Amaroussi's diary

Recent diary entries

WTF India?

Posted by Amaroussi on 12 May 2016 in English (English)


I'm sorry Government of India, but it appears that OpenStreetMap will not adjust the borders just to please one country.

We've already got the tools that will help you create the map to your liking. You can find the instructions here.

The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, basically bans all civilians from using or creating any kind of map.

Location: Connaught Place, New Delhi, New Delhi District, Delhi, 110001, India

It is not safe to cycle in Britain (a rant).

Posted by Amaroussi on 5 February 2016 in English (English)

In the wake of a serious act of driver brutality against a cyclist, in which the police were unable to specifically prosecute, I feel that it is not safe to cycle in the UK today, because the infrastructure that is required to enable safe cycling without a helmet or any of that extraneous gear is either not there, or it is at best too piecemeal to be considered "safe".

Having surveyed London streets for OSM, it is unsurprising that the London Cycle Network and its signage is far too piecemeal to enable safe cycling without a helmet or any of that extraneous gear: there cycling in the UK is not user-friendly but instead like playing Russian Roulette. It is unsurprising that Netherlands is so ahead of us in the provision of cycling infrastructure, to a point where helmets and other extraneous gear are a mere sports thing over there.

Therefore, I think that in the UK, the car and the bus is still the king. With all the aggression against cyclists in the UK (just look at all those videos on YouTube!), this is why I feel that it is not safe to cycle in Britain at all, and non-drivers may be better of with public transport, until the government provides the right infrastructure so that cycling is no longer like playing Russian Roulette.

Location: Mildmay Park, Islington, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, N1, United Kingdom

He did WHAT?

Posted by Amaroussi on 29 December 2015 in English (English)

Source: This

I think we need to put up notices around the website saying that mappers, members and staff of OpenStreetMap Foundation have the right to work without fear of malice, just like what the notices on the London buses say.


New default style is online!

Posted by Amaroussi on 31 October 2015 in English (English)

New map style

Before I get helplessly mauled by die-hard fans of the British blue/green/red style, OpenStreetMap is now using a new default style with two major changes: the road colours have changed and the railways are more pronounced at outer zoom levels.

For more information, please see here.

Location: Champs-Élysées, 8th Arrondissement, Paris, Ile-de-France, Metropolitan France, 75008, France

Potlatch without Flash

Posted by Amaroussi on 14 July 2015 in English (English)


Question for the developers: how will Potlatch be prepared for the day when Adobe Flash finally disappears from the webscape?

Thanks in advance.

Presentation of highway links

Posted by Amaroussi on 31 March 2015 in English (English)

Example: Heston and Finchley

The slip roads are highway links (motorway_link and trunk_link respectively). The problem is that in Mapnik they flow over trunk and primary (proper) respectively instead of under, causing them to "bleed" over (sic). This causes presentation issues, especially when zoomed out.

Most maps in the world tuck slip roads under the main carriageway, and Mapnik used to do that.

Germanwings Flight 9525 response

Posted by Amaroussi on 24 March 2015 in English (English)

Vlad and I have quickly rushed to the location of the crash. We are adding in, with available compatible sources, new details to the crash zone in order to help people who use OpenStreetMap know more about the area, and to advise of any features and landforms that may affect the search and rescue in the next few days.

Please join in to help us.

Our thoughts are for the friends and family of all those on board Germanwings flight 9525.

Location: D 107, Prads-Haute-Bléone, Digne-les-Bains, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Metropolitan France, 04420, France

Declaration of Conflicts

Posted by Amaroussi on 24 March 2015 in English (English)

Quite recently I've noticed blog entries titled "Declaration of Conflicts" on my RSS feed. I hope that OpenStreetMap mappers aren't going into war with each other – that would be terrible, especially as we have done so much to date!

OSM now has routing as standard

Posted by Amaroussi on 17 February 2015 in English (English)

As of now, OSM now has routing on their website as standard: you can plan a simple journey from point A to point B, by car, foot or bicycle. GraphHopper, MapQuest and OSRM are the current routing information suppliers for this module.

I've already made a route to show you how it all works. I'm not sure when the "via" feature will come in.

P.S. at time of posting, Amaroussi's current exhaustion level is OVER 9,000 !!!

Location: Mayfair, Westminster, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Firefox 35 update

Posted by Amaroussi on 26 January 2015 in English (English)

If you have version 35.0 of Firefox for Mac, kindly please update the browser to version 35.0.1 to resolve the glitchy-looking rendering issues when you drag the map on OpenStreetMap (Bug entry on Bugzilla).

Other operating systems should update anyway to keep ahead of any vulnerabilities.


Updated zoom level 12 rendering

Posted by Amaroussi on 30 October 2014 in English (English)

New Zoom 12 rendering

Accroding to the dev mailing list, the main change to the standard stylesheet shall involve the showing of tertiary roads at zoom level 12.

It may be a while for your location to receive the new zoom level 12 style.

Location: Borough, London Borough of Southwark, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

'We Fit' FAIL, Google FAIL, OpenStreetMap WIN

Posted by Amaroussi on 6 October 2014 in English (English)


The way in question, 55984002, had been tagged with the height restriction of 15'-3" since UrbanRambler added it on 20 April 2010...

