Users' Diaries

Recent diary entries

I operate StreetFerret, a site that shows runners, walkers, and cyclists which streets they’ve visited in a city or town. StreetFerret works by taking a user’s Strava activity data, and comparing it to OpenStreetMap map data to decide which streets they’ve completed.

For example, this is my StreetFerret map of Warwick, Rhode Island (USA):

StreetFerret map of Warwick, RI

OpenStreetMap is an awesome partner for StreetFerret because as the map gets updated, StreetFerret can update its street data too, within about a week. For someone trying to run, walk, or bike every street in their city, they don’t want to get their map to 99%, they want to get it to 100%! So, when they encounter a street that’s wrong in StreetFerret, they are motivated to edit OSM, which makes StreetFerret AND OpenStreetMap better at the same time. StreetFerret users have corrected OSM data countless times in pursuit of 100% completion.

One day, StreetFerret user and US Navy lieutenant Paul Johnson approached me at our local run club in Newport, Rhode Island. He was planning to attempt to break the world record for running across the United States - 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York City in less than 40 days and raise awareness for mental health.

And thus, was born, along with the StreetFerret run tracker.

As of this writing, Paul is on day 2 of his transcontinental journey, somewhere between San Bernadino and Palm Springs, California.

Paul’s run - and the StreetFerret run tracker - appeared in a spot on the local TV news in Los Angeles today!

I’m excited to see how OpenStreetMap data supports real people doing real things to make the world better, one step at a time.

Location: Yucaipa, San Bernardino County, California, 92399, United States
Posted by mikeocool on 2 March 2024 in English.

Northwest Montana

Why are there two airstrips across the street from each other? Rich people being rich, I figured, and moved on mapping Forest Service roads in northwest Montana. While taking a quick break, I googled the names of airstrips — “searight and cimino.” The first result is a 1988 Montana Supreme court case. The case is an appeal related to a much earlier case, in which Murland and Virginia Searight sued Michael Cimino over the construction costs of an airstrip.

One of the things that I really enjoy while mapping is stumbling upon something mildly interesting or unique on the map or imagery and spending a few minutes googling it. This typically leads me to a local news story about the volunteers restoring a remote airport or someone’s blog post about bushwhacking into an abandoned mine marked on a USGS topo map.

In this particular case, it ended up leading me down a long rabbit hole — reading court cases, local news articles, and the memoir of a Hollywood studio executive. Turns out Murland Searight was a retired US Navy commander. Michael Cimino was a Hollywood director of Heaven’s Gate — widely regarded as the biggest flop in cinema history.

Searight commanded the USS Conflict at the beginning of the Vietnam war. The Conflict was a wooden minesweeper ship, built to minimize its magnetic signature. During minesweeping operations all unnecessary metal, down to wire coat hangers and shaving cream cans, was removed from the ship — he published a pretty fascinating account of participating in the first mine sweeping operation during Vietnam.

After retiring from the Navy, Searight moved back to his home state of Montana and purchased land along the North Fork of the Flathead River just west of Glacier National Park. According to his obituary he made his living selling pot poles to the aluminum plant. Despite all of the my research, I have yet to be able to figure out what a pot pole is in the context of aluminum production.

Michael Cimino was the Hollywood director of The Deer Hunter, an epic Vietnam war drama staring Robert Deniro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streap. It won the five Oscars including best picture and best director.

The day after winning the Oscars, Cimino flew to Kalispell, Montana to begin shooting his next film, Heaven’s Gate.

Cimino set out to make the most scenic and detailed western ever shot. It starred Jeff bridges, Chris Kristofferson, and Sam Waterston. Twelve hundred local people were hired as extras and dressed in period accurate costumes. Cimino built the fictional town of Sweetwater on the shores Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park — Thousands of tons of dirt was trucked into for the roads and full buildings were constructed from hand hewn logs. When filming was complete, Jeff Bridges put the the town’s whorehouse on flatbed truck and brought it to his Montana Ranch, where it now forms the main part of his house.

A commonly cited fact about the film is that by the 6th day of filming, shooting was five days behind schedule. A short scene of Chris Kristofferson being woken up from a drunken stupor was shot 52 times.

Much of the filming was done in Glacier National Park, however the park superintendent cancelled the filming permit after a cow was slaughtered for a scene. This pushed filming outside the park — production moved to the North Fork of the Flathead River, just west of the park.

