dieterdreist has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
A valuable find - free parking in Florence 21 days ago

From all established tags, amenity=parking seems best, even in absence of a white P on blue background: if people park there (and it's not forbidden), it's a parking. While there is some kind of informality involved, it still was built as a parking so I'm not sure if the tag makes sense here

the centre of Berlin 21 days ago

@LivingWithDragons yes, I can imagine it useful for some cases (smaller places, e.g. the university you mention, a hamlet or village or small town), but in big cities people will look strange when you are in the centre (area) and ask for the centre. The centre in big places is usually/often perceived to be an area, not a single point (there are exceptions as well). You might ask about the "centre of the centre" though, and maybe get useful replies. I have done this with several people for the centre of the centre of Rome, and univocally received the equestrian statue of Marc Aurel on the capitoline hill as a reply. In Berlin it is more complicated, because of the different epoches of history and many potential centre spots due to this history and the current situation.

Some places are very easy to solve ;-)

Auroville in India, everything spirals around the centre (place of worship)

Karlsruhe in Germany, radial streetsystem pointing to the king's castle which is in the middle of the town and nature (park north of the castle).

the centre of Berlin 26 days ago

it is forbidden to gather there ("Bannmeile")

Psychotherapie Innsbruck 28 days ago

für mich ist so ein Eintrag auch eher Spam als Tagebuch. OSM-Bezug gibt es in dem Text überhaupt keinen.

the centre of Berlin 28 days ago

Brandenburg Gate

It's interesting you mention Brandenburg Gate. I agree that it is a very good candidate for the current centre of the whole city (as opposed to local centres, Berlin is known for being polycentric by urbanists), for several reasons:

  • while it is true that it is historically at the border (being a gate), it can now also be seen as the connection (on one of the most prominent arterial roads (Straße des 17. Juni / Unter den Linden)) between East Berlin and West Berlin

  • as it was a symbol for the division of the city during it cold war, it then became the most prominent / symbolic place for the reunification (tearing down the wall)

  • it is a go to place when we speak about political demonstrations (almost no day without a demonstration on Pariser Platz, but also for other events like the official New Years Eve celebrations.

  • it is a neighbour of the parliament (Reichstag), i.e. very close to the political power

  • Brandenburg Gate is the iconic building representing Berlin (like the Colosseum is for Rome, the Golden Gate bridge for SF, the Kremlin is for Moscow, the Eiffeltower for Paris, etc.)

While I am not suggesting to use Breitscheidplatz as the current centre (it's a centre only for West Berlin), I believe there are at least 3 good candidates for a centre of the whole city: the mentioned Pariser Platz / Brandenburg Gate, Schlossplatz and Alexanderplatz. Here are the arguments for the other 2:


  • Schlossplatz is a very central place even in absence of the castle. There's the Lustgarten right aside, there's the Dome and the oldest (and famous) Museum (altes Museum by Schinkel), as there's also the "Staatsratsgebäude", the Marshall and Zeughaus (now Museum of German history), all central buildings delimiting the space in between. And it is in the literal "centre" (middle of the central island on the river). If it will be able to regain the status of an undisputed centre is not clear at the moment and will depend on the role of the reconstructed "Stadtschloss".


  • Alexanderplatz was by many perceived as the centre of the East, but this might be shifting and there could now be a general feeling for it being the centre. It surely is the most important public transport hub since the nineteen-twenties (tram, 3 undergrounds, light rail and rail).

Both, Alexanderplatz and Schloßplatz, are also very close to political power (the senate of the Land Berlin, Rotes Rathaus, lies in between both). Maybe the Brandenburger Tor (generally

Even more?

There's even another central place that might be perceived by many as the centre (and which has been hyped a lot by big money): Potsdamer Platz. (My impression is that this is the centre for the people living close to but not in Berlin, maybe still after Alexanderplatz though).


