Jan Olieslagers

Mapper since:
November 14, 2010

Mainly mapping aerodromes all over Europe, with attention to standardisation. Also harmonising aerodrome information between various open sources of information. And occasionally some small correction or addition near where I live , in Portugal.

Some guidelines/habits/preferences I apply for mapping aerodromes:

  • define an “aeroplane” broadly: airliners, helicopters, gliders; but not drones or R/C models
  • define an “aerodrome” in the ICAO meaning of the word: any terrain, on land or water, used exclusively or not for the operation of aeroplanes
  • every aerodrome should have one or more runways or helipads
  • every runway should be part of an aerodrome or airstrip
  • very simple aerodromes may be mapped as “aeroway=airstrip”, or “aeroway=aerodrome” plus “aerodrome=airstrip”
  • “aeroway=airstrip” is thus an alternative for “aeroway=aerodrome”, not for “aeroway=runway”;
  • aerodromes for use only by helicopters can be “aeroway=heliport”;
  • if an airstrip consists of only a runway, then we can have separate entries for the runway and the airstrip, overlapping; this is my very personal exception to the rule of “one thing in the terrain, one entry in the OSM database” principle; the reason is that flight planning goes from aerodrome to aerodrome, not from runway to runway;
  • terrains for R/C, drones, parapente, hang-gliding, free flying &c to be mapped “leisure=pitch”+”sport=…” ; optionally can also get “aeroway=airstrip”. This is common practice (not introduced by me!) for ULM terrains in France;
  • like with all other entries, care should be taken to avoid double information in the database. Often I come across a terrain mapped both as a node and as a way, I consider this a quite grave error;
  • removing aerodrome entries should be very exceptional: only when not anything of the field remains visible can it be considered. Even then, it is very likely to be re-added, which can even lead to revert-wars. Much better to add an extra tag like “disused=yes” or even change the basic entry to “ruins:aeroway=aerodrome”;
  • contrary to what the wiki states, I consider it acceptable, sometimes even preferrable, to map a runway as an area rather than as a line. The tag area:aeroway=runway should imho be avoided, it only wastes valuable database storage capacity;