User talk:Matt

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Shepherd's Bush Mapping evening

Hi Matt. For tomorrow nights mapping meet-up I contacted Hammersmith & Fulham council, and they're interested in describing what we're up to, in their little council newspaper thingy. I think they were a bit disappointed that I'm not a Hammersmith & Fulham resident though. So I was wondering... are you a resident in that borough? Adds a nice local angle, but I guess it doesn't really matter.

Also he was saying he wasn't familiar with the white horse pub, and he knows quite a few pubs in the area. Maybe that means the pub closed down recently :-O but maybe it's just not a very well known pub.

-- Harry Wood 12:09, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Opencheesemap icon license?

Matt, hi --

I tracked you back through SVN changelogs, and I assume you're the original author of the OSM icon, [1] and now [2]. Can you let me know what license it's distributed under? I'm doing some packaging for Debian of Osm2go (which uses the logo for its icon); can I assume that it's GPLv2, the same as everything else? --achadwick 18:07, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Yup, the icon has the same license as most other stuff in the OSM repository - GPLv2. Please feel free to use the icon for Osm2go (or any other OSM-related project, for that matter). If anyone wants it under a different license then please contact me directly (rot13(mrerohohgu) at gmail) and I'll see if its possible. --Matt 19:00, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

250 Cities routing

Hullo Matt,

Would it be possible to get a route summary table (similar to [3]) that has coloring to reflect when a reverse route differes by the lesser or 5% or 25km from the forward route? Idealy, I would like to see only the direction that has the longer route get colored.

Many thanks if so; no worries if not.--Mythdraug 17:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Undo deletion of a changeset

Hi Matt,

I hope you can help me out. I deleted several object by mistake and committed the change to the server without having a local backup of the data. The changeset# is: 4720906

Can you undo all deletions in that change?

If this is not the way to contact a system administrator in charge for that can you tell me where to find one?

Thank in advance, Mark

I see the changeset has been reverted. -- Firefishy 13:43, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Rename OWL page?

Hi Matt, I would like to rename OWL_(OpenStreetMap_Watch_List) to simply OWL or something else without the brackets (of course with a redirect). Would this be fine for you? --!i! 13:42, 17 August 2010 (BST)

No - I deliberately didn't use the OWL page, as there were other uses for those three letters at the time. It's better as a disambiguation page. --Matt 21:37, 17 August 2010 (BST)
And what about OSM Watch List or Openstreetmap Watch List? Or do you disagree a renaming (that comes IMO with consequences) in general? --!i! 22:11, 17 August 2010 (BST)
I agree with renaming where it makes things clearer, but in this case I think it would be unnecessary. Unless there are people trying to find the OWL (software) page who can't find it because of the name, I don't think there's enough of a reason to move the page. --Matt 20:53, 24 August 2010 (BST)
Ok no problem Matt, was just an idea :D --!i! 21:56, 24 August 2010 (BST)

Forming a wiki team

Hi Matt, what do you think about this idea: Talk:Wiki#Forming_a_Wiki_Team ? --!i! 15:31, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Fire Hydrants

