Alessa's diary

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Mapper's Challenge #17 — February 2018 — Healthcare

Posted by Alessa on 2 February 2018 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, everyone!

I trust you all had a wonderful beginning to the new year. As you may have (or may not have) noticed, there was no January challenge. The reason is the impetus for this month's challenge: healthcare.

Quick backstory: at the beginning of the new year, an incident happened through no fault of my own, and I was quite heavily injured. I'm about 75% recovered, and things are getting steadily getting better. The result of the injury took me away from everything for a touch more than two weeks, including OGF. Hence, no January challenge. When I came back, the whole ordeal made me think about how we do healthcare on OGF. Every country is different, and each culture is different. I thought it might be time for a challenge here!

And away we go!

For this month, your challenge is to do something related to healthcare. It could be a hospital, clinic, outpatient practice, pharmacy, surgery center, spa, or even something else. If there is a cultural medicine tradition or a naturalist practice, go ahead and add that! Be creative and have it fit with your country's culture.

This is a surprisingly hard challenge, however. Remember that not every small town of 3000 people is going to have a hospital. Clinics and urgent-care centers (as they're called in North America) are often fairly evenly spaced but clustered around population centers. Emergency vehicles need to be able to easily get in and out of many of these facilities too. Consider your traffic flow and where accessible junctions are. Pharmacies are easier to place, but it also depends on how much that country's government regulates the industry. In other words, placing healthcare facilities means that the community it's being placed in is relatively planned out already.

If you're looking for something even more advanced and have a metropolitan area to work with, try to build an entire healthcare network: a couple hospitals, scattered outpatient practices, a surgery center, some pharmacies and clinics, etc. Remember that these places will need to be spaced enough to not compete with each other but close enough together to cover the population. If you are in a heavily-regulated country or one with nationalized medicine, you won't need to worry about competition from another network. If you want a free-market medicine environment, you'll need to account for another network in the same area to at least some degree.

Don't forget to share things below with your fellow mappers. I can't wait to see what happens!

Good luck on the challenge! And, a belated is-Sena t-Tajba (Happy New Year)!

Mapper's Challenge #16 - December 2017 - Power! Unlimited Power!

Posted by Alessa on 9 December 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, fellow mappers.

Last month's challenge had some very creative submissions! I could never have imagined the results. For this month, we have another interesting topic to tackle even if it isn't all that creative. So, yes, how do we power all those obnoxious holiday lights that our citizens put up? This is a broad challenge that can range from quite easy to quite hard. More importantly, it fills in a huge gap in our map right now. The theme of this month is "Power! Unlimited Power!" The idea for this challenge is to launch your country's electrical grid. This can range from a simple power plant to the transmission lines.

I don't purport to be an expert at this by any stretch of the imagination. I've been doing my homework on it for Mauretia for some time. For most of us, the OSM documentation is going to be invaluable. There is a pretty good write-up there about how things work (not just how they're tagged). Obviously, electricity has to be generated somewhere. This could be a hydroelectric dam, a coal plant, a mine, etc.

An easy version of this challenge might be to simply build a power-plant. Most power plants generate some type of pollution, so you'll want to keep them away from most development other than some industry, like this coal-powered plant. If you're wanting to do something like solar power or wind power, you have to carefully consider your climate. Mauretia is probably not going to be a big solar-power producer. The sea gives it a wind-power potential near the coast or in shallow waters, however. Countries like Spain have a great potential, and can capitalize on it. Those countries with volcanism like Iceland can maybe tap into geothermal power. Be sure to carefully consider what is available to your country and not a pet project that you think is better. Cost and development of the country also matters.

To get more and more difficult, add the transmission lines. Standard wooden poles in North America (Canada and United States) are generally placed about 45–60m apart on flat terrain. Tower distances can vary based on height and regional windiness. These towers, for example, are about 245m apart. Remember that transmission lines sag so they can sway in the wind. If they're too tight, they snap. Your citizens will then snap if they can't play that silly candy game on their uPhones. Also note the wide easement needed for those four transmission line complexes. Next, all that has to relay from somewhere. There's a transition substation just south of where I linked above. These lines extend for miles upon miles, so the complex here needs to be large enough to handle that amount of electricity.

I hope all this makes sense! Good luck tackling this important challenge!

Mapper's Challenge #15 - November 2017 - Keep Clean and Stay Pretty

Posted by Alessa on 11 November 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, fellow mappers.

