n76's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by n76

Post When Comment
geo: URIs support in applications about 2 months ago

Sadly, OsmAnd on the iPhone does not send a geo:// link. Instead it sends a string of the form The location was shared with you by OsmAnd and if sending by email will also include a screen shot of the map. When sending by Signal it only seems to send the screen shot.

Organic Maps and Magic Earth both just seem to send strings with text and links to their own version of the web based slippery maps.

Would you mind if I updated your new wiki page to:

  • Break your “support” column into two (Status, Comment)
  • Add my observations about OsmAnd, Organic Maps, and Magic Earth to the table.

Or would it be better to add a geo:// support column to the older wiki pages for android apps and for iOS apps?

On Paths and Trails 2 months ago

I volunteer with the US Forest Service so I am aware of some of the issues with unwanted unofficial trails. On the OSM side, there are many mappers who don’t care about official status and simply “map what exists”. Arm chair mappers can make it worse: If a trail crew works hard to close off and hide an unwanted trail at either end, an arm chair mapper looking only at older aerial imagery may add it back in.

My personal solution when mapping is to draw the way and then tag it with informal=yes, access=no, not:highway=path (or was:highway=path, abandoned:highway=path, or demolished:highway=path), and if the trail crews have done a reasonable job of covering/blocking the ends also trail_visibility=poor. In addition, a description=* tag letting the next mapper know that they should not change that to highway=*.

I am pretty sure that hiking apps will not show a way tagged as I do which should keep the traffic down on them until they heal. For the areas that I volunteer at, I’ve set up RSS feeds to monitor change sets so I can keep track of what other mappers are doing and take appropriate action, usually just comments on the change set.

In my area recreation functions, like trail maintenance, are largely volunteer activities. Which leads to a suggestion for land managers: Work with your recreation volunteers to get a few of them involved with OSM and to “take ownership” in OSM of the trails they maintain. Ownership in the sense of verifying the area is mapped correctly both in terms of location, condition, restrictions, etc.

On Paths and Trails 2 months ago

I did not see this until after the 23rd. Is there a summary of the discussion I can view or read somewhere?

I have some vested interest in trail tagging as I produce my own hiking maps and have had issues determining if a way is a trail or not, what labels I should display on features, and some other things. As such I would like to keep up with discussions on the topic of tagging trails.

I made a map! 4 months ago


I have played around with making my own maps and the big lesson I have learned is that it is not easy to create a good, clear map that is also attractive. I like what you have done.

Capturing imagery using an off-the-shelf dashcam (Viofo A129 Duo) 6 months ago

Congratulations! It sound like you found a workable solution.

I backed out of Mapillary when they were acquired but understand the need and desire for the functionality they provide.

In the meantime, I find my older Viofo 119s v2 dash cam to be a valuable mapping tool even if I don’t upload the images for others to use. I documented my setup on my blog.

I didn’t read through all the details on your tool chain, but for the script I use for my 119s V2 it would be fairly easy to rotate the direction information on the images by 180°.

My OSM User Journey 6 months ago

@Fiftyfour - Maps downloaded for another app like OsmAnd are not seen by or used by Magic Earth. You should be able to see and manage Magic Earth downloaded maps within the app.

@Gowin - Until I saw your comment I was unaware of the Organic Maps project. Looks good and resolves the issues I was starting to have with For those with Android who I’ve recommended in the past I can suggest they transition to Organic Maps. Unfortunately it looks like the iOS version is only in a development form at the moment: When you select the link for iOS you get to a Apple Test Flight page and when you search the iOS store it is not there.

My OSM User Journey 6 months ago

I do not recommend OsmAnd for friends and family for the very reasons you give regarding the user interface. There are a number of other apps/projects that use OpenStreetMap data which give a much nicer user interface. In the past I recommended and at present I suggest Magic Earth.

What a mess!! 7 months ago

The rules on when to remove the tiger:reviewed tag are more like suggestions.

My personal rule is that I need to verify the name based on signage on the ground. In this case alignment and some pavement surfaces updates were made by aerial imagery, some abbreviated names expanded and a couple of names checked against newer 2019 TIGER data. But no on the ground survey to verify was done so I left the tiger:reviewed=no tags in place.

What a mess!! 7 months ago

Looking at that area with an editor it seems it is still a bit of a “TIGER desert”. That is an area imported from a long ago version of the Census TIGER dataset (which has given imports a bad name) and hasn’t been fully cleaned up since. There are some roads that were aligned but when I look at the roads that are badly mis-aligned I don’t see that any real clean up has been done. See, for example, and where the only edits seem to have been to adjust the imported TIGER tagging.

That is not a large an area so it shouldn’t take too long for a mapper to go through and align the road network to current imagery. I might think about doing it myself even though it is a bit out of my geographical area (last time I was anywhere near there was on a trip to Sedona about 3 years ago).

If it helps any, huge portions of the US, mostly in rural areas with few local mappers, suffer from this same issue.

Automation of buildings and addresses 8 months ago

I concur the @lyx there are a number of steps missing in the processing you describe.

In addition, at least for my area, the Microsoft AI building outlines are not very good. Certainly not up to my personal standards.

I did a partial import of open data from my local county where they had conflated Microsoft buildings with their address data. I started off trying to import the buildings and the addresses and found that I had to redraw nearly all the buildings. So I changed to simply importing (and conflating with existing OSM data) the address data. Even that needed enough manual intervention that I only did about 1/2 the county (the half that I live in).

Importing data is not an easy job to do well. You need to follow the guidelines @lyx linked to. That is not all the hard to do: Mostly announce it properly, create a wiki page describing your process, etc.

