[Talk-us] Temporary closures and OSMAnd offline map downloads

Jmapb jmapb at gmx.com
Thu May 30 20:52:01 UTC 2019

On 5/30/2019 4:22 PM, Abhijit Kshirsagar wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm an old OSM user and have recently moved to the US.
> What is the correct procedure to submit temporary (at least a few
> weeks long) road closures on OSM?
> Also, how long to changes typically take to make it to the
> downloadable maps that the cellphone apps (such as OSMAnd) use?
> Thanks in advance,
> Abhijit K
> Minneapolis, MN
Howdy Abhijit, and welcome to the US, and to Talk-US!

There was a related discussion on the tagging list earlier this month:


The considerations here have a lot to do with the duration of the
closure -- and this is closely related to the second question you asked,
about frequency of updates for the programs that use OSM data. This
frequency is entirely up to individual apps. For OSMAnd, I think it also
depends on what version you're using.

But it's highly likely that a snapshot of the map made today will still
be in use on some app or device months or even years from now. This is
one reason most people avoid tagging roads closed if the closure is

In the thread linked above, I proposed using the "conditional syntax" to
make a temporary road closure if the dates are known. It's mentioned in
the wiki, but not much seen in the wild. There's no way to add
approximate dates though. And it's unclear if any software will actually
parse these tags correctly.

Other than that, it's really a judgement call as far as when to close a
road. If you do and the road re-opens quickly, you risk some apps
thinking it's closed for a long time to come. If the road will be closed
for months, though, I'd say it's probably better to go ahead and close
it. (Be sure to add a fixme to help remind people to open it again.)

The truth is IMO we don't have a perfect way of dealing with this right


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