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osm traces map
Country United States
State Illinois
County Kendall
I use or have experience with the JOSM editor.

Native son of Illinois, currently residing in Kendall County, where I occasionally map as my work alias, Kendall County GIS.

On the clock, I am in the process of getting more of the County's Open Data into OSM, when it's appropriate, and keep certain features (especially highways) consistent with the authoritative County data. Off the clock, I work on the other stuff. My end goal is to get Kendall County well mapped, since I'm in a unique position to do just that, as both resident and County employee.

Beyond that, I just like to see cleaner, clearer data. Cleaning up TIGER / NHD features is very satisfying.

Cat silhouette.svg Jdcarls2
is not a cat.


I've got a handful of on-and-off projects I like to work on as the mood strikes me. Most are focused on my home region/state, but some are not.

In no particular order:

Cleaning up MassGIS Imports

I don't remember how I got onto this, but a lot of the MassGIS stuff is so bad. It's like TIGER, but for everything, including roads!

The biggest thing I noticed was that every node from the MassGIS import had a source and attribution tag, and frequently, nothing else. The same tags were on the parent ways as well. So, that's an easy edit, removing redundant tags. (They probably don't need to be on the ways, either.)

There's also the matter of many imported features simply being private parcels. Even the features that can translate to a nature reserve or a recreation ground will tend to include 30+ tags of absolutely no value, specific to MassGIS from the original import, some 14 years ago.

And even the valid features, like roads, are hopelessly densified. Forestry tracks with a node every few yards, even along the straight segments.

Overpass Queries

Private farm parcels
out meta;


How do you tag a pile of materials that is more or less permanent? There really wasn't a good option, so I decided to start using man_made=heap. Good for things like coal piles near power plants. Many of these are being tagged as landuse=landfill, but that's for waste, not resources. Smells like tagging for the renderer.

Fixing up Road Routes

A lot of numbered and signed county routes aren't in OSM, except maybe as a ref on the ways. I'd like to get these routes in as real relations. The data's not always easy to find in other counties, though.