Tom Chance's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by Tom Chance

Post When Comment
Can I produce a Hypsometric tints in OpenStreetMap? about 8 years ago

Maperitive can do this without needing too many technical skills.

none about 8 years ago

SOSM, Gerald suggests there is a particular problem in South America. Maybe that’s the case?

My experience in the UK is that we have no more of a problem today than at any time over the 8 or 9 years I’ve been involved. The only change has been that, as Gerald notes, the increasing complexity of the data makes it more likely that a new user will accidentally break something. But I haven’t found it too burdensome to contact every new user in my parts of south London, checking their first edits.

It sounds like the most simple next step, which would raise few heckles, would be to introduce a system of warnings and prompts in iD. For example: * on clicking save for the first few times, it could ask for a second confirmation noting that it is the live database, features must really exist, and can’t be from copyrighted sources * if a user deletes any features in their first ten edits, give them a warning prompt asking if they meant to do that * if a user changes tags on existing features in the first ten edits, give them a prompt asking if they are sure the change is correct, and noting that they shouldn’t change other people’s contributions if they don’t understand them

All of these could be written to be friendly and encouraging.

One of the burdens on regular contributors is also the lack of tools to track and visualise changesets, so we can see when changes are being made, and understand exactly what has happened. The main OSM web site’s changeset tool still has the bounding box problem, and is helpful when looking at features being added or deleted, but it’s really time consuming to work out where features have been slightly moved, tags have been changed, etc. and to visualise all of this. OWL was very promising, but hasn’t been working for a long time now.

Hiking with Mapillary about 8 years ago

Interesting, thanks.

I’ve been experimenting with Mapillary with the very cheap but unsafe approach of riding my bike one-handed with the phone in my other hand!

It has the advantage that I can to an extent stabilise the camera, compensating for my tilting around corners and bumping over rough surfaces.

It’s also a lot cheaper, and that suits me; after first buying a NaviGPS in 2007 I’ve never had to buy any kit since to do OpenStreetMapping!

I feel nostalgic about 8 years ago

To really look like this original style it should also take ages to load ;-)

Call to map Misery over 8 years ago

Good name for a village in the Somme!

OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike over 8 years ago

I think, like Simon Poole and Jerry (SK53) that you have misunderstood the license, and misrepresented the situation if we had a non-share-alike license. Some of your examples are invalid, and ironically - given you mention the dreaded ‘I Am Not A Lawyer’ phrase - just spread more misunderstanding.

Your example of TIGER data also makes me value share-alike licenses even more. OpenStreetMap is part of a wider movement aiming to open up data, software, culture and more under free terms. One of the amazing achievements of free software is that it has led government agencies and multinational corporations to collaborate with small companies and individual citizens on software. I sincerely hope we can begin to get a similar dynamic happening with geodata. It would not only be exciting and innovative, but could begin to change the way that government sees its relationship with its citizens, as partners in curating geodata rather than consumers of open data releases. Why throw the towel in and leave OpenStreetMap as just another public domain data source that others can harvest?

Like many others on this thread, I am opposed to dropping the share-alike license, which is more free because it protects and extends freedom. I’ve no problem with others making money off my gratis contributions to the database, but I want them to have to contribute back any enhancements they make to our data.

The Mucky Pup over 8 years ago

On hackathons, is this not just about moving from Google maps to OpenStreetMap, but from Google maps to leaflet or openlayers, from Google maps engine to, and so on?

We lack the tool chains associated with Google Maps, like the ability to quickly knock up a map of pins in an easy UI, or something more advanced using Google Maps Engine, and other products past and present like Google Refine. These are particularly relevant to open data hacks, because it’s much much easier to use the Google tool chain that to try and stitch together different open source products if you want to clean up, analyse and visualise open data on maps.

The alternatives are popping up and improving all the time.

Maybe we could also have an equivalent to “best of OSM”, showing off “best hacks using OSM and associated open source tools”?

My new wishlist over 8 years ago

The Environment Agency already have extremely detailed maps for flood risks, see for example:

I don’t think we need HOT, for the reasons given above, but I do think we have missed a trick in being able to provide maps with temporary features such as flooded roads/fields, which as well as being interesting could also be very useful to people affected by the floods.

OpenStreetMap UK: what should we do this year? over 8 years ago

I’d go with surfaces and speed limits to help with pedestrian and cyclist routing, and addressess (added to buildings and including postcodes) to make tools like Nominatim more useful.

As Jerry and Chris have blogged about, adding postcodes is relatively easy and helps give a sufficiently accurate fix on locations for many applications.

There are still over 15,000 major roads missing from OSM, and only 60 local authority areas are 100% “complete”, according to ITO’s comparison with OS Locator

We could also do with tidying up some data that isn’t very difficult. My bugbear is that we imported lots of NAPTAN bus stops, but still there are thousands of duplicates, and bus stops with inaccurate locations. It’s a shame because, when they are surveyed, our data is generally far more accurate than NAPTAN, which makes it a potentially useful resource. Will this ever be fixed?

