David Dean's Diary

Recent diary entries

Hi mapper, welcome to (almost) February,

February’s Mapping Party for Brisbane will be a little bit out of town this time: Beaudesert, but I hope I can encourage a good turnout.

The mapping party will be on Saturday 10th Feb, and we will be meeting in the morning for coffee, then surveying, and enjoying a free lunch in the Scenic Rim Council building while we help each other with our iDing and JOSMing, etc.

If you are a bit daunted by the trip from Brisbane to Beaudesert [1], I’d be happy to give you a lift there and back, so let me know. I’m happy to grab you from basically anywhere in Brisbane.

More details on the event are at and please use that link to RSVP so we can plan appropriate amounts of food.

If you can’t make it to Beaudesert, please turn up for the monthly Geospatial Network in Brisbane City on Wed 7 Feb ( and keep representing OSM to the local GIS community (I won’t be able to be there myself, unfortunately though).

  • David

[1] About an hour:

Location: Beaudesert, Scenic Rim Regional, Queensland, 4285, Australia

I have been an active OpenStreetMapper since 2007 (and an OSMF member since early 2016), and have been organising Mapping Parties in my local city of Brisbane, Australia since 2008 (although both activities were a bit quiet for a few years in the middle there - sorry about that!). I want to join the OSMF Board to primarily help increase representation from the AU/NZ/South Pacific Region, and indigenous populations worldwide, and secondarily to bring my decades of expertise in machine-learning to the upcoming challenges of integrating automated mapping with the local-community focus that should always drive OSM contributions.

Since coming back into OSM solidly in the last 5 months, I have re-caught the mapping bug big time. I have mapped locally, and across the world for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, every single day since July! I am working on re-ramping up my involvement in the project significantly, and I am performing outreach in the local spatial community to increase the awareness of both OSM and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. I particular enjoy teaching and introducing new members to the project, and have run two Missing Maps events, alongside other local Mapping Parties, and I will continue to organise events locally every month.

I am an active participant of HOT mapping efforts, and I believe strongly in the ability of remote mapping to provide a great starting point for local communities to take ownership of their maps. In fact, I believe that this is the first and foremost principle of OpenStreetMap, that if anything is taking away, or discouraging, local ownership of the map it is probably not a good idea.

If elected, I would seek to improve the representation of the needs of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific mappers towards the OSMF Board. In particular, I am very interested, and already working towards, how the OpenStreetMap project and communities can extend our community, models and techniques towards indigenous populations around the world. Indigenous populations often look at the world differently than the Euro-centric origins of the OpenStreetMap project, but I believe that some of the valuable lessons already learnt by HOT in how local disadvantaged communities can take ownership of their maps can be extended and improved upon for the indigenous populations of Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and around the world. To be clear, I am not indigenous myself, but I am in already in the process of building relationships to work towards this goal in the Greater Brisbane area, then hopefully across the entire region, and the world!

One other aspect that I would like to bring to the board will be the present and future impact of automation, machine-learning and/or artificial intelligence on OpenStreetMapping, both generally and specifically for Humanitarian Mapping. It might appear that this is antithetical to my belief in local communities owning local maps, but that is why I want to focus on using these powerful techniques in ways that promote, rather than degrade, local ownership.

I have more than a decade of machine-learning experience, and I want to investigate existing techniques in development by Facebook, Development Seed and others, and develop new ones, and I am working with a team at the University of Queensland to begin a study on how these and similar techniques can be opened to all mappers through the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Tasking Manager and editing tools in a way that ensures that remote and local mappers are assisted directly in our mapping tools, rather than having the output of an algorithm imported widescale without their direct involvement in the process. I am in particular interested in efforts that can focus on getting ML to people on the ground in things like FieldPapers, and in apps like StreetComplete, Kort and OpenMapKit. We need many more of these great simple-survey focussed approaches, and I think ML can help with guiding these efforts.

You can find out more about me at, and my OSM profile at contains links to my many OSM-related activities. If you have any questions, or want to get in contact, please don’t hesitate to ask me here, by email at, or at the Election to Board Talk Page at, where I will begin to wade through the many existing questions shortly.

Thanks, and Happy Mapping!

Location: Brisbane City, Queensland, 4004, Australia

I have arranged a pizza meetup for Friday 3 July at the Pizza Caffe at UQ after work. Come and meet fellow OpenStreetMappers and maybe do a little micro-mapping of the UQ campus if you're up to it.

