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Avances inicios del 2017

Posted by rdacardenas on 11 March 2017 in Spanish (Español)

Hola a todos, escribiendo de nuevo para comentar sobre mis aportes en estos primeros meses del 2017. Aquí en Arequipa estamos en pleno verano con lluvias intensas a veces, y en otras llovizna y mucho frío.

He seguido avanzando el mapeo de zonas agrícolas por el distrito de Socabaya, y he empezado en los distritos de Paucarpata, Sabandía y Characato. Una vez terminada esa zona proseguiré con la parte de Mollebaya donde también hay otros detalles por mapear.

De igual manera seguí avanzando el mapeo de chacras por el distrito de Yura y aproveché también para mapear algunas quebradas que hay entre este distrito y el de Cerro Colorado. Por estas quebradas suelen fluir las aguas de las lluvias y se les puede usar como referencia por esos lares donde generalmente el mapa suele estar sin mucha información. Y hablando de estos lugares, hace poco supe de unos conocidos que fueron a caminar por el distrito de Chiguata, partiendo del pueblo del mismo nombre hacia el poblado de Mosopuquio que se encuentra pasando el límite con el distrito de Characato. Menciono este lugar porque el año pasado estuve mapeando las vías que unen Mosopuquio con el poblado de Tuctumpaya que se halla en el distrito de Pocsi, y había quedado pendiente el mapeo de las zonas agrícolas, lo cual he ido avanzando y aprovechando de paso para mapear quebradas y cualquier otro detalle que pueda servir de referencia cuando vas a caminar por esos sitios...

Fake foreign names

Posted by BushmanK on 10 March 2017 in English (English)

This discussion might be truly endless, at least - while OSM has the same level of order enforcement as it currently has. I'm not claiming that I can say something new on this topic, but I just want to keep some arguments in one place.

There is a set of keys intended for language-specific names - name:<language_code>, such as name:en=*, name:fr=* and so on. OSM Wiki documentation explains its purpose quite clear: these tags should contain the existing commonly used names in corresponding languages (see Names article). It is not just a rule that comes out of nowhere. It originates from a core principle: OSM database should contain real factual information and nothing else.

If we take a look at Berlin, Germany with Overpass query, we'll see that only about 750 nodes, lines, and areas have English names assigned. Usually, these are amenities, where name contains common nouns. Like:

  • Botschaft der Republik Indonesien in Berlin (German),
  • Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Berlin (English),
  • Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia di Berlin (Indonesian).

However, as it often happens in OSM, this key became an object of massive abuse. The most common way of abuse is to put made-up foreign names there. By "made-up" I mean everything that is not an existing commonly used name. That could be transliteration or transcription of the original one. Again, OSM Wiki documentation is clear. It says: avoid transliteration and explains pretty well, why. Obviously, there are people, who don't care. In addition to that, made-up names often can not be verified, while adding it could easily be qualified as tagging for a renderer/navigator (which is another violation of a core principle). Another negative aspect of these made-up names is that in many cases local communities are unable to support them properly. For example, Germans, Britons or Dutch mappers can not easily tell if Russian name is correct or not (knowledge of Russian is relatively rare and it is completely understandable). Therefore, it is impossible to clearly tell, if a certain name should be deleted, corrected or kept intact.

I think it is crucial to understand their motivation for breaking this rule to get an idea of how it could be fixed and how to avoid ineffective solutions. First of all, they do it intentionally, not by accident. Therefore, pointing at the documentation and improving it can not help. They simply made a choice to sacrifice data consistency for some "more important" thing. Reading numerous discussions of similar situations, I've been able to find several main types of motivation:

  • To help foreigners who can not read in a certain language when they travel to a mapper's country (like, Russians adding "English" names to everything in Russia to help English-speakers - see similar name:en Overpass query for Krasnodar - four times smaller city than Berlin),
  • To help people of mapper's nation who can't read in foreign languages whey they travel abroad (like, Russians adding "Russian" names to everything outside Russia to help other Russians),
  • OCD-like irrational behavior, expressed in a form of making everything uniformly tagged with a certain key. Here, I'm not claiming that these people have an obsessive-compulsive disorder (obviously, I'm not a mental health professional), but they do have certain visible traits, making their behavior very similar to one, specific for OCD: overvalued ideas, obsession with uniformity, lack of practical motivation in favor of compulsive actions, elaborate systems of "ritual" behavior.

