OpenStreetMap

Edit tags directly from openstreetmap.org

Posted by Zverik on 21 July 2022 in English (English). Last updated on 23 July 2022.

After my last State of the Map talk, some asked me where’s that “Edit Tags” button on the osm.org website, to quickly fix any tags without launching Level0? Of course there wasn’t one: I just quickly made up a text area with Firefox developer tools. But the idea was there.

Now I’m proud to show you that the button works, with a series of changesets to prove it. Alas, not in the website itself: to enable it, you must install a browser extension. Get yours for Firefox or for Chrome. After installing, open the iD editor once, and then look at any object page on osm.org.

This extension is a hack. It uses some undocumented things and will break when something changes in the code. Like, you need to first open iD editor for the authentication to work. If you don’t see the “Edit Tags” link, refresh the page. It is flimsy, but you can edit the map with it.

Can this be done in the website code? Definitely, this change would be quite trivial. Couple hours tops. I’m tired of disputes with maintainers, but if you have a will to negotiate and push the pull request through the hoops — many people would thank you for that.

Comment from TrickyFoxy on 21 July 2022 at 11:27

Why hasn’t such an obvious thing been done?! Thanks for the new editor!

if you have a will to negotiate and push the pull request through the hoops

Let’s start with issue :) https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/3611

Comment from Kovoschiz on 22 July 2022 at 10:56

Is it simple enough you can make a bookmarklet ver?

Comment from MxxCon on 22 July 2022 at 12:27

Have you considered to (re-)release this as a userscript for greasemonkey/tampermonkey/violentmonkey/similar? Less maintenance work for you to figure out and update extensions for each browser. Just commit to GitHub and out it goes. Also easier and more transparent for the end user to see what it is doing vs searching through the forest of files and directories modern browsers keep in user profiles with regular extensions.

Comment from Adam Franco on 22 July 2022 at 14:02

Thanks, this is a great little tool! I’d love to be able to edit the changeset comment before the commit is made, but the auto population of tags changed isn’t a terrible comment – it just doesn’t allow telling of the why.

Comment from Aury88 on 23 July 2022 at 06:41

Thank you Adam Franco.

This is a known missing feature in osm.org

From time to time there is a discussion about this obvious and very useful feature (e.g.1, e.g. 2).

To my knowledge we all generally agree that this would be an extremely useful feature, but strangely in all these years nothing has been done about it.

Sadly if it weren’t for the improvements on the map, and some random banner , the idea given by the openstreetmap.org website is that of an abandoned project … we haven’t seen any new feature for years. :-(

Comment from Aury88 on 23 July 2022 at 06:44

oops! sorry, I meant Zverik, not Adam Franco :-P

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 23 July 2022 at 07:20

we haven’t seen any new feature for years. :-(

That is untrue. It is possible that nothing that was added is considered as important or major by you.

the idea given by the openstreetmap.org website is that of an abandoned project …

That idea is wrong.

Comment from Aury88 on 23 July 2022 at 10:01

“That is untrue. It is possible that nothing that was added is considered as important or major by you.”

I’m not talking about “important” or “mayor” changes but generic changes in the website interface or feature, so the things that also a non tech/generic/cosumer user may notice. I did not notice any tyoe if change in the last years on osm.org

I would be delighted to be proved wrong. instead of just saying I’m not correct please tell me what changes there would be. What was added?

“That idea is wrong.”

The idea may be wrong but this is what comes from a site whose interface or functionality is not improved. and this can be a disincentive to potential new contributors to register whether or not the idea is true or wrong

Comment from TrickyFoxy on 23 July 2022 at 15:01

For example “Allow users to delete their own accounts”

A feature for users who will no longer edit it is of course very useful (:


I also have a feeling of some abandonment of the site. It certainly doesn’t fall apart, something is even improving in the backend (own Overpass API from what I’ve heard)

Now I’m not talking about iD and OSMCarto. Even with their problems, which have already been written about, I sometimes see new versions in diaries and in releases on Github. But I can’t say that about the site. What kind of activity is there in the repository, but it’s hard for me to understand which of these improves my use of the site.

It seems the only thing I have found is that after two years of my participation in OSM, there are fewer outdated login methods on the login page. However, we still have an inconvenient registration form. Try to take the place of a beginner and register on the site, for example, from your phone. I’m sure you won’t like something. https://openstreetmap.org/user/TrickyFoxy/diary/399621

And what’s new in the tools useful to mappers? In viewing objects, edits, user data? Is it convenient for anyone to watch the user’s edits on the site? Or watch the history of the point on the site? I can’t even export an image from the site exactly by coordinates to show the mapping result(https://bf5.eu/post/osm/how-to-make-before-and-after-gif-osm/)

I’ll be glad to be wrong. But the site seems to have clearly less attention than other projects.

p.s. if anything, I have nothing against the account deletion feature, it should be

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 23 July 2022 at 20:21

However, we still have an inconvenient registration form. Try to take the place of a beginner and register on the site, for example, from your phone. I’m sure you won’t like something

Oh here I agree. See say https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/2287 that got WONTFIXed and https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/3259 that actually got fixed

I am not claiming that OSM website is brimming with new features and that development is going wonderfully. It could be much worse and right now it goes slowly

But things like

we haven’t seen any new feature for years. :-(

are clearly incorrect and easily demonstrable to be false. Even if one limits themself to core website and ignores dependencies like iD and OSM Carto and routers and so on.

