers to regional resouces, at least at a rough language level, During the website redesign this was dropped with the argument that unified messaging via the website is better. Not that I completely disagree with that statement, but it did drop a useful feature without providing a replacement (you could naturally still simply ignore the english original text and put something completely different in the message, but likely that would be frowned upon).

I do typically give the changesets of new mappers with a larger number of changes in the first day or two a quick glance ( has thrown a bit of a spanner in to that), but nearly always they are perfectly fine, typically if something if something is problematic or even if it is simply a mapper in an area with some special issues, I'll follow up with a custom message.

OSM - beschissene Datenqualität 4 months ago

@Zverik he was likely referring to which nicely illustrates how silly he is being.

Arme OSMF 4 months ago

Die Förderung der Knight Foundation war dazu auch noch für ein spezielles Projekt (was schlussendlich iD wurde). Natürlich ist es so, dass die Förderung Mapbox in der jetzigen Form überhaupt erst ermöglichte, aber das nicht wirklich relevant für diese Diskussion,

Grundsätzlich ist es aber halt so, dass es relativ einfach ist Mittel für Projekte zu bekommen, viel schwieriger für den laufenden Betrieb.

Does Open Street Map have an input API? or Upload feature? 4 months ago

Any bulk import has to be compatible with our distribution licence AND digestible and maintainable by the local community. The history of OpenStreetMap is littered with failed imports many of which have not been cleaned up for years.

And it is OpenStreetMap ... thanks. is a new evil (instead of Potlatch)? 4 months ago

It should be noted that we've had apps with similar characteristics in the past and present (with very much the same conflicts), for example OSMand and the various incarnations of the wheelmap editor, and not to forget the original Mapzen POI collector (nothing to do with the current company of the name).

The main difference is that has undoutably marketed the app more agressively and naturally that the potential user base is simply far larger nowdays (because of increased OpenStreetMap quality, density and usefullness of our data). The later point naturally increases the potential for conflict even more.

Were I do agree is your last point, which I've pointed out time and time again, writing a "simple" editor that can be used without at least some knowledge of the project and the underlying data models is extremely difficult, so difficult matter of fact that nobody has actually produced one to date.

Improving the OSM map - why don't we? (13) 5 months ago

@BladeTC TANSAAFL I suspect that not so many people would be happy with the standard style only updating now and then (check the date in the upper right corner).

@marczoutendijk a paper map typically has one scale that needs to look good, an online map 20-22. Given the wide variation in data density and in the end what people actually want to see, it is highly unlikely that we will ever have a map that makes everybody happy (not to mention that that isn't the purpose of the main map style on

Mapping Torre Annunziata 6 months ago

Impressive, really.

Using mobile editor for the first time 6 months ago

Lets say if you need to create a web site tracking your users edits for fear of them breaking stuff, something is likely very wrong.

Most of the issues with what does are not new and we've seen them with other similar tools (for whatever reason we seem to not learn from the past in this respect). In the specific case the combination of stale data and display issues seem to cause the most problems when creating "new" objects (there are further issues with i18n display of values that led to us actually having to block a user a couple of days back because he was making wide spread bad edits of name values).

While one day old data might seem to be OK, it is unreasonable to assume that the typical audience of will be updating so often (lets think in the more realisitic weeks to months time frame), From the edits I've had to remove (sometimes the complete contributions of new mappers) there is likely a further issue in that objects with larger geometries (for example hotels tagged on buildings) do not get displayed in a way that makes it clear that there is more there.

At least some of these issues would be fixable with a overpass api query or similar before upload and corresponding action, naturally frustrating for a contributor that finds out on upload that what he just added was pointless, but at least better than wasting other peoples time on chasing after edits.

Charts, piecharts on map linked to coords 8 months ago

Diearies are not a really good place for questions. I would suggest to either use the mailing lists and forums, or ask a question on might help yith you issue.

New Users 10 months ago

9% is a impressively high response rate, better than any other result I've heard of.

I believe we have to be careful about our expectations

  • we know that we have a large number of one time only mappers that simply want to fix something specific and are not about to turn mapping in to their favourite pasttime
  • of those that do stay on, a large number (this is simply based on experience and not hard numbers) seem to be want to be left alone

In any case even in countries with large and active OSM communities we are talking about perhaps 1% or so that really participate in the community and turn up at get togethers etc.


How large are our national contributor communities and how are they developing? 11 months ago

@joost I have some older numbers based on history files for Switzerland which would inidcate 10-20% higher values if we are looking at in-country edits. So your numbers are likely very compatible with the "first edit" stats.

Location based alerts for FIXMEs or specified objects 11 months ago

Not quite sure why you think the solution with vespucci is a workaround, the relevant service runs in the background so you can just use your phone as is.

Location based alerts for FIXMEs or specified objects 11 months ago

Sure vespucci can do that (at least for Notes, fixmes, a small set of data issues and OSMOSE errors and there some plans on extending the list) .... get 0.9.7 from and enable auto download for data and for Notes/Bugs.

And you can fix the issue at the same time.

Expanding the OSM Community about 1 year ago

This is a very old idea that is implemented all over the OSM community, and it doesn't need any technical infrastructure outside of what is already there. Just setup a RSS feed from and off you go.

I wouldn't overestimate the impact that it has, but at least (in our case) we've pointed out the available resouces and where to ask in the case of questions.

Add my location over 1 year ago

See for more information.

Note that the OSM database is not the place for non-observable features, so while it is reasonable to add the address to the building your office is in and potentially a POI for the kind of company you are (with the name), it is not the place for mareting and similar information.

San Francisco data imports, anyone? over 1 year ago

And to not forget that love could mean fixing glaring problems before somebody multiple 1000 of miles away has to do it ....

[LearnOSM] Report may 2015 over 1 year ago

LeanOSM would be far more useful if it wasn't a HOT political pamphlet spouting an extremely biased and exclusive view of what OSM is, excludig the majority of the OSM community. If it was not so, it would be a useful starting point for beginners, nowyou can't point anybody except budding SJWs to it.

Addressing almost 2 years ago

@EdLoach the UK hasn't really embraced the idea of address mapping, see which likely has to do with the special situation wrt post codes in the UK compared to other European and the US. So I don't think the 200 year extrapolation is applicable for more than a small island in splendid isolation.

As to address mapping techniques: it really depends on if house numbers are large and clearly visible from the pavement. Most of the time this is not the case and that is why most schemes at trying to collect them "fast" fail.

IMHO the most efficient way to collect, on the ground, barring OSM employing streetview hardware with high res cameras, is: * at home draw the building outlines * walk along the streets in question and enter the the house numbers directly with vespucci With the address prediction functionality the accquistion rate is essentially limited how long you need to get from house to house.

We can no longer go on like this about 2 years ago

It should be pointed out, given that neither the rate of new contributors joining nor their number of edits has noticeably changed over at least the last 5 years, the "damage" that they cause both relative to the number of larger and more experienced contributors and to the amount of pre-existing data has actually gone down and not increased.

Contributor numbers revisited and empty changesets galore over 2 years ago


I haven't been following iD developement all too closely, but an OSM editor is one of those things that tend to mature fairly fast in real use. It is clearly not out of the question that there have been significant improvements in iD itself (relevant to the this discussion, there have naturally been a lot of improvements in general), but it could just as well be improved browsers.

If I get around to it, I'll produce some numbers on all empty changesets vs. editors given that any issues will affect all users and not just first timers.

But as you say, it is good news that the issues have been dropping.