Historical Editors

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This page is focused on outlining the issues considered when developing time-enabled editors for Historical OSM.

Time-enabled editing has difficulties not encountered or considered when editing and maintaining maps of the current-day world. Frankie Roberto's 2009 Mapping History on Open Street Map presentation is an excellent summary of the issues related to editing and tagging historical information.[1]

The actual format to use for time is worthy of its own discussion: Historical Time Format.

Time-enabled Editing Workflow

This is just one concept (of many) for adding historical information to OSM:

  • Bring up the historical editor
  • Set some desired time period (time pixel?) for editing
  • See... what? in the editor - existing Historical OSM info for time selected (t)? or earliest info after t? or latest info before t? or both? this needs to be clarified
  • Ideally, have an ability to query historic maps from the selected bounding box and time box from something like http://www.mapwarper.net - see an example map from 1856 Seattle: http://mapwarper.net/maps/512
  • All edits during this time might be auto-tagged for time t... or date of active map being traced?
  • All edits during this time might be auto-tagged ++ for source=warped map?

Which Editor to Use

It is unclear which editor is best suited for adapting for use with historical OSM related information.

  • Potlatch2 - easy to use, but legacy; Flash
  • iD - being designed to be easy to use, but not here yet; JavaScript
  • JOSM - less easy to use, but extensible; Java