Please re-instate the redirect, this was voted on to depreciate this under amenity and shift to the emergency tagging -- JohnSmith 00:18, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, under reasonable wiki rules, it is *not* acceptable to continually revert another's changes. This is why the page was protected. Secondly, the amenity-keyed version of the fire_hydrant tag is in roughly equal use to the emergency-keyed version (see amenity version versus emergency version) and both should be documented - neither is deprecated. --Matt 00:59, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Others started the constant reverts, and you continued it, so you are the one guilty of that -- JohnSmith 09:54, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
As an admin I fully support User:Matt in his protection of the page. This matter should be resolved through discussion and agreement. In the interim, both tags should be clearly documented. Protecting the page has been necessary to stop JohnSmith taking further unilateral action and to give time to let everyone think things over with a view to constructive resolution. Gravitystorm 10:59, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Gravitystorm. This should be resolved through discussion involving JohnSmith, Frederik Ramm and Jonobennett. If you think it would help, I would be willing to help arbitrate. --Matt 11:13, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Until Frederik and co started reverting the page, the matter had been discussed and I thought the matter was settled after someone else called a vote and it was dealt with. -- JohnSmith 11:46, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
No vote in the world can ever be a reason to remove documentation for a tag that is used in excess of 7,000 times. And make no mistake, JohnSmith's initial edits did remove every trace of there ever having been an amenity=fire_hydrant tag - he put in a redirect to emergency=fire_hydrant which did not contain a word about amenity=fire_hydrant. Anyone encountering an amenity=fire_hydrant would have been under the impression that that was a tagging mistake. Also, there is no deprecation in OSM because nobody has the authority to do so. --Frederik Ramm 13:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Someone has, otherwise why did all the other tags, such as abutters become marked as depreciated? -- JohnSmith 16:00, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I am ok with JohnSmith *adding* a note to the existing amenity=fire_hydrant page explaining that (for example) "contributors on the tagging mailing list suggest to use emergency=fire_hydrant instead" (with proper link to mailing list thread), or adding a note that says "a vote was held and 32 people were in favour of using emergency=fire_hydrant instead" (with proper link to that vote - and it cannot be Proposed features/Fire Hydrant because that is unclear about amenity vs emergency).
I also object to JohnSmith's continuing attempts to remove cross-reference information about amenity=fire_hydrant from the emergency=fire_hydrant page, and suggest that that page be protected against edits, and the holder of the "JohnSmith" pseudonym account to be banned from editing the Wiki, under any name, if he continues in this vein on other pages. --Frederik Ramm 13:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
If I'm banned, then it's only fair that Frederik should also be banned for either starting or further instigating the "edit war", kind of ironic how hypocritical his actions are -- JohnSmith 15:57, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
From what I can see on that page's history, Frederik did a single revert to return the page to it's proper state and didn't remove any cross-reference information. Without further going into personal attacks, can you explain what you mean? --Matt 09:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Please provide a link to the vote you claim supports your actions, particularly where it states that all content be removed from amenity=fire_hydrant Jonathan Bennett 13:14, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The content was moved, not deleted, as for the vote check the tagging mailing list and associated wiki pages, I didn't instigate the vote, someone else did. -- JohnSmith 15:53, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The amenity version of the tag is still in considerable use and it isn't acceptable to remove the documentation for it and redirect to another tag's page. By all means, add a header saying the emergency version is preferred, making sure that the discussion (if it occurred off the wiki) is prominently linked. But while the tag is in use, the documentation for it stays. Note also that running a bot to get rid of all the amenity versions of the tag would probably be frowned upon and would have to comply with the Data working group/Mechanical Edit Policy and Automated Edits/Code of Conduct. -- Matt 13:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
As Frederik or someone else already pointed out, the amenity tag was reinstated as a temporary measure until editors etc caught up with the change. -- JohnSmith 15:53, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The state of the editors is immaterial. What matters is documenting the tags which are in-use, and both the amenity and emergency tags are in-use. Personally, I prefer the emergency version and will be using that in the future, but that doesn't excuse the removal of documentation for this well-used (currently ~7,300 usages) tag. --Matt 09:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I have protected the emergency=fire_hydrant page since it, too, is now also the subject of an edit war. While I don't really care what the outcome is in this situation, or how many pages of documentation we end up with, I will not simple not stand for edit wars on the wiki. Gravitystorm 13:27, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
What is exactly the problem in making a hint and just linking to the new page John? Don't get personal... --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 16:39, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
There was a redirect in place, as for getting personal, Frederik fired the first shot if you look above... -- JohnSmith 19:00, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Can you point out any reason why a redirect is more useful in this case instead of leaving the old page with a hint that this scheme is deprecated? --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 08:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Obviously there is a big difference between adding a label and cross-linking to another tagging idea, and moving the page leaving behind no evidence of the original idea. In the context of a tagging dispute, the labelling approach would be a sensible moderate approach. Moving the page is unreasonably forcing your point of view on the matter.
You (JohnSmith) also keep coming back to the tiresome suggestion that somebody else started it. When you move a page, and obliterate all evidence of the amenity=fire_hydrant idea (...and before you say it, yes I know there's a redirect and page history, but apart from that... ) , well then it is you who is making a controversial change. A controversial change may not be a bad thing in and of itself, but ...well first of all don't kid yourself. You are starting it.
