driven to details

Posted by Dion Dock on 7 September 2009 in English (English)

When I started contributing to OSM, my favorite uploads were new roads that did not appear on the map and adding bike lanes. Then I started fixing mistakes in the TIGER import and adding POIs. However, there must be something about doing this over time that makes one want to add more and more details. While I first thought tagging traffic signals and speed bumps were too much detail, I'm now inclined to do it as time allows. Anyone else fall victim to this behavior?

Comment from Rhubarb on 7 September 2009 at 23:44

I feel exactly the same.
I started off doing roads and the occasional footpath.
That lead onto car parks, parks, emergency marker reference signs.
Which lead into speed bumps / tables / humps, drinking fountains, play grounds, streams, and the odd building.
Now I'm surveying in picnic tables, benches, rubbish bins, recycling stations, ATMs, petrol stations, bollards and gates, schools.
The only thing I've yet to get sucked into is recording house numbers ...

Comment from RRover on 8 September 2009 at 00:05

Hi Dion,
You guys have been bitten by the bug. It becomes an addiction probably worse than pot. I have been doing schools, fire stations, public phones and post boxes. As I do this I see other things that need adding.My next exercise is petrol stations both new and existing. Its a sorry state when Petrol Companies don't know where their stations are.
Good luck

Comment from JohnSmith on 8 September 2009 at 02:34

You aren't addicted until you start naming the species of each tree in road side planter boxes.

Comment from nmixter on 8 September 2009 at 06:31

yes it is an addiction. you have to pace yourself . set aside a certain amount of time and stick with it. someone needs to start an osm anonymous group.

Comment from ianlopez1115 on 8 September 2009 at 12:56

@nmixter this addiction (adding too much detail to OSM) is probably helpful, since (presumably) everyone will know where that amenity is.

@JohnSmith I'm not at that level (yet), but I've managed to tag two trees as tourism=attraction within a university's campus.

everyone else: I've added housenumbers (within my home city only), banks, fuel stations, footbridges, schools, at-grade foot crossings, emergency bays on a major highway (soon), surveillance cameras, some convenience stores, traffic signals, full names of certain streets, speed bumps, maxspeed, some stretches that are dual-carriageway, banks, restaurants, some buildings and landuse (probably guessed its area), dormitories (tagged as amenity=dormitory) and the list goes on.

Comment from Anna_AG on 8 September 2009 at 16:58

Ditto above - I thought coming back to London would be boring after Dhaka - nothing to add - nothing no one else has added - its all been done init? - but NO - loads of detail to add - mused about adding the telephone numbers of public phone boxes - but that would be just too creepy! - As for House numbers - we all have our personal lines that must not be crossed - and that is mine!

Comment from Dion Dock on 9 September 2009 at 05:16


Have you seen the natural=tree tag?

Comment from marscot on 9 September 2009 at 16:19

yeah I have added lit=yes/no to roads, paths,and carparks, also now adding fee=yes/no to car parks house numbers ach not that hard to do once you start ;)

Comment from ianlopez1115 on 10 September 2009 at 10:49

@Dion Dock: I already applied natural=tree to at least two notable trees within a university (see and ; the latter tree is named as such due to a somewhat confirmed "urban legend" within the said university)

I've added over 200 housenumbers on my map (including my house) (see ), but nobody (so far) has found out where I lived through the map (except some close friends and relatives). It's safe to add housenumbers, for as long as you don't put name or note=X's house or whatever (except if a certain amenity - like a restaurant - has a housenumber). As a sign of a "continuing addiction", I've added some buildings in my city's downtown area.

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