joschi81 has commented on the following diary entries

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Utterland 3 months ago

I think before your "tabula rasa", your road and railway network somehow seemed to "surround" the capital. So my advice (and my hope for the new development) is: More rail and road infrastructure leading directly to Uisteren. Ok, if you look at"real" countries, there are examples as well where the capital is not a hub for the main national transport arteries (see Australia for example). But for an "old" Central-/Western-European style country I think the capital should also be a main transport hub. So I'm looking forward to an Utterland capital with better direct connections to all the other large cities in the country and and to neighbouring countries (but not too straight, as the landscape seems to be quite hilly and requires some detours, especially for old railways and roads).

When designing railways, for example, always think about the initial goal that they were built for: For example, connecting important cities to each other or to their respective, economically important "hinterland".

Happy mapping!

Uletha - a bit of "real life" continent name history 7 months ago

@Luciano: Yes, I think that a collection of "OGF name metaetymology" would be great! The only OGF country I know about so far where the "metaetymology" of most place names is very simple is Mergany. :)

@zhenkang: See this video - Presentation of Opengeofiction at SOTM-EU 2014 in Karlsruhe - for some OGF background!

NWUU first steps 7 months ago

One thing that comes to my mind is: NWUU is a quite "boring" name, imho. Ever since I made up the the first part of Uletha I had the idea of an equivalent (more or less) to the EU. But "UU" seemed stupid to me. Also, Uletha is too large for such a group of states spanning over the whole continent. So later I thought that "Vinnic Union" might be good. But this seems more like an equivalent to the "Hanse".

I still think that a more "creative" name would be nice. Maybe with some geographical references? The area of northwestern Uletha that we are talking about spans between the Vinn Sea and the surrounding states, over the Egyt mountains and eastwards to the Great Rift Sound. So the "VEG" would be a possible name (let's to away the "U" in the abbreviaton): "Vinn-Egyts-Great Rift Sound Union". OK, the last part is quite stupid. So how is the part of Uletha between the Egyt mountains and the Great Rift Sound called (not the country name, that's Pretany of course). If this region has a historical name, it would be nice to include it in such a "more creative name" for the "NWUU".

Whatever the name will be, even if the name "NWUU" is being kept - it's OK, but I think its important to discuss this.

NWUU first steps 7 months ago

Thanks for this great initiative!

Garlis, Grossherzogtum Erfeldien, Ístzianország, Kalm, and Ventria are very interested in joining.

However, I'm going to be a father in a few days and practically don't have time for OGF at the moment. So please feel free to add "my" countries to the members list. I don't know if you already have a capital in mind? I would love to see the NWUU capital in one of the smaller countries near the Vinn Sea (maybe even Kirchenburg?).

If you want to "de-centralise" the administrative/political/juridical/... functions (a bit like in the European Union), I offer the following cities (for any function that for some reason won't be placed within the NWUU capital; I selected them to be all quite close to the "imaginary central point of the NWUU" and also not to be too large cities in all cases, as I think that having some smaller cities with NWUU functions is more interesting):

I wouldn't be too sad if none of my cities will get a NWUU seat of any kind and I understand that people/countries with more current activity have an advantage here. But if there's something you want to add in one of those city (maybe the NWUU international railway regulation authority - I'm addicted to railways), feel free to do so.

I hope you understand that currently I will be in a more "passive OGF mode", as I will need much "family time". :)

Kind regards


What could be the best and most worked on location in OGF? 8 months ago

@UltraWorlds: It's hard to answer that question. My favourite place at the moment is Ostrina, Antharia by user stjur. Look at all the wonderful roof details!

@martinum4: Good point! I also like tagging things that are hidden in the standard layer, but at the moment I just don't arrive at that level. But it is very important that OGF mappers understand that "best mapped" can't be defined only by what you see in the OGF map. For me - like for you, I guess - good mapping in OGF is rather defined by data quality than by "visual" quality. But really good mapping is a positive combination of both!

