Changes not showing up

Frankly, I left Google Map Making because my changes did not show up. They were approved by the map making process, but did not reach the public. I read about OSM as the original that Google copied (typical of Google), and imagined that it may be the solution to Canada’s trail mapping vacuum, especially for New Brunswick, which has a significant extension of the Appalachian Trail.

I really felt that I had wasted a great time investment in Google, and I am concerned that the same waste is happening here. I spent a couple hours with the documentation (which represents a significant time investment for anyone) and did not see material saying that my edits would not show up – which, from my perspective at the moment, puts OSM in the same category as Google Map Making.

TIA for a helpful response,


Can you give a link to the area you have been editing? Use the “permalink” option on, then copy the URL.

How long ago were your edits?
Sometimes the map can take a while to update, depending on how busy the servers are etc.
Also, it’s possible that you are looking at a cached version of the tiles. Press Shift+Refresh in your browser, that should clear the cache.

My edits were last night, the permalink is:

And I refreshed my browser.

If I am not wrong, you should be asking me for the ID of the object that I was editing, which is an existing road apparently coded from Canadian government data. I can click on the object, and it brings up data, but the important piece of data, which is the index number, is missing. How can this be? Seriously, I have to ask you this because from the forums, I see that much of the mapping has to be coded by hand, and you seem to have put the kids of “skin” over the map-making process that the automobile industry puts over cars (so that consumers can be manipulated to buying based on superficialities).

Another problem is that I had the Lat and Long of an important (if not *THE *important) feature in the area, and I was unable to pin point the Lat and Long in the map-making tool to insert it. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this the traditional way things are done? I ask this because you advertise OSM as a tool for the third world and third worlders don’t have the resources for buying Garmins, etc.

This is kind of a long list…

If you’re using Potlatch, the ID is visible in the Advanced view (the ID is shown in the top left just below the “Save” button). If you’re using JOSM you can get the ID by clicking SHIFT+I (or possibly CTRL+I…I don’t have JOSM here to remind myself).

Alternatively, go to your user page ( and click on My Edits, choose a changeset and within that you’ll see the IDs of everything you changed.

If you don’t have a GPS, then you’re unlikely to know the coordinates of things. But anyway, the “traditional” way things are done in OSM is
a) Trace over GPS tracks or waypoints, which have the coords embedded and automatically positioned on to a map view
b) Trace over aerial photos, once you are sure that they are correctly georeferenced (which you do by making sure features in the aerial photo are aligned with GPS traces)

You changes to Ritchie Road are all showing on the map for me now.

Yes, the default interface on Potlatch 2 (the online editor) is rather simplified. As csdf says, you can select an object, then switch to the “advanced” tab, which shows more details. Or you could try using JOSM. It is a different editor, which shows more of the technical stuff.

As csdf says, where is the latitube/longitude from, if its not from a GPS device. Note that you should not be copying from other copyrighted maps (unless you have explicit permission).

Anyway, in Potlatch 2, click on “Options” (in the top right corner), then there’s an option to show the latitude/longitude of the cursor.
Or use JOSM, which has an option for “Add node”, then you can type in the latitude/longitude.
Or if the coordinates are from a GPS, you can save the waypoints as a GPX file, then load that into JOSM.

You are going to have to explain this one to me. For one thing, you have satellite Bing with a copyright notice as part of the mapping. In the “bigger picture,” all information is built from other information. What is important is citation to support a point in the academic sense, or to give credit when, say, quoting a source. Noting a fact learned from, say, an encyclopedia or learned from TV does not violate copyright or trademark. Noting a the location of a star from a star chart is another pretty good example, as all are commerical products and hence copyrighted.

Then there is the tremendous latitude supported by “fair use,” and I need not go down that path as everybody is familiar with it. So my question from your response is why are you over-protecting information? With my experience from the Wikipedia, the reason *could *be that this project intends what the Wikipedia founder intended, which is to create a commercial venture from it, such as the exceedingly advertising-obnoxious Wikia was created from the Wikipedia (and other similar mediawiki cites such as Camerapedia). If this site is the end unto which it is claimed, that is for the universal benefit humankind, then why not take advantage of fair use?

Then there is this:

This is to say that all maps preceding GPS are irrelevant, such as the US geodetic maps – please. What about the explorers that used a magnetized needle on a cork – they found their ways around pretty well and mapped the coasts with alarming accuracy when the only thing they could determine with certainty was latitude.

I know my trails because I hike them, which is a purely analog knowledge. Then I can find the exact locations of trails by looking at satellite images if the growth is not too great or there is no cloud cover – or I can use a pre-GPS geodetic map and get the marking close enough so that anyone using the map will not get lost. The accuracy difference is between 5 or 10 feet and less than one foot. In practice, and for the apparent purpose of this site from my reading by it’s promoters (which is to promote human well-being) the 5 or 10 feet accuracy is adequate and in some cases may be preferable to give an analog representation that will more clearly differentiate between, say, trails when the line thickness is greater than the geographic difference. The goal of a map is to improve the situation for the person on the ground – this is the art of map making and, in my opinion, it has not been replaced, or even improved upon, by digital map making. What has happened is that traditional map-making (which I define as pre-digital, ie pre-GPS) is that it (like the pure sounds of analog and vacuum tube sound) is being replaced by something touted as better but is less beneficial in practice. The advantage is that the material is more share-able – but that is not happening either because of inexplicable road blocks such as, for instance, the that “if you don’t have a GPS, then you’re unlikely to know the coordinates of things.”

