OpenStreetMap

Day 17+1

Posted by numbfew on 8 July 2012 in English (English)

Thank goodness I proofread my last entry, trimming it down before going to bed. I didn’t think people actually read diary entries. But this morning there are 4 new comments. Yay.

Thanks everyone! It makes the freezing bicycle trips with GPS and phone camera worthwhile. I have a recent Garmin etrex, and a Garmin Edge 200 as a backup. And an iPhone to check the extent that a site has been mapped.

Ten thoughts has a beginner:

  1. JOSM is worth learning.
  2. I need to learn about Presets and Relations (groan).
  3. Some plugins add several enhanced drawing tools.
  4. Looks like I’m starting at a time when there is a difference of ideas about licensing. Some parts of Canberra have been mapped by “decliners”—e.g. Garran (where The Canberra Hospital is). The map of Garran looks awesome, and it’s a pity it’ll need redoing soon.
  5. I wish the purge just happened, then maybe there’ll be a new wave of local openstreetmap action. A lot of locals must have GPS devices: bushwalking is a big activity here. And so is geocaching.
  6. JOSM and a trackpad: not easy
  7. JOSM and a Magic Mouse: harder than it needs to be. Use a 3rd party mouse.
  8. I’d love to add house numbers (interpolation I guess), but will only even think about that in spring.
  9. I also need to learn more of the JOSM keyboard shortcuts.
  10. I would love a Mac native JOSM. e.g. with the look-and-feel of Omnigraffle. But it’s the nature of open source wiki-type projects that that the tools are standardised, cross platform and utilitarian. Being a child of the 20th century (System 7), I’m actually amazed that apps of these sort work on the Mac—Java FTW.
  11. How many dentists can there be in one building?!

Thanks again.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 10 July 2012 at 10:37

People do read the entries, although not a lot of people.

When Australians say "freezing", they mean moderate temperature, right? We've almost reached the hottest period of the year, and the maximum temperature for today is 18°C (64.4°F for those who do not follow the metric system). Although I think this is too cold for the time of the year, the weather man says it's a normal summer.

JOSM is indeed great, I don't think presets are that important, I like to work with CTRL+C and SHIFT+CTRL+V to copy-paste the tags when I'm mapping a lot of the same objects. For the rest, ALT+A and the autocomplete work faster than clicking a preset for me (I don't know a lot about mac, I hope you can make the keyboard conversions yourself).

Relations are important though, there are a lot of things you can't map without relations (see turn restrictions, or holes in buildings or surfaces). If you need a hint, read the documentation about the multipolygon relation, it's the easiest to understand how it works, and it gives you a feeling about what relations can do. In JOSM, you have a relation button in the left bar (with tooth-wheels as an icon). If you click it, it will show or hide a list with relations in your current data. With the buttons below that list, you can create a new relation or edit existing relations.

About the license, it's a good thing they'll finally do it. A some people have slowed down editing because some edits could dispapear after the bot.

For a trackpad, I always use JOSM with trackpad. It just asks for a little different edit method. With two finger zoom, I zoom in, click to add a point and zoom out again. It goes pretty fast and accurate this way. While with a mouse, zooming is a bit slower, so there you have to aim better.

About your mac, well, I use gnome, and JOSM also looks ugly. The only advantage of Java is that it works everywhere. The disadvantage of Java is that it looks just as ugly, no matter where you launch it.

Merkaartor (an alternative for JOSM) probably offers a more beautiful interface, but you have less plugins with merkaartor.

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