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I have a list of ways and relations that are tagged natural=water that are errors. Look at the lakes in western Nevada for example. I have the entire list of ids that are errors, and have changed them all in my own map. I would like to add the changes to OSM. What is the best way to change the tag on a list of 500 way ids?

asked 18 May '11, 22:26

Ondrae's gravatar image

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Can you give us a link to an example, and explain why it's an error?

(18 May '11, 22:50) Jonathan Ben...

Sure. is the largest of the non-lakes being rendered as lakes. There are about 2000 elements that have the tag "gnis:ftype = Playa" that all also have the tag "natural - water". I collected the id of all of these elements and want to remove or edit the natural tag.

(18 May '11, 23:24) Ondrae

"What is the best way to change the tag on a list of 500 way ids?"

The best way is to ask the community first. There are, presumably, 500 people who have decided to tag it natural=water. You are one person. 1 to 500 does not give you the right to over-ride their wishes.

Subscribe to the local mailing list (talk-us in this case). Explain what you'd like to do. Talk to people. If they agree that they were wrong and you are right, then I'm sure they'll give you the technical assistance you need to make this change.

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answered 18 May '11, 23:22

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Richard ♦
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I feel you and I believe that is exactly what I am doing by starting a conversation here. The tag I think is an error were all made by one person.

(18 May '11, 23:27) Ondrae

Excellent. is a young site; you can't guarantee that many US mappers will see it. Check with talk-us or talk to people on the IRC channels, which are more established. If people there agree, they'll be happy to help you carry out the change.

(19 May '11, 00:56) Richard ♦

If all of the "errors" have been made by one person - then please speak to that one person first. They may convince that they were right !! :-)

(19 May '11, 08:59) gumpa

I think this is a fair question that many beginning contributors might have in relation to some quick way to add improved tags to several of the nodes or ways that they have contributed.

We are still learning, so it is quite likely that we will learn about a better tag. But it is very painful to have to go back individually to edit multiple ways (likely spread across several download areas in Potlatch 2 or JOSM), if only there is some way to select multiple way IDs from our own history of edits and add the improved tag to the whole set. With the editing process 'crashing' regularly because the server can not handle all of the requests it is receiving, it would help everyone to have a more efficient method.

Can one of the experienced users give instructions on the method, other than saying "Ask us and I'm sure we'll give you the technical assistance you need"?

OK ... after a little more experience ... JOSM can use File > Download Object to obtain multiple objects from OSM based on a list of object ID numbers. JOSM can also select multiple objects on screen (shift-click) and apply a new tag to all selected objects. JOSM also remembers the last used tag, which can help if you are doing repetitive work.

But ... to be really useful it would need some way to gather objects from osm based on a combination of identifiers (user=jones + object type= way + tag=national park ... or some such). I don't know if that is possible.

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answered 15 Sep '11, 01:30

moreton's gravatar image

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edited 15 Sep '11, 08:33

I suspect (but haven't tried) that for the gathering of objects mentioned in your last paragraph, the Overpass API ( ) XAPI compatibility mode would be able to retrieve the objects in a file that you could then load in JOSM, but read that whole page first and heed the warnings about the meta-data and/or redownloading objects to get that information if you don't add the [@meta] directive (if I've read it correctly). For simpler queries you can use standard XAPI/JXAPI queries.

(15 Sep '11, 09:15) EdLoach ♦

Thanks for the pointer. XAPI looks tricky, but probably good for experts. As osm evolves, hopefully someone will later work out how to make that capability more accessible to 'non-programmers'.

(15 Sep '11, 13:20) moreton

For completeness, here's the wiki page for XAPI:

Personnally I find both Ian Dees' JXAPI and Mapquest's implementation of the same to be very reliable and very userful.

(15 Sep '11, 16:02) SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 18 May '11, 22:26

question was seen: 5,841 times

last updated: 15 Sep '11, 16:02

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