Hi! :) Welcome to my page! :)
If you see me here, it is because I am passionate about maps and traveling since my childhood. I lived in 6 countries across the world and both my parents are of 2 different continents (I was born in a 3rd country :D ). Thus, I am lucky enough to speak 5 languages fluently and 2 almost fluently. I make different kind of maps on Google My Maps (so far mainly for my acquaintances). In Openstreetmap, I find something I can't find on Google: I can make that map better.
Each time I correct something, it is thanks to good sources or because I saw the configuration of the place on my own. However, as no one is perfect, I can also make mistakes :) If you see one, please discuss it with me before deleting anything. You can write to me in English, French, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese - those are the languages I speak fluently. I also speak Russian and Lithuanian (not bad in oral communication, but I read very slowly) and I understand Catalan, Galego and Italian :) Usually I'll be modifying: A) Names (mainly adding names in different languages). A-1) Polish names in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia and Germany: I rarely use Wikipedia as a source, but mostly Polish government documents on names abroad: - Lithuania: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_litwa.pdf - Belarus: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_bialorus.pdf - Ukraine: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_ukraina.pdf - Russia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_rosja.pdf - Czechia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_czechy.pdf; - Slovakia: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_slowacja.pdf - Europe overall: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wpngs_europa.pdf - World: http://ksng.gugik.gov.pl/pliki/wykaz_polskich_nazw_geograficznych.pdf However, for this matter, I use mostly pre-war Polish maps (http://igrek.amzp.pl/; http://www.kami.net.pl/kresy/), which are a very interesting and complete source as they allow to find not only the correct translation. I will also use them for former village and town names when they changed. Such name changes (especially endings) are often the case, for instance, in Lithuania (ex.: Kaspariškės used to be Kaspariškiai) and Latvia. In such cases I’ll be using the tag “old_name”. It is a bit different in nowadays’ Belarus, where most of all some villages with similar names were merged, and some places lost their Christian-related or Polish-patriotic-related names to make them sound more communist. Often, "yzna" endings were replaced with "yna" ("ына" in Belarusian or "ина" in Russian), but the name with "yzna" is still used by local people (ex.: Варакумшчына is the current name, but Варакумшчызна is still used. Same for the nearby village Беразовая Рошча, which is often called Конскі Бор as per ancient Polish name Koński Bór).
A-2) I will also be adding names in various languages where they don't appear (recently I added, for instance, “Bâle” in French to “Basel”).
A-3) For Belarusian names abroad: I will be putting traditional Belarusian names in "name:be" (ex.: Вільня, Лібава, Шумск, Меднікі, Свянцяны) as those are the ones that are used most in spoken language, poetry and so on. However, I will leave the transliteration-names in "alt_name:be" (ex.: Вільнюс, Ліепая, Шумскас, Мядзінінкай, Швянчёніс) for OSM and derived GPS app users to be able to find them. If by mistake I forget to create the "alt_name:be" tag, please warn me ASAP.
A-4) For Lithuanian names abroad, I can use various sources too, for instance historical documents like this one: http://www.epaveldas.lt/vbspi/showImage.do?id=DOC_O_85888_1&biRecordId=7942
A-5) Overall, for other multilingual names (or sometimes street names where they don't appear), I use various paper maps and various Internet sources. I don't use Google Maps as OSM doesn't allow it.
A-6) If the names are in other alphabets than Latin (ex.: Russian Cyrillic) and their equivalent is in a language written with the Latin alphabet (ex.: Polish) but the name was changed overtime, I always put first the current name in the appropriate tag (name:pl), with the old name in brackets. Why? Because not everyone can read other alphabets than Latin. 2 examples: Цары (Cary) in Belarus was named „Trzeci Maj” during the 2nd Polish republic. It was changed into Цары (the Tsars) by communists as the name referred to the 3rd May constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. Thus, in the name:pl tag I put “Cary (Trzeci Maj)”. In most of the cases, I don’t do it in the case those changed names are both written in the same alphabet for obvious reasons: everyone can read them. Thus, in this case, I use the “old_name” tags. However, if there is an internal dispute over such names, I do (ex.: Justiniškės in Vilnius – they are referred to as “Justyniszki” by most local Poles and such is the name currently accepted by the Polish government, but some keep calling it “Justynówka” as the pre-war village at the same place.
B) Roads, border checkpoints, bike paths (usually I drove through those I correct beforewards, but otherwise you can find data or pics on other Websites, etc.) I tend to use satellite images to make river, lake, road and path contours as accurate as possible.
B-1) For border checkpoints, as per OSM instructions, I try put the "border control" pushpin where the controls actually take place and not at the very border, like it is often the case currently. I’ll also try to tag thee appropriate lanes (ex. Green channel, all passports, “TIR” for truck lanes, etc.). This is most of all in order to help GPS app users (like maps.me – the base of which is OSM) to find the correct lane before they arrive to the border checkpoint.