...Yet Google doesn't even have a facility to put in height restrictions...

...Another reason to switch to OSM.

Location: West Wickham, Bromley, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Oh, Amaroussi....

Posted by Amaroussi on 22 August 2014 in English (English)

This survey goes to eleven!

"We can't pay you to hold a mapping party at a location like that, even if it makes Knightsbridge less rubbish!"

Rest assured that it is not my intention to bankrupt OSM with surveys like this.

Location: Belgravia, City of Westminster, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Happy 10th Birthday OSM. So where next?

Posted by Amaroussi on 8 August 2014 in English (English)

In nearly two years I've:

  • Added street light data to the roads of Athens, Barcelona, London and Paris.
  • Tried to turn Highbury into the densest area mapped globally by adding whatever notable feature there is.
  • Introduce a proper relation for the London Congestion Charge.
  • Introduce a proper standard for Greek Provincial Roads.
  • Mapped Bir Tawil despite facing the technical limitations as others did with Antarctica.
  • Kicked off a proper attempt at making London transport nodes "public_transport" ready.

And for my next endeavour:

  • I've started mapping the LEZ in London.
  • I've started mapping sidewalks in Barcelona and London.

So where next? Would it be nice to fork the OpenStreetMap engine for my roleplay on NationStates? Yes, I know OpenGeofiction but my priorities are different because it involves the real world map as a base and my visions have been bottled up for years.

Location: Mildmay Park, Islington, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, N1, United Kingdom

Plymouth is really in the South West

Posted by Amaroussi on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

OpenStreetMap would like to assure the UK Department for Transport that we are not the data source that placed cities in the wrong regions. You might have confused us with OpenGeoFiction: the title of that map was so obviously clear.

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about anything notable, from a stretch of motorway to a humble tree. A majority of what is on the map comes from what they actually saw. What you see is what you get.

The remainder comes from non-copyrighted sources, such as dataset donations from the likes of MapBox to help newbies get started, other ODbL compatible data like nananananananana NaPTAN!... and legislative texts from most countries.

This is why OpenStreetMap is one of the most accurate and up to date maps in the world. When the new Indian State of Telangana came into effect on 2 June 2014, PlaneMad immediately uploaded the necessary boundaries, in the right location. BAM! Just like that.

OpenStreetMap knows that because anyone can contribute to the map, vandalism can happen: however, OpenStreetMap will quickly revert such edits faster than the time it takes to top-up your Oyster card, and deal with them like the Terminator: Hasta la vista! The chances of downloading vandalised data is one in a googol, and even then the end user can catch and correct most vandalism in minutes.

Judging by the screenshots in the BBC article, the Maybe the UK Department for Transport should quit Google and come to us. Once you get used to OpenStreetMap, you'll never see Google in the same way.

Location: Barbican, Plymouth, South West England, England, United Kingdom

I feel nostalgic

Posted by Amaroussi on 10 July 2014 in English (English)

The title explains most of this post: given that OpenStreetMap is 10 years old this month, I wonder if anyone still has the original default map style, so I can render today's London in 2004's Mapnik (or its predecessor), preferably in Maperitive?

I've only got Maperitive, so if it isn't possible then can the OSM community help me accomplish this?


Location: Mildmay Park, Islington, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, N1, United Kingdom

Someone broke OpenStreetMap again

Posted by Amaroussi on 18 June 2014 in English (English)

It appears London appears flooded at least on the map. I can't see where the problem is: can anyone help please because I am getting too frustrated to do that.

...and if it is caused by a genuine vandal, please deal with them harshly. Thanks.

Location: Holborn, St Giles, London Borough of Camden, London, Greater London, England, WC1B, United Kingdom

Getting my familiar stations "public_transport" ready

Posted by Amaroussi on 20 May 2014 in English (English)

Alperton Station Image obviously created by myself.

I am currently working to get London tube stations ready for the long-term aim of making the network route-able. Alperton and Highbury & Islington are among the first stations to get a stop_area relation prototype. I will plan to publish more details about how I will be doing the mainstream conversion on the wiki later.

Location: Alperton, London Borough of Brent, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

CAPTCHA problems in the Wiki

Posted by Amaroussi on 17 May 2014 in English (English)

Hi, I have a little problem with the Wiki: when I add a new relation to the London Bus Routes list it asks me to solve a CAPTCHA even though I've registered for a long time. Can someone please check which domain name is triggering the CAPTCHA, and whether the whitelist is covering both HTTP and HTTPS versions of OpenStreetMap? I've tested the links in my user page and it seems that the OSM and wiki links are not involved, so could it be one of the tools in the relation template?


Postcode map

Posted by Amaroussi on 1 April 2014 in English (English)

Just a quick entry here:

I recently added a new postcodes from my recent surveys and corrected some format errors, so I was wondering if any one is still maintaining the OSM source layer in the Postcode map so that I can see how my edits have corrected the errors. Thanks.

Location: Mildmay Park, Islington, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London, England, N1, United Kingdom
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