Notes feature - A "treasure hunt" challenge

Posted by drnoble on 12 February 2014 in English (English)

With OpenStreetMap looking virtually complete around Edinburgh, it is sometimes difficult to spot where to map next. Obviously there are a lot of data still to be added to the map, and overlays such as those produced by ITO maps [1] are very useful in highlighting those areas with missing attributes.

However, recently I have been finding the notes feature on the main map has been a really good source of “this needs checking”. It then becomes a treasure hunt, to go to that location, and spot the discrepancy flagged up, check it out, and update the map as required. This gives me a great excuse to explore areas of the city that I would unlikely otherwise visit, and keeps me fit as an added bonus.

As the saying goes, “many hands make light work”, and I think this is certainly true for tracking changes in OpenStreetMap. If many people can flag up potential errors, even if some are false positives, then it gives more experienced mappers a good incentive to update the local area that may otherwise become stale.

Plus, I almost always find something else nearby that is not on the map, which I can add in addition to the flagger “error”. Something that I most likely would not have gone to visit if it were not for the OCD compulsion to close as many of the open notes as possible :)

So thanks to the developers who implemented the notes feature, and thanks to the anonymous contributor(s) that flag up possible shortcomings in the data.

[1] &

Location: Old Town, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Comment from NZGraham on 12 February 2014 at 23:19

Hi Donald, Not sure if you also use KeepRight but I’ve just had a look at Edinburgh (my old home town back in the 1960s) and there are enough alerts showing to keep you busy for some time!

It is one of the tools I use - provides an incentive for where to direct my bike rides and, like you, I always find other unmapped features to add to OSM.

Happy mapping! Graham

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