(Adrien Labaeye) #1

onYOURway is a user-friendly map editor developed by @Michael.
Michael worked throughout the first months of 2015 to adapt onYOURway in several ways:

  • use the TransforMap Taxonomy
  • make the code open source
  • work on connection to Open Street Map

Running out of energy, @Michael stopped his work at the end of March 2015. It was then decided to pause the development of onYOURway for TranforMap until after the end of MMM15.

You can have a look at the current stage of work on GitHub.

Map editors for Mapathons
(Michael Vesely) #2

On the one hand everybody is waiting for the editor on the other hand there were heavy critics about the software stack and development environment I work with. But it doesen’t make sense to develop something that finally nobody will use for political reasons. Six developers, that might be interested to join the development efforts suggested 6 different languages I should use. As I am currently the only one actually coding on the server stack I have to go with languages and tools, I know and schedule the learning yet other languages of wich I have more or less one person interested in each.

I did take the arguments into account and have completeley reset the target to migrate my mapping tool onYOURway to a fully open source stack step by step.

So herre’s what I did in the last weeks:

  1. I ve completeley seperated client- and serverside code into two different projects. (A request from Jon and others)

    • There’s now a client project onYOURway.Client.WebApp. This is the actual application, which is already completeley free of any closed source technology.
      It runs on any webserver including Apache on Linux, and can even be launched without any webserver, just from the filesystem. Administrators can now easily install and integrate it on any webserver and with any web platform and still use a common server infrastructure.
      For developers there are also no more specific tool requirements to work on the client. Florian, who has been workíng heaviliy during the last six weeks to develop the beta of the Map of Tomorrow based on the onYOURway platform, is since then doing his development on a Linux box using Webstorm.
    • The server project onYOURway.Server.Net is still written in C# but I have made heavy investments to get rid of closed source technologies there as well.
      As far as coding is concerned, I ve removed all ‘Visual Studio only’ functionality so that that the whole solution can now equally be developed with open source developmet environments like Mono Develop, Eclipse or Atom.
  2. Florian and I did some heavy refactoring of the client application to make it more granular, customizable and ready to be used by different initiatives.

  3. During the last weeks I did some massive refactoring of the server application.
    There is no more ‘magixc blackbox’ to access the database. Plain code classes define the database structure.
    The framework is now pure WebAPI, wich is fully open source, Any dependencies to a Microsoft webserver (e.g. IIS) were removed to make it ready for a Windows-free server stack. (Which still needs some more steps but we’re on the way.)

  4. The tasks of refactoring and further roadmap for the onYOURway mapping tool are (partly) documented at this Trello (KanBan) board. And on GitHub.

  5. The Database still is SQL Sever (the only closed source dependency left) but I have sat down to learn quite a bit about PostGIS and done some preperation to migrate to PostGIS in a next step.
    Even though the database system is secondary as (at least with relational databases) it is rather easy to migrate the data to another system.

  6. There where some concerns about hosting the environment at a server at my location.
    So I set up the new server environment in a data center. It now runs on a single site in Europe but can, if required, be easily scaled out to over ten different locations on five continents.

But there is another issue to solve for a data entry tool that made the server refactoring nessesary: how should the data look like, after it is entered?
There have been lengthly discussions about the common data platform, that we want to build. And it was commonly agreed that this is not going to be an easy task.
But we have to start with something. And we have to make shure that what we enter now, can be used in the future!

  1. So I designed a first aproach for a common data structure that can be worked with now. Ready for feedback and continuous evolvement. Having a simple and activley usable
    The conceptual documentation is online here on metamaps. A detailed diagram is attached:(http://metamaps.cc/maps/1205)

I’m currently working to set up the new server and then start to like import the data we have till now. …
**What datasources here mapped yet despite graz and how to get the data in GeoJSON?//

– will be continued this weekend –

(Adrien Labaeye) #3

any news @Michael
in the mean time I bumped into this https://github.com/grundid/amenity-editor
It’s meant to be a very simple editor for OSM allowing kids for example to input POIs… could be usefult for integration into OSM…

(Michael Vesely) #4

@alabaeye: I am overdue. I planned to have the SiteCollector done by monday but I am still heavily working on it. As it turned out it was much more work to get the datamodel and the server done, learning some the admin stuff, doing data recherche, refactor and adopt the client and the like.

