Luciano's diary

Recent diary entries

To the OGF Community: Thank you

Posted by Luciano on 1 October 2021 in English (English).

We had some problems last night and today with “certbot” - a tool we use on the server to make sure the OGF webpages are secure (“https”). And that also caused problems with our automated emailing from the server, which supports functions like new user sign up, lost password recovery, and replication monitoring (making sure data goes over to the render and to overpass correctly).

I’m sorry I had to shut down the server without much advance notice - I was worried the problem was worse than it was, and so I was trying to solve it quickly.

Thank you to everyone for your patience!

Also, we have reached the $200 / month level with donations supporting our rental fees for our servers. So thank you to all who have been donating.

Happy mapping and happy (northern hemisphere) Fall.

Two Things

Posted by Luciano on 3 September 2021 in English (English).

First thing:

We’re Live! Welcome back, everyone. Happy mapping!

Second thing:

I’ve noticed some of you have discovered that under the new rails port software from OSM, you’re able to change your username.

This is pretty cool, but there’s a problem: our territory assignment system is based on your username. Uh oh.

If you change your username without first letting us know, you might lose your territory. And if you let us know, we might not notice, because we are all very busy right now.

Recommendation: hold off on changing your username. And if if you have changed your username, change it back. For now.

In the long run, we will change our territory assignment system to be based on your user ID number, which is guaranteed to stay the same.

We're back! Doing some Beta testing now

Posted by Luciano on 3 September 2021 in English (English).

We rebuilt the site (OSM rails port), again, from the bottom up.

Things seem to be working alright.

Thank you to all the OGF community for their patience while we solved this issue. Part of “growing pains” as we get settled in our new home.

Happy mapping!

If you have hotmail, outlook, icloud... and can't get in the site, read this

Posted by Luciano on 2 September 2021 in English (English).

I am still seeing users being locked out of the site because their email addresses are rejecting our new mail server’s best efforts to deliver email to them.

This is not our fault. Microsoft, Apple, et al. have decided our email server is an untrustworthy email server and are returning our emails to us undelivered. They offer no technical support in how to get un-blacklisted.

Other email providers are not having this problem. Notably, gmail works fine.

If you have a hotmail, icloud, outlook, live .com, or other email provider that might be ignoring our emails, your best solution is to change to a different email address.

To fix the problem, send me an email at luciano(at) , FROM your new email address, and telling me your OGF username and your old email address.

Thanks for understanding.

Topo Render ... temporary suspension

Posted by Luciano on 2 September 2021 in English (English).

We are still seeing performance issues with the render server.

To better be able to understand these issues, we have decided to temporarily suspend the ogf-topo render.

Please be reassured - the topo render is very important to me. It’s one of the reasons I’m so involved in this project. I will not leave it “abandoned” as it was on the old OGF server. If I must, I’ll build a second render server to host ogf-topo.

But meanwhile, we will shut down the topo render so that we can troubleshoot performance problems and get the ogf-carto render running at its best possible ability.

Thank you for your patience.

Rails Port Open. Happy Mapping!

Posted by Luciano on 29 August 2021 in English (English). Last updated on 4 September 2021.

Let’s give this a try.

The rails port seems to be performing okay. So if you want to sign in and try mapping, go ahead and visit the lost password recovery page:

You will get an email with your new password. Reset it and start mapping.

Please note the wiki remains “closed” - you can look at it, but no general editing will be permitted, for at least another week, while we get things organized.

Meanwhile, welcome to our new servers.

Our email server is not yet fully functional for incoming messages, therefore please message using the OGF messaging system or send me an email at luciano(↻) . If I’m swamped with questions, I might take a while to get to yours, however.

Several common problems:

  1. A bright red “ActionController…” error. Or else the site keeps logging you out. This is nothing to panic about. It’s a “stale cookie” problem and can be resolved by patient refreshes of your browser cache (control-F5) or maybe trying to open our site in an incognito window. Annoying. How to fix is unclear, so far.

  2. Slow load on map render. This will happen for any region where you’re the first visitor. It will pick up speed as more people visit various spots on the map.

  3. Oauth seems weird, wrong data, etc. Delete and revoke any old Oauth applications, authorizations and tokens attached to your account, and make new ones. Oauth is working fine, they just need to be generated on the new server rather than inherited from the old one.

Ohunkagan Historical...

Posted by Luciano on 4 July 2020 in Korean (한국어).

This is one of the hoped-for benefits of my historical mapping approach. I do a screenshot every now and then using the exact same window size and coordinates, and make it into a gif. This gif covers the years 1880-1896. As time passes, it will get longer and more interesting.

