skunk's Diary

Recent diary entries

Parcel lockers are a newly approved feature in OpenStreetMap. They are now included in the “Communication” category with a box symbol. I also included the deprecated tags vending=parcel_pickup;parcel_mail_in, vending=parcel_pickup and vending=parcel_mail_in. These will render with a bright red symbol to indicate deprecation, also there’s a warning in the popup.

Screenshot of OpenStreetBrowser, showing the communications category with a popup on a deprecated parcel locker

  • Do you know of more tags which should be indicated as deprecated? I was thinking about adding some QA features for some time, so this is a good opportunity.
  • There’s a new string to translate for this deprecation warning. Find the translation system here.

I wrote a module for #OpenStreetMap web maps using the #LeafletJS API: With you can query map items around the mouse pointer.


See the short screencast:

Demo application:

Recently, I added a new category, which shows all heritage protected items (at least those, which are tagged correctly in OpenStreetMap). Additionally, I created a web-application which helps tagging heritage protected items in Austria (and Berlin, Germany). I blogged about this here.

Screenshot of OpenStreetBrowser, showing the "Heritage Protection" category.

Ich hab letztens schon mein neues Tool vorgestellt, welches dabei hilft, OGD Datensätze mit Wikidata, Wikipedia Listen, Wikimedia Commons und OpenStreetMap abzugleichen.

In einem neuen Screencast hab ich beschrieben, wie man das Tool selber installiert und dann eigene Datensätze hinzufügen kann:

Außerdem gibt es einen neuen Datensatz: die öffentlichen Toilettenanlagen in Wien!

OGD Wikimedia OpenStreetMap Checker

Posted by skunk on 10 November 2021 in German (Deutsch).

Screenshot des Tools

Ich hab ein kleines Tool geschrieben, welches dabei hilft OGD Datensätze mit Wikimedia (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata) und OpenStreetMap abzugleichen. Es findet sich auf hier:

Da das Tool nicht ganz selbst-erklärend ist, hab ich ein kleines Erklärungsvideo gemacht:

Der Source Code findet sich auf Github. Ich freue mich über Kommentare, Ideen und Code-Beiträge!

Mapping artwork and memorials with Wikimedia integration

Posted by skunk on 3 August 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 8 October 2021.

Originally, I wrote this post for my blog:

I love mapping for the OpenStreetMap project, it’s a very pleasing thing to do. I especially like to do it as vacation activity, because then I’m exploring new places anyway, but I also like to do it my home town.

Recently I’m concentrating on mapping artwork and memorials. Even in a well-mapped city like Vienna, Austria, there’s still plenty to do. For example, most social housing building complexes (Vienna is famous for it’s social housing) have some kind of artwork, e.g. some murals or statues in the gardens.

Some examples:

Mural on the building Zirkusgasse 11, 1020 Wien Sculpture in the garden of Oswaldgasse 19, 1120 Wien

I think, having a map feature in OpenStreetMap is not enough though. I want to add pictures and meta data (who made the object, when was it created, …). This is done in cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation. In this article, I want to explain how I map these objects.

Wikimedia Commons

Often these objects already have photos on Wikimedia Commons. If not, I upload one or a few photos (whatever is reasonable). If there are several photos of the picture (or the object seems important enough), I create a category for the object (if it does not exist yet). Of course, the category should have the relevant categories for the location, the motive, the artist, etc.


Next, each object should have its own Wikidata entry. Haven’t heard of Wikidata yet? It’s a sister project to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. As Wikimedia Commons is the platform for media (which is linked by Wikipedia), Wikidata is a platform for semantic and linked data. E.g. an entry for a city would have values for the population size at specific historic dates, links to the wikidata entry of current and former mayors, link to other data sources (Encyclopedia Brittanica, Library of Congress), link to its Wikimedia Commons category, and so on (e.g. Vienna). Most infoboxes in Wikipedia are now automatically created from Wikidata data.

So, each object should have its own Wikidata entry. Of course, you should check if a Wikidata entry already exists – if yes, check if the data is complete. It should have values for (if available):

  • label and description (at least in local language, preferred also in English)
  • instance of (e.g. memorial monument, sculpture, …)
  • depicts (the entity being depicted)
  • dedicated to
  • geographic coordinates
  • image (link to a Wikimedia Commons image)
  • commons category (link to the Wikimedia Commons category for this object)
  • country
  • administrative territorial entity
  • inception (start date; if possible the date of its inauguration)
  • material used

When done, edit the Wikimedia Commons category, and add the following line, so that the category gets a nice infobox on the side (the wikidata entry needs an entry “commons” in the multilingual sites with the Category name to work):

{{Wikidata Infobox}}


Finally, the map feature in OpenStreetMap. This can be a node or an area. If the object is located on the wall of a building I make the node a part of the building contour. The entry should have the following tags:

Further tags like wikipedia=](, [image=, wikimedia_commons=* are not necessary, as this information can be read from the Wikidata entry. I do not remove these tags though, if I find them.

Often, map features already have a wikidata/wikipedia-tag which points to the person which it memorizes. This is wrong, because this should be a „subject:wikidata“ resp. „subject:wikipedia“ tag. Please change this.


How can you test your entries? There’s a list of tools which let you explore wikidata tags. I recommend OpenStreetBrowser, which is an application for OpenStreetMap data written by myself. It will show images of the map features and excerpts of Wikipedia articles.


Here are some examples of such features:

The category “Construction” under Infrastructure has been split into three sub categories:

  • Construction sites: landuse=construction, highway=construction, building=construction, railway=construction and all items with a tag prefixed with ‘construction:’.
  • Proposals: landuse=proposed, highway=proposed, building=proposed, railway=proposed and all items with a tag prefixed with ‘proposed:’.
  • Developable areas: landuse=greenfield and landuse=brownfield.

