davespod has commented on the following diary entries

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Returning to OSM 8 months ago

Thanks, Trigpoint. I've lived in Shropshire for a few years, and indeed grew up in South Shropshire. Just moved from Pontesbury to Newport (so only just in Shropshire!).

I hadn't realised the effort that went into achieving these things, but I'm not surprised, I suppose. Developers will get away with what they can. Most of these are high fenced alleys, but still better than having to follow the silly, wibbly, wobbly roads, and good for residents when they link up with the cul de sacs.

Returning to OSM 8 months ago

Thanks :-)

UK NCN 44 rerouted over 2 years ago

Heavens! That would mean going near a m-m-m-m-mailing list. Gave up on them a long time ago.

But in essence, iD makes these cycle route relations easy in the context I was using them, because it detects relations that nearby ways are part of, and allows you to just select them to add the selected way to the relation. (You can reference this comment in you posts if you wish.)

By the way, I am impressed with iD because it makes pain-in-the-derriere relations easier than other editors do - they are still the most difficult bit of OSM editing for beginners (even in iD).

Not sure I am qualified to comment on route=road. In the UK context, this really is pretty pointless because of the way our road numbering works. But that may not be the case in other countries.

Website for asking to improve just one area in OpenStreetMap (or paying for improvement) over 3 years ago

Most mapping aims to improve a specific geographic area. And quite a lot of it is aimed towards specific uses (which is why OSM probably has more complete cycle lane, but less complete speed limit data than other data sets in many areas). There is a website for doing this: !

In terms of asking for improvements, I think you have to take into account people's motivations for working on OSM. Trying to co-ordinate mappers is like herding cats (actually more difficult than that), unless their motivation is the same as yours. HOT is probably the single example of successful co-ordination on a large scale, and that is surely precisely because HOT as a body, humanitarian mappers and humanitarian data consumers have the same motivation (or at least significant cross-over in motivation).

I am not convinced a web site where companies could ask for improvements would be very successful in most cases. If a company says: "we want to have great data for our self-driving cars", what is the motivation for mappers to do less of the mapping they enjoy and focus more on what fits that requirement? It has been made argued again and again that OSM would be more useful for commerical uses with more complete address data, and yet so far no one has cracked how to motivate us all to do much of it. Motivation is the key.

I think the idea of paid contribution does make some people queasy. One debate on the topic is here:

Potlatch 2: see two sets of imagery at once over 3 years ago

Thanks very much for continuing to invest your time in Potlatch 2, Richard. I can certainly see myself making use of the "floating window" option.

Hi, everybody over 3 years ago

Welcome! Nothing wrong with starting small. Careful, though - it starts small, and then the mapping bug gets you.

I have just been through a very long phase of very limited contribution due to other commitments, and I am just starting to get back into the swing.

Diary entry removed over 3 years ago

Thank God no one did this to me when I was a newbie.

To all recklessly editing newbies almost 4 years ago

@Jedrzej Pelka

Chilly is right. However much you feel like throwing a tantrum, the only way to achieve a positive result is to be positive. If you must, throw an actual tantrum in private, then proceed to write to the user welcoming them, encouraging them and offering them some polite tips and assistance. And if you cannot bring yourself to write that friendly email, write nothing at all.

This is not like developing software. That person is possibly the only person who will go out and survey a specific area in person, and the only person who will lovingly maintain that area in OSM as the world changes. That is worth far more to the project than tagging expertise, or other editing skills. All of that can be learned with encouragement. Being in the right place cannot.

Contributor numbers revisited and empty changesets galore almost 4 years ago

Seems to me there is a good news story here. The massive reduction in the number of "unsuccessful users" in April 2011 appears to coincide with Potlatch 2 becoming the default editor. I am willing to bet this is causation, rather than just correlation. It looks like a massive step forward was made in terms of solving this problem with Potlatch 2.

iD became the default editor in August last year, and apart from a very brief blip upwards, it looks like the number stayed pretty much the same. I suspect, though, if we looked at some other metrics (perhaps number of users coming back to edit again?), we would see indications that new users do get on better with iD.

There do seem to be indications that a permenant drop in the number of "unsuccessful users" took place near the beginning of this year (albeit not dramatic). I wonder what caused that. Were there any significant changes to iD at that point? uses OSM about 4 years ago

Looking at this again, I am now convinced that this map was created for paper. If you follow my link and then look at the line between the top-left grid square and the next one along to the right, you can see that labels have been crammed in each side of the line, suggesting a page break. Follow the line down, and this is repeated over and over. Does anyone know of a paper street atlas that has actually been published based on OSM? uses OSM about 4 years ago

Looking again, I agree, OSM may be the sole data source for this zoom level. Have checked some roads where OSM disagrees with OS, and this map seems to agree with OSM.

