Steve Coast's proposal for OSMF strategic plan

Thank you for rephrasing this. I do agree with the point that the densely and relatively well-mapped countries of Western Europe likely impart their communities with a different perspective as to the priorities of the map compared with the rest of the world.


@Adamant1, posts are not hidden because of differences of opinion. They are hidden due to violations of the Etiquette Guidelines, such as ad hominem attacks on community members. That is not censorship. It is enforcement of the Etiquette Guidelines.

Since you removed the ad hominem attack, your post has been unhidden, and your opinion is again available for discussion.


Maybe I’m wrong about this, but from my understanding posts are hidden if someone flags them, which can be just because they disagree with what was said in the message. Sure, it can be un-hidden later after it’s reviewed by an administrator or edited by the user, but it’s not like someone flagging a post as inappropriate guarantees that it actually is. Nor at least from what I’ve seen does it really matter if the user edits out the “inappropriate” part of the message for it to be un-hidden again. Although I guess it could be re-flagged in that case, but it doesn’t negate my point. That said, I’m no expert on how the system works either. So I might be completely wrong :man_shrugging:

As to if it’s censorship or not, I think it is on the part of the person who originally flags the message. Censorship as in the message being suppressed. Since that’s literally what happens. Does that mean the platform is intentionally going out of it’s to prohibit certain opinions? No, of course not and I never claimed it was. I think people would do well to not read bad intent behind we say that isn’t there. Censorship is a pretty offensive word unless the person reading it is easily offended and wants to fear monger about the platform being authoritarian or something. That’s not how I meant it though. It was just the word that came to mind at the time to describe the situation. Nothing more, nothing less. Hopefully I’ve clarified it now so the conversation can get back on topic instead of being about me or needlessly scrutinizing what I said :+1:

False about how posts are hidden. For the record flagged posts are not automatically hidden. However, when a post is flagged, it is brought to the attention of moderators. After reviewing the flagged post, the moderators elect to hide the post if it is determined to be in violation of the etiquette guidelines.

Can you please show how to do “well-crafted Overpass query that does the same thing?”? I didn’t had time for think about it yet, but I could be useful to match with external datasets what already exist in OSM as poorly geocoding can be more wrong than street names, so both algorithms could be used.


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That one is quite easy as to answer: speed :slight_smile:

That one is trivial to do: overpass turbo (needs to add more tiger tags, but the principle is the same).

That one is more difficult (and even slower), and involves use of sets, around() and an iterator (could probably be done smarter, but I’m just a beginner in overpass queries): overpass turbo

If you want to make a map that only has roads that meet certain conditions, that’s easy:
Query for highways with a surface tag
Query for highways without tiger: tags

A comprehensive analysis of addr:* tags is beyond my Overpass skills, but you can query addresses in an area and then perform an analysis in many ways, e.g. with QGIS. I tried to show an example query with MapCSS, but unfortunately MapCSS doesn’t like it when I try things with [!"addr:postcode"].

You can also use a query with MapCSS to show where certain tags are still missing.

With speed you always lose accuracy. In this case that means you’ll have to generalise, and you don’t have the benefit of being able to filter out all the corner cases. A map that only shows roads that meet certain conditions may omit highway=busway completely, whereas in Overpass you have full control over the tags you choose and do much better and more complete QA.

Steve really doesn’t have to convince the OSMF to build their strategy around “completing” the map.

I already helped out TomTom with precisely this topic this way by querying motorways without a surface tag, downloading them into JOSM, following these roads on Mapillary to define the surface and then tagging 130 km of motorways in one session, making most of their MapRoulette challenge for this theme obsolete. I say this to make my point that we already have all the tools we need to do this.It would therefore be a waste of resources to devote OSMF resources to problems that will solve themselves. On top of that, there isn’t even a proper definition of “complete”, because this is totally different for each user/consumer of OSM data.

See also the query I sent in my previous message.

Interesting. Do you know how to do the opposite for QA purposes?

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Um, not really. Even if you changed your renderer on a daily basis and dropped all previously generated tiles every time (so they will be generated from scratch by new/updated rules), this would still be several order of magnitude faster and more efficient than if each editor hammered overpass API servers with queries on different areas over and over again on each area download.