Somehow, there are quite a lot of people with the first two types of motivation among the Russian mappers. It is a kind of ironical: statistically, only about 6% of Russians (according to their self-assessment) know a foreign language. It makes an ability of Russian mappers to transcribe, say, Dutch names, quite questionable. Awful transcription from Russian to English (the most commonly known language) often seen in name:en in Moscow, where a level of foreign language skills is supposedly up to three times better, only supports this doubt.

These people often see their actions as a "mission" and it makes almost impossible to convince them to stop. Basically, only a proper enforcement of rules (requirement of a factual information, verifiability, prohibition to map for a renderer/navigator) can help. My personal vision of how to distinguish made-up names from commonly used ones is that it is enough to require a statement of a source in every edit of this type. An indirect indication of potentially improper edits of this type is an ability of a mapper to communicate with a local community: if someone adds Russian names in Germany without mentioning a verifiable source for it while being unable to reply on changeset comments in German, it is very suspicious.

I have to add, that I have used Russian mappers of this type as an example I'm personally very well familiar with. It doesn't mean that only Russians do that. So, I kindly ask anyone who would like to "restore a justice" by giving another example here in comments of someone else doing it, to abstain from it and avoid being a fool.

It is about (not) following the rules in general, not about blaming someone in particular.

Pri esperantigo de mapo

Posted by Malvolapukulo on 10 March 2017 in Esperanto (Esperanto)

Saluton al ĉiuj esperantistoj!

Mi antaŭe kontribuis al traduko de OSM-retejo, mi parte finis (52%) traduki la redaktilon 'iD' kaj nun mi volas ordaranĝi esperantajn nomojn. Mi aldonis nomojn (esperantajn kaj en aliaj planlingvoj - se mi trovis ilin en Vikipedio) por plejparte da maroj, nun mi volas korekti nomojn de landoj. Ekzistaj nomoj de landoj en OSM plejparte estas '-i-' kaj '-land-' nomoj anstataŭ '-uj-', mi volas 'ujigi' la nomojn kaj enmeti alternativajn nomojn en etikedon 'alt_name:eo'. Detaloj kial mi volas tion fari kaj kial -uj- nomoj estas pli simplaj kaj logikaj ol tiujn kun '-i-' kaj '-land-' vi trovos en la teksto 'Rusoj loĝas en Rusujo'.

Mi esperas, ke vi komprenos miajn ŝanĝojn kaj miaj redaktoj ne estos malfaritaj...

Krom tio, mi volas forigi malĝustajn etikedojn 'name:simple', 'simple' ne estas 2 aŭ 3 litera ISO-kodo!

kein Betreff

Posted by lwsmsk20 on 10 March 2017 in German (Deutsch)

Mit mir gibt es viel zu tun. Danke!

Location: B 26a, Arnstein, Landkreis Main-Spessart, Unterfranken, Bayern, 97450, Deutschland, Europa

MapRoulette newsletter

Posted by mvexel on 9 March 2017 in English (English)

Here's the latest from the MapRoulette world!

New version released

If you head to, you will see that we have a new release out, 2.0.3. This release addresses some annoyances with the keyboard shortcuts, adds a German translation (das freut mich! Thanks nebulon42!) and cleans up the interface in a few places.


A new section displaying keyboard hints

Mapping Activity

In the past 30 days, we fixed almost 18000 tasks in MapRoulette.


Metrics for the last 30 days. You can see these for yourself on

The most popular challenges were:

  1. Self-Intersecting building outlines - all done!
  2. Crossing Ways: Highway-Railway, US - 55% done, still more than 17000 tasks available
  3. CHN_BuildingRoadIntersectionCheck, 34% done, still 2800 tasks available
  4. Self-Intersecting landuse outlines (World-wide), all done!
  5. Open Rings, all done!

Looking for something to do?

Some interesting Challenges that still need help:

By the way: I created the abbreviated road name challenges using an Overpass query. Did you know that you can turn any Overpass query into a MapRoulette challenge? Read this to learn more.

