joschi81 has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
No time for OGF: What "future" for my countries? 7 months ago

Thank you all for your very positive comments!

I think for the moment I will just choose option 6) for all of my territories.

I, too, see the risk of Western Uletha getting a bit "oudated" in some points if my "sabbatical" takes too long, but I assure you that before that happens I will come back and maybe go for another option, 1) for example.

A few years ago I sometimes spend 50% of my normal office time as a freelancer to continue my mapping in OGF (and outside OGF before 2013). At that time, money didn't matter that much. This has changed, unfortunately... But I'm sure that there will be times with less workload regarding my professional life, so I'm optimistic to find some "gaps" from time to time to continue a bit here and there (with still enough family time).

And one more thing: I'm very happy about the fact that there are so many serious and good quality mappers here in OGF. OK, there are more mappers of the "opposite side", you may say, but still, many of the OGF members show that geofiction is a "serious" and very creative thing and that (in my point of view) it helps you in many ways to better understand the real world (not only on a geographic level).

Every progress in my mapping feels like a huge progress now for me. Bringing a few more street names and other details into the Tarott map or adding some more missing rivers, railways, national highways, and motorways feels like a huge step forward! So, I'm sure you will see some more details and general mapping appear in the map from time to time.

To clonclude: I will not leave, nor will I make a full "sabbatical", but just continue like I did during the last year was some details here and there and with the hope to have more time slots in the near future for more mapping. :)

No time for OGF: What "future" for my countries? 7 months ago

And one more word about my intention to return to hand-drawn maps: I think that I will do this for Nerschach, the Kalmish capital since 1862 (Tarott was the capital before that, but lost this role a bit after Kalm lost almost all its overseas territories). I will bring the current state to paper, continue there and bring it to OGF later.

No time for OGF: What "future" for my countries? 7 months ago

Thank you all for the comments!

@Sarepava: So true! For me, OGF is the best thing I ever did on the computer, followed directly by real-world mapping in OSM or other mapping projects in QGIS for example. It's the most creative free time occupation on the computer that I know of.

@iiEarth: Right now, I cannot imagine to go for option 3). I have thought much about "shrinking" Kalm, but this does not feel right. Every region alreday has a bit of a "Kalmish identity" and do't want to give that up. But option 2) is part of my vision.

@stjur: Thank you so much for your help with Norad, Siuvna, other parts of Garlis. Yesterday I thought about making Garlis a purple territory, but I think after Kalm, Garlis is the next candidate to stay "untouched" by others (except some "invited" users like you). Siuvna is one of my favourite cities (in my territories, of course I have other favourite cities created by other users out there in the OGF world). It has come to life also due to you wonderful work on the Garlian culture and language and all the wonderful place names you created.

@zhenkang: Gathering everything that has been mapped so far in one part of my territory is an option that I have thought about. But it's now realistic. Every white space in my territories (at least in Kalm and Garlis) is "filled" up to a certain level in my head already. Option 6) is therefore a better way to go!

@Picard-Lindelöf: I see the "mausoleum risk", too. But I know now (since I reflected everything a bit more since yesterday) that I can just continue the way I did so far: Mapping a little bit from time to to, like I did during the last months. Thanks for your positive feedback about Tarott. I'm quite sad that I started mapping Tarott in Adobe Illustrator three years before OGF started and have now a lot of "double work" to bring in into OGF. But I'm working on it, step by step. Transition from urban to rural (with all the "intermediate steps") is one of my favourite aspects of fictional mapping.

@JBstad1: "...but only ON YOUR TIME." Thank you for your nice words, I think this is what I will do!

My current intention is to go for option 6) but take some parts of my territories that will be continued as a collaborative territory with very strict rules for very advanced users.

Also, maybe my current "mapping rhythm" isn't that bad after all, a bit of detailed mapping every few months. Slow progress, but no "dead territory".

I consider, however, to give up Ísztianország, Ventria, and Erfeldia. The problem is, though, that these countries have strong cultural influences on Kalm and I don't want the names and the specific cultural mapping aspects to disappear from the map... So I'm still not sure here.

No time for OGF: What "future" for my countries? 7 months ago

Thank you, LemonKing, Rustem Pasha, and louis_walker for these first very constructive comments. I appreciate that you see the quality of my mapping (in the places where my countries are not "blank" anymore) and make such good proposales how to deal with my concerns. I think, I will go for a combination of 1) and 6). I can't imagine right now to open up the whole country of Kalm to other users, as Rustem Pasha proposes. But I have had the idea for a long to to make at least one of the administrative "Regions" collaborative to see how it all turns out. For the rest of Kalm I will probably choose 6), as louis_walker proposes. Thank you, LemonKing, for confirming that my "family first" strategy is the right way to go. I'll let you know asap what my decision will be, but I will take my time for that! And I will also discuss all that with isleño.

