Harry Wood has commented on the following diary entries

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A Rant: The Way Beyond Craftmapping That Nobody Is Talking About 2 days ago


a number of people have taken offense at the term “craft”

No the term "Craft" is fine. That's why the term is co-opted and worn proudly as a T-shirt. The offensive bit was saying that people who map their own neighbourhood (hello? central idea of the project!) should be anything other than proud. That they will doom the project to irrelevance, while humanitarian mappers, and robot mappers will save it. It's an offensive and highly divisive thing to say.

I think it has been necessary to shake the tree enough to flush these topics into the open.

Yes I've noticed in several follow-up comments from you, that you've climbed down pretty quickly. Ben here has done a great job of listing out your words which are over the top or simply incorrect. And here again now you're saying the words were intended simply to "shake the tree".

Flushing these topics into the open is good. The "Armchair Mapping" wiki page which d1g so politely refers to, is an example of my own attempt to flush out the topics. The page wasn't easy to write. It's walking a line between two strongly opposed viewpoints. There's been a few contributions from others (it's a wiki page after all) and some productive discussion on the talk page. Hopefully there'll be more. It's an example of an attempt to, not only flush out the issues, but help us reach agreement and bit more balance in the community, showing how opposing camps can accommodate each other. I hope more people read it (and read it a bit more carefully than d1g did)

The other way you could flush out the issue is by writing a divisive blog post which is offensive to many of the projects long-standing contributors. Well thanks. I've been paying close attention to these different groups and diverging opinions for a long time, and trying to bring more unity. I hope your blog will end up proving useful, as a way of flushing out these topics, but mostly at the moment it's not feeling too useful.

Let's Talk Local at the Global State of the Map 9 days ago

I'll be in Brussels this evening. Look forward to chatting about this stuff.

I think we could work to improve the onramp at various stages. Or smooth over the steps, or whatever the right metaphor is.

In the slowly developing situation that is the UK Group, there has been a widely held conviction that registering as a formal company/organisation (of one sort or another) with companies house is the big thing and the first thing to get done. This goes hand in hand with board-of-director structural requirements, so it is big. But actually I would have thought establishing a clear group identity by establishing a clear web presence is an earlier step, and I think it's a step the OSMF could offer more clear guidance and assistance with.

For example the OSMF could offer to buy a domain name for any new country group. This is simultaneously a way of helping people and inviting people to get people started, and also at the same time, a way of establishing a small level of control over people who are using the OpenStreetMap name. OSMF retains ownership but points the domain at a webserver of their choice (or at a site hosted by OSMF if they want help with that too) We could then have a sort of Local-Chapter-Agreement-Lite for people who didn't make a formal organisation yet.

Long Names of OpenStreetMap about 1 month ago

Yeah I was pondering the same thing. I certainly can't think of a reason. Also HTML tags within names seems like something which is always a bad idea and could be blocked (or at least a new bug type in QA tools)

A missing zoo! about 2 months ago

Update: Looking pretty good on the wikivoyage map now (the wikimedia maps have rerendered)

Someone is trying to steal the information of people about 2 months ago

Yep stay safe online.

Just to clarify. When you say "send messages", do you mean via the OpenStreetMap 'message' feature? (Is this person an signed up user?) That could be something OSM sysadmins can try to tackle, at least block this user. It's worth others being aware that phishing messages could come via these OpenStreetMap channels.

If you do want to donate money to the Red Cross:

If you specifically want to support humanitarian mapping, donate to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team:

If you want to support OpenStreetMap (e.g. to help volunteers run the core server infrastructure):

But of course you should check these links (e.g. search for them independently) before getting your credit card out, because you don't know me. I could be phishing!

Tree named pubs of London 4 months ago

Thanks mmd. I was hoping someone would post that :-) That's good to have for future reference. I did actually start out trying to do this with Overpass, but wasn't sure how to do it exactly, and also I gave up because it was timing out. I see you've got a longer timeout set there too, so it works!

An advantage of this, is that it retrieves a proper boundary around London too. I guess that's part of what makes it take quite a long time though. My approach with osmosis just did a London bbox (although you can do polygon boundaries with osmosis).

I feel bad for the overpass server though sometimes, making it do these biggish queries. It feels kinder to do big data-crunching on my own machine.

Tree named pubs of London 4 months ago

Blimey. Are we actually just drinking in tree-named pubs?? :-)

Ok ok. Something must be done about this. I've refined the grepping and re-run it to include some tree types: grep -Ei "\btree|\bbush|\bAlder\b|\bApple\b|\bAsh\b|\bAspen\b|\bBeech\b|\bBirch\b|\bBlackthorn\b|\bBuckthorn\b|\bCedar\b|\bCherry\b|\bChestnut\b|\bCrab apple\b|\bCypress\b|\bDogwood\b|\bElder\b|\bElm\b|\bEucalyptus\b|\bFir\b|\bHawthorn\b|\bHazel\b|\bHemlock\b|\bHolly\b|\bHornbeam\b|\bJuniper\b|\bLarch\b|\bLime\b|\bMaple\b|\bMonkey puzzle\b|\bOak\b|\bPear\b|\bPine\b|\bPlane\b|\bPlum\b|\bPoplar\b|\bRowan\b|\bSilver Birch\b|\bSpindle\b|\bSpruce\b|\bSycamore\b|\bWalnut\b|\bWhitebeam\b|\bWillow\b|\bYew\b"

That's taken us from 105 tree-named pubs up to 221. Of these 74 are "Royal Oaks"

Tree named pubs of London 4 months ago

Oh I completely forgot we regularly go to a pub called "The Monkey Puzzle". That's should really count as a tree named pub, which raises the question, what words/phrases for tree species names should be listed out to get a more complete list including names like that. I guess if we include "Oak" then that's going to hit upon a whole load more pubs!

