Sanderd17 has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
reef=? 7 days ago

If it's rather stable, and veryfiable, it's worth to map.

So AFAIK, reefs belong to that category.

All it takes is someone with the knowledge about the possible classifications, and with the time to document it.

You can document your tag as a proposal: But you can start using it, even before the proposal is accepted (be sure that you map only from data that's legal to use).

La Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque entièrement intégrée au BANO 11 days ago


Le Nord doit recevoir plus d'amour.

IndoorOSM and Wheelchair-Navigation 28 days ago

Buildings are the result of a creative work by the architect. And a building plan might either be a copy of that work, or a measurement of the actual building. In the second case, it can be considered a database, and it costed a substantial amount of work to make.

So you certainly can't assume that it's legally ok to do without more legal research.

Otoh, it doesn't mean you can't use OSM. You could make your maps with JOSM, just don't upload it to OSM yet.

Since you can use OSM for private use without the share-alike requirement. And educational stuff falls often under private use.

So you're at least saved for your work. But you won't be able to commercialize the app with the data you added (unless you get the subtleties researched).

Your research is highly welcomed though, and it might stimulate indoor mapping.

A little survey story about 1 month ago

I mapped about all housenumbers as far as my dog could walk.

Though, since I live in a rather rural place, that ain't so much.

It becomes harder when you have to walk (or ride) a longer way before you can start to map.

That's why I think an import is good. But people should restrict themselves to places where they've been before. So they don't import total rubbish.

And we should certainly have tools ready to find differences between OSM and CRAB. So we can find issues in both databases.

how to add a POI? about 1 month ago

If you're still not seeing the changes, this is probably related to your browser cache.

Normally, browsers keep the map images for some days, so that browsing goes faster. But when an image is updated on the server, it may be possible you still see the old image on your computer.

Try clearing your browser cache to see the latest renderings.

But indeed, you added the museum correctly (though I'd suggest to move the website to a "website" tag instead of "source").

what are these oddly shaped circular features? about 1 month ago

It could also be the work of termites. I don't know which (if any) termites live in that region, but some sorts of termites are able to create surprisingly regular patterns in their mounds.

Tiring about 1 month ago

We don't want to force anyone to map here. It's all voluntary, so if you don't want to map, you don't have to.

But if you live where you map, your contributions are indeed very valuable.

Anyway, I find mapping the most rewarding when I can finish projects. F.e., I was happy when I mapped every house in my street, every street in my village, every village name in my province, ...

Stats can also be nice when you find it tiring. Like

But you should not map for the stats only. The most valuable contributions don't show up in the stats. Like naming a place or shop is very valuable, because only local people can do it with good quality, and it helps people to orient themselves.

If you want, you can also contact the HOT group. Not neccesarily to trace imagery (you don't need to be local for that), but to help with organising or validating. Subscribe on the HOT mailing list ( or come chat with HOT members on IRC ( - just pick a nickname and start chatting) to see what cooperation is possible.

Coastal Maine is broken in OpenStreetMap (county lines, Nominatim) about 1 month ago

First of all, you should look for sources you can use. Normally those are out-of-copyright maps, but also laws and descriptions of territory.

There's a chance that the boundary wrt the coastline is defined quite well. F.e. in the Netherlands, it's stated which part of the national sea is under control of sub-national authorities. See this boundary:

The advantage with boundaries is that they usually don't change often. So it's normally possible to find out-of-copyright maps that you can use as a background in JOSM. It's worth to go looking in some libraries. Not everything is digitized yet.

If you don't find those extra sources. I agree that the boundaries should be as simple as possible. So follow the river center. By having simple boundaries, it's easier to clean it up afterwards (when you do get the sources). Hand-drawn city boundaries are also better than none. But it's not worth the effort to hand-draw it when you think you will find new sources soon.

I drew many boundaries of my province from maps made around 1831-1860 (the first years of Belgium). And I found out that the boundaries were still pretty much the same now, though it was sometimes a bit hard to fit the map as background, since it was draw a bit skewed.

