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What's new in OSMCha

Posted by nammala on 11 October 2017 in English. Last updated on 16 October 2017.

If you have been a daily user of OSMCha, you have already started using the new version. Wille has been working with Mapbox on new developments of OSMCha. We have been testing the stack stability, and collecting feedback from Mapbox data team and community members for few months now.

I would like to use this diary post to introduce few features in the new version of OSMCha and talk about ways we can use them for validation.


The development challenge has been to make OSMCha easier to use, faster to review changesets, and a robust tool for filtering OSM edits. We needed to add contextual information on mappers & changesets, improve the user-friendly UI, add keyboard shortcuts, and a lot more using an API driven frontend.

Along with a brand new design, a lot of things have been improved in the new version. Here are some of the new features.


The sidebar is similar to how the History tab on OpenStreetMap shows a list of changesets. The sidebar on OSMCha also gives a count of changesets in the search, and supports keyboard shortcuts to move through the list.


Many filters correspond to the metadata associated in changesets. To help make this clear, we now have descriptions for each filter that briefly explain what a certain filter does in the search.

Saving personal filters - Area of interest

One key request from OSMCha community users has been ability to save a set of filters for easy sharing, and reuse. This is now possible! You can save a filter with a custom name and share the url with the folks you work with or find it in your profile for future use and reference.

For example: Here is a filter that lets me see all changesets in New York

GeoRSS feed

If you would like to be notified when a new changeset comes into your personalized filter, we now have GeoRSS feed that can do that for you. Here is an example changeset feed link for the New-york filter I have made above

Open a list of changesets by ids

If you need to open a list of changesets by id (for example, returned from Overpass), OSMCha now supports filtering by comma seperated changeset ids.

The bbox search works by retrieving all changesets whose bboxes have an intersection with the bbox we give. A problem with this method is that global scale changesets can overlap the local search area. This problem has been wonderfully explained here by Athalis. One way to solve this problem is to have a bbox size bound search.

Bbox size bound search limits the retrieval of worldwide edits by taking a multiple from the user that essentially limits the max bbox size in the search. Example: 2 only shows changesets whose bboxes are at maximum twice the size of bbox we have provided.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts enrich user experience. In the new version of OSMCha, we have keyboard shortcuts that allow us to sift through panels, sidebar changeset list and even verify a changeset. Read more about keyboard in the about page for OSMCha

Tag the changesets

Another new feature is the possibility to tag the changesets. This way we can add a little more information about the changesets, besides saying that it’s good or bad. We have some tags to evaluate the severity degree, if the errors were resolved or not and if they were intentional.

It is important for us to review changesets we are reviewing as good or bad, as it indicates other community members that they need not spend time on that particular changeset.


If you have ideas or suggestions on OSMCha, please feel free open an issue in one of the below repositories.

OSMCha frontend -

Backend API repo -

Find all the necessary documentation related to the API here:

API docs -

We are delighted to introduce the new version. This was a collaborative work and we hope you like it just as much as we do.

Happy reviewing!


Comment from gileri on 11 October 2017 at 18:37

Nice writeup and update ! Thanks !

Comment from Adityo on 13 October 2017 at 08:24

nice update! Thank you Mapbox Team for creating this tool. We use it a lot recently :D

Comment from SomeoneElse on 14 October 2017 at 12:02

If the frontend to this is then might I suggest actually linking to it somewhere near the top of the diary entry? That way people will know what it is about :)

Comment from nammala on 16 October 2017 at 05:04

Added SomeoneElse. Thanks for noticing this out :)

Comment from SafwatHalaby on 21 October 2017 at 06:26


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