SomeoneElse has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Network Rail - Sectional Appendix 8 days ago

As an aside:

I don't know why it made some of my text bold from my previous response.

Comments here use Markdown, and sometimes things in "ordinary text" get interpreted as formatting. If you hit "preview" before "save" you should get a chance to review and correct.

Descriptions of OSM tags in any language using Wikidata 11 days ago

@PlaneMad Agreed that we could create wikidata entries for every "OSM tag XYZ" as distinct from "the English concept XYZ"; I'm just not clear what that buys us over and above an existing OSM wiki article that can be translated into other languages? It just makes the whole thing harder to maintain.

How to import open source boundaries -- Like Wards 13 days ago

At the risk of stating the obvious there are a few steps to be carried out before actually doing the import, as described at .

Descriptions of OSM tags in any language using Wikidata 13 days ago

Or you could just translate the text of the OSM wiki page using an online translation tool? The problem with using wikipedia / wikidata for this is that the words that OSM uses to describe things often don't match the dictionary definition (in any language, even British English) of those things, even for basic things like "city".

Obviously online translation quality varies by language, and not all languages have available online translations but by using the OSM wiki text rather than source data from wikipedia (which is where 99% of wikidata came from) it'll at least describe OSM, rather than something that might appear the same but actually is subtly different.

Linear barriers 27 days ago

@LivingWithDragons Personally, I don't tend to map cattle grids (or gates for that matter) as ways, but some people do, so it made sense to me to try and render them.

The wiki has a bit of a dual personality - to "describe how people map" and to "tell people how to map" . I tend to think that the former is what it should be doing more of, but there are certainly people who think it should be for the latter. In this particular case I don't really understand why the wiki thinks that a cattle grid is never a linear feature whereas for example a gate can be. They're often right next to each other and exactly the same width!

Linear barriers about 1 month ago

@imagico the latitude problem is one I hadn't thought about - as I understand it you're going to get about a factor of 2 between the north of Scotland and the equator. That's a problem for runways, but not so much for hedges (an individual hedge anywhere in the world can vary by more than that anyway).

The "crossable things being stronger than non-crossable things" issue I did think about, but realistically fences are a really common long barrier, and having them dominate the map because they're stronger than gates and stiles would look pretty horrible. The idea of doing it this way was to have a bit that looked "obviously different" in a fence line. See partial map key here.

@warin by "width" I mean perpendicular to the cattle grid way, i.e. parallel to the road (so north-south in the example). The length of the cattle grid way is the "width" of the cattle grid as viewed by a road user, and is as long as it was drawn in OSM.

Frustration about iD editor's inability to easily draw rectangular buildings about 1 month ago

@Polyglot Re the "JOSM vs iD" thing, I remember reading something recently (probably another diary entry?) where people did a cost-benefit analysis of iD vs JOSM (answer - it depends how long they're in the room for and a few other variables - if you have people for an hour you don't want to waste most of that struggling to install and learn JOSM). With a DWG hat and a finger in the air I reckon I see just as high a proportion of "new user issues" with JOSM as with iD; they're just different sorts of issues (dragging a whole town 100km to the east instead of failing to square a building). JOSM's great, and it's the best tool for many jobs in OSM, but it's not the best tool for every job (in fact I don't use it in what might be called my "normal" mapping because it doesn't do some of the things that I rely on that other editors do).

Frustration about iD editor's inability to easily draw rectangular buildings about 1 month ago

@Polyglot Without wishing to channel Dale Carnegie here, what are you actually hoping to achieve by this diary entry?

The list post that provoked the tweet was very broad and attacked one small part of a large problem (lack of training and lack of retention of remote mappers at organised events - see the thread from just before the offending list post on the HOT list).

Whether or not it's an actual problem or not (do NGOs really think "that building isn't square on OSM so I won't include it when drawing up my humanitarian relief / malaria extinction / whatever plans"?) you seem to be do all you can to prevent progress in your desired direction.

Imagine if , instead of being full of relatively polite comments contained comments saying that people hated your work, or that you shouldn't X but instead do Y, and that somehow not doing Y was somehow a moral failing on your part and that you "owe it to" people to do Y. Would you start doing Y instead of X immediately? I'm guessing that like the majority of humans on the planet you probably wouldn't.

If you actually want to change the way iD works, start at the "Participate!" section of the readme at . The prerequisites aren't major (though the challenges of contributing to any large JS codebase will likely take a bit of learning).

If that's not a something you're able to do then the wider issue (HOT new mapper retention and training) surely is. How can that process be improved so that people know that squaring buildings is even a thing, and instead of being only 30% likely to return to mapping are much more likely to do so? Instead of saying "there is a problem, X should do Y" ask "how can I help?".

Best Regards, Andy

Full disclaimer - I'm a DWG member but this is just my personal view. With a DWG hat on I've handled complaints both ways about HOT mapping ("X's mapping in $place wasn't very good" and "Y deleted all the stuff I added there").

