Editing: OSM's website vs Quest Map Open?

Posted by chtfn on 11 March 2013 in English (English)

Hi all

I was wondering: what exactly is Map Quest Open? So far, I understand that it is the side of Map Quest for contributing to OSM, but is there anything fishy about it? Or is it genuinely an effort to make people contribute to OSM with a different flavour?

I tried using it, and I like the fact that there is more space for editing (I can't figure out how to get rid of the left pannel on OSM's website when using Potlatch???).

However, I noticed something funny: the building type "Family house" is not recognised when editing in QMO:

Editing on OSM's website

Editing on QMO's website

Does it mean that there are a few tags that QMO doesn't recognise yet?

Which in-browser option would you recommend to use for editing OSM, and why?

Cheers and happy mapping!

Comment from Tom Chance on 11 March 2013 at 13:41

Hi chtfn,

I can see why you're confused!

Both MapQuest Open's editor and the editor on the OpenStreetMap homepage point at the same database, so if you use either one you are editing OpenStreetMap.

The slight differences you have noticed are because the software both use - called Potlatch 2 - allows for different set-ups, such as the tags that are recognised. MapQuest Open's version of the software isn't set-up to recognise houses, whereas the version on the OpenStreetMap homepage is. It looks like MapQuest also use an older version of Potlatch 2.

There are actually lots of different editors that you can experiment with. Here is a list:

Which one is best? I'd recommend you just give them a go and see which you prefer. The most popular are the in-browser Potlatch 2 editor on the OpenStreetMap homepage, and a desktop editor called JOSM.

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Comment from Vclaw on 11 March 2013 at 14:49

For using Potlatch 2 on, press M to hide the left panel.

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Comment from Sanderd17 on 11 March 2013 at 22:55

Nothing fishy about it. MapQuest has very bad data when it comes to other countries than the US. So they like to use OSM data for this.

In return, and for their own profit, they allow you to edit OSM data directly from the MapQuest site.

So it's a genuine effort, but I don't know if it's technically best. Btw, Potlatch on OSM isn't perfect either.

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Comment from chtfn on 12 March 2013 at 01:25

@Vclaw : Thanks for the tip, that changes everything! @Vanuan : That one looks very promising! However, it freezes very easily for me... Is it supposed to be made for mobile devices? @Sanderd17 : Great, thank you for your insight. I thought MapQuest was only using OSM data for their service - now I understand better!

I will be trying to get used to JOSM in the next few days, as this seems to be the best alternative when weighing all the pros and cons. One particular feature that I am looking forward to is photo mapping.

Cheers everyone!

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Comment from DaCor on 13 March 2013 at 01:56

Hi chtfn, if you are going to use JOSM you should look at installin the building_tools plugin. It will make it a hundred times easier to add regular retangle/square buildings that look nice and tidy.

For oddly shaped buildings have a look at the extrude tool to modify a building you've drawn with building tools

Pop into the IRC chatroom for live help if you get stuck on anything

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Comment from chtfn on 13 March 2013 at 02:11

Hi DaCor

I will look into this plugin. I have been using the orthogonalizing tool yesterday - very useful to make buildings look neater.


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