Details here:

Location: St Lucia, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4072, Australia

The Gap is done

Posted by David Dean on 10 February 2009 in English (English).
Location: The Gap, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4061, Australia

I'm in the top 50!

Posted by David Dean on 20 January 2009 in English (English).

Well, apparently I'm in the top 50 (of all time?) of OSM users for uploads of GPS data: .

That's nuts. I don't even track half of my car/bike/walking trips. You know what this really means? It means the *rest of you* aren't uploading enough GPS data. :)

So, go on, get to work! Trace *all* your trips. Multiple traces on the same road are useful for statistic analysis and traffic modelling, so you can't use that as an excuse either. :)

If there are any Brisbane locals here, please consider attending the third Brisbane mapping party which will be held on Saturday the 7th of February. Unlike the previous two mapping parties, this one will be held in the daylight (whoa!) and will be a little more ambitious as we have more time to work with.

There will be a lunch and dinner social event as well to meet up with fellow Brisbane mappers. More details are available at the wiki page.

Location: Bridgeman Wood, Albany Creek, Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay Regional, Queensland, 4035, Australia

I've just finished uploading my changes from the first Brisbane Mapping Evening. I got to meet a few more Brisbane mappers, and got some mapping done too!

Location: Merthyr Village Shopping Centre, New Farm, Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia

Flickr using OSM in Australia!

Posted by David Dean on 30 September 2008 in English (English).

Flickr have starting using OSM data for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra. Details here:

Here's what Brisbane looks like:

Location: Brisbane City, Queensland, 4004, Australia

Just a quick notice to let everybody know that the Brisbane Mapping Marathon at New Farm will be happening in less than two weeks! Should be fun. Details on the wiki page. The more the merrier.

Location: Merthyr, New Farm, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4005, Australia

In a completely unscientific calculation, if you take the total kilometres of ways at the end of this page and divide it by the estimated kilometres of roadways at the CIA Factbook, you find out that we are 69.28% complete worldwide, at least as far as roadways go!

Gosmoring around home

Posted by David Dean on 26 July 2008 in English (English).

I finally got Gosmore to work on my Eten M500 Pocket PC phone (with a bluetooth GPS). So to celebrate I went for a little walk and added some bus-stops I had previously missed.

Work quite nicely actually, although the osm files created by gosmore would be better if they were created by date and time like the gpx files. The other main issue was that Gosmore's dialogs seemed to be based on a landscape style screen, whereas my phone is portrait, but I could handle most things anyway.

Location: Herston, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4006, Australia

Got some more bushwalking trails done this morning with awesm. Should appear on osmarender soonish.

Location: Salisbury, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4107, Australia

I gave awesm's edits a look over and added some details missed from our Bushwalk on Monday.

Location: Chermside West, Greater Brisbane, Queensland, 4032, Australia

With thanks to awesm:,24897,24028848-15318,00.html

Maybe we should contact the minister in question (Paul Lucas) and ask him if he wants to help OSM get Brisbane up-to-date. I'm sure the state government has some data that would be useful.

I'm not exactly sure how to start going about doing that though? Any ideas?

The only contact I've found for Paul Lucas so far is (07) 3396 0066, but a letter outlining OSM, and how other governments have made use of it might be a better approach.


Posted by David Dean on 18 July 2008 in English (English).

Did some more surveying in Paddington recently.

Location: Paddington, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4064, Australia

Brisbane forest park

Posted by David Dean on 17 July 2008 in English (English).

I'm going to try and knock off more of Brisbane Forest Park today. It's probably going to take an hour or so just to walk to a unmapped area first!

Location: Upper Brookfield, Greater Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I fixed up a few missing street names and other minor details in the Petrie Terrace area.

Location: Paddington, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4064, Australia

Surveying in Aspley

Posted by David Dean on 15 July 2008 in English (English).

Did some surveying in Aspley while waiting for Zupps to finish servicing my car.

Location: Aspley, Greater Brisbane, Queensland, 4034, Australia


Posted by David Dean on 13 July 2008 in English (English).

Finally got around to adding the roads to the map from last Thursday's walk.

Location: Enoggera, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4051, Australia

I did some more walking last night and got a whole bunch of road names and the like around the Eastern side of Enoggera Barracks. I've asked for a osmarender refresh there on infromation freeway so they should appear in that layer soon if it works.

Location: Dorrington, Ashgrove, Brisbane City, Queensland, 4060, Australia