Harry Wood has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Copying from Google Maps 16 days ago

I feel like the "Don't copy from google maps" thing is something we've repeated on various contact channels endlessly. These days id is prompting people to set a 'source' a bit more, and we can use changeset comments, but we should link people to official looking advice. Where's the best advice place to link to? Maybe this FAQ entry.

Notes are brilliant 16 days ago

I agree. Notes are brilliant. I gave them special mention in my recent talk on ways of contributing to OpenStreetMap, trying to leave it towards the end so that people remember it even if some of the other suggestions look scary and complicated.

I feel like there's even greater potential than we are currently realising. There's things we could do to make adding notes using the website better (and make the notes that are added better), although we should be careful to resist making it more complicated. It could be integrated into "report a problem" links on other map sites better. And lots of tools we could build (or perhaps roll improvements into the main site) for mappers to browse all the notes. Lots of untapped potential there.

Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 3 months ago

Oh geez. I just followed that link to Severin's diary entry. What a load of hogwash. He's still working so hard to damage HOT after all this time. And I guess we can take Alex's comment as indication that people read this stuff and believe it. Part of me is tempted to go to work on setting the record straight, but a bigger part of me has no energy left for fighting that fight.

Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 4 months ago

Shutting down the osmf-talk@ mailing list? hmmm. interesting idea. "When people accuse the lists of being 'toxic', this is invariably the one they mean." That's true recently, but angry flamewars have erupted on other discussion channels in the past. The talk@ list hasn't always been a pussy cat. Isn't it the case that angry discussions will occasionally happen wherever discussions happen? Perhaps more so for election related discussions. It could be a good symbolic move, to show that the issue of toxic mailing lists is being taken seriously.

I agree about the force-subscribing being an issue. I think that decision was taken too rapidly by somebody a few years ago. Fresh-faced foundation members should not find themselves bombarded by angry discussion emails. Seems to me it was always a bad idea.

That's a change we can make. Perhaps we could also go back to people who were force-subscribed recently and say "We're not doing this for new members any more, and we'll understand if you want to drop off this discussion list too. It's not a requirement". Or of course if we were shutting down osmf-talk, then we wouldn't need to do that.

One thing left behind by that, is the loss of any "push mechanism" (email) for important news about the foundation. The osmf-announce read-only email list is a thing, but it hasn't been used since 2014. Perhaps for good reason. Solving this is more CWG's realm. We're less actively involved in solving mailing list moderation issues, and while I think we could regard CWG as a final arbiter on mailing list issues, I would happily punt that job off to a new "Discussions working group" or something. But what we are involved in is trying put out news and announcements on foundation matters. We currently do this via the blog and social media. That's not pushing emails though. Perhaps if we could send blog content to osmf-members by email somehow, that would fill that gap. Note: I'm mostly thinking about what the default new member experience should be. Obviously any email mechanism would allow opt-out.

Proposed Admin Levels for Turkmenistan 5 months ago

I have general comments on the use of admin_level=11. This is not a desirable tag to be using because the initial conception of this tag was that it takes a value from 1 to 10. Simple.

Local countries then devise a mapping across from their administrative levels onto these numerical values. If you are finding your country needs to map across onto value 11, then it means something went wrong with that, and the mapping was devised badly in the first place.

To put it another way. Don't look at this list of countries and say "hey I think we should join the club of countries with extra-fine-grained admin levels". Instead you should think "Hopefully we can avoid joining this list of countries who have foolishly failed to map their admin level values correctly".

Zoffany Street 8 months ago

heh. I wondered what the first hyper detailed mapping comment would be. The diagonal fence does look a bit like a mapping mistake hey? but no. It's diagonal. Although it might not be very accurately done. Can't see it all in bing. It's all new. And quite a tall fence. I'll have to fly drone there some time.

OpenStreetMap 13th Anniversary Birthday party in Minsk, Belarus 10 months ago

We're looking for featured image proposals at the moment. In fact we're overdue one for this week. I like the group photo including the cake. We just need an image uploading there with an open license.

Adding vector tiles to the components diagram 11 months ago

yes. Well OpenCycleMap is missing I noticed after writing this. In the interests of compactness we could probably just change "Transport Renderer" to "OpenCycleMap & Transport Map".

The other thing I added was connections to the "Front page map" from these things. This is the justification for including these specific renderers on the diagram at all. They're the featured tile layers.

The little database symbol below Transport Renderer, I suppose I'm thinking this vaguely represents a datastore of some kind, but this is the ThunderForest rendering stack. It could be expanded out. All gets a lot less compact then though. Then we're going towards the other diagram I want, which would show different types of vector tiles.

lazy Saturday morning about 1 year ago

Good stuff. Lots of green notes there! I'm working on widening my "note free radius" in London :-)

Meo choi bong da about 1 year ago


Long Names of OpenStreetMap over 1 year ago

I put reply to this on the wiki here: mainly because my osm account was weirdly broken for a while, and I couldn't reply here ... but also it's good to discuss 'name' issues there

Retaining New Users over 1 year ago

heh. Sorry yes. I suppose i might have been referring to your suggestions in the blog post, but no! I like your suggestions! There's just one spam comment above here (which will hopefully not remain here for too much longer)

Retaining New Users over 1 year ago


Heavy Usage on OSM Sites over 1 year ago

It might be a "quick" way to the info, but a "better" way to get the info would be the talk mailing list, the osmf-talk mailing list IRC, the OWG contact email, github issue, or ...actually pretty much any of the contact channels would have been more appropriate than a diary entry.

Heavy Usage on OSM Sites over 1 year ago

Why did you post this question as a user diary entry?

One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor... over 1 year ago

Unfortunately "Mordor" looked a bit like vandalism. A "V" shaped patch of woodland near Cork. I was asking about it here: but it has also just been deleted. I guess the route will stop working when that change flushes through

A Rant: The Way Beyond Craftmapping That Nobody Is Talking About over 1 year 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 over 1 year 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 almost 2 years 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! almost 2 years ago

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