Sanderd17 has commented on the following diary entries

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Format der Hausnummern mit Zusatz (z.B. Musterstraße 1b) 4 days ago

I see BIN (Belgian instead of Deutsch) has the same recommendations.

But BIN also requires small letters (b instead of B).

This is one of the most stupid recommendation I've ever seen. It makes it hard to parse in software, and isn't needed at all to be readable. In contrary, capital letters are a lot easier to read, and spaces after numbers don't matter a lot.

It becomes extremely irritating when bus numbers are added. Like "Bornstraat 48 a bus 5" vs "Bornstraat 48 bus 5". That "a" just looks like a lost letter.

In this case, I just hope people will never start using the BIN/DIN norms.

Now Live: Notes Posted By Scout Users 8 days ago

Nice improvements.

What's the usual data age in Scout? And in case it's several days, would it be possible to mention the extraction date in the note?

Thanks a lot.

Treino 12 days ago

Just wondering, is it possible to go from the lower primary road into the tertiary road?

Because, given the current oneway restrictions, this isn't possible on the map.

OSM issues apparently ? 17 days ago

PmaiIkeey about your question of why it's in French. Well, it's not part of OSM, it's build around OSM (like so many other tools).

And it just happens to be build by a French. However, it's also available in English on that site: (which is in fact the link pnorman gave you)

OSM issues apparently ? 17 days ago

1: The road types are a classification of importance (i.e. how many people use them).

Since the system originated in GB, it follows the names used there. Other legal differences (like maxspeed) are noted by using different tags or a different way of mapping.

In the case of dual carriageways, it has to be mapped as two parallel ways in both directions. That way, it becomes clear.

2: You shouldn't split streets in arbitrary points. Certainly not to get different rendering. Instead, you can use higway=stop and highway=giveway nodes on the other roads.

When the mapnik devs find it important to render names like this, they can always use these nodes.

3.1: The renderer needs some time to update. Certainly in the last days, as the rendering style changed a bit, and the servers had to render a lot of new tiles. So the waiting times were longer than normal.

That causes different zooms to show different ages of tiles. Just wait a bit to find it updated (the more you zoom out, the longer you'll have to wait, as the more data it needs to process to make that tile).

3.2: If you know names of neighbourhoods or localities, you can map those. They can be interesting. However, these names are often hard to find, so they're not mapped a lot.

3.3: That's just a matter of time before you know the tags. War memorials are just like other memorials, so a search for "memorial" should bring you to the correct tag. And you can always use the search feature on the wiki to find the correct tags: (the wiki documents the tags you see in the advanced section of the editor)

3.4: When you select a way, you see the nodes (as circles), but you also see arrows in the middle of the segments to show the technical direction of the way (important for one-way streets f.e.). But that arrow has a dual function. If you hoover it, you'll see a +-sign next to your mouse cursor. And when you drag the arrow, a new node will be created there.

I hope this is what you wanted.

3.5: That depends on your community and what you want to discuss or ask. There's IRC (live chat): (use it for quick questions, or small discussions) There's the help site: (use this to ask help, not to discuss stuff) You can also subscribe to a mailing list: (most veteran OSM users are subscribed to multiple mailing lists) There are also forums: (not all communities are active on the forum, check if there are people before you ask or discuss something) And the wiki is mainly for documentation (of tags and tools), it isn't used a lot for discussion, and certainly not to ask help.

Some of these services indeed require separate accounts, but that's just a result of history.

4.1: No idea what you mean here. But the OSM main page isn't the only one offering OSM data for display. OSM offers the data, and others are supposed to work with it (make search engines, navigation devices, renderings, ...). The things you find on the main page are just examples of what can be done, and they serve to attract new mappers and data users.

On the wiki, you can find a lot of smartphone apps and websites using OSM in clever ways (s.a. umap mentioned by pnorman).

4.2: I think umap is indeed the way to go. Though it's still under development.

How to improve OSM: kill the bureaucracy 18 days ago

The tagging mailing list is indeed a pain because most of all, we can't change the tagging when we want: If a tag is in use, no matter how bad it is, it's the "used" variant, will be documented so on the wiki, and will keep to be used. The tools (like mapnik) will also only accept the tags that appear often in the DB, and thus ignore the new ones.

So actually, proposing a tag (and letting everyone use it), requires patching all tools that use the data, and lobbying to get the patch in.

The tagging mailing list should only aim to give guidance about using tags. Point out what should be done better (to get some consistency), or why a feature shouldn't be mapped (we should only map stable, geographic data).

Anyway, for imports, or mass edits, it's different. Those need to be discussed before they're executed, because a bad import can ruin the hard work of many individual editors. And even a good import can be counter-productive when there's no community behind it to maintain the data (and only lack of data creates a solid community).

COFFEEDEX & the single-tag revolution 18 days ago

It's geographic data "the price of a coffee on a certain place", but I agree it will be outdated way too soon (I wouldn't be able to maintain the pubs in my village).

Next to that, there seems to be no standard currency notation. I've seen

  • coffee:price = EUR3 (strange notation, I'd expect "3 EUR" in this case)
  • coffee:price = £ 1.00 (ok, the app should read special signs. What sort of symbols are used?)
  • coffee:price = $1.84 (now, it reads special signs, but there are many dollars. Which one is meant?)
  • coffee:price = 1.10 (I should just guess the currency here?)

And Zverik is also right of course. What's the price of a coffee at Starbucks?

Headway from NY to SF 21 days ago

Not sure what you want. If you want directions, you should check

If you mean something else, you should explain it more clearly.

reef=? about 1 month 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 about 1 month ago


Le Nord doit recevoir plus d'amour.

IndoorOSM and Wheelchair-Navigation about 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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? 2 months 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 2 months 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) 2 months 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 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 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 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 3 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.