Unfortunatley the taxonomy is not current on any machine readable source, so I’ll have to do that make it machine readable thing all over again (we do have quite some redundancies in our work :frowning: ). I did some import tests with datasets form OSM (Graz) and the Green Map System (Bayreuth). The last two weeks I was working on the editor and the backing infrastructure full time 7x20 (as long as I can stay awake for a liited amount of weeks ;).

  • The completely overdone backend is online since friday and now running in a high volume data center.
  • But I am still working on the editor, havily hoping to get it online today (or tonight, to be more precise).

I did some branding in the morning and trying to solve some issues with the translation of the UI now. Next there are some issues to be solved on changing the app to the new data models and backend. And in the evening I plan to fill in as much existing data as I can get and handle.

I am still trying to get in touch with @almereyda (after several unsuccessful attempts yesterday) to get the administrative things, like publish the tooling in the TransforMap universe done.

Btw. I couldn’t find any info (details) on the mapping day online. Where is it?

  • Is there a list of the outcomes (url, …) of the test mappings that already took place with our taxonomy?
  • Is there a list of the mappings (region, org, contact, website) that are planned for the mapping day?
  • Is there an intro text?

Please: some help for someone who obviously is to stupid to get along with our diverse communication structures and always ended up confused and frustrated but mostly without any results, he knew there had to be there somewhere. :crying_cat_face:

… and the amenity editor didn’t look simple to me. I find ID much more intuitive :wink: but it definetly can be a valuable reference for the OSM-API. Thanks for the link.

(Adrien Labaeye) #5

Thanks @Michael for the update! Glad to know that you’re making progress. Hope you manage the workload…

There isn’t so much

I don’t think we do have this yet. There was some text from @Silke’s email and from the FC proposal. Using this material to produce a short text for communication is a to-do: https://trello.com/c/brPWOwK2/12-write-global-test-mapping-text-description

(Michael Vesely) #6

Yeah! Yeah! Thanks very much! That’s exactly what I needed to get back on track. All the essential information spot on and the feeling of being completly lost, gets replaced by the mucjh better feeling of having an idea about what’s going on and how to fit in.

(… and suddenly I klicked this unnamed arrow aprox. 10 mouse-miles atop and than the show all 30 links-link to find your links have actually already been there. But maybe without your post I would never have klicked that arrow.) Sometimes all you need is some friendly advice pointing your view in the right direction.

(Adrien Labaeye) #7

Never be afraid to ask for that type of info :smile: Things are not going to improve as we grow, more information is going to be spread in more pages. So we’ll have to also from time to time answer specific request in addition of making regular update reports. All the best to you!

(Silke ) #8

Dear Michael, please make sure you subscribe to the mmm email-list, important updates are always posted there since we met in Munich.

(Michael Vesely) #9

I was expecting to be subscribed at those two https://wiki.14mmm.org/Mailing_Lists/ are these two the wrong mmm email-list? Or do I have to re-subscribe again and again?

(Adrien Labaeye) #10

@michael : as we have a meeting today in Berlin mainly on the test-mappings, would it be possible to have a short update of the status of editor? and links to use if any? Many thanks!

(Michael Vesely) #11

I’m still fighting to get the editor running with the completeley rewritten new backend. (Acording to TransforMap requirements ;-)) Unfortunateley this is much more cumbersome than ecpected. I hope to get it online in the next couple of days.
So currently the only preview online still is: http://onyourway.at/#add

We definitley need to have the system up these days so that it is available for preview and feedback during the month of april.

I’d also suggest to have a title page about the mapping month with a short intro text and a list of the known testmapping-region. This can act as a teaser and make it easier to get started with the mapping.



(Michael Vesely) #12

@almereyda Please get into contact, as promised last week, to discuss the publishing of the editor within the http://transformap.co domain. I’d suggest timing a mumble or skype talk.