Ohunkagan's 1895 Exposition & World's Fair

Posted by Luciano on 2 July 2020 in Korean (한국어).

As part of my historical mapping of Makaska, I have been working on the Ohunkagan 1895 Exposition & World’s Fair. The concept is somewhat modeled on Chicago 1893 or St Louis 1904. Think of it as a turn-of-the-last-century temporary theme park.

The Exposition grounds are mapped on the shores of “Lake Great and Unnamed” (and when will we ever name it?), east of downtown Ohunkagan. The city raced to complete the beginnings of its new elevated electric train network in time for the fair, with two stations accommodating visitors and directly linking to downtown. The grounds also feature a temporary train terminal where VIPs and special excursions from around the FSA can park their charter trains, and an intramural ferry and streetcar for getting around the park.

Here is a map link:

I have two things for the OGF community.

First - feedback? What’s missing? What do you recommend? Remember this is for the year 1895. The theme is “developing our frontier” and features lots of exhibits on industry, resource extraction (with a focus on Makaska’s primary industries: coal, lumber, wheat, buffalo/cattle, iron ore). What would you like to see me add?

Second - if you own or coordinate a state or country (which is most of us!), which existed in 1895 (maybe not everybody!), then you need an exhibit at the Exposition. The FSA “state exhibits” are in the red circle area in the screenshot below. The international “country exhibits” are in the yellow circle area. You may take over an existing building labelled as “State Exhibit” or “Country Exhibit”, or you may create a new one in an empty spot in those circled areas. No permission needed, just do it. I’m trusting you all to behave yourselves, and I don’t want to be swamped with messages. Worst case, I’ll delete your edits as inappropriate.

Happy mapping, and greetings from summery (today, anyway) Southeast Alaska.

Location: Central Highlands, Tasmania, 7140, 오스트레일리아

A history of the imagination

Posted by Luciano on 19 February 2020 in Korean (한국어).

User donnamaw posted something to their sandbox recently:

It’s about the origins of their mapping - an OOC discussion of how their geofiction came to be.

It inspired me, and I got quite carried away. I have posted my own documentation of my geofictions over at my blog:

Terrible Maps!

Posted by Luciano on 20 December 2018 in Korean (한국어).

… not what you think.

I think we can all agree that regardless of all our differences, we are all “map geeks.”

So I think the humor on this twitter would be appreciated:

Happy mapping… from somewhere on the road, Oklahoma, USA.

Real life interrupts...

Posted by Luciano on 28 June 2018 in Korean (한국어).

I have major changes happening in my life - announced in my blog:

WikiForum is "LIVE"

Posted by Luciano on 22 November 2017 in Korean (한국어).

Hi everybody!

We are not completely satisfied with the “WikiForum” extension, but we have decided it’s the best option to provide forum-like functionality to the OGF community. Its advantages including being a part of the wiki (thus easy to maintain and integrated to the site). It can be a little bit wonky (the “edit” post function doesn’t work, for example), though, and it’s not particularly rich in features.

Anyway, it’s an improvement over these User Diaries, and it’s now open.

Since this is an announcement ABOUT the forum, how about you don’t comment about it below, and comment on the forum, instead? Try it out.

Location: -58.291, 83.952

Super Secret Feedback Question

Posted by Luciano on 2 October 2017 in Korean (한국어).

I have decided to combine testing the new WikiForum with a sincere request for feedback on a big project I plan to start. So don’t comment here - go see my question and give feedback at the WikiForum.

Thanks for participating, and happy mapping.

Location: Little Sandy Desert, Shire Of Wiluna, Western Australia, 오스트레일리아


Posted by Luciano on 15 September 2017 in Korean (한국어).

Hi fellow geoficticians.

I have returned from my 12 day trip to Queensland, Australia. I am always somewhat inspired to visit there, because I suppose some aspects of Ardisphere’s PHYSICAL geography are inspired by that place. Although culturally / politically, Ardisphere is definitely Latin American, the natural aspect takes inspiration more from Australia - you will notice things like eucalyptus trees, kangaroos and platypuses, too, mixed in incongruously with African and American species. The place is basically a zoo.

Here are four representative pictures.

For you infrastructure fetishists, here is a view of the excellent Brisbane regional rail, taken from inside the International Terminal.

For city people, here is a view of Brisbane at night, from the river.

For country people, here is a view of the Far North Queensland “Tablelands Region” - basically, this is tropical rainforest plateau, but much of the rainforest has been cleared for the last 100 years or so for grazing and agriculture (e.g. sugar cane).

Finally, here is a picture of some very cute wallabies that lurk along the long (500m), unpaved driveway at my mother’s property in the drier regions a bit west of the previous picture.

