WikiProject Belgium/Route monitoring tool

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More and more official data sources that have waymarked hiking and biking routes, are interested in having them mapped correctly in OSM. Or at least, OSM volunteers want to continuously compare official data to OSM data. Or perhaps they have validated a route by surveying, and want to keep the route intact in OSM.

These needs are all very similar, but still the tools to do this are limited. If we pool resources from all these interested groups, we might be able to build the ultimate route monitoring tool.

Possibly interested parties

  • Grote Routepaden: have opened their GR routes to OSM, but are daunted by the technical challenge of mapping them in OSM
  • GR Sentiers: are opening their data and are actively working to map them in OSM
  • ECF/Eurovelo: are exploring ways to improve the data about their network
  • Brussels Mobility: have financed a similar tool in the past [1]
  • Westtoer and other Provincial Touristic Organizations: some use OSM in their own management software, most are interested in having their cycle node network in OSM
  • actively invest in keeping their network in OSM up to date

We want to get these organizations as actively involved as possible in OSM. The tools should speak to their needs as well as regular mappers'.

The Knooppuntnet tool

This tool is built by vmarc and facilitates a lot for QA of node networks [2]. vmarc already built an experimental environment at to compare the official GPX file of several routes to the relation ID of their counterpart in OSM.

The code is on Github [3].


  • compare a hardcoded list of GPX files and OSM ids
  • monitor evolution of the OSM relation (filter edit history)
  • monitor internal consistency of the route

The result is that for any route, you can easily see where OSM differs from the GPX. This does not mean the GPX is always right. But in many cases, OSM can relatively simply be corrected based on the GPX. Sometimes differences need to be checked in the field. Sometimes the official owner can do that, sometimes a mapper.

In some cases, the quality of the official GPX is really low. Then the GPX can only be used for guiding the regular mapping work. When a route has been completely surveyed, we could decide to "officialize" the OSM version, save that as a GPX file and compare to that version until something changes in reality.

Needed features

  • build an admin interface to maintain groups; e.g. to link OSM object to GPX file
  • get minutely updates (or start with daily updates)
  • extend the checks the tool makes possible
  • this doesn't need to be built into the Knooppuntnet tool, but a way to get feedback from local mappers or from route maintainers about specific issues would be needed. This could be powered by a MapComplete Notes theme.

The OSMbe Project

This project aims to help build the tool and help do the actual mapping.

To do

  • support vmarc with managing servers / sysadmin work. Help wanted!
    • Email sent to Operations working group on 10/04/2022, but no replied received.
  • s8evq to give table with GPX files + relations to vmarc. With this hard coded approach, we can show GR VZW a proof of concept Done, meeting planned with GR VZW on 13 may at 10.
  • Pierre P to give vmarc a more complete list of relation IDs linked to GPX files
  • work out mapcomplete concept theme for validating on the field
  • use GR/SGR as a proof of concept: promote further development by showing what we can do with current tool
  • convert Pierre P's vademecum about "how to map GR in OSM" to the wiki
  • update the list; remove tables inserted in cells; make the list sortable; headers of columns could be: sign, reference, route name, progress, relation
  • ...