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What are these numbers?

Posted by pieleric on 27 February 2014 in English (English)

Just had a look at the map around Doha (Qatar). Strangely, each district name seems to be followed by a number in parenthesis. Out of curiosity, I'm wondering if anyone knows their meaning?

Out of consistency... I'd guess that these numbers should not be there. Unless that's really how local people call these places, the "name" tag should not bear the numbers. The numbers probably belong to another tag. Even better would be to have the name tag being written in Arabic as it's the local language... I'd do it if I was able to write in Arabic ;-)

Location: Al Doha Al Jadeeda (15), Doha, 37109, Qatar

An amazing 2.5D map

Posted by pieleric on 24 September 2013 in English (English)

Recently there has been several implementations of 3D and 2.5D (isometric) rendering of OSM. Honestly, I haven't been enthusiastic by any of them. One of the reason is that apparently no one is trying to actually represent streets (the S of OSM) better than flat spaghettis.

I've just seen this map, and I got faith again that 2.5D representation can be useful and beautiful:

This is the map of Guangzhou (China). Several other big Chinese cities are also available. There are so many amazing things in this map: * multiple level streets are (almost) readable. * building shapes and texture are so precise that each remarkable building is distinguishable on the map. * POI are active: they are not just a big stamp on top of the map, they can be shown or hidden, and react to mouse hover. * It's so amazing complete (fair enough, the quality of London in OSM is probably almost on par) * It makes any city look like a city from SimCity 2000 ;-)

Hopefully eventually it will be possible to see OSM data rendered as such 2.5D quality map!

Location: 東山, 东山街道, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510080, PRC

Anyone has a tool to fix this kind of way?

Posted by pieleric on 16 May 2013 in English (English)

There are quite a few ways in the database which are passing by several times the same point. Such an example:

There are lot of those in this area, but I've such seen a ways a bit everywhere in the map. It seems like it's pretty easy to do with Potlatch, and really hard to fix :-/

Anyway, is there a tool to fix such a way? Or maybe someone has a tip on how to fix them easily?

Location: Weyburn, Census Division No. 2, Saskatchewan, Canada

Advanced rendering of tags

Posted by pieleric on 25 March 2013 in English (English)

The french OSM team has been playing with improved rendering in mapnik. Recently, they've introduced the idea of rendering sport tags for known sports by displaying the lines of the field. I like it a lot, it gives a much nicer display than having an icon of the sport :-)

You can see an example here, with tennis, football (soccer) and rugby fields:

They've also improved the rendering of golf:

I hope it'll be picked up by other tile renderers :-)

My 10 most useful OSM links

Posted by pieleric on 13 March 2013 in English (English)

One of the power of OpenStreetMap is that every one can do whatever they like with the data. There are actually lots of services provided by websites other than the main official one. Some consider this also a weakness because at first sight it seems OSM provides much less than other map services like Google, even if there are already some many functionalities available. Here is my list of the services I like most. Maybe it can point to some services that you didn't know :-)

  • : the official website, that everyone knows. The one feature I miss is a "Where Am I?" button to show my approximate position (using the browser known location). Many websites have it, but not the main OSM website! Confusingly, there is a "where am I?" link, but it doesn't show you where you are, it tells you the name of the current place on the map :-/

  • : Open Source Routing Machine, a really fast routing website with a nice clean interface. It can find the fastest route from any where in the world in less than a second! I just hope they will eventually add support for bicycle routing, and it will be perfect :-)

  • : Skobbler, a very nice interface for simple user of the map. I especially like the way to search and see POIs.

  • : Who Did it? Shows the last changes on an area. Really useful to monitor the last changes over an area. It basically overcomes all the shortcomings of the history functionality on the official website.

  • : KeepRight, a service that detects some potential errors in the data. Works world-wide and is updated about weekly. IMHO, the most useful warnings are "missing tags" and "almost-junctions". Helped me to fix so many errors already.

  • : OSM inspector, a similar service with different type of warnings detected.

  • : OSM bugs, an interface where it's very easy to flag map errors. It's good to check it every so often around your area of interest to see if you can help fix some errors.

  • : MapOSMatic, create your own paper map of any city you like.

  • : To see what you've never seen. The typical world projection only goes down to 85° latitude, and the areas around the poles are already very distorted. This shows Antarctica in an meaningful way.

  • and : How did you contribute and Your OSM Heatmap: Show in a simple and good looking way the contribution of a user. In theory, it's good to know at a glance the level/contributions of a user, but let's admit it, the main usage is to boost your ego ;-)

That's the main websites I'm using. If you think there is some other useful ones that are not there, let me know!

Over 32 bits

Posted by pieleric on 9 February 2013 in English (English)

Apparently, this night, the first object ID in the database which do not fit in a 32 bit signed int has been created. Now let's wait and see which software parts break...

Otherwise it's a good news, it means the content of OSM is growing fast!

Mapping Xian

Posted by pieleric on 14 September 2012 in English (English)

After the redaction boat passed by, I've been playing at remapping a bit everywhere in the world. Especially, I've added back a few roads in Kristiansand (Norway), and then quite a bit more in Cyprus. With just the Bing imagery and GPS traces, it's amazing how much you can do! There is still plenty to be done but now that Cyprus is in a state good enough to have routing working, I've decided to move on.

