Roadgeek Thread 2017

Because there's actually quite a few of us here now.

Does anyone have experience with OpenStreetMap? What's the best editor for it? How hard is it to construct roads and roundabouts with just a GPS trace when the Bing satellite map is out of date?
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Comments

  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    I prefer to use JOSM but there's a slight learning curve to it. The in-browser editors are pretty easy to just pick up and use. I know Potlatch made it easy to see any GPS traces in the editing area which had been uploaded to the site, and I suspect iD also has this capability. In JOSM you can do basically that, or simply load your local GPX file as a layer.

    I need to fix my JOSM installation…
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    My only qualm with JOSM is that it requires...Java
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Westerville thankfully seems to have dropped the ridiculous oversized initial thing from their street blades.

    January 2013:
    image

    Today:
    image
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    It's like someone took a closer look at the MUTCD
  • edited 2017-01-25 05:14:18
    “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Normally I chalk the oversized initial caps up to misreading of the MUTCD, but the fact that they did both oversized and normal caps on the same sign ("W Main St") made it seem like a deliberate thing, which was confusing. 
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    Yeah I think more often than not on street blades it's intentional, but also they're not compressing the font anymore most of the time
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Compressed type was always a pet peeve of mine, especially since it's something that only really came along when computers came along and made it easy to manipulate fonts that way.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    I uploaded some GPS traces to OSM and, like...

    image

    ...yeah, that gives me the alignment of the road, but not enough information to actually construct the roundabouts

    These were just traces I made while passing through...I get the impression that if I want the actual roundabouts I'm going to have to go out specifically to get traces, by driving through every possible approach
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    Yeah, I always try to drive through the roundabout at least once in each direction, sometimes several times so I can sort of draw an average line. I also follow the philosophy of a roundabout being four closely-spaced, yield-controlled intersections, and that influences how I draw them on the map.
  • vtkvtk
    edited 2017-01-27 03:36:27
    embrace the confusion
    Roundabout / ring-of-intersections equivalency illustration:
    image
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion

    I uploaded some GPS traces to OSM and, like...

    image

    ...yeah, that gives me the alignment of the road, but not enough information to actually construct the roundabouts

    These were just traces I made while passing through...I get the impression that if I want the actual roundabouts I'm going to have to go out specifically to get traces, by driving through every possible approach
    Okay, I didn't see these before tonight because they didn't show up on my mobile device for some reason.  Those are some pretty janky traces.  I suggest checking the settings in whatever program records your trace.  The sampling interval should be like 1s, with no minimum distance between recorded samples.  Also, put your recording device (or the GPS antenna if external) up on the dashboard so it gets a clear view of the sky through the windshield.
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    Also, here's a thing I did like a year or two ago:
    image

    What's cool is I couldn't remember the URL so I did a Google Image Search for "two way left turn lane" and it's in the first few dozen results.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Oh good, I'm not the only one with that pet peeve.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    As for the traces...yeah, I need to improve their accuracy. The problem is you can't tell the quality of the trace until you get home and view it. :P
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    Oh so this is where the sloppy traces come from! I never knew that. Not meaning to demean -- I was always wondering why someone wouldn't have done it better but if it's coming from a GPS trying to automate it it makes a lot more sense.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    I didn't know you used OSM, Glenn.
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.

    I didn't know you used OSM, Glenn.

    I've touched it a few times, mainly as part of "map-a-thon" contests at my school.
  • vtkvtk
    edited 2017-01-28 18:26:48
    embrace the confusion
    I finally got around to updating Java so JOSM works again*, and I just updated the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge to reflect southbound traffic on the new span. And then I corrected the location of a graveyard that had previously been shown in the middle of the freeway.

    *JOSM doesn't auto-update, so I probably broke it myself in the first place by updating it without realizing a new Java version was required
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    You can't just...leave inoperable signal heads uncovered like that. Legally that would make this an all-way stop, I suppose.

