Diary Entries in English

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We are helping the white house.

Posted by MaxwellA on 13 May 2015 in English (English)

please leave me alone david

OSM trip

Posted by aleene on 13 May 2015 in English (English)

Did a small trip in the Dévoluy yesterday in order to find some OSM objects.


Added a lot of guideposts with hiking, mtb and bicyle info. Been careful to tag the purpose of the guidepost, i.e. hiking, bicycle or mtb. So they will turn up if you do the right query.

Destination Signs

For all guideposts I added relevant destination signs and corresponding relationships. Also added the purpose tags, i.e. mtb or hiking

Speed limits

All the relevant speed limits have been added


A long part of my trip followed a bicycle route. Still incomplete, but I added it anyway.

OpenStreetMap api for Android Application Development

Posted by susan812 on 13 May 2015 in English (English)

The OSM APIs themselves are RESTful APIs, you can interact with them using standard HTTP requests. The main OSM Api is generally used to interact with OSM data and is used to make editors. If you want to just fetch osm data (like specific POIs) i recommend you take a look at overpass api. Please remember that with OSM you have access to the underlying map data itself unlike Google Maps and these are API to access those. If you just want map tiles or routing functionality check out the options below.

For offline maps using OSM data i find three libraries very much useful.

osmdroid: I use this library if i have to work with tiles that are in mbtiles format that i generate using tilemill. There is a bonus library for routing called osmbonuspack that adds lots of routing and POI functionality to this library. Also mapbox has released Mapbox Android SDK based on this library. I haven't tried it but it may be worth a look.

mapsforge: I use this library when i need to have the map data in vector format and also because it works with another great library called graphhopper in android application development.

graphhopper: I use this library for offline routing using osm data. This is a lightweight java routing library which work for android as well.

I suggest you take a look at these libraries if you want to use OSM with android. Also after you get somewhat familiar with these libraries i suggest you take a look at the code for popular android based tools for osm like osmand, osmtracker and Vespucci


Location: 32.436, -83.628

Second Attempt at OSM

Posted by Enxsjp on 12 May 2015 in English (English)

I have managed to grab some more time on OSM and hopefully will be able to put aside more time to learn and ask questions about this service. Thank you to those who have responded to my first diary, any help is greatly appreciated.

Again, a very brief entry but this afternoon I have been editing possible footpaths in Nepal's forest and surrounding areas. I have never previously had to look through dense forests on satellite imagery and trying to decipher where the paths are leading to was far more complicated than I envisaged. It also made me think that a lot of us take for granted delineated paths for pedestrians and motor vehicles that allows us to travel from A to B and B to A. In this area it comes to trying to locate these in the dense forestry makes you realise the task ahead for the emergency services within Nepal who have already had to face one challenge too many.

Thinking of all those affected once again.


Won't Be on the Road for a While

Posted by roadgeek99 on 12 May 2015 in English (English)

Recently, my bike had some problems. After one is fixed, another one pops up. Last night, my bike's rear wheel locked up while I was riding it on NE 78th Street in Hazel Dell. As a result, I couldn't pedal anymore. I had to walk for a long time (about 30 minutes) before I came home. Currently, my parents are checking out the problem on my bike. I don't own a car, so I can't do the work I want to do for OSM because the destinations I want are far away. (Sure, I do have a C-TRAN 10-ride punch card, but I don't want to waste it all). I'll still be doing some projects that are closer to my home. Until me bike is fixed, I won't be on the road for a while.

OsmAnd and JOSM come together to make mapping easier

Posted by RudiXXL on 11 May 2015 in English (English)

Since OsmAnd update 2.0.4 from 2015-05-10 it is easy to open *.GPX tracks and the corresponding *3GP files within JOSM. Simply copy them in one folder and open the GPX file. The soundfiles and pictures are loading to the right position with no hassle.

Many thanks to Victor.

;-} Rudi

OSM Seminar in the heart of Africa

Posted by Jotam on 11 May 2015 in English (English)

Within the past two weeks I taught two seminar sessions on OpenStreetMap at Ndejje University. Ndejje University is a small Christian education institution in central Uganda. The students are from different academic backgrounds like civil engineering, renewable energies, land surveying, and others. Most of them had never heard of OSM before.

