Potlatch 2

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Potlatch 2
License WTFPL
Platform Web
Version 2.4.16
Language English
Website https://www.openstreetmap.org/edit?editor=potlatch2
Programming language ActionScript

Potlatch 2 (sometimes referred to as P2) is an OpenStreetMap editor.

It requires a flash plugin in the browser; therefore it does not support all browsers (no plugin available for some).

Potlatch 2 was completely rewritten from the original Potlatch 1, its major new features include:

  • User-friendly tagging with customisable presets
  • WYSIWYG rendering
  • Vector Background Layers
  • A more flexible undo/redo system
  • OAuth support so you can deploy it on other websites

Places to use Potlatch 2

It is available inside the "Edit ▼" menu on the www.osm.org homepage (of course you also can select it as your standard editor in your user preferences).

Potlatch 2 is also deployed on a number of websites, some with significant customisations.

How to use Potlatch 2

Basic editing

Advanced editing


P2's distinguishing characteristic is that it's extraordinarily ergonomic for moderately familiar users, without ever having too complex an interface. With a handful of keyboard shortcuts you can zip about the map and perform common editing actions efficiently: for example, you can skip 10 nodes back/forward along a way with one keypress, jump to the other end of the way with another, then assign a set of multiple tags to the way (which you've previously recorded) with another single keypress[1].

Feedback and bugs

  • You can view the current list of potlatch2 bugs on trac.
  • If you find a bug involving data loss or corruption, or a serious problem that would prevent you from using Potlatch 2, please report it on trac with the component "potlatch 2"
  • If you have any other bug, please report it on trac with the component "potlatch 2"
  • If there's something Potlatch 2 doesn't do which is essential to your mapping enjoyment, please report it on the Suggested enhancements page.
  • How to submit extra detailed bug reports (more complicated but very very helpful).
  • For historical interest, Closed issues.

Putting Potlatch 2 on your own website

Potlatch 2 can be hosted on any site, customised to your own requirements, and pointed towards OpenStreetMap. This allows you to deploy customised versions for (say) cycle mappers, individual countries, or whatever you like. See Deploying Potlatch 2 for instructions.

Get involved!

There's lots of ways to get involved with Potlatch 2 development, very few of which need any coding skills.

  • Write useful bug reports when you find problems - see above
  • Improve the user documentation on this wiki
  • Develop custom MapCSS styles, and improve the ones we have (no compiling required)
  • Develop custom Preset files, and improve the ones we have (no compiling required)
  • Improve the developer API documentation
  • Expand our suite of unit tests
  • Hunt down and fix the bugs listed on trac
  • Add new features!

Potlatch 2 is written in ActionScript 3 using the open-source Flex framework. We'd love it if you were to get involved in development.

The source is stored in git, we no longer use svn. Subscribe to the potlatch-dev mailing list to get in touch with the developers.

Read more on the OpenGeoData blog post and see a presentation from WhereCamp.EU 2010.


Broken "tofu" characters (□□□) displayed at small sizes under Linux

Phenomenon: All texts (including English) are broken where a smaller size font is used in the interface, e.g. for options menu; they are rendered as "tofu" characters ("□□□") which are completely unreadable.


  • It's not caused by any Flash bug, or by any system's fontconfig settings, or incorrect font rendering.
  • It's because your system installation does not have the "Arial" font, which is unfortunately hard-coded and required at a fixed size by Potlatch2. As a web application, the only font it can safely use is "sans-serif". On MacOS, this problem is avoided because the OS provides a suitable fallback from missing "Arial" font to "Helvetica" (both fonts have similar metrics).


  • Copy the missing Arial font from an existing Windows partition (from `C:\Windows\Fonts\Arial.ttf`) into the folder used by Linux. You can either install it using KDE/GNOME/Other DE's font utility, or place it under `/usr/share/fonts/truetype/` (modifying the content of this folder normally require performing it with superuser privilege).
    You may also use the software package tool for your Linux distribution and with it select the optional package to install the redistributable Microsoft core fonts for the web:
    • You can do it also by running `sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer`.
    • You'll get a prompt to accept the Microsoft's "End-User Licence Agreement" (EULA) before proceeeding with the installation.
    • This will then install a few common fonts used on Windows but with more basic coverage than versions provided with Windows, including: Andale Mono, Arial Black, Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Comic Sans MS (Bold), Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Impact, Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic), Webdings. These fonts were produced in 1996 and were left almost unchanged since: if your machine has a valid licence for a recent version Windows, these fonts will be better with improved positioning, larger coverage of diacritics and additional letters needed for some languages.
  • After installing the fonts, you need to update the font cache using this command: `sudo fc-cache -f -v`
  • How to install Microsoft Windows fonts with Linux Ubuntu.

See also