Mapillarising Brazil 5 months ago

Thanks. Yeah I've just about managed to learn how to pronounce it (badly), but spelling Guarulhos is too much.

Mapillarising Brazil 5 months ago

Aye. She was bored back then too :-(

OSM Analytics launched! 5 months ago

Sorry I missed the missing maps event. Good to be able to catch up with a video!

So I was just trying out the tool and bit more, while at the same time making a wiki page for 'OSM Analytics' ...and the screenshot is "Image of the week".

School Edit Tracker 5 months ago

Yeah. A tool like this definitely creates an impression that is a competition, which can be a problem. I think that's something to bear in mind when choosing when to deploy it. There was something about the school project which was almost competition-like. We had a lot of isolated school cases to look through and edit in a fairly clear way which lots of people could get involved in.

Of course there's always lots of ways of gaming the system to score more points in a way which might not be all that helpful, and sometimes in ways which are helpful. For instance with these schools, I noticed somebody could go on a rampage just adding the isced:level tag based on the name of the school. A helpful contribution I suppose, but also an easy way to touch a lot of school objects and win the competition!

My previous uses of the tracker tool were more basic aerial imagery armchair mapping ideas. The wimbledon tennis courts project of the week and my Big Baseball Project. The baseball project had the advantage of being naturally US-focused and so we were only messing up crappy US data (and in 2011 it was mostly crappy data).

For UK projects, armchair mapping concerns are more of a problem. In fact I personally didn't get stuck into editing lots of schools, because whenever I looked at one I ended up thinking "you know I can't actually be sure where the outline of this school is. It really needs to be mapped by somebody who knows it"

What I'd really like is some way of making a competition out of recruiting more mappers. Maybe we could do something like "affiliate tracking links" where if somebody signs up to OpenStreetMap using a link you sent them, then you win! Of course that might encourage people to launch over-zealous spamming campaigns :-/

A missing zoo! 6 months ago

Ha! Doesn't surprise me at all that this was needed. Thanks!

A missing zoo! 6 months ago

oh yeah. Just a Gibbon so far in Perth zoo :-)

Statistical data of the Dutch OSM mappers. 8 months ago

'central way to register' or the welcome messages could just be public. Hence my suggestion to welcome people on their first changeset (use public changeset discussions)

Statistical data of the Dutch OSM mappers. 8 months ago

There's that "Long tail" shape again. I did a whole talk about this at SOTM2014

The welcome program is a great idea. Maybe the effect on the stats would be to "help users up the curve" thereby making the long tail and the elite spike less spiky. Or maybe not. It might also encourage more users to come along, making it longer. Either way, giving new users a good welcome will help build an OpenStreetMap community. It's only logical.

There was some talk of a having an OSMF working group dedicated to the idea, but I don't think it was established in the end.

I wonder whether the new changeset discussions feature might be useful for welcoming people. This is a strange idea really, because just sending an OSM message is more appropriate, but... changeset discussions are public, which changes the dynamic somewhat. What if we establish a convention of welcoming somebody on their 1st changeset? Then we can all collaborate on making sure new users get welcomed in a friendly way without accidentally duplicating messages and effort

10 years 8 months ago

Happy 10year OSMversary Maning! Ooh. I'm just noticing mine is coming up next month. It's been a fun 10 years hey?

Should we teach JOSM to first-time mapathon attendees? 10 months ago

We actually used to introduce people to JOSM from the get-go a lot more than we do now. Certainly at humanitarian events I've organised before Missing Maps started. In fact there was one back in 2010 where I had no choice, because we needed WMS-supplied imagery. And on that occasion it was bit of a nightmare. Thankfully things have moved on a lot since those days (most of the JOSM UI issues I mentioned there have been fixed since, and we're better at finding ways of not using WMS imagery) Even at the first few Missing Maps events, we followed the approach of presenting the choice, but then demoing the install of JOSM, or asking people to come with JOSM installed.

Why did we move to a more iD-ish approach? I think we used to have a very high proportion of absolute beginners, and some early experiences of mapathons, put us off JOSM a bit. It felt very chaotic as >50 people started downloading JOSM for the first time (the download itself can immediately create an internet bandwidth issue for a start) and then asking questions about how to install on different operating systems and versions of java!

But yeah I've always said, new users are actually better off going straight to JOSM, for a better more fluid editing experience. BUT.... certain types of new users will find it easier. As Pete says, "people who deal with any / many types of software professionally", which is probably at least 50% of the new folks coming to these events actually. So the thing is, depending on this proportion, and the number of experienced people you have on hand to help... getting lots of beginners started on iD can be a lot easier for event organisers. With iD you can write out instructions which will work for everyone, and these will fit on one piece of paper.

Via Monte Napoleone 10 months ago

I like it! In fact I've just made it OpenStreetMap "image of the week" this week!

I get why so many people just don't bother to even try to vote for the OSMF when things like this happen 10 months ago

Yeah. You do need to vote before the (very clearly stated) voting deadline. Sorry :-(