Having reassured myself of my elderly mother’s health situation (the reason for my trip), I have returned home to Seoul and expect be quite active with OGF now, for the next several weeks.

Happy mapping.

Challenge Follow-up, Travel Plans

Posted by Luciano on 30 August 2017 in Korean (한국어).

I have posted a brief resolution of my August Railroad Challenge on my bliki (here: Congratulations are due to joschi81, as the winner.

For the next 2 weeks, I will be only minimally participating in OGF. You may see me in the diaries a bit, or in wiki comments, via my phone, but I will lack JOSM so it’s not likely I’ll make any edits.

I am traveling to Queensland to visit relatives (I have relatives in 5 countries on 3 continents, which is nice when it comes to choosing where to travel), and will return home to Seoul on the 15th.

Meanwhile, happy mapping to everyone.

Location: Telfer, Shire Of East Pilbara, Western Australia, 오스트레일리아

Luciano Special Technical Collaboration Challenge - August, 2017

Posted by Luciano on 30 July 2017 in Korean (한국어).

I’m sure many of you have noticed, I no longer post my monthly challenges. I’m sorry about that, to those who miss them. In fact, I had hoped the community would take up the torch and run with it, but it hasn’t really happened. The closest has been what niels20020 did with the Weekly Word concept - it has been a nice effort and some great results.

This challenge is different. First of all, it’s an invitation for collaboration in my country, Ardisphere, rather than a challenge for you own work. It’s also quite detailed and difficult. It’s for ADVANCED mappers only, and especially for those obsessed with railroads.

Some of you are quite good and knowledgeable about railroads. I’m not. I enjoy thinking about and mapping railroads, but I am not any kind of technical expert.

As you know, I have been placing contours on parts of the Ardisphere. Once contours are in place, I can start to think about very realistic railroads and highways (i.e. “engineered” to match slope, terrain, etc.).

I want to have a freight / passenger line between Las Vegas, DP, and Narao, DP.

I built one a few months ago, but it was “over-engineered” and was quite baroque and implausible, and it required some excessive modifications to the contours to make it “fit.” I have deleted this draft (you might still see it on some lower-number zooms on the TOPO layer, which seems to update rather inconsistently.

Your challenge, should you wish to try, is to design a contour-realistic railroad for this stretch (see map).

Actually, I’m not very well-educated about what realistic standards would be for a 1910’s era railroad through this kind of terrain. So that’s part of the challenge, too.

In fact, this whole challenge is Thilo’s idea, more than mine, which he suggested after providing much-needed criticism of the original railroad draft I built.

Challenge summary:

1) Research what realistic standards would be for a 1910’s era railroad (freight and/or passenger, if those are different). There needs to be thought about curve radii, maximum grades (inclines), maximum tunnel length, maximum cutting depths, maximum bridge lengths and heights, etc.

2) The route MUST include Ciudad Sokolov (about halfway, near the western border). Other towns to try to include would be Cuaquensenutes, Paso del Miércoles de Ceniza, and La Apoteosis.

2) Use the TOPO layer imagery in JOSM to design the railroad (if you don’t know how to use the imagery layer, I suppose part of the challenge would be to figure it out - as I said, this is an ADVANCED challenge).

3) As you draw the railroad, record elevation, incline, etc on the ways and nodes. You are free to download some of the other railroads in the Comala region that I’ve built to see how I do this. I recommend the Comala-Yahuas stretch, which I’m pretty happy with.

4) DO NOT UPLOAD your work - this could create problems both because there may be more than one person working on it, and because I may be working in the region on other things, and conflicts are difficult and unpleasant to deal with. SAVE your work, and upload the OSM file somewhere online so that Thilo and I can look at it in JOSM.

5) Results will be announced in September. Prizes: a) satisfaction knowing you’re the best railroad designer in OGF-land; b) a certificate of recognition from the Ferrocarriles Federales (S.A.-Ardesfera) Oficina de Ingenieria, dated 1912, and signed by Presidente Selenio Quiroga.

Happy mapping.

Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #13 - April, 2017 - Better Boundaries, Better Neighbors

Posted by Luciano on 1 April 2017 in Korean (한국어).

Moving forward, I will be posting my Monthly Mapper’s Challenges in my Bliki, rather than in the diaries. I’d like to see the diaries move in the direction of just being a place for community-wide announcements and technical issues, rather than a place for “brags” and “requests for feedback” etc.

Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #12 - March, 2017 - Ghosts on the Map

Posted by Luciano on 2 March 2017 in Korean (한국어).

My very brief summary of my own work on last month’s challenge: I didn’t do it. I thought about it. Does that count?