I’m not a fan of adding data like shops in areas of London I won’t maintain, they go out of date so quickly and most of London hasn’t been systematically updated for years.

What does the path say? almost 9 years ago

Richard, I love this post :-)

highway=path was a stupid, completely pointless invention that has served to make the data less useful, not more.

MapBBCode: free maps for everyone almost 9 years ago

Ah, got it, thanks.

Light up my way! (First Anniversary) almost 9 years ago

Very impressive, how did you cover such a large area checking for street lighting?

MapBBCode: free maps for everyone almost 9 years ago

This is fantastic, thank you.

Where can you add labels to polygons, as in your second screenshot?

What is the OpenStreetMap convention? Do we tag addresses on buildings or on separate nodes? almost 9 years ago

One reason I prefer to add the address to the way is that I also add the other tags - amenity, building type, etc. to the way. Adding a separate node then requires somebody using the data to step through an extra hoop to find the addresses for those amenities / buildings.

This step isn’t that hard for somebody familiar with spatial joins in some proper GIS software, but plenty of people like to just link to an object on the web site to say “this is where we’re meeting”, or download a simple extract from XAPI/Overpass.

Artwork : only for tourists almost 9 years ago

It was also quite funny when we got the proposal for tourism=gallery through for art galleries. Some people thought there was no need because we already had art shops and museums.

Somebody did suggest a great big revision of tags under a “culture” key, but it got nowhere because, like all great big revisions, it would only lead to an even bigger mess of old and new tagging systems.

A Social Without Groups almost 9 years ago

Alex, Mikel,

I’m not up to scratch on coding with ruby to be able to interpret the pull request Mikel pointed to, so apologies if these points are covered.

I want to know if the groups, or topics, go beyond just social stuff to actually provide some useful tools? I already mentioned some of these but you haven’t picked up on them in your responses…

Maps showing relevant data - could just be an interface to create some calls to overpass, also point to custom tiles for a map on the group page

Some way of linking up with wiki pages, or a wiki facility built in, to gather useful resources, e.g. a “buses in London” group/topic might want to highlight the NOVAM bus stop tool, the ITO bus priority map and others


This kind of stuff isn’t very exciting to people who find it easy to roll their own custom map and use the wiki. But it could make OSM quite useful for less geeky audiences who are interested in adding data they are interested in to the database.

A Social Without Groups about 9 years ago

I’d like to echo Richard’s comment in particular. Alex, I think you are talking about a vision for groups as some sort of duplication of Facebook, which I think misses the point. I don’t want to become best friends with people who happen to share my interest of mapping south east London, the natural world and cycle infrastructure. I just want tools that make that job easier, and that encourage people with similar interests to get involved with mapping them.

When Richard gave his talk on groups I wrote this blog post explaining this point further:

Groups shouldn’t just be about a message board, though I’m sure for some groups they will be really valuable. Groups could help communities of interest (be they locational or thematic) to do things like:

  • bring together the best links for mapping tools, web maps, tags, etc. that are relevant to them, making some sense of the wonderfully chaotic OSM universe

  • have slippy maps that automatically display the data they’re interested in and that are easy to set-up (currently we offer no practical help for anyone doing this, the technical hurdles are really quite high)

  • provide a tailored set of presets for iD, so you can have it all set-up for niche interests like mapping canals or heritage trails

I’m sure there are other group features people could dream up. I’m quite excited by the momentum behind this, and I’m not surprised it doesn’t excite people who already feel quite well served by the infrastructure we provide to uber-geeks and map obsessives!

It's amazing how far sixteen lines of c++ can get you. about 9 years ago

Great stuff. You’re trying to put me through the fun of setting up OSRM, I see.

Although it only covers the Greater London area, you can use the same process I described in my blog entry to map average nitrogen dioxide concentrations onto the OSM linestrings. That will give you a complete dataset covering every road, path and monkey puzzle tree in the capital.

The same dataset (the LAEI) also contains data for particulate emissions, which would help in central London. In town the NO2 concentrations are basically way over the legal limits everywhere, but the particulate emissions are concentrated on main roads, so you could still find a slightly less bad route.

Anyhow, if someone did fancy taking this further, I think there would be interest in, for instance, helping schools to plan healthier walking routes.

New contributor experience about 9 years ago

Yes, welcome and good feedback! Thanks.

On your first issue, I think it is a bit slow at the moment because we recently switched the technology that renders the maps, and I think it is taking some time to clear a backlog:

A la découverte de la carte Ouverte de Rennes about 9 years ago

Bonjour, je suis desole pour mon mauvais francais. J’ai cree cette carte systeme a afficher les trait verts a partir OpenStreetMap sur la carte. Et le systeme cree des fichiers KML et GeoJSON pour votre website.

Votre projet est tres bon aussi!