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Hello folks, I'm relatively new here, so please understand if I use the wrong term here or there. I have four questions that have arisen from my first few edits.

  1. St. John (part of the US Virgin Islands) was pretty much untouched when I first found it. I mapped the main town and the numbered routes -- all five of them -- but the mapping is still pretty pathetic, probably only covering 30 or 40% of the island's roads. Searching this morning on, I found TIGER data for the island from 2008, the only time it's ever been published for the islands, and obviously it was not included in the import of 2005 data. So I converted the shapefiles to .osm this morning, and I'm in the process of cleaning that up now (it's "All Lines" only, so I have to remove the coastline and boundaries and such) and tagging it correctly. Now my question is, once I get the data tagged, how would I actually upload it to OSM? Preferably it would replace most if not all of the data already in place, as I did most of that from tracing over Yahoo! images and therefore it's not the most accurate data ever collected.

  2. Still on St. John, what is a maximum length for a "ref" to be rendered under Mapnik? The secondary road "South Side Road" on the west side of the island (it might show up as primary on some zoom levels) should show up as "US:VI 104", and the secondary road "Highway 107" on the east-central part of the island should be "US:VI 107". Other three digit routes, such as "US:VI 206" or "US:VI 108" (both "residential" streets) do not have any problems showing up. Osmarender renders all "ref"s correctly regardless of length.

  3. When viewing St. Croix with Mapnik, you can see the the NOAA coastline data is faulty. I fixed it about ten hours ago, but it still is not updated under Mapnik, while it updated after about 70 minutes with Osmarender. What gives? I thought both Mapnik and Osmarender were supposed to update within the hour?

  4. Is there a special indication for roads with "surface=unpaved"?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

asked 29 Jul '10, 22:14

Hawkeye34's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

retagged 30 Jul '10, 23:25

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦


Note that, depending on the area, streets traced on the Yahoo aerials may be more precise than TIGER data. Be sure to check this.

(30 Jul '10, 13:09) NE2

Please don't ask multiple questions in the same "question" - in future please stick to one question at a time.

(02 Aug '10, 10:20) Andy Allan

Note that US:VI should be on a relation; if you're tagging the route on a way (not encouraged; the renderer should be fixed to render the relation refs properly), VI * should be a sufficient value.

(04 Aug '10, 03:51) Baloo Uriza

Tagging a way with ref=* is encouraged (as well as creating a relation).

(04 Aug '10, 07:36) NE2

No, tagging things accurately is encouraged; tagging a way with a ref= that belongs to a route isn't accurate (even if it is common). The way itself might have it's own ref (exceedingly common with bridges in the United States, as well as state highways that carry no route, such as found in state parks).

(04 Aug '10, 07:45) Baloo Uriza

ref=* on a highway is the route number. If you want to tag a bridge number, use a different tag.

(04 Aug '10, 08:17) NE2

Nice attitude, considering that relations properly describe routes, when ref= on a way would be better used to handle references applying to ways, not routes.

(04 Aug '10, 08:27) Baloo Uriza

If you want to change the current standard, take it to the tagging list. Otherwise stop confusing the noobs.

(04 Aug '10, 08:33) NE2

How confusing is "use a relation?" That's pretty damn clear to me. Quit being a jackass.

(04 Aug '10, 09:31) Baloo Uriza
showing 5 of 9 show 4 more comments

  1. If you have a .osm file it is easy to open it in JOSM or Merkaator and upload it from there. Just click upload after opening the file.
  2. Mapnik has a limitasions of shields of 8 characters. In addition there might be other rendering logic that prevents the highway shields from being rendered. But according to the wiki the "US:" part of the ref is optional. You might get a better result if you use "ref=VI 104".
  3. Coastline calculations are a costly operation that is done once a weak, be patient. This might not be obvious in the case of an island, but how does the renderer know that it is an island and not a lake without knowing every coastline in the world?
  4. I have not seen any renderers use this tag yet. But OSM is all about the data and not so much about the rendering. Any tag can be useful for somebody in the future. The surface tag might be in use by route planers, or as statistics.
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answered 29 Jul '10, 23:30

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦
accept rate: 16%

Sorry I didn't make it clearer: I would like to replace the data currently comprising St John with the new TIGER data. Would OSM do that automatically upon uploading, or would I have to manually remove the old data first?

(30 Jul '10, 01:16) Hawkeye34

You would have to remove or merge the existing data yourself before uploading.

(30 Jul '10, 12:46) Gnonthgol ♦

Be careful and verify that you're not getting rid of any information if you delete the old data.

(30 Jul '10, 13:10) NE2

To be clear, mapnik itself has no particular limit on shields. The OpenStreetMap stylesheet for the mapnik layer only has support for shields up to a certain length however.

(31 Jul '10, 00:04) TomH ♦♦

And on a residential/unclassified highway it just prints the number without a shield, so there's no limit there. (The normal limit is 8 characters.)

(31 Jul '10, 00:58) NE2

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question asked: 29 Jul '10, 22:14

question was seen: 7,972 times

last updated: 04 Aug '10, 09:31

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