However, after an introductory class in the first week, we surveyed the two university campuses using different types of GPS devices and entered the data into the OSM database. The map for Ndejje University is now pretty comprehensive. Additionally, the students have pledged to continue contributing for other places in East Africa like Uganda, South Sudan, and others.

The seminar was great fun and I hope it will foster the development of OSM here in Africa as well.

Location: Ndejje, Luweero, Central 2, Central Region, Uganda

map styles: Default OSM vs Humanitarian

Posted by Mateusz Konieczny on 10 May 2015 in English (English)

Humanitarian map style is in some ways between current Default OSM style and Google maps style. It is not using so many colours for roads as openstreetmap-carto but still more than Google maps. The same may be said about how quickly minor roads are disappering and some other choices unrelated to displaying roads.

As result Humanitarian style is also better at lower zoom levels than openstreetmap-carto - again mostly thanks to subtler display of minor roads and not using all possible colours to display roads.

Not so wide roads also work better especially in areas with high road density.

It seems that main reason for really wide roads in a Default OSM style is to keep street labels within road area. But both Humanitarian and Google maps have labels sticking outside road areas and narrower roads what seems to work much better. Also in areas that are not so extreme.

Kraków, Poland

In Humanitarian style trunk and motorway are displayed using the same style - it is the next candidate for such merge. Note that at lowest zoom levels there is a difference between trunk and motorway. In Humanitarian map style also highway=footway and highway=pedestrian are displayed using the same style but this union seems to not be really working for general purpose map.

It is also interesting to check how displaying surface tag works in that style. In Humanitarian unpaved minor roads are marked by making road darker, with brown colour. It has a side-effect of making road more visible. It suggests (at least for me) higher importance of road rather than worse surface.

See for example Zliten, Libya - and


All tracks are displayed in the same style (tracktype and surface tags are ignored), all tracks are assumed to be unpaved what is not really working. As highway=track may be anything from something barely usable to high quality road - highway=track is defined by its function, not quality.

For major roads situation is better - making paved roads intensively coloured and unpaved pale works better, though there may be too significant difference between paved and unpaved primary road.


One quite interesting design choice that may be used during road redesign is less prominent rendering of tram lines.

Osmic (OSM Icons) 0.2

Posted by nebulon42 on 10 May 2015 in English (English)

Release 0.2 of Osmic is available. Osmic is a collection of 100+ clean high quality SVG icons optimised for small sizes. The SVG icons are licensed under Public Domain (or CC0) and the icon font is available under SIL OFL.


Most notable changes:

  • reorganisation (removed halos and shielded versions)
  • Python export script for SVG, PNG, sprites and icon font - which also can add padding, halos, shields, colours etc.
  • added icon font of Osmic

philippines satellite image

Posted by fritzpec on 10 May 2015 in English (English)

philippines satellite image is an old one. cannot edit new roads specifically in general santos city.

map styles: Default OSM vs Google Maps

Posted by Mateusz Konieczny on 9 May 2015 in English (English)

Currently I am working on a GSoC project - improvement of styling of roads and paths in openstreetmap-carto, the default OSM map style.

I started from researching how other map styles are designed. I would welcome comments and feedback as it would allow to notice my biases. Feedback on general ideas will hopefully reduce amount of time needed to rework and tweak style that I will produce.

The first compared map style is probably the most popular one, used by Google maps.

At high zoom levels any OSM map is typically better than Google Maps as result of more detailed and rich data. Quality of Google Maps is also decreased because one of its primary roles is to be used as place to advertise businesses - what results in businesses appearing earlier than reasonable and leaving no place for more useful information.

But as one zooms out the situation is typically changing, with OSM rapidly losing - and the worst situation is in the cities, with roads as major source of a problem.

For example, lets try with London:

First problems are noticeable at z16 - openstreetmap-carto has more information but is also less readable. First road-related issue is that some oneway roads are without arrows (names are displayed instead making it one of many tradeoffs - not everything may be displayed).

z15 has much bigger problems for OSM - hierarchy of road importance is clearly more readable in Google maps. It is effect of lower amount of displayed data and no using as many colours as possible in gmaps. openstreetmap-carto is using for displaying roads blue, green, orange, red, yellow and white. Google restricted palette to white, yellow and orange - what gives much better results.