So to celebrate the fact that now OSM is under the ODbL, I've started to map around Xian (China). Not so much to remap, but a loooot to map! My first goal is to get all the road interchanges around the city well mapped. So far, I've finished two: * *

It's amazing how it seems that every interchange in the world is different, although most of them are just about connecting two or three roads together... :-D

Satellite imagery of Guadix now available

Posted by pieleric on 26 June 2012 in English (English)

As some other persons have mentioned, the Bing imagery has been updated recently. It's especially a big update for me because several of the areas where I've mapped got a better view.

Most particularly, Guadix, a lovely and picturesque Spanish town has now a satellite view. It's a great feeling to see all the street that I've entered using GPS traces suddenly appearing (almost perfectly) aligned over the satellite view. Completing the town should be much easier now! I recommend any one visiting the area to stop by this city and visit the troglodyte district... and write down the name of the streets at the same time ;-) .

It seems that Lima also got new views, with a much better alignment than previously. I've also noticed that around Xi'an the high-resolution area has grown a lot, which should permit to map countryside roads.

Overall, a very useful update of Bing :-)

Location: Guadix, Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Mapping request of Norway's villages

Posted by pieleric on 26 May 2012 in English (English)

Hello, I'm planning to go on holiday to Norway next month. I've checked, and although a lot is already mapped, there are quite a few towns or villages through which I'm planning to pass which are not mapped. With the latest Bing imagery, it seems possible to map the roads and streets of quite a few.

Here is the list:

So if you happen to feel like doing a bit of chair mapping, give me a hand :-) Of course, once I'll be in Norway, I'll take the opportunity to review the streets, and add information where ever I can!



PS: the high-res imagery seems pretty well aligned (better than the coastline) but it's still worthy to check the alignment with some GPS traces around.

Looking forward to the completion of the license change

Posted by pieleric on 4 April 2012 in English (English)

Apparently the last step of license change, the redaction period, has just started. I'm really looking forward to have it over. Finally we'll be able to map simply again. No more thinking of whether the street I want to add the name is going to be completely removed or will just lose a bit its shape. No more thinking whether I should realign a building or just fully redraw it from scratch because it's tainted by non-ODbL edits.

As soon as the redaction period is over we'll be back mapping just thinking "If there is something that I can improve, I improve it", plain and simple! So looking forward to it. Good luck to the guys in charge of performing the database changes :-)

Peru's import could get some love

Posted by pieleric on 11 August 2011 in English (English)

Looking at Lima's map, I noticed many roads were just lots of unconnected ways. It seems they come from a huge import from "Telcom IP". Comparing it to the Bing imagery is even more scary as at some places it seems it's completely unrelated (although the imagery seems correctly aligned other where). At these places it seems it'd better to delete all of it!

Quite a few streets are named but it's all uppercase. And the streets without (known) name got named "S/N", probably standing for "without name". This could probably be fixed by a script. Moreover, many streets are cut into very small ways with the same name. Sometimes they are also duplicated.

The imagery is precise enough to permit to fix a lot. In some places, like Piura, there has been some clean up already going on. A lot more love could go on. So, to everyone looking to do some armchair mapping during a rainy day, keep Peru in mind :-)

Location: Rímac, Lima, LIMA 25, Peru

Just finished the labyrinth of the drielandenpunt

Posted by pieleric on 12 June 2011 in English (English)

Situated on the highest mountain of the Netherlands (300m high), is the labyrinth of the drielandenpunt (point of the three countries). I was there yesterday, and can recommend it. It was actually the first labyrinth I've ever been which was a bit difficult. It features bridges, and fountains block your way if you come from the wrong side. So it was pretty fun.

As openstreepmap had a very poor version of its map, I've updated it using Bing imagery and my memory. It should be pretty complete. But of course the whole fun is to complete the labyrinth without looking at the map!

Location: Vaals, Limburg, Netherlands, The Netherlands

Just finished my first town

Posted by pieleric on 13 February 2011 in English (English)

I've just finished mapping my first town in OpenStreetMap, and coincidently it's also the first town where I lived: Crépy-en-Valois. Completed it using mainly the "cadastre" from the French authorities, and the Bing imagery, and the memories I have from spending 15 years there (turned out to be extremely useful).

Of course a place is never fully mapped, but here is can be found:
* all the streets
* all the streets names
* the shape of every building

I finished by naming the streets, and to ensure the quality, I compared the list of street names found on internet (from the phone directory) to the list in OpenStreetMap. I converted the directory data into a text file with one name per street alphabetically sorted.

To get the list of streets in OSM, the nominatim service seemed the most appropriate but I seemed not to answer this type of query. So eventually I settled with a very basic command:

curl -g ",49.2131958007812,2.93606853485107,49.2601203918457"

| grep =\"name | sort -u | sed -re "s/.*v=\"(.*)\".*/\1/;s/'/'/" > names-osm.txt

As long as there aren't many amenities, it works fine. Then using a diff tool (I used Meld), you can see which street is still missing, or where there are spelling mistakes. It turned out to be really useful. In addition to knowing there are 212 streets in such a small town, it even allowed me to notice small streets I had forgotten to map, and some streets whose name are not on the cadastre!

Location: Chemin des Docks, Crépy-en-Valois, Senlis, Oise, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, Metropolitan France, 60800, France