Alan Trick has commented on the following diary entries

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Copying from Google Maps 4 months ago

for a small percentage of the population Google can just mean the Internet

"the internet" is a pretty vague source. Ideally, sources should be a lot more specific than that.

OSM Provided Services Are Not a Safe Place 10 months ago

I find it suprising that sexual orientation and gender identity issues would be a thing. I mean, how would anyone know if you were a homosexual or a transgendered person. I guess I'm probably being a little naive, but it should be pretty easy to hide behind the pseudo anonymous nature of OSM.

I mean, this should be true to a degree about racist and sexist issues too, though I could see those things being accidentally/intentionally made public a lot easier.

Say hello to the giant Multipolygons 10 months ago

Ultimately, spliting up a large body of water into smaller ploys is a violation of "One feature, one OSM element". Historically, this principal has often be waved because the editors just were really quite bad at dealling with large ploys and multipolgons (hence "tagging for the editor"). However, the situation has improved a little bit, and as it improves, I expect the principal will be more closely adheared to.

Say hello to the giant Multipolygons 10 months ago

Honestly I think falls into the same sort of category as tagging for the renderer. It's a little different becaues large polys are actually a PITA to edit sometimes, so maybe it's more accurate to call it "tagging for the editor" sometimes.

At any rate, whether a map wants to show small features at low zoom levels is entirely a question of map design. I don't see why all those lakes should necessarily be mapped into a large multipolygon. With rivers, it makes sense to have one large multipolygo for the whole thing. But for a collection of small lakes, I don't get it.

Frustration about iD editor's inability to easily draw rectangular buildings 10 months ago

It seems really weird that anyone would find this difficult. You

  1. create a poylgon
  2. choose it's class (tags) on the left
  3. press "s"

The only time it doesn't work is if you are trying to square something where the angles are too far off. I think the reason you have to do 2 before 3 is that typing "s" at phase 2 will filter the tag groups. Also, 2 is significantly more important than 3 (what good is a tagless rectangle?) so I think the ordering is fine.

China Mappers Censorship of Sensitive Stuff on the Map 11 months ago

I think the rule of thumb is that anything that is public (and relatively static) can be mapped. Secret things should not be mapped and private things should only be mapped if people with access to them choose to do so. The reason for this is quite practical, private and secret things aren't verifiable and things on the map need to be.

That said, I think the existence of the military landuse in question is public knowledge and so it totally can and should be mapped.

Using Strava traces about 1 year ago

For what it's worth, the large number of gps points that strava has is great, but the consequence is that it does result in sharp details of a route getting smoothed out. It's much better than a low quality gps trace, but I'm not sure how much better it is than a good gps trace + some local knowledge.

Easy way to improve OpenStreetMap data. about 1 year ago

Some of these are deeply confused parts of OSM itself. The tag landuse=forest has completely failed at reaching any standardized meaning, and it's as far as I know, its presence is mostly a consequence of a few imports and confusion by new editors.

Footpath and path are confusing, and that has history behind it as well, since footpath is an older tag, but path does a better job of describing a wider ranger of possibilities (path + foot=designated is the same as a footpath).

Nature preserves and parks are also a little confusing, and I think until recently the schema was in flux, not sure if it still is.

Parking Radar based on OSM about 1 year ago

Interesting. My brother and I had toyed with the idea of something vaguely similar (but more complicated, basically an app to track where parking tickets were/weren't being enforced).

Does it actually use the OSM data to find parking spots, or does it just look for where other people have parked in the passed and suggest those locations.

How do you (or do you) deal with GPS inaccuracies that are common in underground parking & areas with lots of skyscrappers?

A friend sent this article about CalTopo: "Your Navigation Is Outdated. Here's How to Fix It." about 1 year ago

I'm well-aware of caltopo, and it's pretty useful in the US where its default basemap shows forests, and where you have access to the impressive USGS topographical maps. In British Columbia, OSM is just so much better than the alternative maps (with some exceptions every now and then) that I usually don't bother.

The slope angle feature is nifty, though as far as I know it doesn't show run-out zones.

Forest Service Road notes about 1 year ago

Service roads in OSM and Forest Service Roads in North America are entirely different beasts, in my understanding. The confusing naming is unfortunate, and you can probably blame the Brits for it :P

OSM: Why can't contributors check/correct their own work! over 1 year ago

iD has validation checks, they're just relatively simple (like unmarked ways, and points without any tags). I think its validation features should be enhanced, but probably not too much (we really don't want people to start faking data just to pass a validator).

In theory, it would be nice if everyone could JOSM, but it really sucks with high-DPI screens, and it's only user-friendly if you already have a fairly solid understanding of how OSM works, which is a total no-go for most people who are not armchair mappers.

OpenStreetMap Carto release v3.3.1 over 1 year ago

Has this been deployed to the servers yet? I'm still running into problems with intermittent stream rendering.

Mapping the area of Le Thillot, Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle and Bussang over 1 year ago

Regarding addresses, if a building has only one address (and the address is only for one building), I typically put the address on the building. However, if you choose not to, there's nothing particularly wrong.

KeepRight is still around! over 1 year ago

I was a little annoyed previously at all of keepright's false positives, but actually, if I'm willing to sort through a few of them, there are a lot of really useful errors being caught.

AAARGH !!! Those Spammers ! over 1 year ago

@ff5722: theoretically a great idea, but how would you keep the spammers from just making a garbage changeset first.

Specificity vs Readability over 1 year ago

This really depends on what you're up to, but on things like back-country trails I often find it very helpful to know things like trail_visibility & sac_scale.

There are certainly a lot of ways that have superfluous tags as a consequence of import scripts though.

Possibly importing USGS forest data over 1 year ago

One place where this could be useful is in the US, where there are large "National Forest" parks that have the unfortunate landuse=forest tag on them, even though they're only partly forests. Some editors want the landuse=forest to stay because they don't want to see the green go away. This data, even if the quality is poor, might be better than the current state.

waterway=dam + beaver_made=yes over 1 year ago

I think the man_made tag is a little unfortunate. There are a lot of man made things that don't use it, and in actuality it's just a dumping ground for things that people can't make a better scheme for.

Certainly an animal made feature that is reasonably permanent and prominent deserves a place in OSM. One problem is that a lot of features that animals leave aren't very permanent. The other problem is that surveys tend to take place in places that are regularly tracked by humans. Animals usually avoid humans, and so a lot of such discoveries are likely to be made in places that have either 1) recently scene human intrusion, and the animals are on their way out or 2) are in places where surveys would be very uncommon and the data will be out-of date really quickly.

As for tagging a riparian forest, just use natural=wood, and tag the respective waterway too. The fact that it's beside a river/lake/etc is really all that it needs to be riparian.

If you have time to do a detailed survey, then in some cases, there are often small areas that could be tagged with wetland=wet_meadow, wetland=marsh, or wetland=swamp; however, a wetland isn't just ground that regularly gets puddles on it, it should be land that is always (or almost always) waterlogged. Usually different kind of vegetation thrives in wetland that does on regular land.

Deteriorating Bing aerial imagery. - Mount Arrowsmith, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada over 1 year ago

What's the difference between forestry & logging?