Forum:Request help/Luciano's AMA

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ForumsRequest help or feedback → Request help/Luciano's AMA

I have a bad habit of answering questions on OGFC (the OGF discord server) about OGF - both technical questions and questions about my own mapping or lore. I think that's a bad habit because I want to acknowledge that OGFC is NOT OGF. There are lots of users who don't use discord. Plus, discord doesn't provide much of a searchable "record" of old questions or comments.

To counter this tendency of mine, I decided to create this "AMA" page. AMA means "Ask Me Anything." Post a question here, I will answer. I like trying to answer technical questions, especially - it helps me better understand our systems and often I learn things in trying to answer them. Sometimes, I might not answer very fast, if I'm busy. And some questions might be inappropriate (e.g. "What is your opinion on real world issue X?" - this is supposed to be about OGF, not my whole life).

This is an experiment. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't. Meanwhile, happy mapping. - "Luciano"

NOTE: Please "attribute" your question as below, to your username, and show the date asked (use ~~~~ in the parentheses after the question). Thanks!

question) What is the origin of the pseudonym "Luciano"?

(asked by Luciano 2021-12-09)

answer) It's not my real name. I have used it as a nickname since my early teenage years, in certain contexts. When I lived in Mexico, I would sometimes give "Luciano" as my name when I met people, because my real name is not a typical Spanish-language name and is hard to "explain" to people so they get it right - I'd inevitably have to spell it out and explain what kind of name it was.

question) Why isn't anyone asking anything?

(asked by Luciano (talk) 16:30, 10 December 2021 (UTC))

answer) ...

question) We have spoken before about early mapping in Harda and the origin of that name, what other information about Antarephia in general can you share?

(asked by Ruadh (talk) 20:46, 10 December 2021 (UTC))

answer) Actually I'm not sure I have much interesting to say. When I was most active in Antarephia, when I was first creating Mahhal and Tárrases, the Harda Archipelago was quite separate from the rest of the continent. The thinking was that it had its own ecological and cultural characteristics. I remember a lot of debates about the climate of the archipelago, and what was realistic. Those debates left me discouraged and the consequence was, first, I moved Tárrases to the northernmost tip of Mahhal (it had been located much farther southeast down the archipelago), then, second, I decided to completely abandon the Mahhal project and retain Tárrases mostly as a kind of example of detailed mapping, but perhaps not completely "canon" within the OGF world. Luciano (talk) 21:08, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

question) So when the server switched over, the Scale Helper came with it and became more directly part of the wiki ecosystem which was good....

However, there was one major change in its functionality that I was hoping to see change back- the original Scale Helper had options to compare OGF to OGF and OSM to OSM, effectively having all layer options in both windows. I used to use that functionality a lot to get a feeling for whether my mapping was the same scale between cities, to compare store sizes to make sure I had the right idea for layout, etc, and just to get a feeling for how the map projection & latitude affected the scale on the map. Having the OGF to OSM comparison is really helpful, but it's been a little bit harder to get a feeling for scale within OGF with this feature missing. Is there any chance that functionality will be restored at some point? (asked by --Ernestpkirby (talk) 03:19, 13 December 2021 (UTC))

answer) This is a great question! Although also, basically, it's a request for a software change. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, you're asking the wrong person. wangi was the person who migrated the scale helper. But I will forward your question to him - it's possible it's not a difficult change to make. Luciano (talk) 14:02, 13 December 2021 (UTC)

I cannot recall the exact reason I removed it, but there was one. I've added a note to look at this again to my to-do list. However it's not near the top. Not sure why you'd not just use the distance shown in the editor for this. /wangi (talk) 15:23, 13 December 2021 (UTC)
On the "why not just use the distance shown" question: I can use the measurements to compare specific objects, though that also requires having both the area you're working on and the area you're comparing to open in JOSM. But most of the time when I'm mapping, unless it really is a specific measurement like length of a tram platform or something, I honestly need a visual comparison at the same scale to actually understand the numbers I'm seeing in context or it's sort of meaningless/unhelpful. Really that's why I use the scale helper at all, for the OSM to OGF comparisons as well. That said, I understand if there's a technical reason why this can't be done and it's not a rush, I understand there are bigger priorities. --Ernestpkirby (talk) 01:31, 14 December 2021 (UTC)

This functionality has been re-enabled: /wangi (talk) 00:23, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

question) I want to move around 55k nodes at one go, what's the best way to do that and reduce impact on the server/limit disruption to the site?