Mapper's Challenge #24, October 2018 – Local Railways and Interurbans 10 months ago

Although I have been a relatively quiet mapper recently (due to "family business") I want to present some Kalm, Garlis, and Ventria examples here, as I stumbled upon this user diary entry today.

Mendau - Bad Vilter railway - Light rail line using an old single-track normal-gauge railway line, electrified and connected to the Mendau tram network in Mendau-Thorsteinfeld and with a short on-street tram section in Bad Vilter since the 1990s, with the old railway station closed down and the tram line connecting directly to the old town.

Forberg - Wittersberg railway - Old single-track railway line that had been closed from the late 1950s to the late 1980s. Used as part of the Forberg tramway network today (eleftrifed 750V DC, line 8, see map). The tram section in Wittersberg uses the remaining part of a former two-line urban network.

Fieren - Orlent railway - Interurban light rail line, mostly single-track, using a former railway line since the early 2000s. The line has been electrified for light-rail operation and in Fieren, a new tram section has been built to connect to the university. In Orlent, the line leaves the old railway alignment in Borgenar district.

Mahnern - Thermette railway - The single-line Mahnern tramway network has been connected to the larger Thermette tramway network in the late 1990s using a former single-track railway line. In Mahnern, the line switches from railway alignment to on-street tramway alignment in the south of Blochfeld district.

Kulzerwaldbahn (Kulzerwald railway) from Tarott-Rennetal to northwestern suburban towns in a foresty region. Narrow-gauge line, electrified (600V DC). Plans exist to convert the gauge to 1000mm and conect it to the Tarott-Kulz tramway network.

Hajau island suburban tramways - Opened in 1898 from the city of Lertz to smaller touristy towns at the island.

Hohenrothberg - Erpold railway - Single-track narrow-gauge (1000mm) line on a plateau in a hilly region. Opened 1882, not electrified. Connecting to a funicular railway that (almost) connects to Juhnrothberg railway station.

Interurban tramway Cenaca - Gavalea in Garlis - Old, mostly single-track interurban tramway. Opened 1886, electrified 1901. Continues to Winterbach (Kalm).

Narrow-gauge lines in Ventria - National railway lines in Ventria run on narrow-gauge, only international and core regional railways are normal gauge. Around Lenvier, the capital, many of the national narrow-gauge lines share the alignment with national roads. By the way: There is an important dual-gauge section south of Pierre-Blanc.

Kind regards


Darsons: What is your opinion? about 1 year ago

Thanks for all the comments. I'm quite busy right now with "non-OGF" stuff, so I will reply in detail asap.

Thanks for deleting I-406. I agree that we don't necessarily have to delete I-606. But the long tunnel under Easthill is simply not realistic, same as the Willmount tunnel of US 39. It is a flat terrain and in the US they would rather build an elevated alignment and destroy some houses. Or find another alignment, which I will try soon.

The proposed "stick figure" light rail network (thank you, Ernestpcosby) is a good idea. However, I would "destory" the stick figure by extending the "line A" to Corville and Eastdale, its current alignment (and branch A and B will be switched, as the Corville branch definetily is the older one.

My full proposal including history: 1942 - the old tramway network that had been reduced step by step from five to two lines was closed and the tracks destroyed immediately (thanks to oil companies in favor of diesel buses)

1992 - first concrete plans for the rehabilitation of a small streetcar network in historic style (same style as the new El Paso streetcar line currently under construction, maybe also with the OGF equivalent of the PCC cars), but construction delayed again and again

2000 - first plans to build a light rail network ("Twin Cities" style)

2004 - first historic streetcar line opens "Oldville loop" (sad but true: not connected to the railway station transit center), plans for extending the network under way

2009 - the first section of the modern Darsons light rail opens from Transit Center to Black Oaks/Medical Center

2014 - Extended to Eastdale Town Center

2015 - Extended to Corville East

2016 - Construction starts of the new East-West streetcar (Victoria Park to Redstone Park via "Oldville", the more common name for Darsons downtown area), with plans to extend it further east into Redstone

late 2017 - First phase of the Mellier (B) branch opens (as far as Hayden Road), construction starts of the southern extension of the same branch as far as South Mellier, using parts of the old Darsons & Watamak Valley Railway (DWVR)

spring 2018 - Extended from Eastdale Town Center to Neon Way


2019 - Opening of the East-West streetcar

early 2021 - Opening of the South Mellier extension of B branch

2025 (?) - new streetcar branch from Oldville loop to Transit Center

2028 (?) - new branch to Darsons North Medical Center (DNMC)

Ok, during the time I wrote all this I could easily have written detailed answers to all your comments. On the other hand we would not have a Darsons rail transit history proposal that we can discuss. :)

@yoyo21: I would love to see Darsons further developed by you in the "Watamaks" in FSA. Do you feel comfortable with (mid-)western US style cities? Your current mapping in the FSA looks a bit more English or "New English" to me. :) But I'm sure it will be in good hands.

