mikelmaron has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Welcome to the new Missing Maps 6 months ago

hey @woodpeck --- I'm reading your comment and having trouble understanding exactly what you think is an issue here. OSM purposely doesn't spend much on publicity, or develops software -- but makes an API available for anyone to sign up to and use, as long as the community norms of mapping are followed. Missing Maps as a project has not been in an OSM vacuum, and this is far from the first site to share statistics on how we're mapping. If tangible issues develop, there's plenty of room to address -- OSM never stopped from doing something out of fear of what might go wrong, otherwise we'd never have started! In any case, the code for this is open, and I think there's huge potential to apply analysis at scale on OSM for all sorts of purposes -- how else can we make OSM better through infrastructure such as this?

Data and community in the Belgian regions 6 months ago

Oh of course --- was using Mazermind tools as well for analysis with OSM Epic Turned out, very difficult to manage the scale of data in OSM History, in a database.

A recent break through for me, via working at Mapbox on this stuff, was using OSMQATiles and TileReduce processing. This is what drove the country cover work (links at

For example, was able to very quickly write and run script to count and visualize users by join date in OSM. I mean really fast --- writing the processor took less than an hour, and running takes less than a minute.

OSMQATiles covers what's in OSM right now, not history, and doesn't include relations. But even with these limitations, can derive enough actionable information to get a good picture of the community. I wonder, can we think of what questions where current OSMQATiles is sufficient, and whether the simplicity of the approach and speed gives a lot. And what critical things are we missing, and should we looking into a full history QA tile set as well.

Data and community in the Belgian regions 6 months ago

Great research @joost%20schouppe. What tools are you using to run these stats? Would love to see this kind of local community research available everywhere, on an ongoing basis.

This mapper's interest is first and foremost landuse mapping.

Pretty interesting how this is amplified when only analysing nodes. Raises the importance of something we don't capture in metrics easily --- what kinds of features edited on user and location basis.

If we had contribution stats by feature types at various admin_levels, would be able to identify particular community data strengths and weaknesses. The highway coverage analysis was one step in this direction

Another important element to capture is recency --- you might have great coverage, but if it all happened 5 years ago, the community is not very vibrant.

Do people cross borders? Well yes. To define "home", I first took a subset of people with at least fives sessions in Belgium over all years. Then I simply looked at the region they had most sessions in.

This is pretty interesting. A lot of mappers cross borders, and identifying who is local and who is remote is tricky. Would love to have a service which provided

1) per user, a list of the number of edits per admin boundary, along with the most likely "home" 2) a list of users per admin boundary (also at multiple levels)

Picturing Proposed Development at Josephite Seminary in DC 8 months ago

@dieterdreist yes, this is more for conversation. I certainly hope the eventual project is more sophisticated, and that it seriously takes into account other ideas put together by the community.

A new version of the OSM Edit Report is here! 8 months ago

the work of the Mapbox data team is quite diverse and also consists of lower volume activities like fixing errors etc. The tool you introduced here however does not reflect this

provide capture date metadata with your satellite imagery.

Thanks for the suggestions @imagico. Both of these improvements have been discussed, and are both complicated for different reasons. Looking forward to share more, when the knotty problems get sorted out.

Conflation engine Cygnus now in public beta 9 months ago

Very curious to read more about the process and code Cygnus applies behind the scenes, and how it can be extended to other kinds of features.

The most inefficient way in North America 9 months ago

@bdiscoe nice work. would love to see a TileReduce version of this, to make it easy for anyone to run repeatedly in any country

The history and completeness of OSM 9 months ago

My understanding is that the methodology is based on random sampling and visual inspection, not on assumptions of distribution of roads. We should be able to investigate more once the code is opened. I agree, 90% sounds a bit high overall, but it is an estimate after all (not something true or false). Many of the numbers align but not completely with (where the completeness numbers are comparison against CIA World Factbook), so will be an interesting comparison The trajectory graphs are helpful in a lot of cases to spot some dynamics in communities.

