Andy Allan has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Motorway Junction Node Placement 3 months ago

I'd much prefer option 2, since it more accurately represents what exists on the ground. Options 1 and 3 start introducing angles and corners ("Warning! Sharp bend ahead!") that don't exist.

Option 2 is the best approximation of the route that a fully informed driver will take, namely a straight line from the point of lane departure to the exit. Imagine instead that drivers follow option 3 - 45 degree turns just before the gore? I don't think that would be right.

Metro Mapping Proposal (and what's wrong with proposals) 5 months ago

not after stalled pull requests to the OSM website

I know this is off-topic, but I'm trying to work through all the pull requests for the OpenStreetMap website code, and deal with them one way or another - and hopefully deal with them all more quickly in the future. Any help is welcome. Last week I tackled three of the oldest, but there's still some that are 5 years old!

diary spam 7 months ago

This particular thing actually was a previous GSoC task, but one that hasn't yet been polished off ready to be merged. But I'm happy to slowly work away at reviewing and improving it, albeit a long, long time after the GSoC student and mentor involved have moved on to other things.

GSoC isn't the best solution when the problem is a lack of regular contributors. We can easily end up with a big feature and nobody to merge it or maintain it. We need some people who are willing to help (and that might involve learning to code, many developers like me are self-taught) with all the routine tasks, big and small, that would improve OSM for everyone.

If EWG want to help encourage more contributors then I'm all for that. Making improvements - however small - to the website has a huge impact on OSM since it's used by literally every single contributor. So I hope that there's someone who is reading this diary who will realise that they can play their part too. That's why I mentioned it!

diary spam 7 months ago

Yes, there's work in progress to allow users to flag diary entries (and other things, like changeset comments) for moderators and admins to look at.

I'll just say here that there's very few people actually writing code to improve the website - surprisingly few, given the thousands of people who use the website and the API each day, and the hundreds of developers in the OSM ecosystem. So if anyone can help us out, help is definitely appreciated!

Adding vector tiles to the components diagram 9 months ago

Just a minor point, but the OpenCycleMap and Transport layers both have the same rendering stack, so I'm not sure why there's a separate "Transport Renderer" on there. Both layers are an osm2pgsql -> PostGIS -> vector tiles -> raster tiles type of stack.

3 years of welcome messages, more than 3400 of them over 1 year ago

Vincent de Phily - you would need to choose them randomly for it to be effective. If your choice of send/not-send is based on a particular factor (e.g. location) then it skews the results of the experiment.

3 years of welcome messages, more than 3400 of them over 1 year ago

You could try an A/B experiment for a while - take the next 1000 users, send welcome messages to 50% of them, and then see if there's any difference between the two groups of users.

100 € for multiple social accounts in OSM over 1 year ago

I think you meant pull request to openstreetmap-website :-)

Heavy Usage on OSM Sites over 1 year ago

Hi Alex - the question of tileserver policy, and the outage on Friday, are unrelated. Friday's outage was related to the addition of more disks to our "services" machine Ironbelly, and while the RAID array was rebuilding it caused the machine to become overloaded. Other machines depend on ironbelly, including the servers that power the website and the editing API. We slowed the RAID rebuild, and stopped some non-essential services (including chef runs, log analysis etc), to get the website back online as quickly as was possible.

The network traffic you see on the 2nd November to ramoth is unrelated to the above. In this case, we were rebuilding indexes on the primary database server katla, to compact them which saves space and makes things work faster. The large amount of network traffic is the main server (kalta) distributing the rebuilt indexes out to the slave database servers, including ramoth.

These are all isolated from the tileservers, which have their own servers and databases, and weren't affected by either the ironbelly issues or the coredb index rebuilding. The policy discussion on them is a long-term thing, and the amount of traffic to the tileservers doesn't have any impact on the traffic to the website and/or the API.

I hope this provides some more information to you!

100€ for a subscription to diary comments over 1 year ago

Good idea - let's see if the grant works! I've been working recently to make the code (and the tests) around diary entries easier to work with. It's not as simple yet as it could be, but I'd be happy to review pull requests. Hopefully in future these sort of features will be even easier to develop.

Note that it's not OWG as a group, but the maintainer for the openstreetmap-website codebase, that decides whether pull requests are merged.

Ramblings about State of the Map over 1 year ago

what do you say to famous people like Andy Allen or Frederik Ramm ?

Anything you like! We're all nice people and happy to chat. Next time you see me, please come and say hello. :-)

Responding to suspicious changes over 1 year ago

Of the 250 changesets where you didn't get a reply, how many of the users involved have made further edits? It might be reasonable to expect a response from mappers who are continuing to be involved in the project, but you might be waiting for mappers who never contribute again.

The story of the oldest node in OSM. almost 3 years ago

Remember that there were no changesets back in 2005, so it wasn't really the "fourth changeset ever" so much as the 4th artificially-created changeset at the point we created them (in 2009).

Also, most of the low-numbered nodes have been used and re-used a number of times, usually because of badly-executed bulk uploads using them instead of using new node ids. Then someone has to move everything back and/or delete the bulk upload.

Presentation of highway links about 3 years ago

It's a bug in the stylesheet, and it's being worked on.

Openstreetmap? More like Openwoodmap on low zoom levels about 3 years ago

Rather than leaving comments on a duplicate ticket, it would be good to have people trying out solutions! It's not going to fix itself and it won't get fixed by people making comments either.

What's up with the GPS traces? over 3 years ago


White Sands Missile Range almost 4 years ago

Don't worry too much about the stripes on the map, I expect them to change at some point. Most people interpret the red-stripey bits as danger areas, when they could (for example) just be parade grounds or barracks. I intend to change the rendering so that only danger areas get the danger stripes, and other military landuses will get a bit more subtle rendering.

Doesn't affect your tagging, but I thought I'd mention it since you are interested in this stuff.

An abandoned outdoor movie theater in Desert of Sinai, Egypt about 4 years ago

Please don't use "abandoned=yes" (or disused=yes etc). This is a bad tagging practice.

It's not a cinema, so you should not use amenity=cinema either.

More on Land Use Tags over 4 years ago

As a quick note - you probably mean "median" rather than "medium" - see

Also, I'd advise caution on the use of the "village green" tag with regards to things that clearly aren't. The wikipedia definition gives some idea - but it's a long stretch to consider a highway median as somewhere to meet, graze livestock in olden days and (especially for the english) enjoy a refreshing pint while watching a casual game of cricket.

The Great DC Parking Lot Cleanup of 2013 almost 5 years ago

Nice work Aaron, good writeup too.