As I am trying to communicate, this requires a considerable investment which, so far, is making old-school hand-drawn mods to paper maps a far better medium (then scanned and uploaded with HTML, which, fortunately supports old-school solutions). If OSM is being promoted for a universally-beneficial purpose, then it needs to meet that standard, which requires a bunch of efforts including support for, if not reconstruction of, the fine art of map making.

See the OSM policy on Copyright and the FAQ:
It says: Do not use data from copyrighted maps or any other proprietary data!
Bing have given specific permission to allow tracing their aerial imagery (but not their maps) into OpenStreetMap.

It may be “fair use” in some countries to copy one or two “facts” from another map. But if a number of OSM users each copied a few facts, you soon end up with a complete copy of another map, which is a derived work.
And then anyone else using/publishing a map based on OpenStreetMap has to worry about whether it is legal to do so, or if they will get sued by Google/OS/Navteq etc. Laws on “fair use” vary around the world.
And who claimed OSM is for “universal benefit of humankind”? The point of OSM is to produce maps that you are free to use/copy/publish etc, without restrictions. So commercial use of OSM data is allowed, and there are already numerous commercial websites / companies using OSM data. eg Bing, Mapquest, etc. Some of these may be of benefit to humankind, others may not. There are also many charities/humanitarian organisations using OSM.

Yes, OSM does have a rather cautious policy regarding copyright (unlike Wikipedia, where you are encouraged to copy facts, so long as you cite it). Maybe it is overly cautious, but it is what is generally agreed by the community. And it is better than worrying about getting sued by Google etc.

Frankly, if you wish to map using a magnetized needle on a cork and some form of triangulation from a known point, be my guest. :smiley:

I’m new to OSM too, and am experiencing similar problems. Yeterday I editedthis area: , and is shown correctly. But when I zoom out : all the changes are gone. I understand that tiles for different zoom levels are rendered at diffrent times, but it has been more than 24h and tiles still aren’t rendered. One problem is also this: . There should be a garden centre next to this buildings (it is shown when I am editing map), but not on a rendered tiles… Am I doing something wrong?

And where’s the problem? Wait a few days and clean you cache. Although usually the server is quite fast, it might take several days to update (especially zoom levels <12). AFAIK long time ago this was normal.

Also note that not every type of shop or amenity etc will show up with an icon on the main map style on Even if they are available as an option in the editor. A garden centre is one example of this.
Its still worth mapping them, as they may be shown on other map styles or tools based on OpenStreetMap data.

Thankyou for the answer. :slight_smile: I didn’t know it can take up to few days to update.

Can you suggest software (for Win), that would show all the features of OSM? Mabye something that would allow user to click on features and it would show data of that feature. I know OSM wiki has a list of such SW, but I just don’t know which program is best for intended use…

For an online map, see OpenStreetBrowser:
You can choose to show all shops etc, and you can click on them to see their data. Though it can be a bit slow loading.

Or if you want to see all of the data, try the JOSM editor. This will download all of the data in an area, and you can check all of the tags for each object.
Or you can go to, then click on the blue “+” in the top right corner, then tick the option for the “Data” overlay. Then you can click on objects to see their tags.

The servers of the project don’t have the resources to render all changes immediately, and so they use a somewhat sophisticated set of rules to determine what to render and when in order to try and minimize the visible delay for mappers. For example tiles only get rendered once they are viewed, as a lot of the tiles that change might not be viewed until they change again.

Normally, tiles are rerendered within a few hours after viewing them though, often even within a few minutes.

The rule that you are likely seeing though is that low zoom tiles are assumed to not visibly change much. Either because the changes aren’t rendered at all at those zoom levels, or because the changes are at those zoom levels to minor to notice. Therefore these zoom levels get rendered much less frequently. The current cut off zoom level is Z12 and below. These are currently actually only on a slightly irregular monthly schedule. So it can take quite a while to update these.

A slightly more elaborate explanation of how the system works can be found at

Furthermore, the described update schedules only applies to the standard rendering shown on The OSM data however is used in many different maps and applications, be it e.g. web maps, smartphone applications or sat-navs, each with their own updating schedule. Some of them might have a quicker updating schedule, others unfortunately might be slower.

A map that might have a faster update schedule might be e.g. but I don’t know exactly what schedule they are on.

It’s been already three months since matjaz1118 made his changes and they’re still not there…

Is it normal?

…sorry I had started a new post regarding this problem before I arrived here →

Is there a list of these icons? I’ve not been able to find any list so far. (for the main map on

I had been wondering why a few changes didn’t seem to be showing up (one is a genuine error I think as it’s a bus stop that shows on layers 14 & 16, but not 15, which is what confused me to begin with)

The following are ones that I’ve come across as not showing (just my assumption)
Ferry Terminals
Taxi Ranks (stands)
Bicycle Parking

I can understand something like a garden centre not showing up but shouldn’t taxi ranks & Ferry terminals show up? I would have thought they were on a par with bus stops which do show up, I can understand the others not showing. But I won’t get into the debate about what should & shouldn’t as no doubt it’s been decided on already, which is OK, but it’d be nice if there was a list for us newbs. (Maybe they could just show up differently under edit mode?)

maybe some answers are already at … do a search for “icons” there.