pkoby's Diary Comments

Diary Comments added by pkoby

Post When Comment
Newbie mapper's whining, joy and fear 5 months ago

Something to try if you want to figure out the right offset.

  1. Download an app for GPS Averaging (search your app store, there should be a few options).
  2. Find a point that you can see on the aerial imagery, like a fire hydrant, manhole cover, lamp post, etc., ideally with a wide open view of the sky. Go to that place and get an average GPS reading (leave it for a minute or longer). Maybe even do it another day to get another reading to double-check. The GPS point should be in decimal degrees (e.g. N ##.#####, E ##.#####).
  3. In the iD editor, you can center on that location (change the URL to match the GPS point:
  4. Drop a point in the middle of the editor.
  5. Zoom out a bit and then align your imagery of choice to line up the spot in the picture under your point.

If you do this for a few spots in town and they all have about the same offset, then you can confidently use that as your default. Good luck!

Do not map like this (a collection of incorrect mapping practices) about 1 year ago

@DUGA: You’re not perfect, and you do accept challenges to your edits:

We all make mistakes. Some ways we map will differ from the ways of others, and they may both be valid. OSM has an interesting way of becoming very personal, and someone mapping differently can feel like an attack, but to everyone: your method could be wrong.

Can we all step back, try to cut everyone some slack, and assume the best intentions? Let’s not recommend deleting accounts over opinions.

Do not map like this (a collection of incorrect mapping practices) about 1 year ago

I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule to follow the center line, but let’s be honest and admit that pretty much matching the middle of the road makes sense. Otherwise, the map is simply not accurate. I get that it’s not the most important thing to have roads aligned exactly to the centimeter, but I think it’s a slippery slope to start suggesting that somewhere within the road area is good enough.

To clarify, I don’t think mapping the double-yellow line is necessary, and often does make things look wrong. Or when a turn lane on one side of a dual carriageway juts out, I don’t think you should shift the road to the middle of all those lanes. But can we agree that you should try to match the shape of the road as centered as possible in most cases?

I do agree with your extended mapping of #1 from the stop lines; I do that frequently myself.

Do not map like this (a collection of incorrect mapping practices) about 1 year ago

Good addition!

That said, I strongly disagree with your 1 and 3 mappings. I can understand your rationale for #1, but essentially you’re “mapping for the router”, if you will. Perhaps if you realign the roads to match the centerlines with a curve at the intersection, I could get on board, but you’ve misaligned the road line from the imagery. Given your recent posts on Slack about how important aligning buildings properly is, this seems a bit strange.

For #3, why should a residential road (I think) have to connect directly to a private driveway? Why can there not be a zigzag there? Almost no one will be using a GPS to drive from Tewkesbury into a driveway, and if they are, it’s probably not a big deal if it’s telling you some strange directions. And the imagery shows that they clearly don’t hit the main road in the same spot.

Do not map like this (a collection of incorrect mapping practices) about 1 year ago

1: That’s how I’d do it (maybe a little better aligned). 2: I’d move that 90 degree node north, but I would keep it a bit angled. 3: If you’re talking the Tewkesbury to the driveway zigzag, I’d move Tewkesbury more north, farther from the driveway. If you’re mentioning the truncated sidewalks, then yeah, silly.

But maybe this post would be easier if we didn’t have to guess…

Golf course details now rendered with the latest Carto release about 1 year ago

A couple of observations on the colors:

The golf green’s pitch color seems so similar to water in my eyes because it lacks a subtle darker outline like other leisure=pitches have (compare here Perhaps the green could include that? I’m also keen for a less-blue pitch color.

Also, as a non-golfer, I don’t know what counts as rough, so I haven’t been mapping it. In your image examples, bunkers seem to be consistently surrounded by rough, thus contrasting in color. However, if the bunker isn’t surrounded by rough, it fades into the background of the golf course (see I don’t have a solution, and perhaps it’s a mapping error to leave out the rough, but it’s an observation. I also noticed that adding surface=sand to a bunker does not add a stipple texture like it does to a beach (I don’t think natural does it either, but bunkers aren’t natural

iD editor should "nudge" mappers into best tagging practices over 2 years ago

To reply to your second point about the wiki:

I agree that in some cases regional differences in language can make things difficult or confusing to tag. I still always mess up and search for “real estate” instead of “estate agent”. Perhaps the wiki could have more instances of redirects, so searching for “real estate” would take you directly to “estate agent” (whereas right now it does come up first in a search). But such a functionality would be a manual effort.

