OGF:Frequently asked questions

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Where do I find tutorials or other documentation about how Opengeofiction works?

The Openstreetmap project, of which we use the software, has lots of useful documentation, for example:

Why am I not seeing my recent edits on the map?

Your edits won't show up immediately on the map. That's because the map is rendered from a different database, and the map data have to be transfered there. This process is automated and happens every five minutes. It's somewhat more complicated for coastline data which are only updated every four hours. If your edits still arent't visible in the browser, you might need to clear your browser cache (Ctrl+F5 in Firefox and IE).

Why are my changes of the coastline still not shown?

(See previous question.)

How can I use JOSM for editing the Opengeofiction map?

If you want to use the JOSM editor, configure the "Connection settings" (via the "Edit -> Preferences" menu), so that the OSM server URL points to our server http://opengeofiction.net/api as shown here: josm_01.png

How can I display the Opengeofiction map as background in JOSM?

To display the Opengeofiction map as background in JOSM, add our server to the "selected entries" in the "Imagery preferences" as shown in "josm_02.png". "Opengeofiction" should then appear under the "Imagery" menu, like shown in this screenshot: josm_02.png

If you completed this step, you can then select "Opengeofiction" as background for the "Download" dialog: josm_03.png

Apparently there also exists a JOSM plugin to display any image in the background (though I haven't tried it myself yet):


How can I export data from Opengeofiction?

The export files which are generated for the update process are available for download at http://opengeofiction.net/backup/ Please download regularly from there. These files are also useful if you want to create your own maps from the data, e.g. with the "Maperitive" renderer (http://maperitive.net/).

How can I follow the edits of other users in Opengeofiction?

You can keep track of other users' edits on the page http://opengeofiction.net/history (There's also an RSS feed that you can subscribe to at http://opengeofiction.net/history/feed).

How do I claim a territory?

Take a look at the overview map and choose one of the available territories. Available territories are displayed in green. Once you made your choice, send a message to admin to inform us about your choice (please wait for confirmation). Make sure to include the territory number from the overview map in your message.

Can I split up my territory into several countries?

You are in by no means required to develop your territory as a single country. You can split your territory in as many countries as you like. Or conversely, if you own multiple adjacent territories, you can unite them to a single country. Just make sure that every boundary relation you create has an "ogf:owner" tag with your username as value, because we use that one to generate the overview map.

Can I have a second territory?

Yes, once your first territory is filled with a signifigant amount of content, you can have a second one.

Am I allowed to modify the coastline of my territory?

The coastline and the territory borders are in most regions still very coarse, consisting of straight lines extending many kilometers. Of course you are free to refine them to make them appear more realistic. If your territory has neighbors that already have an owner, please coordinate your border modifications with them. Also, note that country borders itself might sometimes make interesting map features, see for example here http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/51.4280/4.9363 or here http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/46.1757/19.9793

This is even more true for coastlines. So if you want a coastline like this http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/54.5691/8.6593 or this http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/29.5848/-89.7102 or this http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/59.3628/18.6102, go ahead!

Important: When drawing coastlines, the way direction MUST always run counter-clockwise around the land area, i.e. the sea must be to the right and land to the left side of the way, relative to the way direction. (If you violate this rule, you'll cause an earthquake that will raise the seafloor and a tsunami that will drown the land).

How can I ensure that my creations have a realistic size?

Getting this right can really be hard! It will probably get at least somewhat easier if you use JOSM, which displays a scale bar in the editing pane.

How can I contact other users?

Go to the URL http://opengeofiction.net/message/new/USERNAME, with USERNAME replaced by the actual user name, e.g. http://opengeofiction.net/message/new/admin The user names of other members can be found on the overview map.

Does Opengeofiction have a forum where I can exchange ideas with other users?

Strictly speaking, we don't, but we're trying to use the "user diary" feature as a replacement. To start a thread, create a diary entry via http://opengeofiction.net/diary/new. Other users can then comment on that entry. To check for new forum entries, check http://opengeofiction.net/diary or better subscribe to the RSS feed.

What are the names of the continents?

The names of the continents (corresponding to the two-letter-codes in the territory IDs) are:

How can I get real Openstreetmap data into my editor to have an example of how things can be done?

For me, it has often proven useful to view real Openstreetmap data in JOSM to see how things can be done. To do this, select a suitable city, for example Versailles:


and press the "Export" button. After a moment, you are offered a file "map.osm" for download, which can then be opened in JOSM.

How do I import data from Openstreetmap into Opengeofiction?

Don't do that, please!

  • First, it's against Openstreetmap's licensing terms to use their data without attribution.
  • Second, I think it's rather uncreative. That's not what Opengeofiction is about.
  • Even if you import data from OSM temporarily, e.g. to use them as an orientation for object sizes, keep in mind that deleted objects are still kept in the database and unnecessarily take up disk space.

Does Opengeofiction have a wiki or something where I can write background stories about my fictional country?

Yes, we have!!! In fact you're in it now. To get an account, please send a message to admin. The guidelines for participation are rougly analogous to those of OGF itself:

  • Generally, you should create/edit only articles about objects that you have mapped yourself.
  • If you have a great idea about someone else's creations, contact that user and discuss it.
  • If you want to write something about the relations between your country and another, also discuss it with that country's owner beforehand.
  • If you are a new member of Opengeofiction, please sign up to the wiki only after you have mapped something that you can write about.

If you don't feel comfortable with writing articles in English, please use any language you want. Of course, if you want other members to read it, your best chance is probably with using English, but that choice is completely up to you. Any questions about or problems with the wiki can be dicussed on the "talk" pages of the wiki itself. In cases where that's not sufficient, contact admin.