I have been looking in detail at the history of node pushing of the Berlin place nodes and might post this soon. In summary the first(?) node remained around Schloßplatz (2007: node 20833605, I had originally found this one but am not sure now if it is redacted or I have mistyped the number, deleted in 2012) and another node (28920957) (2007-05-19 - 2008-01-21) remained at the outside in front of Brandenburg gate until it was deleted in V8. Version 1 (2008-01-19) of the current node was moved from Schloßplatz to the square in front of Brandenburg Gate (Platz des 18. März, square on the "outside" (Tiergarten) part) on 2008-01-21 (=deletion of the other place node) and remained there for 60 Versions (2009-08-09) until V62 when it was (correctly IMHO) moved a 100 meters east to Pariser Platz (other side of the gate, inside). It remained there until V70, 2010-03-23, when it was relocated to the crossing of Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden, where it remains until now.

the centre of Berlin about 1 month ago

Sorry, there's a typo in the previous comment, it's of course not palatine but capitoline hill.

Here is a model of the first settlement of Rome in archaic times, with the capitoline hill close to the river, from where the development went on. Here the valley around the hill is already covered with houses and the first stone temple is errected on the hill, dedicated to jupiter:

the square on the capitoline hill in the 18th century, similar to how it is today:

the centre of Berlin about 1 month ago

Yes, you can find this historic central junction in many places, although I am not sure if I would associate it with the "centre" in the case of Rome, where the expression of the "central centre" was a couple of main temples on the palatine hill above the forum. In Leipzig, the historic crossing was here, but the current centre IMHO could be in front of the old town hall, or maybe where the locals have put it.

Also bridges often play an important role (settlements are often founded along rivers, more particularly at spots where you can cross the river easier than elsewhere). In Berlin, the most important historic bridge was this and as you can see it is quite close to the castle but still distinctively different. After slightly de-routing the ancient merchant's long distance road which passed in Spandau and Köpenick (older towns than Berlin, now suburbs of Berlin), the merchant main road passed by Cöln on that bridge. This road splits Cöln (the central island, formerly independent town) into a northern part (castle and related buildings, later also museums) and a southern part (Fischerinsel, fisher's island).

In Rome there were also confluencing important merchant roads like Via Salaria (salt road), the Via Latina (Latin Road), and if I recall right an important crossing was close to the eldest bridge, a wooden bridge (Pons Sublicius) which is now lost, close to the tiber island (where you can still observe 2 original ancient Roman bridges). The oldest Roman stone bridge was the nearby Ponte Aemilius from 174 B.C.: here in OSM These places are some 300 metres distant from the actual centre on the hill.

The centre of Rome about 1 month ago

Yes, clearly it depends on what you want. If it's for routing, this indication is good as long as you are far away, as soon as you come to a central area you will likely be interested in going to a specific place rather than an abstract centre.

I have posted a follow up, in part a reply to your comment, here.

Generating a list of all the cities in the world with Wikipedia links about 1 month ago

You'd better change the live example with something less ressource consuming, if it's for demonstration purposes only. Why do you think it takes 2 minutes?

Rendering detailed road areas 2 months ago

I agree with Warin regarding the landuse=grass. Although you can find this frequently, it should really be landuse =highway in most cases. "grass" isn't a use anyway

comparing openstreemap-carto to other map styles 2 months ago

@imago: why isn't mapnik capable of producing the shading? Can you please expand on the details, are you referring to feeding hgv / dem data directly into mapnik, or are you referring to adding preprocessed hillshading raster layers? I have used shading in mapnik 0.7 many years ago (with gdal hillshading script) and it already worked. Doesn't the final quality depend in the first place on the input raster files of your layer, less so on mapnik?

Yes, rendering the hillshading on the fly might be a problem, but blending in preprocessed hillshades in a suitable way (e.g. multiply and screen overlay) isn't. You can do this for many years.

Towers and Masts 5 months ago

@TomH while I agree it can be seen like this, (and is actually the case with some tags), it is kind of risky, because most people do not look up definitions, and editors presets present the tags mostly with a one-word description that repeats the tag name, so the actual word used for the tag IS important. It's almost impossible to establish a tag with a different meaning than the word that is use to describe it.

Towers and Masts 5 months ago

Actually there is more to towers and masts than just looking whether they are freestanding or guyed. There are indeed "guyed towers". There are several definitions, and there are subtypes. For example a "power tower" is quite different from a man_made=tower. For towers, the key "tower:type" is quite important.

Another distinction for example is whether the structure is made for people to access (and maybe remain as opposed to maintenance only). Masts are not buildings (in a technical way of "building") while towers are (in OSM "building" is also often used for what technically are structures and not buildings).

