Potlatch 1/Feedback

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Bugs and feedback

This page is only monitored occasionally. If possible, please use the Potlatch mailing list or Trac instead.

If you think you've found a bug:

  • By preference, leave a ticket in our Trac system. Log in with your usual OSM name and password (not your wiki name and password), select Potlatch in the 'component' menu, and 'defect' in the 'type' menu
  • You can also post to the Potlatch mailing list
  • You can also add a comment to the bug reports section on this page, signing your comment with your name (use four tildes ~ to add your name), though this page is monitored less frequently

If you'd like to make a suggestion for a new feature:

  • By preference, leave a ticket on Trac as per above, but with 'enhancement' in the 'type' menu
  • Post to the Potlatch mailing list
  • Or add a comment to the suggestions section on this page

I'll try and provide some feedback to your bug report or feature suggestion where practical. I may group various suggestions together for ease of use.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions! --Richard

Bug reports


  • When adding a key (e.g. highway) - a list appears with all types of values (e.g. residental, teritary,...). When I choose a value with my mouse the appearance of the feature does not update within Potlatch.
  • When adding the key highway a list appears with all types of highway (residental, teritary,...) But "PATH" is missing !
  • When attaching a line shape to a circular object like a lake or a wood then on the closing step i sometimes receive a rather weired line going from one end of the original structure to the closing end. This even happened to me relatively rare even when doing a "close bow" that got "closed" by two independent track pieces. I suppose Potlatch is caching the object ID of the first existing object, then stores the ID of the new object and finally faults by using the first existing object's ID instead of the second existing object ID (that at this time bears blue markers), thus an unrelated point from the first object will be used as the target for finishing the newly drawn bow. --Alexander.stohr 15:49, 23 December 2007
  • '`' to select another way which shares this point (useful for ways 'hidden' under other ways). says the doc... I tried this, but it seems, that doesn't work on my (german) keyboard... Is it a problem with the keyboard function for composing accented characters? If yes: is it possible to change the shortcut to another character e.g. "#"? --Mueck 23:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
    • This has now been switched to '/'. --Richard 11:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
      • '/' still does not work when the keyboard is set to German or Swiss-German. It works as advertised if the keyboard is set to US. Note: the '/' is accessed as shift-7 on the German keyboard. Is this bug somehow linked to the shift key? --rhomeo 4 June 2008
        • Did you try the '/' key of your numeric keypad? This works fine with my keyboard layout (german/german). And be sure to have a point selected, not a way. --Gypakk 21:16, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


  • Sorry for posting this over here but everything else seems to be much more difficult. I am quite new to OS but I recognized that when I use Potlach with Opera (10.10/MacIntel) I can not edit names and other tags of streets or whatever. I can click into the field and get the blinking horizontal line but typing has no effect. Firefox works fine though. jfml 10:45, 28 February 2010
  • Yesterday and today adding a way to a relation doesn't work anymore. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I select a way, I choose add relation. I select an existing relation and choose add. The window closes but the relation is not added to the way. Can anyone confirm this? Ukuester 15:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
same symptoms here on W2K with Firefox2 (since Potlatch release 0.10) --HeikoE 19:48, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
same here. I can select the relation, but nothing happens (HttpFox shows no server communication) FF3, Flash 9.Wombatstampede 08:47, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
    • This seems to be an issue with the German localisation - I'm looking into it. --Richard 09:17, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
In Russian localisation same problem with relation. --Asdert 09:57, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Using Potlatch to transform a point/intersection rail+road into a level_crossing: select the rail icon, in the drop-down menu it's labelled "level_crossing", but the tag is railway=crossing instead of railway=level_crossing. I think it's a bug... Apart from that, I find that Potlatch is a very clever tool: congratulations :-) noglober 15:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Upper/lower case

When editing and introducing text, some caracters come in upper and other in lower case, like: "aMENITy=PLacE_OF_wORSHIP" (It started to happen some hours ago). --Zeroth 03:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

This is annoying and happens when you use capslock to make the map transparent. It would be better to use another key for making the map transparent. --Lulu-Ann 12:25, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

view GPS trace

  • Don't know if this relate to the GPX trace or the rendering trace in potlach but the cyan trace couldn't be easy see so there is hole along trace. the raw gpx have none hole or is continuous when use track software !!!
  • potlach have to desactive "pencil/manual" drawing if all road are not rendering because this explain why people ( me ) waste their time to draw what they think new draw when road is already in the map

France-59-valenciennes 18:59, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


