louis_walker's diary

Recent diary entries

Looking for an Airport mapper

Posted by louis_walker on 8 September 2019 in English (English)

Hi all! I've got a basic airport sketched out for Seniqe, but I've seen some really amazingly detailed airports around the OGF world and am hoping one of you has a special love of mapping these kinds of sites. If you are interested in mapping Seniqe's airport in detail, please shoot me a DM with an example or two of airports you've created in the past. Thank you!

Location: 29.372, 28.526

Introducing Seniqe

Posted by louis_walker on 26 August 2019 in English (English)

Central Seniqe

I've been working on Seniqe, one of the two major cities along the Strait of Abren in Dematisna, for the past month. While there is still a huge amount of work to be done, much of the city's historic center has been mapped now (along with the outline for the metro region), so I thought it was time for a proper introduction.

Seniqe is a mélange of influences from Istanbul, Izmir, Barcelona, Seville, Athens, and Algiers. It has a fairly hilly terrain, but the central city is located on a broad, flat plain around Al-Hilal Aleulawi, the Crescent Haven, the body of water that connects the city's historic port to the Strait of Abren. The ancient walled city was founded around 1600 BCE, and reached its current extent around 500 CE. The city greatly expanded following the arrival of the Castellanese in the 1450s. It continued to grow under colonial control for centuries, and through the strait's status as an international territory (the Zona Internacional Abreniqe, or ZIA) from 1902-69.

Following a change to immigration laws after Dematisna became an independent country in '69, the city became a magnet for international migration. Its population first cracked one million in the first Dematisnan census in 1975, and today the metropolitan region is home to more than seven million people from around the world. You can read a more detailed history of the city on its wiki page here.

So far the detailed mapping reflects about 80% of what would have existed ca. 1900 CE, while the road and rail network for the metro region is mapped up to the present. I'm filling in the city as I go, and am hoping to get up to the 1960s by the end of the summer.

I would love to hear any initial thoughts people have on how things are shaping up! I want to give a special shout-out to @Moskva, who is mapping the motorway interchanges (which I have no talent for, whatsoever). Dematisna is a collaborative territory, so if there are projects you would be interested in helping out with in Seniqe, please propose them here or on the talk page for Dematisna

Location: 29.452, 28.398

Introducing Canan-Yar, Capital of Al-Kaza

Posted by louis_walker on 10 March 2019 in English (English)


From Blank Slate to Metropolis in 28 Days

It already feels like it's been months since the City Sprint, but no—just a week and a half has passed! In that time I've continued working on Al-Kaza's capital city, Canan-Yar. Rather than writing a bliki post, I decided to introduce the city to the wider community in the diaries, since...well, no one comments on bliki posts anymore. 😅

The gif above is actually from right after the sprint ended, so it only shows the progress that was made during the 28 days of February. Since then I've continued to build out detailed building cover in the downtown area, and have now finished the Esas Borsa (the CBD) and the Istasyon Semt (Station District) and am about two-thirds of the way through the Sivil Daire (Civic Circle), which is the main center of operations for both the city and the federal governments.

I'm also about 80% of the way through mapping out the city's retail landscape. Working off of data from the City Observatory's Storefront Index I was able to estimate the number of each type of retail establishment that would be in a city of Canan-Yar's size with a healthy economy. The major stuff is in, and now I'm working on the specialty stores. My eyes are starting to cross after all of this detail work, so I'm taking the rest of the night off!

I hope you will enjoy exploring!

Calling All Diplomats

One other thing, before you go: there are almost a hundred embassy plots laid out on the eastern slopes of the Elçilik Tepesi (Embassy Hill). I would like to invite the OGF community to establish diplomatic relations with Al-Kaza by building a villa-style embassy and landscaped gardens overlooking the city and the Hesperic. I created a case study in the Embassy of Gobrassanya to set a high standard. 😉

If you would like to establish diplomatic ties, please shoot me a DM and I will assign you a site post-haste!

Location: 29.185, 25.461

City Sprint 2019: That's a Wrap!

Posted by louis_walker on 1 March 2019 in English (English)

I didn't want to let it pass without some kind of mention: as of today, the OGF City Sprint is officially over! It was a lot of fun watching the progress across all four continents. Big thanks to the more than three-dozen (!) mappers who signed up, and the dedicated folks who kept at it all the way to the end.

I'm planning to do something in the near future with the Daily Dose of Mapping Mojo posts, perhaps creating a kind of toolkit for breaking through mappers' block. It would be really great to hear from the community about what your favorite resources were, and if you actually found some of the links that were shared helpful in thinking about your city in new ways.


On a personal note, I first floated the idea of a city sprint because I wanted to hit fastfoward on mapping my capital city, and on that front it was a rousing success! I set a personal goal of mapping 100,000 objects in a month, and ultimately mapped a grand total of 103,636 nodes, ways, and polygons during the 28 days of February. I'm planning to write a post introducing Canan-Yar to the world over the weekend, so more to come. I definitely would not have had the momentum to do it without all of the sprinters! :D

City Sprint: Part II

Posted by louis_walker on 15 February 2019 in English (English)

Today is February 15th, meaning we're now over the hump of the four-week-long City Sprint! I've noticed a slump in mapping, and have been feeling a bit wrung out myself lately...yesterday was the first day since Feb 1 that I didn't map at all. A challenge like this is more fun with friends, so since the User Diaries send updates when replies are added I thought a post here could be a fun way for those of us who'd like a bit of communal cheering-on to get our fix.

