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May 23 2017

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Air Cargo Charter

As a specialty, however fundamental piece of the air load industry, the part of an air chargo charter is various and quick moving. The desire on fly sanction dealers is to convey moment arrangements – and to exceed expectations in this occupation an individual should be adaptable and jet charter broker. More than coordinating payload and client's prerequisites for the book charter flight in an airplane, a contractual dealer has a heap of contemplations to cover before offering the best arrangements, and the genuine difficulties just start after securing an installation.

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Best Auger Screw Online At Omkarindustry.com

Our company are manufacture, supplier and exporter of packaging machines and also spares like auger screw, bag forming sets, collars for VFFS etc. We offers auger screw in various sizes and dimensions as per client's choices.Order auger screw online from omkarindustry.com at best price. For more information visit : http://omkarindustry.com/auger-screw.php

May 22 2017

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: GSoC Diary: Start of Community Bonding

Hi! I’m Pedro Amaro, an undergraduate student from Portugal. Currently, I’m studying Informatics and Computing Engineering at FEUP (Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto). I will be working on a project for the OSM community for Google Summer of Code 2017. I took a special interest in OSM for my GSoC proposal, as I had used it before multiple times, mostly to know my bearings and also in the FlightGear flight simulator.

One of the most interesting suggested projects, that mixed some of my interests, including 3D graphics and web applications, was the implementation of a 3D Model Repository. This project consists of implementing a repository for 3D models, where users can upload freely licensed models and their metadata to it, so that 3D visualizers can use this data to render beautiful graphics for buildings (such as the Eiffel Tower) or smaller features such as trees. After a lot of back and forth with the project proposal with Tordanik, I submitted it, and around a month later, was accepted.

In my proposal, I had suggested using OpenLayers as the API for drawing maps in the repository, and having the live 3D preview of models be optional. Upon further discussion, we decided to change the API to Leaflet and start working on the preview early in the summer, by June.

To explore both ideas, I built a small demonstration of each, to get acquainted with the tools I will be using, namely Leaflet and Three.js.

Region around the Eiffel Tower, with a popup with a link to the model Leaflet API demo

Interactive Three.js model of the Eiffel Tower Three.js OpenCOLLADA demo

The Eiffel Tower model was made in Sketch Up by joe89v, and exported as an OpenCOLLADA model. The model can be found here.

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: First Choice Appliance Repair and HVAC Services

Here, at First Choice Appliance Repair and HVAC Services, our customers come first! We specialize in home and commercial furnace repair, furnace installation, furnace replacement, air conditioning repair, air conditioning installation, air conditioning replacement, all other HVAC related services and home & commercial appliances. We offer emergency service and we service all of Northern Virginia. Most brands of heater and heating units. water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, air conditioner units, refrigerators, ovens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, walk-in coolers, commercial ovens and pizza ovens, etc. So what are you waiting for? Call First Choice Appliance and HVAC Services for all your HVAC repair & installation and appliance repair needs! We are here for you! Call now! Call Today!

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: OpenStreetMap Carto release v3.3.1

Today, v3.3.1 of the openstreetmap-carto stylesheet (the default stylesheet on openstreetmap.org) has been released.

This version includes a single change: * Fix a regression in intermittent waterways

For a full list of commits, see https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/compare/v3.3.0...v3.3.1

As always, we welcome any bug reports at https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues.

Mapbox Blog: Oh, the places you'll go (with the Geocoding team)!

Geocoding Gang Logo

We have one simple mission on the Geocoding team: know about every place in the world. To accomplish our goal, we incorporate place data from dozens of sources and leverage wikidata to handle requests in hundreds of different languages. As a pleasant side-effect of teaching our geocoder about the world, we also get to dig into the little-known locations and quirks of language that make places unique.

