Zethradon's diary

Recent diary entries

Cartopartie à Montréal, quartier Côte-des-Neiges

Posted by Zethradon on 28 October 2013 in French (Français)

Nous avons été 8 personnes aujourd'hui à braver le froid, un dimanche après-midi de la fin du mois d'octobre, pour cartographier les commerces et les points d'intérêts du chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges dans le quartier du même nom à Montréal.

On sent bien que l'hiver est à nos portes, et qu'il sera froid!

La zone inventoriée est très dense en terme de commerces de toutes sortes, mais ces commerces étaient très peu représentés dans OpenStreetMap.

Voici le résultat. La carte avant:


La carte après:


La journée s'est terminée bien au chaud en mangeant de la tarte achetée dans un marché sur la rue, à introduire les données dans OpenStreetMap.

Merci à tous les participants!

PS: si vous vous intéressez aux activités se déroulant à Montréal, n'hésitez pas à visiter le site Web du groupe local:

Location: Côte-des-Neiges, Le Plateau Mont-Royal, Montréal, Montréal (06), Québec, Canada

Using OpenStreetMap on a daily basis

Posted by Zethradon on 9 July 2013 in English (English)

I have been a serious user of OpenStreetMap for less than six months, and I am proud to recently have achieved my one hundredth contribution to the project. I really love the OpenStreetMap project, and I would like to replace my daily usage of Google Maps with OpenStreetMap.

But it just seems I cannot.

I'll give a few concrete examples why, humbly hoping that my words can encourage changes to the main website.

First point: searching. I have OpenStreetMap zoomed in to some region of Montreal, Canada. I input "café", looking for a coffee shop. I get results from Nominatim, inviting me to visit a village in Brazil named "Café" or even the "Café point" in Antarctica. While these search results awaken my globetrotter's desire to explore the world, they frustrate me at the same time. Why couldn't Nominatim priorize results from the bounding box or surrounding? Why can't OpenStreetMap show me results on the map like the OverPass API does, performing a search on the tag amenity=cafe and showing the results on the map?

Second point: accessing POI information. I cannot click on point of interests (POI) to get more info about them. Why do we input address, business hours and phone numbers on shops and restaurants if the map cannot easily display this information to the user? Why do I have to show the map's data in order to have information on a point of interest?

Third point: maximum zoom level. Some area are densely populated, and OpenStreetMap's current zoom level is not enough to see all details of the map. This is really unfortunate. Example: What are the restaurant surrounding the Hard Rock Café on this map? I have to use the editor to be able to zoom and see all data.

Fourth point: sharing a point of interest. There should be an easy way to do that. I have found a (complicated) way to do it, which is all but obvious to newcomers. Here is how:

  1. Using the layer icon at the top right of the map, I select "Browse Map Data";
  2. I select the object I want to share (which is not always possible; sometimes it is "hidden" behind a residential area or similar);
  3. I click on "Details"
  4. On the resulting page, I click on "View way on larger map"
  5. I get an URL similar to this that I can share:

Fifth point: routing. Why is there absolutely no routing implemented on the main OpenStreetMap website? This is I concede a naïve question, as it might be simply because of limited server resources. Once we have our new servers, is this something we want to implement, as a community?

I really like the OpenStreetMap project, and I dream to be able to use it as a primary map instead of Google Maps. I feel resolving these issues would bring me many steps closer to making that dream come true.

Older Entries | Newer Entries