(Michael Vesely) #13

Here some “Questions” about the work to be done until may regarding the editor
(sorry, text in german)

  • Enter Taxonomy: Wer hilft beim Übertragen der Taxonomie in maschinenlesbare Form?
    (einfaches aber holpriges Online-Tool verfügbar)
    (Looks like @species does)
  • Translations: Wer würde Übersetzungen übernehmen?
  • Sprachen: English(nur zu prüfen), Spanisch, Französisch, Italienisch, …?
  • Zeitraum: April
  • Themen: Benutzeroberfläche und Taxonomie
  • Regions: In welchen Regionen finden Testmappings statt, mit
    welchen Partnern
    (Eintrag nicht unbedingt erforderlich aber wünschenswert)
  • wo: kann eine Stadt, Region auch ein ganzes Land sein
  • Organisatin (in Partnerschaft mit), Ansprechpartner
  • And if I get a list of the regions (perferably those, taking part in may) that already have done some mapping (according to our taxonomy or not), I could try to import some of the existing data. (No promises on this point!)
    I already have
  • Graz (based on OSM query)
  • Too many inks (please priorize) for Berlin (based on uMap links)
  • Bayreuth (based on a GreenMap export)
    (I should be able to read data as OSM-Results, GreenMap-Exports, uMap-Exports and general KML, GeoCSV formats by now)

If this isn’t clear or you should have other questions. You coud try to get me in by Skype or Mumbe. I should be available from about 15:30 (Have to go now, back in aprox. 30).

(Thomas Kalka) #14

shows only a logo (2015-03-11 15:31)

(Michael Vesely) #15

try http://onyourway.at and add the #add after it’s loaded. Looks like some error on load. What browser do you use.

(Josef Kreitmayer) #16

Hallo @Michael you did an impressive load of work, and I am, now that I can see it, also really impressed about the documentation of your work here in discourse.

What is the current status of the editor für the mapping months may?

Soon we will talk ressources and funds.

(Michael Vesely) #17

Thanks a LOT!
Unfortunately you seem to be the only one to see anything of what I did.

(Josef Kreitmayer) #18

hallo @Michael I think a major issue is, that people need to see results, that are a product. So to speak, something that they can grasp and use. There is already some frustation about the delay of the editor, even though that there is a lot of extra work in the background to make it work.

What people are waiting for is to see it work and to be able to work with it.

Could you give an update on that?
What is needed to make it work?
What is tangible timeframes, talking real, we have the second attempt of a big mapping marathon comming up. No gear no fun : )

(Michael Vesely) #19

A tangible timeframes is, that Im trying to publish it for more than one month!
It’s 97% done since February and could have been shown sinse then. Since Jon is the only one with access rights I cannot publish it allone.
I am completeley stuck with the finishing touches for a usable state as my time is completeley overtaken with communication to get it published. (For wich I am severely beaten by Silke, taking even more time and energy) But the only reaction I get keeps on and on “where is it, now”.
I don’t know what else to do. I give up now.

(Michael Vesely) #20

I’m out

I’m currently pretty much beaten up by many for still not publishing that ‘input mask’. That’s understandable. There still are things to do. But for over one month I was just trying to get it online. I mean to get published, what I have done. Jon is the only person who controls our technical infrastructure! (And he seems to be engaged in a completely different project now?) The one single reaction I managed to get on over a month just working to get Jon to publish what I’ve done, was a real shitstorm by Silke!?


  • over a dozen of emails,
  • several (some quite elaborate) posts and reports on discourse,
  • posts on and creating Trello boards to give an easy overview on my current status and workings,
  • several tries to call Jon on skype (you can’t call someone on mumble, can you)
  • and more,

… .did not manage to get the slightest bit of an answer from Jon. I only found out that he was tweeting to Silke about that. So I don’t believe, Jon didn’t realize my efforts. So why doesn’t he answer to anything?

Why is the thread on Discourse strangely renamed and closed (by Thomas?) after I have posted several reports about the status of my work there? Another thread was created to evaluate a bunch of tools. EXCEPT mine. (The original thread has meanwhile been renamed to onYOURway, as I just saw. That’s the first time that the full-fledged mapping tool I’m working on is called by its name.)

Still people complain that I haven’t posted anything new since February ignoring all the reports including screenshots of an updated tool and my repeated complaints that I can’t get it online as long as Jon doesn’t answer!

