SomeoneElse has commented on the following diary entries

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Myth of Newbie 11 days ago

"And here goes John Smith, who indirectly claims, that he knows how OSM newbies think and so on, when he refers to them. No, he knows almost nothing. "

So you're assuming that people making statements about what does and doesn't work for new mappers haven't ever investigated what works or not?

Do you have any evidence for that assumption?

Sidewalk tags in Cluj-Napoca (Cluj county, RO) - IN PROGRESS about 1 month ago

Excellent stuff! As someone who regularly walks between towns when the weather doesn't really allow the use of footpaths etc., I find mapped footpaths far more useful than addresses :)

Re-tagging picnic sites with leisure=picnic_site and amenity=picnic_site to tourism=picnic_site (Part 2) about 1 month ago

@jinalfoflia "last edited within a year" is about the threshold that I'd use for messaging previous mappers too.

Do you have any idea how many of the picnic sites in, say, the UK are as yet unmapped (there are now 1632 there according to , you changed 15 in ).

Also how many of the things that are currently tagged as tourism=picnic_site do you think are mistagged?

Improving the OSM map - why don't we? [12] about 1 month ago

I reckon that it's almost always possible to figure out what even "incomprehensible" tags actually mean (or at least what the mapper was trying to do at the time). A while back SimonPoole mentioned "yes=no": . I had a look at those, and even something with something as nonsensical as that it was possible to figure out the meaning (e.g. a mapper was trying to change tiger:reviewed=no to tiger:reviewed=yes). That's part of the reason why I find "tagfiddlers" (people who just remove tags that they don't understand, without asking the previous mapper) annoying.

On the more general point about source tags, if you really do use only one source for an entire changeset then it might make sense to use a changeset source tag (and when I do, that's what I do) but most of the time the source of anything is much more complicated (for me usually some combination of notes, new GPS traces, previous GPS traces, imagery and government open data). That's when I find element source tags useful.

Mapping a neighborhood park about 2 months ago

Just to comment on the "better we upload all the data in english" reply...

As an English speaker, if I'm visiting somewhere where signposts primarily aren't in English (or are even in a non-Latin script) I'd actually prefer names on a map to match the signposts, rather than be a translation of the local name.

To take an example that I'm familiar with (in Sweden), is referred to by everyone as the "Centralbron", and from memory it's signposted as that. In OSM someone's added a "name:en" of "Central Bridge" (that's just the English translation - I've never seen it signposted, although it was a while since I was there). In order for "Central Bridge" to be useful to me I'd actually need to be able to translate the English into Swedish, and then compare that with the signposts. That's actually more work than just having what's on the signposts on the map, even if I don't speak Swedish.

About Huts about 2 months ago

The bit I don't understand is "... So, I must go along with the community". I don't understand what benefit there is to using an artificially circular way as opposed to a node (at least if way_area isn't going to be used to determine size - which if the examples on this page are anything to go by, it couldn't be reliably). Surely (while there are still things to be map) the benefits of mapping throughput would outweigh the prettiness of overnoded ways?

Private Plugin for "Faint" Trails? about 2 months ago

I'm sure that there are map styles (if not public map tiles) that take trail_visibility into account. For my own use I maintain a map style designed for hiking in England and Wales, and that drops non-designated(1) low-visibility highways:

I personally wouldn't use OpenStreetMap's "standard style" as a hiking map. We have in the past had complaints such as . The mapping of was actually excellent, but the standard style couldn't convey the likely problems to users.

(1) That's an England-and-Wales thing - don't worry about it elsewhere.

Potlatch editing about 2 months ago

You've probably seen it already, but just in case not - should be fixed now:

As an aside, @Vincent%20de%20Phily - one of the reasons that I personally don't use JOSM for "normal" mapping is that I capture everything in a GPX trace (most information as waypoints), and it's difficult or impossible to do anything useful with that information in JOSM. There are a bunch of questions that I asked about this sort of thing ages ago - see the questions at that are unanswered (or have an answer of "you can't") and are tagged JOSM. It's possible that JOSM functionality has caught up since those were asked, of course. The main problem for me though is that JOSM's default UI just makes simple things (e.g. seeing object tags, viewing relations in the map view) very difficult or clumsy to do. I suspect that it might be able possible to play around with CSS to address some of the "what things look like" issues, but I've never needed to fix the problems as for me a better alternative already exists.

Sidewalks and crossings about 2 months ago

@ksetdekov It depends on location, really. In many places in the world for pedestrian routing it makes no sense to map separate sidewalks and crossings because there are no explicit crossings - you're allowed to cross anywhere.

Where it gets complicated is where there are multiple sets of users, for example (1) pedestrians, who can and do cross anywhere (for whom sidewalk=none/left/right/both on the road is the best tagging) and (2) wheelchair and mobility scooter users who have to navigate by dropped kerbs, which may be at junctions or may not, and don't necessarily match any marked crossings that might exist. I've not seen a good solution that addresses both groups of users, but I do know (because I regularly use OSM data for pedestrian routing) that mapping sidewalks as separate ways, if done badly, can break pedestrian routing for everyone.