You can sort of think of it as being a kind of English dialect. Most tags are British English, some are not. A few things are terms that most people might not even know. So part of being an OSM mapper is learning the correct phrases. At 9500 changesets, I’m still constantly looking things up.

As for “give box”: it sounds like what you’re referencing is more of a Goodwill donation dropbox (which I know are in your region), whereas these are like a Little Free Library but for stuff (e.g. canned goods). So you put stuff in if you don’t need it, and take stuff out if you do. Where I am, they are quite common, usually near churches (often called “blessing boxes”). In the voting on the proposal, there was a good discussion on the name, but the US really doesn’t seem to have a standard (see

Sidewalks & Crosswalks in the Licton Springs Neighborhood over 2 years ago

Looks great! I am working on mapping the same information in my city. I’m not mapping curb ramps right now, simply because it’s tough to collect that information from satellite imagery, and I don’t walk around too often. We have a couple of tagging differences (I don’t tag crossing=* on the crossing way, just the node), but I think it’s useful stuff.

If you want to continue the project, have you thought about adding surface=* to the sidewalks? Or tactile_paving=* to the kerb nodes?

recording / playback voice and link it to GPS location, is there an app for that ? almost 3 years ago

I’ve had success recording a GPS track and a continuous audio file separately (any audio recorder that can timestamp a file will work, I’ve used this one for Android).

You can then load both into JOSM, and align the tracks (if you make some sort of waypoint on the track and say something in the audio, it’s a little easier).

This works best for recordings with frequent talking, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of dead air and will have to speed up the audio or skip around, potentially missing info.

Mapping for fun and profit (the latter failed) about 3 years ago

I see a number of problems:

  1. Much too high asking price. You’re adding a point to a map, and if you add a bunch of tags (phone, website, address, hours), you’re probably spending 5 minutes per business. What’s your hourly rate to do that? €240? I suppose you spend more time per business to find that they’re not on the map and find their contact to email them. But should that be factored into the cost?

  2. By emailing them, you’re bring OSM to their attention, and some of them might just add their info themselves.

  3. Presumably, you either surveyed the area on foot or by combing Google Maps/OSM to compare their listings. You have collected a lot of information about these businesses already to then essentially hold hostage. Why not just add this information that you’ve already spent the time collecting?

  4. What value are you really offering for the business? I guess that’s where you came up with the 20€ value (that and time spent researching them). The actual ROI from OSM is probably pretty low.

  5. YES, of course map the businesses that don’t want to pay! If someone else maps the business, would you delete it because they didn’t pay you? You’ve already done most of the work, and OSM is a community effort to help the public. You’re probably not only mapping for yourself/for profit.

I think this might have some potential if the cost were much lower (like 1 to 5€). I still wouldn’t expect much interest, though, and the time spent contacting/negotiating would be way more than just surveying and mapping it.

I have made money from OSM systematically mapping a university’s sidewalks and entrances. There are also some freelance offerings on Upwork, but they’re rare. OSM is generally not a great platform for profit. But the skills you learn might be applicable for some light GIS work.

Introduction over 5 years ago

And just to give equal footing, in addition to OpenStreetCam, there’s also Mapillary. Same idea, but has some different copyright clauses. Mapillary is currently more powerful, but OSC is more open.

Mapped Ramtek, A Taluk town in Nagpur district of Maharashtra. almost 7 years ago

It looks a little busy with all those tertiary roads, and there’s a secondary road that turns into a tertiary road without any indication. Perhaps some of these should be highway=residential instead?

What's up with the GPS traces? over 8 years ago

Thanks for the tip! I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of that.

What's up with the GPS traces? over 8 years ago

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, the editor doesn’t seem to matter for me. I use JOSM primarily.