Inspired by a tweet, we got together to round up some highlights from the last few months:

Aarthy

While working on the strasse quest, I was looking up different streets in Germany to collect test data and came across Heerstrasse, Bonn, Germany. The next thing you know, I had spent an hour looking at pictures of this street and making a mental note to visit Germany in April (sometime in the future)!

Heerstrasse, Bonn, Germany

Image by Christopher Lingstädt

Andrew

Lately, I’ve loaded translations in, among others, the Azerbaijani language (sometimes called Azeri), a Turkic language spoken as the official language in Azerbaijan, and by Azerbaijani communities in Russia, Iran, Georgia, and Turkey. As with other languages in the region, repeated conquest and annexation have exerted significant influence on it, and one consequence is that it has been written in multiple scripts over time. While not currently truly digraphic like Serbian is, Azerbaijani is fascinating in just how many times it has changed:

  • it was first written in the Persian version of the Arabic script
  • after Azerbaijan was incorporated into the USSR, Soviet officials first created a Turkish-inspired Latin alphabet in 1929, hoping to create cultural division between Azerbaijanis and Iran
  • under Stalin, most non-Cyrillic users were forced to switch to Cyrillic, and that included Azerbaijani, which began to be written using the Cyrillic alphabet in 1939 (and saw the introduction of a different Cyrillic scheme in 1958)
  • After the fall of the USSR, Azerbaijani switched back to a Latin system, but a different one than had been in use pre-USSR, in 1991, and it was further revised in 1992.

Chart of languages

Bob

When loading geospatial data on China, it’s often difficult for a westerner to research the administrative areas because it’s not always clear how their names should be transliterated into a Latin script. So, when a new piece of data doesn’t match what we’d had in the past, it isn’t clear why. Is the new data incorrect? Has the name of the area changed? More commonly, it turns out that our old and new data really does match, but is transliterated slightly differently.

One good example of a discrepancy that had me baffled was an area in the province of “Xīzàng Zizhiqu,” aka the “Western Tsang Autonomous Region.” Western readers probably recognize it by a different name: “Tibet.” Around this time of year, the area is celebrating the Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival:

Tree with cherry blossomsImage by tommy@chau

In some newly-imported data, the county in the above photo is called “Nyingchi Xian,” but we previously had it labeled “Línzhīxian.” In both cases, “Xian” means county, but it is sometimes written as a separate word and other times written as a suffix of the name. That’s a stylistic choice, since Chinese writing doesn’t break at word boundaries. But why Nyingchi vs Linzhi? Some wikipedia research reveals that Nyingchi (ཉིང་ཁྲི་ས།) is a Tibetan name and that Línzhī (林芝) is a Chinese name for the same area.

Chart of transalations for Nyingchi

This particular case was also a good example of how China’s administrative structures have been changing rapidly in recent years. Although the data I was importing was only a couple of years old, it seemed at odds with current reality: there apparently is no Nyingchi County or Línzhī County…

Wikipedia map of chinese administrative areas

This is where wiki edit histories can be really instructive (credit to Minh Nguyễn from our mobile team for teasing this out). Originally, Wikipedia had articles about “Bayi” (town) in “Nyingchi County” in “Nyingchi Prefecture.” Then, in 2015, these articles were renamed to Bayi Subdistrict, Bayi District, and Nyingchi, respectively. The Chinese Wikipedia renamed its articles at about the same time, citing this Chinese news article (Google Translate). Apparently, Nyingchi was upgraded from a county to a prefecture-level city, so its seat of government was upgraded from a town inside a county to a subdistrict inside a district.

Kai

We separate our data into different types, like pois (“points of interest”, like restaurants and tourist destinations), places (cities), and regions (like “states” in the United States, or “departments” in France). When we’re loading new data into our geocoder, part of the challenge is figuring out what type to give each feature. While importing new data on Malaysian cities, I came across a polygon named Batu Caves. Batu Caves sounds more like a POI than a city, so I did a little digging and 😻:

Hindu temple in a caveImage by Allan Jay Quesada

It’s the name of a town that hosts an epic temple complex built into limestone caverns. The caves feature a number of endemic animals, including tube-dwelling spiders and several species of bats. In this case it’s also a great fit for our place layer- it’s a rapidly growing town just outside of Kuala Lumpur, and has multiple schools, parks, and neighborhoods.

