Strange place names in Android widget

  • Good afternoon,
    Just playing with the widget, that I quite like. The only thing that bugs me - it is proposing totally weird place names. For instance as I seat in the middle of Saint-Etienne, a French medium-sized city (specifically 45.4313956,4.3992734), the widget insists on me being at "Aux Preynes", a place name I have never heard before, and apparently the name of a (former) farm, now a sub-urban street some 10 km N from where I sit.

    Likewise this morning in an other part of town, it was proposing a similarly strange name (true loc: 45.4233932,4.4245558, displayed name "Grange du Bois", the nearest locality with this name being 10-15 km away, and is a hamlet in the middle of nowhere).

    If there is a way to get a more sensible place name, I'd appreciate it (of course I can always force the location to be the city itself, Saint-Etienne, but this defeats the purpose a bit...)

  • Sailor


    Hope you gave GPS location access to Windy App in your phone settings/parameters
    and you chose « Util.GPS » in Windy Settings -> Start-up location

    Ça devrait marcher.

  • Thanks for that. Both settings are indeed as you say, windy has access to location and it is set to use GPS.

    Further tests : wandering around in town, the widget has successively placed me in a series of unlikely places such as "La Taillée", "La Flache", "Le Fay", "Aux Preynes" and "Le Châtelard" -- all corresponding to the name of small places (farms and hamlets, some of which do not exist any more as they have been swallowed by the suburbs) in a radius of ~ 10 km around the city center.

    This is reproducible (i.e. I get the same name every time I go to the same place), and this is consistent (I can map the parts of town corresponding to different names).

    It looks like the position is properly defined, but the name displayed is taken from a database that is strange -- it includes minute place names but not the name of bigger cities or villages.

    Could it be that these are the names of weather stations (that could have inherited the names of hamlets or former hamlets) ?

  • Sailor

    I don’t think that this places are weather stations. You can see all weather stations in Windy data base if you select «Observed temperature» There is only one at St Etienne, at the airport.
    I have the same issue here in Tours with iPhone if I choose the starting page by GPS. I’m supposed to be at Ste Radegonde, which is not totally wrong. This suburb was a separate town now integrated to Tours. So must we consider the Windy data base too old or too precise?
    GPS option is useful if you are travelling, but I prefer to use one of my Favorites as starting page (then it save the battery if you don’t use the GPS of your mobile)

  • @idefix37 said in Strange place names in Android widget:

    GPS option is useful if you are travelling, but I prefer to use one of my Favorites as starting page (then it save the battery if you don’t use the GPS of your mobile)

    Well, yes, that's probably what I'll end up doing while in town. But I do travel a fair bit, so I'll end up using the GPS. Oh, well, it does not matter so much if the name is a bit odd, as long as the forecast is good :-)
    Yet as you say, this suggests that the name database is a bit odd... where is it coming from, OSM ?

  • Sailor

  • @idefix37 said in Strange place names in Android widget:

    Yes, Windy uses Open Street Maps as database:

    Well... OSM normally has sensible place names... although I suppose it depends on which OSM "layer" (or tag) is actually used, of course.

  • Further investigation reveals that all the names I have seen correspond to places that have place = isolated_dwelling tag in OSM, and of course a name=XXX tag.
    Something like place=city|town|village would be more useful, I think... ;-)

    Another oddity is that in at least one case, the place name displayed is not the closest place=isolated_dwelling. There are closer places having this tag. So, there must me something I have missed... It may have to do with the details of how Windy connects to OSM (directly to the OSM database, or through some sort of intermediate export...)

  • Sailor


    This should interest Windy developers

  • @idefix37 said in Strange place names in Android widget:

    This should interest Windy developers

    Well that's why I report it. Should I post it somewhere else ?

  • @jfmoyen @idefix37 Thank you both for your great help. We are working on fix, but it will probably take us some time. We are currently working on a huge refactor around georeverse searching and also geo searching. This bug can be fixed after realeasing these changes. Thank you again for your help and understanding.

  • You're welcome, keep up the good job :-)

  • I think I can confirm that the place name displayed is the closest place = isolated_dwelling. In the past day or two, the place name displayed has fluctuated beween 2 or three names, each corresponding to one isolated dwelling, and each roughly equidistant from where I'm sitting.

    However, having played a bit with QGIS and Voronoi polygons, it appears to be a bit more complex. Apparently, the name displayed is never exactly the name of the closest place. Looks like either my position is incorrect (by > 100 m, which i think is unlikely), or the position of the places is wrong (could happen with projection errors?). Or some of the places are not considered, for some reason (the database used is a weird subset of OSM - we know it is weird anyway as it is ignoring villages and towns in favour of isolated dwellings...).

  • And a last one - travelling on Southern France yesterday, the place names displayed were much more reasonable (villages, I think). It would appear that the issue resides with the database used (OSM extract...), that is somehow poorly tagged specifically in certain parts of the country...

  • Reviving an old thread: in the last few days (sorry I cannot be more specific), the place names have changed to something more sensible: either the name of the city, or of the suburb in which I actually am. Much better. So if the dev changed something.... well, it was the right thing to change!! 😁

  • @jfmoyen You are right. By the way, we are still "changing something" on our application :-) That is great our change helped you.

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