This being said, I do agree that the difference between a mast and a tower is not the size. I would use a criterion like: can you (people) enter the structure, and would also look at freestanding vs. guyed, but accept exceptionally towers to be guyed, and generally masts to also be not guyed, for instance to me these are all masts: This one could be seen as tower:

Basically, accessibility (for more than maintenance) should be the main distinctive criterion.

Short history of name editing in MAPS.ME 6 months ago

Yes, I agree with Polyglot that keeping name:.. makes sense in all cases, but unfortunately it is not sufficient. We should rather go for something more explicit in the long run, e.g. dropping the "name"-tags all together and always require a language postfix for all names. Additionally there could be a tag to say which is/are the local default names, e.g. ground-language=de or "de;it" etc. Why are name:... tags not sufficient? Example: an place: name=Roma and also name:ace, name:an, name:ast, name:ay, .... are all "Roma", you can't tell in which of these languages the name tag is.

Short history of name editing in MAPS.ME 6 months ago

regarding your list of countries and languages, Germany has a few more languages, but very restricted to small regions, e.g. sorbian (code wen):

In Italy there's a bunch of languages in different regions, officially recognized at the same level as Italian is AFAIK only German in Southtyrol, but there are other areas with different languages in use, e.g. in Sardines or in the Aosta area.

Generally it seems useful to add both, name and name:local-default language code, because otherwise you can't tell. In these multilingual areas both names are tagged in the name tag plus both name:language =*

In Italy there's currently discussion and maybe a vote how to deal with officially less recognized but used local names in local languages, e.g. on the sardinian island.

Super-broad "self-explanatory" tags 7 months ago

I agree with BushmanK.

While it is true that the precise meaning of what you can expect labeled under a certain term will vary across regions (for example in a German supermarket or petrol station you can expect to be able to buy cigarettes, in Italy you will never see cigarettes at a supermarket and very rarely at a petrol station (only if there is a tobacco shop integrated)).

BUT: the big issue with the midwife proposal is that the description of the tag, although it is very short and doesn't describe a lot, explicitly excludes some services that are part of the profession in many countries (assisting with giving birth outside of a hospital) and it includes services that are specific to some countries (e.g. advisory services for contraceptives, generally non-pregnancy/birth related services).

Bing contra Wirklichkeit 8 months ago

sorry, hatte überlesen dass Du die Stelle kennst

Bing contra Wirklichkeit 8 months ago

Bist Du mal zu der Stelle hingefahren? Nur auf Basis von GPS-Tracks, auch wenn es viele sind, kann man sich nicht 100% sicher sein, es könnte zum einen sein, dass die immer vom selben Gerät mit derselben Korrektur aufgenommen sind (Strecke die ein bestimmter Mapper regelmäßig fährt), oder dass es einen systematischen Fehler durch Reflexion gibt. Wahrscheinlicher ist allerdings ein Problem in Bing, im Detail sind die voller solcher Probleme.

Why Search and Rescue Organizations Must Map Out Cellular Phone Towers in OpenStreetMap 9 months ago

These stories sound like those sensational tv "documentaries" the US is selling worldwide. Typical fud. If you really need phone coverage in the middle of nowhere you should have a look at satellite phones. With any modern smartphone you hardly can get a day of operation (batterywise), a good paper map(s) should be one of the things you bring on your expedition into the remote areas, a good tent and enough water supplies are also helpful.

A look into a sample of edits from MAPS.ME contributors 9 months ago

I agree with the analysis of Tomas Straupis, from my experience the edits with really nothing to criticize are more in the 5-10% range, while the rest has more or less severe issues, including changing name tags to localized names, creating duplicate features (for both, node and area features creating duplicate nodes is quite common), creating features without classification (just a name and maybe a tag that says nothing, like tourism=attraction), adding housenumbers to areas that are much bigger than to where the number actually applies, bad positioning of objects (in areas where buildings are mapped and displayed in you shouldn't put the features (like hotels and restaurants) right between 2 buildings or in the middle of the road), or bad classification (e.g. B&B added as hotel or hostel), and bad formatting (of phone numbers, website urls, addresses, etc.). Very few of them are actual vandalism, most of them seem to stem from little knowledge how stuff works in OSM and little time dedicated to perform the edit.