stephan75's Diary

Recent diary entries

Although recent development steps of the (Java-less) OSM editor Merkaartor are not so present in the main public OSM channels, there is quite some activity in its github sourcecode repository. We also had the release of version 0.18.3 a few weeks ago!

So the developer Ladislav is asking these days for votes towards the next issues to be solved about Merkaartor in this issue.

Feel free to add opinions or hints there if you have a github account, or try the Merkaartor mailinglist.

Also the translation files for all used text items inside Merkaartor maybe need some polishing, see the Transifex project (where you can also log-in via your github account or similar).

Finally there is a nightly-build service for latest testing versions linked on the OSM wiki via for Windows and OS-X releases.

In the last weeks there has been some noise about the release of Osmand 2.0 as one of the most popular Android app for offline map display and navigation.

Besides that, Osmand is now also available for iOS devices since April 2015 … check your appstore if you want.

Discussing the pros and cons of Osmand’s app features or user interface issues can be a day filling task (but be sure that the core developers are very active for many month!) but I discovered a new feature in the map setting (not display setting) that is listed under “Details” and there called “OSM mapper assistant”

By enabling that feature there are at least three kinds of objects from the offline vector map that are displayed now:

  1. purple (or magenta?) points and lines, when zooming in enough to them, some text is printed also in purple. And its content is derived from OSM data tagged as fixme= … (see attached screenshot)

  2. same feature with dark green icons looking like a written piece of paper … zoom in really more to view any OSM content tagged with note=*

  3. Pairs of two capitalized letters like AM, EM, SH, TO, MM … I assume that those are abbreviations for Amenity, Emergency, Shop etc. Maybe Osmand itself has no own icon for those POIs?


About feature 1) and 2):

I never came accross any map display where fixme= and note= objects are displayed with corresponding text from the tag’s value …

BUT: don’t forget about the rich-featured web service where you can display certain OSM objects according to special own queries.

So I wanted to know how many fixme= objects are around in my home town via overpass-turbo …

Nothing easier than this: zoom and pan the slippy map there to the place or town you want to examine, enter the Wizard mode there and type “fixme=*” … (without “” of course) then press “build and run query”

After some processing time you will get some coloured points and lines as result wich have a tag like fixme=*

(In case of no data display, try to zoom out one level, or move to another town)

overpass-turbo has a nice feature to display any output data styled via a MapCSS schema, see

Thus you can easily add markers to each result data object with content from the object’s value from the fixme tag. Simply add the following lines at the bottom of the query on the left screen of overpass turbo:

{{style: node, way relation { text: fixme } }}

and re-run your query once more via the upper left button … Success?

Hint: You can do this query also for any objects with note=* … just edit the query where needed.

Why can this be useful? In my opinion I can better have a look at OSM objects with fixme=* to see whether a fix is already there, thus remove fixme tag from that object via an OSM editor. Or try to fix OSM data itself when examining each fixme object.

Side effects: become familiar with Osmand’s new features and map layers, and with overpass-turbo and its MapCSS features.

PS1: I don’t know whether the iOS edition of Osmand can already display the layers like OSM mapper assistant … can anyone report?

PS2: If you don’t own any android or iOS device, but you can use Chrome internet browser on any desktop PC, you can install any android app where you have an apk installation file available in your browser … this works with Osmand!

See how to install the needed tool “ARC Welder”, and download Osmand apk file via … scroll down to releases or nightly builds.

Today I came across an edit in the OSM wiki about the map-creating framework uMap with the good news that this webservice can be translated now by the online translation tool Transifex.

I will try to contribute whithin my knowlegde about words, vocabulary and grammar :-)

So I also added uMap to the list of OSM related websites, software or apps that can be translated in multiple languages via certain crowd-based online tools , see Translation in the OSM wiki.

Depending on certain languages, there can be done plenty of words or phrases in your “mother tounge”.

Don’t hesitate to contact the author of each project there if “your” language is missing in any project you want to contribute to!

new Routing App for Android: Cruiser

Posted by stephan75 on 29 November 2013 in English (English). Last updated on 30 November 2013.

browsing in the mailing list mapsforge-dev I came across a nother new(?) routing app for android based devices.

It is called “Cruiser” … available via GooglePlay.


In comparison to other popular OSM-based navigation apps like be-on-road, Osmand, Navit, ZANavi, mapFactor Navigator free , to name but a few, Cruiser seems to have the following key features:

  • closed source app
  • offline vector maps based on mapsforge
  • routing needs online connection in order to use OSRM or cloudmade service

any more outstanding features?

Just recently I came across an app for mobile devices that can make use of OpenStreetMap based offline maps, next to commercial maps to be bought.

It is named be-on-road and it is published by a company in Czech Republic: Aponia Software, s.r.o.

Almost all time I was sure that I know ALL apps that deal with offline routing on OSM data … but I have not found any information about be-on-road in the OSM wiki or related channels so far.

So feel free to add more information at the freshly created wiki page:

PS: I am NOT related to the mentioned company in order to do any advertising here for this app! But I would like to do a competition with other offline OSM apps like Osmand, MapFactor Navigator free, Navit, ZANavi and others.

