SomeoneElse has commented on the following diary entries

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Weekly roundup - Suspicious mapping 1 day ago

In these cases was there any reason why you didn't mention the problem to the users concerned? Most or all look like "cockup rather than conspiracy" - just genuine user mistakes, or perhaps inexperience (either in general or with a new editor - such as the POI in the middle of the road).

Obviously it's great that "highway=yes" gets set back to the previous highway value but isn't there a risk that they'll do it again if they don't know of the mistake that you've corrected?

Best Regards, Andy

The invalid areas of the map 9 days ago

You've said "It seems like a huge majority of the issues need to be carefully revieved by hand and cleaned up" and I think that you're absolutely right. As Mateusz Konieczny says above, even in "straightforward" cases you need to check that any resulting tagging makes any geographical sense, even if there's only one topological interpretation.

I'd also suggest that where a problem is fixed that it's explained to the person who added the erroneous data in the first place what the problem is - if they don't know that there's a problem they'll keep doing it.

I'd also suggest that any "fixing" changeset comments explain the problem in terms that a mapper that might have created the problem in the first place, so don't say things like "remove self intersection of area outline" or similar. is a new evil (instead of Potlatch)? 10 days ago

"a new evil"?

The news headlines from around the world over the last couple of weeks have been pretty miserable for lots of reasons, but apparently the thing that really matters is some people mislabelling "tourist attractions" on an online map.

Does Open Street Map have an input API? or Upload feature? 10 days ago

There's also information over at and .

Jazz club 10 days ago

Pretty much any non-contradictory combination of tags is "valid". If that's the best way of describing a real-world object, then that's what I'd use.

Nottingham's Mysterious Plaster Boys & Girls 10 days ago

I think they're breeding - the same ones exist at least as far north as Sutton.

As far as rendering highway=crossing nodes, it would be a relatively simple change to the "standard" style (I made the same change to a version of that style here. There's probably a github issue or three already logged for it.

Unrendered elements 16 days ago

Years ago, there used to be a map style on called "osmarender" which tried to show almost every feature (but in the process didn't look very pretty). It went away for various technical / support reasons, and there hasn't been a replacement for it. Part of the reason for that is that query mechanisms have improved markedly - things like the "?" icon at the right of the main site that allow you to click and see what's there and display details such as even though it's not rendered in the "standard" map style at all. might also be useful - type "office" into the box at the top right of that and click through to "Overpass Turbo" zoom in and run the query - you will get a screen like showing you all of the offices nearby.

With regard to actual map tiles, I do try and render lots of the office/man_made infrastructure in a style that I maintain for my own use (no public tiles alas) - see for an example. Sirens, Pipelines and Flagpoles I've never thought of doing though - I'm sure that everyone has a list of things that "should be rendered on a standard map style but aren't". the problem is that everyone's list is different.

Is that a country? 28 days ago

Most "international boundaries" discussions take place over at - a trawl through the history there might find some prior discussion.

Currently in OSM it's not a "country", though it has been recently:

As ever with discussing actual changes, comments on the discussion on changesets that changed the state are the best way to try and understand what's happening, such as happened with .

Improving the OSM map - why don't we? (13) about 1 month ago

@marczoutendijk It would indeed be great if there was a way to easily define your own map layers at, rather than using the 5 canned ones (but as Richard says above just wishing won't make it so; you actually need to sit down and write some code to do it).

There are a couple of cludgy ways to do that sort of thing currently - see for an example. Essentially if you can figure out a way of converting something like into you should be able to replace one set of tiles with another (terms of use etc. notwithstanding).

Linting the open map of the world about 2 months ago

I think your "pipeline" isn't quite complete...

What happens next is that on-the-ground mappers familiar with an area spot a remote edit, and go and check it. Sometimes the correction is valid, but often the "error" being corrected wasn't actually an error at all - perhaps it was a bit of an edge case, like , where any OSM tagging would be a bit of a compromise.

In areas where there is a reasonable concentration of mappers, and it's really not clear how things really are, it's better to try and ask people to check the real situation rather than guessing, and the best way to do that is either a changeset discussion comment on a previous editing changeset or an OSM note.

It's important to remember that OSM isn't just data - it's a representation of things in the real world, and the real world is sometimes shades of grey rather than black and white.

Trees (again) 2 months ago

@BushmanK Interesting - I've often added details conveying that sort of information as part of a note (see e.g. ) - maybe "wood:age" et al is worth looking at.

Validating the map - Part 1 3 months ago

As well as "detecting problems" we also need to ask why a problematic edit was made.

For example, "doodle the dog" in the example above - was that drawn by a bored college student who'd been dragged into a HOT mapping session against their will? If so, perhaps we could try and engage with the person running the class?

MAPS.ME is now an editor 3 months ago

We're seeing a definite spike in new editors near me in the UK, compared to (say) 6 days ago:

What's really interesting is that there's actually roughly twice as many new mappers using iD as last week, not even counting the new MAPS.ME ones! It'd be interesting to see how widespread that is.

Mapping missing motorway exit numbers 3 months ago

On countries that don't use junction reference numbers as much as some others (like the US), I wouldn't expect too much from a query looking for junction reference numbers; just the same as in the UK (where there aren't multiplexed routes) I wouldn't expect to be able to extract sensible and complete route relations.

Just because the wiki says to do something it doesn't mean it's commonly done or even a good idea; sometimes it represents only the view of the person who last updated that wiki page.

