OpenStreetMap

woodpeck has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Mapping Wikipedia 7 days ago

Depends on where you inspected the additions. The OSM web map is quick to update but doesn't have clickable links to any URLs for fear of being abused for link spam. Other maps or apps might enable such linking but may only update from snapshots.

OSM - beschissene Datenqualität 23 days ago

Es gibt viele, die dem "OSM-Datenchaos" begegnen, ohne dabei anzuecken. Wenn Du das nur mit Problemen kannst, dann ist es vielleicht am besten, wenn Du es bleiben lässt. Danke für die Einsicht.

Group of buildings imported in Boscoreale, Italy about 1 month ago

Imports have to follow the import guidelines, most notably, they have to be discussed before they are executed. The usual remedy for a non-discussed import is not to open a Mapbox ticket to have it cleaned up, but to revert it altogether and then give the community a chance to discuss whether they even want this data, whether license is ok, the data quality is good, and so on.

The importance of sidewalks 2 months ago

I'd like to point out that better pedestrian routing is possible without drawing footways individually; see http://blog.geofabrik.de/?p=356 and the (sadly, German) Bachelor thesis linked from there. This is about a piece of software that generates a pedestrian routing graph from OSM data, by synthesizing pavements/sidewalks as individual edges. Pedestrians will therefore not be routed along the road centreline, but along the left or right side.

Why local assumptions are wrong for an international project 3 months ago

This "problem" has existed in OSM for as long as it has been used internationally. For example, both Germany and France have a distinction between a bakery where you mainly get bread, and a bakery where you mainly get sweet pastries and cake (Bäckerei/boulangerie and Konditorei/patisserie). Both are shop=bakery in OSM. In Italy, people visit a bar for their morning croissant and coffee, while in Germany a bar won't usually open before 20h. I'm not sure but I think both are amenity=bar too. In Iceland, practically any petrol station has a small eatery attached where you can at least get a soup and bread - this doesn't have to be mapped explicitly. In other countries this might be a rare exception.

You can't hammer your computer science thinking into everyone. You can't get Italians to stop calling their bars bars just because they don't fall into your bland international definition of "bar". You can't tell Icelanders to add "food=yes" to all their petrol stations just because it wouldn't occur to someone unfamiliar with the country. I think that a little local flavour isn't a problem for us, and we shouldn't try to level all these nice national intricacies.

I think that in the long run, we'll have to have national rendering rules, so that the communities in various countries can decide what is usually shown on their maps and when, and what kind of icon is used. And yes, perhaps in the long run, when every building is tagged with how many seats it has and whether food is sold and what kind and when (in addition to the roof shape and the heating technology of course), then you might even be able to let your computer find out, culture-ignorant, where you can go to buy a slice of cake. But until then it probably depends on the country you're in whether the shop=bakery around the corner is likely to sell any.

Welcome to the new Missing Maps 5 months ago

If I strip away the "this helps the vulnerable people" bit and just look at this from the OSM side, what remains is: "An external organisation creates, without discussing this with the OSM community on any meaningful level, a system of organising and rewarding volunteers to contribute data of that organisation's choosing to OSM, in a way and level of detail controlled exclusively by that organisation. The external organisation massively outspends OSM in publicity, has software developed professionally, and thinks of volunteers primarily as 'their volunteers', not OSM mappers."

I think that this sets a dangerous precedent and OSM should not blindly allow such organised influence on what goes into OSM and how. There needs to be a consultation process because otherwise we'll have lots of other interest groups queuing up to send their volunteers (or rewarded volunteers, or employees) our way to map whatever that interest group wants to have mapped.

Also, rewarded mapping activity bears the danger of encouraging over-eager contributions that are precisely geared to maximum reward and not maximum usefulness for OSM. Problems like that have surfaced with nearly every gamified/rewarded mapping in the past, and Missing Maps is not an exception.

We must be very careful not to allow Missing Maps, just because "it is for a good cause", to blaze a trail that others will want to follow.

PS: Is Missing Maps open to the degree that we get to see how much money they spend on what, and who gets to make the decisions? As a member of the OSM Foundation, if some group prides itself in that level of influence on OSM, I'd actually like to know who exactly I am dealing with.