Secondly when you make a controversial change you should discuss it, preferably prior to making the change. In this case I would expect the ins and outs of the issue to be discussed at Talk:Tag:amenity=fire hydrant. So far User:Jonobennett's points have gone unanswered there. That is the most logical place for this discussion. Sometimes people prefer to discuss on the mailing list or forum instead. Sometimes discussions end up on an individual user talk page. Disparate discussion can lead to some confusion, so it's a good idea to try and make sure these get linked from the wiki page or wiki talk page. As far as I can make out however, the page move of Tag:amenity=fire_hydrant has not been discussed anywhere properly.
In fact it has been brought to my attention on a couple of occasions previously, that you (JohnSmith) are actively refusing to engage in discussion regarding several areas of editing the tag docs. By doing this you are failing to conduct yourself in the collaborative manner expected by the OpenStreetMap community.
-- Harry Wood 15:18, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm just wondering if we'll all be doing this dance again in about three months after amenity=doctor(s) gets shifted to health care, as that is what is being proposed and agreed to by a majority... -- JohnSmith 00:32, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Again, is there any reason why you say it's better to replace a old page completely instead of adding a hint+link to the new one? --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 07:34, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Some things are bad enough already when it comes to the disorganised mess that is tag documentation, why should we do something likely to confuse the matter further? IMHO it's much better to redirect the person to the better page... -- JohnSmith 08:26, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
As you noticed others including myself don't share your opinion. It is important in this evolutionary project to know the history of a key. People link from outside etc. You know that changing tagging related pages is a hot iron, so pay attention the next time and ask before you do significant changes. --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 12:17, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
What purpose does it serve that linking to the history page can't achieve? Go read the mailing list archives some time to find out just how many find the wiki too confusing -- JohnSmith 15:44, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
This is not about whether the wiki is good or bad. If you are unable to respect the opinion of others you will get the same problems everywhere. You say wiki sucks? So it might be easier for a wiki newbie to check out that somewhere is a page where in some revision of the page is the desired information about the desired tag, explaining that it's obsolet? Nobody is angry if somebody makes a wrong edit. Wiki is able to compensate this. But if you make it again and again, shows just that you doesn't want to understand others opinions. Hope you will pay attention the next time when you working on tagging related pages. To me all is said --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 16:46, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
If we can't depreciate tags then there will be a lot more problems in future as things shift... This seems like a pretty basic requirement as better practices are adopted by mappers... Otherwise we will only end up in endless debates about new tags as they will need to be perfect before being documented otherwise things will never be able to improve... -- JohnSmith 01:29, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
And it's not about what's been voted on, or approved, by a small number of people. The wiki exists to document the tags which are in-use and help mappers decide which existing tag is appropriate to use, if any. Regardless of any vote taken, or proposal approved, what matters is that the tags used on the map are documented here. In my opinion it's fine to recommend an alternative tag for mappers to use at their discretion, but not good to try and force that by deleting existing documentation or running tag rewriting bots. Currently there are 11,222 uses of amenity=doctors and 211 of healthcare=physician (which seems more popular than healthcare=doctor at 41), so the clear majority view of mappers is that amenity=doctors is the right way to tag. I would consider any attempt to remove or redirect the documentation for such a well-used tag as vandalism. --Matt 18:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd consider the amenity=doctors not the result of intelligent choice by 11,222 to 41, but as the result of the default in editors. So you are making an argument that the wiki should reflect what is used which isn't a strongly based argument, as in truth the 'decision' was made by coders working on editors.
LobeliaT, I suggest you talk to the coders working on the editors, then. The "decision" of which tags to use is a consensus-building process between mappers, editor writers and consumers of OSM data such as tool writers and cartographers. Given that a tag has little intrinsic meaning, what's necessary is good documentation of what is actually used, and how it's used. With that in place everyone can make an informed decision, therefore I'm against the removal of any documentation of in-use tags. However, as I've said before, I'm all for a banner on "deprecated" tags to indicate that an alternative is preferred. Also, in future please sign your edits in wiki discussions like these - the convention is to type
at the end of your comment. --Matt 16:40, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
That sort of attitude is likely to lead to more large scale edits by bots to make the wiki meet expectations -- JohnSmith 01:29, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Would you be willing to expand on why you think good documentation, working in a collaborative, helpful manner and not forcing your tagging views on others in a peremptory way is likely to lead to more bot activity? Bear in mind the Data working group/Mechanical Edit Policy would prevent this without sufficient a-priori discussion and agreement. --Matt 16:47, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I never said there wouldn't be any discussions on the matter or anything thing else, I just said the focus of getting changes made would be more towards large scale edits rather than bothering to change the wiki first, then the changes to the wiki will reflect the changes made to the database... -- JohnSmith 23:41, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Sure, the focus of getting changes made has to be the discussion, not the action. As LobeliaT pointed out, there needs to be a consensus across a much wider range of people than just those few with a special interest on the wiki before any change can happen successfully and without undue disruption. I would suggest that "bothering" to document stuff on the wiki does happen first, along with discussion on the appropriate mailing list(s). Certainly any large-scale changes would need to be documented on the wiki as per the Data working group/Mechanical Edit Policy and Automated Edits/Code of Conduct before they happen, along with such information as to how to opt-out, etc... --Matt 11:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