The hard part is actually doing the work well which includes properly handling cases where there are partial addresses in OSM which need to be conflated with your import data. Or cases where the same address shows up in more than one location. Or cases where the street name in your address import doesn’t match any near by street. Or. . . Well there are lots of ways the data could need some attention.

Today Marks The End Of My Edits 11 months ago

Sorry to hear of you leaving.

When I first started with OSM I spent a lot of time adding speed limits and correcting TIGER road geometries to improve the operation of the navigation apps I use on my phone. When I first started there were no speed limits on the freeways between where I live in California and the family house in Southern Arizona so the OSM based navigation apps were way off in their time estimates. I took a different route on different trips to capture the speed limit information.

But OSM has come a long way since then with the roads I know of pretty accurately mapped nowadays. So my focus has changed.

In my area it seems most of the corporate edits are for improving motor vehicle navigation. For Amazon that is for deliveries (lots of service ways). It doesn’t really bother me as long as they are correct.

While I tend to treat my local area as a garden to be tended (make sure POIs, buildings, addresses are complete and accurate) my real focus is on hiking and camping. As near as I can tell those edits on OSM are still nearly all volunteer driven.

I guess what it comes down to me is I don’t care who does the edits or what their agenda is. I care that the edits improve the map. And there are lots of things I care about (my personal agenda) that the corporate editors are unlikely to worry about so there are things for me to edit and, in a small way, improve the world.

How to map fuel stations? about 1 year ago

I guess I am driven by the OSM QA tools that complain if multiple objects have the same street address.

In my area the most common configuration is a filling area (with a canopy building=roof, layer=1) and a convenience store (building=retail, shop=convenience). But both share the same street address as shown on purchase receipts and signage.

If I put the same address on both buildings I will get nagged by the QA tools about duplicate addresses.

Which is the reason I put a landuse=retail and address around the area. If there is an existing land use, then I will carve my new one out of the old one: No overlapping land use, and my new land use only covers the area for which the address is valid.

How to map fuel stations? about 1 year ago

Look at how other fuel stations in your area are tagged, there may be a local convention.

What I usually do is tag the building=roof only. There is usually another building on the same site that may have a repair station, restaurant or convenience store which I tag separately. If the fueling area and repair/restaurant/store share an address then I put a landuse=retail around the whole area and put the address on that.

I have never tagged amenity=fuel on any road and I’ve never seen it done that way. But conventions do vary somewhat depending on where in the world you are, so maybe it is done elsewhere.

Again, look at other fuel stations in your area and see if there is a local convention. Or check out the talk email list for your country. it looks like there is one for India:

This is not going very fast over 1 year ago

Regarding building outlines: Each building has a different problem. If the building is actually rectangular the outline can be rotated, off on one or more edges or the whole thing off by some translation. But the more usual case is that the building is not rectangular and invariably in that case the outline bears little resemblance to the imagery. In general the building is much more rectangular than the building itself (“L” or “T” shaped building image but the import data shows a rectangle, etc.).

Maybe, once I have finished with my local city, I will turn the rest of the county into a maproullette challenge. That may be the only way that it will ever get completed.

Never ending edits over 1 year ago

I admire that you even attempt to fix all the Osmose errors in your area. . .

I am still trying to simply fix the ones that list me as last editor: Fix a TIGER road that crosses a bunch of imported waterways and you have a bunch of Osmose errors under your name. And then there are waterways that simply disappear into the desert, I know of no way to indicate to the QA tools that this is not a mistake.

Created an account over 1 year ago

They do use OSM, at least for some of the maps available on their app. But based on my OSM edits and looking at their current topo/hiking map I’d say it takes them 3 to 6 months to get changes from OSM into their copy. Not really a problem, just trying to set expectations.

In addition to improving the usability of GaiaGPS, you will be improving a host of other outdoor related maps and navigation apps that use OSM data. So thank you!

iD editor should "nudge" mappers into best tagging practices over 1 year ago

When mapping using aerial imagery I try to distinguish between asphalt and concrete (all most all pavements in my area are one or the other of those). But with oil stains on concrete or sun faded older asphalt it is not always possible to tell, in those cases I use “paved”.

The unpaved roads in areas I am familiar with vary widely on the surface, sometimes over very short distances. Sand, bare rock, dirt, etc. And from aerial imagery is it often impossible to tell what the surface is. “Unpaved” really is the only choice that makes sense and removing it would be disastrous to the quality of the tagging.

So I concur with lyx that your proposed change is more likely to decrease the quality of mapping rather than increase it.

Bing Imagery Offset over 1 year ago

The alignment varies with time too, not just location.

For a long while the MapBox imagery was the best as far as alignment in my area. But sometime in the last year or so I noticed that the Bing imagery was refreshed and the new imagery is as well or better aligned as the MapBox imagery. Not sure how long ago this happened as I only noticed when I had an area that I just couldn’t see the detail I was looking for (construction newer than the imagery) and so looked around at other imagery to see if there was newer stuff available.

Of course the best thing to do at the beginning of an editing session is to see if there are any GPX tracks in the area that can be used to check the imagery alignment. Don’t know about iD, but in JOSM you can adjust the alignment.

Is there a way to keep history on all segment while "split 3 part of highway" in JOSM ?? over 1 year ago

Not possible: The history is the record of changes to an object. When you split a way you are removing some of the points on that way and putting them into a newly created object. All JOSM is asking is which way object from the split should retain the original object ID, the other(s) will get new object IDs. In any case they all can’t have the same ID and history.

Italy AMS Topographic Maps over 1 year ago

Your selected image was instantly recognizable to me as being an American produced map. Apparently the US Army and the US Geological Survey (USGS) shared a common set of guidelines on how to present and style information.