It finally was Silke’s emails, the only (personal) reaction to my useless efforts to talk with Jon, that finally convinced me, that what I’m doing is not wanted or not appreciated. That my contributions make no sense at all. They make no sense if I believe her, telling me frankly that my work would produce no usable outcome. They make no sense when I see and conclude on the patterns of communication. E.g.:

  • She’s writing emails to different sets of recipients but NOT ME, complaining that I am not answering her questions, that I did not get.
  • When one of the recipients then forwards that mail to me and I answer to Silke,
  • she’s responds extremely angry. How could I dare to reading emails that are NOT addressed to e.“eigentlich finde ich es ja eine Selbstverständlichkeit, dass mails, die ich NICHT an Dich richte, auch nicht von Dir gelesen werden. Aber offenbar gibt es südlich des Weißwurstäquators andere Selbstverständlichekeiten.”

Why isn’t it sent to me as well? But she then explains that it’s not her job to ask me personally about things that are relevant to the whole process (“ich halte es nicht für meine Aufgabe, Dich persönlich um Informationen zu bitten, die der gesamte Prozess braucht.“) I’m sorry but I still don’t understand. If she takes the time to write the email anyway, why am just I, whom it concerns and who is supposed to answer, not worthy of knowing about? Well not being worthy to bother communicating with me, is somehow a repeating argument.

That’s just some parts of several conversations full of accusations that finally make me feel like shit. It usually takes serval days to re-motivate myself to be able to do some work for TransforMap at all. But as being one of our communication and community building experts, I guess Silke knows that.

That’s definitely NOT how I understand transparency or a spirit of cooperation, which are some of the principals of this group, no? That’s rather bullying, pretty much by the book
either for purpose or unconsciously. I cannot accept that.

But her conclusion comes clear: we won’t miss you! (“Wenn dann der Editor, an dem Du arbeitest … nicht dabei ist, dann ist das so. Dann ist das Stand des Prozesses und die Welt geht nicht unter.”)

Silke also writes she’d postet (one of those Questions I haven’t answered to) to HHH 4 MMM. I’m not sure where that is (I confess I’ve pretty much lost the overview on all our more than 15? media), maybe it’s one of the mailing lists that I subscribe again and again, ask Jon to help but somehow the only thing I seem to get from the mailing lists are the subscription confirmations. (Just to be clear, that is for sure nor Silke’s fault, nor responsibility. And I do believe she does loads of valuable work for TransforMap.) But how do you know that an email was sent over the mailing list, if you don’t get it? And how do you answer to questions posted there? – update - I JUST NOW received a post to the mailing list by Jon (which I actually didn’t understand) so I do get it? But where are all these mails that I didn’t receive, but should have answered to, then?

I extremely enjoyed the 10am to 3pm co-working with Jon at my house. It was extremely productive. I have no idea what’s wrong now.

Also Dagmar, as she writes an email about her concern about the work of the monkeys and other things, she didn’t include those monkeys in the distribution list. Josef forwarded it to me and, yes, I read it. And I couldn’t agree more to most of what she wrote! Did her, to my opinion, important email reach all the monkeys? Did it lead to any kind of discussion between and WITH the monkeys? Does she also struggle a bit with our communication system? Am I not alone? And what about her concerns about the distribution of funding within the group? How to gain real transparency, about money and efforts? Did she receive any feedback?

Even Josef, who did a considerable amount of work, to help me navigating the communication chaos. He is from time to time forwarding questions to me that I otherwise never would have known about. Those things, he thinks I should react to. He as well didn’t react for over two weeks to several emails where I just asked “Did you get my emails? Is the report, that you wanted, usable that way?”. This makes me believe that maybe everyone is just overwhelmed. Why such a different perception with Josef?

He’s the only person in the group that not only tells me, and he does most frankly and sometimes rather harsh, “that’s complete shit what you’re doing here”. He’s the only one who told me that he “still believe it is good that you are a member of the group”. He’s the only one that I’ve received positive feedback from as well. Conversation with him leaves me feeling empowered and motivated.

Over all, at least for me, much more energy is spent or obviously rather lost in communication than was expected for doing my job as a programmer. And just to be clear I am the only programmer in the group who has actually published any code yet.

Jon and Michael M. are no programmers. That’s no offense. They are both well skilled technicians doing different jobs that are of great value for TransforMap. Jon as the administrator, who set up the complete communication infrastructure and Michael as an OSM and data specialist doing loads of work in processing and documenting the outcomes of the Taxonomy group as well as sharing insights about OSM. And I’m sure they do more. But they do not, nor plan to (as far as I understand) write software.

