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Today I taught two new users about how to map urban areas.
We are lucky to have recent detailed aerial imagery here.
This is an area we improved in only a few minutes.

A brief moment of shame! 😳

I know how to create non-uploadable layers in JOSM but sometimes it’s more practical to work in the active layer. I’ll try to be more careful next time.

This might be a challenge for those who intend to map from image recognition alone.

The road sign makes it clear there is a parking lane… but the city authorities decided to remove those parking spots.

If Magritte were still living he might get so much inspiration with Brussels these days…

A couple of fellow mappers took care of long-distance bus and rail relations in the last days.

Geofabrik has a great tool to identify invalid routes: it feels great to see the list of bad ones vanishing fast.

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This is why I encourage people to use good changeset comments: imagine you must dig through hundreds of edits of someone to figure out which one caused all the mess.

A particularly nasty variant of armchair mapping: "Mapping from the newspapers".

When the local media announces changes that have been recently voted by local councils, some enthusiasts reflect those in OSM… sometimes years before they are effective.

Streets changing names, extension of pedestrian plazas, mergers between large firms, speed limits…

Possible mitigation: use the "note" key to add a short warning.

"OSM is super easy, just create an accound and start editing the map!"

I’m not a huge fan of promoting OSM this way.

I love improving the map to add more and more details about my city. It’s much less fun to have to use undelete tools or dig through history to restore mistakes by careless newbies.

I agree that protecting some objects against changes or peer certification will deter new people from joining. But I’d like to hear thoughts about how to protect the map against such edits.

One square in my city has been entirely transformed from a busy crossroad into a nice area for pedestrians. I spent hours there taking notes and drawing the shape of everything.

Those are two screenshots in OSM taken less than 48 hours apart. What a change!

It’s a great pride that the whole public transport network in (at least all 83 urban lines operated by STIB/MIVB) is now fully PTv2 compliant and successfully passes validation tests. And more importantly, OSM provides correct information (location of stops have been checked, the names are correct…). 👏

Years of patient work, but the lesson is that it also requires continous monitoring: relations are easily broken by other mappers.

Help needed: how do you ensure that route relations in OSM are still valid?

My problem: I edit bus routes and they are fine. Later, someone splits a way and does not assign the new way to the route relation. The relation itself is untouched but now it has a gap.

Current option: home-made script that downloads relations and checks whether all the ways are still connected. Alternative: manually checking OSM Inspector every few days. Slow and painful.

Any idea anyone?

There was something annoying with : a new quest asks for crossing barriers on railway lines. If you have trams in your city, that means hundreds of useless queries. (There are no barriers for trams.)

Of course I can disable the quest. A saddening thought to see fellow mappers losing valuable time and adding useless data to the map because of that.

I am happy that the new version 12 solves this issue.

The bus network in is changing rapidly. Bus route 37 started operations yesterday.
Currently working to add it to the map.
As usual, official data is riddled with mistakes. Better the good old way of inspecting every stop before uploading them.

5 is a smartphone running .

On their website ( they feature several apps you can run.

One logo, named "openstreetmap-logo.png" is actually… JOSM. 😆

Always a good idea to leave our comfort zone.

The other day I attached a camera to my bicycle and made a 10-minutes video of a neighbourhood I know well. Then I watched it at home with JOSM ready.

It gives a new perspective and I could add things I usually overlook when surveying on foot: street lamps, advertising screens, some trees…

Dealing with data, hoping to bring some consistency and high-value data.
I live in a multilingual area, where street names must be written in different languages.
Another example of careless editing: fixing the main tag but forgetting the other languages just creates a mess.

Just to clarify this.

My screen name "bxl-forever" is solely used in connection with my volunteer work in OpenStreetMap.

People have showed me some funny search engine results, most of them using the words "BXL" and "Forever" on pages where people are sending prayers after the Brussels attacks of 2016. This has nothing to do with me.

Roadworks in and a funny sign. Some motorists are confused with the designer’s choice and local media believe they have a "story" here.

Yes, only putting arrows would have been better.
But a geographically accurate street layout based on OSM data is much better!

to come across some -bashing directly in OSM tags. And it was there for more than 10 years!

Micromapping here: I’ve just found out that someone has been mapping tiny roads inside a playground for small children.
(way 95236635). 😆

Maybe I should try to improve the design and add some more details here…

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