And also...

  • Do you want to see your own challenge featured in this newsletter? Need help creating your challenge? Contact us at!
  • Do you want to receive this newsletter in your inbox in the future? Sign up here!
  • The MapRoulette Questionnaire is still open if you want to share your opinions on MapRoulette! One lucky participant will receive a mappy prize at SOTM or SOTM US.

MapRoulette newsletter

Posted by mvexel on 9 March 2017 in English (English)

Here's the latest from the MapRoulette world!

New version released

If you head to, you will see that we have a new release out, 2.0.3. This release addresses some annoyances with the keyboard shortcuts, adds a German translation (das freut mich! Thanks nebulon42!) and cleans up the interface in a few places.


A new section displaying keyboard hints

Mapping Activity

In the past 30 days, we fixed almost 18000 tasks in MapRoulette.


Metrics for the last 30 days. You can see these for yourself on

The most popular challenges were:

  1. Self-Intersecting building outlines - all done!
  2. Crossing Ways: Highway-Railway, US - 55% done, still more than 17000 tasks available
  3. CHN_BuildingRoadIntersectionCheck, 34% done, still 2800 tasks available
  4. Self-Intersecting landuse outlines (World-wide), all done!
  5. Open Rings, all done!

Looking for something to do?

Some interesting Challenges that still need help:

By the way: I created the abbreviated road name challenges using an Overpass query. Did you know that you can turn any Overpass query into a MapRoulette challenge? Read this to learn more.

Do you want to see your own challenge featured in this list? Need help creating your challenge? Contact us at!

Radburn Design Housing in St Anns, Nottingham: 1860 + 1970

Posted by alexkemp on 9 March 2017 in English (English)

Radburn Design Housing is houses arranged so that each house (often terraces of houses) present their backs to everyone else, whilst the fronts of each house face each other. It is named after a Radburn, New Jersey estate built in 1929 and has become a byword for bad practice (an Australian architect said of his own housing estate designed on Radburn principles:– “Everything that could go wrong in a society went wrong … It became the centre of drugs, it became the centre of violence and, eventually, the police refused to go into it”). It seems that Nottingham got there first in c1860, but also in 1970 with the St Anns redevelopments.

Nottingham was one of the last places in England to enclose Common Land (Laxton village still has “Open Fields”) and, until the 1845 Enclosure Act (not fully enacted until the 1880s), most all of the land around the old city walls were open fields & Common Land, meaning that the main part of the population was restricted within the town walls. At this time the population was soaring. The practical combination of those two factors was foul living conditions & mass death, largely from water-borne diseases such as cholera (see St. Mary's Rest Garden) (a poignant tombstone from that former churchyard, commemorating the deaths of Henry Davis (died June 21, 1846 aged 8) and sister Elizabeth Davis (died December 9, 1851 aged 16) is below). It therefore seems reasonable to call the expansion of the town-folk out into 1,068 acres (432 ha) of the Clay Fields (the former name for St Anns) an “explosion”.

tombstone from St. Mary's Rest Garden

It seems that the local constabulary refused to enter this early St Anns. We are going to meet this again in the 1970s! The largest part of the 1860+ houses were quickly & cheaply built 2-up/2-down houses in a courtyard-arrangement (Radburn Design once again) that rapidly reproduced the insanitary conditions of Nottingham town. That latter became a national scandal and was one of the factors which led to the 1875 Public Health Act, which itself finally led to control over shoddy building practices. Neither helped with the already-built worst parts of St Anns.

Most of the buildings from the 1860s-1880s were demolished in the 1970 clearances. However, there is a small collection of terraces near Robin Hood Street/Campbell Street, close to the town centre — and thus to the Nottingham town walls — that are now Grade II listed. These are dated at c1860 & clearly follow the Radburn Design principle, as you can see here with 2 sets of Campbell Grove terraces:–

Campbell Grove terraces on Campbell Street

Walking down Campbell Street is eerie, as it is quite long and yet not a single building is mapped onto it (excluding the modern Oaks Residential Home) whilst on the other side of Campbell Street are Foljambe Terrace and Harcourt Terrace, yet more c1860s terraces showing their gable-ends to the street. Facing Campbell Grove are the similar Grade II and c1860 Robin Hood Terrace & the splendid Promenade (all walks, and not a street in sight):–

