User:LA2/Diary for Q2 2006
LA2's OpenStreetMap Diary for the 2nd Quarter of 2006
June 30, 2006: I've driven and drawn rv 45 from Karlstad via Grums, Säffle, Åmål, Mellerud, Uddevalla, Vänersborg, Vargön, Trollhättan to Lilla Edet, rv 42 from Trollhättan via Vårgårda to Borås, rv 41 via Kinna to Varberg, E6 and old E6 via Falkenberg to Halmstad, rv 26 via Oskarström and Gislaved to Jönköping, lv 132 to Aneby. My original plan was to continue rv 45 from Lilla Edet to Göteborg, but I changed my mind and made a detour, leaving a 40 km radius zone around Göteborg. There should be enough volunteers in Göteborg to cover that area.
June 20, 2006: Johan Thelmén uploads more tracks. I draw lake Siljan: Mora, Rättvik, Leksand, Insjön, Gagnef with Rv 70 to Borlänge and Rv 80 to Falun. There is more to draw from Falun towards Gävle, Enköping, Västerås. And north from Falun and south from Fagersta.
June 18, 2006: User:Dutch, who has done a tremendous work in Copenhagen, has also provided the first tracks in central Malmö, some pedestrain streets. There are many samples but it's not very clear exactly where the streets are. Johan Thelmén, Falun, has uploaded more tracks from Dalarna. I draw the loop Mora-Särna-Idre-Funäsdalen-Sveg-Mora with Rv 70, 84, 45 and Lv 311, with only a few gaps.
June 9, 2006: Nice evening for a bike tour along Göta Kanal, the canal built across Sweden in the 1810s. The middle picture shows the hand crank for this rolling bridge at Ljung castle, not far from Linköping.
|Click on the images for enlargements.|
June 13, 2006: Hey, new tracks (not mine) for Örebro (Biltema), Nora, Hällefors (länsväg 244), Lesjöfors, Vansbro, Järna, Falun (länsväg 293, riksväg 50), Borlänge, Ludvika, Smedjebacken (riksväg 66), Hedemora, Avesta, Fagersta, Sala (riksväg 70), Heby, Uppsala (riksväg 72).
I have now finished the tracks I collected ten days ago. Servers have not been as slow as I feared. Nora, Zinkgruvan, Hova and Hjo are new places.
The GEOnet Names Server (see Potential Datasources) is a freely downloadable database consisting of a single table with 25 columns. Each row describes a point in geography: its name, its location, and its class. The classes (field 10 and 11) are described here. The table below shows how many records there are of each kind. There are duplicate records for name variants, for example Sweden should have far fewer than 57 ADM1 (län) and 586 ADM2 (kommun). Note that GEOnet uses country codes that differ from Internet top domains (da > dk, gm > de, sw > se).
|A-ADM1||22||25||5||28||10||22||66||57||First-order administrative division: U.S. states, German Bundesländer, Swedish län|
|A-ADM2||286||45||14||90||1||7||0||586||Second-order administrative division: U.S. county, Swedish kommun|
|A-ADM3||0||298||103||503||0||0||0||0||Third-order administrative division: This would be parishes for Sweden, but there are none in GEOnet. Neither are parishes included as PRSH|
|A-ADMD||0||606||0||851||336||748||2||3||Administrative division of unknown level|
|A-PCLI||6||9||0||5||6||9||15||8||Independent political entity|
|H-AIRS||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||Seaplane landing area. There is one in Norway.|
|S-||da||fi||fo||gm||ic||no||pl||sw||Spots and facilities|
|S-ANS||0||0||0||25||0||0||0||12||Ancient site. See also HSTS, RUIN|
|S-BCN||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||Beacon. See also LTHSE|
|S-CARN||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||Cairn, an erected heap of stones|
|S-CH||118||0||0||4||2||978||0||596||Church. See also CTRR, CVNT|
|S-CSTL||28||1||0||203||0||0||0||15||Castle. See also PAL and RUIN|
|S-CTRR||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||Religious center. See also CH and CVNT|
|S-HSTS||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||Historical site. See also RUIN|
|S-LOCK||0||0||0||1||0||4||0||0||Lock(s), in a canal.|
|S-LTHSE||4||2||0||0||1||9||0||188||Lighthouse. See also BCN.|
|S-PAL||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||Palace. See also CSTL and RUIN|
|S-RSTNQ||0||0||0||26||0||0||0||0||Abandoned railroad station|
|S-RSTPQ||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||0||Abandoned railroad stop|
June 8, 2006: With the current server slowness, it is going to take me two weeks to edit the maps from two days of driving. OSM founder Steve Coast is now off to California for the Where 2.0 conference. Since he's still the only one who can produce the planet.osm dump of the database, we had better accept that there will be no "monthly" dump for June. When I point out that this is a problem and indeed Steve's personal problem, I'm called a troll. As I fail to improve the situation, there is indeed some truth to this.
