UK Quarterly Project/2023/2023 Q1 Project: Fixmes and Notes

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The first quarterly project for 2023 is inspired by the fantastic work done by contributors in Colombia.

As of the 28th of December 2022, there are just over 30,000 open Notes in the UK[1]. There are many contributors to OpenStreetMap who may never edit the map directly but provide useful information through applications using notes.

Fixme's are tags added to elements in the map by editors where refinement of detail is highlighted. As of 28th of December 2022, there are over 81,458 fixme's[2] in the UK. In addition, there are 2,523 FIXME:nsl tags.

More information can be found here: UK 2019 Q4 Project: Fixmes and Notes


Notes are not stored within the usual OpenStreetMap database, instead they reside alongside the data.

You can sometimes find that a Note is referring to something that has already been fixed in the map.

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

Finding notes



  • In the iD editor open the Map Data menu (you can press 'F') and tick the checkbox to show OpenStreetMap notes.
  • JOSM has inbuilt Notes support allowing one to create new, comment, close or reopen notes. See for more detail.


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


Current stats for the UK can be viewed on Pascal Neis' resultmap website.


These are stored within the OpenStreetMap data as a standard key=value combination. The most common FIXME:nsl=* was the most common. This related to national speed limits on roads.

Finding fixmes


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


  • 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.


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 colour - 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.

Resolving fixmes

After the fixme task has been completely solved, the fixme tag should be deleted, preferably in the same changeset as the fix. The changeset comment can document what happened "fixme task solved", potentially with more detail about the solution.


Please accept that as you close or partially close a fixme=* you may have to create 1 or more fixme tags in the process!

Working on closing note may result in overall note count increased - this is also normal and fine, as long as OSM quality increased!

Typical case is fixing "unmapped path" note/fixme while following it - and creating several new notes about encountered paths leading to sides.

And closing valid note pointing out mistake in OSM data without fixing reported issue is not really helpful. Even if note statistics would look better as result.


  1. 30,028 open notes as of 28th December 2022.
  2. Tags that match fixme or FIXME as checked on 28th December 2022. Does not include subtags.