Robin Hood Terrace


Nottingham councillors seem to find it very hard to learn from past mistakes. Their forefathers had made a mess of much of St Anns, and in the 1960s they decided that a simple repetition of past mistakes would be an excellent idea. So, they commissioned Wimpeys to build rat-runs of Radburn Design Housing which the police did not want to enter. The 1960s City Architect declared to Ruth Johns (“St Ann's NOTTINGHAM: inner-city voices”; ISBN 0 9543127 1 6 2nd Edition Plowright Press 2006) that kick-backs to council members from Wimpey were involved within the commissioning. John Paulson & T Dan Smith became notorious for council corruption in the same period in Newcastle, but I've never heard any other mention of similar corruption in Nottingham apart from that one mention in Ruth Johns's book.

Here is a small example of some 1970s, recently-refurbished apartments at Wasnidge Walk (not the worst, just the only photos that I've currently got of new St Anns):–

Wasnidge Walk

Location: Lace Market, St Ann's, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

A73 knooppunt zaarderheiken

Posted by Reinier Den Uijl on 9 March 2017 in Dutch (Nederlands)

de autoweg is bij knooppunt zaarderheiken volgens mij niet goed ingetekend. het aantal rijbanen vanuit roermond richting nijmegen geven een verkeerd beeld. omdat de afslag 12 niet voldoende ruimte geeft voor doorgaand verkeer richting A67, er komt een betere aansluiting in de toekomst, zou met enige verbeteringen de situatie aldaar beter ingetekend kunnen worden. je ziet namelijk niet dat de autoweg vanaf het zuiden 2 rijbanen heeft.

Rijkswaterstaat zou toch voor doorgaand verkeer richting noorden de linkerbaan kunnen BESTEMMEN en 2 rijbanen voor afslaand verkeer afslag 12 inrichten?

Location: Venlo, Limburg, Nederland

Bot idea: Fixing invalid capitalization of primary tags

Posted by bkowshik on 9 March 2017 in English (English)

Listed on the Map Features Wiki are 26 primary features that include highway, natural, building, etc. I ran a tile-reduce script looking for invalid capitalization in the 26 primary feature tags. Examples of invalid capitalization are:

  • Highway instead of highway
  • LANDUSE instead of landuse

I got back 3,186 features on OpenStreetMap with invalid capitalization in the primary feature tag. Ex: way/476771384

Such features are usually reported on QA tools like keepright and fixed by the community after some time, but a more constructive approach would be to automatically correct the issue and give the mapper feedback on what was fixed. This positive feedback cycle can help new mappers learn as well as reduce the burden of fixing trivial map issues on others.

Can we build a simple build a bot to do this:

  1. Continuously monitor feature changes on OpenStreetMap for invalid capitalization in the primary tag
  2. Automatically correct the invalid capitalization in a new changeset using the chageset create API Ex: Modify Building to building
  3. Let the user know about the modification by posting a changeset discussion on the user's changeset with a description and the ID of the automatically corrected changeset.

The OSM policy on automated edits does not seem as detailed as the one on Wikipedia which has a well documented system of proposing and operating bots. Are there well documented examples of active bots that can be used as a guideline for proposing a new one?

Please let me know what you feel about this idea and what is the best way to move forward.

MAP Cartagena - A pilot project to map informal settlements

Posted by Natalia Arruda on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

I would like to post on OSM's blog today, March 8, International Women's Day, a work coordinated by me using the OSM mapping methodology and tools.

The project was a pilot project was born in 2015 through the initiative of a group of volunteers of the NGO TECHO, in order to respond to the demand made by some of the people of León Island (a community that is in a situation of informality and subnormality. Due to the characteristics of informality and subnormality presented by the settlement, they were identified as the underlying problem entails the lack of all public services. Due to its informality, León Island does not appear in any urban planning system in the city of Cartagena, neither in the IGAC cadastre system nor in the MIDAS platform. Based on this previous analysis, it was decided to cover the issue that the community of León Island is not in any cartographic system. The pilot project thus emerges with the main objective of identifying, locating and geo-referencing; Not only the informal settlement of Leon Island as a whole, but also every street and housing present, conforming this component as an input to the phase of community development. Other objectives of the project were to involve community settlers as a participatory mechanism; Integrate housing (as spatial elements) with data from the Household Characterization Survey (ECH) within a Geographic Information System (GIS); Raise the profile of the community, including its history, describing access to public services and its infrastructure; And finally share the map, data and results generated with the same community and the general public through an online platform.