Mapping in the Japanese countryside 2 months ago

Hehe - finally a Mapbox diary entry where the animated gifs actually make sense!

In most cases animated gifs just make the entry unreadable (or, as happened recently, crash the browser), but here it's at least relevant :)

Doing some highway/routing QA with Mapbox's Distance API 4 months ago

@flohoff - would a changing travel time still help to indicate that there's a problem? As I read it from it sounds like the alternative routes all have the same length.

Mixing Up the default OSM Rendering 4 months ago

It's a great idea, but I suspect that the biggest challenge would be a technical one - having the infrastructure available to display "tiles from cold" in a new style for the whole world. Maybe something that'd be esier to set up would be something on a local or regional basis?

For my own use I often use a different rendering to OSM's standard one, and regularly see things that I've missed* by using it (as you would with any different rendering).

  • Most often public footpath definitions (an England-and-Wales "access" thing), and named landuse and area definitions that the standard map doesn't include yet.
Vandalism in Vancouver... 5 months ago

For the benefit of anyone not subscribed to talk-us, there's a discussion thread there:

and there is also lots of discussion on this related changeset:

From JOSM search & replace to processing Openstreetmap with your favorite text edition tools 5 months ago

Seriously, instead of "cursing contributors who neglect correct capitalization" talk to them about it - explain what the problem is politely, and offer to help them fix it. We're likely talking about new and inexperienced mappers here - they need help not silent abuse :)

As the proverb goes "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime".

Diary spam? 5 months ago

How often do admins (who are the people who remove diary spam) regularly check ? I ask because I've just noticed that that page has a "Notes with spam content" section. I'm a moderator (DWG member) and am one of the people who can hide problematical notes. I never knew that this page contained that section (it was added in September 2013!) and have been blissfully unaware of any entries that it might have contained.

This problem will go away once the GSoC-supported reporting system is ready, but for now please don't assume that by updating a wiki page that communication has occurred; if you want to make sure that e.g. an offensive note gets removed quickly mention it on IRC or email . Personally I've always reported diary spam directly to the admins in #osm-dev

New road style for the Default map style, the full version - PR, casings on z11 6 months ago

Maybe I'm doing something wrong here, but using the GSOC branch of OSM-carto to render a few tiles locally I'm not seeing the difference between motorways and other roads that I'd expect at zoom 7:


That corresponds to


Personally, I'd expect to see the M6, M1, M18 and M60 much clearer than the other roads at that zoom, as is possible now. This isn't a problem from z9 on (the "motorway" red there stands out much better, as seen in your examples above).

New road style for the Default map style - the second version 7 months ago

I'm really not convinced that comparing with Google Maps is helpful. Google's web maps mostly show only roads, since that's all the information that Google has (compare for example with,-1.5174463,15z ).

In Google's world bright orange makes sense, since thery're showing relatively few classes of features, and a largely four-colour map makes sense. A cynic might suggest that Google's target market is largely Americans who never walk or cycle anywhere; though they're happy tell tell European public transport users which bus to get, just not where it goes.

However, OSM's world is not Google's world. That doesn't mean that OSM's standard style is perfect - far from it. Green trunks the same colour as woodland really don't work at all. On an OSM map there are many, many different classes of feature and so moving roads towards one colour space does have advantages, but the bright orange struggles (in your initial London example) because there's too much of it.

However the bigger problem is that the OSM Standard Style tries to be both "a nice map" and "part of the mapper feedback loop" - given the level of detail that's being mapped in some places now I don't see how it can do both. From reading (1) I guess that you're limited by what would work technically as a style on now (i.e. no use of hstore and no use of lua to make the SQL sane). Would transparent overlays be in or out on that basis? You can go "too far" with them (the UK Met Office's forecast maps show what goes wrong when you do) but perhaps a "political" background and a "natural" background overlaid with features for different consumers might work.


(2) e.g.

Unknown Pleasures 7 months ago

Are oven gloves available? :)

Who sunk Ireland?? 8 months ago

It was fixed yesterday I believe. No errors showing here currently:,coastline_error_lines,line_not_a_ring,line_overlap,line_invalid,line_direction,questionable,coastline_error_points,unconnected,intersections,not_a_ring,double_node,tagged_node

Don't know what to think of it of this research 8 months ago

The tricky thing here is detecting the problems. Of course, there are lots of QA tools around, and they are very useful at detecting "geometrically unfeasible" data (that in most cases is created by new users getting the hang of the editing tools, not vandals). The problem is that the only thing that will spot something like this as an error:

is someone who's familiar with the area and knows that "that does not exist". So we need to encourage the new editors (the same ones making the mistakes now!) to continue mapping and become the OSM users familiar with an area spotting any deliberate vandalism in the future.

The DWG can help with blocks etc. as needed, but if problems aren't spotted due to a lack of local OSMers, no-one (including the DWG) will know that there's a problem. Even when some changes do look "unlikely" (as has happened recently with some changes in both North and South America) the lack of OSMers on the ground means that "yes, those changes do look wrong, but we can't say for sure".

  • Andy (a DWG member but not writing on behalf of it here)