egore911's Diary

Recent diary entries

The area around Alzey, Germany, has been hit pretty hard by the redaction bot. Especially the partly missing borders are kind of interesting. Assuming the redaction bot did “the right thing (TM)”, it means that 2 different users created the borders, one accepted, the other one didn’t. This sounds a little bit unlikely to me, but I don’t know that area before the redaction process so it might actually be possible.

I hope that someone will readd that

Location: Albig, Alzey-Land, Landkreis Alzey-Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland

Conclusions about Potlach rant

Posted by egore911 on 5 September 2008 in English (English).

I posted some ideas on how to improve the situation with inexperienced mappers using potlach. If got many comments on that one so I can see others thought about that, too. And I'm really happy that almost all of these were productive comments. It might be worth reading them ( but I'll summarize a few them here for you.

* It seems potlachs undo/redo feature isn't the best right now. Please help the authors fixing these by pointing out what exactly is wrong with it. Having a good undo/redo is really necessary for a clean workflow.

* Potlach will gain support for "highlighting" bridges. This is really good to know and I really look forward to it.

* One can't compare JOSM with Potlach. Some people try to say this one is slower or that one has more features, this one is more intuitive, etc. One should use whatever he is confident with. I use JOSM because I'm a Java developer myself and if something is not working with JOSM I can implement it (i.e. I added importing NMEA files to JOSM and wrote a patch to configure the proxy using the GUI). I also like the "stand alone application" more than the "web client" approach. But that's personal taste.

* Some people suggested guiding people to learn how to map. This might be a possible solution but I think it's a hard one. I think the "average user" will have a learning curve like the following:
1.) Look at the map and see that some streets in his neighbourhood are missing
2.) Starting potlach
3.) Clicking around in potlach to add the street to his best knowledge
4.) Finding more streets missing
5.) Adding more streets and looking at existing streets to gain knowledge about them.
6.) Adding more streets ...
I think starting with mapping isn't hard but error-prone.

* It seems for the crossing/link there are no yahoo aerial images available. I still wonder what method was used to add the incorrect information than.

Right now my region is in really good shape and thanks to other users working in this area (especially astersteiner) we are making really good progress. And also thanks to the potlach users who added all these railways!

Ranting about Potlach

Posted by egore911 on 4 September 2008 in English (English).

Several times I saw changes when suddenly a "created_by"="Potlach" appeared. Many of these changes were wrong and I often accused Potlach of being the one to blame. But I was wrong: The default audience of Potlach is to blame. Don't get me wrong: I don't say everyone who uses Potlach will only make mistakes! But some things should really not happen. Let's take an example:

I got the city boundaries for Koblenz from an official department. I added them 2 days ago and today I found out that someone moved one of them. It does not make any sense. I doubt it was done intentional. But it happend.

Also many things are done based on yahoo images (or however this is called). This is great for forests, railways and straigt wide streets ... but not for complicated crossings. Take a look at:
This is the most complex crossing/link I know of. And someone worked on it based on the images ... using Potlach ... completely wrong. I avoided doing it (until few days ago) using JOSM for a while since I know this place very well and it is just to complicated. By the way (at least I think so) the user several dozen of kilometers of the street of being a bridge ... which was wrong, too.

So I wonder if there is anything we can do to help Potlach users. I can think of 3 things that really help me in JOSM:
* The validator plugin. It fetches a lot of mess I create before I upload it.
* Bridges recently got a "blue overlay" in JOSM. This really helped me to see where I did bridges and helped me rethink a few of it.
* Explicit saving. In JOSM you need to upload your changes by clicking a button. I really like to see a "Save" button in Potlach so an average user can do as much as he/she likes without actually destroying things.

If I got anything incorrect feel free to correct me. This is just my (currently a it frustrated) point of view.

Thanks for reading :-D

Cleaning up the mess

Posted by egore911 on 26 July 2008 in English (English).

I visited my family last Wednesday. I took some GPS traces in Wiesbaden Breckenheim, Igstadt and Bierstadt and wanted to check if there are any improvements possible. And there were!

Many parts of Wiesbaden were created by using Potlach. I personally dislike this program since it does seem to do some nasty stuff. So I spent my friday night and the whole saturday fixing up the mess that was created using potlach.

Isn't there any validation available in Potlach like it is in JOSM? I only did the eastern parts of Wiesbaden and there were more than 500 warnings.

Anyway, now it's done and Wiesbaden is much better (more street names, fixed complex crossings and MANY MANY warings fixed)

Fixing motorways

Posted by egore911 on 4 July 2007 in English (English).

I had a nice trip to Ahrweiler last weekend and logged the route. I found that noone else yet did so. I also found out that the A61 was not yet mapped correctly. Both is fixed now and will appear in the next rendering process.

Koblenz progress

Posted by egore911 on 25 June 2007 in English (English).

I've made some good progress the last month mapping Koblenz. I got most of the city done (except some parts in the "Altstadt" where my tracklog was inaccurate).
Next step is to get tracklogs west of the city but the weather is really bad. It is raining very often and it's not nice to cycle around.