Talk:JOSM/Advanced editing

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Discuss the JOSM/Advanced editing page here:

new Thematic Data section

The section JOSM/Advanced editing#Editing Thematic Data has been added. There is nothing incorrect about it, but I don't really like it for a couple of reasons.

The section is too advanced for this guide. Although this page is title "advanced editing", it's actually not very advanced at all. The page covers topics like conflicts and relations. It's just stuff which is a bit more advanced than the "basic editing" (suggestions for a better title perhaps?) Overall the guide is intended for new users.

Use of osmconvert and osmfilter prior to opening data in JOSM, is actually fraught with non-obvious pitfalls. The new section gives some warnings, but I am uncomfortable with guiding new users to play around with this kind of thing. In fact I can't really think of an occasion where I've felt the need to use a technique like this in all my years of editing. It seems to me the most likely use would be to jigger around with tags en masse. This comes under the category of Automated Edits, with all the technical and community related pitfalls which that entails.

Finally it doesn't make sense to give mention to osmconvert and osmfilter, without also mentioning Osmosis and (easier) XAPI. There's a whole family of tools for processing and converting .osm files. We've got a page Convert and documentation on the XML format where we might slip in a mention of osmconvert and osmfilter more comfortably. Perhaps we should link some of those places very briefly from this guide, but none of these things are built in JOSM features. I would suggest that all such techniques should be out of scope of this guide.

There is a however a 'Filter' panel built-in feature which perhaps we should have a section on.

-- Harry Wood 15:30, 25 June 2011 (BST)

Hello Harry, if I understand you correctly, there are three reasons why the chapter should not stay at this Wiki page:

  1. The method is too advanced for the Advanced editing page,
  2. there are pitfalls, and
  3. there are other tools which can do the same.

At first, thank you for your elaborate and clear argumentation. I will try to answer:

  1. You're right, the procedure I've described is considerably more complex than the other chapters at this page. Nevertheless, I think there should be space for this kind of more-than-advanced information. Could we add a page called Special editing? This would be an adequate title because you need this part of the guide only in very special situations.
  2. There are always pitfalls. Even with plain JOSM you can accidentally corrupt OSM data. In comparison to other JOSM tasks, the described procedure involves downloading external programs and starting them from the command line. Only really advanced users would dare to begin this little adventure. Therefore I cannot share your concern that new users could apply this method in a wrong way. But – you are right in number 1: another page would be more adequate and emphasize that this is not for beginners.
  3. I totally agree: Other tools should be mentioned as well. Especially Osmosis is capable of filtering and a lot more. Unfortunately I lack of experience with Osmosis. Maybe someone else could add a description? What further tools should be listed? The Convert page you mentioned is really bad at the moment. Even Osmosis is not listed as data conversion tool although the program is capable to do conversions between the most commonly used OSM data formats.

Why did I write the chapter in question actually at the JOSM Guide page? That is because I missed this function in JOSM itself. Of course, JOSM has a very comfortable built-in filter function, but you have to load all data before you can use the filter. It really would be nice to have an import filter. It can save a lot of time if you're able to load the railway lines of a whole country at once and edit all associated relations (line numbers, traffic operators, etc.). I did exactly this during the last days (using the workaround I described). Same would apply to other themes: power lines, public phones or ferry routes, for example.

As a result, I would like to suggest two things:

  • Consider developing a capable import filter for JOSM and
  • create a Special editing page which allows to describe procedures which can be useful in connection with JOSM. JOSM is not an island. ;-)

--Marqqs 01:22, 26 June 2011 (BST)

It would be great if JOSM/Advanced editing#Editing Thematic Data would mention the terrific Overpass API for advanced filtering of up-to-date data. --mmd 30 December 2011

Sounds good to me. Maybe we could split the section "Editing Thematic Data" in "Online Filtering" and "Offline Filtering". --Marqqs 11:57, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It would be more appropriate slim down that entire section to a few sentences. We can either link to all of these different tools in a sentence which read more like a list of links, or (better) would be as I said before, link to a page such as Convert or XML (or a better page somewhere?) for generalised discussion of various filtering tools. However we do it, the current section with it's command line examples, is too long and doesn't fit, so I'm going to slim it down. This a page is supped to be about JOSM. -- Harry Wood 00:30, 3 February 2012 (UTC)