By the way, I just had some fun finding some "unrendered" stuff like switches and signals in Neuhafen area using Overpass Turbo. :)

Kind regards Johannes

10th Weekly Word 10 months ago

The first thing that came to my mind was:


Looking forward to see other proposals!

Luciano Special Technical Collaboration Challenge - August, 2017 10 months ago

Hi Luciano, quite interesting, your challenge! Like for @histor, the "detailed" part of my railway knowledge is based upon the European standards and timeline. It seems also that European railways (down to detailed articles about single lines) are much more common for European railways at Wikipedia at the moment. I have difficulties finding what I'm looking for in detail.

By the way, here's a Wikipedia list of adhesion railways with steepest gradients. Indeed, the Lisbon tramway ride up to Chiado district on Calçada de São Francisco is an amazing experience!

Ok, but this does not help much here. The basic question is the one from @Leowezy: What standards do you want your railway line from the 1910s to have? In my opinion it must be a single-track main line, with some double-tracked sections and many passing loops at stations or between stations.

And certainly without zig-zags. It would be realistic, maybe, to have some "special features" like zig-zags or sections with steeper gradients where additional bank engines are needed. But maybe there's a way to prevent this, even within the most complicated section between Las Vegas and Cuaquensenutes.

I share here what my findings are, as I don't know yet if I will finally participate in the competition - and maybe this information helps others.

This Wikipedia article says (in German) that for main railway lines, the maximum gradient without need of additional "helping" (security) measures is 1:40 (25 ‰) on main railway lines. A good example of a main-railway line with gradients completely below 20 ‰ is the Schwarzwaldbahn, but you see the interesting alignment in the middle of the railway line, which was necessary to prevent steep gradients. Something like that is necessary in any case between Las Vegas and Cuaquensenutes.

At least if it needs to be a main line with very "smooth" gradients and if you want to continue with approximately the same gradients that you used up to Las Vegas - about 22 ‰, if I calculate right. But this would mean that we need about 24 km of railroad length to manage the 600m of elevation distance between Las Vegas and Cuaquensenutes (5km as the crow flies between both places).

If we go up to 40 ‰, that is the maximum gradient for branch lines in Germany, only 15km is needed.

If we look further up to Cueganabaquias, it is at an elevation of 1450m, 360 more than Cuaquensenutes. The distance between both places is 11km. We would have a gradient of 32 ‰ if we follow the river bed (approximately, we should not have a curve radius smaller than 200m, I propose from what I read about railway lines). I think that for a railway line of the type that is needed here, 32 ‰ still is ok, but of course trying to stick to a maximum of 25 ‰ would make this challenge even more interesting, because we can't directly follow the river bed then. :)

Two more interesting examples from main lines in Germany:

Zig-zag at Elm (Schlüchtern) and Schlüchterner Tunnel - From 1868 until 1914, trains had to change direction (zig-zag) at Elm station, before the "Schlüchterner Tunnel" opened in 1914. In 2011, a second tunnel was opened, as this is part of the Fulda - Frankfurt main line, one of the busiest north-south routes in Germany.

Spessart Ramp (see also at Wikipedia) - The new alignment including several tunnels only opened this year. It is part of a busy east-west connection between Nuremberg and Frankfurt. Before the opening of the new line this rear, bank engines were needed for longer freight trains to pass the ramp.

Ok, so far for now. I have I conflict here. I want to participate in this challenge, but I also have my own challenge to continue with my city of Siuvna and to have the general layout (with all landuses) ready before October... Like always: Too many interesting things to do in OGF. :)

Happy mapping!


Weekly Word #6 10 months ago

There were a few good entries this time, but the winner finally is: Aces California! Sorry for the delay. And: Have fun proposing the next Weekly Word.

Best, Johannes

,Interrail' -OGF Version 11 months ago

Well, Western Uletha has a comparably dense railway network, so Erfeldia, Garlis, Ísztianország, and Ventria would like to participate. The problem though: Ventria is the only one of those countries where all railway lines have been mapped (without any details, but all lines are there). I'm working in Garlis currently, but it will take some weeks until I will have the general structure with all railway lines completed.