The problem, of course, is that I decided I wanted to have the Topo layer complete before beginning work on Comala. That became an impossibly huge project, as my contour-drawing mania started to encompass the surrounding region.

Anyway, Comala will eventually be mapped, and it will have no motorways.

How did everyone else do?

Luciano’s Mapper’s Challenge #12 - March, 2017 - Ghosts on the Map

This month’s challenge is a more manageable scale. It comes from Thilo.

He suggested “mapping things that aren’t there anymore.”

This is a common enough aspect of urban geography. This article (Los Angeles Times) is a good introduction to the issue in the context of North American urbanism. In Europe, you can find the outlines of ancient Roman amphitheaters, for example.

Some users have done this already, in OGF. There’s joschi81’s former railway station converted into a concert hall, in Tarott. I placed a “former railroad right-of-way” when I mapped the area surrounding the Irhoborin Refugee Settlement in Duvar, which can just barely be made out on the map (look for “Rail Street”).

So this month’s challenge is to map something that isn’t there anymore. Use your imagination, think about the history of your territory, and go for it.

Since I’m working on Comala, I think I might place a small, abandoned pre-Colonial city “under” the modern Ardispherian city. I was planning on approaching the city at least semi-historically (not at rigorously as user Pawl has been doing, but a similar concept). So I will draw a plan and place some buildings for the pre-Colonial city in a layer for Comala, which rather than uploading, I’ll just keep for reference as I develop the city.

Happy mapping.

Tárrases, 3D

Posted by Luciano on 10 February 2017 in Korean (한국어).

This is still work-in-progress (Thilo just uploaded new, incomplete version), but it is way too cool not to share. Totally cool.,83.978,14664.064,145.149,83.029

Happy mapping.

Location: -58.273, 83.948

Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #11 - February, 2017 - Another day, but not another motorway

Posted by Luciano on 1 February 2017 in Korean (한국어).

Many times before, I and other mappers have observed the seemingly excessive popularity of motorways in our world. People seem to like to build them, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not always terribly realistic (who’s paying for all these motorways?), and I have come to realize that drawing motorways ‘‘first’’, as a kind of “skeleton” for one’s territory, is a fundamentally backwards approach to geofiction - in real life, motorways come closer to ‘‘last’’ than ‘‘first’’ - if they come at all.

So I had this idea. There are some major cities in the world that simply don’t have motorways. I’m not talking about poor cities, either.

One favorite personal example is Winnipeg, in Canada ( - a city which I visited frequently during a certain period of my life, although I’ve never lived there.

The city has at least 500,000 residents, but the only motorway is the ring-road, and even that is not fully limited-access for much of its length. There is not single kilometer of limited access highway within that ring road.

Looking at the map, Warsaw, Poland ( is another interesting example. There appear to be several motorway “approaches” to the city (maybe only one?), but nothing to the center.

Vancouver, Canada ( also lacks any kind of motorway access to the core city, although they abound in the suburbs.

And Edinburgh, Scotland (, seems to well-developed suburban motorways, but nothing that enters the city proper.

San Francisco, California (, my “birth city”, has the 80/280 complex south of Market, but the 1 and 101 never properly connect through the city, meaning that travel ‘‘through’’ the city is only possible on surface streets - a hassle I remember my parents coping with many times when I was quite young, as we went back and forth from Marin to Palo Alto. My earliest childhood memory is probably being stuck in traffic in a Volkswagen Beetle on Van Ness Avenue on a fog-shrouded morning.

Luciano’s Mapper’s Challenge #11 - February, 2017 - Another day, but not another motorway

This month’s challenge is to plan and ‘‘begin’’ to build a city that, for whatever historical or political reasons, lacks motorways. Obviously, a single month, as we’ve learned, is not enough time to fully build a major city. But it’s enough time to take the first steps.

I’ll set it up as follows:

  • advanced: a major world city, 1000000+, with no motorways
  • medium: a large city, 500000+, with no motorways
  • small: a smaller city, 100000+, with no motorways

I think for this challenge for myself, I’ll finally return to the Ardisphere. I have one major small city, Comala, Departamento de Páramos (the capital of the Departamento, which is in a very incomplete stage of development. Sufficiently incomplete that I never drew any motorways for it. I think I’ll leave it that way.

Given that Comala is only a little over 100000 inhabitants, that means I’ll be doing the ‘‘small’’ challenge.

To be clear, this challenge doesn’t say “no motorways at all,” rather, it says “no motorways to/through the center.” Realistically, in any relatively prosperous country, suburbs will still contain some motorways, either radially (Warsaw), peripherally (San Francisco/Vancouver), or as a ring-road (Winnipeg).