Mapper's Challenge #27 — January 2019 — New Year, New Skills…

Posted by Alessa on 11 January 2019 in Maltese (Malti).

Hello, OGF community!

I hope everyone is doing well this fine January day. As you all know, we have a community with a lot of diverse interests and areas of expertise. And, in the spirit of collaboration, learning, and continuing to become better-skilled mappers, I offer a two-fold challenge for the month of January: a focus on the OSM keys “landuse” and “natural;” and a collaborative response or tutoring.

Be advised: This challenge isn’t just about showing off your work. I want this to be a good learning experience for everyone. So, whether you have a territory or not, you are invited to learn more and hone your skills!

We all want the map to look beautiful. Did you know, for example, that there are a whole host of landuse values to use? Do you know about the numerous natural values? Some, like natural=beach and natural=wetland are rendered differently depending on the additional tagging? There are a lot of hidden gems in here to help make the map look great and communicate details.

How to participate

Beginner challenge:

  • Unsure what to do or don’t have a territory yet? Start small with a 1 square kilometre area. Experiment with some tags and ask for feedback in the comments below. Allow users to give you a reply to make your mapping better.
  • If you are awaiting your territory, the blue countries provide a wonderful space to practice with this challenge. That way, your area could be among the best mapped on the site one day.

Easy challenge:

  • Post one or two of your favorite examples of how you use landuse and natural tags.
  • Reply to at least one user about their work.

Medium challenge:

  • Experiment with new tagging and with different (albeit plausible) ways of arranging landscape. Try to limit transportation infrastructure to the lowest levels possible.
  • Provide direct feedback to at least two users about their work.

Hard challenge:

  • Develop a 2 km by 2 km area of highly detailed tagging with limited (if any) transportation infrastructure.
  • Directly tutor a new user with their work on this project.


We all want to see OGF be a great community of mappers with the goal of producing good-quality work. All users from newest to most senior can participate! This is a theme of all my challenges, but I really want to emphasize that it will be most successful this month with as many users contributing and offering feedback as possible. At the same time, please be civil and professional with one another; avoid needless drama. Remember that a good-faith critique of your work is not a personal attack. Be a good neighbor, even if others aren’t always that way.

Happy mapping!

Comment from louis_walker on 11 January 2019 at 23:43

I love this challenge! I’m working on mapping some complex land use patterns in the agricultural region of my country, and this is extra incentive. Love the mentoring aspect alessa! 😊

Comment from zhenkang on 11 January 2019 at 23:57

I remember EMLKI (owner of Nodurland) posting a diary entry about the various landuses. He has kept a library of it in a corner of his nation.

And I like the additional part of users advicing newbies. I also have problems with rural landuses, so i personally need help. There again, I am not sure if I have the time to start on rural mapping, since I am devoting my efforts to a city in Kontroga now.

Comment from geoboi on 12 January 2019 at 05:50

I attempted to create detailed rural areas here. I’m pretty sure I failed miserably for my first attempt at this challenge, but I decided to try anyways. I look forward to some feedback…

Comment from donnamaw on 12 January 2019 at 10:40

Whilst waiting for a territory I have been building an imagined ‘company town’ in the wild anarchy of Commonia and intend to complete this as a project before starting on my own country. It has an equatorial position but I favour a north European industrial layout and I’m thinking about how the town will feed itself given the unlikely possibility of much agricultural output across the country as a whole.

So I have already completed a couple of allotment spaces and will submit one for the Easy challenge for review by peers, which can be found here.

I had already intended to create a large permaculture farm/plantation to the south of the town as the breadbasket for Skellingshaven, and I think I will attempt this as the medium or possibly harder challenge.

I will take inspiration from @louis_walker - I enjoyed the mapping of farmlands around the town of Koz which seem to reflect modern industrial agricultural landscaping. For my plantation I want to return to old practices of much small field and hedgerow, although I have yet to work out how you would achieve this in clearing a native equatorial rainforest ecology.

Comment from zhenkang on 12 January 2019 at 11:35

@don Hmm the town overall is not bad; the harbour has sufficient details as well. I also like the fact that you take the time to name the streets as well; some people has a fetish for that, I wouldnt say who. Just continue detaling the town with buildings and you should be fine.

Try adding other facilities, like schools as well.

I also want to comment about the tram system; I wonder if the tram just go along the Avenue and just go along until Gannet Road then going to Rise Crescent instead of making too many turns. The station can be on the road. The tram line with Harbour Road seems uncessary though since the stretch is also served by a railway. Try to cut down on making too many turns for trams, since these may slow down its effectiveness.

