I am passionate about maps and traveling since my childhood. I lived in 6 countries across the world and both my parents are of 2 different continents (I was born in a 3rd country :D ). Thus, I am lucky enough to speak 5 languages fluently and 2 almost fluently.
I make different kind of maps on Google My Maps (so far mainly for my acquaintances). In openstreetmap, I find something I can’t find on Google: I can make that map better.
Each time I correct something, it is thanks to good sources or because I saw the configuration of the place on my own. However, as no one is perfect, I can also make mistakes :) If you see one, please discuss it with me before deleting anything.
You can write to me in English, French, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese - those are the languages I speak fluently. I also speak Russian and Lithuanian (not bad in oral communication, but I read very slowly) and I understand Catalan, Galego and Italian :)
Usually I’ll be modifying:
A) Names (mainly adding names in different languages).
A-1) If we are talking about Polish names in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia and Germany, I do not use only Wikipedia as a source, but also Polish government documents on names abroad:
- Lithuania: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_litwa.pdf
- Belarus: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_bialorus.pdf
- Ukraine: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_ukraina.pdf
- Russia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_rosja.pdf
- Czechia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_czechy.pdf;
- Slovakia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_slowacja.pdf
- Europe overall: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_europa.pdf
- World: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wykaz_polskich_nazw_geograficznych.pdf
However, for this matter, I use mostly pre-war Polish maps (http://igrek.amzp.pl/; http://www.kami.net.pl/kresy/), which are a very interesting and complete source as they allow to find not only the correct translation, but also old village and town names when they changed. Such name changes (especially endings) are often the case, for instance, in Lithuania (ex.: Kaspariškės used to be Kaspariškiai) and Latvia. In such cases I’ll be using the tag “old_name”. It is a bit different in nowadays’ Belarus, where most of all some villages with similar names were merged, and some places lost their Christian-related or Polish-patriotic-related names to make them sound more communist). Often, “yzna” endings were replaced with “yna” (“ына” or “ина”), but the name with “yzna” is still used by local people. There are monuments for which I’ll be using various sources (ex.: http://www.umk.pl/~zenkiewicz/Publikacje/wykaz.php)
A-2) I will also be adding names in various languages (recently I added, for instance, “Bâle” in French to “Basel”).
A-3) For Belarusian names abroad: I will be putting traditional Belarusian names in “name:be” (ex.: Вільня, Лібава, Шумск, Меднікі, Свянцяны) as those are the ones that are used most in spoken language, poetry and so on. However, I will leave the transliteration-names in “alt_name:be” (ex.: Вільнюс, Ліепая, Шумскас, Мядзінінкай, Швянчёніс) for OSM and derived GPS app users to be able to find them. If by mistake I forget to create the “alt_name:be” tag, please warn me ASAP.
A-4) For Lithuanian names abroad, I can use various sources too, for instance historical documents like this one: http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/showImage.do?id=DOC_O_85888_1&biRecordId=7942
A-5) Overall, for other multilingual names (or sometimes street names where they don’t appear), I use various paper maps and various Internet sources. I don’t use Google Maps as OSM doesn’t allow it.
A-6) If the names are in other alphabets than Latin (ex.: Russian Cyrillic) and their equivalent is in a language written with the Latin alphabet (ex.: Polish) but the name was changed overtime, I always put first the current name in the appropriate tag (name:pl), with the old name in brackets. Why? Because not everyone can read other alphabets than Latin. 2 examples: Цары (Cary) in Belarus was named „Trzeci Maj” during the 2nd Polish republic. It was changed into Цары (the Tsars) by communists as the name referred to the 3rd May constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. Thus, in the name:pl tag I put “Cary (Trzeci Maj)”.
A-7) In most of the cases, I don’t do it in the case those changed names are both written in the same alphabet for obvious reasons: everyone can read them. Thus, in this case, I use the “old_name” tags. However, if there is an internal dispute over such names, I do (ex.: Justiniškės in Vilnius – they are referred to as “Justyniszki” by most local Poles and such is the name currently accepted by the Polish government, but some keep calling it “Justynówka” as the pre-war village at the same place.
B) Roads, border checkpoints, bike paths (usually I drove through those I correct beforewards, but otherwise you can find data or pics on other Websites, etc.) I tend to use satellite images to make river, lake, road and path contours as accurate as possible.
B-1) For border checkpoints, as per OSM instructions, I try put the “border control” pushpin where the controls actually take place and not at the very border, like it is often the case currently. I’ll also try to tag thee appropriate lanes (ex. Green channel, all passports, “TIR” for truck lanes, etc.). This is most of all in order to help GPS app users (like maps.me – the base of which is OSM) to find the correct lane before they arrive to the border checkpoint.
B-2) Some border checkpoints have expanded, which is not always visible on OSM. I’ll also try to reflect that. Sometimes press sources can be useful for such matters (ex.: delfi.lv, etc.). However, I’ll be mainly using the borderguard sources of the respective countries.
B-3) If I state a border checkpoint is “only for local traffic”, this means not everyone can use it. It is an extremely important info, the aim of which is for people to avoid making hundreds of miles and wasting time and money unduly.
B-4) I will also add “border control” pushpins where passport controls within one country do actually take place (recently done in Lithuania and Belarus for border zone entering/exiting zones). I will remove any “border control” tag wherever I find it between 2 Schengen-zone countries.