Planned rendering changes of protected areas about 2 months ago

That rendering is mostly just what OSM Carto did in 2014 - I've reduced the roads that appear at that zoom level, but don't think I've changed nature reserve / national park rendering. See for how it normally looks in the UK.

The internal borders actually are present in a very light dashed green, but it's light enough to not be visually a problem.

Planned rendering changes of protected areas about 2 months ago

Isn't the main problem here the way that the data's being presented raher than the fact that all or these nature reserves / protected areas are being shown? At zoom 8 does it really make sense to show the outline of each area, which when they're contiguous or nearly contiguous (see e.g. ) just means that at zoom 8 you get lots of green squiggly lines?

As an example consider OSM Carto from a few years ago - it would render nature reserves a bit like this:

dashed lines between reserves

Ignore the blue motorways and the fact that there's probably too many names there - but perhaps at z8 there's no need for the exaggerated reserve border for each sub-area?

Memory hog? about 2 months ago

Maybe there are a very large number of things in the area - try zooming in as much as you can before you click "edit". Does that help?

Reviewing new users edits in Brazil about 2 months ago

Re "Studies have shown that welcoming new users improve retention" - "studies" also haven't shown that (for example a few years ago I looked at the Italian data where recipients were randomly selected to receive welcome emails or not, and there wasn't any obvious correlation). The transcript at is actually too poor to understand what point is being made there, but it seems to be comparing different countries data with each other - it's essentially comparing "apples with oranges".

That doesn't mean that contacting new mappers isn't a good idea of course - I'm just not convinced it'll make a huge difference to retention. What I think it does do (and unfortunately this too is just anecdotal) is improve quality. I suspect that messages are very culturally sensitive too - for example I suspect that the Dutch community's version wouldn't go down at all well in the UK, and anything dreamt up by a UK mapper would likely just be ignored in the US :)

FWIW I wrote about 5 years ago, and the key idea there is to "give people the chance to make mistakes and learn from them" rather than jumping down their throat at the first "error".

Liberland should be a country or a semi-independent state? about 2 months ago

Is the beer any good? (Frank Zappa quote for ref ).

More seriously, the OSMF policy on this sort of thing is here:

It's an extension of OSM's "on the ground" rule and is essentially a similar sort of test Frank's - does this thing possess the attributes that we'd expect a country to have? If so, it should be a country in OSM. If not, it shouldn't.

Editing in OSMAnd about 2 months ago

I wish I could modify my changeset comments

Just add a comment to the changeset discussion and don't worry about it :)

Memory hog? 2 months ago

When you say "OSM" are you just browsing to in the (Chrome) web browser?

Mapping Swadlincote (Derbyshire) only by strolls 2 months ago

Yay! That bit of south Derbyshire has been a bit neglected over the years. It's great to have someone updating it regularly.

For info, there is a pub meetup in Derby on the 21st - see (it's in Nottingham 3 times out of 4 but in Derby 1 time out of 4). - SomeoneElse (Andy)

OSM Training at Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Batticaloa 3 months ago

@GOwin That makes perfect sense - it's the proper training (and the time to do it) that's key.

OSM Training at Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Batticaloa 3 months ago

Hi, What support and training was given to the students when they started mapping?

There were a number of problems with these users' contributions, the most serious of which as a drag and drop of a large town in northern Sri Lanka 100km to the east. Several other new mappers drew a number of doodles in Europe and northern Canada which had to be reverted. A quick count up suggests that roughly half of all mappers identified as part of this project made changes so severe that had to be reverted.

Part of the problem was that the students were all starting with JOSM (which is simply inappropriate for someone who's just starting out - a node drag of a large town is simply impossible in e.g. iD, yet in JOSM it's frighteningly easy). One thing worth thinking about in the future for students' first edits in JOSM - use the dev server. That way they can experiment and when they've got the hang of things can start mapping things for real.

Was any thought given to using existing learning resources? is one that springs to mind but there are other similar examples - I'm sure that a question to one of OSM's mailing lists or the help site beforehand would have yielded more offers of existing "new mapper" toolkits. Unfortunately instead the OSM community had to spend time going through the contributions working out which were plausible and which were not.

Please take this comment in the spirit in which it is intended - not as an admonishment, but as something that might help avoiding these sorts of problems in the future. OSM needs new mappers, and the best new mappers for any area are the ones local to it - that's why it's great to see that a number of the students are now doing field-based mapping around Eastern University itself.

Best Regards, Andy (from the Data Working Group)

Reverting unexplained demotions to footways 3 months ago

... and (as I should have said before hitting "save"), the subject of this diary post (is something best described as a footway or a cycleway, regardless of its legal status) is exactly why proper surveys are needed.

Also, if something's definately a "public footpath" or "public bridleway" don't forget to add it as such using the "designation" tag, so that maps that display such things can do so.

Reverting unexplained demotions to footways 3 months ago

Personally I wouldn't copy data from , for a couple of reasons - one is that fact that it's available there doesn't mean that it's suitably licenced for use in OSM, but the main one is that the footpaths actually in place in a certain area and what the council thinks it has are two very different things. You'll only find out about the former by actually going there.