More about the pilot project you can find here:

Location: El Chagualo, Medellín, Antioquia, 0500, Colombia

What happened to Potlatch 2 ?

Posted by Geofalke on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

ID or JOSM may be useful Map editor software, but I still prefer Potlatch 2 for "landscape painting". For me finding out and correcting the differences between aerial picture and state of the map is really great fun, as Potlatch 2 makes it possible to do the corrections with just a few mouse clicks.

For correcting the edge of a forest or a highway I used to highlight the way and the Shift + Click for a new waypoint at the correct place. Since a few days this no longer is possible, what a pity!

Is there a possibility to restore this feature?

In the current version the Shift + Click can lead to a marked rectangle, and then you cannot avoid zooming in, and later manually zooming out. Very annoying! "Mach's weg!" please!

Best whishes! Geofalke

Mapping coastal villages and wetlands in the Southern Caribbean (Turbo, Colombia) for resilience

Posted by MangleBlanco on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

Turbo is the Southern-most municipality in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, yet poorly known nation- and world-wide. Such invisibility contrasts with the beauty of tall mangroves in wild areas and with the numerous fishermen settled in small villages along a ca. 200km-coastline. In addition, the urban area of Turbo, with nearly 50,000 inhabitants, is sustained by both the services provided by mangroves in the proximity and afar, and most importantly by the small-scale fishery providing over 50 species of fish and shellfish. Turbo is a vibrant small city populated by african-descendants coming from the Pacific (Chocó) region of Colombia, amerindians from the Panamian Darién and the northern Andes, and mestizos from the european arrival. Fishermen and their families by far may account for a 1% of Turbo's population in both rural and urban area.

Despite the foundation nearly two centuries centuries ago, the urban area has sprawled since the 1970's as a consequence of peri-urban settlements promoted by migration from rural areas as a consequence of the armed conflict in Colombia (1,2). Such settlements occurred in lowlands, usually in the intertidal fringe, at expense of the native coastal wetlands (1, 2). Therefore, mangroves and freshwater grasslands and forests were decimated in the vicinity of Turbo. In contrasts, these types of wetlands remain as fringes or large patches in the rural areas, and coexist with small fishing villages.

Despite of this landscape mosaic, both urban and rural inhabitants in the coastal plain are subjected to natural hazards such as erosion, sea surges and flash floods, and are therefore vulnerable to climate variability (1). Indeed, in 2010-2011 this area was severely impacted by La Niña-triggered flooding in the coastal plain of Turbo river and numerous villagers, mostly fishermen and peasants were relocated in provisional shelters (3). After one year, they returned to their homes because permanent relocation plans did not translate into reality. Six years have passed by and both fishermen and city administration forgot about such event, particularly because the region experience a very strong and long drought related with El Niño 2014-2016. Nowadays, the return of La Niña is forecasted but little has been improved in terms of adaptation plans to cope with flooding hazard. Moreover, little has been discussed about the longterm consequences of sea level rise in the area, despite most people live between 0 and 2 m above sea level.

It is urgent to conduct high-resolution mapping with humanitarian objectives in this municipality. It is urgent to map flood-prone areas in both urban and rural settings. It is also urgent to map and assess the role of bioshields provided by mangroves and freshwater wetlands. It is also urgent to map mangroves to halt their destruction. Mangroves in the proximity of Turbo to the North (Bahía El Uno) are strongly impacted by illegal logging (4, 5), and although they have not been reduced in area, they stand as thin trees and their roles as bio-barriers, habitat for wildlife, and nursery for fishes could be compromised (6).

In conclusion, mangroves are key ecosystems for the entire Urabá region, and should be boldly placed on open-source maps. Mangroves should be highlighted as cornerstone to support coastal livelihoods by providing goods and services. Ultimately, coastal wetlands are key elements for the resilience of coupled social-ecological systems, and need to be included in adaptation plans to face climatic variability and climate change, particularly sea level rise (7).