General editing and user interface

  • I'd really like an option to turn off the sounds - the one when you move a way is doing my head in - the bright yellow message is enough of a warning for me! C2r 08:00, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
If you turn off floating warnings then this will stop the sounds too.
  • it would be nice to have print option
  • When loading further map data, then the message on the upper right is often just black on da dark forrest. Can you please improve this by e.g. a white shadow for this print? The message is further too specific by talking on "ways". Not everything on the map is a way. --Alexander.stohr 15:49, 23 December 2007
  • A notice on the contents of the buffered attributes (that will be applied by the "repeat" operation) should be much of a help in deciding to use this accellerating feature. --Alexander.stohr 15:49, 23 December 2007
  • It would be nice to have some sort of preference mechanism where I could configure that whenever I mark a node as highway=mini_roundabout it would automatically get direction=clockwise attached. If that's too hard, it would at least be helpful if potlatch recognised "direction" and gave the choices of "clockwise" and "anticlockwise". Karora 09:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Potlatch should show a bar scale for the current zoom level. It should also show the length of the current way or, when adding new nodes, the distance from the former node. 3247 22:06, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Allow user to cycle through objects when selecting. When two lines are on top of each other it is currently not possible to select the "lower" one. Assuming that the interface goes through a list of all objects of the screen checking if each in turn have been selected, this can be performed by remembering the position in the list of the last object selected. A new select event would start looking from there, looping when it gets to the end of the list. --Martin.speleo 18:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

You can currently do this by selecting a shared node and pressing ` . In due course I'd like to make this easier so that you can simply select the way (rather than just the node) and press.

