(English) weeklyOSM 367

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  • Pascal Neis tweets about a large number of new buildings around Surabaya, Indonesia, without any kind of highways or paths leading to them. On the discussion, other people point other places with the same issue and Pierre Béland discovers that the changeset comment and source are wrong.
  • John Whelan asks if recent changes of the Highway Tag Africa wiki page can be highlighted. The revisions were agreed during a workshop at SotM-Africa. Discussion follows about the modifications made vs the goal of this wiki page for the highway tag to take account of the socio-economic role while other keys take care of the condition and practicability of the road.
  • Christoph Hormann starts a discussion about the decline in accuracy of capture date metadata in Bing imagery, remarking that a range like 2003-2016 seen in a rural area is pretty useless for the purpose of mapping.
  • François Lacombe asks on the Tagging mailing list for comments on his proposal to add extra details about power transformers devices functionalities and specifications under the transformer=* tag.
  • Tobias Zwick wants to add a quest to his StreetComplete app to specify the produce of orchards. Currently three tags are used so he asks for comments on how to implement the tagging scheme.
  • Christoph Hormann blogs about the problems of mapping without recent on-the-ground knowledge, otherwise known as remote or arm chair mapping. The different dimensions of image quality are discussed and exemplified by its age the main culprit.
  • Polyglot wonders why so many details are repeated across OSM objects when mapping public transport and why we need 2 objects for each stop in every route relation, given that this makes maintenance harder. Several people reply with comments.


  • Pascal Neis tweets how the different levels of the OSM activity are attributed on his HDYC tool (How Did You Contribute to OSM?)
  • Mutual Learning: In their July issue of the monthly "showcase", the Wikimedia Foundation’s Research Team discussed OSM data structure and further cooperation models. The live stream has been published on YouTube.
  • In the German forum there is a wide-ranging discussion of "what OSM mappers map and why" has changed in the last 9 years (automatic translation). Two participants of the discussions claim that the thread is collection of people whose ideas did not gain wide enough acceptance by the community.
  • Voting for the 2017 OSM Awards has started, and will end on August 16th. There are 45 nominees in 9 categories to choose from.
  • User GoWin blogged about his visit to the General Santos City firefighters and the impromptu mapping activity he had with them completing the layout of their fire hydrant network.


Humanitarian OSM

  • Marco asks on the HOT mailing list how to map paths and roads through rural villages in Africa to assure routing. The interpretation of the imagery and how to map his example (Mula village, north Nigeria) are discussed in the replies. He also asks about creating virtual highways within residential areas. In the context of semi-desertic areas with no infrastructure and only traces in the sand, there was also discussion with divergent "do not connect" and "do connect" opinions.


  • Christian Quest wrote an easy to understand article about geocoding. (fr) (automatic translation)


  • [1] OpenStreetBrowser (OSB) is once again online. Now you can easily search for POIs. The website shows a narrow menu on the left side, similar to common Wikis and the main page of OpenStreetMap.org although not static one. 20 languages are available.
  • RandoCarto provides customised hiking maps.
  • shtosm.ru explains (ru) (automatic translation) why users of OpenStreetMap.org from Russia and Belaurus experienced slowly loading map tiles a few days ago. It was caused by scraping the tile cache sponsored by Yandex.



  • The OSMF publishes a template waiver/permission for the use of aerial imagery in tracing.


  • Adobe announces that the Flash plugin will be retired in 2020. As the Potlatch online editor is based on Flash, James asks if this is the end of its life too. Potlatch enthusiasts are reassured by Richard Fairhurst that it will continue as a desktop app for Mac/Windows running with Adobe AIR.
  • Bryan Housel mentions in a longer comment that "JOSM-style validation" is coming to the iD editor.


  • On Medium.com, David Hayter details how a PostgreSQL database might be hacked without user account on the target system if not properly configured.
  • Vladimir Agafonkin of Mapbox blogs about the making of his wind power simulation map using WebGL.


Did you know …

  • RiscOSM, a renderer for the RISC operating system.
  • Who’s That by Ilya Zverv, that tracks the renaming of OSM users accounts and makes them searchable.

Other “geo” things

  • Anthony Bennett tweets a nice video from 2016 "What if everyone lived in just one city?". With its density ranging from a sparsely populated city to the most crowded place in history, how big would it be?
  • Mystery structure on a South China Sea reef. It’s not visible on OSM but is there someone interested in a survey? 😉
  • The longest pedestrian suspension bridge of the world was opened on July 29th. With a total length of 494 meters, it connects the villages of Zermatt and Grächen in Switzerland.
  • Don’t Panic Labs published a thorough step-by-step tutorial on how to use Mapbox Studio to create a heatmap of your workout activities.

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This weeklyOSM was produced by Nakaner, Peda, PierZen, Polyglot, Rogehm, SK53, Spanholz, Spec80, YoViajo, derFred, jinalfoflia, kreuzschnabel.

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