probably noob questions...

Posted by rayKiddy on 3 October 2013 in English (English)

Very excited to see how this all works. And mostly it works very well. A few things seem to be harder than they might be, or seem to be missing. Perhaps I have not found the proper documentation. I see lots of wiki style pages, but it is a mix.

First, when I am in edit mode, I see a photo overlay, perhaps from satellite images. I go out of edit mode and all I have access to are line modes. What happened to the images? How can I turn on the images in View mode?

Second, I thought I could search for something, see that it returns 10 results and then, you know, radical thought here, see all 10 results on the map. I only see how to select one search result by clicking on it. So, pick one and lose all the other results? But it is a map and can show more than one search result, yes? But how?

Third, I have an idea and wonder if there is a forum to go to or some way to find interested people. I want to map retail food sellers. I am in the US so I would start there and understand the US markets better. My sense is that there are differences in “square feet (or meters) per person” for grocery stores, fast food restaurants, convenience stores and so forth. It has been suggested that people in poorer areas of the US have more access to unhealthy processed food and less access to basic food stuffs, like produce. Certainly many urban areas have almost no grocery stores, but lots of bars, convenience stores, pay-day loan stores and such as that. It would be interesting to see how this maps out.

Please point me to the correct forum for these kinds of questions. Otherwise, I would appreciate your patience with me and your forbearance.

thanx - ray

Location: Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California, USA

Comment from mcld on 3 October 2013 at 06:59

Hi - welcome to openstreetmap! I’m just a user, but I can answer some (not all) of your questions:

  • The aerial photos can only be used for editing. They’re provided by Bing, but they’re provided under specific terms which mean they’re for editing purposes, not for general viewing.
  • For discussing that stuff about US retail food sellers, I’d suggest the talk-us mailing list
  • For asking specific questions, I guess it’s probably better to use which has plenty of helpful people on it.

Re that thing about showing all the search results on the map - good point, it would be handy - I don’t know a service that would do that. The thing to remember is that the openstreetmap website is “just one way” of viewing the OSM data, and it’s totally possible that there’s a website somewhere that provides search in the way you want it (using the OSM data, I mean). That’s the great thing about OSM - because we’re able to give away the data, third parties can take it and remix it and there’s a whole ecosystem of cool map things out there as a result.

Hope this helps…

Comment from rayKiddy on 3 October 2013 at 21:41

Yes, helpful comments. Thanx! - ray

Comment from escada on 4 October 2013 at 07:19

As for searching, I recommend It allows you to search for items in the visible area, show all the found items with numbers on the map. Gives you distances to the nearest busstop, railway station, parking, opening hours; you can see wikipedia links, pictures, links to websites, email address and much more

I have no idea of the capacity of the hardware behind the map, so it will be slower than Google, but I assume you can donate hardware :-)



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