Situation gets continually worse for OSM on zooming out to z14, z13, z12. Nearly all roads continue to be displayed on both maps, but in Google roads of lower importance are nearly invisible, the Default OSM map is much messier. In addition on z12 green trunk roads are merging with parks making map even less readable.

On z11 Google drops minor roads completely, in OSM are still displayed but no useful information is presented - it results only in a messier map.

On z10 Goggle Maps also have problem with high road density in London - but road network as presented by openstreetmap-carto is even worse and completely unredable beyond "there are many roads in London". M4 looks like continuation of Thames. Rural areas are not much better (trunk roads through forests etc).


Further zooming out is not improving situation for OSM.

First thought is that using blue, green, red etc for roads may work for maps that limits itself to displaying roads, towns and cities - but it is not going to work for map that is trying to show nearly everything.

Maybe attempting to make highway=primary and secondary, higway=residential and living_street, highway=track and highway=service clearly different is not really necessary? Maybe displaying both using the same style may work better and reduce clutter?

It would be nice to not display roads of lower importance in cities on lower zoom level, but doing it in other areas. Maybe it would be doable by something like making landuse=residential and minor roads the same colour in lower zoom levels? It seems to work in Google maps.

It may seem easy to solve other mentioned problems by starting to render roads of each class later than it is done currently but it is not so simple.

Lets try another location - in a rural area in UK with much lower road density

Here fact that somebody mapped this area in OSM, lack of data in Google maps and low feature density makes OSM a clear winner for z14 and higher. Lower zoom levels are problematic for OSM map. Road network continues to be less and less readable in OSM since z13, famous "green trunk through green area" problem is making it even worse.

Note that rendering roads later what would improve situation in London means harm for map in low density areas like this one. It would be much better to solve situation differently.

One of limitations is that the same feature in one place may be completely unimportant and critically important in another. For example - one of thousands unimportant highway=footway through a park in massive city or highway=footway in a remote area of high mountains, the most important feature within several kilometers. Both will be rendered using exactly the same style. Therefore most tweaking of style will improve some locations but make it worse in others, it is completely impossible to make it perfect everywhere. Obvious solution - render features differently in low density areas is really hard to do properly and doing this is not planned as part of this GSoC project.

It may be possible to try different things - minor roads at low zoom levels with the same colour as landuse=residential? Displaying narrower roads? But some tradeoffs will be necessary.

(note: I would welcome also comments pointing out mistakes in my grammar etc)

The Renaissance of the fixme-tag ... via Osmand and

Posted by stephan75 on 9 May 2015 in English (English)

In the last weeks there has been some noise about the release of Osmand 2.0 as one of the most popular Android app for offline map display and navigation.

Besides that, Osmand is now also available for iOS devices since April 2015 ... check your appstore if you want.

Discussing the pros and cons of Osmand's app features or user interface issues can be a day filling task (but be sure that the core developers are very active for many month!) but I discovered a new feature in the map setting (not display setting) that is listed under "Details" and there called "OSM mapper assistant"

By enabling that feature there are at least three kinds of objects from the offline vector map that are displayed now:

  1. purple (or magenta?) points and lines, when zooming in enough to them, some text is printed also in purple. And its content is derived from OSM data tagged as fixme= ... (see attached screenshot)

  2. same feature with dark green icons looking like a written piece of paper ... zoom in really more to view any OSM content tagged with note=*

  3. Pairs of two capitalized letters like AM, EM, SH, TO, MM ... I assume that those are abbreviations for Amenity, Emergency, Shop etc. Maybe Osmand itself has no own icon for those POIs?


About feature 1) and 2):

I never came accross any map display where fixme= and note= objects are displayed with corresponding text from the tag's value ...

BUT: don't forget about the rich-featured web service where you can display certain OSM objects according to special own queries.

So I wanted to know how many fixme= objects are around in my home town via overpass-turbo ...

