Hello, dear OSM passionates :)

Eastern Latvia (Latgalia), and Western Russia require our work!

It would be great if you guys could help me.

Those territories are a total OSM leftover and really needs a lot of work.

What is usually wrong? A) Eastern Latvia: ROAD MISTAKES: - Roads drawn where they don’t exist (or the opposite), - Non existing sharp curves, - Main dirt roads shown as single forest/field road, and the opposite. - Roads to possessions shown as main roads or not shown at all. NAMES: - Name mistakes (recently corrected, for instance, Goliševa - someone had written Golyševa), - Infrastructure main names (border checkpoints, etc.) written in other languages than Latvian as the main name (Russian or English usually that should be moved to from the name tag to name:en and name:ru, etc.)… OTHER: - Rivers, canals, etc. not drawn

B) Western Russia (Close to the border with Latvia and with Estonia): - Lots of roads haven’t been drawn on OSM despite existing. Maybe they are not roads of high importance, but this work must be done as people all around the world use OSM and OSM-based GPS maps. Remember people living in those remote villages may be using that app. - Lots of lakes, forrests, etc. not drawn on the map.

You won’t get bored anytime soon if you start taking care of those beautiful regions :)

Btw, I wanted to ask our Latvian users: is it possible to used as a source?

Kind regards,


Location: Barsuki, Ludzas novads, Latgale, Latvia


Comment from Piskvor on 1 August 2017 at 07:58


is this necessary to be done fully on-the-ground, or would tracing from aerial imagery also help?

Comment from Jay May on 1 August 2017 at 08:46

Errr, I am not sure I understood your question. :D In my case, I always use the ID editing mode. Is your question about it?

Comment from Piskvor on 1 August 2017 at 08:53

Sorry, I’ll try to be more clear: I am not physically near Latvia or Russia; is there a way I can help with the mapping (e.g. tracing roads from satellite pictures), or is the work that’s needed “physically go into the terrain and see”?

Comment from Jay May on 1 August 2017 at 10:18

Well, actually both tasks are extremely useful. But, of course, if you are not close to Latvia or Russia, you can trace from satellite pictures!

I mostly trace from satellite pictures, but if I drive somewhere (or ride on my bike) and I see some inaccuracies or missing items, I draw them.

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 2 August 2017 at 07:08

A good way to help may well be via - there’s a lot of GPS data available indicating some of the more heavily used roads.

Comment from Jay May on 2 August 2017 at 09:26

Nice one! I didn’t know that one.actually. However, it seems not to be very user-friendly. Or perhaps it’s only on my computer it doesn’t work properly (when I try to continue a line, it doesn’t show me that option)

Comment from Road–Runner on 2 August 2017 at 20:04

Hi, The problem is that with armchair mapping a lot of issues can’t be fixed (it’s difficult to see if a forest track is a main dirt road, also we don’t know the names). However unmapped rivers are getting rare in Europe and personaly I like to trace them.

Normaly we can’t use commercial maps (and that clearly seems to be one) as a source but maybe you can ask them? They are also using OSM as background (without attribution ;-) ).

Comment from norcross on 10 August 2017 at 21:06

Where do the wrong roads come from? Was there any import or just some douchebag mappers?

Comment from Jay May on 11 August 2017 at 06:28

This is an excellent question. I believe perhaps at the places where those roads were badly drawn, the satellite images were showing clouds instead of ground, and they based themselves on data from other service providers. I’m afraid we’ll never known.

I’ve been mapping a bit Southern Latvia after having driven there. There is also a lot of data missing there. I noticed that for Latvia, people tend to neglect local and field/forest roads while those can be of high importance for bikers, pedestrians, and so on. As Roadrenner wrote, it is sometimes difficult to know whether such a road should be classified as “field/forest”, “local”, or “main”. However, it is still better to classify it as “field/forest” instead of “main” than not drawing those roads at all.

I noticed also a lot of mistakes, like roads leading to a property classified as main ones, or dirt roads classified as primary (which led my OSM-based GPS to lead me through Emburga while driving from Jelgava to Bauska)

Comment from Jay May on 22 September 2017 at 12:58

Eastern Latvia is really a neverending story …

Such a lot of zones with roads drawn totally randomly. Sometimes 500 meters from their real place. Sometimes drawn as a straight line when they are full of curves. Sometimes property accesses or service roads driven as tertiary or unclassified roads … It is a real mess.

We really need to keep on working hard on Eastern Latvia because it is a total mess.

Who can help me? :)

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