Status update, October 2020

By Cj Malone on

Skipped the status update last month, just didn't feel like it. I mostly mapped local addresses, a few defibs and general craft mapping.

This month I updated Brighton bus stops, they don't seem to have had the NaPTAN import so they were lacking lots of details. They still aren't perfect, but the ones in OSM now have names. Brighton could still do with an import, but I'll leave that to local people unless someone else reaches out for help again.

I've worked on brand data for UK supermarkets. It's a topic I've worked on before for several stores (and 100%ed some of them!) but recently Robert Whittaker ran the numbers comparing OSM to Geolytix Open Data. A lot of it is just because of tagging issues, but it does highlight some areas where OSM is lacking.

I've been tracing buildings (something I've done remarkably little of) in targeted areas specifically so that local mappers can then add details such as shop types that I don't have a source for or so they can defibs with more context.

I fixed some vandalism within a few minutes of it being reported, by chance I was already on my laptop with JOSM open when the email came in. The hardest bit was getting the tiles to update.

I got shouted out for making a note, next to another that said a similar thing. In my defence JOSM didn't show that note, but I should have downloaded the notes before opening a new one. It wasn't a great feeling, but not the most hostile thing I've experienced lately.

I added addresses for a local village (Alverstone), it's all house names so it was considerably slower than adding numbers with StreetComplete. The act of recording them pointed out some issues with some houses not being traced, and other houses not being split. It all seems pretty good now though, I was looking into printing it as they have issues with deliveries but I'm no QGIS expert and the drivers (Isle of Wight Distribution & Amazon) use OSM anyway.

I've done a lot of UPRN matching. OS Open UPRN is an annoying data set, it only contains Lat, Long and ID so it is hard to know what it represents. There are some tricks, like 10023714238 to 10023714294 (with the exception of 10023714281) identify car parks. Or if there is only one above a building it represents that property/address. If there are several above a building it's likely a block of flats with one being for the building and the rest being for the individual flats. It's impossible to identify them so I've not been adding them, but it does raise some issues. Some people say because something isn't surveyable on the ground it shouldn't be in OSM. I'm not so strict on that, we have postcodes after all. The next issue is verifiability, they cannot be verified remotely either, technically there a couple ways to look up an AddressBase UPRN but you definitely shouldn't. It will probably raise copyright issues and definitely against any terms of service, don't put OSM in a position where it will be sued. Deduce what you can, but never cheat!

I noticed more Post Offices getting name=Post Office to replace the official. It turns out the NSI was overwriting the name. I fixed that upstream and reverted some of the edits.

OSM UK has selected defibs as the current QP, I've done one survey to identify some, and I'll definitely be going out some more.

I added Hall & Woodhouse to NSI then went through them adding the brand tags to OSM. Pubs seem remarkably well mapped, at least through the South of England.

And lastly I joint OSM UK as a director. What an interesting time to be alive.