  • Allow user to fuse a node on a path to another node. Ie. when moving a node, pressing shift before releasing the mouse will cause the node to latch. --Martin.speleo 18:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • In addition to roundabout tool it would be good to have tool for dual carriageways --LEAn 06:54, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Is it possible for ways such as service roads and pedestrianised roads to not be coloured grey. This makes it complicated when trying to map areas where there are other ways such as boundaries, also coloured grey. They could be coloured white, such as unclassified ways BlueSpecs 17:13, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • It would be great to see the direction of a way, for example by using different colours for the start- and end point.
    • That would not be applicable, if start- and endpoints are the same. There could be a one-way street around a building for instance. --RSE 01:10, 18 February 2009
  • A 'centre map on currently selected thing' option would be useful. I often find I want to zoom out to look at the big picture and then click somewhere and zoom right in. If I don't get it right in the centre then zooming in is a process of successive approximations. Karora 10:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
  • A 'goto coordinates' to be able to zip to a different location without the intervening drag, drag, drag... Bonus points for allowing some kind of user-centric bookmarks and then being able to go directly to the named bookmarks. Karora 10:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
  • There's probably value in a whole different page for tag prompting suggestions, but some of the ones I commonly use which don't show up in the list are tracktype=grade[12345], man_made=lighthouse (doesn't show for solo points, only for ones in ways!) Karora 10:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Being able to select a section of GPS track and say 'make a way out of that'. Probably this would need something that toggled whether GPS tracks were selectable. Karora 10:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Display a simple scale for the current view. When editing purely on the basis of GPS tracks it can be very difficult to maintain a sense of scale, and also to know whether I'm zoomed to 1 level off max or two levels off maximum. Of course this is less of an issue when there is background imagery, but most places I am editing don't seem to have any available. Karora 11:39, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
  • For some reason paths only seem to be entered when there isn't a road along side. This would seem to imply that every road has a path along side it, which is not the case. How about adding a feature which allows the user to specify that there is a path on both sides, or just one side, of a road? This might encourage people to enter more information on where there are paths - important information for less mobile people such as the blind, people in wheelchairs, or someone pushing a pram. 5h4mr0(k 20:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Really no idea what you mean here. It sounds more like a general tagging question, less like a Potlatch-specific one. --Richard 14:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Apparently, single nodes (that are not part of a way) are always rendered as a green dot. When there are lots of them, it is very easy to get lost. It would be really cool if single nodes could be rendered according to their taggings (e.g. place=city, place=village, amenity=fuel, historic=monument, amenity=post_box etc. etc.)
Even just different colored dots would be a great help here. --StellanL 03:52, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
A future version will have icons for POIs. --Richard 08:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • To speed up entering oneway-tags, one could be added automatically if one clicks on the 'direction' button for a highway.
  • The 'building' tag ought to be recognized.
  • When entering a bridge tag, the layer tag could be added automatically, just like 'name' is for roads. --StellanL 03:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Photoshop has a module tracking all of your recent changes for that session. You can click on a past change to revert back to that change. This makes it easier than Ctrl-Z to control your edits. Why not have this feature in Potlatch? It already logs the changes and has the undo feature. This function would just visualize it. --Chris Farace 20:08, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay, this goes in the direction I also thought. I wonder whether it´s possible to have a kind of change stack which builds up during editing. At some point in time you click "upload" and save it into the database. Reason for that suggestion: If you do several e.g. cosmetic changes to a node or something, you probably blow the change history of the affected object. It seems that Potlatch already has a little filter, however, I would love to have the mentioned solution: Having a simple change log and an upload button. Then I could change and paint as much as I want but upload the latest level only.
Of course such feature requires some intelligence, thus effort (first is not the issue I believe ;-) ):
  • There is an additional list window required.
  • There need to be a "change cruncher" which condenses all changes their latest level.
  • There need to be a conflict manager in case changed objects have been changed by someone else meanwhile.
  • The conflict solver should be that intelligent that it doesn´t simply stop at the first conflict but e.g. skips the affected object and goes on with the following ones. I believe this would be similar to like JOSM does it. But there I have never had a conflict yet, so I don´t know.
One additional feature in that context would be nice sometimes: Update the selected object data according to the database by click - discarding possible changes you did before the last upload. Reason: Sometimes after a lost connection or something I am not sure whether data has already been updated. Or I had the screen open for a long while and fear that someone has already changed something. To reload the whole session is not always the best way to find that out.
--Krza 13:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Potlatch does have an upload button now and conflict management. --Richard 14:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • add validation (similar to the validator plugin for JOSM) so newbies notice they're creating unconnected / overlapping ways --Sascha silbe 20:51, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It would be nice if bridges and tunnels could be highlighted somehow. A possible solution would be to have a dotted or even better a double border line (simply add an additional line in 2px distance on each side - similar to this but "sans-serif"). This would help to find tunnels and bridges and where they start and end. --Krza 14:07, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Bridges are highlighted. Nothing on tunnels yet. --Richard 14:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Where have the green dots gone, by the way? Have I dreamed it, or was there a time when you could see ALL nodes highlighted? Sometimes it´s not easy to find nodes w/o selecting the according object. I could imagine an additional option in the menu: "highlight ALL nodes" where you can switch this on and off. --Krza 14:07, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
By the way: I do not mean the big green bullets for single nodes but all nodes within ways.
This hasn't ever been implemented and won't be. --Richard 14:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Third suggestion for today: Often you have splitted ways for some reason. It would be nice if you could see the splits w/o selecting the ways. I could imagine that the common split nodes have a certain style like nodes with tags, e.g. a small orthographic line (as Osmarender draws gates but a bit smaller). --Krza 14:07, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I forgot one item: At the moment the border lines of crossing ways are affiliated like here. Is it possible to have that behaviour only if there is a common node? Else they should simply overlay each other. As mentioned - I don´t know whether it´s technically possible. --Krza 14:43, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • automatically take care of relation-role-changes when direction of way is reversed, i.e. if relation was "forward", update to "backward" after the ways direction is reversed. Same for normal attributes as cycleway = lane => cycleway = opposite_lane. --Itschytoo 13:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
    • This does not make sense and does not work. A relation can collect several ways. If one of the ways is changed, this shall not have any impact on the attached relations! (If the one-way direction of a street is reverted, the bus does not drive the other way!) --Lulu-Ann 14:58, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
      • I refer to this. "forward" means "in direction of the way". If the way is flipped, forward and backward have to be flipped, too, to preserve the intended meaning. I use this whenever a bus takes another route when driving in the opposite direction. So if I follow three ways <--,-->,<--, I put members backward,forward,backward to define that this part of the route is only used from "left" to "right". If someone changes the direction of the way to say -->,-->,-->, the member-roles have to be changed to forward,forward,forward accordingly. Same with cycleways. When someone flips the way direction, the cycle lane should not physically switch to the other side. ;-) --Itschytoo 23:08, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
        • I still disagree to install a behaviour to an editor that is not approved. Converting mph to km/h automatically would be needed 100 times more. --Lulu-Ann 13:28, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • changed multiselect behavior requested. Now when I click a line and shift-click another line they are merged (including tags). I would much like this process to be less automatic. Shift click (and ctrl click) would highlight all objects (as in wind explorer and other file managers). Now if I click "merge" or hit "m" or whatever the merging could take place. But now I could also add a relation to all these objects at one (leaving the other attributes unchanged). I could also mass edit the tags: For example a road (one entity=same name) with a bridge in it (at least 3 segments) would appear with an editable name-attribute (as this is the same for all of them) and greyed out bridge-attribute (is this is only there for some segments). Now I could change/correct the street's name without having to do so for every segment. Of course, the segments have to "point" in the same direction. But could easily be changed when feature requested above is implemented into potlatch --Itschytoo 13:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
There are no plans to implement multiple selection in Potlatch. --Richard 14:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
  • It would be great if a building could somehow be copied. Often there are more than one building of the same shape in one place, and it´s quite difficult to create the right angles in this small structures, so with copy and paste it would be much easier to map buildings. --RSE 16:44, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
  • When drawing a line (A): To start, you click on an empty area, then you click somewhere else to get a line (A) between the two points. Then if you click on a point on a line (B), your line (A) share the same point as that one. Next time, maybe you want that your line (A) follow that line (B) and you click on that line (B) a few points away, then your line (A) will just have your clicks as points, but it would be great if this action could mean that your line gets all the points in the other line (B) added to itself so your line (A) will follow and share the same points as the old line (B). --JPettersson 14:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Editing in "Layers" . It could highlight features that you want to edit. Example.. when select the railroad layer, rail lines are 3pt while other features are 2pt lines.--Nickvet419 Flag of United States 10:04, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • When viewing all GPS traces using the 'shift-G' feature, could we have some marker at the start and end of each trace - eg make the end pixels red. This would help when you split a trace to indicate some feature while you are logging. Also, if you are viewing all GPS traces, sometimes there are lots of them and it is hard to tell which is which - if the colour was slightly different for each one that would help. --Antonyking 15:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Would it be possible when drawing a way to show the length (in metres) of the segment being currently drawn and the deflection in degrees relative to the last node? Maybe an option to enter the length of a way (useful for measured building edges) and an option to snap to x degrees or key in the required deflection angle --tommg 20:43, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Provide a method to position a node (new or move existing) by entering its GPS coordinates. Maybe this is there (seems too obvious), but I couldn't find any instructions? --Zcapw15 07:47, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Provide a method to position a node by URL-Parameters. It would be great e.g. for semi-automated import of Wikipedia-Coordinates (and many others). A Greasemonkey script could change the Wikipedia-Coordinate-Link to something like https://www.openstreetmap.org/addpoi?lat=6.33309&lon=5.62337. The link will open Potlatch with a POI added. Now the user can check, if the position of the POI is correct and then save it to the OSM-Database. --Flamed 12:24, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In my experience, moving a way is an incredibly rare operation. At least 9 out of 10 times that I move a way, it's an accident. Could I therefore suggest that moving a way require holding down another key? And if you try and move a way without holding that key, it could (silently!!) alert you. Stevage 01:06, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Another request: allow straightening between two points on a way. Interface could be select one point, hover over another and press "T"? When working on long roads, the prospect of straightening the whole thing is a bit scary (particularly because different parts might be aligned to different imagery). But it would be nice to straighten just the visible portion. (Hmm, another interface option possibly...) Stevage 01:06, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Move startup dialog "edit with save?" to a user preference. I always select the same answer. And the speed of an entire edit cycle relates strongly to how many features I will actually edit. Brycenesbitt

