mcld has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Contributor numbers revisited and empty changesets galore about 1 month ago

Empty changesets are possible?? Gosh that surprises me.

This must add bloat to the database and to various dumps without any benefit, surely? Should we consider perhaps that the server should return an error when something attempts to record an empty changeset? now has OSM-powered bike routing for Western Europe about 1 month ago

By the way Richard, just this morning TFL recommended me a comically wrong cycle route in East London. So I went to and got the right route :) now has OSM-powered bike routing for Western Europe about 1 month ago

Richard: IGNORE ME. I use Privacy Badger addon and it was inadvertently blocking the nominatim calls. Sorry. now has OSM-powered bike routing for Western Europe about 1 month ago


In the search boxes, postcode lookup is easy, but if I search for something simple like "Bolton" to "Manchester" I just get both boxes beachballing. I think you might find some people surprised that they can't just type in normal placenames like that.

India Villages about 1 month ago

yalla: zoom in on the image :) you can see that each village is a black dot.

this visualisation has a lovely texture

Tracing Baiji, Iraq 2 months ago


Working on Palampur, Dharamsala, Chamba 2 months ago

Welcome to OSM! :)

Android OSM apps 3 months ago

Oh wait I mean OsmTracker. I always forget the name. That's the one I like.

Android OSM apps 3 months ago

Have you tried OsmAnd? I like it.

New Starter 3 months ago

Yep, Stalfur is right. Just to be clear: you just use a generic road for the road, but then separately you draw an area that goes around the whole industrial estate (the roads, the buildings, etc) and mark that as landuse=industrial

Map a park 3 months ago

True! Unfortunately I don't live there, and I didn't bother surveying the true state of the bus stops...

Elevation carving using OSM waterway data 4 months ago

This is indeed a lovely idea for fine detail! Nice work Andrew.

Regarding OSM GPS-track elevations (as Hedaja suggests): they're VERY poor accuracy in general. I tried inferring the terrain of the UK from OSM GPS-track elevations and the results came out really badly. The problem is not so much that the elevations are "noisy" because if we have enough measurements then variation gets averaged out - the problem is that they seem to have weird biases pushing the estimate in the wrong direction. (You also get problems due to GPS tracks recorded in aircraft!)

I didn't find an obvious way of cleaning up the OSM GPS-track elevations to make them useful, but of course others may be cleverer than me.

How do you map house numbers efficiently? 5 months ago

I like the screen design, and the way you've clearly thought about the number of clicks required and the persisting state through the task.

Why does it make you unhappy that you haven't done away with the keyboard entirely? IMHO that will always be needed, for the corner-cases, and it doesn't inhibit the workflow. Most users won't need to go near the keyboard option on that screen.

Getting the first number: keyboard view is first view?

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Mapping Party? 5 months ago

Hi Ollie - great idea - let's do this! I live in East London so this works for me.

Coincidentally, I was doing some mapping as I went walking today (lovely weather), and I even tagged some things in (North) Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. (Slices 8 & 10 on your map.) The North part is pretty well-mapped already of course. I'd suggest that we concentrate more on the southern slices, and especially making sure that we check the access tags because there are a lot of access=private tags which might be out-of-date soon.

I did walk past Crate too and it looks like a good HQ, a bit self-consciously hip but hey.

Your blog doesn't take comments, so I'd suggest you add a link back to this page in case there's discussion...? Or just to a wiki page about the event I guess.

First experience with Open Street Map 5 months ago

Hi, and welcome in!

Your edits look good.

By the way, in one note you mention a "roof piece" - you can use building=roof if you want to tag a roof piece with no building underneath it. No pressure though ;)

(JOSM is a complex tool. I use it, but I also like the online editors because they're much simpler to use.)

OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike 5 months ago

P.S. If you don't understand the threat of "enclosure" when a free public dataset gets snatched up by a commercial company, look at the history of CDDB.

OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike 5 months ago

I disagree: the share-alike aspect makes the data more free, not less free, and it's part of why I contribute to OSM. Others have already made that point in this thread.

OSM has been extremely successful so far and I'm sure the community, the foundation etc can help commercial companies to come to an understanding of what you can/can't/should do in using the data.

When does share alike kick in? 5 months ago

Simon, in my personal opinion this is a good summary of the ODbL and share-alike. Thanks! Lots of people get confused about this.

@RobJN, for the case that you're "not sure about": the map tiles are irrelevant here because in the example you describe, they never get combined with osm data (just overlaid). However, the data driving the "markers" (points from some other database, geocoded using OSM) seem to me to be a derivative database, so I'd suggest that the marker data would then be share-alike.

Today I am confused by OSM 5 months ago

:) yes you can... to see the kind of thing that people write, look at this feed:

Remove a spam user in French 5 months ago

Pieren, the usability is important if it's going to actually help with a deluge of posts rather than a small number of them. The trac tool is no use for the purpose you describe - no-one except a handful of power-users would ever report stuff, certainly not often. A person browsing the OSM website needs a "Report spam" button available on the user page / diary page / etc.

Tom seems to have summarised things well. I hope that before spam becomes a mega-problem, someone might like to have a go at implementing spam-flagging simply and smoothly. Hey maybe I'll even think about it myself ;)