[OSM-dev] Attributes info in GPX track to upload to OSM?

Emilien Klein emilien+osm at klein.st
Wed Sep 29 15:26:49 BST 2010

Hi Potlatch devs,

I sent the forwarded message to OSM devs yesterday, but now realize
(thanks Shaun) that this is more a request for the editors than for

The details are in the forwarded mail, but the big line is:
Is there an agreed-upon way to put "OSM-compliant" tags in a GPX track
so that when opened with an editor (such as Potlatch) the POIs would
contain the right tags instead of just a "name" tag?

I was thinking about maybe creating a custom GPX extension where
OSM-compliant tags could be stored by the application. Those could
then be understood by the different OSM editors.

I located a spot in Potlatch 1's code [1] where such an adaptation
could be done, but looking at Potlatch 2 [2] it's not completely clear
to me which of the GPX nodes are retrieved/displayed in Potlatch.

Could such a feature be added to Potlatch? It would greatly improve
the workflow for people tagging POIs in their GPS logging applications
(OSMTracker for Android in my case, but this could be supported by the
other applications out there).


[1] http://trac.openstreetmap.org/browser/applications/editors/potlatch/gps.as#L63
[2] http://trac.openstreetmap.org/browser/applications/editors/potlatch2/net/systemeD/potlatch2/utils/GpxImporter.as

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Emilien Klein <emilien+osm at klein.st>
Date: 2010/9/28
Subject: Attributes info in GPX track to upload to OSM?
To: dev at openstreetmap.org

Hi devs,

I am a happy user of OSMTracker for Android to record my GPS tracks.
However, once the GPX tracks are uploaded to OSM, the POIs show up
with the interesting part in the "name" attribute, like this:

ele: <number>
name: Post box

This happens because the info is saved like this in the GPX file:

      <wpt lat="LAT" lon="LON">
              <name><![CDATA[Post box]]></name>

I would love OSMTracker for Android to generate a GPX file that once
uploaded to OSM would already contain the right "osm-compliant" tags
("osm-compliant" as in "defined on the Map Features wiki page").
Quickly sifting through the GPX documentation [1], it seems to me that
such a thing is not directly supported (no custom-named XML node).

My question is if there's a way to make such a thing work. Some ideas:
- Is there any OSM-specific extension defined to pass such information?
- Or is there an agreed-upon way of putting that information in for
instance the "desc" element? I could imagine some kind of
CSV-formatted way of putting that info in the desc, like this:

              <desc>"amenity: post_box","OTHER_ATTRIBUTE:

In case such a mechanism does not already exist, would it be a
possible feature? This would come in handy for OSM-specific
applications (such as OSMTracker for Android. the original OSMTracker
for Windows mobile, etc) and would be beneficial to the users that
upload tracks to OSM.

FYI the original bug was reported at [2].


[1] http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/1/#type_wptType
[2] http://code.google.com/p/osmtracker-android/issues/detail?id=55

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