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Hi guys, recently I've searched some information about using OSM datas for aviation. I saw that there are already nice tags for airports like parkings, apron and runways but nothing for the navigation like VORs, AEROWAYS, FIXES and REPORT POINTS (that are compulsory for make a flight plan). It would be nice using OSM data for flight planning... Thanks,

Abramo Fratus

asked 10 Mar '11, 16:25

Abramo's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Most information relevant to instrument flight - reporting points, fixes, airspace, as well as arrival and departure patterns - are defined without reference to the ground. A reporting point might be overhead some visible landmark but it will still be officially recorded at being at position so-and-so, rathern than "whereever that landmark is".

This means that most of this is not visible on the ground and thus should not be in OSM. At the same time, because that kind of information is completely independent of what's on the ground, so it is easy to keep air navigation data in a separate database and just display it on top of OSM when rendering.

It is possible to use software written for OSM to operate and edit a completely separate database which is probably what you should be looking at. You would only have to install the Rails port and then you can hammer away at it with your favourite OSM editor, possibly creating special presets and rendering rules for that editor. Later you would set up a rendering engine to render tiles from your database, and display them on top of OSM base tiles.

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answered 10 Mar '11, 17:18

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Oh, ok. I just asked that because I saw the beatiful project OpenSeaMap, that show you everything you need for sea navigation. IMHO I think that it can be the same for something like OpenAviationMap.

In instrumental flight fixes, airspace and points are extremely linked to the ground and they were created for keep a safe flight, without the collision with natural or artificial obstacles, noise reduction and so on.

The Rails port would be nice for me, thanks, but I was searching something that would help also other users.

(10 Mar '11, 18:49) Abramo

The idea with the Rails port is that someone in the aviation community sets it up to capture aviation data, and it is then avaialable for everyone else to contribute to. - As far as I am aware, OpenSeaMap is mostly drawn from actual observable objects, like buoys. If OpenSeaMap were to add un-observable marine navigation data to OSM they would be told to use their own database too (with the exception of national boundaries, which are generally considered acceptable to OSM because of their high importance even though not always observable).

(11 Mar '11, 09:33) Frederik Ramm ♦

BTW, I don't think you would encounter resistance if you were to add a tag like "aviation:reporting_point=Bravo" to an existing object in OpenStreetMap, e.g. a church or bridge, and then creating a map rendering that highlights these objects, provided that the information you enter is free from copyright. But people would probably object if you placed these as objects of their own.

(11 Mar '11, 09:36) Frederik Ramm ♦

You'll have to forgive us, but there may not be as many aviation experts involved in OpenStreetMap as we would like.

Are the features you talk about physical features on the landscape, or are they just points in space that are designated as important to aviation in some way? If the former, we can probably map them, but if they're not observable in some way, they almost certainly don't belong in OpenStreetMap.

Also, bear in mind that any data added to OpenStreetMap can be edited (or vandalised) at any time, so it may not be suitable for use in such a safety-critical application as aviation.

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answered 10 Mar '11, 16:43

Jonathan%20Bennett's gravatar image

Jonathan Ben...
accept rate: 18%


VORs, Fixes and Report Points are often visible as physical structures containing the relevant beacons, however, without aeronautical navigation equipment, their apparent function may not be obvious to the observer.

(10 Mar '11, 16:52) Baloo Uriza

Report points in the VFR (Visual Flight Rules) are phisical entities in the space like mountains, towers, lakes, the end of a river, that are easly recognizable and where you are obbligated to report to the Air Traffic Control you position. Flight Plans in VFR are just a list of this points.

(10 Mar '11, 17:21) Abramo

(Rhetorical questions) So how can I verify that a VFR reporting point actually is a reporting point by visiting it in the landscape, plagiarizing absolutely no copyright protected sources at all? And how can I tell when a reporting point stops being a reporting point by just visiting it?

Example 1: Reporting point KARLO west of ESSV is located in the Baltic Sea, 4 Nm from the coast. Just plain water...

Example 2: Reporting point Älvestad at the border of ESSL CTR was a church that later on burned, but the reporting point still exists.

(10 Mar '11, 19:36) gnurk

Well, (retorical question ;D) , how can I verify a boundary by visiting it in the landscape? but you see that boundaries are mapped... See OpenSeaMap... it would be nice something like that for the aviation.

(10 Mar '11, 21:23) Abramo

I've mapped all the UK VORs (as far as I'm aware of) from Bing and site visits. Unfortunately, I'm not a pilot myself, so don't know their frequencies.

Hope this helps some, Chris

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answered 06 Jun '11, 08:16

c2r's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%


The remark about boundary is very accurate ..... I am also interested in the mapping for aviation ..... Reporting points are very interesting, but also air spaces, that clearly have no connexions with the ground for their boundaries : there is already a proposed feature for that in osm. Join the discussion ? I will have a look to trails as indicated.

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answered 19 Apr '11, 06:12

courdi95's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You may want to consider converting your statement to a comment (rather than answer) to avoid negative votes.

(19 Apr '11, 20:13) ponzu

AFAIK you can't comment when you have Zero points.. But you have to participate to get rating Catch 22..

(07 Jun '11, 13:54) emj

Not quite; could be enlightening to just sit back and listen before you're qualified to comment.

(07 Jun '11, 20:50) Baloo Uriza

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question asked: 10 Mar '11, 16:25

question was seen: 12,936 times

last updated: 07 Jun '11, 20:50

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum