Recently I noticed that the links that I have been using for heritage:website in Flanders were broken. Since this has been going on for a couple of weeks, it is not just a temporarily hiatus, but a permanent problem. So I have to update them all.
The old format was http://para.ms/relict/<relict-number>
The new URL is https://inventaris.onroerenderfgoed.be/dibe/relict/<relict-number>
First, I use an Overpass query to find all those listed buildings.
Overpass allows you to open the result in an editor, e.g. Level0.
Level0 is a “simple” editor that allows you to edit OSM data
The editor is so simple that there is no find+replace functionality. So I copied all the data into a text editor on my computer. There, I replaced the wrong URLs with the correct ones. This is a straightforward operation on any text editor. Then I copied all data back into the Level0 editor.
I logged into OSM. You can find the login button just above the data section, on the left.
I confirmed the OSM dialog in order to allow Level0 to use my account
The result is that Level0, now knows who I am
After filling in a changeset comment the data is ready to be uploaded
is this a mechanical edit ? Not for me. I added at least 90% of those URLs myself. I checked several URLs myself and found that none of the old URLs were working anymore. So for me this is just a resurvey of data.
I also used this principle to update some fire hydrants that I added without specifying the type of the hydrant. This mechanism was also used to add some wikidata numbers to administrative boundaries in Belgium. Since I manually looked up the wikidata, this was not a mechanical edit neither.
I admit that this can be used to perform mechanical edits, but nevertheless I consider it as a powerful tool to quickly edit some incorrect data.
Comment from Polyglot on 20 December 2014 at 17:29
Hehe, my first thought was also: mechanical edit. On the other hand, anything that helps mappers be more productive has my blessing.
I would probably have used Notepad++ to perform the search/replace as it supports regex (regular expressions; a very powerful way to work with text and morph it).
Thanks for looking into this. There is a good chance it will come in handy later on.
Comment from joost schouppe on 21 December 2014 at 01:03
Thanks for the write-up. Looks like a good way to fix errors. Can’t see how anyone could have anything against this method.
Comment from marczoutendijk on 21 December 2014 at 10:54
Indeed a helpful tool for some of the tasks we sometimes have to do!
Comment from jgpacker on 8 January 2015 at 10:51
@joost This method would normally be seen as a mechanical edit because the user doesn’t analyze each object and makes automatic changes instead, but the particular action he made isn’t a problem, considering the reasons he describes at end of his post.
Comment from dieterdreist on 11 February 2015 at 16:17
I also think this is clearly a mechanical edit, but I don’t have any objections in this case that it was done.
Comment from escada on 11 February 2015 at 17:15
I could have written a program that called http://para.ms/relict/ (the old scheme) for all numbers between 1 and 999.999 and counted how many 404's were returned. And only proceed when the answer was 999.999.
In that case I would have analysed each URL, not ?
As for the the fire hydrants, I want to stress that I only edited those objects of which I was the last editor. Even when they were simply moved by someone else, they were not included in the overpass query since the “username=escada” part would not return them.
I could not repeat that one, as I have added underground fire hydrants since then.
Comment from ff5722 on 22 November 2016 at 12:48
Just an additional tip in case you’re using this method for more complicated things: you can download an OSM file of your changes in Level0, then open this in JOSM to have a more visual validation check.