I'm thinking JOSM upload settings, time of day to make the move, what sort of larger edits can the system handle? etc (asked by Ruadh (talk) 13:42, 18 December 2021 (UTC))

answer) Actually my main advice about such a large move is: don't. Figure out a way to break up the objects to be moved into smaller sets - each less than 10k objects. Here's a way to think about it. Suppose you have a town you want to move, that consists of 55k objects, but the town has, say, 6 neighborhoods, each roughly the same size. So you want to move each neighborhood separately. In JOSM, you can "snip" ways (streets or waterways or boundaries) that cross between neighborhoods, using a combination of "P" (to cut) and "G" (to "un-merge" a shared node). I use filters, then, to select only the ways of one neighborhood, and drag it to the new location. Upload that move, go back, grab another neighborhood, repeat. In the new location, you then take the time to re-join the "snipped" ways ("M" can merge two nodes into one, very very useful - I use it all the time), and you might have to rebuild some broken boundary relations and such. It's a lot more work, but it has advantages beyond being better for the database server - it also makes you think carefully about what you're doing, can help prevent you copying mistakes (badly done relations, doubled-up ways, etc.) to the new location, and can even inspire creativity, as you might decide... "hm, this neighborhood looks better rotated 30°, or shifted over here..." Finally - with respect to time of day, I think it doesn't matter. OGF is about equally active on average all the time. With respect to special settings - I would definitely make the recommendation not to use the "chunking" feature of JOSM upload - set the number of objects per "batch" to be maximum (mine is 9999). Luciano (talk) 15:28, 18 December 2021 (UTC)

Thanks, I thought you might say something like that, if only this mapping could be disentangled so easily.. It will take quite some time. Ruadh (talk) 16:00, 18 December 2021 (UTC)

question) When you were planning the FSA, did you have elevations in mind for different points along the main eastern river (now known as the Bluegill)?

I know you were particular about lake elevations. Essentially, I've created a New Carnaby topography sketch with a contour interval of 250 meters, and I'm unsure if the river will... work, not going above 250 meters in the state.

New Carnaby Topo sketch.png

(asked by Fluffr Nuttr (talk) 02:44, 9 January 2022 (UTC))

answer) I wasn't as detailed in my original plan for the east coast as I was for the Alormen Basin, the central rivers and Grand Lakes. However, I will say that in general I think I visualized New Carnaby as more mountainous than your topo sketch shows. That said, I wasn't particularly dedicated to the idea. So I think your topo sketch is quite good and is welcome to canon, pending other mappers' approval. RE Bluegill River, the key is to know the elevation of the source (Big Moose Lake?) and work down from there. That's the way I did the Alormen and other rivers of the central basin - I decided the lake elevations first, then figured out the river elevations to match and make sense. In taking time to look around, I noticed another strange problem. There are two "Carnaby Rivers". I will note that the more northern version is what I thought was the main "Carnaby River", while the "Carnaby River" that drains through downtown Stanton was meant to be a minor river at best. That's not the way these rivers are currently drawn. If it's preferred that way, that's fine, but it makes the broad, very long estuary of the northern version of the river much harder to explain geologically - it doesn't have enough watershed behind it. Luciano (talk) 05:11, 9 January 2022 (UTC)

question) Why is this one thing I mapped several days ago still not showing up in the render?