I’m just saying overpass is slow. Horribly slow compared to rendered TMS.

Note that I’m not taking defensive position for Steve Coast idea of “empty map” here (although I do think his idea of showing OSM Notes by default is good; and definitely should be enabled – it is simple to do, simple to revert if need be, users can easily opt out with single click, and it should help clean up the notes and update the map, and would be a good forecast if more drastic changes to the map might be good idea or not. So win-win in any case. But if not even that simple “Notes enable by default” idea is tried first, there is no point for even considering bringing any more drastic ideas into the picture - that would just waste manhours on creating outrage and noise, as we can already see :smiley:).

Maybe? If you lay out clearly what you want to accomplish, I can give it a try (if it is not beyond my abilities). There are many “Overpass as QA” examples around, what I do most of the time is try to mix and match them to get result that I want.

Ha! Tell that to the Carto maintainers who avoid doing DB rebuilds at all costs, including the cost of not having highly requested features on the map.

I agree.

Your previous query is about finding addresses where addr:street matches the name of a nearby road. For QA I’d like to have addresses where that’s not the case.

By the way, just a quick update. And I’m sad with iD because not viable know several spots which really have no name as default editors don’t help this easily :frowning:

QA layer on iD for streets without names / building without addresses

While the layers (which to my knowledge are great to signal for example near exact issue which Steve point out) are on, the iD does not have some button to users enable it.

If I’m wrong, please someone correct me, but not even the QA group of iD shows this as an option.

QA layer on JOSM for streets without names (TUTORIAL)

It works! But is not default. Here the step by step images







For / building without addresses on JOSM, on step 2, select a different layer from the filtered (in English is “QA No Address” but other languages have other names)

Update: this was simpler than I thought with this Overpass query, although I admit it can probably be done more efficiently.

They do. Because it is resource-heavy (although they do have other reasons too).

Now imagine it being (at least!) thousands of times more heavy, and 24/7/365 instead of just few days after update. That is what would happen if every editor went to use overpass instead of TMS. That is no-go, really.

Yes, you would simple do difference of the sets (i.e. (.addresses; - .result;); instead of just (.result;);), like this: overpass turbo

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I’m not a big user of iD, but AFAIK, it does have Custom background option, where you can copy/paste any TMS URL (like those you see in JOSM). Perhaps not as user-friendly as a simple click, but should be somewhat workable.

While they are nice and useful to detect areas without addresses, they AFAICT miss the primary thing that Steve was proposing, and that is staleness (i.e. anything that was not updated in xx years should be considered stale and in need of updating).

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I don’t really want to side track the discussion with a tangential conversation, but I don’t want people thinking I’m just making up things just to be inflammatory or whatever either. So at least according to the top comment on this by someone who is on the Discourse team “Flags from some well trusted users might perform automatic actions like hiding.” There’s also multiple comments in this discussion from October of last year where multiple people (including moderators) saying a user can hide a post simply by marking it as off-topic.

So unless the settings have changed since October, yes posts can be hidden just by flagging them. At least if it’s done by someone with a high enough trust level or for that matter multiple people, but neither one of those scenarios make what I said false. Although again, that’s contingent on the settings not being changed since the end of last year, but there’s nothing to indicate in the conversation that I linked to indicating they have been.


Yes, I seem to recall this discussion too: "Post hidden by community flags". I don’t know what is the current setting of that feature, though.

(As a side note, I also didn’t find neither Simon’s comments about Steve’s lower accomplishments during his reign, nor Adamant1’s comment about Simon and other Europeans coming from places of privilege, as something intended to be insulting or breach of etiquette, but instead informative and relevant to the discussion. But I do acknowledge I might have thicker skin than many so am perhaps not ideal spherical user, and I’m not privy to moderator-only information in that specific case anyway).


If this occurs, I am convinced it is exceedingly rare. In the times I have observed hidden posts they (on non-community channels) were flagged by the forum governance team, the general moderators, or automatically hidden by the website because they were identified as possibly written by an AI. If people want to continue discussion on how posts are hidden, this can be continued in a separate thread in the general category.

Just to give an idea how bad the usability is, even if you try to click on a link with the overlay layer (like the image)

The iD will not autofill the overlay layer. So, the only way to make this work is teach everyone to manually copy a custom layer (and iD only allows to have one custom layer)

See here, not loading the overlay after clicked

TL;DR iD will not load background image if using links.