Nothing easier than this: zoom and pan the slippy map there to the place or town you want to examine, enter the Wizard mode there and type "fixme=*" ... (without "" of course) then press "build and run query"

After some processing time you will get some coloured points and lines as result wich have a tag like fixme=*

(In case of no data display, try to zoom out one level, or move to another town)

overpass-turbo has a nice feature to display any output data styled via a MapCSS schema, see

Thus you can easily add markers to each result data object with content from the object's value from the fixme tag. Simply add the following lines at the bottom of the query on the left screen of overpass turbo:

{{style: node, way relation { text: fixme } }}

and re-run your query once more via the upper left button ... Success?

Hint: You can do this query also for any objects with note=* ... just edit the query where needed.

Why can this be useful? In my opinion I can better have a look at OSM objects with fixme=* to see whether a fix is already there, thus remove fixme tag from that object via an OSM editor. Or try to fix OSM data itself when examining each fixme object.

Side effects: become familiar with Osmand's new features and map layers, and with overpass-turbo and its MapCSS features.

PS1: I don't know whether the iOS edition of Osmand can already display the layers like OSM mapper assistant ... can anyone report?

PS2: If you don't own any android or iOS device, but you can use Chrome internet browser on any desktop PC, you can install any android app where you have an apk installation file available in your browser ... this works with Osmand!

See how to install the needed tool "ARC Welder", and download Osmand apk file via ... scroll down to releases or nightly builds.

Post scriptum to "long time - no edit"

Posted by SimonPoole on 7 May 2015 in English (English)

I spent some time today producing some numbers to show how large the effect of old accounts returning and starting to edit actually is and determined the annual numbers of new mappers that created their account at least two years back. For 2014 this would be accounts created in 2011 and earlier.

Year  New mappers
      with old accounts
2012       1'817
2013       2'241
2014       2'848

To give some perspective: 2014 missing maps and HOT together attracted roughly 1'500 new mappers. The total number of new contributors in 2014 was 105'612..

Thanks to TomH for providing some of the data required for the stats.

Belgian Mapper of the Month

Posted by escada on 7 May 2015 in English (English)

Nederlandse tekst

Texte français

Brice (eMerzh) lives in Jette. He is 30 and programmer in a small start-up in Brussels that is active in social analytics. He is passionate about open source and everything around it. For his job he works on Archlinux + KDE and his preferred OpenStreetMap editor is of course JOSM!

Profile Picture

When and where did you discover OpenStreetMap?

I discovered OpenStreetMap by accident in 2007, when it was mentioned on a website with Linux information, ( I was attracted by the collaboration and open aspects of the project. I soon discovered that my street was not mapped yet and see... I was bitten by the bug.

Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself?

I regularly use OpenStreetMap for looking up information and visualising it on the internet. Sometimes I also use OsmAnd on a smartphone when I am abroad. But I have to confess that I still use Google Maps a lot, probably until OpenStreetMap and Mapillary have reached the same level.

Which type of mapper are you?

I have three faces:

  • the occasional surveyor: during my holidays I often take notes to map later on. I also collect traces or take pictures for Mapillary.
  • the mapper at distance: from my living room. I worked a lot on the Urbis import, but also in the southern part of Belgium.
  • making corrections : I regularly use Osmose and KeepRight or just JOSM to correct errors.

Thus, I mainly map in Brussels, but also in the Southern part of Belgium.

What do you map?

I'm not specialized in something particular. I just would like to see that OpenStreetMap is used in the everyday life of a maximum of people with data as reliable (or even more reliable) as Google Maps. So I help a lot in mapping address information and information for routing like maximum speed, junctions, names, ...

What is you biggest accomplishment as mapper ?

Accomplishment ? I think that I did a rather large part of the Urbis import. Even if the work is not completely done yet, it still means that the majority of the addresses in Brussels are now mapped.

Why do you map?

Such a rich database, which is open and free to use by man and machines...

Do you do other things for OpenStreetMap?

I make some statistics here and there, and I developed the app OpenFixMap (although I have to update it), but most of the time I just talk about it!

Do you have contact with other mappers?

I have only some contact with Julien Fastré and with some friends that also map (Hello Pollux! ), but that is it.

Do you have ideas to let the OpenStreetMap community grow?

I think we should really go for "gamification". Applications such as MapRoulette are a good start. However, I am thinking more about things like Ingres or Waze. Pushing people to contribute, without really mapping.

How do you stay up-to-date with OpenStreetMap?

Thanks to the mailing lists, my RSS-feed, twitter... I think I'm aware of what is going on.

What is the biggest strength of OpenStreetMap?

The fact that the data is free, the flexibility of the schema and the unlimited possibilities to add data.

What is the biggest challenge for OpenStreetMap?

It might be a problem to keep attracting contributors, real ones, not just accounts. Another challenge is to standardise as much tags as possible without limiting the extendibility. The project Tag Central can I find very interesting in this point of view. The addition of 2.5d/3D might also pose some challenges.

Melbourne tram stop project 6 May 2015 update

Posted by takerlamar on 6 May 2015 in English (English)

Following up on the suggestions from the first post, I've had a look at the PTV website and datasets.

While it does contain a lot of useful information, it doesn't include things like shop awnings, which often provide informal but useful shelter at many tram stops. It also doesn't include a lot of local council infrastructure, such as benches, which are not owned or controlled by the state government and are not included in that data.

In any case, it makes the project more interesting if it requires fieldtrips :) Combining this with my own local knowledge (and hopefully that of others too who are willing to contribute), it is not that arduous a task. If anything, it is very eye-opening as to how poorly serviced many tram stops are, especially for those in wheelchairs.

In progress

  • Route 16


  • Route 109
  • Route 48


Posted by Akhilan on 5 May 2015 in English (English)


Location: Bhavathipuram Railaway station road, Puliyarai, Tirunelveli Kattabo, Tamil Nadu, India

Nepal efforts

Posted by FireMapMkr on 5 May 2015 in English (English)

Spent 2 hours working on Nepal efforts. Trying to find a flat area to land a heliocopter.

My daily activities on OSM

Posted by Álvaro Fernando Ríos Ramírez on 4 May 2015 in English (English)

Everything I do, I record in archives. To do the record I use QGIS. If I only want to see updates in OSM (Open Street Map), I use GeoDa. I do to speed up my own preview of my mappings.

You can ask me the information that I use to map by private message, and then by personal/institutional mail.

For unmapped contributions OSM, I will attach an image bellow these lines.

Now thi is a summary of what I do.


Streets to mapping

I have the SHP (and its supplements) documents to make the names of the streets. These are of SCINCE 2010 05/2012. But this are a little autdated.

Mapped streets

I am marking the streets that I am doing by groups. Furthermore, I constantly eliminate them from file above-mentioned. I do this to avoid double reporting.

Places and polygons

Places and polygons to mapping

Same to above point, I have a file with tentative places to mappeing. In this case, are the blocks. This could be out of step with the place to be mapped. Perhaps it might also have several places in the same block. I will to say it if this happen.

Mapped places and polygons

Like the previous section,I have a file where I record the places that I map. Again, I have the SHP file and its supplements.

Deleted places and polygons

This is an interesting situation: unusual but I already removed a place. I have the SHP of this too. I give constant monitoring to prevent other people map wrong places and polygons.


Mapping areas that can be walked over, but aren't a path. (E.g. grass)

Posted by jackalack on 4 May 2015 in English (English)

How do we map areas that can be walked over but are not strictly a path?

For example, there may be a park or a green with grass that has no restriction on whether or not you can walk over it, but also has no path on it either. How do we map this so that routers could give walking directions over it, but without mapping a path that isn't actually there?

Addresses in Oklahoma

Posted by Paul Johnson on 4 May 2015 in English (English)

Looks like address quality in Oklahoma is going to continue to suffer, at least for a while. Some good news and bad news from the OKGIS community: First, the good news: Addresses are available under a license compatible with OSM. The bad news: $50 per county, and Oklahoma's got 77 counties, and only centroids. So, it's going to cost more than my truck did to be able to import a complete set of Oklahoma addresses. Damn!

Location: Mingo Trail, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, 74117, United States of America
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