Recent diary entries
At the weekend I visited the last street in West Lothian that wasn’t on OpenStreetMap. There are many quality control applications or websites where you can check for errors in the OpenStreetMap data. In the UK, ITO have a site where they use the open data from the Ordnance Survey to show the discrepancies. Usually these are because of new residential streets where new houses have been built. This is what it showed for my missing street.
The building work was not quite complete, but most of the houses were finished and occupied. One crucial item that has still to be installed is the sign to tell you the name of the street. As I walked around the street with my GPS, I noticed the postman was just starting his deliveries here. I asked him if it was “Plessey Terrace” and he confirmed that it was, admitting “it’s my first time here, too”.
It may take a few days for the ITO site to show my addition, but then it will be at 100% (well, at least for a while).
I have also been experimenting with Mapillary. It is a crowd-sourced version of Google’s Streetview and you can use the images for mapping, unlike Google’s which are copyright. I bought a windscreen mount for my iPhone so that I could use it for navigation, but it works well for capturing images (after I took a hacksaw to the corner that was blocking the camera). It was a bright sunny morning with a frost on the ground, so I made sure I was driving with the sun behind me and captured the new street here.
This looks like it could be a useful mapping tool in the future.
The sun eventually came out this afternoon, so I decided to cycle to Armadale and add a few new streets to the map. I had a printout of the ISO OSM Analysis map which showed seven streets that were on the Ordnance Survey’s map but not on OSM. There was a strong cool breeze blowing from the East which gave me a nice easy ride from Livingston.
I arrived at the railway station in Armadale which had not been mapped completely, and since it was practically deserted, I spent a few minutes cycling along every aisle in the car park to get a record on my GPS. Then on to the new housing estate nearby. I managed to find all seven streets to match the missing ones but I think I may have to return once the builders have finished as there are some more new streets still under construction and not enough signs to tell you which street is which. The cycle back home was a struggle since I was now heading into the wind, However, I had gathered a lot of useful data which should help to move West Lothian up from 98.59% completeness figure.
There is so much to find out about OSM. It would be good if it was all in one place and documented better.