During filming Cimino bought 154 acres of property along the North Fork from Murland Searight and his wife Ginny for $238,000. According to Steve Bach, a studio executive at United Artitists, Cimino fenced the land and put in a well, and then attempted to rent it to the film production and charge them for the improvements. Filming on the land ended up not being practical, but Cimino hung onto it after production wrapped.

When they sold Cimino the land, the Searights were planning to build an airstrip on their adjoining property. In his post-navy career (and presumably after the demand for pot poles dried up), Murland had begun working as a professional pilot. As a part of the land sale, Cimino offered to pay for half the cost of the construction of the airstrip in exchange for access to it.

Filming of Heaven’s Gate wrapped in October of 1979. It ended up costing United Artists $44 million to make, well above the initial budget of $8 million. When the film premiered in New York, it was three and half hours long.

The next day the Kalispell newspaper re-printed reviews from the New York Times and the New York Daily news whose headlines were “Heaven’s no help for Heaven’s Gate” and “Cimino’s Heavens Gate: an unqualified disaster.”

In the wake of the Heaven’s Gate, United artists was sold off by its parent company, effectively killing the studio. And the film was blamed for ending the “New Hollywood” era of the 1960s and 70s where directors had ultimate creative freedom, and ushering in the corporate blockbusters of the 1980s. Ten years later when Dance’s with Wolves, starring Kevin Costner, was rumored to be going over budget, it was dubbed “Kevin’s Gate.”

After the film was completed, Cimino was paying the Searights in monthly installments for the land he’d purchased. When Cimino missed the April 1981 payment, and the Searights attempted to claim he was in default. Cimino’s lawyer let the Searights know a check was in the mail, but they closed the bank account before it arrived, and filed paperwork to take back the deed. Cimino sued and the judge sided with him, reinstating the original purchase contract. The suit was the start of an eight year legal battle between the two parties.

A year later, the Searights sued Cimino, claiming that he owed his half of construction costs for the airstrip they had built, per their original agreement. This time the court agreed with the Searights.

At some point, presumably amidst the flurry of legal action between the two parties, Cimino decided to build his own airstrip just across the road from Searight’s airstrip. When Cimino appealed the court’s decision forcing him to pay for his half of the Searights’ airstrip construction, he tried to use the invoices from building his own airstrip as evidence to show that Searight was attempting to overcharge him. He lost the appeal, but sued the Searights again when they wouldn’t grant him an easement guaranteeing him access to their airstrip.

The legal battle went back fourth for seven more years, including the Searights appealing a $100 fine imposed on them by the court. In 1986, apparently Searight got sick of paying his legal bills — he went to law school, he was admitted to the Montana state bar in 1988. He represented himself when the case finally ended up before the Montana Supreme Court a year later. The Supreme Court sided with Cimino — granting him an easement for use of the airstrip — directly across the street from the airstrip he’d built on his own land.

Cimino never developed the land beyond building his airstrip. In 1997, Edward Langton came across the property, fell in love and made Cimino an offer to buy it. Langton told the Kalispell Interlake “Cimino was apparently emotionally attached to the property” but eventually they came to an agreement, and Langton purchased the property. Shortly there after he filed paperwork with the FAA to change the name of the airstrip from Cimino to Langton.

Both Cimino/Langton and Searight air strips are still readily visible in aerial imagery (and now have their names mapped correctly). Though Searight airport, or any airstrip at the same location, no longer appears in current FAA records.

Location: Flathead County, Montana, United States
Posted by Koreller on 1 March 2024 in English.

Mapping on OpenStreetMap allows many things, like 3D mapping.
Having played Cities: Skylines, I was always intrigued by this game, and the idea emerged: “It would be nice if for Pyongyang I could come up with something nice like Cities: Skylines”.

Screenshot of Cities: Skylines

Well, the reality is that it’s a lot of work (and yes, as always!) and OSM wasn’t designed for 3D… but there are ways of getting close and having a lot of fun! So I explored this topic on the city that interests me, and you guessed it: it’s Pyongyang, see it on DemoF4map !

Today, I estimate that there’s a third of the city “in 3D”, as well as a good proportion of the monuments.