June 6, 2006: Back from a long trip and lots of maps to draw from the new tracks. Still no planet.osm dump for June. Is it summer break already?
June 4, 2006: In 2004, Swedish artist Mikael Lundberg  released a DVD film documenting his project "Lifeline"  , where he walked around with a GPS receiver, documenting his traces from July 2002 to December 2003.
The GPX upload has been hanging for more than 24 hours, and it's not the first time this weekend. And we're still waiting for the June dump of planet.osm.
|5166||bruno dot adele|
|4556||blk at elementarea|
May 31, 2006: OSM comes to new places:, , , , , , , . Road E18 connects Kristinehamn and Karlskoga to Örebro. Road Rv50 connects Askersund to E20. Fragments of Rv26 are included near Gullspång and Kristinehamn. The entire Lv204 is covered from Gullspång to Lanna/Vintrosa. Lv205 is covered from Askersund to Karlskoga. Lv243 is covered from Åtorp/Nysund to Karlskoga. Pretty much every secondary road is covered of primary roads E4, Rv36, and Rv32.
May 26, 2006: Based on that hack and the planet.osm dump from May 2006, I make three overview maps of southern Sweden in scale 1:2 million:
May 24, 2006: I write a little hack to Print OpenStreetMap with Gnuplot.
May 23, 2006: Hoping to get a new GPS PDA and run Linux on it? Lower your expectation. Handheld Device Support Summary is a list of PDAs that run Linux, and there aren't many of them. Especially not the new ones with high-resolution screens and the new SiRFstar III chip.
May 15, 2006: Alexa has updated the 3 month average for OpenStreetMap.org and now ranks the website as 107,400. But last week's average is 35,226 so the climb will continue.
May 6, 2006: I'm now also user LA2 on LibraryThing. In a way they do for books what MusicBrainz does for recorded music. And in another way, they are completely different.
May 5-7, 2006: OSM Workshop on the Isle of Wight, for everybody except me.
May 5, 2006: On the GpsDrive mailing list, Hamish points out that GRASS version 6.1 supports "Shortest path routing respecting one way streets" see screenshots. Who will be the first to use this with OSM data?
May 4, 2006: Installation of new donated hardware. Some DNS and URLs might be broken.
|4989||Colin Angus Mackay|
|4673||andrew at findlay|
April 30, 2006: Perhaps we should have a page about privacy implications of OSM and tracklog collecting. The other day, one member posted on the OSM-talk mailing list about the new powerful SiRFstar III chip that can record your GPS position indoors:
- [Somebody] showed me a tracklog yesterday, where it was visible, not only where he buy his food, but also WHAT he's buying! (If you know the supermarket's layout). SirfIII and the cheap super market boxes here make it possible..
