PhysicsArmature's Diary

Recent diary entries

Emergecy Phones must be correct

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 19 September 2022 in English (English). Last updated on 20 September 2022.

Version 1: A violent situation occurred at this one spot in a college town. Street Level Imagery says no SOS Phone. I also mention no one checks OSM as they call 911 which means incorrect OSM data did not make the situation worse.

Version 2: I issue a retraction as I was informed. “The bing street view here is 7 years out of date”

Version 3 (this one right now): I went to the spot. I confirmed that no Emergency Phone was present.

Location: St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota, United States

Problem: Map a large volume of something that has distinct color.

Solution » High Level: * Highlight a sample square * Send a wanderer around in a perimeter * When the barrier is crossed, stop * Have the end user review

Solution » Low Level [LONG]: public main { //Describe sample square Let the user draw a square //Use sample square int minR, maxR, minB, maxB, minG, maxG; set all the mins to max value and all the max values to 0

for(every pixel in the square)
	does it need to be change one of the above 6 ints?

while(endCondition not triggered)
	walk around the perimieter and send it to addSquare()
	if the addSquare says add it, send it to approvedSpots[][]
		ignore it
		but in future versions subdivide the square into 4 areas recursivley to minSizeOfArea;

//Encase the area
Find our approved area and go to the top most point from the center.
Drop a point down
Go through the area, if 2 points are on the same line and not necessary, delete it. }

bool addSquare(all 6 rgb values, satteliteArea[][]) { //Filter out the blatantly false average out satteliteAreaRGB if satteliteArea violates the 6 rgb areas, return false.

//Check the square
for all the pixels, how many don't belong
percentDontBelong=numberDontBelong/howmany are in the satteliteArea
    Send it }

Concerns you might have: 1. Automation in OSM? The human has to: Define the sample and approve the result. 2. Junk Data: This would be a problem with a userbase, not a computational problem. We merely create tools. 3. What about non-90 degree angles? I agree that this would be a problem, I would hope someone made a tool that acts like the blender sculpt brush of smooth and bump, but for OSM.

Production: 1. Someone might have made this sort of thing already and I just don’t know about it? If not in JOSM, than in something that costs money. 2. I know that describing a solution is easy and that I did not do the hard part such as the following. How to draw a sample area and convert the pixels into an array, than how to convert the result back.

Edit: My solution (that someone has probably already though of) for non-grid areas is the pin and line model.

Solution » High Level We walk out to the North-most pixel that is compliant with our initial model. We use our string to go around in a circle as far as we can. If alot of errors occur, we place a new pin down where we left off. Repeat the process until we are back to our start.

Location: Shelby County, Iowa, United States


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 16 April 2021 in English (English). Last updated on 15 February 2022.

Location: St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota, United States

2 example locations: Old houses near downtown big cities. These houses have trees that grow very tall due to the time the trees have been around. It makes it harder to see the secondary buildings like garages and sheds. Sometimes it becomes harder to see the primary building of the house due to trees, or the shadows of these trees.

Big new suburb at the edge of the urban crawl. The land was stripped to the grass. The houses have been placed down. Now the satellites goes by and takes images. It is easy to see the outline of the house.

We are in a race against the trees when we map houses using Aerial Data.

Pole Mapping

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 3 December 2020 in English (English).

I used 10 foot long 0.5 inch diameter electrical conduit for mapping outside. I connected pieces with some screw fastener thing.

1 pole works and is short.

2 poles kind of bend.

3 poles result in a tube bending and the far tip never leaving the ground.

Sorry: StreetLevel Imagery

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 15 September 2020 in English (English).

For a good part of a year I have been marking street level imagery instead of Aerial Imagery.

I though Aerial Imagery was zoomed out a lot and Street Level imagery was close to the ground. Sorry.


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 31 May 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 4 January 2022.



Posted by PhysicsArmature on 30 May 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 4 January 2022.

Location: King Field, Southwest, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, 55409, United States

Don’t worry, I am not trying to increase my edit count. I am trying to add things to the map based upon ground surveys, when I have the time, whenever it is convenient.

Bash Scripting &

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 27 April 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 4 January 2022.


I need to slap down one set of 50 houses. I want to click as few things as possible. Script 1 is about this task. Script 2 is about finding the coordinates of things on your screen.

Notice: Eliminate [] before the pound sign, I needed to differentiate kramdown and BASH code. Notice 2: I have this weird spacing, otherwise journal system tries to turn a script into a paragraph.



[]#pull up script

sleep 4

[]#0.1 is to fast

for i in {1..49}


echo -e $i

[]#Find a house and click on it yourself

[]#Go to xy of use this feature xxxyyy

sleep 1.8

xdotool mousemove 35 243 click 1 &

[]#Go to xy of change this feature

sleep 0.3

xdotool mousemove 53 211 click 1 &

[]#Go to xy of option 1 house

sleep 0.3

xdotool mousemove 51 276 click 1 &


echo DONE



[]#pull up script

sleep 5

for i in {1..200}


xdotool getmouselocation –shell

eval $(xdotool getmouselocation –shell)

echo $X $Y

sleep 5


Works used:

Potential future targets for when I have time (Not for 2 weeks):

  • Another for loop for several sets of 50.
  • Search for the color pink on the screen and click it. Ask [Y/n] on the command prompt, then mark it.
  • Custom input that asks for pauses.
Location: St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota, United States

(Subject says it all) If the GPS that got uploaded was accurate, I would be running off road, across driveways, on sidewalks that are not yet built.

Tracing OSM Users

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 23 March 2020 in English (English).

I have realized people map what is important to them in higher quantities than other things. Thus you find the areas they have mapped over the areas they don’t map. People map the areas the know more about than the areas they don’t, thus looking at edit clusters can show where people live. Finally the tag local knowledge as a source shows where someone has been. Combining these all together can be used to track people down.

X Axis: Resolution. Y Axis: When the image was taken. Our notion of technology: Perfect arrow going up at y=x. I was mapping this park area. I looked at 5 different Satellites. The highest quality Satellite Imagery did not show a sidewalk that a the rest of the low resolution maps showed. I had two thoughts: 1. They ripped out a perfectly good map (Nope). 2. The low quality imagery is more recent.


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 23 January 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 5 January 2022.


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 21 January 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 5 January 2022.


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 21 January 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 5 January 2022.


Posted by PhysicsArmature on 21 January 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 5 January 2022.

First Time

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 14 January 2020 in English (English).

This is my first time on open street maps. I think I just spent 5 hours or so randomly placing things down. Oooffffttttttaaaaa…. This is addicting to do. Now on a serious side I realized I marked the size of houses when their is probably a database someone will import that will do that for me.

I know Reddit is Full of Bots you can summon from summerizing to automod. Imagine the following. Highlight area, bot sees square like objects and creates random markings. You select any non house object and delete it. I hope that made sense. If it did not it is because I stayed up way to late.