I get why so many people just don't bother to even try to vote for the OSMF when things like this happen 8 months ago

I was contacted by a web IRC user during the meeting when the servers were down, saying that they could not login. I explained to them that at that point, voting had already closed for ~ 30 minutes (voting was closed early in the meeting). The voting was closed when the servers were still fully working. I'm sorry if it was not made clear enough that voting would only be possible until the meeting, not during all of December 5.

OpenStreetMap Foundation Chairperson's Report for the Annual General Meeting 8 months ago

@dieterdreist, I didn't feel this was an omission - I would have been a little worried if I had been included in a paragraph that said "It has been a pleasure to serve with you. I look forward to working with you in other aspects of the OSM community." ;)

OpenStreetMap Foundation Chairperson's Report for the Annual General Meeting 8 months ago

@DaCor, OSMF members decided at the last AGM on a membership fee waiver programme where "the membership fee for associate membership, which normally is tied to the regular membership fee, may be waived if paying the fee would constitute an unreasonable burden to the member, either because of financial hardship or because of the lack of a suitable money transfer facility". And: "In order to be eligible for the membership fee waiver, the applicant may be required to contribute something else of value (e.g: time, …) to the Foundation, for example write a paragraph on mapping in their region." - so the groundwork is already there, it just needs a good implementation and getting the word out. There has until now (as far as I know) only been one single application under these rules.

How large are our national contributor communities and how are they developing? 8 months ago

@DaCor my take on this is that local communities will form when the time is right for them, and that no amount of external meddling will have a healthy effect on that timing. The best thing you can do to help a vibrant community spring up in the city down the road is to map and participate in your local community and make that a shining example for the city down the road to follow. Among the less useful or even detrimental things you can do are: Trying to kickstart a community in the city down the road as an outsider; trying to pay people in the city down the road to map or start a community; importing or armchair-mapping data in the city down the road hoping that they'll thank you for doing their job for them. And of course this is just as true for the country on the other side of the planet as it is for the city down the road.

Advancing Columbus 9 months ago

It means that all your imported buildings will be deleted and your account blocked if you do not follow the policy, which first and foremost includes a requirement to discuss your plans with the community on the imports mailing list, including concrete technical details about how you want to proceed, and what your plan is to make sure there's a community of people to maintain the data in the future.

Lets tone down mutually offensive and insulting statements with Harry Wood 10 months ago

No matter what you say now or what your intentions were, d1g, you have managed to offend so many people and distract them from more useful things, that I fully support keeping you off the Wiki for eternity. It is quite possible that all these cases were somehow misunderstandings and that you're a totally nice guy in person, but it is obvious that if you are allowed to edit the Wiki, trouble ensues - and this is not a Harry Wood against you issue, but Harry has been asked by many, many people to act. You may be a nice, intelligent, knowledgeable person and I'm sure there will be communities that value your input; our community has tried but we're just not a good match and for the good of everyone including you, I think you should simply do something else.

What do maps mean to us? 11 months ago

The armchair mapping mostly advocated and organized within the Missing Maps project can only go so far. "Missing Maps" could be better than nothing - but the jury is still out on that one; they could, in the long run, also be worse than nothing. It remains to be seen whether communities that have been "primed" by Missing Maps will take ownership of their maps in the same way as communities that have created their maps from square one. One way or another, we can only hope that in the end this is not "this project of ours" making maps for "the local population" (your terms), and instead everyone making their very own map!

administrative entities, consistency? 12 months ago

The is_in tag isn't really used in a serious way. Today, we rely on geocoding engines to compute by themselves what other entities something lies in.

Removing phone booths in Belgium 12 months ago

What you have done is an un-discussed mechanical edit, and it is against the rules. You should never remove stuff from the map just because you make some general assumption ("I read in the news that operator X is removing their phone booths so I'll go ahead and remove them from OSM"). Only remove something when you have personally surveyed that it is gone.

There are many reasons for this. One, the operator tag in OSM might be wrong. Or perhaps the operator tag is correct but the telephone company forgot to remove that one phone booth? Or another operator has sensed an opportunity and immediately replaced the phone booth with one of his? If you don't know then don't delete.

