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Hello All, I am a volunteer teacher using osm to organise our community work within a specific rural territory in dominican republic. I received an email this morning mentioning that a user I dont know of just deleted a polygon on which I worked for hours to define our working area;

"4rch has left a comment on one of your changesets created at 2014-11-25 18:21:53 UTC without comment

I've deleted the polygon as it covered a large area without residential landuse. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dresidential

More details about the changeset can be found at http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/26898665"

Can someone please help me undo this changeset and recover my work ? Can this type of behavior be restricted ?

thanks in advance for your kind support


asked 25 Nov '14, 20:02

jfricher's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

When you say you are "using osm to organise our community work" do you mean your work outside of OSM?

(25 Nov '14, 20:35) Jonathan Ben...
(25 Nov '14, 20:41) SomeoneElse ♦

… and the reply by Frederik.

(25 Nov '14, 21:08) aseerel4c26 ♦

As Frederik mentionned, I am defining an administrative border and can change the landuse type. I just dont understand why and how someone can delete hours of work without my permission.

How can my polygon be brought back ?

thanks for your support


(25 Nov '14, 21:34) jfricher

It is possible to undelete data and to revert a changeset. But these actions should not be performed by beginners and certainly not for data that didn't belong into OSM in the first place.

(26 Nov '14, 08:08) scai ♦

"I just dont understand why and how someone can delete hours of work without my permission."

You are not working on a personal copy of the database, nor in a Facebook with personalized login protected pages or data, but on a public geographical database for the entire world accessible to anyone. This is a vital thing to understand. Anybody has access to anyone else's edits on OSM, and can change them at will.

(26 Nov '14, 09:36) mboeringa
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

Besides all the good suggestions that have already been made maybe you should consider using one of the task managing services to coordinate your work. Either an instance of the HOT task manager see https://github.com/hotosm/osm-tasking-manager2 or http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/MapCraft

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answered 26 Nov '14, 12:48

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

I just need it to reflect the territory in which we work as voluntary teachers.

Unfortunately, as others here already suspected and pointed out, this is the type of information that doesn't really belong in the OSM database. You are not working on a personal copy of the database, it is the database for the globe. If you adjust topographically correct "residential" boundaries to reflect your personal working area, you just made the database unusuable for a whole lot of other people. That is probably why the other user removed it.

In the rare case that your working area happens to coincide with actual - officially - recognized administrative boundaries in your country, but nobody else has yet added these, then of course you could add these with the appropriate "administrative" tags and names of the areas added to it (but don't name it "my working area"!)

If you need personal data combined with OSM data, you should look at something like the Open Source QGIS, a Geographical Information System, that will allow you to create your own "personal" maps and databases, and has an easy option for downloading OSM data to your own computer for your own personal local use, or even more simple, use the OSM webservice as a basic background image for your data.

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answered 25 Nov '14, 21:32

mboeringa's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%


Another, perhaps simpler way is to use umap to create a map to coordinate your teachers.

Download the version of your data before the deletion and use umap's import feature to save yourself the trouble of redrawing it.

(25 Nov '14, 22:22) Vincent de P... ♦

What are you actually trying to record?

If it's something like the boundary of a town, then it certainly belongs in OpenStreetMap, but if it's something that isn't easily verifiable on the ground then it probably doesn't - in the latter case you're probably better using something like uMap to record it.

Don't worry about getting the data back (almost) nothing is every deleted from the OpenStreetMap database and can be obtained even after it has been "deleted", but it might be that it may not really belong in there.

At various times today the item has been a very, very large house and then a large residential area. I suspect that neither of these descriptions are strictly accurate!

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answered 25 Nov '14, 20:32

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

edited 25 Nov '14, 20:33

I just need it to reflect the territory in which we work as voluntary teachers.

(25 Nov '14, 21:03) jfricher
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question asked: 25 Nov '14, 20:02

question was seen: 4,845 times

last updated: 26 Nov '14, 12:48

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