OpenStreetMap

Johannesburg

Posted by bri g on 9 June 2010 in English (English)

I have been in Johannesburg for about three weeks, part of the huge crew working on televising the World Cup at the International Broadcast Centre at Soccer City.

Johannesburg is pretty well mapped thanks to good aerial imagery, but a little light on street level detail.

Everyone was briefed on security on arrival and strongly discouraged from leaving the hotel putting paid to mapping for the first couple of weeks, our residence being in the heart of downtown close to one of the less salubrious parts of the city.

It couldn't last, and about a week ago I walked out of the gates of the hotel into the heart of Hillbrow, and have been walking daily since taking notes and making corrections as I go.

I have a hunch that the GPS signals here are quite weak ( is that possible ? does the constellation focus more on the Northern hemisphere ? ). I was without my Garmin Legend HCX for one day and took my older Garmin Legend with me, it was essentially useless downtown and the Legend HCX struggles.

It is not straightforward tagging, and I do have doubts about adding some of the hotels I have walked past onto the map, as I am not sure even I would stay there and my standards are quite low! Still I am a mapper, not a hotel reviewer, its all in the data I suppose. and as for the bars, I absolutely have not added most of the drinking holes I have seen, all of them having a handy sign outside indicating that firearms are not allowed within the premises.

It is a little perplexing finding multiple instances of a road name ( Loveday street for example ( http://osm.org/go/k07vVLxR3- ) ) fairly close to one another - I guess it all to do with the grid system, but it does seem to lack a little imagination, or am I just being very British???

I am keen to try to add as many hotels as I could, in the even that some of the international visitors might, just might be finding their way using OSM, but there really aren't that many in downtown, and some of the places seem to be self contained apartments which are a little hard to categorise.

Using the computers at work for editing as running my laptop with internet on 3G using a local SIM is a bit haphazard. Of course I have no admin rights at work, so the only option was to make JOSM run off the USB stick thanks to Portable Apps and portable Java which works nicely. One hitch is that the WMS plugin seems to need the Webkitimage in the System32 folder which I can't do ( no admin rights ). I had hoped that I could work around by creating a directory I did have read / write rights to and including this in the PATH ( ie path %path%;webkitimage_directory ) - sadly no luck - any clues anyone?

just one more night shift to go.....

cheers - bri

Location: -26.243, 27.982

Comment from Sanderd17 on 9 June 2010 at 08:33

Is there something wrong with the rendering of the name "Johannesburg"? if you look at Johannesburg on zoom 9 or less, you can't see the name. If you look at Londen on zoom 9 or less, you can clearly see the name and all the villages around it.

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Comment from marscot on 9 June 2010 at 13:40

good stuff, Add everything you see LOL, you could put a note in hotel=2 or 1 star.
Loveday Street used to join up with the other part when railway was built it split the road into two, I think thats right.

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Comment from Vclaw on 11 June 2010 at 14:07

@ Sanderd17: I presume the rendering of Johannesburg is different to London because it is not the capital. I think places tagged as place=city and capital=yes render at lower zoom levels.
As it is, Johannesburg renders the same as the surrounding cities. Maybe it would be useful to have a tag for big/important cities, that are not (national) capitals. Or tag it with the population, and render based on that.

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