Tag editing

  • Arranging the attribute categorys in a permanent fashion (not in a drop down system) would be able to speed up editing. The current one could then be highlighted with some rectangular frame. --Alexander.stohr 15:49, 23 December 2007
  • Potlatch should handle the numpad buttons for pre-sets/adding tags as well as the normal numbers. --Brainwad 09:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Background imagery

  • When dragging just background imagery, display the offset from nominal zero, either just while space is pressed, or permanently in the GUI. "Background offset 7m West,10m North", or implicit N,E, with -ve offset for South and West "Offset -7,+10. (should it be N,E or X,Y?). This would be the first step in being able to return to a known offset for subsequent editing sessions, after determining it from GPS vs landmark alignment. Fancy enhancement of this feature would be allowing upload of the offset to "somewhere" that gathered stats on the offset of a given background, or saving it locally. --EliotB 04:16, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


When hitting "h" for history, the buttons are not translated (Revert, mail, more). Only "cancel" is translated already. The buttons are not wide enough for the longer words in German. --Lulu-Ann 15:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Skale in editing mode

I guess it will improve the data quality if you can see a scale in the edit view like there is in the view view. I regularily find myself moving streets one meter to the side, because I don't notice that the zoom level is so high that I am correcting things though the GPS can not be that exact. --Lulu-Ann 15:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Display geo-tagged images from Panoramio & similar

Many photo-sharing websites (e.g. Panoramio, Flickr, etc.) offer APIs which allow to retrieve geo-tagged images. Ideally Potlatch should offer a feature - similar to the GPS tracks feature - to show photos from such sites. The search within Panoramio/Flickr/etc. could be narrowed to a specific set of tags (e.g. "show only picture from Panoramio which are tagged 'openstreetmap'") --FedericoCozzi 21:30, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

After further investigation, it looks like Panoramio would be the best website to use: it offers a simple REST api to query images within a given bounding box. However it appears from their Terms and conditions that API queries should be limited to 10.000 queries per day. --FedericoCozzi 23:35, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I just contacted them about this matter - let's wait for their answer. --FedericoCozzi 23:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

"Wheelchair" preset

There are many tags that go in combination with the wheelchair tag. I would like to see it in the choices. --Lulu-Ann 12:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes I would like to have that, too! Holgerd

Previous reports: 2007, 2008.