mvexel has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
New MapRoulette challenge: TIGER Mismatched Ways 11 months ago

Takuto - Whoa, yes the first batch is done already! I didn't expect it to happen this quickly. Let me get some more up (there's lots more) - will post here when they are ready.

First thoughts 11 months ago

Let me chime in with a warm welcome to you! Lots of great advice already here. Let me see what I can add. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work to be done, so there is a lot to be said for starting small and bringing the areas you know best up to date first.

There are some tools out there that may be helpful, like the Battle Grid which points out areas where OSM is in poor shape compared to more recent (better quality) TIGER data. Also MapRoulette which gives you random tasks to help fix up the map around the US and beyond.

Also, you are invited to join a Virtual Mappy Hour sometime soon! Virtual Mappy Hours are online events where we talk about OpenStreetMap, answer questions, and welcome newcomers. You can join through Google+ Hangouts. We hold them every other week on Monday. Look at the OpenStreetMap US Google+ page for announcements. I hope to see you there sometime!

Finally, there is also a mailing list specifically for the U.S. OSM community. A great place to introduce yourself, ask questions, make suggestions, etc.

New MapRoulette challenge: TIGER Mismatched Ways 11 months ago

Pieren: I usually just delete these ways that don't seem to exist. Before I do so, I look up and down the main road to see if the road should be moved rather than deleted. But especially the short 'doodles' sticking out form the main road that have no names, I mostly just delete.

MapRoulette Challenges 'Ways Needing Smoothing' and 'Crossing Ways' Completed 11 months ago

Be A Mapper, thanks! I hope for more good challenges in the future.

Simon, thanks. Yes, there would be a noticeable improvement in routing quality for those particular locations where TIGER misalignment is really bad. Scout is pretty forgiving when it comes to determining which road you are on - as are most GPS based navigation systems - but where it gets really confusing, like this for example:

confusing will get wrong guidance and 'rerouting...' prompts consistently. In those places, GPS based routing applications will immediately benefit from targeted improvements. I have a similar challenge lined up that identifies OSM ways that are significantly misaligned from more recent (2014) TIGER data, which should help resolve some of the remaining TIGER mess.

Can you believe we are still cleaning this up, 5 years after the import?

Water in OpenStreetMap about 1 year ago

A really cool and fun MapRoulette challenge, Peter! Sorry for the bugs along the way - but together we have made MapRoulette a little more stable as a result :)

Robbieonsea: the reason we link to the ' version' of iD is that the arguments MapRoulette passes to iD are not all forwarded when you use the edit link. It should generally be the same version, though.

Oh TIGER... about 1 year ago

robert - that is what the T stands for in TIGER :)

Pieren - highly unlikely, for a number of reasons. The most important one is that the unique identifiers on the TIGER features have changed since the original import. Also, the original TIGER IDs have been removed from many objects in OSM. Both these things make it very hard to match newer TIGER to what is in OSM now reliably. Any re-import attempt would be far a smaller area, introducing its own set of challenges related to conflation and connecting up the newly imported data with the existing data at the boundaries of the import area. I think there is more to be gained from tools like the Battle Grid and the TIGER 2012/3 layers available in JOSM and iD.

State Parks and National Parks about 1 year ago

I agree that it's better to have a generic boundary=protected_area or something with a specifier tag added to it. Is protect_class already documented / used?

State Parks and National Parks about 1 year ago

I agree they are different but they fit the definition on the wiki page.

I added a link to the IUCN categories wiki page to the boundary=national_park wiki and a discussion topic there as well.

OpenStreetMap Sister Towns about 1 year ago

They could also use some help in other departments...

broken web site

Time for a 'Map Your Outdoors Adventure' party! about 1 year ago

Thanks! During a bike camping trip in the western part of the Uinta mountains, Utah. Close to where I live!

Oh TIGER... about 1 year ago

Bing may be out of date or misaligned, but in this case I'd wager a bet that TIGER is more wrong than Bing!

We also have the JOSM 'TIGER 2012' overlay as an additional reality check. This is also TIGER data but from after the big TIGER improvement program MFTAIP that ran between roughly 2004 and 2008:

TIGER 2012

New MapRoulette feature: Select your local area! about 1 year ago

Erick - there was a bug in MapRoulette that prevented the challenge choices from loading directly. Could you try and see if the problem still exists? It could be of course, that there are no issues in Brazil :)

Opening Hours about 1 year ago

Thanks ypid for adding information on the evaluation tool!

Then and now about 1 year ago

RobJN - this is the data from June 2007 as it was live then, taken from

Then and now about 1 year ago

Now available on the interwebs

GPS Accuracy of Garmin, Polar, and other Running Watches about 1 year ago

Interesting to see the Garmins all over the place, seemingly uncorrelated to price / market segment.

Aw, snap! about 1 year ago

It seems to have been fixed in the source, not sure if it has gone live yet. Should be soon anyway!

Opening Hours about 1 year ago

Flo - yes they do look strange, I agree. I think the convention is to map this as Tu-Th 18:00-02:00 and the plugin will create two separate intervals instead. It's not really invalid, it's just not optimal, in my opinion.

New MapRoulette feature: Select your local area! about 1 year ago

vgeorge, Nighto -- how do you see this as a MapRoulette challenge? I'd be happy to help, perhaps email us at and we can see if we can work something out? Looking forward to it.

New MapRoulette feature: Select your local area! about 1 year ago

There is no submit button, because creating and maintaining a good challenge is a little more complex than just pushing a button. It's not too difficult though. For a gentle introduction, please see my workshop at SOTM EU to get started. I want to write up a walkthrough as well soon! But in the mean time this should be a good resource.

Here is the presentation that is used in the workshop.