apm-wa has commented on the following diary entries

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Proposed Admin Levels for Turkmenistan 9 days ago

Harry, thanks for the comment and the background. When I concocted this proposal, it was based on seeing how mappers before me had designed cities as admin_level=8 and then worked from there (the levels 0-7 seemed pretty cut and dried). The levels in Turkmenistan, as in particular the capital city of Ashgabat (which is run by the central government in reality), can be seen for example as

  • 4 provinces (welayat)
  • 5 districts of provinces (etrap in Turkmen, rayon in Russian)
  • 8 city of Ashgabat (has its own mayor, appointed by the president of the country)
  • 9 boroughs (etrap in Turkmen, rayon in Russian) of the city of Ashgabat (each of which has a mayor, also appointed by the president); this level also pertains to villages subordinated to level 5 districts of provinces
  • 10 municipal districts, which are administrative subdivisions of a city or borough (confusingly, the Turkmen term 'etrap' is used for these as well as for subdivisions of the provinces or 'welayat' as well as Ashgabat's boroughs; the Russian is a less confusing 'mikrorayon')

The 11th admin level arose when I discovered, while mapping street addresses, that some of the level 10 districts are not only further subdivided, but within them buildings numbers are unique and based on date of construction, not on location, meaning the address, for example, 3 Etrap, building 1 would be meaningless, since there is a building numbered 1 in both 3/1 Etrap and 3/2 Etrap. The only solution that presented itself to me was to create an 11th level.

Frederick Ramm and I corresponded briefly on this, and he commented that it is unusual for administrative subdivisions to be mapped in this level of detail (I recall he used the term 'granular'). I replied that it is necessary in this case if the street addresses are to be routable and not to duplicate each other, which is one of the objectives of my effort. Maps should not led the user astray, I firmly believe.

Was the mapping devised badly in the first place in Turkmenistan? Probably so. If cities had been level 7, the problem of an 11th level would have been avoided. I started mapping here shortly after arrival three years ago and inherited an existent but largely out of date database, which I have updated and expanded. To go in now and do a wholesale revamp of inherited admin levels at this point goes far beyond the amount of time I have to devote to this hobby. That said, if you are willing.... :-) Or if anyone else out there is willing... :-)

The New Digital Globe Premium Imagery...WOW! 14 days ago

Claudius, I agree with you that the alignment is better, much better. Not perfect across all locales but much better. Where possible I collect GPS traces and make them public to ease alignment.

Dinosaurs 3 months ago

Marych, yes, twice so far.


Dinosaurs 3 months ago

Marych, it does require border permission from the State Border Service since the plateau is in the border zone with Uzbekistan. That can take a few days to obtain, and so you are correct, it is effectively inaccessible to most tourists. It is also time-consuming to get there: a 17-hour train ride from Ashgabat to Atamyrat, 3 hours by car to Koyten obasy, and another hour from there to the foot of the plateau. Alternatively you can fly to Turkmenabat (about one hour from Ashgabat by air), then go by car (about seven or eight hours overland) if the Lebap government tourism agency is willing to provide a car and guide.

Overpass Turbo for Quality Control and a Gazetteer 5 months ago

Take a look at Overpass Turbo here:

The wiki article on it is here:

I am not fluent in the script language myself, but the instructions appear to direct Overpass Turbo to

  1. generate a .csv file consisting of the Turkmen names of specified ways,
  2. apply a filter (only include ways inside Ashgabat)
  3. apply a second filter (only include highways)
  4. send output to the screen
When the Hunting is Poor, Change Your Hunting Ground 5 months ago

Thanks for that--my Garmin GPS doesn't seem to have that software switch, so my only work around is to pull out the SD card. Next time I replace the GPS I'll look for that feature.

Day trip to Dashoguz 6 months ago

Yes, I do! It is so much easier to master than JOSM...

Day trip to Dashoguz 6 months ago

Marych, no, I haven't tried OSMTracker. Would you recommend it? I have a couple of Android devices but typically move around with one of them (the Samsung Galaxy phone) running Mapillary to capture imagery, and the other is a Samsung Galaxy tablet that would require more attention (and a much bigger pocket!) than my iPhone running Pocket Earth. Is there a particular advantage to OSMTracker over Pocket Earth for casual address and POI collection?

Day trip to Dashoguz 6 months ago

No, I don't. I export the GPX file by e-mail and download the attachment to my desktop PC, then upload the GPX file to OSM using the "Upload Traces" wizard and edit manually. My approach is 100% manual, not automated at all.

Yslam Karimow köçesi in Turkmenabat 7 months ago

There is now OpenStreetCam imagery of the automobile bridge across the Amu Darya, see here:

Mystery Monuments 8 months ago

There is also a monument at Garadamak and Atatürk that needs a name.

Yslam Karimow köçesi in Turkmenabat 11 months ago

Yes, I saw both the automobile and the railroad bridges, but did not have a chance to cross the river on them. I did however mark the new monument location with Pocket Earth and used that to update the map.