Regards, Sander

Question on Features Related to Waterbodies about 2 months ago

In OSM, you may add any features you like, on some conditions:

  • It need to be verifiable: The main problem with grades (highway classification, tracktype classification, ...) is that mappers interpret them differently. So they should have a very precise definition to make them verifiable.
  • It must be current and more or less permanent: We're not interested in features that change very often. There are lots of people that use the maps downloaded, offline, and only update the maps a few times per year. So we can't include fast-changing things like traffic jams, or even road works that only take a few days.

But if the feature you want to map obeys to the above conditions, then you can just map it with your own invented keys and values. Note that the tags shouldn't collide with existing tags. Think of your own tags, don't mix in existing tags just so some tool can already use or render it. When you thought of a tag, check the wiki and taginfo to see if it's already used in a different meaning or not.

You can also use the wiki to document your usage of keys and values. Or to encourage others to map it too. Preferably in the form of a wikiproject, or a tagging proposal.

For your second question. Sure it's possible to filter the data. You can download the complete data of the entire world (in XML format or other derived formats) and use your coding skills and knowledge of used tags to filter it. You can also use existing services like Overpass ( to filter out data and export it to specific formats. Though those services might not be powerful enough to filter and download a huge amount of data from a huge region.

First thoughts about 2 months ago

In the US, it's known that OSM doesn't have the best quality.

The US data dates mostly from a Tiger import. So you will see the same problems as with the old Tiger data. In retrospect, that Tiger import was a mistake. In places where no free data was available (like Germany or Great Britain), a community was formed that could handle and update the data.

While in places where data was imported, people were not so eager to edit, as the map already looked "good enough" on first sight.

That said, our data, as opposed to Google's data, is freely available for any purpose (offline navigation devices, displaying on websites, ...). So Vincent is right that OSM data has a bigger chance to end up in satnavs (in Germany, there are already multiple satnavs using only OSM data due to the very good quality).

So I hope you start editing, and start improving the map. There are just more mappers needed to fix those things and bring the data to the ultimate quality.

First Day about 2 months ago

Hi, thanks for your contributions.

But you do have to watch out for connectivity. When paths or roads are connected, they should share a node. That way, a navigation device can see they are connected, and can route you over that crossing.

This way for example isn't connected to any other path. When you select that way in the iD editor, you'll see that all nodes of the way are light-grey. Connected nodes are normally darker grey. So although now it looks good on the map, a navigation device won't be able to use that path.

To connect them, it's easiest to delete the end nodes, and redraw these nodes so they snap to the existing roads.

Keeping OSM up to date with OSMfocus about 2 months ago

If you want it to make notes, it could be good to couple it to OSM Tracker.

Via a big "note" button, you launch the OSM Tracker intent (either integrated or installed separately), where you can have all kinds of notes: photo, plain text, presets, audio, ...

But it's a great app so far.

Hiking with Mapillary – aftermath about 2 months ago

Nice post.

The message of "not being able to access the camera" is most likely related to the drivers, rather than the mapillary app. My previous phone also had this a lot, and required a reboot every time this happened because the crash just ate my battery until I fully killed all processes.

Who drew this street or: A rant about the "history" feature of OSM about 2 months ago

There used to be a service called OWL (OSM Watch List), but it doesn't seem to work anymore: But everything you propose has already been implemented.

Also, you can easily check the history of an object in various editors. Like in JOSM, you just have to press CTRL+H.

Some words about mapping construction sites – Einige Worte zum Baustellenmapping 2 months ago

I agree with you more or less. One should imagine how the situation will be in about 3 months (this looks like a reasonable term to update the maps). If the situation will be different from the currently mapped situation, the works should be mapped in real time. But limited to those parts that will be different from the current map.

So if a road is closed because they're building an appartment next to it, the old buildings should be marked as demolished, and the new buildings should be adapted in real time, but the road shouldn't be changed if the traffic flow will be the same after those works.

