[OSM-dev] User-friendly interface to OSM POIs

Shaun McDonald shaun at shaunmcdonald.me.uk
Sat Oct 30 01:37:05 BST 2010

You won't want to query the OSM API directly, you could use something like Nominatim or CloudMade's API which is designed for these types of queries. 

For adding the data to OSM, you may want to Look at the CloudMade POI Collector on iPhone, or Potlatch 2, which both abstract the tags away into nice categories etc.


On 29 Oct 2010, at 17:41, Nolan Darilek wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> My OSM-based navigation app is finally maturing to the point where users
> can add POIs, and I hope to add search soon. Only, in diving into the
> OSM recommendations on tagging map features, I'm having a hard time
> wrapping my mind around how users might search for points, or easily
> contribute them to the OSM database.
> Say, for instance, a user wishes to search for nearby restaurants. How
> might one design a search interface that queries an OSM database for
> this information?
> At the moment, I'm using a freeform text box that sends a query to
> multiple back-end agents. Current candidates are Yahoo's geocoding API
> for addresses and, if I'm allowed to do so by its TOS, Mapquest's API
> for nearby POIs.
> But say someone types in "restaurants". I'm not sure how to transition
> from that to a meaningful OSM query. Singularize it, obviously, but the
> features page would seem to indicate that searching for
> "amenity=restaurant" isn't enough. Leaving aside the issue of whether or
> not fast food is in fact food, I'd also have to search for that, plus
> food_court and maybe a few others I've missed. And that's just for the
> case of wanting to find a restaurant. I'm sure there are more that I've
> missed, where a common category would translate into several
> combinations of tag queries.
> So I'm wondering how people have implemented this, if anyone in fact
> has? Right now it seems like I'd have to map common words like
> "restaurant" to combinations of tag queries. Has anyone created such a
> list of category keywords and mappings? Many can be intelligently
> handled I'm sure, but there are likely quite a few that would need to
> search multiple tag combinations to provide the most meaningful results.
> Or maybe this freeform text field isn't the best approach and instead I
> should just have a dropdown list of categories?
> The problem is similar for adding points. I want to give users the
> ability to add their own tags, and to see all the tags assigned to a
> given point, but it'd be great if I could just click a button or
> something and have my app request information specific to a given tag
> type. Has anyone had success with a UI for doing this, and if so, again
> has some sort of tag mapping been created (I.e. "the
> "amenity=restaurant" tag is related to cuisine, so allow that to be
> entered if desired.)
> Thanks.
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