B-2) Some border checkpoints have expanded, which is not always visible on OSM. I’ll also try to reflect that. Sometimes press sources can be useful for such matters (ex.: delfi.lv, etc.). However, I'll be mainly using the borderguard sources of the respective countries.
B-3) If I state a border checkpoint is “only for local traffic”, this means not everyone can use it. It is an extremely important info, the aim of which is for people to avoid making hundreds of miles and wasting time and money unduly.
B-4) I will also add “border control” pushpins where passport controls within one country do actually take place (recently done in Lithuania and Belarus for border zone entering/exiting zones). I will remove any “border control” tag wherever I find it between 2 Schengen-zone countries.
B-5) If no international reference (int_ref) tag appears where it should (ex. on the road Prague-Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn, it should be E 67), I will add them.
C) Road common names: I will try to add the common or historic names used apart of the road number. For example: Via Baltica (Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn), Autostrada Wolności (Polish A2), Autoroute du Nord (French A1) , Juodasis kelias (Vilnius-Šumskas road), etc. I might move the current names used (ex.: “Rīga-Bauska-Lietuvas robeža (Grenctāle)” in Latvia) to the tag “alt_name”.
N.B.: As an indication, countries to which I drive (or ride my bike) most often (in frequence order), for which I may modify things "de visu" most often - Lithuania - Belarus - Poland - France - Latvia - Estonia EASTERN LATVIA AND WESTERN RUSSIA NEED OUR HELP! If someone could help me with Eastern Latvia (Latgalia), it would be great. That part of the country is a total OSM leftover and really needs a lot of work. Roads drawn where they don't exist (or the opposite), non existing sharp curves, name mistakes, infrastructure main names (border checkpoints, etc.) written in other languages than Latvian as the main name (Russian or English usually)... You won't get bored soon if you start taking care of that beautiful region :) Same for Western Russia. Close to the border with Latvia and with Estonia, lots of roads haven't been drawn on OSM despite existing.
2 FUTURE PROJECTS FOR WHICH I WILL NEED HELP:
PROJECT 1: BELARUS & KAZAKHSTAN: LOCALITY NAMES AS ON-SPOT: There is a very strange contradiction on the multilingual names between: A) On the one hand, the OSM POLICY (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Names: "The common default name. (Note: For disputed areas, please use the name as displayed on, e.g., street signs for the name tag. Put all alternatives into either localized name tags (e.g., name:tr/name:el) or the variants (e.g., loc_name/old_name/alt_name). Thank you.") B) And the community for Belarus (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Multilingual_names: "Belarus has two official languages (Belarusian and Russian), Belarusian language has two variants (Classical and Official). As russian language is used more widely, community decided that the name=* tag value should be in Russian if it exists and make sense. A Russian name value also should be duplicated in name:ru=* tag, belarusian official should be in name:be=, belarusian classical optionaly in name:be-tarask=, int_name=* transliterated from name:be=*.")
As a result of this contradiction, the main names visible on OSM for Belarus and in Kazakhstan are not compliant with the OSM's policy on names as everything is written in Russian whereas ALL locality names are in reality in Belarusian! Same for streets and metro stations in Minsk. I seriously plan putting all the main Belarusian locality (villages, town, city) names as they appear on spot: in Belarusian. I would also like to do the same in Kazakhstan.
WHY: a) The OSM policy is very clear: everything should look as it is in reality! If we reason the opposite way, as it was in this case, then we open a Pandora box unnecessarily. For instance: lots of names in the Vilnius area in Lithuania should appear in Polish instead of Lithuanian (ex.: Soleczniki for Šalčininkai, or Kiena Panieńska for Kena) because most people on that area use Polish instead of Lithuanian. However, on spot there are no bilingual roadsigns, nor monolingual Polish names, which means that such names appear as they should: in the name:pl tag. Same for the town of Narva in Estonia (90% Russian, but everything is in Estonian) Moreover, the community's opinion above was given a couple of years ago when OSM wasn't used by various mobile GPS apps. b) The impact of this is dramatic for maps.me and other such apps' users: currently OSM in Belarus & Kazakhstan seems to live in an alternative reality: those are the two only countries on OSM where locality names appear otherwise than when you drive there: in Russian instead of Belarusian or Kazakh. It can really be confusing and irritating for drivers when they see "Астравец" or “Асінаўка“ on spot and "Островец" or “Осиновка” on the map, for instance. Especially if you do not read Cyrillic nor speak the local languages. Instead of helping and making OSM more effective, it only brings chaos. Even if you do read Cyrillic, it can be extremely confusing as the words contained in some names might totally differ ("Вялікая Якентаны" in Belarusian becomes ""Большие Якентаны" in Russian). As one of the users indicated me recently, even Russian tourists get confused, for instance, while using the Minsk metro (the Октябрская station appearing on OSM appears as Кастрычніцкая on-spot, which makes a lot of people alight at the wrong station.). Thus, in the case of Minsk, I am also planning to put the metro station and street names in Belarusian because that is how they appear on the spot. Please note I am not planning to intervene on street names out of other cities than Minsk (unless I drive there and see by myself that those names are in Belarusian); and not at all on restaurant or shop names. I am not a sort of Jeanne d’Arc, and my aim is not to “kick out Russian from Belarus” :) :) :) I solely want to make OSM more realistic.