    Though what's even funnier is the elaborate traffic signal setup for the dead-end. The "no turn on red" makes me laugh every time.
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    What really bugs me about that part of Marion is if you're coming from 23 and miss the turn onto McMahan, you'd think you could get to Arby's from the Office Depot parking lot, but no. There's a place where those lots connect to the McMahan backage road, but there's giant concrete blocks in the way.  So instead you have to go back out to the super busy 95 and make two left turns.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    I think I found what you're talking about.

    That was always a pet peeve of mine: properties with adjoining pavement that's then arbitrarily blocked off.

    I can think of an apartment complex in Reynoldsburg that did a similar thing.
  • edited 2017-02-03 04:09:41
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    So anyway, I was doing a thought experiment, and see if there was any way at all to get to NYC without paying some sort of toll. So far, the best route I've been able to come up with from, say, Virginia is a thoroughly unpleasant one that goes up I-81 all the way to Binghamton, then takes I-88 to what seems to be the only non-toll Hudson crossing there is, in Albany. And then you get to take US 9 all the way down, because the connection to the Taconic State Parkway is tolled. >.<

    If you don't want to bother with all that, the best you can do is Jersey City, NJ via I-78. Though at least you can take PATH from there and leave your car.
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    lee4hmz said:

    So anyway, I was doing a thought experiment, and see if there was any way at all to get to NYC without paying some sort of toll. So far, the best route I've been able to come up with from, say, Virginia is a thoroughly unpleasant one that goes up I-81 all the way to Binghamton, then takes I-88 to what seems to be the only non-toll Hudson crossing there is, in Albany. And then you get to take US 9 all the way down, because the connection to the Taconic State Parkway is tolled. >.<


    If you don't want to bother with all that, the best you can do is Jersey City, NJ via I-78. Though at least you can take PATH from there and leave your car.
    I drove a route from Hartford to Fairfax and back several times, using mainly I-95.  Here's what I remember:
    * Maryland bridge toll: this one's sorta complicated to avoid, and involves going south to US-40's bridge instead or (if that one has a toll) going north all the way to Conowingo Rd (US-1).
    * Delaware toll at exit 1: this one's ridiculously easy to avoid.  Just take exit 1 or 109 and use Otts Chapel Road and Elkton Road to bypass the toll booth.
    * New Jersey Turnpike: to avoid this one, follow "real I-95" and go through Pennsylvania instead of New Jersey.  I haven't charted the full course for this toll skip yet though.  I'm pretty sure it involves some non-expressway roads.
    * George Washington Bridge / NYC: This one's also very complicated.  You can either go around NYC completely, and then approach NYC from the Bronx or Connecticut side, or I think there may be like one or two non-expressway bridges that are non-toll.
  • edited 2017-02-03 19:41:33
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Yeah, the hard part is all the bridges over the Hudson. Oh, and I-87 north of town is tolled.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    If I feed it to the Google and tell it to avoid tolls, it goes I-270>US 15>I-81>I-78 and then says "screw it" and sends you over the Holland Tunnel.
  • edited 2017-02-03 19:51:01
    THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    The more circuitous route would take you hundreds of miles out of your way. It's pretty much a non-starter unless you already live close to the Taconic State Parkway. If you're in Jersey or Long Island, you're still screwed.
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    yeah so much for tolls being a progressive tax
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    I just stumbled on this gem on my hard drive.  Pretty sure this was on Broad St heading east.  This sign is no longer in service.
    image
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    There's a road in Arizona named Devil Dog Road.  It's got an exit on I-40, a bit west of Williams I think.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    @vtk: So as far as I can tell, there are three major generations of I-270 signage as far as control cities go.

    • Columbus suburbs (e.g. the Dublin / Grove City pictured above)
    • Major regional cities via I-70 or I-71 (e.g. Cleveland, Cincinnati...with the additional note that I-70 WB's was changed from "Indianapolis" to "Dayton" sometime around the '90s)
    • No control cities at all! (The most recent signage since 2013-14 or so, with just shield and cardinal direction)

    I still haven't figured out why they dropped city names entirely, but there it is.

