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The main map page needs a key to describe the different things on the map. On the part of the map I was looking at it had 4 different coloured roads but no description of why they are different. --User:Barnaclebarnes 20:57, 25 October 2007

Yeah we probably should have a map key/legend, although it would be quite big, so probably needs to be a seperate linked page, or a DHTML layer perhaps. Dont know what plans there are to implement something like that. I noticed Steve8 made legends appearing on a one-off render: User:Steve8#Map Legend
In the meantime you'll see quite a few rendering examples on Map Features page. That's not exactly what you're after, because it's cluttered with tagging information, but you can see what the road colours mean -- Harry Wood 12:01, 26 October 2007 (BST)
There is a link "Map key" in the left navigation bar, quite hidden. We should extend that and make it more prominent - maybe by placing it in *in* the map, next to the new "Permalink" for example. --Colin Marquardt 15:37, 26 October 2007 (BST)
Oh! So there is! -- Harry Wood 15:44, 26 October 2007 (BST)

Better way to add a marker

Regarding Browsing#Adding a Marker, there should be better way than this. It is extremely geeky and containtuitive. There should be "add marker" tab on the map page. --Jakubt 13:36, 15 August 2011 (BST)

And one does not dare add a marker, as it will only cause a never ending stream of questions from people who see our marker, and press all the buttons on the map to try to make their own, and fail! Jidanni (talk) 16:13, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Huh? Anyway this is old discussion. The interface was since redesigned, and this page was updated accordingly, so you can now "Tick the "Include marker" box to add a marker. -- Harry Wood (talk) 00:24, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Second marker

Google (static) Maps allows one to add tons of markers (A,B,C... too) via the URL. Mention how one can add a second marker, and why not if not. Jidanni (talk) 16:16, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

A possible solution is linked inside (linked in Browsing#Adding a Marker). It seems that the homepage does only allow for one marker. The homepage is not intended as replacement for google maps. You may find a service which uses OSM data which supports setting several markers easily: List_of_OSM_based_Services. E.g. the service by arcgis (mentioned in the help link) allows it (but it seems you need an account, and, yes, it is not as easy as with google...). Make/fund a better service if you need one. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 16:36, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
uMap is the tool I point people to for doing this sort of thing -- Harry Wood (talk) 00:26, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

say how to combine layers

The beginner wants to combine two layers. Mention how.

The beginner comes from Google Maps, where layers are checkboxes not radio boxes!!

Jidanni (talk) 15:50, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

For example you can make two svg exports and combine them as you like in Inkscape. Maybe there is some webservice which allows for transparent layers, you just have to find one. See #Second_marker regarding google maps. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 16:41, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I searched a little in List_of_OSM_based_Services and found this online service: Select "AGRI" base layer and "FOSM Hybrid" (FOSM is a fork of OpenStreetMap, so the same could be done with current OpenStreetMap data). Option two: (some aerial imagery with OSM map data on top). --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 01:26, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of navigation bar

I propose to delete the navigation bar containing help, upload, about, editing and this page. Please discuss at the Upload page. --Cantho (talk) 05:58, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

rework of the "Sharing a link to the maps" section

Hey folks, Papou has reworked that section and explained to me via mail why and asked for review. I think others should also know the thoughts … here it is (copied with permission by Papou):

I reworked this topic because:

  • if a nonspecialist is invited to read it and he sees that it begins with a discussion of the format of the URL, he will close his browser window
  • if he reads text simple to understand instead and finds that he knows what to do before reading the ("technical") URL format, he will do what he understood
  • the text is even made, hopefully, for someone that never saw an OSM map
  • the former text did not explain that the search results and What Is ("?") clicks highlight the selected elements (remember that the guest is not supposed to read anything else and to become a specialist)
  • the URL has been put in the the usual format for those kinds of things, see the <value> [optional] [repeated]... literally legend here. I was disturbed by the other, unusual format. Should you not like this one, you may return to the former one without no harm to the nonspecialists I'm trying to help because they're not supposed to read it.

--Aseerel4c26 (talk) 17:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the improvement, Papou! :-) Directly starting with the URL was not really good, indeed!
I tried to make some small improvements to this.
I think a link to the homepage is not needed and is useless clutter to most people, so I would remove that first paragraph. Who would arrive at that section without knowing what this all is about? … A link to the homepage is mentioned already at the beginning on the Browsing page ("The following is Help Documentation concerning basic browsing of OpenStreetMap on"). So everybody should already know what this page is about.
I would wait some time more for comments (holiday time now) before you translate to French. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 17:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes a user can arrive at this section without "knowing what it's all about" because a) he was told by a forum organizer to use that explanation to locate his rendez-vous in his announcements or b) because he clicked on a URL explaining OSM sharing and the like. It's an issue similar to lawyers explaining e.g. French law on a .com site and not thinking that French talking readers can come from anywhere (Switzerland, Belgium, Québec ...) and believe that the explanation is for their country. On the other hand, if that user is sent to a place long or complicated to read, he will abandon OSM.
I agree that the top of the page is simple enough, but I think it should say, in the order it must be done: a) Click on <URL> to thee the Openstreetmap Homepage and map. b) Finding places c) Pan and zoom. Then my first paragraph may say: "Display the area where what you want to share is as explained at the beginning of this page. --Papou (talk) 21:34, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay hmm, maybe this section is especially attractive to link to it and to provide these links to people who have no clue of anything. Okay.
You mean that you would want to rework the first part of the page? Please just do it to show what you mean (if you are very unsure, revert it again). "Finding" is not needed if you know where a location is. Then you may be faster by panning/zooming. But one could put it first and say that it is an optional step. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 20:36, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
No need to move Finding Places. Visible enough if referred too. I reviewed that beginning. Look at my 2 updates. You will like it. Plz tell me when it'll be OK to translate to French. Cheers. --Papou (talk) 21:25, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I made some further edit to the first sections (see my edit comment). I would wait a bit more with translating (for other user comments). --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 16:43, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Your edits are OK with me, I don't mind, except that I do NOT understand at all why you allow the map readers to slide the map with the arrow keys and you are stopping them from zooming with +/- (which I find very comfortable). --Papou (talk) 17:08, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, I did not want to delete your "plus key" but only move it, because it's action is the same like the "+" which you can click (zooms to the centre of the map). Better now? :-) --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 17:49, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Homepage help