Daniel is the only programmer, in the group, who said he was willing to actually write code. Unfortunately, he actually didn’t have time to engage in the framework I’ve built after offering some help in testing with an open source database first. He seems to be working on something different now. As far as I heard. I’d very much be interested in his work. But I have not found any result yet. More importantly, the source is not open. Why can’t we see it? Or am I just looking at the wrong places?

I just mention a view people here because this is just a glimpse on the last couple of weeks that formed my decision. There are many people doing great work. I am though very much in doubt how it’s appreciated.

For over a year I could not manage to get a discussion running on any technical implementation or concept work. I’ve contributed quite some proposals like mapping of different taxonomies, a data model, database structure, server or API sample implementations. I refactored my app to be
ready for different servers. All done completely in public. I’ve done Translations and analyzed Data, tested Tools e.g. to develop under Linux, just recently I got involved to now have a Tool that allows direct database access from Linux, …. (Badly marketed though.) And much more. No feedback at all!

So much time and effort is lost in our working climate and culture of communication. Time and energy I would desperately need to fulfill my duties here and outside of TransforMap. My mapping tool could long be out, tested and running!

And I have tried. I’ve introduced developers to my code (Florian, Daniel, Walter, Oscar, Jon, Markus, and some more). Most of them wanted to get involved, but finally except Florian nobody actually contributed yet. (Just yesterday I got another notice sorry, I won’t have time in April) I developed and documented everything publically. The maximum time between updates on GitHub was 7 days (maybe because I was writing a report on discourse).

I have put a tremendous amount of effort and commitment into TransforMap related work.

  • I’ve worked fulltime, sometimes up to 20 hours a day, for more than 30 days this year alone.
  • I’ve postponed the work that I should live from, so far that I didn’t earn a cent this year yet. I’m completely living from my savings! A situation I cannot hold forever.
  • I’ve finished approx. 70% of the CHEST deliverables, I was responsible for.
  • I’ve canceled a week of Easter holidays (an advanced trainer education camp maybe one of the last by my 84 year old teacher actually) to keep on working instead (including two nights without sleep).

(Of course I am not the only one who worked on the project patiently!)

But the concentration I’d need to be truly productive (e.g. last week) was heavily distracted by anger and doubt.

And I want to be honest, I do not want to imply nor can I really say if all this (which are just some, few examples of a trend) is

  • organized or grown bullying,
  • or a general working climate, that is dominated by a sense of mistrust and pulling/lobbying towards distinct goals rather than the idea of constructively working together in a respectfully manner
  • or it’s just one example of 2014/15 being the years where online communication has become our new Tower of Babel. And TransforMap is just one of the communities in a Write-Only-Culture (as opposed to Read-Write) of people doing their best, who are completely overwhelmed with their own communication patterns
  • or maybe I am just not skilled enough for modern communication at all, not knowing where to post, whom to convince, which version to use, what to ignore and what to react on. Simply not skilled enough to be part of the commons.

If communication skills and the ablity to surf the information chaos, are the only things that count, I am not your man.

And to risk everything for something maybe nobody wants or cares about is actually a stupid path which I cannot go further.

To sum up:
It’s not an easy step for me. And I’m having a really hard time trying to express my point in writing. It’s not about who did what or who’s fault what is. Maybe it’s all my fault alone. Maybe I’m the only one struggling and all trouble is caused just by me. If so the group can be happy that I’m gone. If not, there are some issues you should work on (as I’m not the first one to go). But the community and group building experts in this team already know that, I guess.

Maybe I’m just too soft skinned, but do you really have to be hard skinned to be a member of the commons, … ? In my view it was all about a climate of fairness, appreciation and cooperation instead of personal profit (of whatever kind) alone.

For me, personally, and that’s the essence it’s all about energy. About my personal experience. Does the work in this group motivate and inspire me to do even more or does it suck out all of my energy, severely damaging my output for TransforMap and in many other aspects of my life?

But isn’t that commons, sharing, … thing (whatever flavor) all about how we deal with one another? That’s what I thought when I joined.

I’ve put my mere existence on line and have now lost hope in a good outcome. So I have to pull the line to try to save what’s left.

📐 Which tools are available for mapping?