Matt

An oxbow bend in the Chao Phraya river forms Bang Kachao, a 20 sq km park directly across from central Bangkok. Developers have been clamoring for access, but for the moment it remains an interesting contrast to the enormous city that surrounds it.

People riding bikes

Image by Sivakrit Saravit

Satellite image of a river through a city

Bang Kachao on Mapbox Satellite

Nick

Russian nesting dolls

Image by Charlotte

I’ve been working on removing place duplicates from our API. We sometimes return duplicate place names where the place and the region share the same name. Sometimes these are legit (“New York, New York, USA”) and sometimes they are not (“London, London, England”).

While working with a customer enquiring about Liechtenstein address support I discovered a new class of duplicates where a locality, place, region, and country add share the same name.

Previously a search for “Liechtenstein” would return

Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
  (locality)     (place)         (region)     (country)

We face a similar task in Singapore with

Singapore, Greater Singapore, Singapore

We’re halfway through an automated fix for these so you should start seeing less and less duplication! If you notice any we missed give us a shout!

Tom:

Aruba and Alberta combined

Images by LASZLO ILYES, Tom Hannigan

At one point we were returning the feature on the left (Alberta) when someone searched for the feature on the right (Aruba). Why? Well, we had added Japanese translations for our features, including アルバータ州 for Alberta. And we used an ASCII normalization library behind the scenes – mostly to simplify some operations and smooth out diacritics in Latin characters, but also for its not entirely nonexistent transliteration abilities. Alas, that library transforms アルバータ州 into Arubatazhou. Aruba looks like a matching query for that (when considered as a part of an autocomplete sequence).

We soon implemented a fix to isolate CJK character-using names from other ones, and since then have switched to an architecture that fully supports Unicode. But this is a good example of a larger class of headaches in geocoding: adding data on one side of the world can screw up queries on the other in a ways that don’t happen with other types of geo work.

~ fin ~

We don’t have to stop with the Geocoding team; we’d love to hear about the special places you’ve come across recently, too! Hit us up on Twitter using #geobucketlist to share your geographic bucket list. Want to explore the world as part of your day job? We’re hiring!

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Representing San Francisco City Hall in simple 3D building

Last weekend, I tried modelling San Francisco City Hall in S3DB. The public building has 100 years of glorious history. The diameter of the central dome is around 34 m and total height of the building is 93 m. From Wikipedia

The co-ordinates of the building is 37.77910°N/122.41937°W. Edited this model first through OSM Sandbox and copied all the geometries and tags to main OSM database. I used JOSM current version and Kendzi3D plugin to visualise locally.

Before Simple 3D tags

before_in_kendziVisualised in JOSM Kendzi3D plugin

After adding Simple 3D tags

Photo credits: At Flickr by Thomas Hawk

globe

after_in_kendzi

Rendering

1. F4Map f4mapClick here for demo

2. OSMBuildings osmbuildingsClick here for demo

I'd love to see many places in OpenStreetMap in 3D. If you have any questions, ping me @chtnha on twitter or OSM message.

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: HP Printer Technical Support Number 1-844-888-3870

With HP Support Canada we offer best affordable services for HP Printer. We are a third party service provider and provides services for the printer like as installation of device, software and drivers, ink cartridge, paper jam etc. If you are facing any technical issue related to the printer then dial HP technical support number 1-844-888-3870 and connect directly to our technicians in one call. We will get back to you if our experts were unable to take your call.

