Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
LinusR
Posts: 299
Joined: 24 May 2017, 7:27pm
Location: London
Contact:

Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby LinusR » 14 May 2019, 6:59pm

I was working out a route to lead a ride in central London when I found a hidden message on Open Cycle Map - can anyone tell me what it means? And are there any more hidden messages on OSM? [moderator note: link includes profanity] https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29979906 :oops:

Any help much appreciated.

Vitara
Posts: 189
Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby Vitara » 14 May 2019, 8:09pm

The meaning is fairly obvious :D
Whether or not it is accurate is another question?
Wikipedia lists someone of that name as an Argentinian professional football player, but the entry does not elaborate beyond that.


I would imagine it's quite easy to mess about with OSM in this way if you're minded to do so.

AndyK
Posts: 795
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 2:08pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby AndyK » 14 May 2019, 9:37pm

I've just deleted it on OpenStreetmap. During the same editing session, that user also labelled a Tibetan meditation centre in Bermondsey as a "Warehouse", so I doubt there's going to be an interesting story behind the Lucas Fernandez entry. I think it still takes a day or two for changes to percolate through to OpenCycleMap.

And yes, it is easy to mess about with it. So there are probably lots of messages tucked away at any given time, but there's always someone else getting rid of them.

User avatar
LinusR
Posts: 299
Joined: 24 May 2017, 7:27pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby LinusR » 14 May 2019, 9:49pm

AndyK wrote:And yes, it is easy to mess about with it. So there are probably lots of messages tucked away at any given time, but there's always someone else getting rid of them.


I've always thought that a moderator had to approve any changes to the Open Street Map before they're published. Obviously not. Thanks for removing it.

AndyK
Posts: 795
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 2:08pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby AndyK » 14 May 2019, 10:11pm

LinusR wrote:
AndyK wrote:And yes, it is easy to mess about with it. So there are probably lots of messages tucked away at any given time, but there's always someone else getting rid of them.


I've always thought that a moderator had to approve any changes to the Open Street Map before they're published. Obviously not. Thanks for removing it.

I am not an expert (though I've done a bit of editing) but I think there is no enforced moderation. When you submit a change you can choose to flag it for review, and I've done that with some fiddly junction priority changes where I felt unsure if I'd done it correctly. Obviously if you're having a laugh, you're not going to request moderation.

TBH with this one I should probably have gone through a process of contacting the person who created the node to ask them if they were sure it was correct ("Are you certain that there's a cafe named 'Lucas Fernandez is a ****' at this location? And is he definitely a ****?"), but in this case it's a pretty safe bet it isn't. As a user of OSM data, I feel that whenever I think "someone should correct that", I ought to make an effort to be that someone.

boris
Posts: 422
Joined: 5 Nov 2010, 1:58pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby boris » 15 May 2019, 11:15am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_street
'

Some years ago was made aware that map-makers often protect their copyright by putting something on the map which is purely invented by that mapper so that if anyone copies the map it can be proved .It could be that, but it seems a bit too obvious. When I have seen examples they were just a road junction or village that did not exist.


In an edition of the BBC Two programme Map Man, first broadcast 17 October 2005, a spokesperson for the Geographers' A-Z Map Company claimed there are "about 100" trap streets included in the London A-Z Street atlas. One such street, "Bartlett Place", a genuine but misnamed walkway (named after Kieran Bartlett, an employee at Geographers’ A-Z Map Company), was identified in the programme and will appear in future editions under its real name, Broadway Walk.

It has been suggested that Google Earth placed Sandy Island, New Caledonia as the geographical analog to a trap street, although historical evidence implies that it originated as a cartographical error and Google simply passed the error along.

AndyK
Posts: 795
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 2:08pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby AndyK » 15 May 2019, 4:06pm

Trap streets aren't really something that OpenStreetMap does: anyone is free to copy the data for free provided they acknowledge it, so there's no real benefit to "pirating" OSM information as there's no licence fee to avoid.