Screenshot 1/3 of the city is in 3D map OSM

For me, most of the time, 3D on OSM covers different objects: simple buildings, and monuments.

  • 3D informations of simple buildings gives a faithful image of a city’s skyline, and a better representation of space.
  • 3D informations of monuments is primarily intended to look pretty, but can also be used as a landmark in a 3D environment.

The Simple 3D Buildings wiki page is one of the most useful resources on the subject, in my opinion.

North Korea

Having mapped the entire capital – see my diary on the subject – I started wanting some nice 3D renderings.

Simple buildings

I tried to complete the information in building:levels=*, roof:shape=* and roof:colour=*. Sometimes I do them at the same time, sometimes only the building:levels=*.

I started by doing the Kwangbok district, then I continued work on Tongil Avenue, and lately I’ve started to do the east bank of the Taedong river, although I haven’t finished yet.

Initially, I was adding the height=* tag, but I finally replaced this value with est_height=* (cf. the method here), and now I think it’s the building:levels=* value that’s best (because it’s more objective and better verifiable!).

Kwangbok on DemoF4map

East Taedong on DemoF4map


I tried to make 3D renderings in OSM for the monuments in Pyongyang.

For the more complex ones, it took me half a day or even a day!

For example, the Party Founding Monument, which on JOSM is quite difficult to understand, but renders very well!

JOSM and DemoF4map rendering Party Founding Monument

I’ve made a compilation of the monuments (or complex buildings) I’ve made in Pyongyang using F4map rendering.

Pyongyang 3D monument compilation on DemoF4map

Sometimes it’s really a matter of tinkering to get renderers to interpret data in just one way, and in this trial and error the roof:shape=skillion tag is often the key!


I would distinguish between ordinary tags for simple buildings and tags for monuments. Sometimes ordinary tags are used for monuments.

Simple buildings


+ all simple building tags.

These are non-exhaustive lists, but they reflect the tags I use most!


When working on monuments (complex structures), I use JOSM with OSM2World. OSM2World is rustic software, but it allows you to visualize renderings before sending them to OSM. Without it, it would be very time-consuming and impractical to quickly see what your JOSM rendering looks like.

For exemple, see the Pyongyang Ice Rink where the building:part=roof is not rendered but which, overall, reproduces the shapes well.

Pyongyang Ice Rink with OSM2World

To use OSM2World, simply save the JOSM data layer in an .osm file (“File” → “Save as” → File type: “.osm”) and open this file in OSM2World.

Rendering site

OSM data is interpreted in different ways depending on the rendering service used.

I know of several sites for viewing OpenStreetMap 3D renderings:

Some of these sites have datas that don’t come from OSM. Compare the modeling of the Eiffel Tower in Paris between Streets GL and the other rendering services and you’ll see if it’s based exclusively on OSM data or not!

The sites I use the most are Demo4Map and Streets GL.

Demo4Map is a non-free site, but the data refresh is very good, and the rendering is very efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

The other interesting site is Streets GL, which is free and open (see the GitHub page), despite the fact that the data refresh takes a long time (several weeks). The advantage is that they regularly add tag renderings that are not rendered on any of the other websites.


See this wonderful YouTube video “Peculiar Pyongyang - North Korea (DPRK) 4k -Time lapse -Tilt- shift” from “Little Big World” channel, where the spirit of a small world like Cities: Skylines is very well captured.

Little Big World Peculiar Pyongyang

Location: Kyongrim-dong, Central District, P'yŏngyang, North Korea

Театр-студия «Горошины»: Раскрывая Творческое Полотно

Мы рады приветствовать вас в театральной студии «Горошины», уникальном многофункциональном пространстве, расположенном на Васильевском острове по адресу проспект Кима, 6.

Наши Основные Направления:

Театральная школа: Предлагаем обучение актерскому мастерству для всех возрастов. Репертуарный театр: У нас есть уникальная сцена, где мы представляем разнообразные спектакли. Кастинговое агентство: Поддерживаем и продвигаем наших талантливых артистов. Фестивальный центр: Активно участвуем в фестивалях и культурных мероприятиях. В сентябре стартовало подготовительное отделение в школе для творческих детей «Горошинки».

Уютный Театральный Дом:

Репетиционные залы Библиотека Костюмерная Швейная мастерская Фотостудия Сердце нашего театра — Сцена Первая, оборудованная сценическая площадка, где проходят наши захватывающие спектакли в формате репертуарного театра!

Программы для всех возрастов:

Актерские группы: Для малышей, школьников и взрослых. Комплексная программа: Включает в себя не только актерское мастерство, но и танец, вокальный ансамбль, технику речи, сценическое движение, историю театра, кино и музыку. Спецкурсы: Театр на иностранном языке, фехтование, звукорежиссура, пластический театр, современный танец и многое другое. Художественный руководитель театра-студии — Евгения Латонина.

Как нас найти:

Адрес: 197371, Санкт-Петербург, Комендантский пр., д. 1, корпус 33, кв. 4. Телефоны: 8 (921) 960-24-20, 8 (921) 960-24-21. Режим работы: 09:00 – 23:00. Сайт:

Location: دهستان نصرت آباد, Bakhsh-e NosratAbad, Zahedan County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran
Posted by ika-chan! on 1 March 2024 in English.

I decided to end my 2,686-day non-stop editing streak today (1st March 2024), because my mental and physical health has declined to a point where I need to rest more.

A changeset or more per day from Day 1 may have been a good challenge back in October 2016, but maintaining a high-stakes daily editing streak has become too much for me to handle.

I don’t know how long this break will last: it depends on what I need to catch up on other things.

Location: 75008, Ile-de-France, Metropolitan France, 75008, France
Posted by pnorman on 29 February 2024 in English.

I’ve put up a demo page showing my work on minutely updated vector tiles.

With this year being the year of OpenStreetMap vector maps I’ve been working on making vector tile maps that update minutely. Most maps don’t need minutely updates and are fine with daily or, at most, weekly. Minutely updates on are a crucial part of the feedback cycle where mappers can see their edits right away and get inspired to map more often. Typically a mapper can make an edit and see their edit when reloading after 90-180 seconds, compared to the days or weeks of most OSM-based services, or the months or years of proprietary data sources.

Updating maps once a week can be done with a simple architecture that takes the OSM file for the planet and turns it into a single file containing all the tiles for the world. This can scale to daily updates, but not much faster. To do minutely updates we need to generate tiles one-by-one, since they change one-by-one. When combined with the caching requirements for, this is something no existing software solved.

For some time I’ve been working on Tilekiln, a small piece of software which leverages the existing vector tile generation of PostGIS, the standard geospatial database. Tilekiln is written specifically to meet the unique requirements of a default layer on Recently, I’ve been working for the OSMF at setting up minutely updated vector tiles using the Shortbread schema. A schema is a set of definitions for what goes in the vector tiles, and Shortbread is a CC0 licensed schema that anyone can use and there are existing styles for.

My work has progressed to the stage where I’ve set up a demo server with the tiles where they are updated about once a minute. This can be viewed on a demo page and it should be fairly quick up until zoom 13, because everything is pre-generated. If you’re outside Europe it might be a bit slower in places since there’s only one backend server and it’s in Europe.

The real point of this demo is not the map itself, but the tiles behind the map. If you want to try the vector tiles yourself in other software, you can use the URL in any software that reads tilejson, or{z}/{x}/{y}.mvt for a direct link to the tiles in MVT format. Please test the tiles directly - I’m very interested in unusual use cases!

Another behind the scenes part of the demo is testing monitoring. It’s essential to have adequate monitoring of a system when it’s in production, and Tilekiln comes with an exporter for Prometheus in order to monitor itself. You can view this online or look at an example query like number of z13 and z14 tiles in storage

As with any demo, there are a couple of technical issues. The big one is, as always, documentation. It exists but is not as complete as I would like and there’s no equivalent to the switch2osm guides. The other that you might notice is that the caching isn’t ideal, with caching on my server and then caching on the CDN with Fastly. Some more work needs to be done to optimize cachability and until that’s done it might take 5-15 minutes to see an update even if it’s been done on my server.

There is no SLA for this demo, and I can guarantee it will be offline at times for software updates. When the demo is finished the URLs will stop working, so I don’t recommend releasing software that depends on it. This being said, you’re welcome to use it for any use provided you display OpenStreetMap attribution and aren’t upset when the demo stops.

Cette semaine , je m’amuse sur ce mapathon parceque c’est toujours une partie de plaisir pour moi de cartographier et de contribuer.