HOT Voting Member Nomination 9 months ago

Love the focus on validation ... there are connections to HOT's documentation, activation protocol, and technical developments.

Missing Maps Workshop at Mapbox-BLR 10 months ago

Great wisdom Maning!

Some things we put together over the last year on organizing an event, from MapGive

OSM-PH tagging suggestion 10 months ago

Just seeing this now @maning and it is awesome. I don't think I've seen anything like this before, except in my mind after too much mapping! Super useful perspective, illustrates the process of observation and data creation in the real world.

How we apply map feedback over 1 year ago

There should be and are many levels to contribute to OSM, so this is a good concept, and thanks for the transparency. To pull out a productive idea, offering a path to users giving feedback (and notes), to get more involved in OSM, is a useful idea.

HOT 2014 Review over 1 year ago

Thanks for your sharing this Sam. I encourage you to open your ears a bit more to what's happening in HOT community and organizationally the last six months. You're already doing this a bit, since you answered the call to document HOT activities in 2014. I see things as substantially improved. Eager to hear more ideas on how we all can be more constructive, together.

Vision? almost 2 years ago

Non-editable requests from HOT? You must be confused. Reference please.

Moabi at State of the Map US almost 2 years ago

@butrus_butrus: Some data might be appropriate for sharing in OSM, or even being based in OSM. No specific plans at the moment, but something we are continually looking at.

Moabi at State of the Map US over 2 years ago

Yes, definitely maning. We're gearing up for that, will let you know.

You can't do this with any other map but OpenStreetMap over 2 years ago

Thanks @lxbarth. I like the idea of highlighting what you can only do with OpenStreetMap, we should collect these. Here's a few more:

Is the OpenStreetMap Rails App Appropriate for Other Data Sets? over 2 years ago

@nfgusedautoparts: they may work. but since our use is outside of properly, we have more latitude in implementing new features.

OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike over 2 years ago

"require time, good lawyers and programmers" ... that's key to me. Where to invest our time and effort to reach OSM's best potential.

I agree with a lot of the intention @lxbarth lines up, especially making it easier for governments that have made Open Data open to benefit in kind.

But as we can see from the discussion kicked off here, there's not really anything with more opinions in OSM than the license. Moving from cc-by-sa to ODbL was a lengthy, frankly painful, process, and while we learned a lot, I unfortunately couldn't say that any further license change wouldn't take just as long, or longer. Is this a place to invest time again?

Yet, I think we may be able to get a long way with the ODbL. I think it at least worthwhile to share more details on possible legal interpretations. I remember at SotM-US last year, a productive BoF about licensing. Seemed to me like one question, geocoding into 3rd party databases, seemed close to a workable and widely supported realization. There was a lawyer who was interested and seemed to have some ideas about how it could work.

I know lawyers aren't really able to share opinions into the commons themselves, just to their clients. I wonder how we could build up a more collaborative, commons of solid interpretations of the ODbL, which would be clear, and make it easier to answer questions without IANAL. This seems doable to me, but I'm not sure how.

Likewise with the workarounds of using OSM in various. Which while not ideal, I think are also solvable. Can we build up a collection of guidance and recipes by people have built real projects using OSM data in license compatible ways?

A Social Without Groups almost 3 years ago


Just came back here after some time, this post was referenced on another thread. And see, there's some replies. Wish I had a notification!

Alex: Sure, that kind of flexibility on posting permissions/subscription/joining make sense to me. This is how github works, and works well. But earlier you said "Do away with joining groups.", and I disagree. You should be able to join a group, be listed as interested, and tailor your notifications (email or not for all posts, or just in your "news feed").

Tom: That's absolutely what I have in mind, to make all the plethora of OSM activity and tools tailored and convenient to that place/topic. Afaik, hasn't been approached yet in the groups code. Question on my mind is how to make integration of other tools flexible enough, but not too bespoke. What's the easiest way to get started on this?

Now, I think we're close to common ground. Good moment to boil down the discussion here, and pull out the agreed points into design guidance and issues on the groups tree, and do a coding push to get these features out into the wild.