In the US I'd spend time on misaligned and mismapped TIGER data before even thinking about whether a nonexistant junction reference number is indicated by "noref=yes" :)

"This is too complicated" - is it? 3 months ago

It's only "too complicated" for a new user if they aren't guided through the process when they choose to add a диспансер. New users don't read the wiki and don't read the email lists or the forum (initially they probably don't know that any of these exist). What new users do see on sign is:

The CTs, which the have to agree to. A confirmation email, which they need to click on a link on. "", which has a big "Start Mapping" button on it which they'll probably click on*. An screen centred at their browser location If they click "Edit" they're offered the choice of the "iD Walkthrough" or to start editing immediately.

iD (at least in my English locale) doesn't know what a "диспансер" is and if they search for it and there are no local matches the first worldwide match is a hospital in Serbia. Compare that with adding a feature that iD does know about.

  • The "welcome" does have a link to , which does link to external resources such as the wiki, but it's some way down in the list of things presented to newcomers, and not really understandable by them when they get there.

To summarise, if you want people (especially new users) to add these tags, you'll need to make it easy for people to add them. Simply writing them down somewhere that new users won't read doesn't do that.

As an aside, you might like to know that "healthcare" is the current quarterly project in GB. See this post on the GB list .

Sidewalks! 3 months ago

Actually, I think the left/right thing could probably be handled by "line-offset", as on the example here:

However I don't think I'll worry about left vs right sidewalks (or at least not yet). I'd want to remove some of the duplication I've introduced into roads.mss first.

The "other" problem (where an unclassified road joined a tertiary it "poked through" and could be seen over the casing at the other side of the road was fixed by setting "line-cap: butt" instead of "round".

African Roads and a Western Bias in Mapping 3 months ago

You're absolutely right - the highway tags in OSM do have a Western bias (strictly speaking, a Western European bias, since that was where the tags originated - there are parts of the US where they don't work well, either).

However, as Sanderd17 mentioned above, there's nothing to stop people from adding more detail - things like surface, tracktype, etc.

It's also possible, when you're creating maps for your Nuvi, to process different sorts of data in different ways. For example, when I create maps for mine I have it ignore roads and tracks that are probably private. There are a few questions over at that might help with that. Although it's more complicated than just downloading a map from someone else, it's not that difficult.

If you get stuck with anything, just ask - there's a list of ways to get in touch on that should help.

Sidewalks! 4 months ago

@Stereo I'm (mis)using the Mapnik "casing" to show a "sidewalk" on both sides of the road. I've no idea whether it's possible to have a casing on only one side of a way, and if so how hard to do it would be. The "lua" side is pretty straightforward - instead of "tertiary_sidewalk" and "tertiary" you'd have "tertiary_left_sidewalk", "tertiary_right_sidewalk" and "tertiary". Of course, the more important information is "you can safely walk here" rather than "and it's on the left as you go north".

The router I use most often is the built-in Garmin eTrex one. Ages ago I did have a go at producing a Garmin map for "foot only use" (on it motorways weren't usable roads, for example), using a version of the C# preprocessor that I used already. It sort-of worked but wasn't ideal, since you couldn't use the same .img for e.g. car routing too.

I've not looked at OSRM et al, but as I understand it if you run your own instance of that it's highly configurable (see ). It wouldn't surprise me if you could persuade it (or some other online router) to support sidewalk tags.

Showing off surface tags 4 months ago

Re the "getting it online" bit - a quick and dirty Leaflet/Mapnik approach would be to use a lua script together with the existing "OSM Carto" style or a variation of it to display the data using existing tags. is an example of that, not with "paved", but with "designation" (which is used in England and Wales to indicate specific kinds of public access). It dates from when "highway=path" and "highway=footway" were rendered differently by "OSM Carto" - paths and footways with a designation are rendered as "footway", and paths and footways without as "path".

If you read through the github issues for the standard style there are a lot of comments saying "we can't do that because XYZ key isn't in the rendering database". Using lua avoids that problem; it can act on any key/value combination in the data being loaded.

Removed 4 months ago

All I can suggest is to comment on the discussions on the changesets concerned - explain what the problem is, what they did wrong, and how you'd have done it. Say that you're local and offer to check anything they want the next time you're in the area of (whatever it is).

If you can and if appropriate, add changeset discussion comments in a language that the author is likely to speak as well as yours (even a Bing Transator or similar translated text is better than nothing).

If they don't reply after a week or so, explain again that it'd be really nice if they did reply, pointing out if necessary that you're another OSM mapper who just happens to live in the area; you're not some disembodied "system error message".

If that doesn't work and you still have a problem contact the Data Working Group at (disclaimer: I'm a member) and we can try suggest that they really ought to engage with you, and can take further steps if necessary.

Obviously I've no idea what the "project team" was that prompted you to write this diary entry, but I suspect that "team mapping" will be more prevalent not less as we go forward. Several companies who widely use OSM data have mapping teams, and there are lots of other "mapping projects" using OSM data. The quality of mapping from people on these teams varies, just like it does from other OSM mappers. Some "project team" mappers have been OSM contributors of long standing before starting their current team membership; others seem to have no knowledge of OSM and seem to have been picked up via an ad-hoc jobs board. In most cases the wider OSM community gets them "trained" eventually. The most common mistake "team leaders" (or whatever sort) make is forgetting that OSM is a community more than it is a project. If you come in and add any old rubbish to the data people will comment on it and fix it.