Also, you're creating a false image of accuracy. If an area is not well maintained by local mappers, then the dismantled telephone booth will sit there on OSM for a while, and this is a sign that the area needs some love; I'd much rather have a local mapper fix the phone booth and while they're there perhaps also brush up some neighbouring POIs, than having someone armchair-"fixing" the phone booth and therefore making it look like the area is more current than it actually is.

In short - edits like this don't add value to OSM and should be avoided. Identify the four phone booths closest to your home, go out and re-survey those four, and you will have done much more for OSM than your clever armchair mapping described above.

San Francisco data imports, anyone? about 1 year ago

Please don't use the phrase "to give love" when you're talking about writing a script to import government data into OSM. There are cities the size of San Francisco where mappers have surveyed (a sizable portion of) the addresses in their (unpaid) spare time. These cities have received love. What you're planning to give to San Francisco is just an import of someone else's data which is going to sit orphaned in OSM, devoid of love and care. Do it if you must, but don't call it love.

Don't know what to think of it of this research about 1 year ago

https://www.openstreetmap.org/user_blocks/755

Globalizing the name translation debate about 1 year ago

"I simply learned long ago that Shanghai is called Thượng Hải in the course of learning Vietnamese, and most Vietnamese learn that just by living in Vietnam for a time."

I think these kinds of multi-lingual names are the ones we're looking for and that are ok to have. (Whether in OSM or Wikidata, is another question.) There will, however, be no such name for Abergavenny, because Wales and Vietnam lack the millenia of common history. And that's why Abergavenny should not have a name:vi tag even if you could conceivably come up with one by applying some rules and looking up characters in books.

I agree that we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but in order to record something as a name in a different language, it must actually be "alive", used, known to people. I don't see room for theoretical constructs from the desk of a translator, and I strongly disagree with Vincent de Phily when he suggests that whoever is the first to invent a name can have that stand until someone else notices. Adding a name:vi tag to Abergavenny would require proper sources demonstrating that this name is being used.

Assuming that local people know their area best is not a shame, it is a bedrock of OSM. That doesn't make the project any less global.

Details about iD editor users get publicly, permanently and silently logged with every edit – a privacy breach about 1 year ago

Related discussion on the JOSM tracker: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/8701 (two years old). The compromise for JOSM was to continue uploading language settings and version number to the changeset metadata, but not operating system.

Is it the moment for OpenStreetMap? about 1 year ago

We don't want to appear anti-business - and I don't think we are. Also, we don't want to bite the hands that feed us; some (but notably not all) of the proponents of dropping share-alike have generously given to OSM and the OSMF in the form of software and donations in the past, and continue to do so. That doesn't mean we should do what they want, but at least if we disagree, we should do so respectfully ;)

And respectfully disagree I do! There's a group of people with a very limited, commercial mindset, a mindset that is entirely focused on business ideas, fast turnarounds, and the disruption for profit of existing industries. Move fast, play hard, and all that. They project their everyday business-think onto OSM: OSM needs to move fast, to stay ahead, to anticipate demand, to adapt and innovate or die. And who can blame them, because this is exactly what applies to them - what they have learnt to be the universal truth in their little disruptive startup business world.

How often have I heard people say "if OSM doesn't do this and that then they won't grow fast enough and they will be overtaken by someone else and that's it". Change the license! Make strategic deals with $smartphone_vendor! Kow-tow to $megacorp who will catapult OSM into every household!

And it always gives me the greatest pleasure to reply exactly what Zverik writes above: You know what - we're not in a hurry. You might be, because your investors want to see a RoI next year, or because you've chosen a way of doing business that requires you to re-invent yourself twice a year to escape oblivion. But us? We've been here for ten years and we'll be here for another ten years. We don't need world domination tomorrow; world domination in a decade or two is totally ok.

When projects die, it is usually not because they've not sucked up to business enough. It's because they fall apart, because the human beings in the project stop feeling like a community. I wouldn't rule out a license change in the future, but I think that one is enough for this decade.

I knof that "take it or leave it" may sound a bit arrogant but that's our proposition - here's a data set of huge commercial value but perhaps not suitable for all business models; if you want to do business with us, then your challenge is to find a business model that works.

Or, +1000.