    Does that sound about right?
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    Yeah, that's it as far as I know.
  • THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS
    Speaking of no control cities, here's an example from Virginia (who are usually pretty good about them). 
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    @lee4hmz Here's a quick before-and-after from OH 16 / E. Broad Street. The signage with no city names just looks weird to me.

    image
    image

    image
    image
  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion


    image


    That sign for 270 south had some serious layout problems anyway.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Yeah it was pretty bad.
  • edited 2017-02-22 21:32:23
    “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Random stuff found while looking through my 2013 photos:

    Generic round shield for OH 161. This is on US 23 northbound in Worthington.
    image

    Times New Roman street name sign (ugh).
    image

    I don't think that's how this works.
    image

    I don't think this sign is there anymore, but I was amused with the blank space left when "A-B" was removed from "EXIT 26 A-B" after the I-71 interchange was rebuilt.

    image

    I'm not sure this is right, either? But at least it kinda makes sense because you might otherwise expect a grade-separated interchange instead of an at-grade crossroads.
    image
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    Why is the JCT 53 sign not right?
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    The weird T arrow is nonstandard, and... kind of confusing? It seems to imply that you're already on OH 53, and yet OH 53 goes to both the left and right ahead. (You're actually on US 224, and OH 53 is just a regular crossroads ahead.)

    Unrelated: It's kind of amusing to me that every map I've ever seen ignores that Worthington signs their stretch of OH 161 as "Granville Rd" instead of "Dublin-Granville Rd" like the rest of Franklin County...including the official County Engineer's map. (pdf warning)
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.

    The weird T arrow is nonstandard, and... kind of confusing? It seems to imply that you're already on OH 53, and yet OH 53 goes to both the left and right ahead. (You're actually on US 224, and OH 53 is just a regular crossroads ahead.)

    Ah, fair enough.

    I figured (correctly) you were on a different road.

    Is the intersection actually a three-way intersection, though?
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    No, it's a four-way intersection.

    Here's the sign in context. You can judge for yourself whether the meaning would be clear to you, I guess.
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    I think its meaning is clear, aside from suggesting a 3-way intersection.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Courtesy of Google Street View: Two different ways to make a white shield stand out on a white sign background.

    image

    I prefer the one on the left, though @Ikaheishi has suggested the one on the right might look better with a thicker outline.
  • Thou shalt not be afraid; I am with you.
    The US 40 badge on the right needs a thicker outline, definitely.

    On the left, "USE TOWN ST EXIT" isn't properly spaced out to be fully clear.
  • Sup bitches, witches, Haters, and trolls.
    I'd prefer the one on the right if it had a thicker outline I think
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    Things I need to get a picture of: the "TO I-70" assembly on the way out of Eastland Mall that has an Interstate shield on a white square with series C numerals.

    Granted, it's not the worst I-70 shield I've seen. This one might be:

    image
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    It seems like some agencies (and/or their contractors) treat all signs with ROAD CLOSED interchangeably. Like this 2012 New Albany, Ohio closure. This point was impassable; US 62 at this intersection was very much not open to "local traffic".

    image

  • It seems like some agencies (and/or their contractors) treat all signs with ROAD CLOSED interchangeably. Like this 2012 New Albany, Ohio closure. This point was impassable; US 62 at this intersection was very much not open to "local traffic".

    I've also seen the reverse, with straight-up ROAD CLOSED being used when they clearly intend drivers to be able to access properties that fall between the intersection and the point of closure.

    I've seen the latter and other incorrect signage put up by contractors way too many times here in California. So much that I can't even think of a specific example off the top of my head, even though I vaguely recall seeing such just a few weeks ago.

  • vtkvtk
    embrace the confusion
    And then there's this

    https://goo.gl/maps/vb4rHrLYfTJ2

    (If not obvious, look south from the intersection)
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    image

    Well...ok.
  • “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl
    It's not on Street View yet, but...the overhead sign at the US-33/OH-161/OH-257 roundabout in Dublin. Good gravy. Way too much information packed onto the sign to be able to get it all at a glance as you drive past.
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