Yes! For a typical mapper, some custom layer pre-build on editors is far better! I would do this and let it open even if it was to me alone as a mapper.

But one problem is, while some of them already exist, except by JOSM (which needs more explaining, but still very hidden) on iD even the existing ones aren’t point and click or broken. So while here is discussed the idea of make on the tiles or not (which I think would be accepted at all on the Carto because it is aimed to be general purpose) the hints that data is missing is very, very hidden.

Ok. I get it that this is not a new complaint. And also that in previous interactions, more people agreed that this was important, and is not growing fast enough, but is improving.

But even if we ignore for a moment the idea of hidden the elements from Carto (which I think would not be helpful at all from an usability point of view, because seems better to just make very clear where there’s missing information, but this tends to be done with other layers or maybe icons), even on the editors, this kind of QA layer is either too hidden or broken.

And in the case of street names, we here do have a layer with the names based on government data, but this layer alone cannot be used to know the missing parts where there’s no name. And quite often, similar to what would happens with surface=* in motorways, lack of name happens on several small parts, which is not possible to see.


Edit: One additional reason for use it on iD is because some layers will only load on iD editor, because they started to require API keys. So for example, the current layer in Brazil for street names will be “Error downloading tiles: Forbidden”.

So, by a combo of circumstances, the editor which have the names is not the editor which (even if need far more clicks) have the very clear signal of roads with missing names

I can’t remember the name of it right now, but there was a map/QA tool years ago for cleaning up Tiger data in the United States where roads that hadn’t been “fixed” yet were displayed in red and the color turned blue once someone edited them. Or maybe the colors were reversed. It’s been a while. Either way, it would be interesting to see if something like that could be implemented in as option/overlay in iD Editor or really as a separate style from Carto on the main website to display which objects have been “completely” mapped and/or need updating. Doing it in iD Editor is probably the better option for various reasons though.

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Being described directly above is TIGER Edited Map - OpenStreetMap Wiki by ITO World. Now defunct, it is sorely missed (by many) as it really did create an excellent real-time perspective with well-chosen “aging” of TIGER data and a color scheme that worked well: red for the most urgent, never-touched ways, various shades of blue for those which were edited recently or were considered fully reviewed (and more). See that link and zoom way in on the “Missouri” example graphic and you can actually read the rules for which colors were chosen. Other TIGER cleanup (BattleGrid et al) tools exist(ed), though in my opinion ITO World’s version couldn’t be beat.

I’ll say it again, I really miss this rendering, but I understand that (such) fresh tiles don’t come free (other raster tile renderers, like Carto, do, but that is an almost magical illusion that is part of the wonderfulness of OSM’s ecosystem — so much so that many mistakenly confuse Carto tiles for OSM itself). Fixing up TIGER data, while a real problem that remains (and will for decades, by wide acknowledgement) for USA mappers, can still be done with (unfortunately, techy/wonky) well-crafted Overpass queries (which I use sparingly, as THOSE compute cycles don’t come for “free,” either). But there is nothing like an excellent visualization / rendering for such QA. If somebody were to replicate the ITO World tiles (somehow), it would reduce “decades” to (only) “several years,” I’m sure.

I’m not sure it would be (immediately) correct implementing this in iD or something like a “Carto toggle” (which it wouldn’t be, but I’m coining what might be easy to “switch on” but with likely a fair bit going on under-the-hood), but a “simple” rendering like ITO World’s “/map/162” (the defunct TIGER Reviewed tiles) would go a long way. Plus, TIGER Review is a USA-only thing. I’m sure there are other QA needs in our map (data) which fall under the aegis of “wide area” (enough to warrant such a big solution) and “we need to.”

Though, the point remains: being able to “whip up” a renderer, or an “integrated into your editing tool at the flick of a switch” layer that enables wide-area QA is very powerful fuel (coupled with the good spirit of OSM and our natural crowdsourcing) for directly achieving medium- to longer-term goals in our map (data). Yes, these are technical and require real effort to produce, but we will get better at them as we spin up more of them. So, some of us should either be busy talking about this, doing it, or both. Thanks for reading.