I apologize for being a few days late with this month's challenge. For this month, we have something quite simple—a type of micro-mapping. The idea here is to come up with more localized services in your country to make the place more realistic. There are a few guidelines for this challenge, too.

The theme is "keep clean and stay pretty." What does this mean? Find a small community or two in your country and put grooming and hygiene places. These could include barbershops, hairdressers, salons, stylists, boutiques, beauty-supply shops, etc. Think about the culture of your country a bit. Are there communal baths? Are manicures or pedicures a cultural expectation? Are there religious attire vendors or groomers that need to be near houses of worship? There are a lot of creative ways to go here, and I'd love to see something interesting.

Now a few guidelines:

  • Your submission should be something new and created during the calendar month of November (or the first few days of December)
  • No international companies—keep it local!
  • Don't just put a point on a map. Place the building, parking, sidewalk, etc.

What am I going to be doing? I don't know yet. I have a couple ideas. What do you think you might do? Show your fellow mappers below.

Happy mapping!

Mapper's Challenge #14 - October 2017 - By Air and By Sea

Posted by Alessa on 8 October 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, fellow mappers.

I hope you had a fun time taking on last month's challenge, which focused on culture. The comments indicated some cool projects were being considered. I'd love to know how everyone did.

Unfortunately, different things in life limited my ability to finish work in Iola as I would have originally liked. I was able to finish the streets and pedestrian areas in the old city of Iola and begin building work around the ancient amphitheatre. There are a couple things like a café called "La Ekterra" (The Underground), which is right across the plaza from the entrance to the catacombs. A few streets are named after former monarchs or important saints, too. I'll try to keep working on it this month, as I've enjoyed working in this area.

Mapper's Challenge #14 — By Air and By Sea

The challenge for this month is to work on an air or sea transport option in your country. For this, airfields, airports, seaports, ferry terminals, and other air or water-based transportation hubs are welcome. There are quite a few major airports in the OGF universe, but what about smaller commuter airfields or agricultural-based landing strips? As for the water-based transportation, seaports are always an option. Don't forget about commuter routes like ferries or recreational places like marinas. Even if your country isn't on an ocean, river transportation is just as important. Major trade can be done by navigable river, too. (Just ask Vienna; or for an even smaller town with 3.5 times the tonnage, check Huntington, West Virginia in the United States.)

So, for this challenge, try to determine what the needs are for your country right now. There is a great guide for building airports over on the wiki. Seaports are definitely going to be a bigger challenge and require some more advance mapping, in my opinion. Once you've decided on your task, go for it! Give it a try and see what happens!

I'm personally going to attempt work on a seaport for Iola. It might be a bit ambitious, but I'm already planning to do coastline work on the western part of La Kaufama. I've received some great feedback from a couple users on the coastline, so it's part of what I'd like to tackle. We'll see how it goes!

All the best, —A

Mapper's Challenge #13 - September 2017 - Showing Culture

Posted by Alessa on 7 September 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, everyone. Today I would like to reintroduce the Mapper's Challenges to the community. Luciano granted me permission to revive the concept, and I will be running with it for the time being. We've had some great work done over the previous twelve challenges, and I think it is worth putting the effort into encouraging good mapping. For me, the Mapper's Challenges were a great place to experiment, get private feedback, and observe more skilled mappers at work on larger projects. While not every topic will appeal to each user, I would still encourage everyone to give these a quick try. As before, post what you have in the comments below; do not be afraid to provide feedback on submissions also. This is a great place to learn and have fun. It is my hope that we get a chance to see all the good things that users are doing around OGF.

I also want to encourage users to try the "weekly word" challenge! That is a shared, friendly "competition" that is easy to participate in. The monthly Mapper's Challenges are larger and thus different; their missions do not conflict.

This month's challenge comes courtesy of a suggestion by Udi before the challenges went on hiatus for a few months.

Mapper's Challenge #13 - Showing Culture

The challenge for this month is to develop the culture and history of your country by constructing cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, or other relevant facilities. Add any that are of interest to your country. Names like "Museum of Slavery" or "Library of Communist History" also give hints about a culture. Since culture is more abstract than highways and railways, you will need to be creative and think hard about what your country is like. Then, go for it! Give it a try and see what happens!