Changes in Vinnmark 11 months ago

Please, adminero_us, leave the general outline of Vinnmark as it is. It is wonderful like that. Other people have worked in Vinnmark (e.g. bhj867 in the north, me in the south) and it has already seen a quite interesting development! Also, please don't cut off parts of the territory. It is allowed, as Thilo says, but as there are several people willing to contribute and already did so in the border regions as well, it is not a good idea, IMHO.

If you want more help in developing the map, please let me know. I'm currently active in the south of Garlis, but I'd be glad to do more mapping in the Varlonge region in the near future.

Thanks and kind regards


Weekly Word #5 11 months ago

I wanted to write: " of the few military usages still existing in Tarott in the south-west of Kalm". Of course, there are still many military areas in the whole south-west of Kalm. :)

Weekly Word #5 11 months ago

Here's one of my military creations: Filttal Barracks (Filttal-Kaserne), one of the few military usages still existing in the south-west of Kalm. A former military hospital has been taken out of the military area and is now open for civil use. Also, the old "Offiziers-Hauptquartier" (Officer's Headquarters") in the west has been transformed into a military museum open to the public and known for its good uniform history exhibition.

OGF: perhaps too much real world-based? about 1 year ago

I think that even countries with imaginary cultures and languages in OGF can be less creative than the ones that clearly are based upon existing languages and cultures. For me, the fact that an OGF language/culture is made-up is not an indicator of the degree of creativity of the respective mapper!

I agree that imaginary languages are a very creative part of OGF. However, for me it would be "one step to far". I like to imagine cities (to cite other comments here: "new mixtures of real-world elements"), and it takes time. Making up languages and cultures also takes time. The problem is: At some point you need to stop "imagining" (by means of: preparing things in your head) and start mapping!

I am satisfied with my degree of creativity in OGF. :) For example, the language "Kalmish" (which in my point of view is the name of the German language in OGF...) is like German, but has a completey different name. Also, I avoid using English loanwords in Kalmish, which is quite a challenge, as especially for many "new" things (technical stuff) there is no German word. Also, the geography of Kalm is quite different from Germany. And the territorial units are different as well: Land -> Region, Kreis -> Kanton.

To conclude: In my point of view, making up imaginary places is enough creativity, even if language and culture are close to the respective rea-world equivalents.

Happy mapping!


"Protecting" Tarott - or: Re-thinking "definite" landscapes in OGF about 1 year ago

@eklas: Good point! I'll change that.

@Myrcia: You're right, it's my nation. But people are living there. I don't want to upset them. :D

What is happening with Vinnmark? about 1 year ago

adminero_us already asked for help structuring Vinnmark a long time ago and I replied to his call by setting up the general structure for the south of the country next to Kalm, including a rough sketch of Vinnmark's second or third largest city - Varlonge, where afterwards he stepped in again to add some details. I consider this part of Vinnmark as "set" and I would really love to have a realistic and nicely drawn area next to Kalm.

Western Uletha is not the place for blue territories, but purple countries are welcome (but only a few). In any case, at the moment I think it's better to keep Vinnmark as an "unofficially collaborative" country.

Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #12 - March, 2017 - Ghosts on the Map about 1 year ago

Hi Luciano, I like this challenge, but I'm sure I don't have to do anything here, my cities (e.g. Tarott, so it's my former railway station, not Thilo's ;) ) are full of such details and elements.

Of course it makes only sense for elements that still can be traced on the map. For example, the old regional airport Kulz-Jübelstein isn't visible anymore, the area is being "heavily" transformed into the EXPOMONDIALE 2018 exposition grounds.

this is how it looks like right now

and this is how it looked until 2015:

Regionalflughafen Tarott-Jübelstein

And by the way: Thanks for mentioning Tarott in your Bliki in such a positive way. I hope I will have the time to add more Tarott details soon.

Happy mapping!