B-5) If no international reference (int_ref) tag appears where it should (ex. on the road Prague-Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn, it should be E67), I will add them.
C) Road common names: I will try to add the common or historic names used apart of the road number. For example: Via Baltica (Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn), Autostrada Wolności (Polish A2), Autoroute du Nord (French A1) , Juodasis kelias (Vilnius-Šumskas road), etc. I might move the current names used (ex.: “Rīga-Bauska-Lietuvas robeža (Grenctāle)” in Latvia) to the tag “alt_name”.
D) Road reclassification, favorizing village/town/city bypasses: there are a lot of places, for instance in Belarus, where bypasses have been made but because of illogical numeration they appear as a low-category road and OSM makes you drive through the center, thus making your journey longer and making the life of local people worse. Also, there are sometimes roads leading to nowhere or non-asphalted but classified as “primary”. I will also change that. Unfortunately, this is not something I can do in all countries because not all users allow it (ex.: Lithuania, Estonia)
N.B.: Countries to which I drive (or ride my bike) most often (in frequence order), for which I may modify things “de visu” most often
EASTERN LATVIA AND WESTERN RUSSIA NEED OUR HELP!
If someone could help me with Eastern Latvia (Latgalia), it would be great. That part of the country is a total OSM leftover and really needs a lot of work. Roads drawn where they don’t exist (or the opposite), non existing sharp curves, name mistakes, infrastructure main names (border checkpoints, etc.) written in other languages than Latvian as the main name (Russian or English usually)… You won’t get bored soon if you start taking care of that beautiful region :)
Same for Western Russia. Close to the border with Latvia and with Estonia, lots of roads haven’t been drawn on OSM despite existing.
2 FUTURE PROJECTS FOR WHICH I WILL NEED HELP:
PROJECT 1 (STARTED): BELARUS: NAMES ACCORDING TO THE REALITY:
Following an Act regulating naming in Belarus (Закон Республики Беларусь от 16.11.2010 №190-З “О наименованиях географических объектов”), all names should be in Belarusian language and transliterated to Russian if needed. However, it is hard to convince the Belarusian community … To be honest, IMO, names should be either in Both languages (Belarusian as first), either as they appear (in the majority of the country, village names are in Belarusian, but there are some villages that appear in Russian). That is a long run issue.
Later on, I will see if Kazakhstan is not in the same case
PROJECT 2: MULTILINGUAL NAMES IN EUROPE AS THEY APPEAR ON-SPOT:
I also plan to put bilingual, trilingual or quadrilingual names across Europe just as they appear on spot in the “name” tag. This will allow people using OSM to identify these zones easily and tourists to find them quickly. The following countries or zones will be concerned:
- Finland (ex.: Helsinki / Helsingfors, Espoo / Esbo …)
- Sweden (ex.: Strömsund / Straejmie …)
- Norway (ex. : Børselv / Pyssyjoki / Bissojohka)
- Denmark (ex. : Haderslev / Hadersleben)
- Germany (ex. : Bautzen / Budyšin, Cottbus / Chóśebuz…)
- Poland (ex. : Biała / Zülz, Buda Zawidugierska / Vidugirių Būda …)
- Ukraine (ex. : Малі Геївці / Kisgejőc …)
- Slovakia (ex.: Svätý Peter / Szentpéter, Nižný Tvarožec / Нижни Тварожец …)
- Czechia (ex.: Český Tĕšín / Czeski Cieszyn, Jablunkov / Jabłonków…)
- Austria (ex.: Klagenfurt / Celovec, Neudorf / Novo Selo …)
- Hungary (Répáshuta / Repašská Huta, Csömör / Čemer / Tschemer)
- Slovenia (Koper / Capodistria, Dolgovaške Gorice / Hosszúfaluhegy )
- Croatia (Novigrad / Cittanova, Donji Lapac / Доњи Лапац, Daruvarski Brestovac / Daruvarský Brestov …)
- Montenegro (Vladimir / Katerkolle …)
- Serbia (Зрењанин / Zrenjanin / Петровград / Nagybecskerek / Zreňanin / Zrenianin …)
- Kosovo (put all names as they appear on-spot: Albanian / Serbian Latin)
- Macedonia (Ратае / Ratajë, Тетово / Tetovë …)
- Italy (Poffabro / Pofàvri, Aosta / Aoste, Sassuolo / Sasôl…)
- France (Oloron-Sainte-Marie / Auloron-Senta-Maria, Perpignan / Perpinyà …)
- The Netherlands (Starum / Stavoren, Meijel / Méél …)
- Ireland (all names as thye appear on-spot: Irish Gaelic / English)
- Romania (Breaza / Beresztelke, Baia Mare / Nagybánya / Neustadt …)
- Portugal (Duas Igrejas / Dues Eigreijas …)
- Luxembourg (all names as they appear on-spot: in French or German / Luxembourguish)
- Estonia (Tuksi / Bergsby, Elbiku / Ölbäck…)
There are countries where bilingual names already appear in the “name” tag on OSM, as they do on-spot. However, either some new names appeared in the meantime (for instance in Asturian in Spain), either some have been forgotten. It is mainly the linguistic facility towns in Belgium (like Sint-Genesius-Rode, which appear with bilingual names on spot: Sint-Genesius-Rode / Rhode-Saint-Genèse).
Dear OSM users! Once again, please leave politics aside, or to other map service providers! Reflect reality! Not wannabe-realities.
Kind regards to all users :),