mcld has commented on the following diary entries

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We can no longer go on like this over 2 years ago

The ability to "write protect special objects" is an interesting idea - it's a lot like the mediawiki idea of "protected pages" (which can't be edited by newcomers). I like the idea of that, as long as it's restricted to a small number of really special/breakable objects such as coastlines. I'd suggest that the protected objects should be editable only if your user account is more than X months old AND has made more than Y edits. It seems to me that, as with wikipedia, as long as we remember not to apply this lock too widely (which would inhibit contribution), it could help.

5 dreams/ proposals for OSM headquarters (please comment) over 2 years ago

The MapSurfer link doesn't work for me (doesn't show any tiles), so I can't comment. But I think most people agree the Mapnik style ain't too pretty.

But if you think the Mapnik style is bad, PLEASE don't try to ruin all the other map styles too by piling a load of extra symbols onto the bike/transport/humanitarian styles! The more extra crud you add to a rendering style, the less readable and useful you make it for its designed purpose.

(My number one hope for right now is adding routing to the website!)

Contributor numbers revisited and empty changesets galore over 2 years 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 over 2 years 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 over 2 years 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 over 2 years 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 over 2 years 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 over 2 years ago


Working on Palampur, Dharamsala, Chamba over 2 years ago

Welcome to OSM! :)

Android OSM apps over 2 years ago

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

Android OSM apps over 2 years ago

Have you tried OsmAnd? I like it.

New Starter over 2 years 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 over 2 years 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 almost 3 years 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? almost 3 years 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? almost 3 years 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 almost 3 years 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 almost 3 years 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 almost 3 years 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? almost 3 years 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.