Comment from Rustem Pasha on 12 January 2019 at 12:10

I was very pleased with Skellingshaven untli I saw trams in this place. It’s all wrong. Each track should represent one direction (or one track can serve for both directions on less used lines on short distance). On Cargo Lane you have two tracks of which both serve both directions while the whole line seems to be most overstretched in the whole grid. The fact that almost every tram in town must head to docks is strange. There should be at least a possibitility to head from College Park to Curlew Road. These curves are also strange, they should be just part of circles.

There are also several places that should have infrastructure to turn the trams back. For example Skellingarena prays for the tram loop.

Comment from donnamaw on 12 January 2019 at 14:55

Many thanks for your useful observations guys, that gives me plenty to consider as I continue to add to what is undoubtedly a work in progress. However I don’t want to hijack this thread with another transport infrastructure discussion when it should be about the monthly challenge, so at some point I’ll create a Skellingshaven diary post where I’d really be interested to get feedback as well as share my overall scheme for the town. For now I was really sharing my little urban allotment space as the beginner or easy challenge.

Comment from austinhuang on 13 January 2019 at 02:02

I attempted to create a semi-detailed rural area here, second attempt after a much less detailed first attempt. It’s squared or strips because I referred to the strips in the Seigneurial system. And I need some feedback. Thanks in advance.

Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 13 January 2019 at 13:00

This is my ongoing work to integrate farms, settlements and woodland at small scale: Maug-Sihou. Some larger scale stuff at Nuiri reefs (find the blue holes!). i’m happy to give advice on how to do this - I’ve learnt the hard way.

Comment from Voivod on 13 January 2019 at 17:53

I’ve been working on Collinfield, and a few days ago I developed some allotments in the countryside, mixing it with landuses like forest and meadow, surrounded by residential - still need to put buildings

Comment from Black Baron on 16 January 2019 at 01:02

This area is one of my favourite places I’ve created in Castilea Archantea so far: Alrededores del Cañón del Río Murviedro. Although the work is not finished, by the last days it has got the shape I was keeping in mind when I came to OGF 3 years ago… . Thank you @Alessa for your impressive work and challenges!

Bona nit a tothom. Buenas noches a todos. Happy mapping!

Comment from Black Baron on 21 January 2019 at 01:18

I’ve just finished the area of Vaguadas. I hope you like it. Happy mapping!

Comment from donnamaw on 28 January 2019 at 11:00

Well we seem to have moved on a bit and a new challenge is already in discussion but I thought I’d check in as I feel I’ve completed my personal response to this challenge: to make a start on some farming areas in my little corner of Commonia, pending getting my own territory. How will my Company Town, Skellingshaven, feed a population of 350k (early estimate, I haven’t finished it) in the self-professed anarchy of Commonia where wider food production would seem, at best, unreliable?

I plan a huge permaculture plantation to the south of the town to feed the workers of the docks and mines. Here is my start, North Farm, the first part of the Skelling Plantation.

Comment from Alessa on 1 February 2019 at 14:29

@austinhuang: This is a good start. Remember that in the French system, the rivers are the focus and not canals. Right now the tracts are oriented toward the canal and not the river. You probably could even get away with a touch thinner and a lot longer, too. Here’s a bit of reference to consider. @Udi: The reefs are phenomenal. Excellent work. I like the blue holes. :) @Black Baron: I like the tight valley feel you have in both. One thing that sticks out, however, are the overlapping scrub, heath, bare rock, and wood areas. If you converted the wood area into a multipolygon, you’d be able to have the others be on their own. It would look more natural, since the icons won’t overlap and be cluttered. Right now, they’re layered and it provides conflicting data for the map. Is it scrub, or is it heath, or is it woods? It’s a touch unclear. Still, I like what’s there! @Donnamaw: I’m not finding your work. Is the link wrong, perhaps?

Comment from Black Baron on 1 February 2019 at 17:12

Thank you @Alessa. I created wood areas two years ago and that seemed correct so far, but in the last weeks I was feeling a bit uncomfortable with such terrain. I think that I’ve improved a lot my mapping skills by the last months and, now, my objective is to better define small territories and fine detailing each of them. That working structure fronts the mental picture I previously had with my recent conceptual evolution. Hence, I will change all these terrains and better define existing geological features reaching a very high resolution by the next couple of months. I’ll try to finish the Edetanea Cape, Edeta Valley and the Spadanea and Peñas Royas mountain range before starting another regions inside Castilea Archantea. I hope you love Castilea Archantea. Suggestions are wellcome! Happy mapping!

Comment from donnamaw on 22 February 2019 at 15:11

@Alessa - I don’t know if you will come back to this but I got moved! Whilst waiting for territory Udi kindly offered a spot in a collaborative space and moved my work there, farm and all!

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