There are already a lot of these places popping up in OGF, and many users already have different skill levels on this topic. So I offer a tiered challenge for people to try:

  • Beginner challenge: Place a building and tag it according to its function (library, museum, etc.). Try to make the building a logical shape and make sure it is placed in an appropriate location. Be sure to give the building a name!
  • Moderate challenge: Complete the Beginner challenge but also work on the area immediately around the building. Are there benches, monuments and memorials, trees, fountains, walkways, etc.? Do some extra tagging and work on how the outside of the building fits the inside.
  • Advanced challenge: Complete the Moderate challenge but extend it to the entire neighborhood. Is the facility in a cultural district or a simple neighborhood? Provide some details of the environs with other buildings, parking facilities, commercial or retail venues for guests, etc. Go beyond the immediate grounds of the initial building and create an atmosphere that complements (or intentionally contradicts!) the cultural meaning.
  • Collaborative challenge: Pick a level and work with another user. Is there shared cultural heritage or is there another shared people group? What about mapping in another territory (with permission, of course)?

For me, I'm going to try at least the moderate challenge. There are a few ideas I'm tossing around. I also am going to do the collaborative challenge, as there is a project with Litvania that needs to be finished. So, this month offers the perfect chance to do this. I'll post some updates in my bliki as the month goes along.

Happy mapping!

Weekly Word #11

Posted by Alessa on 22 August 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, everyone!

After being selected as the winner of the weekly word by Kazuya, I have the honor of calling for the eleventh weekly word.

So this week's word is


In an effort to get our timeline back on track a bit, the deadline will be midnight Monday morning GMT (0:00 UTC).

Best of luck and happy mapping! -A

Want to be a deity? Here's your chance! (Not your normal religion post)

Posted by Alessa on 9 April 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

I know the topic of religion comes up periodically, and I think we all seem to be pretty civil and sensitive to the nature of the topic. (Thank you for that, by the way.) Well, today, I'm throwing that all out the window...

I have decided to take up the challenge of creating a pantheon of deities for a Mauro pagan religion based on OGF users and their collaborative input. If you want to be enshrined as a deity, demigod, hero, angel/demon, leviathan, etc., head on over to the bliki page and jump in. I explain more there and give the rationale for this project. Maybe it will be fun. I'm hoping it is an interesting collaborative experiment!

(N.B.: No user will be a part of the pantheon without their expressed consent. If you don't want to be a part of this, you don't have to fear.)

I'll see you on the bliki!

Feedback Request: Pros and Cons of Areas or Relations

Posted by Alessa on 22 March 2017 in Maltese (Malti)

Hello, everyone.

I would like to request some feedback on what users consider pros and cons of doing landuse and landcover tags as areas or relations. To this point, I've been tagging regular areas, since this is the standard I learned from doing my homework and studying OSM wiki/forum documentation. For example, this is what I used in the coastal region of Kabyea Essa. I comes out just like I want it and has the data I'd like for later (double plus!). I know that Luciano has been innovative in using relations to this end, and I was curious what the advantages and disadvantages are or might be. I'm not sure I really want to break up a roadway into a dozen pieces per kilometer just to adjust relations, but it might render things better for me.

I will say that areas get to be quite clunky in JOSM when placed against each other like this. It becomes impossible to select a highway or railway that is on the boundary. In many cases, I've resorted to just using iD, because it works better for me to do the fine-tuning detail work. At the same time, that could be a user issue.

I appreciate the insight. Thanks!

Global Collaboration: A simple Christic Religion Proposal

Posted by Alessa on 26 October 2016 in English (English)

Hello, everyone.

I have been doing a lot of reading about other people's countries and creations. I love that there are so many clever and unique things on the site. I thought I'd offer a proposal to enhance cooperation among everyone a bit while providing a possible starting point for future endeavors. My proposal is about the structure (not origins) of the Christic faith in this universe. First, I recognize that nothing stirs the pot more than religion, so I wade into this very carefully. I offer this idea as a means of allowing a lot of flexibility into what we currently have and looking forward to what might evolve. I also know that there are strong opinions about this.

Currently, there are two claimants to the "Catholic" Papacy: Peritan City (essentially a Vatican-like state surrounded by Darcodia), and St. Richards, Pretany. Peritan City does not have a history online, but I'd assume that the intent was something akin to our RW situation with the Vatican. The papacy in St. Richards is said to have been founded in 1373 or 1378, depending on the page, and helped the spread of the Christic movement via the Nortian Clearances. (Side note: the Nortian Clearances would have had to happen much earlier, as was acknowledged on the talk page; this might effect the date of the papacy being established there.) The catholic claimants don't address other Christic branches, such the Elekan branch of Egani (seems like RW Eastern Orthodox), Maurit Orthodoxy in Mauretia (RW Coptic/Oriental Orthodox), or other places (RW Protestantism). Of course, another issue to be considered is the breadth of the Christic faith across Uletha and the diverse ways each country was founded--not just the different branches.

