escada's diary

Recent diary entries

Middelheim museum, Antwerp

Posted by escada on 27 October 2014 in English (English)

I have regularly visited the Middelheim museum in Antwerp. It is part of a park, free to visit, dogs are allowed (on the lead) and it's not too far away. Until 2 weeks ago I never bothered to map it. it was just of of those places that I visit.

Two weeks ago, we had a meetup in Antwerp. One of the topics we discussed was mapping the Antwerp Zoo. There I got the idea to map the museum in more detail.

So after 2 visits, I have mapped about 2/3 of the artwork (statues, sculptures, constructions). For each piece I recorded the name, the artist and the "construction" date as indicated on the information panels next to each item.

This is the map so far

I cannot add pictures of all items, as in Belgium we do not have freedom-of-panorama. I could have done it for older work, but I tend to forget the exact age.

I hope to add the last third with my next visit.

Location: Middelheim, Antwerpen, Antwerp, Flanders, 2020, Belgium

A little survey story

Posted by escada on 23 October 2014 in English (English)

The Belgian community is currently looking at some tools to import house numbers from the AGIV CRAB database. We are in an experimental phase, there is no formal go for the import yet.

Using the tool I saw a street in which I didn't collect house numbers so far. It was tempting to just copy the numbers. But since I needed to walk the dogs, I decided to pass through that street. So what did I discover during this short survey ? A zone 30, a memorial for Frans Abels (a composer 1899-1962), a missing path and a waste bin. It was just 10 minutes extra compared to our normal walk.

Conclusion ? For me it is not sufficient to just copy numbers from a database. It's better to go out for a walk with the dogs. Using this method I collect more diverse data en I learn something along the way.

Writing documentation for import

Posted by escada on 15 November 2013 in English (English)

Recently I've been working on some documentation in preparation of a house number import for Flanders. Mapping is more relaxing than this :-) The first version can be found on A more extensive document, with more details for mappers is constructed under

After the first feedback from the Belgian community, I'll try to describe some more complex scenario's for merging the data.

Location: Clemenshoek, Reet, Rumst, Antwerp, Flanders, 2840, Belgium

Google Hangout as communication between mappers

Posted by escada on 4 October 2013 in English (English)

== English version below ==

De eerste sessie is afgelopen. Samen met Eric & Gilbert over een aantal plugins, presets en kaarttekenstijlen gegaan en de building configuration. Verder vooral de nadruk op het toevoegen van gebouwen en huisnummers. We hebben alledrie weer wat bijgeleerd !

Een toffe manier om te communiceren met mensen die wat verder wonen. Voor herhaling vatbaar.

The first session is over. Together with Eric & Gilbert we talked about our JOSM configuration (plugins, presets, map styles, building configuration). Most of the time was spend on efficient ways to draw buildings and housenumbers. There was something new for the three of us.

A nice way to communicate with people that live further apart. Will be repeated.

Meeting at ESI, Brussels

Posted by escada on 4 October 2013 in English (English)

I gave 2 talks (or 1 big one if you wish :-) ) during the meeting at ESI in Brussels yesterday. I promised to send out the links to the slides, so here they are

The State of the Map Belgium:

The one on mapping:

Feel free to contact me in case you have questions. The first talk gives a long list of websites to get an idea about the completeness and quality of the code, as well as some fun, interesting topic maps. The second one attempts to give an overview of the different mapping types, but the demos where more important.

This evening will try to setup a google hangout (in Dutch) to exchange tips and tricks on using JOSM. It will be the first time that we'll do this so it will be a nice learning experience with hangouts as well. I'll post the URL between 19u30 and 20u00 to the Belgian mailing list. You need to install a browser plugin to follow.

I would like to thank Nicolas and ESI for organizing and hosting the meeting yesterday. I enjoyed meeting the other people (and even giving the talk :-) )

Location: European Quarter, Brussels, Ville de Bruxelles - Stad Brussel, Brussels-Capital, French Community, Brussels-Capital, 1000;1040, Belgium

Python for data creation

Posted by escada on 22 July 2013 in English (English)

Normally I do my surveys with a Garmin GPS and make notes using waypoints. Those waypoints and the corresponding track can be loaded in JOSM. In order to update OSM, one still need to manually create nodes and add tags to them.

So I wrote a Python script that does part of this work. It converts the waypoints that I make into OSM points. I can then easily integrate those nodes with the existing data, without have to create notes or add tags.

The script recognizes the waypoints with the following formats:

- VB  for amenity: waste_basket  (Vuilbak)
- BK  for amenity: bench (Bank or Zitbank)
- FIREH for emergency: fire_hydrant
- M50/M70/Z70/Z30/Z50 for maxspeeds (Z for zones)
- PIKNIK for tourism: picnic_site
- WSS [name] for historic: wayside_shrine
- CDC for power: cable_distribution_cabinet
- ESS for power: sub_station
- STOP/GW  for highway: stop / give_way
- LLI/RLI for highway: street_lamp
      barrier: bollard / kissing_gate, swing_gate, swing_gate, gate, cycle_barrier
- house number notations, e.g. R10, L10-12, L10+-+20, L10+12---13+15
- PB 1445 for bpost post_box with (last) collections_times Mo-Fr 14:15
- GLB for recycling glass bottle container (Glasbol)
- TXT for recycling clothes contains. Some operators are recognized as well WMS, VICT, ...

Since I am also interested in mapping protected buildings in Flanders, I often use the data that wikipedia has on this topic. An example can be found here.

Until this weekend, I manually located the building and added the necessary tags via a JOSM preset. On my previous diary entry someone suggestion using a toolserver service to obtain a kml-file with all the nodes.

It looks nice, but not all data from the wikipedia page was kept. So I wrote another small Python script to parse the wikipedia page, keeping as much data as possible (the image tags, the heritage flag, the URL). Furthermore I added some tags that are specific for buildings listed by the Flemish Onroerend Erfgoed institute.

I'm willing to send the scripts to anybody that asks for it. Note that I'm not going to fix bugs or implement additional features, but you can do that if you want.


Posted by escada on 19 July 2013 in English (English)

Using the heritage list of protected buildings and monuments of wikipedia, I managed to map all such buildings in Mechelen en Lier.

The result can be viewed on the geschichtskarten, e.g. Lier

Up to the next town. Antwerp ?


Posted by escada on 21 June 2013 in English (English)

Did a walk in Ruisbroek yesterday evening. Got even more housenumbers to put in OSM. Also found that 'Leuk' (street) was split in smaller roads with different names. According to some newspaper website, this was already done in Q1, 2011.

Weird that I didn't notice this when I visited the place last summer (or was it the summer before that ?)

Location: Leuk, Ruisbroek, Puurs, Mechelen, Antwerp, Flanders, 2870, Belgium
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