Rethinking my place on OGF over 1 year ago

deltanz, please keep on mapping! I think you're doing great work. Even though you mention that the mapping itself is not your main focus, I think your country (countries?) look(s) very well so far! If you still have any questions on maping tasks, don't hesitate to ask. I think there are many people here who would love to help - if needed.

Don't tag for the renderer over 1 year ago

To be honest, for a moment some of the reactions to martinum4's diary entry made me want to leave OGF. As the "co-founder" of the project I have large territories in western Uletha and I think giving up (and cleaning up) those territories would enable are large number of new small countries for new mappers. I couludn't imagine there actually are users putting in to question the use of GIS analysis for an imaginary world!

But then I thought: What's the main point of this discussion? It is, clearly, an outline of two very different approaches to OGF: A creative/graphical approach on the one hand and a technical approach on the other hand.

So, the main question is: Can OGF satisfy both types of mappers (and also those who seem to follow both approaches)? The answer is: Yes! (In my opinion.)

To have a nice and consistent rendering in the OGF main layer (Mapnik) users must use the most common OSM tags anyway. So if we're talking about "mapping for renderers" here, we're not talking about basic tags that are being misused, but about details. Maybe these details concern specific ideas that users have for their own analytical work (or simply for getting a "nicer rendering"). So "misuse" is even not the right vocabulary here if people step away from OSM standards in some points. As Luciano outlines in his bliki in a way that is completely understandable in my opinion, creating your own standards in some points can be very helpful. And on the other hand: It does not destroy the OGF database.

In any case: Doing GIS analysis in OGF will in most cases be restricted to the country "belonging" to the person who does the analysis task, as it is/will be for me.

My conclusion is (I repeat myself) that mappers with a more graphical approach and those with a more technical approach (and those who combine both) can live together in the OGF world in good harmony!

(But, @deltanz and @Legendardisch, please don't put into question the use of GIS analysis in a fictional world, as of course you can analyse any dataset, no matter if it is real or imaginary data. It starts with simple tasks like e.g. measuring the area of a city. Because OGF is built upon GIS software, you don't have to measure by hand and calculate, but you get a "one-click result". There are, of course, much more complex tasks...)

Happy mapping for you all!

Don't tag for the renderer over 1 year ago

A laaaaaaarge vote in favour of what martinum4 said: Don't tag for the renderer, but for consistency of the OGF database! Please never "mess around" in the OGF map. Of course, yes, OGF basically is for having fun with mapping or "making up" imaginary places.

But it uses the OSM software, which is a well-developed GIS tool, and therefore opens up a lot more possibilities than just the graphical depiction of geographical data. If you want to draw maps only for the graphical idea, maybe returning to pencil and paper - or to any "normal" vector-based graphic software instead? Sorry for being rude, but I think OGF is not a place for people who don't like the GIS idea of OSM. (This is my personal meaning.)

Please, at all who didn't do this so far: Get into the idea of GIS data, try to understand what it makes so "wonderful". And please do not "destroy" the possibility of GIS analysis in OGF by misusing the OSM tags (at least not in an extensive way). I want to work with the OGF database for interesting GIS analysis tasks - once there's enough data for the respective topic. I know that there are other people who would like to do this. So I insist again, please try to keep the OGF database as consistent as possible! Thank you.

Nerschach, a capital's name? - Or: The problem of naming large cities over 1 year ago

Thank you all for your interesting feedback to my diary entry! Will, now it's "fixed forever" in the history of the OGF world: The Kalmish capital "Nerschach" has it's name from a 74km long river with the same name, which I created now, including some general landscape design of the upper Nerschach valley.

@eklas, @EMKLI: Thanks for your explicit support of the Nerschach river idea!

@Litvania: I think Kołobrzeg means "Mount Wheel" or "Mount Circle", am I wrong? Świnoujście is Swinemünde in German, the exact translation.

@Luciano: I'm going to Japan next month and I'm looking forward to seeing not only Tokyo and Kyoto. :)