Editing University Campus mapping


Deakin University in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) are using OSM for mapping locations and buildings. We are very sure of the locations on the campuses and want to make edits. There are some old or non useful places we would like to remove and add new updates.

For example: http://umap.openstreetmap.fr/en/map/osm-hydda_127333#19/-37.84522/145.11221, the BURWOOD STREET SOCCER AND MULTIPURPOSE FACILITY is not an official location for Deakin. We would like to remove it. Is there a way to see how long an object has been around for or if there are objections to objects being removed?

Thank you.


Hi and welcome to OSM and the forum

If you browse www.openstreetmap.org and enable “map data” (layer menu on the right) you can click on an object to get it’s properties / tagging.

For https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/207550809 you can see on the left side of the screen that this object has not been edited since 5 years now. For the history of the object click on the link at the bottom of the left frame.

Everybody is welcome to improve OSM-Data. For basic steps and a FAQ have a look at wiki.openstreetmap.org .

Even if way/207550809 is not an official location the object seems to exist (on all aerial image source I cheked) and therefor should not be deleted!

What does " is not an official location" mean. If there is no trace of an object in OSM when you look for it from where it should be visible, the right and proper thing is to delete it. No more authority is needed than that.

However if something exists but is wrongly described, you need to keep it, but correct the tagging.

Although the mapped geometry is not good, the latest Bing imagery available to OSM users seems to show something at the location, so I would say that something needs to be mapped there, unless it has been removed in the last couple of years. In fact the something looks more substantial than a mere grass pitch.

One common mistake that people make is to name things with text that isn’t the name, or when there is no official name at all. In those cases the name tag should be removed.

I’m concerned about the sourceref tag for a number of reasons:

  1. It is not a complete URI.

  2. when prefixed with both http:// and https://, it returns not found, so it appears to be broken.

  3. the use of a shortened URL hides the true source, and a goo.gl one gives me concerns that there may be copyright violations from Google Maps.

On (2) alone, I would remove this tag.

Although the edit is five years old, the mapper is still active, so, especially if there is still some feature at the location, you should leave a changeset comment, to enter into a dialogue with the mapper, if nothing else to educate him, and also to try and find a legitimate source.

Also note that, there is nothing special about editing a university campus. The only difference is that universities are more likely than most businesses to actually be interested in accurately mapping their facilities on OSM.

I took a closer look via https://goo.gl/maps/ghFJByhzGAm (GoogleStreetview, dated Feb 2017). It looks like the object exist(ed) and had a sing with that name. but in the background you can see some construction going on. Maybe now this football-field has been replaced?

Hey all, thanks for linking me to this discussion.

The sourceref is a genuine one that I generated and created myself, however it was a link for picsa photos which is now retired and put into Google Photos. There was no copying from Google Maps. Here’s a new URL I’ve generated for the source.

I worked at Deakin and at the time of creating this (2013) the facility was newly built and named ‘Burwood Street Soccer and Multipurpose Facility’, in the Google Street View linked above picture you can see this (but I didn’t have source that at the time). Personally I found that name quite a mouthful at the time, but that was what Deakin (from my understanding) had named it. My understanding is that at the time, it could be hired out to groups; hence why they chose that name.

Regarding the construction, that’s the new Burwood Link Bridge in the background (raised up)… You can clearly see the facility there in the foreground at the time.

I hope this all answers your questions.

So, unless it’s no longer there after July 2017 (and I’m not in the country at the moment, so I can’t check)… You can remove it… that’s how OSM works. Just sourcing it would be good though of course, with a publicly linked photo or something, showing it’s gone.

Also, here’s another link https://photos.app.goo.gl/Lqm4mLICjv6zjTN93 with all my original photos that I used to source Deakin, because I realise they’ll all be dead links now (which I had hoped they wouldn’t be… because Picsa was google and goo.gl was also Google… so I thought if any business would futureproof, it would be Google.)


Thank you all for the very helpful explanations and views.

FYI, we are building a way finding mobile app using OSM data and overlaying polygons of buildings and campus locations in the app. The specific soccer field isn’t in the geo data for the campus, which is maintained by Facilities, a division of the Uni. That was the reason for the comment of an “official” location.

Again thanks for your clarifications and Beager for giving the background!