But if a crossing is redesigned, the map should try to be as current as possible, showing the final data on the day the works are done.

This is an example of a construction site I mapped recently:

The traffic flow is different (they made a new tunnel, the roundabout is gone, etc). Some streets are still not open, and since they will follow different routes than the old ones. So they're marked as under-construction. Even the cycleways aren't open now (and there's no legal way to cross those railways) and will be completely different from the old cycle ways.

new at using JOSM - how go back and edit my work? 2 months ago

The changeset comments are handy, but they're not the most important. The data you added is more important. The changesets are just used to do some stats.

So there's no need to fix that, just use the right comment on the next tasks you do ;)

Ok, so I am a bit tired now 2 months ago

You shouldn't aim to be high in the stats. Quality edits don't result in high stats.

Quality edits require that you look for specific information, check and double check them. The higher quality your edits are, the slower it is to add. While the stats page only takes account of the number of nodes you added. So only imports and armchair mappers that trace imagery end up there.

Adding the name of a shop with the opening hours and contact info is a lot better for the quality of our map, but it takes a lot of time, and tag edits don't appear in the stats. While, if you're tracing imagery, you can easily add a few nodes per second, applying a simple, rather default tag, doesn't cost any time at all.

But yes, don't burn out too quickly, we need you to maintain the map too (keeping up with closed or newly opened shops f.e.)

I had no idea this was so additive! 2 months ago

Single trees that have some importance can be mapped with natural=tree: (including species information)

A tree row can be mapped as natural=tree_row:

And for the bushes, take a look at the complete list: Natural=scrub seems to fit the best to your description, but it could also be natural=heath.

About the paths, there is indeed some controversy (, but the rules used are mostly consistent within the country you are. So it's definitely worth trying to communicate with other mappers nearby.

Here's a nice map showing all mappers and their editing location: If you set your location in your profile, you also see other mappers who set their location and that are nearby. Apart from that, certainly go on the mailing list of your country. Mailing lists seem to be used more often than forums and IRC, certainly for country-specific communication.

Regards, Sander

Leaving messages for edit-work done 2 months ago

It's great that you try to make changeset comments. Many forget it. But usually it's enough to add some general info, like the region you're editing, if it's based on survey, a free dataset, personal knowledge, ...

But after all, changeset comments aren't the most important. They just help with finding back what you did (so you or someone else can check it again). The data is the most important.

New Category 2 months ago

Hi, first of all, I presume you're working with iD.

iD has a number of tags you can use by default, but if you want to view "all tags", you can click on that link below, and add any tag you want (note that tags should be objective, verifiable and informational).

That said, there is some discussion about "spa". It has multiple meanings (used for spring and wellness center), and because of that, the usage of it is discouraged. See

There is however a proposal to tag it without ambiguity:

If you agree with that proposal, you can already use the tag. You can also make a comment on that page.

Some notes on your current work however:

  • Don't capitalise entire words. It's a general rule to only capitalise the first letter in a word (unless it's an abbreviation). So use "Aloe Spa" instead of "ALOE SPA".
  • Don't duplicate tags. You name_1 is exactly the same as name, no reason to have it there
  • Don't put keywords in the note tag. The note tag is meant to show a message to future mappers (like telling that the job isn't finished, tags are missing, it might change soon, ...). In this case, your note could be something like "Find the correct tags", since you are wondering how to tag it.
  • Same with note_1, don't do that

Then there are some issues you probably didn't notice, but that do harm the data. You added the spa in a bus route relation. This damages the bus route and can make it useless. And you also made it part of a turn restriction (those are used by routers to know if it's legal to make a certain turn), again, this damages the turn restriction, making it possibly unusable.

I'm now going to fix some of those things. But you're welcome to keep adding stuff to the map. Remember, the better the map, the more people that will use it, and the more people that get to their destination easily.