Everything else is still showing up. (asked by numerous users, all the time, and I'm burned out answering it...) Luciano (talk) 17:25, 20 January 2022 (UTC)

answer) It doesn't happen very often, but there is an erroneous process where specific objects can be "lost" in the render, or where specific deleted objects persist in the render as "ghost" objects. This appears to be related to some configuration problems on the rails port replication process, which I have yet to understand clearly. This problem is much more common and likely for extremely large uploads through JOSM (i.e. more than 10000 objects) - so it's best to avoid such large changesets and break your work up into smaller sets, manually. But sticking to smaller changesets is not a guarantee that this error won't happen. Generally, what seems to happen is that a specific changeset gets "truncated" - the truncated (missed) parts might be deletions or additions or moves, but those aspects are lost, and so the render database (gisdb) gets out of sync with the edit database (apidb). At that point there are two solutions:

  1. local - delete the mis-rendered objects from the apidb, and re-create them, (these steps as separate changesets) and hopefully they'll go through correctly
  2. global - reset the render from zero using the recent backup pbf. I do this right now about every 2-3 weeks.
Within two days I've had this problem with 3 relatively small ghangesets (out of maybe around 20). The third one isn't confirmed yet as it's my latest but very likely still. So even small changesets doesn't seem to work too well on JOSM. But the quickest fix for me has been to just make a copy of the nodes and objects that are missing and delete the original ones. Then just place the copy on the original place and connect it to the existing mapping. Doesn't take more than maybe two minutes on a small changeset. (Of course it helps, if you are mapping around empty areas.) Eevee (talk) 23:36, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
Indeed you have found the solution. I do not understand why you are having more problems than other mappers with this issue. Is it possible you have a very slow internet connection, that causes changesets to be upload slowly, which causes the truncation problem. This "slow upload" problem is why the problem is common with large changesets. And I have seen it also with small changesets where I had poor internet connection (I live in rural Alaska, so actually this happens to me pretty often).
I use ethernet, so the connection should be pretty stable unlike anything wireless. (I also live in Helsinki (Finland), so not that rural either.) I did a "Speedtest by Ookla" and the result for upload speed is 9.84 Mbps (download 91.03 Mbps). I would imagine that this would be good enough for this. But clearly there's some problem so I don't know (and I'm no expert). Eevee (talk) 21:51, 30 January 2022 (UTC)

question) What do you think of the new Northern Archanta (with Commonia chopped up to its current state)?

From my understanding, you used to work a lot on Greater Commonia and established its provincial borders. What do you think of the current state of Archanta Minor, with the de-canonisation of Greater Commonia? Do you support the new vision for the region? Zhenkang (talk) 01:35, 8 November 2022 (UTC)

answer) I've commented before, offhandedly, that I have a certain nostalgia for the "old" Commonia. I was somewhat invested in it, having taken the time to try to "rationalize" it (though I tended toward the satirical as opposed to earnest approach). But I accept that the changes make sense from the standpoint of trying to make the OGF world more coherent, and given the admin team's decision to delay opening the western continents, "OGF:East Asia" had to go somewhere, right? Probably not where I'd have put it, but it's evolved that way, and evolved outcomes have their own aesthetic appeal.--Luciano (talk) 15:12, 8 November 2022 (UTC)

In honesty, I still remember my past obsession with Commonia and now, in a roundabout way, ended up working on a significant portion of it. Really ironic.--11:25, 9 November 2022 (UTC)

question) Is there a tool for drawing routes along OGF roads?

BX Off. Thanks for reading! (talk) 03:01, 24 November 2022 (UTC)

answer) Actually I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. You can make a route relation (I prefer to use JOSM for that). You can then view the route relation e.g. . If you mean a route-finding tool, then NO - OGF doesn't have that and it in fact it would be very difficult to implement (would require at least one and maybe two additional stand-alone servers) --Luciano (talk) 04:31, 24 November 2022 (UTC)