OJW's diary

Recent diary entries


Posted by OJW on 12 August 2013 in English (English)

I see that the UK has claimed Rockall again, in OSM…

Location: Western Isles, Scotland, United Kingdom

DWG polls

Posted by OJW on 7 June 2012 in English (English)

On 7 June 2012 11:13, Frederik Ramm wrote: > Dear OSMF members, > I would like to hear your opinion about > A. Suspected Copyright Violations > Such a policy could for example be one of > * “Data for which no credible source is given in the changeset or on request > by the contributing mapper is subject to deletion.

Good to see that the most extreme option being considered here is still one step less than Wikipedia’s “delete anything for which we don’t have notarised permission from an identifiable individual who has proven their ownership of the work being contributed”!

Automatic POI->Building?

Posted by OJW on 1 March 2012 in English (English)

For a moment there I thought JOSM had done something surprisingly cool. I can't make it happen again though so maybe I was dreaming...

When you draw a building using the Buildings tool/plugin, and the building you create contains a POI node such as a pub or cafe or restaurant or bank... should JOSM apply those POI tags to your new building and remove the node?

external keys

Posted by OJW on 17 September 2011 in English (English)

Ahh, the junk that some people put into OSM...

icao= tags should contain precisely 4 uppercase A-Z characters. Not cryllic. Not unicode. Not essays about how you hope to discover the airport's code.

Completed Walton

Posted by OJW on 6 November 2010 in English (English)

All the houses and buildings in Walton on Thames (up to the Thames/Reservoirs/Railway, and excluding Oatlands) should now be in the OSM map, thanks to aerial photography from the Surrey Air Survey

Location: Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, South East, England, KT12 1DA, United Kingdom

Inadvertant translation?

Posted by OJW on 21 March 2010 in English (English)

So why do the (View / Edit) links on diary entries sometimes appear as (Anzeigen / Bearbeiten)? Isn't it based on the language of the person viewing the diary?


Posted by OJW on 6 March 2010 in English (English)

Anyone notice that Aberdeen suburbs are almost entirely Yahoo tracing without road names?

Location: Northfield, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, Scotland, AB16 7HP, United Kingdom

EGPD (but no EGPS)

Posted by OJW on 6 March 2010 in English (English)

Labelled a few bits of Aberdeen Airport that I happened to notice while visiting. The whole area has good yahoo images but doesn't seem to have had anyone from OSM to do the street names.

There's another terminal at Aberdeen Dyce operated by CHC Scotia, but I'm not quite sure which building is their main "departure lounge"-type place

However, Longside airport seems to be completely missing. As the backup airport for lots of helicopters travelling to aberdeen, it might be useful to map that sometime.

Location: Dyce, Aberdeen City, Scotland, AB21 7AU, United Kingdom

Blank cheque

Posted by OJW on 28 July 2009 in English (English)

"CloudMade reserves the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of these Terms at any time without notice to you. All changes shall be effective immediately."

so how about just change the terms to "you must donate all your proprietary data to OSM", wait for their website to download another tile, then inform your customers of their new obligations ;)

Buildings without aerial photos

Posted by OJW on 26 July 2009 in English (English)

just been doing a few buildings, with positions guessed based on the view from the street (e.g. 4 houses between x and y)

Location: Harpur, Bedford, East of England, England, MK41 7LQ, United Kingdom

trying the cloudmade style-editor

Posted by OJW on 25 July 2009 in English (English)

Following-on from Nick's talk about how OSM (and specifically cloudmade) allows highly specialist maps, I've been trying to create an aeronautical chart as a cloudmade layer.

Now, some aspects of this are never going to be possible in a generic map editor, and I'm not expecting it to rotate symbols according to magnetic variation or any of the other weird stuff that specialised software would do.

Similarly, some data is never going to be available in OSM, e.g. airways and approaches that only exist within proprietary datasets and can't be seen on the ground (so to speak ;) We're not yet encouraging people to leave their GPS on during airliner landings!

However, it would be nice to have a map layer where you can browse airports, so if you want to buzz around Kent in your flight sim, you can easily see "ah, I want EGMD to EGMH", then zoom-in and see the runways available.

Maybe a few navaids could be entered into OSM by particularly keen mappers (and they could even listen to it on the radio to figure-out the frequency/ident without consulting proprietary charts!)

For display in the helicopter cockpit you might want something that looks like a low-flying chart, with power lines, television masts and tall buildings in bold red, that also shows wildlife sanctuaries, gliding clubs, heliports, etc.

So, onto cloudmade editor, and see how much of this is currently possible. Other options include Kosmos (which is very good at this sort of thing - - but only works on smallish OSM files), or running your own Mapnik (which I intend to try once I figure-out wtf my PC's postgres password is set to...)

The main issue which will limit the development of specialised maps, is that only a smallish set of objects have been listed as viewable on CM. For example, "airport' (and aerodrome - does anyone really understand the difference between these?) are available but I can't show runways or buildings or comms towers or heliports or lighthouses or {whatever} unless they're in the object list already.

