[HOT] QGIS and OSM and..

Phil (The Geek) Wyatt phil at wyatt-family.com
Mon May 11 08:22:47 UTC 2015

Hi Springfield,


I am not sure of the actual number of tiles. I did this as a minimalist
example of what is possible. Given the file is now 6 hours old it's likely
there have been many edits already by other mappers. The file was simply a
QGIS filter of all those polygons with "leisure=common" as an attribute. 


The instructions in the task manager were to mark up any possible helicopter
sites with such tags.


http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/1023 - also check the instructions Tab


On review some of these areas may be edited to circles, get tags  to include
"aeroway=helipad" or other tags. That's up to the task managers or maybe the




You could certainly edit the kml file (or turn it in to another format in
QGIS or maybe manifold) and then add another field to have clickable links
to the actual way in OSM (as in the format above). All that is possible but
just remember there may be many others using overpass turbo, task manager,
checking tags, validating and adding more areas all the time. #1023 is now
92% complete


Cheers - Phil



From: Springfield Harrison [mailto:stellargps at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, 11 May 2015 5:39 PM
To: Phil (The Geek) Wyatt; 'Michael'; 'HOT'
Subject: RE: [HOT] QGIS and OSM and..


Hello Phil & Michael,

        Thanks for the quick reply, my apologies for not seeing the KML file
you attached.  It opens fine in Manifold but only has text comments so
querying for helipad is difficult.  However, just did that and got 17
possible and probable helipads from the 1444 records.  How many tiles does
that represent do you think?

        I just noticed that you indicate around 1400 potential helipad
sites.  However, only 17 are flagged as such and 1401 have no information in
them whatsoever.  None of them have any key/value attributes, how were these
records actually generated?  Can I assume that they are either
aeroway/helipad or leisure/common?  It would be nice to know which is which.
Have any been validated and how is that shown?  Sorry for all the questions
but the pedigree for this file seems a bit sketchy.

        Thanks for your comments.  You may be right about QGIS, I'm not that
familiar with it but I know that it happily opens many of my local
shapefiles with no issues.

        Yes, JOSM was running under remote control but the transfer of data
from turbo failed with cryptic error messages.

        My intent, actually suggested by someone else from OSM, is to
inspect existing helipad candidates, and possibly find more, using the
better reconnaissance capabilities inherent in Google Earth.  I think it
would be important to have the tile grid boundaries for that.

        Anyway, this may or may not be a good idea but I thought it showed
promise.  I will overlay your file on Google Earth tomorrow and let you know
how things look.  It may not be right away as I am well behind on other
things now.

                 Thanks again to all, Cheers . . . . . . . . Spring Harrison

At 10-05-2015 23:42 Sunday, Phil \(The Geek\) Wyatt wrote:

From: Springfield Harrison [mailto <mailto:stellargps at gmail.com>
:stellargps at gmail.com <mailto:stellargps at gmail.com> ] 
Sent: Monday, 11 May 2015 3:43 PM
To: Michael; 'HOT'
Subject: Re: [HOT] QGIS and OSM and..
Hello Michael,

Thanks for your reply.

So you are confirming that downloading OSM data through JSOM is a waste of
time? I wish I had known this earlier. I was advised that it would download
all of Nepal but that doesn't seem to be the case.
JOSM is really just an editor for doing small area changes to OSM data - its
not designed for country editing. QGIS however, can download any area in the
world (subject to your bandwidth and hard disc size)

I tried the open street map data link that you provided. It shows some
promise but I haven't looked at the data yet. [Just looked at some of those
shapefiles, they do load and display in QGIS. However, when I tried to
change the symbology for the helipads, they all disappeared. WTF?]
OK - thats likely a QGIS issue - nothing to do with OSM

I also stumbled upon the HOT Export site. It is very convoluted but also
shows promise once one figures out the myriad of options. Creating presets
would be helped enormously if there were drop-down lists for the keys and
their values. My last attempt here failed, probably due to bad
capitalization or some such. It looks like a dog's breakfast.

Now I see your reference to Overpass Turbo, hopefully not another blind
alley. Simply downloading data in OSM is anything but streamlined. The
key/value concept seems to complicate things considerably. What is the
benefit of that system?

I have fired up Overpass Turbo. Used the wizard to create and run a query
but the export options only offers some less than useful choices. GPX and
KML files are of limited use in a GIS and I don't recognize any of the other
files. The geojson file was only recognized by QGIS but it would not
Make sure JOSN is running (with remote control turned on) and then use the
Overpass turbo export "load data into an OSM editor:
<http://overpass-turbo.eu/> JOSM , Level0". Then in JOSN you can edit away
as required

Then I tried the KML and GPX files. I'm QGIS the KML file was listed but not
accepted for viewing; the GPX layers were accepted but would not display. In
JSON the KML file was not recognized and GPX file would not display.
Most of this sounds like QGIS issues/familiarity not OSM issues.

If I recall correctly, the option to send the query results directly to JSON
failed also.

This is a huge amount of trial and error with very little, almost nothing,
to show for two late nights. I appreciate everyone's attempt to help, and
have read many wiki pages but she's all uphill.

My intention is very simple -
.        download a shapefile of the Nepal task tiles
.        download a shapefile of the potential and actual helipads [this
might have been achieved with the Hot Export, the many attempts are all
blurring together now]
.        possibly download a shapefile of other features
The question here is "what do you want to do with the data after you have
it?" We can suggest the best tools if we know what the whole job actually
is. I have sent you a KML file of Leisure=common sites (around 1400
potential helipad sites) that you could use in Google Earth (as you
previously mentioned that it would help you define better landing sites). I
have also suggested how you can then edit them again via OSM.
There is not a quick process to take masses of data out of OSM, edit it
offline, and then reimport it with validation ...especially whilst there are
so many folks editing during an activation.
If someone can outline a GUARANTEED process to achieve that I would be most
appreciative. In most GIS environments, these are everyday activities
accomplished with a few mouse clicks. In many years, I don't think I have
ever seen such a complex mishmash of GIS tools.
Yep, each set of tools and software have their uses, foibles and learning
curve - personally I use Mapinfo, QGIS, FME, OSM, JOSM Editor, ID Editor,
Google Earth, Oziexplorer, Mapsource, Basecamp and occasionally even ESRI
products (even Manifold years ago!). Sometimes a combination of tools gives
the best result.

        Thanks very much, Cheers . . . . . . . . Spring Harrison

At 10-05-2015 10:33 Sunday, Michael wrote:

Hi Spring,

Am 10.05.2015 um 10:47 schrieb Springfield Harrison:

Further bad news, trying to download OSM through JOSM yielded the following

/The OSM server 'api.openstreetmap.org' reported a bad request.

The area you tried to download is too big or your request was too large.
Either request a smaller area or use an export file provided by the OSM

I am afraid but this is standard behavior in any editor. Basically this is
not the way to go if you actually want to download OSM data for consumption.

/Does this process usually work? Is it not possible to simply get a
of this information and avoid all the multiple file type rigmarole?

If you actually want a shapefile for all of Nepal I would recommend using
one of the available downloads listed on

But if you are only interested in some feature you should have a look at
Overpass Turbo. This allows to download filtered results.
http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/9hb is a sample query for aeroway=helipad in the
area showed in the map. But unfortunately this will not yield shapefiles.
Also the query language requires to go through some learning curve if you
want to create a bit more complex queries.

        Michael (user Ohr)

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