April 19, 2006: Alexa.com ranks the websites of the world, based on users who have installed the Alexa toolbar in their MSIE browsers. What counts here is to become one of the world's 100,000 most visited websites, and stay so for a 3 month average. The Alexa ranking for OpenStreetMaps.org is 148,372, so there is still some way to go. But today's instant (non-average) value was 70,314. So how can OSM become more relevant? Perhaps the installation of faster servers is the top priority, so we're not turning visitors away because the website was too slow. But search hits is an important driver of web traffic and the OSM website doesn't have much text that can generate search hits. When people google for some street address in Glasgow, they don't really stumble upon OSM's map of the town. What if our map pages at zoom level 12 or 13 contained a list of the street names that were tagged in the visible area? Could this be implemented with the AJAX pan-and-zoom? Or should it be kept on a separate gazetteer website? In the planet.osm database dump of April 2, 2006, there are 17,017 name tags with 3431 different values. It is quite within reach to make 3431 different web pages, one for each unique name, and to link from there to their location on the map. But does it make any sense? People will have little use for googling for "I-95", an interstate route. Some frequently mentioned names are:
|317||Edinburgh City Bypass|
|96||Thames Path (NR4)|
|60||Soseaua Mihai Bravu|
April 18, 2006: In his latest podcast, OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast asks Nick Hill how he first found OSM. This makes me wonder: how did I find OSM? I've kept this diary since about the first day I started here, but that doesn't answer the question how I found my way to this place. In the introduction of my wiki paper from 2002 I described how I found wikis in early 2001, but it has later turned out my friends (among them Pär Fornland and Jonas S. Karlsson) had been hinting me about the wiki concept more than a year earlier. This is analogous to the theory presented by Tor Nørretranders in the book The User Illusion, that by the time we become aware of something our subconcious has already been processing it for quite some time, albeit this is fractions of a second in that book and a year in my case. Or maybe more than a decade. 1988-1992: After I learned the details about the TCP/IP vs OSI wars in 1988, working for the summer with Marshall T. Rose's RFC1006 implementation ISODE and the British X.500 implementation Quipu, I understood that the future was in developing applications on top of TCP/IP. After IRC (1988), LPMud (1989), and LysKOM (1990, a Swedish client-server BBS), perhaps a map server would be the next big thing? I wrote a really primitive prototype that I called the Real World Interface, still a pretty good name. There were several problems: As an undergraduate student I only had access to green phosphor 80x24 character text terminals, not a graphic work station, nor satellite images, nor a scanner for digitizing printed maps; there was no current map data available for free, and old out-of-copyright maps were pretty much useless. I had to give up the idea, and instead I started a Gopher server in the summer of 1992 and in December I founded Project Runeberg, the Scandinavian e-text archive. Out-of-copyright literature is still useful and can be typed in and read using a text terminal. 1994: Later with the World Wide Web, I made a "version 2" of RWI based on static HTML web pages. It was graphic, but not as interactive (like a MUD) as I had intended RWI version 1 to be. My RWI v.2 prototype from May 1994 is still browsable. 2000: I bought my first GPS receiver at Fry's in Palo Alto in December 2000 when I was in California. It was a backpack to my Palm Pilot, came with Rand McNally maps for the U.S. and a windshield mount and never worked very well. It was not the same success as my first digital camera, that I bought at the same time. I didn't really use this GPS receiver after I got back to Sweden in February 2001. 2001: Since 1990 I've maintained a nearly daily presence on the Internet BBS called LysKOM (all in Swedish). The LysKOM conference for geographic information systems (GIS) was created in September 2001. That's the same time I was starting susning.nu and I was implementing the geographic proximity search function (that Wikipedia still doesn't have) shortly after. I was creating many pages on susning.nu with geographic coordinates, that I dug up from printed maps or from various files I found. At the time it didn't occur to me that I should capture coordinates with a GPS receiver. 