Over the second half of the City Sprint, post updates, ideas, questions, etc. related to your City Sprint projects here. The point of this thread is to create an encouraging environment, so please avoid snark, sarcasm, rudeness, abruptness, etc.

I'll kick things off. My goal was to kick the development of my country's capital city into warp-speed; it was a completely blank slate at the start of the month, just a name on the map. I'm really excited about the amount of progress I've made so far; the central city is pretty much done in terms of the street network, and a number of key buildings are already mapped. Here's a link where you can check out the progress I've made so far on Canan-Yar.

What have you been up to these past two weeks? Any exciting projects completed? New ideas sparked? Share away!

2019 CITY SPRINT Starts This Friday (Feb 1)

Posted by louis_walker on 31 January 2019 in English (English)

Hello User Diary users! This was originally announced in the forums, but I wanted to include a message here for those who may not have seen it.

During the month of February, we're running the first OGF City Sprint. Users are choosing a city to focus their mapping on intensely for one month.

More info & updates will be posted on this sandbox page throughout the month.

If you'd like to participate, add your name and selected city to the list on the page linked above. Then, starting Friday, map away! You can take a city that's just a dot on the map and build it from scratch, or go into a city you've worked on before but want to add lots of rich detail to. It's 100% open and flexible. The goal is just to map as much of your city as possible, at the highest possible quality, over the span of just one month. No prizes, no rules, nothing formal or fancy—just a fun community event that should produce some great new mapping.

Happy mapping to all!

JOSM has stumped please??

Posted by louis_walker on 13 January 2019 in English (English)

Sorry, this is bush league, but...I can usually figure out what went wrong when I get JOSM error messages, but I have not been able to figure out what to do to correct this, and now I've got a significant update that I can't upload.

Any help from those of you who don't find JOSM totally inscrutable would be much appreciated!!

You can see a screencap of the error message here:

Baby you can drive my karst

Posted by louis_walker on 6 February 2018 in English (English)

Karst in southwestern China, near Guilin

When I was doing initial research to figure out what I wanted Patermas to look like, I spent a lot of time looking at parts of the world located around the same latitude...and I stumbled upon the incredible karst formations in the borderlands of China and Vietnam, along the Gulf of Tonkin. I decided that Patermas needed some epic karst, despite the challenge that mapping such an intricate landmass would present.

Version 1.0 of the Yagui range on the Patermas-Draco border is now live on the map, and I could use some feedback. I get that it's not quite right yet, so constructive only, please...don't just say "X doesn't work," share an idea or potential solution. :) Or, hey, if you like it the way it is, tell me to chill.

Here's a link to a side-by side comparison with the best-mapped chunk I could find in China as a real-world comparison. Most of the real range, sadly, hasn't really been mapped in any detail in OSM, but in actuality it stretches for many thousands of square miles. Obviously the map could never capture the actual look of the real thing, so I'm going for something gestural.

I'm generally pleased with how it's turning out, but something about it feels a bit too lava-lamp-y to me. Thoughts??

Location: Petan City, The Republic of Draco

Topography: check!

Posted by louis_walker on 21 December 2017 in English (English)

Now that I've finally got JOSM set up, I spent a good chunk of yesterday mapping out the rough outline of the topography for my country, Patermas, which you can see here. There are two mountain ranges, the Brocades to the west (which begin to the north, in Gamen, and are based off of the Tell Atlas in Algeria) and the El Salteadors/Yaguis to the east, a large karst formation which Patermas shares with Draco and Targueral (and are based off of the Mogotes range in Cuba, with a bit of southeastern China/northern Vietnam, though not quite that elaborate). They gradually move toward each other, creating a large, tapering central valley, and meet around the southern border with the massive TA013 territory, currently unclaimed.

I also mapped out the country's major river systems, including the Col River, which is the wide, central river into which the southern and eastern mountain watersheds drain, creating a large fertile territory, protected from the Serion Desert by the Brocades, and suitable for agriculture. There are also several large salt lakes between the Serion in the Brocades, based on the Chott el Djeridd in Tunisia.

Last but not least, I added a few more minor cities so that every metro with more than 200k people is mapped, and then drew the main lines of the country's expressway system. There will be a dominant urban mega-region in the north along the coast, three cities of about 1.5 million, and then a network of cities with 200-500K people. There will be a population of about 22 million, giving Patermas a population density of 125 people per km2, similar to France or Poland. About 80% of the population will live in metropolitan/urban areas (similar, again, to major western countries), meaning a rural population of about 4 million.

The outlines are a bit chunky, and aren't meant to be final. It'll take a long time and a lot of work "feathering" the edges to make them look more realistic, but I am pretty happy with this as a first pass, as I mainly wanted to create an overview of what's coming. My reason for posting this diary is to get some initial feedback as to whether anything stands out as off. I played around a lot with the Col River's width, for instance, trying to make it wide enough to look important but not so wide that it was unrealistic for an area this close to the Equator, where it is quite hot (but also humid, thanks to the rainforests to the east).

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