Reordering Field Values
Many fields take multiple, ordered values. For example, destinations on highway exits should typically be listed the way they appear on signage. You can now reorder these values via drag-and-drop. Simple!
This feature was originally submitted by Arjun Gupta.
Power Plant Feature Types
Different types of power stations are now easier to add, including solar and wind farms, nuclear and hydroelectric plants, and fossil fuel-burning facilities. Find out where your local power comes from and get it on the map 🔌
Various feature types sport new icons as part of our continued effort to keep features easily distinguishable. Also check out icons we added in v2.17.0.
You can download or contribute to iD’s public domain icons at the Temaki project.
Note to Developers
We’ve dropped support for Node 8, which reached end-of-life on December 31st, 2019. Node 10 or higher is now required when building iD.
As always, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who makes the iD community strong. Get involved!
Mapillary has long been integrated into OpenStreetMap editors, and we are evaluating how to increase the value of both the imagery contributed by our community as well as the data extracted from that imagery. As it stands, Mapillary’s world-renowned computer vision capabilities provide an excellent tool for fixing maps in an unusual way. Outside of Mapillary imagery, we are seeing machine learning applied toward satellite imagery and telemetry data to help map roads and buildings. The coupling of computer vision and street-level imagery, however, offers a better view of the detailed reality maps have often lacked.
The OpenStreetMap iD editor has been evolving at a fast pace in recent years, thanks to a strong user base, dedicated developers, and integrations from multiple partners. At State of the Map US 2019 in Minneapolis, the iD developers gave a preview of version 3 which is due to release sometime in 2020.
In the meantime, the user interface has already started changing, and late in 2019 this included the addition of a new Mapillary data layer called Map Features. This layer includes multiple classes of point data extracted from imagery uploaded to Mapillary. While a complete taxonomy of available point data is listed in our API documentation, we have only included such features as benches, street lights, and cross walks, which have a clear one to one match in the OSM tagging schema.
The result is a collection of useful new data to enrich OpenStreetMap. The most powerful aspect of this for mapping communities is that data collection becomes extremely efficient: simply walk, cycle, or drive down a street, and use the Mapillary mobile application to capture imagery. Upload the imagery, then when it is finished uploading, new map features will be extracted in the form of point data that can be overlaid on the map.
The map features layer can be activated in the Map Data menu. If you aren’t sure what an icon represents, simply hover over it for a hint. You can also click on the point and a Mapillary image looking at it will appear. This will help you verify that the map feature actually exists and see where it is positioned.
For example, we can check out a bench we detected from imagery near a city park. Clicking the bench, an image nearby loads up. Turning on the Mapillary image overlay, we can also see the location of this image.
In the corner of the image, we can zoom in on the bench to see it next to the basketball court. We can then add a point to the map where the bench is, which looks pretty correct, next to one of the basketball hoops. Notice that a box appears around the bench as well as a detected pole—the boxes indicate what features on the map are visible in the current image.
Also notice on the opposite side of the street there are some trash bins—these are temporary and dynamic features which the residents put on the street for trash collection, so we probably should not map those.
Once the bench has been added to the map, we can take advantage of the detail provided by the street-level imagery to confirm that the bench is made of wood and has a backrest. Once that’s saved, then we can move on and map more features.
You may notice with an initial test that map features are not displayed in your area. To fix this, simply click the
Request Data button to the right of the layer toggle.
While Mapillary traffic signs are automatically available everywhere globally by default, the other map features are available upon request. In the data request form, you can draw the area where you want to request data, or otherwise make a note to us that it’s a particular area name that you’re looking for, such as “Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires”. This helps make sure you get specific data for your own project, and we also hope to learn more about what you’re accomplishing with the data, and what feedback you have as a result. It’s suggested that you keep the data request to a limited geographic size, such as at the neighborhood level of a big city or the entire boundary of a small town.
Using Mapillary map features in OpenStreetMap comes with some caveats. The data quality depends entirely on the device used to capture it, and the methodology of the Mapillary contributor. If the person is capturing during a rainstorm or low light conditions, this can complicate the quality, while tall buildings in city centers such as Chicago might obscure GPS signal and place the images offset from the road, affecting the spatial position of extracted data.
If the GPS and camera lens are performing at their best, then the point data can be quite accurate. Remember that accuracy has multiple aspects: the positional accuracy and the classification accuracy.
We may correctly recognize a fire hydrant, but due to GPS issues it could be offset from the satellite image or reality by a few meters. OSM iD allows a great opportunity for the mapper to take a note of the detected data, and then reposition it more accurately according to local knowledge or other reference sources. Meanwhile, we may detect a utility pole, but it really might be the pole supporting a basketball hoop (notice in the example we used).
