Isn't editing the data directly (Potlatch) dangerous?

Just a concern I have. I’m really scared when using the online editor that I will do something stupid and mess up someone’s data.

It seems to be that there is almost no help or hints as to how to use the editor, no menus or toolbars of any significance, no “are you sure / ok to comit changes” when you edit something, and no undo.

Surely these fundamentals (especially “Are you sure / shall I commit” and “undo”) are critical? What if my child bumps my elbow just at the wrong time? Suddenly a road gets a huge kink in it and I don’t know where to put it back to…

Please excuse me if these issues are already addressed and I’m being stupid - I’m a newby.

I havn’t ever used the online editor so can’t help, but if you go to the wiki does the beginners guide not have anything that helps?

I think potlatch (the online editior) is still classed as being in its early developing stages, its very new (last month). (not shore why it replaced the last one wich was lame but stable). Although the old editor didn’t have any conferming of edits either, which was strange. I would really suggest just going straight for JOSM, unless your only interested in tracing yahoo! imagery.

Hi Ben, thanks for the reply.

Yes I am using JOSM, and I haven’t edited anything more than tweaking the occasional node (intentionally!) with the online editor. I have used it, however, as a quick way to show off what I’ve been doing to my friends (as the front page Slippy mapnik hasn’t been updated in 10 days or more). Just thought I’d post my concerns though - PotLatch seems like a gun with no safety-catch to me.

Just checked out the wiki for info on Potlatch. “Beginners guide” → “Beginners Guide 1.3” ( has a link to a yet-to-be-written page on Potlatch. Hmmm.

The rendering of the data is really seperate from OSM in theory. OSM’s the data, the maps are just what people have done with the data. I do agree a page that is 10 days behind the edits on a wiki project is rather useless, but its up to the guys behind it how they do it rather than the OSM community, although the 2 do go hand in hand.

Personally I have my own custom osmarender rulesheet, and just render as I go, on my computer, then request at the end of editing, and the online t&h layer then follows a few hours behind that. I’m not currently majourly fussed about the mapnik layer being behind, becuase I personally only like it for the low zoom layers, which only show main roads, so a week here or there doesn’t matter to much for that.

Can’t help with the wiki page, I have no idea. It seems nobody else thats checked it does either, or just can’t be bothered to change it.

I think also that the online editor is very dangerous. I have make some changes to test how it work. I have not know that it save it directly. Then I have search for the help. It was difficult to find in the wiki. No direct link. Then I have read that it save directly. Now I have attempt to undo my tests.

A future version of Potlatch will have a ‘sandbox’ mode so you can test it out without saving changes.