Hi, although there's probably a better place I don't know, I write this here because a) I'm here (;-)) b) it highly affects the Browsing Help page we're about. Please recycle as necessary.
Is it just me, when I open, I see in the bar GPS Traces, User Diaries (e.g. Partially deleting changesets) and Help made for mappers. Nothing that's useful for the map browser like this Browsing page. Everything that's liable to have him run away.
Where all that information I used to see and why do I not see it at that home URL? --Papou (talk) 21:58, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

OK, I've got it. The home page of OSM is not the main page of OSM and contains no link to go to it. It should OBVIOUSLY contain that link. Please tell them. --Papou (talk) 22:07, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

It is not the most bad place to write here (because of "b)"). ;-) I think, in principle the forum or the mailing list would be better instead (for a first, non-technical community discussion).
  1. The homepage of OSM is traditionally not thaaaat much intended for the end user, but for the mapper. You may also notice that there is no routing, although there are dozens of routing solutions for end users for OSM. Also there is no custom map making feature, although there is (for example) uMap. As far as I know there have been discussions about this in the past. And if I remember correctly a basic routing solution will come to the OSM homepage in the near future.
  2. It contains a link to the wiki (click the "Help" link in the top bar; if you have a small window width then it is hidden behind "more ↓").
But I agree that a own line linking to this "Browse" page might be good to have on the "Help page. Maybe even as first entry.
--Aseerel4c26 z(talk) 23:34, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
In this issue, tomhugues REFUSES to make it easy for the reader to browse the map that 50 000 persons made. Read that and maybe back my request to access the Browsing Help directly.--Papou (talk) 17:28, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I do not comment at the external company github. Thank you for mentioning it there! Tom does much for our servers/websites and seems to be a bit in a hurry with the closing (I guess he will read your comment despite the "close"). I think it could be that he did not understand that you are mainly referring to the page Browsing and want to have it linked on at least the /help page. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 17:58, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Please review this page with respect to links in Template:Website interface

Page "Browsing" is quite massive and yet doesn't cover all topics precisely, probably we should reduce some content at Browsing in favour of more detailed pages. For example:

  • Featured tiles for "standard layers"
  • there should be page about "history tab" ("how to browse history of element X?") and "recent change-sets" (history of area)

Xxzme (talk) 20:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Is what OSM contributors do (like this page) useful?

This is a message I sent to the Tagging mailing list.

Summary: I have suggested that this page were the Help page of the main Map.
This was refused because he almost said that it's crap, that the main Map is not made for the general public and because OSM contributors have accumulated nonsense over the years.

I think that one good way to promote OSM is to teach the general public to make references to the main Map and tell each other. I know persons writing to 100s of people who could write things like the rendezvous is here. As well as webmasters, for example of Universities of which every building can be mapped in detail.
Alas, they don't know well how to do that.

So, very welcomed by its co-authors, I improved Browsing#Adding_a_Marker in the Browsing Help page, some other parts of that page and the French translation. I showed that, and the writers were suddenly able to make links. They wondered why [the heck] that page is unfindable and is not highlighted as the help page of that map. Generally, a program has a Help button to help using it, and sometimes even a F1 key assignment.

So, I made that request to openstreetmap-website.
I received a one man's reply, without any discussion, closing the issue instantly and disregarding my reply. It amounts to saying that what I and the other contributors of that page have written is crap. "Full of all sorts of hacky low level details" (like the essentials to make a link to maybe). Furthermore, that opinion extends to links to other wiki pages "full of years works of ac[c]reted nonsense". In order of appearance, "zoom and pinch" (Wikipedia), "geolocation", "Nominatim", "Mapping projects", "Cycle Map", "Transport Map", "MapQuest Open", "List of OSM-based services", "Map Features", "Key:highway", ...
Finally, that map would "not be intended for the end user" but "the target audience is mappers".

All that in the frequent style that I call "not", disparaging what others did or think without a single constructive word about how to improve it or what it should be.

I feel like being insulted instead of thanked (as well as many other persons).

I have, of course, immediately stopped improving and translating the OpenStreetMap documentation. And I, who spent much time tagging, like the boundaries of south Belgium, feel very much like stopping to participate to OSM entirely.

You may want to add your comments to that issue. --Papou (talk) 17:34, 2 May 2015 (UTC)


According and current state at wiki:

A word of thanks

Just to note that over at someone's said "The link on browsing ( ) was just what I needed" --SomeoneElse (talk) 18:55, 12 October 2017 (UTC)