Kind regards


Darsons: What is your opinion? about 1 year ago

@zhenkang: Thanks for your remarks. Moving the city to one of my territories is no possible solution, as I don't have an American-style country.

@Rustem Pasha and @Myrcia: Yes, the point is that it has too much transit on rails for an American-style city. And it was supposed to be one. With regards to all the (even smaller) US cities where short streetcar lines are being built, It only had the streetcar circular line in historic downtown in the beginning. Then someone put the first light rail line from Eastdale via Pokawatha Heights, Downtown, Crenwood and Willmount to Corville - and I revised it. But then, many more light rail lines popped up. I think with the streetcar and one light rail line (maybe even two) it is ok.

@zhenkang, @Rustem Pasha, @The_Cute_Chick, @yoyo21: Yes, downgrading the motorway network is definetily necessary. These need to be removed in my point of view:

  • I-206

  • I-406

  • I-606 (except the section between Morrison Hill and Carmont)

  • The section of I-6 that runs parallel to I-206 (with I-206 turned into part of I-6)

  • Part of US-39 ("Riverside Drive" section)

Also, AR16 can be upgraded to a motorway, I think - and I-12 and AR16 should be switched south of Darsons, so that I-12 runs to Saint Andrews (and thus, we have a new intersection of AR16 and I-12).

@yoyo21: Well, Darsons was developed as a quite small city. I don't really feel comfortable to "upgrade" it to a big city. So I came up with the Thompson idea a long time ago and did a little bit of basic layout. But I don't have the time to continue the work there, unfortunately.

@oneofbeatlefan: This is a pretty good idea! Maybe AR120-31 and AR120-32 should become West Watamak and Watamak? I still like this river name and it would be nice to take it out of "chaotic" Commonia. However, I do have too many territories already and I should not start a new one. But if someone would like to have Darsons in an FSA state as a starting point, I would prefer to replace it there!

@geoboi: Thank you!

@bhj867: I understand your way of handling it, but as we're in a community territory, I prefer to discuss things first. :)

Ísztianország (Estiansia) open to everybody about 1 year ago

Ísztianország is here. Seems like someone (even me?) broke the border relation and thus, no country name is displayed on the map.

Tarott: Public transit network map preview & EXPOMONDIALE 2018 about 1 year ago

@lars: Thanks. I used Inkscape. Unfortunately, version 0.92.X is still missing some important features for such maps, like the fillet/chamfer path effect: But apart from that, it is a wonderful open source software!

Suggestion: Review your "capital" tagging about 1 year ago

@EMKLI and @bhj867: Thanks for correcting.

Tarott: Public transit network map preview & EXPOMONDIALE 2018 about 1 year ago

@zhenkang: Thank you. Just do the changes that are necessary in your point of view.

@Myrcia: The size of the Tarott city area is around 826 square kilometers, a bit smaller than Berlin with around 891 square kilometers. But the population density in average is a little bit higher than in Berlin (I still hav to calculate it), so it has around 4 million inhabitants, whereas Berlin hast about 3.6 million. Tarott basically is a centralised city, but as the administrative area as of today incorporates several formerly independent cities (e.g. Leuden in the south-east, Ristburg in the south and south-west, Eschbaum in the east, and Kulz in the north-west - the latter only being part of Tarott since 1962), there are some "de-centralised tendancies". The metro network is focused on the original Tarott area, with some lines reaching the other boroughs. Kemburg in the north-east is a still independent city with its own light-rail network (U21, U22, U23). There are currently three tramway networks in Tarott: the Tarott, tramway (normal gauge), the Kulz tramway (metre gauge), both dating back from the late 19th century, and the new Leuden tramway that opened in 2006, a bit before the Tarott-Leuden Pancontinental Games in 2008. A fourth tramway network for Eschbaum is under consideration.

@Sarepava: Thanks! Could you be more specific? What is it that would not be allowed in a tube map? What do I have to change in your point of view?

Utterland over 1 year 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 almost 2 years 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 almost 2 years 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 almost 2 years 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? almost 2 years 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 about 2 years ago

The first thing that came to my mind was:


Looking forward to see other proposals!

Luciano Special Technical Collaboration Challenge - August, 2017 about 2 years 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 about 2 years 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 about 2 years 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.