Stale Notes (c15)

12 months ago, someone placed a considerable number of notes around my location, all having to do with electric outlets to charge cars. Time has passed, and they still clutter the notes layer. Obviously, the community here does not care.

As someone, who likes to read notes and provide fixes, they are just a nuisance. Am I supposed the endure them for eternity? Can I just close them, along like “Who cares?”

1 Like

you could use tools like NotesReview to filter notes.

you shouldn’t close valid notes just because nobody cares, but there are cases where notes are kept open forever because you can’t really represent something in OSM or there are different opinions, which can be quite annoying if this clutters the map. Would be great if there was an option to ignore certain notes on


Depends on, I would say. In Krefeld / Germany, we had a time when a guy created tons of notes (partly with Streetcomplete) written in a way that indicated this was a mapper (not someone outside the OSM community) writing notes to himself to later fix them.
A few were helpful and supported by pictures, so everyone could work on those, but most useless without being the one who wrote them. Even with a community effort solving them, many of those remained and never got addressed.
To me, this kind of notes active mappers should document in a separate way for themselves to not limit the visibility of really important new notes.
NotesReview @Luzandro mentioned is a good help to keep the overview - but ideally Notes either should have categories to filter on or own notes are kept seperately.


I (personally) would not close the notes without trying to resolve them.
Are the charging stations not mappable? Or are they simple outlets which people might be able to use, and not amenity=charging_stations?


Its charging stations. A a mixed bag, mostly private, in front of hotels, even in garages. The person that placed them reacted quite pissed, when I asked him, when they are going to get mapped, something they “do not want to spend any time on, placing notes is enough of a favor”. So, as nobody cares, they are just a waste.

I would suggest just leaving the notes for someone who does want to map EV chargers.


Can you link (or translate) some of this notes? My action would highly depend on what exactly was reported there.


When I asked, the person closed the note, not mapping anything. After I reopened and asked about the others, they deleted their OSM account. Now the notes are gone. The notes mostly read, in order to map, go to a certain website to copy the details.

Note: Deleting the account does not hand over the notes to the anonymous user. Is this deliberate?

Can you link to the region? This sounds like a task to kill a bit of boring time, map those (even with access=private and close some notes.

Hello habi, as I said, the notes are gone with the user account. I do not miss them. I severely advise against mapping a year old notes blindly from the arm-chair. I also do not consider it a working model for OSM, for people to drop a workload of notes and expect the community to then deal with them with due diligence. OSM can get by just fine without AC charging stations in the garage of a social facility, in front of a hotel or as supermarket.

Changed the topic a bit: Notes are in my view a means of communication. A graveyard of stale notes that never expire will abhor potential contributions from locals. Waiting for some elusive specialty mapper squat teams from overseas will never make up for this lost work.


maybe node markers could be bigger for recent notes, or older nodes could get a different color. I agree that with many open nodes it becomes harder to see what is useful or new and what are nodes you have already looked 5 times at, but cannot perform the required action without more information.


I think those kind of charging stations can be mapped, they might be helpful for drivers of an EV. I agree that they’re maybe not useful for you, but having them mapped does not hurt anybody.

1 Like

I also think that is ‘weird’, but maybe a deliberate choice in terms of data protection, e.g. “delete all data associated with an account”.

They can be mapped of course, but OSM can survive without lots of now anonymous notes added by a user who couldn’t be bothered to update OSM themselves.

There is no requirement for contributors to “map for other people” in their area; the way that OSM works is that people add what they are interested in and people are interested enough in different things so that everything gets mapped eventually.

Sent: 17 May 2022 11:16
Reply to:
Subject: [Help and support] Stale Notes (c15)

May 17


OSM can get by just fine without AC charging stations in the garage of a social facility, in front of a hotel or as supermarket.

I think those kind of charging stations can be mapped, they might be helpful for drivers of an EV. I agree that they’re maybe not useful for you, but having them mapped does not hurt anybody.


Very belated but I try to resolve notes regardless of age and type whenever possible, even notes that I added years ago that I forgot for some reason.

One example: if a note only contains the word “site” or the phrase “this site”, I wouldn’t hesitate to close it since such notes are useless unless they describe the features that need to be mapped or updated.

Another example: I noticed that e-cigarette shops became a bit more prevalent at one point in the areas that I map (can’t really say if they’re still prevalent at this point). I wouldn’t bother with them since I’m not their target audience (I don’t smoke) but knowing that some people in my circles patronize such products, I decided to add them regardless if they’ll actually go the shops that I mapped or not.


You can use Notes-heatmap to see where your action would be more efficient, you can filter by status (open=ouvert, closed=fermé), user (anonymous=anonyme or not), with or without comment=commentaire, by date=date ;-), just mind the European date format DD/MM/YYYY.
It’s compatible with OSM Smart Menu so that you can easily switch back and forth: Talk:OSM Smart Menu - OpenStreetMap Wiki

1 Like

Every now and then I check the notes in Greece, I try to check the info provided in that note regardless if anonymous or not, and I close them if it’s already applied or contains no info at all and by anonymous. If it contains no info at all, but it’s from existent user, I leave a comment with the hope that soooooomeday they will reply. Most of those notes are at least 2 years old.

In Colombia, we have processed all old notes, and now we try to keep the country with just a few recent open notes. We have closed 6000 notes last year, and we discovered all kind of notes with a myriad kind of comments, from very precise ones to modify something puntual on the map, to private things, publicity, police notification, etc.
Chile is also a country where you cannot find an open note for more than 15 days. They keep the map updated with the comments from the notes.
In Latinamerica, we are doing campaigns to close notes in each country. We call this activity Notathons, and they have had a good reception in the OSM community. Cuba has close thousand of notes, as well as Equator. We will do the same in Costa Rica in a month. And we are discovering the value of the notes, even if they are old.
I understand that looking at thousands notes of the same kind could be disappointing, but you can find ways to automate the process, and close them very fast.
One thing that we have learnt from notes is that we have to study more tags, the ones that I have never used, and use different kind of tools (more JOSM plugins, other editors, etc.). Also, solving notes is a great reason to gather people to map on virtual events.


Sounds like a good idea to me and could probably be a model for countries over here in Europe as well.

1 Like

Only to add that Notes are the “bridge” between people don´t know how to collaborate on OSM and experimented mapper ( personal opinion here ); Notes don’t self disappear ( someone have to take care of it ); and many Apps are getting support included ( OrganicMaps, Streetcomplete, Vespucci, Everydoor, etc ).

I´m gonna recommend this amazing app from AntonKhorev:

This save a lot of time on Notes resolution… And with the help of Qeef from DAMN, now it´s possible to have task manager to solve Notes from Josm:

I know there are a LOT of open Notes… But if you see someone trying to help OSM with Notes, try to get them into OSM ecosystem with the hope that maybe that person could be a power mapper in the future :slight_smile:

#ONL ( Openstreetmap Notes LatAm ) team here :muscle: