Automatic Data Updates - Runner edits in OpenStreet

I thought I would start this thread for updating OpenStreet Maps (OSM) in our cities. My intent isn’t to create a thread that is “I have this street, can you look at it?” but as a place to talk about the systemic nature of the interplay between CityStrides and OSM.

In trying to be a good citizen to both platforms, I am editing OSM to be accurate to the world around us, recognizing that OSM is used extensively for public and commercial applications that don’t include crazy runners trying to play global Pacman, and to that end,

I have a couple questions that may help kick this off to frame the issues:

  • How frequently does CS update from OSM?

  • What data is CS filtering out as non-runable? That is to say, it currently excludes freeways and driveways, but I’m seeing some service roads and private roads that haven’t filtered out. Is there a list that we could help collaborate on as to what is reasonable to expect a runner to accomplish?

  • Does anyone know the extent to which OSM is relied upon outside a bunch of map geeks? If we edit someone’s road to make it their driveway, is there a tie-in to state, provincial, county, city maps that we are screwing with? (I understand that each municipality may have a different reliance)

Learning OSM has been a fun exercise, but it is ultra powerful and I feel like a novice playing around in a very important sandbox. I just want to figure out the edges of CityStrides’ reliance on the data that we enter and how we can improve CS’ node management.

Thanks everyone!


There are a few posts on the information you are requesting here:

This one is the most important one, as it lays out @JamesChevalier’s requested procedure for tracking cahnges when cities are missing (the biggest single workload set when it comes to OSM editing)

It looks like a lot of the info you are talking about is either already in, or would make welcome additions to the OSM Wiki Post.

As for how often OSM edits are going to make their way into CS, this was at the top of the CS Development Roadmap before the surge of new memberships required Strava Sync and Garmin Integration to leapfrog it in priority.

If you search on “overpass” you will get a bunch of discussions James has shared in where he talks about how he brings new OSM data in and filters it. An overpass query is how James processes that and he is constantly making tweaks to it to improve it when things are learned or suggested.

Finally, it is in one of the other posts, but you might really enjoy the Slack channel where discussions can take place about OSM and Citystrides interplay with OSM.

On a more discussion-based note, I have had some of the same worries as you when doing edits - am I doing to much? Am I myopically editing it with CS in mind? Feedback I have gotten is - if something is marked as private IRL, and you change OSM to reflect that, you are OK, even if it looks like more than a driveway. Or if you mark a road that isn’t meant for pedestrians (even though it might not technically be illegal it is in reality not a street you should be walking on.

When James executed the changeover to OSM data, he had to reprocess every. single. account. it took weeks. There is till the odd account holder coming back after being gone for a while and saying “how come I don’t have any completed streets before September?” that was missed in the reprocessing. Hopefully James, with our help if/when he requests it, can come up with a solution that keeps everyone up-to-date with rolling or periodic updates.

The global update to OSM was done in September, so any private or foot=no streets you are seeing with nodes may have been updated since then, as the OSM data (a least for any cities that weren’t added since September) is from then and not yet updated.

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WOW! I need to get better at searching the forums before I stick my foot in my mouth. THANK YOU JP!

I’ll start reading up in the other threads and hop on Slack and keep my mouth shut for a little bit. :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

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Short version:

  • keep updating OSM all around the world, if it reflects the IRL situation better. So private road IRL? make it private in OSM etc. These small changes are easy to do
  • updating OSM changes to CS:I hope James can find time to make a (workable) solution for updating the changes from OSM to CS in 2020. (I am hoping on a monthly or 3-monthly update)
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I’ve taken a similar approach to editing OSM As above. I would say I end up editing after about 25-50% of runs - private ends of streets, incorrect alleys, lane numbers, lots of foot access issues with no sidewalks, fixing incorrect edits, etc.

Something I’ve found useful is in doing this is the “Manually Mark as Run” feature in CS. If I completely a street but missed a node in CS because it was behind a gate in private property, I fix OSM and mark it read. When CS gets updated eventually updated my % completion should remain the same as a result.

Lastly, here’s a plug for the OSM Slack, which has a CS channel - great place to get help editing!

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And this topic is really useful to know how OSM tags are processed by CS: Overpass Street Query

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Remember, even if CS isn’t being updated (yet) by your changes to OSM, a lot of other maps are. Rumor is that Garmin’s maps are based on OSM. I’m sure there are others. So any corrections you make to OSM will help others, even if CS doesn’t reflect your change.

Heck, if you have a Garmin device with mapping, you can easily add a portion of the OSM world map to your device for free. This means your device will be as up to date as the day you downloaded it rather than waiting for an official update.

So go ahead and make any and all corrections you can to OSM. As a runner, you’re getting an up close view of reality vs the map.

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