In an effort to not pin things down too much, my proposal is summed up as this:

  • We backdate the formation of Christic episcopal structure to somewhere in the late 1st or early 2nd century. I don't suggest we pin the date down exactly. It should be open-ended depending on how the origins of the Christic movement may evolve going forward.

  • We establish a group of patriarchs, akin to the original RW idea of the Pentarchy, from which different branches could evolve and explain the spread of the religion's branches across the entire continent.

  • Protestant branches of the Christic movement can be subsumed into two factions: under a patriarch of their own (like episcopal denominations such as Anglican and Lutheran), or anti-patriarchy (like Baptist and Evangelical churches that mostly use congregational polity).

Therefore, if we were to establish a Pentarchy (or, as it can be easily modified or amended in this universe to be a hexarchy or heptarchy), there are some easy places where there could be a claimant. They are as follows:

  • St. Richards (current papal claimant, possibly akin to RW Avignon?)

  • Peritan City (current papal claimant, possibly akin to RW Rome)

  • Tangia, Mauretia (Oriental patriarchy akin to RW Alexandria)

  • Tillia, Egani ("Elekan" patriarchy: Orthodox patriarchy akin to RW Constantinople)

  • There is room for more claimants of a different patriarchy, so long as the integrity of the Christic faith is left unchallenged. I am trusting that full-out theological debates don't have to be incurred.

In all, very little actually changes. This is more to compose a system that fits the proposed histories and cultures.

I see some following benefits to this type of a system. First, the structure of patriarchs provides a structure that is akin to the RW structure of the church and can bring otherwise schismatic groups together to some degree. Second, while there would be the expectation that the patriarchs would try to keep the faith sound, there would be competing interests. The theological differences between RW Coptic Christianity and Catholic Christianity would invariably exist between Tangia and Peritan City. This could help foster backdrops for future conflicts, cultural alignments, inter-governmental sympathies, etc. Perhaps the patriarch of Tillia might be more amenable to Tangia; maybe the competing factions of St. Richards and Peritan City might divide more "catholic" countries among alignments. I think it could be a good springboard for future dialogue while providing an in-universe explanation for the multiple-claimant and multiple-denomination system. Plus, with a fluid user-base, I don't think it's wise to pin things down too tightly in the event new users come and old users go.

All said, I welcome discussion on this system. I have this proposal in a sandbox page on the wiki, whereupon we can debate further.

Mapper's Challenge 7 - Mauretia

Posted by Alessa on 18 October 2016 in English (English)

Hello, everybody.

In response to Luciano's challenge for the month, I have decided to do some work in the diocese of Lalla Maga, in the northeastern portion of Mauretia along the Raiden border. I realize that since this is my first diary entry, I should probably introduce a bit about my country first:

Mauretia is a small nation in eastern Uletha between the Gulf of Volta and the Gulf of Preya. It is a fairly well-developed country of about 7.57 milllion people with a proud people and long independent history. The nation is monarchy with power split between the monarch and a strong parliament. The Mauroi speak Maurit, so street and building names are shown in the native language. A few important places in particular would be school buildings (esqolam) and churches (eqliciam). Since the rivers (fluvam) are not navigable far inland, many of the nation's major roadways (viam) date back hundreds, if not nearly two thousand years. Their alignment may have evolved over time, but the function remains the same.

Given that short introduction, I would like to direct your attention to the diocese of Lalla Maga in the province of Aziga. I decided to work on the land of this diocese north of the Fluva Suror. Population density in this part of the province drops substantially, so there are some larger farms. Other plots of land are smaller and have been occupied for hundreds of years. What crops, however? I did some research myself about the climate (before even selecting this territory, which is part of what sold me on it), and I believe the best and most appropriate climate would be something similar to the lower peninsula of Michigan in the United States. As a result, the land of northern Mauretia would be agriculturally productive with fruits, vegetables, and hay. Grains would only be found in pockets and when the land needed to rotate. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes, and berries would litter the countryside. Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, squashes, tomatoes, and beans are found everywhere too. Hay and hay bailing would help the dairy industry; but livestock is more profitable in the southern part of the country, where less rain falls.

Let me know what you think. I welcome your input and feedback!


Location: Via Blešek, Lalla Maga (Diosi), Aziga, Mauretia
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