You see what's happened there? JohnSmith has had a discussion. Hurray! And when we discuss things like this, we find ourselves thinking about general philosophy behind tag documentation on the wiki. We confront awkward unanswered questions. We find ourselves reaching a mutual understanding, that we don't have perfect processes in place, indeed there may not be perfect processes for collaboratively documenting tags. It's an important problem to debate and maybe one day find a solution to. It's a shame though isn't it, that JohnSmith doesn't even engage in any discussion until administrators step in to lock pages. That's not acceptable behaviour, and when we unlock the page (which we need to do) I hope JohnSmith will behave better. I notice there's still no reply here: Talk:Tag:amenity=fire hydrant. Maybe we could move some discussion from here over to that page. -- Harry Wood 17:19, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Not sure why I was singled out, since these changes were made by others without discussion, all I did was revert because they haven't discussed why there was a need to do what they did. -- JohnSmith 03:50, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I think the problem might be that your changes were destructive and were also not discussed (I haven't seen a link to any discussion, at any rate), which may have had an influence on the several people who returned the page to its previous state. Furthermore, you seemed to be reluctant to enter into a discussion; you moved the affected page's discussion page away and you don't accept public discussion on your user talk page. Jonobennett's talk page is similarly unhelpful regarding wiki etiquette, but at least his "I'd rather you contacted me using the messaging system" doesn't outright deny the possibility of discussion as your "I'm not going to respond to posts on this page any more" does. --Matt 10:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
My talk page that starts "If your comment isn't regarding something on this wiki" you mean? Jonathan Bennett 11:11, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The discussion was on the tagging list, other people seem determine to shift all wiki discussion to the wiki for what ever reason and others want to only use the forum -- JohnSmith 18:51, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The vote was on the wiki -- JohnSmith 20:02, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
That's an earlier discussion/vote about the tag. Is that the only discussion you can reference to explain and justify your actions? You removed the Tag:amenity=fire hydrant page and all evidence of that tag. Then you repeatedly re-removed it when several different people reverted. Now sometimes we have to make controversial edits on the wiki. We can't all agree on everything. But to do this without any further discussion (discussion about your action) is not acceptable behaviour. still waiting... Talk:Tag:amenity=fire hydrant
On the issue of user talk pages, this can feel a little alien to some people. Some people may prefer to have a note there directing people to another contact channel. That's not ideal for wiki collaboration, but I can understand. But over the past few months I've seen you repeatedly remove any comments placed on your talk page from people who are challenging you and your behaviour. I strongly suspect that his is not about preferred communication channels, and more about preferring not to communicate. Again this is clearly not acceptable in this collaborative project. Did you imagine this was going unnoticed?
-- Harry Wood 22:57, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes this section is a perfect example of why a wiki is good for documentation, but a very bad way to try and communicate, I'm starting to get lost in all these comments, and the proposal page was the last vote on the subject, you should check the dates more closely.... -- JohnSmith 00:32, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Delete old account