Did you know there is (next to the well known Nominatim) a new open source geocoder (“Name and Adress Search”) built for OpenStreetMap data?


(found this link via )

The demonstration website on is quite impressive! I had a wish for such a feature (incremental and instant search) for years!

Anyone who finds wrong results or missing features / data?

Mal wieder wurde am 17.08.2012 eine neue Ortsumgehung für den Verkehr freigegeben.

Die sog. Südspange Hittfeld ist hier zu sehen:

Einen Eintrag im Wiki unter hab ich auch mal angelegt.

Gibt es noch mehr derartige “neue Strecken” in unserem Lande?

New layer at -> doubled places

Posted by stephan75 on 31 May 2012 in English (English). Last updated on 1 June 2012.

According to our wiki about Quality Assurance, one fine instrument is the web service KeepRight.

Recently a new layer was added, called “doubled places”.

With this you can find POIs or amenities that seem to be double mapped by a single node with its tags and additionally with an area often tagged also with “building=yes” and same or similar tags like the single node.

If you enter the KeepRight site, do not be irritated by the many markers that are switched on by default. You can switch off all at once and then activate the error layer that might be interesting for you, especially the newly introduced doubled places.

If you want to verify or correct some errors via the JOSM editor, I can recommend to have the “remote” feature switched on in JOSM’s settings. Thus you can easily click the “JOSM” button at each error on Keppright map to work with and have JOSM started in the background.

Feedback about success in bug squashing or failure is appreciated :-)



If you combine two OSM POI objects to one, please pay attention whether there is one of them that will be deleted when the ODbL change is coming. Best way is to use the according licence change plugin within JOSM!!!

only a few weeks ago an app for Android devices has been published called ZANavi.

See (It is based on

some outstanding features may be:

realtime vector rendereing of OSM data -> no download of tiles needed.

map data can be downloaded over the air or via PC to store it offline on your phone.

Quite nice routing engine that can process turn restrictions.

No dealing with parameter file navit.xml

So all android users who are looking for a navigation app can try this, find bugs in ZANAvi or even core Navit, and find out the difference between them.

Recently I found a link to a newly released Software solution that enables you to do navigation and routing on OSM data on Windows PC or devices with WindowsMobile:

mapFactor Navigator Free

It seems to be developed by a professional czech company that normaly offers navigation as a commercial solution on TeleAtlas data.

But now they offer their navigation framework app on a special version for free, you can just download the installer and OSM map data is probably available from all over the planet.

Somebody also sais you can run it on Linux via Wine.

PS: I am not related to mapFactor company in any way!

Für Orte wie Lüneburg ist das Mappen ja noch etwas mehr handarbeit im "freien Feld" als in Gegenden mit Abdeckung der freigegebenen Yahoo-Satellitenbilder.

Um so mehr überraschte es mich, dass es in norddeutschen "Yahoo-Coverage"-Gebieten doch noch Ortschaften gibt, in denen noch etliche Straßen fehlen.

Einer dieser Orte heißt Stelle und liegt zwischen Hamburg und Winsen/Luhe.

Wer also noch Lust hat, ein paar weiße Flecken zu tilgen, der sei auf diesen Ort hingewiesen!

Eine Auflistung findet sich derzeit unterüneburg/Mappertreffen

Allerdings lassen sich einige Mängel in den OSM-Daten doch wohl auch nur vor Ort sicher ausmerzen, wie z.B. die richtige Schreibweise bestimmter Straßen.

Gruß, Stephan

PS: KeepRight, JOSM-Validator und OpenStreetBugs zeigen auch etliches für die Gegend an, mal schauen wann ich vor Ort da etwas Licht reinbringen kann.

Location: 21435, Niedersachsen, 21435, Deutschland

Mir fiel auf, dass in der Innenstadt von Stade zahlreiche Straßennamen nicht mit den zutreffenden Umlauten, sondern mit den "Behelfsbuchstaben" ae, oe, ue und ss (...strasse) geschrieben sind. Das mag ich ja nun gar nicht ;-)

Nach einzelnen Abgleichen mit anderen Quellen hab ich die name-tags der Straßen, welche an den betreffenden Stellen definitiv mit ä ö ü oder ß geschrieben werden, korrigiert.

Dies kann man nach meiner Erfahrung statt mit JOSM einfacher mit Merkaartor machen, der hat auch eine schöne Textsuche innerhalb der tags. Also mal den Bereich von Stade geladen und z.B. nach "ue" gesucht. In der Ergebnisliste dann way für way geprüft und korrigiert.

Dabei versteht sich von selbst, dass eine eventuelle Falschschreibung überprüft werden muss, ob es nicht doch richtig ist

Kennt denn jemand irgendwo in Deutschland einen Straßennamen, der offiziell mit "...strasse" geschrieben wird?

Und wer hat Lust, in seinem eigenen OSM.Gebiet mal nach ae, oe, ue und strasse zu suchen, ob dort auch Korrekturbedarf besteht? Berichtet doch mal ...

EN: corrected the german umlauts in streetnames at the town Stade in Germany.

Location: 21680, Lower Saxony, 21680, Germany