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Up The Creek

A small snippet from my recent survey off Mapperley Plains, Notts.:–

The householder was a retired chap & explained that, when he & his wife got married & bought a house, some so-called friends had said that the two of them were now “Up the creek” (splendid friends, huh?). So, in response, they decided to give their new home a name:–

the creek

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Finding Wilson Boulevard

(This post is cross-posted from a recent post on my blog and adapted for an audience already familiar with OpenStreetMap.)

An overflowing bánh mì, a tray of tender bánh da lợn, a can of soybean milk: my treat after every monthly trip to the little Vietnamese grocery across town. Mekong Market was my Sunday Bible school of Vietnamese culture in a childhood as distant from Asia as one could imagine, in Cincinnati. Snacks, sauces, and canned foods defying translation lined the shelves; in the refrigerator, a variety of mystery meats wrapped in aluminum foil each bore the same place of origin: Chicago.

One Labor Day, my family made a trip up to Chicago to finally see the bustling Vietnamese community whose clearance we had happily bought for years. We made a lot of road trips back then, often just spur-of-the-moment driving through the peaceful countryside. But since we were headed five hours away to an unfamiliar city, we needed to plan ahead. As the resident map enthusiast, I was to find directions to the Vietnamese supermarket in Chicago using our new Internet connection. We’d enjoy some phở for lunch and bring back enough fresh ingredients to avoid Mekong Market for a little while.

A search for “Vietnamese markets in Chicago” on AltaVista turned up an article from The Washingtonian describing a cluster of supermarkets, phở restaurants, and bakeries on Wilson Boulevard. I pasted the street address into MapQuest, specified “Chicago” and “Illinois” to make sure I got the right “Wilson”, and printed out the directions.

Bánh mì thịt nguội
A Vietnamese cold cuts sandwich (bánh mì thịt nguội).

Five hours later, we arrived in Chicago and crawled up and down Wilson Avenue. If a Vietnamese supermarket or two were to be found along this street, it couldn’t have fit very easily inside any of the modest townhouses that lined the street from end to end without interruption. I noticed, too, that the entire length of the street was numbered in the 8000 range, as opposed to the 6700 block on which this supermarket supposedly stood. My father pulled the car aside and called the supermarket’s phone number on his cell phone. I could understand just enough Vietnamese to make out the voice on the other end: “I’m in Northern Virginia – what in the world do you want me to do for you?”

As my father held his tongue – Grandma was in the back seat – we wandered aimlessly around that part of town until we happened to spot some Vietnamese signage. There, just a few minutes away from Wilson Avenue, were the supermarket, phở restaurant, and bakery we had been hoping for, by sheer luck.

In the years since, I moved to San José, California, home to one of the largest populations of Vietnamese Americans in the country. Bánh mì shops here are as commonplace as cafés. In fact, the only reason I ever notice them is that I also became immersed in OSM. I found a niche mapping “flyover country” and made it my mission to improve coverage of communities underserved by commercial map vendors, among them ethnic enclaves in San José, Orange County, and elsewhere.

Last month, I happened to be in Washington, D.C., visiting my employer Mapbox at the new office there. On a lark, I decided to spend Sunday afternoon visiting Wilson Boulevard for real. It had been almost eighteen years since my last attempt, but despite having since moved to a city with a large Vietnamese population and plenty of Vietnamese food, I figured seeing this street in person would give me some closure. Fortunately, the same Metro line that took me almost to the airport also took me almost to Eden Center, the Vietnamese shopping center that had teased me back in grade school.

Parking aisles
No Vietnamese shopping center would be complete without a kitschy gate.

I had always imagined Eden Center to be more of a bazaar than a strip mall. Nonetheless, it has almost everything you’d expect from a center of Vietnamese social life: a dearth of parking, a man singing karaoke to an impromptu crowd out front, a father treating his daughters to the kumquats that hang from a decorative tree nearby. On the other hand, there are no elderly men playing cờ tướng in front of the shops, as one often finds in California. (One wall bears an enormous warning against gambling and suggests area casinos as alternatives.)