Hi Matt!

I noticed that I have an old account I don't use anymore but it is using my current mail adress. Is it possible to delete it please ?

The old account name : ArcturusM51 registered with the emailadress :

Thank you HEINRICH Yannick

josm terracer plugin - Feature request


Tanks for your terracer plugin, it's really handy. But as Mapnik now takes the building typology into account (e.g. building=yes is rendered different than building=house) I would request that the terracer plugin also takes it into account.

I think the plugin is exclusifly used for houses, so putting "house" instead of "yes" would be good. I you know someone that uses it for something else, maybe the original value from the outline could be fetched.

Thanks, --Sanderd17 15:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC) (If you want to contact me, mail me as OSM user sanderd17)

OWL api

Hello Matt,

I'm writing to you asking whether there's any OWL public api I could use (or can help writing) -- my intention is to make a "heatmap" application, using "OWL tiles" over a period of time (say, grab the daily feed, every day for a week, add a counter to the tiles and then process it to get the heatmap).

Also, is the source code available anywhere?

Thanks. --Hanska 19:04, 13 April 2011 (BST)

Cleaning up the wiki

Please take part in this discussion :) --★ → Airon 90 12:58, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

History tab

Hi Matt, is this how to send you a message? I'm picking up on the Top Ten Tasks list, specifically the History Tab item. If I had the skills, I would try modify the history tab search by adding an option to omit history items with an area larger than my current view window. Or twice that or something. The current non-functioning search basically makes it impossible to coordinate with other mappers working on the same area.

                      • Thanks, Don Cooke
Hi Don, while omitting these 'large' changesets would be fairly simple, it only hides the problem with the history tab rather than solving it. A bit of software I wrote a few years back, OWL, tried to solve this problem but had scalability issues. There is now an effort underway to rewrite and update it. The latest demo was described on the 'rails-dev' mailing list [4]. --Matt 01:40, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Terracer plugin

Hallo Matt,

Thanks a lot for the terracer plugin for JOSM. It use it all the time. Unfortunately, I've recently noticed a few problems with it. I hope you still maintain it and will consider to fix the following:

  • When I only fill in the Lowest number (in order to add a single building), I can no longer leave the 'delete outline way checked', otherwise the house is not added to the associatedStreet relation. I believe this problem got introduced by a change in JOSM a couple of versions ago
  • Again, when I only fill in the Lowest number, and I add the building to an existing associatedStreet relation, the 'addr:street' tag is not added to the building. However, this is done when the relation is created.

Both are not serious problems, and I've introduced workarounds in my workflow. It would be very nice though if they could be fixed, because it will improve my workflow.

--Escada (talk) 04:56, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

license of MapQuest open tiles?

Hi Matt, can you help at File_talk:Battlegrid_screenshot.png? Thank you! --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 00:01, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Matt. I made a little mistake today, I used the "continous download" plugin in JOSM to map railroads in south west england. I didn't noticed that it loaded quite more data than I needed or intended, and now I reached some traffic quote. Is it possible to undo the 'ban'?

The regarding ip adress is the one my last edits werde made.

Tile Usage


      I am about to develop and deploy a commercial grade application which will be using OSM map tiles.  

The estimated traffic will be around 1,000 visitors per day. The users will be allowed to change the zoom levels of the map. Can I use your tiles server for this project? Will there be any fees?

Thank you for your time in advance,

Tejus Madan


@User:Matt Can you give me a sysop in this wiki. Thank you Sparkling Thorn (talk) 10:14, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Who are you and why do you want this? Seems a weird thing to ask for given that you're not a big wiki editor: Special:Contributions/Sparkling_Thorn -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:11, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

OWL status

Hi Matt, could you provide some insight what OWL's status is? All its services seem to be abandoned and development at github likewise. I have but up a red note on OWL therefore. Do you know of any definitive end of it? Is it technically not scalable enough? Is somebody still working on it or even running a public service? If it really is dead and abandoned I would remove it from our many lists. Thank you! --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 13:43, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

The original OWL (v1) for which I was the author is totally dead - the last development I did on it seems to have been in Oct 2012. The reason that v1 was abandoned was that it was not scalable to full planet size. Paweł Paprota took over and re-wrote it as v2, which was for a while running on zark - I think in beta. Unfortunately, due to power constraints, zark had to be switched off before it could be made a "production" service. I don't know what the status is, but the last commit seems to be Jan 2015, so it seems likely it is at least "hibernating" if not dead. Hope that helps --Matt (talk) 16:24, 11 July 2016 (UTC)