2005: On March 23, 2005, there was a LysKOM thread on (the lack of) free or cheap geographical data. The opportunity of building your own based on GPS sampling was mentioned, just like theoretical possibilities are always mentioned in LysKOM, but nobody took action at this time. Later in the spring of 2005 I was experimenting with digital photography, capturing panorama views at various points along a street, trying to compile something like a Quicktime VR environment. One early view was posted on susning.nu on May 9, 2005, a tour of Gamla Linköping, my local open air museum (68 pictures, taken at 28 geographic positions, presented on 28 wiki pages). The LysKOM thread "massiv fotografering" started with message 13239540 on May 8, 2005. That's when I understood I needed a GPS receiver to keep track of where each photo was taken. This is what A9.com (a daughter of Amazon.com) does in their business directory (yellow pages, kind of). Jonas S. Karlsson (now a Google employee) was hinting me about Geobloggers and the principle of using time synchronization after the fact between the photo and GPS data, rather than directly connecting the GPS to the camera. LysKOM is full of helpful and technically skilled people, some of which had already been geocaching for years. On May 13 I reported my findings on Wikipedia-l. On May 18 I had found out that I wanted a Garmin Foretrex 201. The same day the question of free map data resurfaced in LysKOM, but there was no mention of OSM. In another wikipedia-l thread on May 23, David Gerard mentioned OSM, and this is apparently where I learned about the project. In the early morning of May 24, 2005, I subscribed to the OSM mailing lists. Later that day I borrowed a Garmin Foretrex 201 from a friend, recorded my first track, uploaded it to OSM, and started my diary here. On May 25, 2005, I wrote the first LysKOM message 13300793 about Open Street Map.
April 17, 2006: A more updated list of long segments compiled by Jörg Osterman, rearranged and commented by me. Northern Sweden: (I've redrawn E4 betweenand ) , Northern Norway: (I've redrawn parts of the area east of Trondhjem and removed three very long line segments that didn't have tracks. They were connecting end points of existing roads, and there is a chance that they indicated tunnels, but there was no documentation of this.) , Central Sweden: (Rv76 east of Forsmark) , , Russia: (continue redrawing , going north), , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Southern Sweden: , , , Britain: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Netherlands: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Germany: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , France: , , , , Lake Michigan, USA: (I think I have redrawn all of this) , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , California: , , Brazil: , , .
April 14, 2006: Very long line segments identified by Jörg Ostertag, in North-west Russia:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Britain: , , Germany or continental Europe: , , , , , , , , , , , , North America: , , , , , , , , , , , . A few observations: The two very long segments in Britain are railways, apparently drawn without any GPS samples. Some (but not all) very long segments in Russia are based on very sparse GPS samples. Some very long segments in America have plenty of GPS data, and should be redrawn. Some very long segments in Germany have very good GPS samples, where dots are placed at reasonable spacing, but line segments are not drawn between these dots, but instead very long segments are drawn. Dots and line segments are duplicated, indicating that this might be the remains of an experiment with semi-automated client software. In each of these cases I keep asking "who did this?". The weakest part of OSM is that there is no way to inspect the revision history of the map at hand, no easy way to contact the other contributors and discuss their work. Jörg's list of long segments is a really useful tool, similar to the "short articles" special page at Wikipedia. It should list all segments longer than, say, 2 km, instead of 10 km.
April 13, 2006: Steve's publication on April 2 of the big dump planet.osm.bz2 has generated a spring flood of new statistics and derivates, among them Tom Carden's map of Europe and Jörg Ostertag's statistics on the length of line segments.
Dan Karran presents statistics on the most mapped capital cities. Here are the top 20:
1 x 0.5 degree
|Douglas, Isle of Man||3014|
April 10, 2006: I'm drawing Örebro-Mellösa-Kilsmo-Breven-Hjortkvarn. OSM servers are quite slow.
April 3, 2006: The ten most active map editors in March 2006 were:
|17461||f_mohr at yahoo|
|11787||Colin Angus Mackay|
|3273||nick at nickhill|
|2333||mikemenk at yahoo|
|2196||mikkel at tdx|
|1873||christian dot graefe|