It does indeed seem as if a 30 speed limit is represented on the map, though this seems to be done differently in rural and urban areas. Produces some odd artifacts in places, where a single cul-de-sac is the only road in an area which has not had a speed limit recorded.

OpenStreetMap and the Public Domain over 4 years ago

The outcomes in your scenarios sound about right to me.

IIRC Bing gave their permission for their imagery to be used as an editor background when editing OpenStreetMap, rather than mentioning a specific licence. So, they did not explicitly cite ODBL, perhaps because OSM was going through the licence change process, and could (theoretically) change again in the future. So in effect, for the time being, that limits its use to release under ODBL (until such a time as the OSM community decides to change its licence again, under the rules outlined in the Contributor Terms).

I can see your frustration here. When the law prevents the Government from releasing non-public domain data sets, it means that our more restrictive licence prevents us giving back easily.

First Diary Entry over 5 years ago

So true.

Canvec Data over 5 years ago

Before you do, please read and digest:

I have noticed that you have been deleting your own previous edits to "make way" for Canvec data. There is no guarantee that the Canvec data will be better. Please do not mass-delete other contributors' contributions (I am sure you wouldn't). Data added by people who know the area is usually better than anything imported. If you want to import data, it is your responsibility to carefully integrate it with what is already there - not rip and replace!

Southeastern New Mexico over 5 years ago


Great to see new mappers coming across from a closed to an open project.

Not sure how much "supervision" you will find, as we do not have the concept of formal moderation for map edits. However, there are many sources of support from the community. As a starting point, set your home location on your user page, and OSM will tell you of other mappers nearby.

A great place to ask questions is:

You might also find the newbies mailing list helpful:

Happy mapping!

Canvec has some crappy rail lines - please don't delete and import. over 5 years ago

Indeed. No one should be deleting carefully volunteer-collected data from the database to replace it wholesale with imported data. It is the importer's responsibility to ensure that they the data is carefully integrated with what is already there (no duplicates, and not assuming what is already there must be wrong just because it disagrees with the third party source). If necessary, this means hand-stitching it together.

The importer should be directed to:

Apple... Please don't render FixMe's almost 6 years ago

The issue here is an old data issue, not a rendering issue. Apple have used very old OSM data for some reason. And in this case, a mapper had originally mapped this lake with "FIXME" in the name tag, instead of adding a separate fixme tag. That way has since been deleted and replaced with the current way imported from CANVEC data.

(Potlatch 1's Undelete feature is still the easiest way to investigate certain OSM oddities.)

expanded almost 7 years ago


Do you mean render these on the main map(1), or add them to the editor(2)?

You can find the answer to question 1 here:

And more general information about designing new icons here:

You can find the answer to question 2 here (Richard's comment):

There is also a custom map based on OpenStreetMap data which displays wheelchair accessibility of many different facilities, and allows you to add missing information on wheelchair accessibility:

my take on a refactored access tagging scheme almost 7 years ago

Sorry to be so negative. I am not trying to do down your efforts to record complex information in OSM. I am just concerned that undue complexity is the best way to ensure such tags are never used. I would not be too worried if the tagging complexity only affected the complex situations, but if I understand your proposal correctly, it would affect quite simple scenarios, too.

So we currently tag one way streets as oneway=yes. Pretty obvious and easy to remember. Under the proposal we would tag them as access:direction=forward. Where that restriction does not apply to bikes, people variously tag bicycle:oneway=no or oneway:bicycle=no. Under the proposal, we would have to tag access:bicycle.direction=both.

But you are right. This is not the place for comments. I will add them to the wiki talk page.

my take on a refactored access tagging scheme almost 7 years ago

The notation used in the value is already in use for opening hours. The notation used in the key ("!" to define a condition, "#" to prefix a modifier) most definitely is not. As alexz says, this is moving away from being human readable. Tags work best when you can get a pretty good idea of what they mean without reading reams of documentation. If you want a tag to catch on (and that surely is the point?), you need to be a little kinder to the mapper.

OK, the opening hours may be slightly difficult to read in that format, but there are no odd punctuation characters carrying unexpected meanings (separating items in a list is a pretty common use for a semi-colon).