Tuning OpenStreetMap Editing: iD Editor 1.1

June 06 2013 by John Firebaugh

Just in time for State of the Map US this weekend, we’ve released a new version of the OpenStreetMap editor, iD version 1.1 beta. From new UI refactoring, to workflow improvements, to performance tuning, this release is ready for testing on our staging servers.

http://openstreetmap.us/iD/release/

As detailed in the roadmap, the 1.1 release focuses on relations editing support and performance improvements. We’ve also added significant functionality to the sidebar, which is now persistent on the right side of the editor. Here is a more detailed rundown of what’s new in iD 1.1.

Performance Improvements

As an advanced, web standards-based application, iD pushes the boundaries of browser support for technologies like SVG, CSS transforms, and high-performance JavaScript. In 1.1 we’ve worked hard on both iD’s own algorithms and its use of web technologies to make the editing experience snappier, particularly in dense urban areas.

In some cases, we’ve been able to make significant improvements. In others, we’ve found ourselves limited by underlying browser performance bottlenecks, particularly on Firefox. Fortunately, the Firefox developers are on the case, and if you edit with the latest Firefox Nightly, you should see significant improvements relative to Firefox stable releases. We’re eager to see these and further improvements make their way into Firefox. Until then, we recommend WebKit-based browsers for best performance.

Relation Editing

iD’s sidebar now displays relation memberships.

You can add, edit, and remove members from a relation, or edit the parent relations of a given feature.

To make relation editing more straightforward, we’ve added presets for common types of relations.

Improved Sidebar

In iD 1.0, the sidebar on the right slides in and out depending on your selection. This behavior sometimes got in the way, and the constant movement was a contributor to sluggishness. In 1.1, we’ve eliminated the slide-in behavior, trading a bit of map space in order to provide several new ways for users to interact with map features.

By default, the sidebar shows a list of the features currently visible. You can search by feature type or name to narrow down the list. Click a result to select and edit the feature – a handy way to get to relations that otherwise are not visible on the map.

Hover over a feature on the map and you’ll see a summary of its attributes.

Finally, when you’re ready to save your changes, you can continue that interaction within the same sidebar – no more modal dialogs.

Read more about the new sidebar design on the MapBox blog.

Once these features are tested and stable, we’ll roll iD 1.1 out on openstreetmap.org. Until then, please try editing OpenStreetMap with iD 1.1 beta on the openstreetmap.us deployment and report any feedback on our issue queue.