Vclaw's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by Vclaw

Post When Comment
Potlatch and contour lines over 6 years ago

In Potlatch 2, click on the drop down menu for Background, and at the bottom there is a button for Edit. That will give you a list of all of the available background imagery. You can find OpenCycleMap on that list, then there is an option on the right for “Key”. So that lets you assign a function key for OpenCycleMap. Then if you press that key in Potlatch 2, it will show OpenCycleMap as a background.

Note the contour lines in OpenCycleMap can be rather inaccurate. So for tracing lakes, it is worth checking other sources. eg compare with Bing aerial imagery if that’s available.

Going to be using OSM for my charity walk next year, need some advice. over 6 years ago

If you want to buy a GPS device, I recommend the Garmin Etrex 20. Its not too expensive, and you can load free OpenStreetMap based maps on it. Also it has plenty memory for recording a track of where you have walked.

As mentioned above, it has much better battery life than most phones - about 25 hours on 2 AA batteries. Plus it uses standard AA batteries, so you can carry a few spare sets, or buy new ones along the way if necessary.

Plus the Etrex is waterproof, and fairly rugged. So good for walking in the rain, you don’t have to worry about your phone getting wet or broken.

Survey = "No freaking way" or Mapping parts of the world no-one else wants to map, Part 2: HMP Sudbury, Derbyshire, UK over 7 years ago

I noticed a few prisons in Scotland are taking part in Doors Open Day. So you could get a free tour around inside. They probably won’t allow cameras or electronic devices etc, but you could still look and see what’s there for mapping.

Unfortunately I missed the open day for my local prison this year. But I’ll try and get to a few other interesting buildings, and see what I can add to OSM.

How to prepare for your first mapping party! over 7 years ago

I will add hardware for surveying:

  • Take a GPS device if you have one.
  • Plus a digital camera.
  • Or a smartphone - it would be useful to install an app for recording a track, eg OSMTracker, or KeypadMapper for housenumbers.

And make sure all of the batteries are charged.

Or if you don’t have these, a paper notebook and pen/pencil can be very useful for making notes as you survey.

Using Open Street Maps over 7 years ago

Simplest option is to go to the home page, then click on the share button (the arrow symbol, on the bar to the right of the map). Then that lets you select an area, and export as PNG or JPG etc.

Or some more options here, which might help:

Also note to comply with the OpenStreetMap licence, you should give attribution. So include something like “© OpenStreetMap contributors” on your printed map. Details here:

Which camera for capturing 'Street View'? over 7 years ago

For using on a bike, I think the GoPro is a bit smaller and a better shape. Plus there is a wide range of mounts available. I think the Virb has some sort of adapter to attach to GoPro mounts, not sure how well that works.

For GoPro battery life, it seems to depend on the model. I think the more basic models (white or silver), have longer battery life than the black. The GoPros can be powered from a USB supply, so for in car you could plug it in. Or you can get a battery bacpac, to double the battery life.

The built in GPS on the Virb could be very useful for geotagging photos. Yes, you could use a GoPro plus a separate GPS recorder, but you have to make sure the time is set correctly to make it accurate.

CAPTCHA problems in the Wiki over 7 years ago

Just testing now: It seems to be a problem with Template:Relation.

All of the links on Template:Relation are already on the whitelist. And adding those links on their own works fine, without a captcha. But adding the template requires a captcha.

Postcode map almost 8 years ago

That postcode map seems to show exactly the same thing for the OSM layer and the NPE layer. So one of them must be wrong. I suspect the option for OSM postcodes is actually just showing the NPE postcodes.

Couldn't Save Changes almost 8 years ago

And to avoid this, save often. Maybe every 5 or 10 minutes.

Especially if it is a busy area, with several other people editing there. Because there is a high chance of someone else editing the same things as you, causing a version conflict.

My new wishlist almost 8 years ago

There have recently been several threads on the Talk-GB mailing list about whether to map the effects of the floods in England, and if so, how. Most people seem to agree with not mapping them, at least not using ‘normal’ tags. Though a few people have mapped floods as natural=water, and closed roads as access=no etc.

Worth considering is how permanent the effects of flooding will be. ie if you map a road as closed now, will you resurvey it and update OSM if it reopens next week? And some OSM maps only update infrequently, so any changes to the data might be around for a lot longer.

Also, this doesn’t really need the Humanitarian OSM Team, because there are already plenty of active mappers in most parts of the UK. uses OSM almost 8 years ago

It looks like pretty much all of the map at that zoom level is from OSM. ie roads, paths, buildings, parks, forests etc. Not sure how up to date it is, it might be missing some houses I mapped a few months ago.

Yes, it does have some interesting cartography features. eg abbreviations for streetnames. It also seems to be displaying 30mph speed limits with grey roads.

Looking for android gpx logger for POI collecting about 8 years ago

You could try OSMtracker. It can record a GPX track, and has a button on the screen for for voice recording. Though I don’t know if it will work with the handsfree button. You could request this feature if its not available.

What does the path say? about 8 years ago

So should highway=cycleway only be used for smooth/paved paths you can cycle along?

It is currently also used for mountain bike trails with rocks, mud and steep drops etc.

What does the path say? about 8 years ago

What about purpose built mountain bike trails?

And by “some quirk of arcane legislation”, many countries have a right to cycle just about everywhere. its just England and Wales with arcane restrictions.

Remember to map post-boxes over 8 years ago

I agree with this, its worth mapping postboxes. There’s still quite a few unmapped in the UK. It seems Royal Mail don’t actually know where they are, so OSM may be the best available map of them.

Plus you can take extra details for the type of postbox, and the royal cypher etc if you want, see

Also Post Hoc is a useful tool for finding missing postboxes or possible errors.

Bicester to Upper Heyford over 8 years ago

You could try Cyclestreets.

Its good for getting ideas for cycling routes. It has options for fastest or quietest, so you can try them out and see how they compare.

Collecting Addresses, What I've learned over 8 years ago

If you have an Android phone or tablet, try Keypad Mapper. It is very good for collecting lots of house numbers quickly. It will record the numbers as an .osm file, which you can load into JOSM, then add numbers to buildings etc. It works fine without a data connection, so long as you can get a GPS signal.

How to download SOTM US 2013 videos? over 8 years ago

They are available to download on the Internet Archive.

GPS Traces over 8 years ago

Or you can set the visibility options for the traces. See

If you set a trace as “Trackable”, then it won’t be linked to your account.

Making OSM data mor compact over 8 years ago

Landuse areas should not (usually) share nodes with roads, tracks, paths etc. The way for a road represents the centre line of the road.

So if the road shares nodes with a field, then you are saying the field goes halfway across the road. If you have a field on one side of the road, and a forest on the other, then there is a gap in between them. The road does have the width, even if it is only mapped as a way.

Though if you have farmland with a meadow right next to it, nothing in between, then they probably should share nodes.