  1. Blanco-Libreros, Juan F. Cambios globales en los manglares del golfo de Urabá (Colombia): entre la cambiante línea costera y la frontera agropecuaria en expansión. Actu Biol [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.104, pp.53-70.

  2. Blanco-Libreros, J.F.; Estrada-Urrea, E.A. Mangroves on the Edge: Anthrome-Dependent Fragmentation Influences Ecological Condition (Turbo, Colombia, Southern Caribbean). Diversity 2015, 7, 206-228. doi:10.3390/d7030206 (






See also popular articles about this region: Visión Total Caribe:

Location: El Chagualo, Medellín, Antioquia, 0500, Colombia

10 000th Changeset

Posted by gormur on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

Just did my 10000th changeset. Yay!

Location: 0.000, 0.000

better URL for updated imagery of Ashgabat

Posted by apm-wa on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

Yslam Karimow köçesi in Turkmenabat

Posted by apm-wa on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

I attended the unveiling of the monument to the late first president of Uzbekistan in Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan on March 7, and got a photo of the street sign attesting to renaming of Arkadag köçesi to Yslam Karimow köçesi.

Location: parahat kiçi etrapça, Üçpunkt etrapçasy, Turkmenabat, Lebap Region, 746100, Turkmenistan


Posted by mueschel on 8 March 2017 in German (Deutsch)

Please have a look to my Wiki page for an overview of current projects:

Generating a list of all the cities in the world with Wikipedia links

Posted by PlaneMad on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

A small tutorial on how one can export a CSV of all the cities in the world with their associated Wikipedia and Wikidata pages. This is useful if you want to do some spreadsheet analysis of data from OpenStreetMap.

Overpass Turbo is a great way to quickly extract data from OpenStreetMap by querying tags. An easy way to generate the query is to type "city" or the specific tag "place=city" in the wizard. Since most cities are tagged as just a point node, we can remove the query for ways and relations.

Also instead of the default geojson output, you can use the CSV output format and specify the the data columns to export. The end query looks like this:


( node["place"="city"] ({{bbox}}); );

Try the live query (takes around 2 minutes to run) | View results

The same query with a geojson output gives the map view

You might also be interested in reading about how one can query a similar list from Wikidata.

Overpass queries I should turn into maproulette challenges

Posted by CloCkWeRX on 8 March 2017 in English (English)

Most Restaurants/Cafes & Shops; etc will have a web presence, sharing their address, opening hours, etc.

Named Restaurants/Cafes or Shops without a Website

Named Restaurants/Cafes or Shops with Website but no opening hours:

Named Restaurants/Cafes or Shops with Website but no street name:

Aprendiendo OverPass-turbo

Posted by AngocA on 7 March 2017 in Spanish (Español)

OpenStreetMap más que un mapa es una base de datos llena de información compuesta por puntos, líneas, áreas y relaciones, los cuales describen la geografía de nuestro planeta Tierra. Gracias a un conjunto de etiquetas clave-valor (key-value) es posible describir los 4 elementos previamente citados. Estas etiquetas indican si es una calle, un edificio, el nombre del objeto y un sin número de posibilidades que están descritas en el Wiki de OSM. Como toda base de datos, estas sirven para almacenar datos, pero también debe haber algún lenguaje de consultas par poder llegar a la información. Equivalente a las bases de datos relacionales, donde el lenguaje es SQL, en OpenStreetMap el lenguaje de consulta es Overpass Q. Este lenguaje es muy poderoso y hay varios lugares que describen su documentación.

Running for HOT Chair in 2017

Posted by mikelmaron on 7 March 2017 in English (English)

I'm running again for Chair of Voting Members for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

My outlook on the role is similar to last year.

I've been busy with the Governance Working Group, and the Election Committee -- for both the new member nominations and Board / Chair elections. These seem to be going smoothly! Working on these has helped further refine our processes and documents. We now have a new member "Welcome Pack".

Happy to continue with this responsibility next year. Please get in touch if you have any questions or ideas for the role of the Chair.

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