Ce qui marque particulierement sur ce projet est complexité lié au calage de l’imagerie par rapport à l’existant cartographié. Avec Maxar n’etant pus disponible, le decalage est vraiment tres visible et facilement remarquable ici.

mais bon!!!!

Posted by mayanaut on 28 February 2024 in English.

I have tentatively completed the sidewalks in Ben Avon, as well as pedestrian crossings, and some fire hydrants. I have added surface materials to most, if not all of the sidewalks and ped crossings. Some of the pedestrian crossings may have had their lines repainted more recently than the available street-level imagery I have access to, so I will update them as necessary.

For now, I’ve held off tagging sidewalks and pedestrian crossings with smoothness and slope data, partly because of the difficulty of adding that manually, but also because I’m not quite sure how useful this data is given that few renderers seem to use this data. Even seems to only pull the data on individual buildings/businesses, rather than the condition of the pathways that lead between them. So unless I come across a compelling reason to go back and add this data, this aspect is on pause for me.

One of my next goals was to be adding private driveways and walkways to connect with sidewalks and streets, but I am second-guessing this now. While many are easily visible from a combination of aerial and street-level photography, there are also quite a few that are difficult to see under heavy tree cover.

I am going to investigate how to properly map stop signs and other traffic control devices, and perhaps add speed limits to roadways as I am able.

I also ran into some trouble when adding a bridge area and modifying another bridge area, along with the associated ways that pass over and under it… so I probably need to brush up on how best to modify those for future use.

There are also a couple of areas that probably should be modified to be more in line with existing conditions. For example, there are a few blocks east of Dickson Avenue, between Perrysville and Church that are not included in the adjacent Residential Area when they really should be.

While I tinker around with some of these things, I think I can start plugging away at the low-hanging fruit in Emsworth with regard to sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

Posted by YoViajo on 28 February 2024 in Spanish (Español).

El año ya está un tanto avanzado, pero nunca es tarde para hacerse unos propósitos de año con respecto a OpenStreetMap. Esto a manera de retomar la actividad de mapeo y aporte a OSM.

Los siguientes temas tomarán mi atención (por orden de importancia):

  • Revisión y completado de la delimitación de la ciudad de Santa Cruz y otras unidades administrativas (manchas urbanas, municipios) en el departamento de Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Estas delimitaciones, especialmente de la ciudad, ayudan para algunas aplicaciones que requieren establecer hasta donde comprende la ciudad.

  • Revisión, actualización y completado de infraestructura de salud pública (municipal, departamental, nacional) en la ciudad de Santa Cruz, Bolivia. A manera de aporte al interés público y como complemento a lo que hago en mi trabajo diario.

  • Revisión, actualización y completado de la cobertura de cajeros automáticos en la ciudad de Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Caso de estudio de compilación de datos con potencial de análisis espacial.

  • Actualización de mi zona (unidad vecinal 52) en la ciudad de Santa Cruz, Bolivia: caso de estudio de una zona con cobertura densa de datos.

Como verán, este año estará centrado en lo que me es más cercano geográficamente, que puedo visitar y verificar.

Posted by sjorford on 27 February 2024 in English.

I’ve made a start at mapping the shops in Glastonbury - the result of which is that Glasto now has three quarters of all the places tagged with shop=esoteric in the UK.

Some of these could be shop=herbalist or shop=jewellery; others may be better tagged as shop=gift (although that implies most purchases are for other people, which I’m not sure is the case here). There are some that offer alternative medicine or services such as tarot readings. But many of them offer such a mix of items and services that “esoteric” seems the only proper description.

Location: Glastonbury, Somerset, England, United Kingdom

Малые Диковичи - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Малые Дворцы - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Сернички - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Кривое село - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Иванисовка - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Болгары - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов, насосная станция, сеть ЛЭП. В том числе отрисовано садовое товарищество “Сосновка” (чуть севернее от Болгары по Н-232).

Просцы - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Конотоп - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Клин - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

д. Городище - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов, медицинское землепользование.

п. Городище - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов, водные объекты (в т.ч. Святое озеро), инфраструктура железной дороги, промышленная зона, трубопроводная инфраструктура (газ), социальные объекты.

Староселье - имеются: названия улиц, номера и тип домов.

Location: 225716, Брестская область, 225716, Беларусь