Further updates:

Example of the “Developable Areas” category: Image showing a screenshot of OpenStreetBrowser with a greenfield and a brownfield highlighted

The latest feature update brings links to tag listings of an object. There are a variety of tags which will be converted to links: first of all website, url, phone and similar, but also wikipedia, image and wikidata. Finally the “Tag2Link” rules (JOSM also uses this under that name) are imported from Wikidata and OSM Sophox. In some cases there are multiple possible links, which will be presented in a small popup to let you choose an appropriate provider (as you can see in the screenshot for the ‘icao’ tag). OpenStreetBrowser listing tags of an aerodrome


The toolbar in the sidebar now includes a globe symbol. It will show information about the current view and highlight the view center with a crosshair.

When activating GPS location, your location will be highlighted. Also, details will be included in the toolbar panel.

The details of map features show geographic information about the object: coordinates, length and area (when applicable).

In the Options you can configure coordinate formats and unit systems.

Also, in the Options you can select which editor will be used, when clicking the ‘edit’ button in a map feature popup.

For all translators: there are quite a few strings which need translation in the User Interface category.

OpenStreetBrowser showing map view details and map feature details

A current update allows symbols to use the scale of the current map view for parameters (e.g. for width or offset of lines). To demonstrate these features, the “Railway gauge” category now shows the rails with the correct offsets (although the exact configuration for multi-gauge rails is neither mapped nor evaluated) (available from zoom level 18). Code.

Map showing single and dual gauge tramway tracks in Sofia, Bulgaria Map showing single and dual gauge tramway tracks in Sofia, Bulgaria

Details: * The value map.metersPerPixel, which measures the size of the pixel at the viewport center in meters, is now available for twig templates. From this you can calculate the width or the offset of a line in meters. E.g. you could use {{ max(5, 3 / map.metersPerPixel) }} as value for width: 3 meters, or at least 5 pixels. * Related to the first feature, you can now also specify the value of certain style parameters (width, offset, …) with a unit: ‘px’ (for screen pixels) and ‘m’ (world meters).

See the for details.

Thanks to Engin Gem, OpenStreetBrowser has a new translation (it was started today, so it’s still very basic): Turkish! Thanks a lot :-)

If you want to create or improve a translation, you can do so on OpenStreetBrowser Weblate.

Check the translation statistics.

Thanks to Syver Stensholt, OpenStreetBrowser has a new translation: Bokmål, which is a written standard for the Norwegian language! Thanks a lot :-)

If you want to create or improve a translation, you can do so on OpenStreetBrowser Weblate.

Check the translation statistics.

A few days ago, Ivan Seoane showed me weblate - an open source translation management system. Very nice and very suitable for OpenStreetBrowser. I installed it right away, you can find it here: Also, Ivan is working on the translation for Galician, which is already available.

Be aware, that authentication is not connected to any other service (like OpenStreetMap, OpenStreetBrowser Dev, Github, Weblate), so you need a separate account there.

Not all parts of OpenStreetBrowser can be translated there, e.g. date formats have their own separate repository, as you have to actually produce code (it’s just too complex). got a new feature update (4.5)! You can now filter category results by certain criteria (e.g. title, type, …).

Read more on the blog:

Gastronomy category filtered for pubs in Birmingham, showing possible additional filters.

This update brings some nice improvements concerning localization: repository-specific language strings, localized start_date and opening_date and a brand-new translation overview page listing all translators.


Buildings age in Graz, Austria Again buildings age in Graz, Austria (haven’t found many places so well mapped). This time with German dates. Note also the image, included via Wikidata.

Read more on the OpenStreetBrowser Blog.

The current category update for OpenStreetBrowser has been in the making for quite some time. The main changes are more detailed categories about buildings (type, age, height, …), an inclusion of map features with office tags in thematic maps and more detailed popups in the Culture categories.

-> read more

Age of buildings in the city centre of Graz, Austria.

  1. Custom repo: It’s possible to create custom categories for some time now, now you can load an alternative repository as base categories. E.g.: The categories of user mr. satterly. In the repository selector, there’s a link “Use this repository as base repository”.
  2. Collapsed lists: The lists of map features (of a category) are now truncated, and there’s a link “Show more results” which will show you the rest.
  3. Permalink: As requested, there’s now a “Permalink” in the menu at the bottom.

New features of OpenStreetBrowser 4.3

Read more about OpenStreetBrowser on the blog.

New OpenStreetBrowser version

Posted by skunk on 4 December 2018 in English (English).

New OpenStreetBrowser version! ->

Main new feature: * Export all visible map features as GeoJSON, OSM XML or OSM JSON!


openstreetmap #osm

Offices in OpenStreetBrowser

Posted by skunk on 30 November 2018 in English (English).

Until yesterday OpenStreetBrowser completely ignored the “office” key. Now I created an “Offices” category (under “Services”), but I’m not sure about it’s usefulness. It would be great to get some input from the community on this.


There’s a new category “Swimming and Bathing” (under “Leisure, Sport and Shopping”) in OpenStreetBrowser.

Screenshot of OpenStreetBrowser showing the "Swimming and Bathing" category

It includes a variety of swimming and bathing facilities:

  • leisure=swimming_area
  • leisure=water_park
  • leisure=beach_resort
  • leisure=sports_centre
  • natural=water, sport=swimming
  • natural=beach
  • amenity=public_bath (it will add the “bath:type” in the description)
  • tourism=spa_resort
  • leisure=swimming_pool (only those, which don’t have “access=private” set)
  • leisure=sauna (it will add the “sauna:type” in the description)

If you have ideas for improvements, you can post ideas on the Github issues page.