UK 2019 Q4 Project: Fixmes and Notes

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The focus of the UK Quarterly Project for 2019 Q4 project will be Fixmes and Notes. Addressing these map issues scored highly when OpenStreetMap UK surveyed the community for 2019/2020 priorities.

Fixmes

These are stored within the OpenStreetMap data as a standard key=value combination. At the start of the project there were 62,245 fixme=* tags and 10,187 FIXME=* tags within the UK[1]. There were also a number of similar tags, of which FIXME:nsl=* was the most common. This related to national speed limits on roads.

Finding fixmes

Websites

There are a number of websites that show fixme/FIXME tags:

Editors

  • The iD editor has an "Issues" panel in which you can specifically set an interest in only fixme tags. You'll need to set it to check "Everything" rather than "My Edits" and after that hovering over the resulting list entries will highlight features with fixme tags (this is limited to only the features you have loaded by panning around). Click an entry in the list to jump to the relevant feature.

Apps

There is a limited choice when it comes to apps. There doesn't appear to be an app focused on map errors, but some multi-use apps allow for showing them:

  • OsmAnd has a "OSM Mapper assistant" option that (among other things) draws fixme tags. It can be found under "Configure Map" -> "Details". This works with the default style, but not necessarily other map styles.
  • Vespucci marks object that need review with pink color - including places with fixme=*. In such way are also marked objects that miss tags such as opening_hours=*, wheelchair=*, opening_hours=* or name=* and should have them[2].

Common fixmes

According to TagInfo the most common fixme=* values relate to missing addresses and highways (most likely paths) which continue further than currently mapped.

You can view fixmes relating to incomplete highways via this overpass turbo query.

Tag value Count
add␣full␣address 8656
add␣precise␣address␣where␣possible 5227
incomplete 3868
stub 2339
Longer␣than␣this 2324
continue 1366

Statistics

Basic stats showing the daily change in instances of fixme and FIXME tags can be found in this spreadsheet (populated daily via a TagInfo script).

Notes

Unlike the fixme tag, Notes are not stored within the usual OpenStreetMap database, instead they reside alongside the data. At the start of this project there were 18,504 open Notes in the UK[3].

Notes that are not reporting map issues within OSM can and should be closed.

Finding notes

Websites

  • osm.org: displays basic presence of open or recently closed Notes (switch on/off using the Layers menu).
  • NotesReview: a web interface for searching notes by a keyword, user or date.
  • My OpenStreetMap Notes: allows you to filter open Notes a user who either created or participated in the Notes.

Editors

  • In the iD editor open the Map Data menu (you can press 'F') and tick the checkbox to show OpenStreetMap notes.

Apps

For reviewing local OSM notes StreetComplete may be useful. Especially after enabling option to show show all notes, not only ones that have an explicit question.

Vespucci displays notes, allows to comment on them, close them or create new ones

Statistics

Stats for the UK can be viewed on Pascal Neis' resultsmap website.

Screenshot 2019-10-03 at 8.33.11 am.png
Date Open Closed Overall
2019-10-03 18,426 (27.66%) 48,199 (72.34%) 66,625
2019-10-12 18,393 (27.46%) 48,593 (72.54%) 66,986
2019-10-24 18,535 (27.43%) 49,027 (72.57%) 67,562
2019-11-23 18,646 (27.11%) 50,141 (72.89%) 68,787
2019-12-??
2020-01-??
2020-02-??
2020-03-??
2020-04-20 19,983 (26.90%) 54,317 (73.10%) 74,300
2020-05-08 20,203 (26.93%) 54,804 (73.07%) 75,007
2020-06-??
2020-07-08 21,156 (27.07%) 57,009 (72.93%) 78,165

References

  1. At 22 September 2019 as reported by TagInfo UK: https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/search?q=fixme
  2. author responds well to reports about too aggressive validator with name considered as mandatory for objects where it is not common https://github.com/simonpoole/beautified-JOSM-preset/issues?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=is%3Aissue+is%3Aclosed+optional
  3. At 23 September 2019 as per http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/osm-notes-country?c=United%20Kingdom