The classification accuracy is greatly improved if you verify the data beforehand using the Mapillary verifier tool. The tool allows you and your collaborators to verify the classifications in the images quickly and efficiently, then updates the map data to remove false positives. This can save you a great amount of time once you actually start adding the data to OpenStreetMap. Make sure to ask about this when you request data, and we can include links to verification projects for you. You can also set up a verification project on your own, prior to a data request.
Try to give good details in the data request, as you’ll be sending this to me so I can better understand what impact the data has and how to make it more valuable in the future. Once you’ve submitted the request, you’ll get a message saying it’s approved and you’re ready to start mapping!
Questions? Feedback? Ideas? Drop us a message!
Bridge and Tunnel Fixes
iD has flagged missing bridges and tunnels since version 2.14.0, but adding a structure to a road, railway, or waterway can be cumbersome.
You can now instantly add a bridge or tunnel to crossing ways with a single click. If needed, you can then drag the structure’s endpoints to set its length. This makes it easier for beginners and experts alike to fix crossings quickly and accurately
This feature was originally submitted by Katarzyna Król.
Previously, iD hid all data when zooming out past level 16. But some map features are huge! iD now maintains your selection at any zoom level, making it easy to see the big picture. Press the Z shortcut to zoom to the combined extent of all selected features.
While geometry editing is disabled at low zooms, you can still edit fields and navigate relations. Note that distant relation members are not loaded by default but you can get them manually.
footway=access_aisle tag proposed by Glassman was recently approved by wiki voters and is now supported by iD. Use the Access Aisle preset in parking lots to map zones designated for pedestrians, wheelchair users, and accessible van loading. These aisles are required by law in the United States, for example, and can be found in various forms throughout the world.
By connecting parking aisles to paths with these, we further close the gap between the vehicular and pedestrian sides of the routing network. Imagine a router that first gives driving directions to a parking lot and then continues with walking directions across a campus, park, mall, or train station.
Dozens of feature types have been updated with custom-drawn icons—just a few are previewed here. Great icons help mappers decipher unknown feature types and distinguish between similar ones, particularly across languages and cultures.
Most of the new icons are in the public domain. You can download them or contribute your own at iD’s icon project, Temaki.
Offline Country Coding
iD often needs to know what country a feature is located in. Address formats, phone number formats, most-spoken languages, speed limit units, and brand availability are all country-dependent in iD.
Before, iD would have to send a request to a geocoding server to get this data. Now, country codes are coded locally in your browser. This makes some UI components more responsive and reliable, especially when running iD offline or with a slow internet connection.
An option to disable icons served from third-party sites like Wikimedia Commons, Facebook, Twitter, and Gravatar has also been added. While icons from these sites are helpful for differentiating brands and user accounts, some mappers may prefer not to load them.
The Maxar Standard and Maxar Premium imagery layers have been removed from iD and all other OpenStreetMap editors due to an announced suspension of service.
Due to ambiguity issues raised by mappers, iD no longer offers to upgrade the tags
leisure=social_club. Since the meanings of these tags vary across the OpenStreetMap database, iD cannot be sure that upgrading them will always retain accurate information.
As always, thank you to all those people who submit code, translate, report issues, beta test, and map with iD ♥️. Our community drives the project. Get involved!
Entering 2020, we’re shifting our focus toward shipping iD v3. This major release will bring interface changes that speed up repetitive mapping tasks and surface advanced tools. For more info, watch our talk from State of the Map US 2019.
Since v3 will affect existing workflows, we’re planning a relatively long public testing, feedback, and release process. Stay tuned for more details!
“What’s up with iD?”
I’ve been asked this question countless times, in various forms, since becoming a full-time maintainer of the project last January. At times I even ask it myself. Keeping up with dozens of conversations about iD every single day—across GitHub, Slack, Twitter, mailing lists, and elsewhere—is a constant challenge.
What’s coming in the next version? Why was a particular change made? Where’s the app headed this year? The answers are often buried in one of 7000 GitHub posts or on some platform you don’t frequent.
Enter the iD Blog: a central place to find the what, how, and why behind iD.
Release overviews, deep dives into niche features, mapping tips and tricks, development insights, community news, upcoming events—if it’s iD-related at all then it could land here. Posting is also not restricted to maintainers. You may well see posts from contributors, mappers, and other community members.
Longtime mappers may now be thinking to themselves, “Didn’t iD already have a blog?” Indeed it did! Or rather, posts about iD used to appear regularly on Mapbox blogs. They tell an invaluable story about the early days of the project.
Let’s keep the story going.