If you have a doubt on what I am stating on ground rule and/or if you haven’t been in Belarus or Kazakhstan, you can find plenty of pics of roads in those 2 countries where you can see city, town and village names in local language only, not in Russian. (street names can be in Russian sometimes though) Moreover, even OSM’s main competitor in the region, Russian-born Yandex, puts the main names in Belarusian in Belarus! All this will mean the following steps for each locality name; and Minsk metro station and street name (And also Kazakh locality names): a) moving names from “name” to “name:ru” b) copying names in “name:be” or “name:kz” to “name”. It also means that Russian-speaking users will still be able to find the places in question in any case. So when helping me with that, please do not delete the “name:ru” tag!
In Abkhazia, you see no Georgian names as the main ones, and neither do you in Crimea with Ukrainian. No politics nor own preferences on OSM, please. Let us stick to reflecting the reality! Anyway, it is ironic to approve sort-of-democratic decisions for a country under a dictatorship :D
PROJECT 2: MULTILINGUAL NAMES IN EUROPE AS THEY APPEAR ON-SPOT: I also plan to put bilingual, trilingual or quadrilingual names across Europe just as they appear on spot in the “name” tag. This will allow people using OSM to identify these zones easily and tourists to find them quickly. The following countries or zones will be concerned: - Finland (ex.: Helsinki / Helsingfors, Espoo / Esbo …) - Sweden (ex.: Strömsund / Straejmie …) - Norway (ex. : Børselv / Pyssyjoki / Bissojohka) - Denmark (ex. : Haderslev / Hadersleben) - Germany (ex. : Bautzen / Budyšin, Cottbus / Chóśebuz...) - Poland (ex. : Biała / Zülz, Buda Zawidugierska / Vidugirių Būda ...) - Ukraine (ex. : Малі Геївці / Kisgejőc …) - Slovakia (ex.: Svätý Peter / Szentpéter, Nižný Tvarožec / Нижни Тварожец …) - Czechia (ex.: Český Tĕšín / Czeski Cieszyn, Jablunkov / Jabłonków...) - Austria (ex.: Klagenfurt / Celovec, Neudorf / Novo Selo …) - Hungary (Répáshuta / Repašská Huta, Csömör / Čemer / Tschemer) - Slovenia (Koper / Capodistria, Dolgovaške Gorice / Hosszúfaluhegy ) - Croatia (Novigrad / Cittanova, Donji Lapac / Доњи Лапац, Daruvarski Brestovac / Daruvarský Brestov ...) - Montenegro (Vladimir / Katerkolle …) - Serbia (Зрењанин / Zrenjanin / Петровград / Nagybecskerek / Zreňanin / Zrenianin ...) - Kosovo (put all names as they appear on-spot: Albanian / Serbian Latin) - Macedonia (Ратае / Ratajë, Тетово / Tetovë …) - Italy (Poffabro / Pofàvri, Aosta / Aoste, Sassuolo / Sasôl…) - France (Oloron-Sainte-Marie / Auloron-Senta-Maria, Perpignan / Perpinyà …) - The Netherlands (Starum / Stavoren, Meijel / Méél …) - Ireland (all names as thye appear on-spot: Irish Gaelic / English) - Romania (Breaza / Beresztelke, Baia Mare / Nagybánya / Neustadt …) - Portugal (Duas Igrejas / Dues Eigreijas …) - Luxembourg (all names as they appear on-spot: in French or German / Luxembourguish) - Estonia (Tuksi / Bergsby, Elbiku / Ölbäck…) There are countries where bilingual names already appear in the “name” tag on OSM, as they do on-spot. However, either some new names appeared in the meantime (for instance in Asturian in Spain), either some have been forgotten. It is mainly the linguistic facility towns in Belgium (like Sint-Genesius-Rode, which appear with bilingual names on spot: Sint-Genesius-Rode / Rhode-Saint-Genèse).
Dear OSM users! Once again, please leave politics aside, or to other map service providers! Reflect reality! Not wannabe-realities.
Looking forward to your cooperation.
Kind regards to all users :),