Like similar centers in Orange County, Eden Center is steeped in war history. Each aisle in the parking lot bears the name of a South Vietnamese general.

Parking aisles
At the intersection of Nguyễn Khoa Nam and Trần Văn Bá “Avenues”.

The South Vietnamese flag flies proudly beside the American flag. As it was the week before the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, a banner spanning the two flagpoles honored South Vietnamese war heroes.

South Vietnamese heroes banner
The banner reads, “With Gratitude We Revere the Martyred National Heroes of the Republic of Vietnam”.

I thoroughly field-surveyed Eden Center, noting the restaurants, jewelers, beauty salons, travel agencies, and karaoke bars tucked away in the center’s “mini-malls”. Before leaving, I bought a bánh mì, a piping hot tray of bánh da lợn, and a can of soybean milk for the road.

The whole reason I got involved with “citizen mapping” is that proprietary map sources fall so short when it comes to places beyond San Francisco, beyond the central business districts, beyond the tourist traps.

Eden Center on Apple Maps
Apple Maps includes only a few shops, but they’re all in the wrong places and some are no longer open.

Eden Center on Google Maps
With the same indoor mapping style it applies to every mall, Google Maps makes it look like it has spectacular coverage of Eden Center. But it’s just walls: most of the shops are still in the wrong location and some have closed.

Eden Center on Baidu Maps
I found it surprising that Baidu Maps has coverage of this area on par with Apple Maps, but it too has misplaced and outdated points of interest.

OSM didn’t have a lot of detail about Eden Center until I ventured there last month, but now it’s complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Even the parking aisles are named. It’s looking a lot better than the competition.

Eden Center on OSM, before and after
After my visit to Eden Center, OSM gained so much detail in the area that there isn’t enough room to display most of the points of interest with proper icons and labels. (Left: before; right: after)

Eden mini-malls on OSM, before and after
(Top: before; bottom: after)

Eden Mini Mall on OSM, full detail
One of the advantages of a human-curated map database is an at-times quirky attention to detail. The abundance of diacritical marks in Vietnamese are essential to comprehension, so this Vietnamese-American community will find it helpful that OSM includes the diacritics, even though this shopping center is located in a predominantly English-speaking city. Maybe someday the highway=corridor ways will be useful for pedestrian routing, too.

OSM may have a long way to go before it can even dream of breaking people’s Google habits. I’m under no illusions about how poorly it scales to visit each site in person via public transportation. But for now, I’m just happy to have finally made it to Wilson Boulevard and made it easier for others to do the same – minus the detour.

May 21 2017

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Virgo GIS

University of Virginia Library has GIS data for buildings in Loudoun county (and lots of others), and the terms of use say the data "is publicly available and can be reused and published without restriction, so I figured I'd start importing it into OSM using JOSM.

This first upload was a residential neighborhood to test the workflow.

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Mapper of the Month: Marek Kleciak (Poland/Germany)

Marek Kleciak

Who are you?

I'm half German half Polish. I'm living in Bavaria in Germany. I'm a car navigation professional responsible for innovation management. Previously I worked with navigation maps and city modelling. Years before I developed specifications for 3D city models for the German government in Hamburg. Then I started to work for one of the biggest car navigation companies. I made the first trials for 3D data acquisition with laser scanning used now e.g. in Here products. I also taught for 15 years constructive geometry and technical representation techniques at the Technical University in Hamburg. My hobbies are my family, 3D modeling, painting, photography, geography and molecular medicine. I decided to use the polish part of my full name instead of nickname because I believe, I have nothing to hide when I map.

When and how did you discover OpenStreetMap?

I heard about OSM already in 2004 because of my professional work and searching after alternatively map sources for car navigation, but I started participating actively only in 2008.

What do you map? Is there any difference with your early days?