There is plenty to criticize and to help (though sadly, sometimes help is rejected) or to work on various projects. There is no need at all to claim untrue things.

Comment from Zverik on 24 July 2022 at 08:39

So I went to the list of closed pull requests and browsed all requests merged in the past two years (which is 18 pages).

The only change in the past year was indeed the users ability to delete themselves.

There were a lot of refactorings, slight API fixes and removals, refactoring UI elements to use Bootstrap, and function of limited visibility (e.g. for admins).

I saw some discarded pull request like dark mode for the website, and an option to see notes that are created by yourself.

So in the past two years we’ve got:

  • Self-deletion feature.
  • Removal of Potlatch 1 & 2.
  • Last updated date for diary entries (seen here, for I updated the Chrome link as suggested by Mateusz).
  • Collapsible list of members and parents for an object (e.g. seen here).
  • Separate preferences and profile forms (seen under your account icon at the top right; made things more confusing imo).
  • OAuth2 support.

I’d say the latter two are the most visible, and the OAuth2 improves things for users. But still, that’s two changes in the past two years, and not the changes that change anything in the way we interact with the website.

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 24 July 2022 at 09:10

Oh, development is definitely slow, new features are rare or just tiny tweaks hard to describe as feature.

But I have no idea why people often make claims about dead project and that nothing at all is being done. It just derails discussion as is trivial to disprove.

And list like yours is actually more impactful (especially as “separate preferences and profile forms” made things worse)

Comment from Aury88 on 24 July 2022 at 13:38

@Mateusz Konieczny Ah! wow!

are you really saying that the only thing that came to your mind for which you think the main website (osm.org) does not give the idea of an abandoned place is the adding of a button to abandon the project?

rotfl

apart from this hilarious thing are you really answering my question about the changes that a non-technical / casual / consumer user can see in “osm.org” with a (single) change within the user profile hidden in “osm.org/account/edit “ that a technical / casual / consumer user has to search for or cannot access at all?

I’m afraid the only thing that is “clearly incorrect” is your interpretation of my question. Given the more informative and correct answer from Zverik it seems that the answer to my question is yes… if you take a screenshot of “osm.org” (the main webpage not the popups or the whole website…i did not talk about osm.org/*) from years ago and compare it with a today screenshot the only change is perhaps inside the map, but the website (osm.org, not a subdirectory) has remained absolutely the same.

things like separate preferences and profile forms is only for already registered user and visible after login and OAuth2 support is something you have to search to notice…(also because it is not in the mainpage but in the login form so not accessible to non tech/generic/cosumer user that only uses the mainpage ) and absolutely not visible to non-technical users.

maybe the Collapsible list of members and parents for an object is something that an user may notice (i did not, I thought it had been there for some time, my bad) but again I would not call it a change that as a user who visits the main site can normally notice (also because it is not in the main-page but in the object form, opened after searching or selecting an object in the map).

So I’m afraid my concern remains. the development of the main page of the project (osm.org, not some sub-directories or the online editors), the project “business card”, is from years exactly the same and gives the idea of an abandoned project, unless you have absolute attention with the details (or you look for suggestions on PR in github)

there is no advantage in hiding the truth or exaggerating things just to have arguments for the project .There is plenty to be proud of .there is absolutely no need to bring as an example things that have absolutely nothing to do with the osm main page just to have arguments in favor of your arguments

regards

Comment from Zverik on 24 July 2022 at 14:39

Hey, osm.org is fine as it is: it’s just a showcase for a map and a medium for contacting other users, and it does its job fine. I don’t like the “changes for changes’ sake” attitude of commercial websites, so this page feels like something we can rely on.

The issue is different: we could have tons of features added every year if we had a better community relations at the github repo. Right now it’s easy to push refactorings and small changes, but virtually impossible to do anything big or outside-looking. And the way these proposals are shut down doesn’t encourage further contributions. Which is the sentiment behind the last section of the post.

So, the website is fine and good, its maintainers have been pushing the idea of “you want anything new — do it outside”, of which this editor is yet another (slightly ridiculous) example.

Comment from Aury88 on 24 July 2022 at 16:14

Personally, I do not agree about the website. Imho the question of change for the sake of change could be posed with a complete website with all the needed features. The problem is that there are obviously useful features, also requested by mappers, such as the ability to edit tags directly, but that are not inserted and will not be inserted…. and I don’t understand why… at the same time in my opinion the lack of features leads to less interest in the project by potential contributors because many evaluate the quality of a project from its website and the services they can get from it. In my opinion our website can be ok for a contributor, ( we can see a missing object or a wrong route or the users notes, but not map issues or directly edit the tags) but not enought to attract the interest of the normal (medium) user/consumer ( no errorproof search, not waypoint route, nor distance measurement, nor see the names in the user language, or hide closed POI or show only requested poi tipology etc…and in the map there is not a simple link to these services outside the main website). I’m not a developer so I can’t say anything about comunity relation on GitHub but I can understand and agree that shutting down pr only because they are not refactoring or small code doesn’t encourage further contributions.


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