[talk-ph] Trying out Merkaartor

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 20 02:11:50 GMT 2008

Hi guys,

After seeing someone using Merkaartor (http://www.merkaartor.org/) to edit
in OSM, I decided to give it a try last night. Before this, I've been
exclusively using Potlatch. Potlatch is a pretty good application and is
definitely the best Flash application I've ever seen but I quickly ran into
one of its limitations while I was doing Eastwood City and Bonifacio High
Street. The limitation is that at the highest zoom level, you cannot place
nodes more accurately: the nodes snap to a 3-pixel "grid". This 3-pixel grid
translates to a resolution of almost 3 feet at the latitude I'm working at.
This is more than good enough for roads, but not adequate for buildings.
(I'm kinda OC ["obsessive-compulsive", slang in Philippine English] when
mapping the details of buildings, and this limitation prevented me from
making nice right angles of small idented corners of buildings. See this
view of Bonifacio High Street for example:
I asked Richard, Potlatch's creator, about it and he acknowledged this
limitation (our conversation is at the OSM Wiki:

If you're using Potlatch, then Merkaartor gets some getting used to with
regards to its interface. The workflow is pretty much the same as in JOSM
(another OSM editor): you go to an area, download the data, edit at will,
then upload the changes. I like it because it doesn't have the
aforementioned 3-pixel limitation in, and in addition, it blows up the
Yahoo! map tiles if they're not available in a higher zoom level; Potlatch
just shows Yahoo!'s "We're sorry, the data you have requested is
unavailable" tiles. (I'm not sure if Merkaartor's behavior is allowed by
Yahoo!'s TOS).

I'll still continue to use Potlatch as a general editing tool since it's
pretty quick and I'm used to it. I'll just bring out Merkaartor if ever I
want some finely wrought detail. :-)

Eugene / seav
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