I have probably the same story as a lot of mappers: in the beginning I mapped mostly things from my immediate surroundings, then other areas I know. After two years I decided to do mapping in some badly covered areas in developing countries.

How do you map ?

In the beginning I did some surveys but because of my professional and family duties I am now mostly an armchair mapper. I spent a lot of time improving the accuracy of the map.

Which tools do you use ?

For mapping: I use [JOSM](josm.openstreetmap.de), Potlatch2, OsmAnd, a digital camera and Field papers. For Q&A I use http://qa.poole.ch, keepright.at, OSM Inspector, and ITO World's map showing the last 90 days of edits.

Demo F4 Example

Demo F4 Example in Warsaw

For 3D modeling: Adobe Photoshop, ArchiCAD, and f4map. JOSM PlugIns: Kendzi3D, Kendzi3d_improved_by_Andrei, Shape Tools, CAD Tools, ContourOverlappingMerge, Tracer, PicLayer, Alignways, areaselector, buildings_tools – those plugins are the most important to me. But I use also the following plugins: DFX import, FastDraw, junctionchecking, Mapillary, measurement, merge-overlap, pdfimport, photoadjust, reverter, roadSigns, splinex, terracer, tracer2, utilsplugin2, walkingpapers.

Where do you map ?

I do mapping around the world. Previously mostly in Poland and Germany, but with time more and more in developing countries like Ruanda and Nepal. After the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 I did my mapping mostly there. The help is still needed.

What is your biggest achievement as mapper?

I have three points. First would be the organization of the Garching Workshop: I suggested there the mapping schema known now as Simple 3D Building. My good friend Kendzi, a very smart guy, developed based on this idea his plugin Kendzi3d. Now we have 3D maps.

Example 3D Building in Kendzi plugin

Example 3D Building in Kendzi plugin

Secondly the lobbying for OSM in Poland and the foundation of the OSM Poland association. As the result the polish mappers got access to the very accurate government aerial images.

Third: Specification of area:highway. Another smart mapper, marimil, has programmed the visualization. Now, we have over 82000 such areas in the map. Why is it so important in my opinion? First: a better look of the map on highest zoom level, secondly: this content can help to develop apps for automated driving.

Visualization of area:highway

Visualization of area:highway on osmapa.pl

Why do you map?

I love the idea of open source. I have teached the Kathmandu Living Labs team in Nepal before earthquake. They used this knowledge for production of maps for rescue teams after the earthquake.

What is the most difficult part of mapping ?

I don´t understand this question :-) In my eyes it is wonderful and easy to understand project. Maybe I´m too long in this business.

What are your mapping plans for the near future ?

I wish to improve the OSM map of Nepal. I like this beautiful country and nice, friendly Nepali. Especially mapping of forest areas is in my eyes of special value: Where are forests, there are no people. This knowledge is important for disaster management. And new earthquakes are very likely to happen in Nepal.

Map of Nepal

Map of Nepal in Humanitarian Style

Do you have contact with other mappers ?

Absolutely. Many of them. I know a lot of nice and addicted friends.

Do you use OpenStreetMap yourself ? How ?

I use it for navigation and biking.

Do you do anything else than mapping that is related to OpenStreetMap?

Yes, I try to write some specification for JOSM plugins I miss. Sometimes I find people that realize this ideas, as was the case with e.g. CAD Tools. I´m also working in my free time on the S3DB 2.0 specification. It would be great to have more detailed 3D models. I am also the member of advisory board of I-locate consortium which develops standards for indoor data. I am responsible for OSM content there.

To conclude, is there anything else you want to mention?

Don´t believe everything is already mapped and OSM becomes boring. There is still a lot, a whole lot to do!