(Is this a fundamental limit of cloudmade editor, where the data has been pre-simplified to a set of approved objects, or is it just a decision to simplify the UI by not exposing key=value filters to people editing?)

Another thing which seems to have been pre-chosen by the software is the zoom levels. While you can choose the zoom levels where features appear, this seems to have been limited so that you can't for example have power lines below zoom-14 because the options are greyed-out. Then the zoom-levels at which *labels* appear seems to be completely hardcoded - you can't make airport names appear on a map of the whole of UK, even if their symbols are visible (but it's perfectly happy to display city names at that zoom level).

There are various stylistic decisions which have been made by the software already, e.g. power lines must be dashed, and the width attribute disappears. Areas allow you to edit their fill, but not their outline. Icons are all preset (fair enough, you don't want us uploading images with all sorts of libpng exploits in) which limits it a bit for specialised maps.

Turning-off road names *must* be possible, since the 'clean' styles need it - I must just have missed the control to activate that... (roads are always useful as background information, even if you're not creating a road map)

So, after a bit of playing I've got a map showing just airports and terminal buildings, but most of the other features turn out to be quite elusive in this editor.

Other wishlists:

* Filtering by attributes. Say, all buildings with height > 20m are a potential hazard that needs to be marked, or remove roads that are in tunnels (Kosmos is very good at this)

* Customisable labels, that can contain any OSM tag from the data, e.g. "{name} - {icao}". (I guess the i18n people will also be pushing for this one?)

Wretched hive of scum and villainy

Posted by OJW on 18 May 2009 in English (English)

We were in Milton Keynes at the weekend, for the mapping party. During Saturday night, various components were stolen from my bike needing £95 of repairs, and on the same night, the OSM banner was stolen.

Meanwhile, the police had enough free time to stop and question one of our surveyors for the crime of photographing a bus stop...

Location: Central Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes, South East, England, United Kingdom


Posted by OJW on 29 April 2009 in English (English)

From WindowsUpdate:

"Internet Explorer 8 is the latest version of the familiar Web browser that you are most comfortable using."

I somehow doubt that

Just some roads around hotel

Posted by OJW on 19 July 2008 in English (English)

in Dublin. There are more unnamed roads nearby

one interesting feature that's difficult to map - there are several roads which are unexpectedly difficult to cross given their size (no traffic islands, no pedestrian lights anywhere, and views obstructed by the curve of a bridge)

Location: Portobello, Wood Quay B ED, Dublin 8, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

New houses

Posted by OJW on 17 July 2008 in English (English)

So I show the OSM website to someone at work today, and their first response is "my street isn't on the map"

This is weird - the person lives in Bedford which is within range of at least 2 OSM mappers. So what went wrong?

Well it turns out that they live in an estate that was still a muddy construction site just 2 years ago when the area was last surveyed. Since then it's become a housing estate with loads of dodgy modern houses in various stages of construction.

So I went to visit and made a map of the area. But watch out -- something which is a cornfield one day may be someone's house the next day, and if you only visit the place once you might miss it...

(use osmarender layer to see latest maps, while mapnik is still showing old maps)

Location: Brickhill, Bedford, East of England, England, United Kingdom


Posted by OJW on 17 July 2008 in English (English)

Uploaded my notebook scribblings from the OSM conference:

Location: Newcastle, Ballysimon, The Metropolitan District of Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster, Ireland

Dublin Temple Bar

Posted by OJW on 17 July 2008 in English (English)

OK, so wandered around Temple Bar area of Dublin at the weekend, just need to add those to the map now. I got a bunch of Irish-language street names -- is there any name:ga=... renderer that will display them yet?

Location: Royal Exchange A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Bletchley to Bedford, national cycle route

Posted by OJW on 18 May 2008 in English (English)

Just back from the cycle ride - we aimed to get part of the the National Cycle Route 51

Hopefully we have recorded all of that cycle route which exists. The round-trip distance (for me) was 65 miles. Shaun McDonald is (as of 8pm) setting-off for his return trip cycling back to Bletchley, so wish him luck getting back okay.

Location: Bletchley and Fenny Stratford, Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes, South East, England, United Kingdom

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Posted by OJW on 9 May 2008 in English (English)

Building outlines from aerial pics. (select the osmarender layer)

Still can't find a good PD sketch-map of what all the building names are. Anyone who works there want to help?

Location: Ulmar, Alameda County, California, CA 94551, USA

Wind turbines

Posted by OJW on 30 April 2008 in English (English)

Looks like the wind farm has rendered on potlatch.

The proposed tag: power=generator; power_source=wind doesn't have any effect yet

Using man_made=power_wind works on mapnik

Neither are shown on osmarender layer - this would be quite useful, as you could see them without waiting a week for mapnik

I think the location might be this one?

Location: Alameda County, California, USA