Richard's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by Richard

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The baseless "Whats on the Ground" vs the factual "Actual Nature of the Road"

If you want to have the discussion on the community forum, maybe stop trolling the user diaries?

The baseless "Whats on the Ground" vs the factual "Actual Nature of the Road"

The problem with this is that “Whats on the Ground” literally has no authority

Think you might be in the wrong project.

This is why Google/Apple maps will always be ahead; any company that relies on OSM for navigation will never catch up

Sheesh, learn how OSM works before mouthing off.

There are tags you can use for recording the official classification of a road. designation= is one of them. highway= is not.

The sheer effrontery of steamrollering in and changing an entire state’s highway tagging, because you somehow know better than every single mapper who has gone before in the 19 years of OSM, is really quite something.

The OSM Iceberg

That’s so good.

Who do you work for?

But no, I will not release my edits under a “Public Domain” license.

Tell me, what are these edits of which you speak?

Using Gamification to Increase the Use of Footpaths/ Rights of Way, and to Enhance and Validate OSM Data

Certainly lots of opportunities here. I’ve been intermittently working on an app (iPhone only so far) that has a couple of experimental features based on surveying and recording quality and overall impressions of rights of way. It’s in the App Store as Path Surveyor though given that your username ends in “_debian” I’m guessing you probably don’t have an iOS device ;). I’d like to do an Android version though that probably needs a bit more funding for development. is a really popular site for the whole “completist” idea though it’s more popular with cyclists than walkers, I think.

Mapping Sydney Billboards: Every QMS advertising panel in Sydney

Wow, that’s horrible! (the billboards, not the tagging)

Similar issues with them in Manchester, UK:

High danger in current OSM management of motorways junctions

That sounds like an issue in the app, not an OSM data problem. If you write a routing app (like I have!) then you have to ‘look ahead’ for turns and announce them well in advance. If Organic Maps is not announcing them far enough in advance, that’s its problem, surely?

Russian Annex Ukraine

Thanks for your enthusiasm but please, please, please don’t start on something so complex as disputed country boundaries in your first week as an OSM mapper!

Openstreetmap-Carto – Democracy Or anarchy?

At this point there’s zero reason the style doesn’t render vector tiles except for pure complacency and laziness.

Awesome. Look forward to your patch @Adamant1 given that it’s so easy.

The unfixable state of township boundaries

I’ll just leave this here…


This is OpenStreetMap, we have nothing to do with Snapchat. If you have a problem with Snapchat you need to talk to Snapchat.

Do not map like this (a collection of incorrect mapping practices)

If you don’t want to hear the awful sound coming from TTS saying “Turn right and then turn left” to “Continue”, then map like this.

I agree (and indeed I do generally map like that), but a halfway competent router will collapse the turn instructions in this case. For example:,-1.406647&toLL=51.896255,-1.405649

First week

I think this is enough for a diary entry; if there is demand, then I could write more about the following topics:

You’re welcome to, of course, but it wouldn’t be a very effective use of your time. OSM has plenty of people with bright ideas about how things could be improved. We’re less blessed with people prepared to put in the work to actually do it. If you have programming skills then you could try tackling a few issues on iD or the website; if not, you could perhaps put some hours into sorting out the wiki.

State of the Go Map!!

Oh wow. Having it in Swift will make submitting patches so much more appealing. Very nice work!

Smoothness and MTB_Scale tags on paths

smoothness is really not a great tag because it’s so subjective and its application to different surfaces is unclear. For example, there’s no clarity or agreement on how it should be applied to surfaces such as crushed limestone - common on cyclable canal towpaths.

I would suggest concentrating on surface, tracktype, and mtb_scale tags, which are less ambiguous.


A deep dive into the OSM Wiki for service=driveway, the proposal service=Driveway2 and lack of professionalism by one OSM Wiki administrator

There is so much bizarritude in this diary entry I really don’t know where to start.

service=driveway is predominantly used in OSM to mean a private, cul-de-sac access to a house or other property. That’s what driveway means in British English, and British English is the lingua franca of OSM. Californian highway codes have nothing to do with anything.

If service=driveway is being used to tag the entry to a public car park, that’s a tagging error. The entrance to a public car park isn’t a driveway so we don’t tag it as a driveway.

A routing engine should not need to consider service=driveway as a through-route. In practice, however, mappers make mistakes and sometimes tag through-routes with service=driveway. Therefore it’s sensible for the routing engine to just apply a large penalty to it. This is exactly what I do at, because I found that blocking service=driveway entirely caused occasional failures on the entrances to “trailheads” (as the USians say) and pedestrian/cycle ferries.

The end.

Having a tag called “driveway2” is on the scale of “I can’t even” or “not even wrong”. Please stop.

Big corporations are paying Openstreetmap mappers. Are you getting paid yet?

Yeah, you just put “last edited at n” like pretty much every single forum software in the world does. It’s a solved problem. :)

Big corporations are paying Openstreetmap mappers. Are you getting paid yet?

I think the issue is not a technical one, but an intent - the system creator wanted to prevent folks from changing their comments after they were made to prevent all kinds of communication-related issues…

Nope. I added the function to edit diary entries back in 2008: . I didn’t add the function to edit diary comments simply because I didn’t get round to it. If someone else made a good-quality PR for it I’m sure it would be accepted.

Big corporations are paying Openstreetmap mappers. Are you getting paid yet?

Was it really the goal of the license creators to use work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to increase wealth of companies like Apple or Facebook?

It was expressly the desire of OSM’s founder and those who worked on it in the early days to allow corporate use, yes. Otherwise it would have started with the CC-BY-NC licence rather than CC-BY-SA.

I do not see a way that would allow me to edit a comment…

Maybe you could pay someone to add that feature to ;)