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Download KMSpico 11 Windows Activator for Free Full Version

KMSPico 11 Activator ultimate windows and workplace

KMSPico eleven activator is a tool which is use to prompt home windows and Microsoft office. It's far most successful and one hundred% smooth tool. KMSPico is regularly up to date and set off the windows inside seconds. Many activators and loaders are to be had at the net however most of all aren't operating. Those 1/3 birthday celebration activators may harm your laptop. Humans get pissed off when the downloaded item is not working and their OS isn't always activated with such kind of loader. However KMSPico eleven solves this sort of trouble, especially applicable to OS and MS office and this is one hundred% smooth. It will by no means disappoint you.

KMSPico 11 Activator for windows and workplace free

KMSPico eleven is the most famous and perfect activator. It can prompt all of the modern day or older variations of working systems, which include the Servers as well as MS office. Even as the use of this, you do now not need any product or serial number for activation. Therefore, in case your enjoy changed into terrible about the other activators, you simply uninstall them and strive. Consequently, that is pleasant activator. So, you ought to attempt it now for you OS. Furthermore, that is the pleasant web page to down load KMS offline activator. Just click on the down load button, installation it and revel in. Download Kmspico 11 from here.

This tool is available within the market for a few years returned. However the modern is better than older. Similarly, new one helps the activation of home windows 10. This version additionally looks after windows updates. Many insects are fixed in new one.

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OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Rendering of Muslim cemeteries

While I was fixing a lot of stuff around Sarajevo, it occurred to me that we don't have a way to render Muslim cemeteries - an important landmark of the cityscape there, and in many other parts of the world too, I'm sure. Some big cemeteries are even divided into Christian and Muslim sections.
Adapting one the existing rendering patterns was easy enough. So, how does one officially propose a new to render an existing feature?

May 20 2017

OpenStreetMap User's Diaries: Fun with Google Tilt on Satellite Photos

We cannot (unfortunately) use Google Satellite to directly help us sketch buildings. I've spent the past 14 months using Bing (and now 2 weeks occasionally using DigitalGlobe) under JOSM to draw the outline of houses throughout Nottingham NG3/NG4. In my neck of the woods, DigitalGlobe is much newer, whilst Bing is less blurry, but Google normally knocks them both into a cocked hat, being both very new & as sharp as a pin (wistful sigh).

SomeoneElse showed me Google-3D — on a laptop/desktop hold down the <Ctrl> key whilst you use the mouse to move the satellite view & you will get 3D rather than 2D (I believe that this is accomplished using the 45° Imagery). I now use this imagery to re-walk the path that I took on my earlier survey + check the backs, etc. of the houses for all the bits that I could not see from the street when making the original survey.

In the past various MPGs have reacted with fury to me taking photographs in their vicinity (and have even tried to cause me serious injury), and there is a link between the location of these characters & missing sections of StreetView. I also know from many, many conversations just how common the irritation/anger is over Google's street photography work amongst Nottingham householders. This next bit will possibly cause their heads to explode.

In ordinary circumstances, pressing the + key on the Google Satellite view will eventually switch from overhead-satellite to StreetView (if it exists), and that change occurs in spite of the 2D/3D setting. I've discovered how to get closer without switching. Astonishingly close.

My latest survey has been within Regency Heights north of Gedling Country Park. On a handful of occasions, whilst flying around those streets using the Google Satellite view just above the switchover level, I've done something that has caused my 3D view to expand enormously. The 45° Imagery page speaks of “high-resolution imagery ... for certain locations”. I do not know how to switch up using the mouse, but this is how to do it via the URL.

The following links are all of Thurlestone Drive, Mapperley, and steadily get closer. Notice that the only parameter changing is the a (amplitude?). I'm also pretty sure that the t parameter is the angle:–

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,253a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,127a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,61a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,51a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,47a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,38a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.9955827,-1.0999802,33a,35y,144.57h,45t/data=!3m1!1e3

I thought at first that there may be ‘magic’ values for a, but not any longer. However, it is possible to choose certain combos where the result is a black image (no such tile?) or the sky. I think that you will agree that the closest results are astonishing.

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