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9585
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby horizon » 15 May 2019, 4:17pm

Is Open Cycle Map a separate entity in its own right? Or are we referring generally to Open Street Map here?

More info here:

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenCycleMap
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1399
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Cycle Map

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 15 May 2019, 5:56pm

OpenCycleMap is just a "view" on the OpenStreetMap database, choosing to highlight some features and not others. There are hundreds of such views - in fact almost all online bike maps and route-planners are based on either Google or OSM, and if it doesn't look like Google then it's probably OSM. The data used by OCM is OpenStreetMap data, as is the data used by cycle.travel, CycleStreets, Komoot and so on.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9585
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby horizon » 15 May 2019, 6:45pm

But surely it's doing a bit more than that in that the "graffiti" doesn't appear on OSM, only on OCM? Unless of course you are able to edit OCM as well/separately and someone has taken the opportunity to do that.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1399
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 15 May 2019, 7:02pm

You can't edit OCM separately. But third-party sites pull data from the main OpenStreetMap database at different times: OpenCycleMap usually lags a few days behind the main OSM database, cycle.travel updates every month or so, and so on. I suspect the graffiti has already been deleted from OSM but OCM hasn't picked up the deletion yet.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

AndyK
Posts: 795
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 2:08pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby AndyK » 15 May 2019, 7:15pm

horizon wrote:But surely it's doing a bit more than that in that the "graffiti" doesn't appear on OSM, only on OCM? Unless of course you are able to edit OCM as well/separately and someone has taken the opportunity to do that.

Well... interesting, that. The dodgy location we're talking about was marked as a cafe, so it should have appeared on both OSM and OCM. OCM tends to make cafes very prominent on the map (along with bike shops and pubs, of course), so you will see cafes appearing on OCM when zoomed out, but have to zoom in closer before they become visible on the standard OSM view.

However the cafe's name included a four-letter word beginning with 'c' which I won't reproduce here as it's against forum rules.

When I went in to edit it, the cafe name was already flagged with a "profanity" tag. This flagging is done by an automated process which trawls through the OSM database looking for naughty words in location names and flagging them like this. It doesn't remove them, it just puts this tag on them. A developer creating their own map based on the OSM database can decide whether to take any notice of it or not.

So, it may be that the "standard" OSM view chooses to filter out any name flagged as containing a profanity, while the cycle map view (or OpenCycleMap) is a bit looser with its censorship.

There's an obvious way to test this but I'm not going to. :D

[Edited to make more sense...]
Last edited by AndyK on 15 May 2019, 7:33pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13790
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby mjr » 15 May 2019, 7:24pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:[...] OpenCycleMap usually lags a few days behind the main OSM database [...]

Last month, it seemed to me that it was taking about three weeks for OSM edits to appear on OCM tiles.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

AndyK
Posts: 795
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 2:08pm

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby AndyK » 15 May 2019, 9:21pm

mjr wrote:
Richard Fairhurst wrote:[...] OpenCycleMap usually lags a few days behind the main OSM database [...]

Last month, it seemed to me that it was taking about three weeks for OSM edits to appear on OCM tiles.

There is no simple answer, apparently. According to the wiki:
Update cycle
The database (as of May 2010) is updated using diff updates, and on average is updated about every two weeks.

While the database could be updated more frequently than that (it has run hourly, in the past), there is always a huge backlog of tiles that need refreshing. Refreshing the tiles takes a few days. The system is self-correcting in that the more popular the tile, the sooner it gets refreshed. But lower zoom levels (5 to 9) may be kept frozen for longer periods.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1399
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Hidden message(s) on Open Street Map

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 15 May 2019, 11:33pm

Andy (who runs OpenCycleMap, and who's a friend) has entirely rebuilt his tile-serving infrastructure in the last couple of years. I don't know the specifics of it (well, bits and bobs) but it probably depends on customer demand for his map tile business, thunderforest.com, and how much hardware he's devoted to it at a given time. He has a vast array of Hetzner boxes that make my two servers for cycle.travel look rather puny!
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides