Tomash Pilshchik's diary

Recent diary entries

Frustrated by rogue popups in JOSM

Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 4 April 2013 in English (English)

Why-oh-why do image layers in JOSM have a popup menu which appears when one right-clicks? This makes it very difficult to scroll the map. Sometimes I can scroll the map, sometimes this maddening menu keeps popping out to mock me.

I have repeated searched the web to see if anyone else is bothered by this, but I cannot find that it is mentioned at all. Why am I the only person driven crazy by this?

Nickerson State Park

Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 29 May 2012 in English (English)

I will be camping in Nickerson State Park in June. I have made GPS traces on past trips, but have never had time to use them to improve the map. I am doing it now.

The Bing aerial imagery is of lower-than-typical resolution and many of the roads run under trees, so it is sometimes hard to tell where they go. The traces help to piece them together.

I have tried to draw the bike trail and the walking trails around the lakes, but I have had to guess in parts. I hope to make some new traces next month and improve the map furthur when I get back.

Location: Cliff Pond Path, Brewster, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 02662, United States of America

Massachusetts County Borders

Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 28 September 2010 in English (English)

I have long wanted to import the Massachusetts town boundaries from MassGIS. Not only is it nice to see the boundaries, but Nominatim works much better if towns have boundaries and not just a single node indicating the town center. If it has to fall back to central nodes, it frequently ascribes houses at the edge of town to the wrong town.

I have spent considerable time learning how to convert the shapefiles and to tag the boundaries. I have still not figured out how to handle the coastline (which is included in the town boundaries. I have decided that if I wait until I have figured out how to import boundaries for the whole state, it will never get done. So, I have chosen a single county without coastline (Hampden County) and imported that.

The process I used was as follows:
1) Use Ogr2osm to convert the entire MassGIS towns layer.
2) Use a custom Python script to extract Hampden county and tag the ways (of which the relations are composed) as town boundaries.
3) Open the resulting file in JOSM and create a relation consisting of the outer was. This represents the county.
4) Change the admin_level of the outer ways to the proper value for a county boundary.
5) Change the tagging of the ways which comprise the southern boundary of the county to the proper admin_level for a state border.
6) Upload.
7) Delete the existing county boundary (which was less precise and did not include the boundaries of the contained towns).

I have not yet attempted to merge the boundary ways with existing ways in those cases where the boundary corresponds to a river or road centerline.

In my next diary entry I will describe the fixes which were required in order to get Nominatim to find addresses within Hampden county.

Location: 42,111, -72,658


Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 22 January 2010 in English (English)

I have been studying the MassGIS page in the wiki as well as the
MassGIS website. The MassGIS website has large amounts of high-quality
data that is in the public domain. Some of it has already been imported.
This includes a high-quality streets layer and a somewhat lower quality open-spaces layer.

There is a lot more that I would love to see imported, such as town borders. I am willing to work on this, but I have run into some problems:

1) The documentation for the import tools is in disarray. It fails to identify the current best practices. So far I have been able to generate an OSM file which I can load into JOSM. I have not uploaded it because I have not yet figured out how to tag it properly.

2) The MassGIS import project appears to have gone dormant about a year ago. Identifying the participants has proved difficult.

I have been labouriously pieces together the necessary information and updating the wiki.

Stafford Springs

Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 28 October 2009 in English (English)

Yesterday I did a lot of cleanup in Stafford Springs. I mainly aligned the TIGER tracks with the Yahoo aerial photos, but I also used some of my GPS tracks for reference.

One thing bothers me a little. I notice that a lot of town boundary shapes have been imported. Some of these appear to run along roads or rivers. But, what if they are in the wrong place? Do the TIGER shape files define the town boundaries, or are they an attempt to represent them? If it runs down the middle of a road and me 'move' the road, should we move the town line too?

Also, in Merkaator, it is too easy to move a way by accident. It is almost impossible to fix up roads near a town boundary without accidentally grabbing the boundary and moving it. Then it is not clear how one moves it back to its original location. Any suggestions?

Location: 41,961, -72,305

closed roads

Posted by Tomash Pilshchik on 28 March 2008 in English (English)

Decided to have a look at some lakes and a quarry which I had drawn using the Yahoo images. There are a number of important-sounding roads in the area such as Lower Westfield and Prospect Avenue. In actuality, few of them are passable. The lakes are part of the City of Holyoke water supply. All of the roads thru the area have gates, most of which are closed. Prospect Avenue has a bridge out.

I would like to remove the part of Prospect Avenue where the bridge is out, but getting to it may be difficult since the turn toward the former bridge is closed. I may have to do it on foot. It is not clear what the bridge crosses.

Location: 42,145, -72,660
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