[OSM-talk] Historical Data in OSM database
wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Tue Nov 9 13:33:03 GMT 2010
Am 09.11.2010 13:46, schrieb Lester Caine:
> As I have already said, simply adding a starT_date to a way is all
> that is needed for probably 99% of historic mapping ....
If it would be as simple....
I fear, it is not.
Historic data is often targeted to single properties of an entity: A
track being paved at a certain point in time, a mid-age hollow way
changing to a asphalt highway with four lanes - or vice versa to simple
grassland with a line shaped lower part, a church abandoned at war and
rebuild later (e.g. Frauenkirche, Dresden, often jewish synagogues
especially in Germany burned down by the Nazis, too few of them rebuild
- like the one in Berlin Oranienburger Straße).
Big churches are often build over a time of several hundred years,
changing shape and importance, even name - not to mention denomination
or more than that religion) - think about Notre Dame in Paris  with a
build time of nearly 200 years.
That in mind as examples - far from complete - neither start_date nor
start_date and end_date are enough to describe historical data in a good
way to be useful.
It's much more work to build timelined values to OSM and the API in a
A few thoughts about problems arising with that task:
- even more than locational data ancient geodata is unsharp in the
timeslot. Often a way is "mentioned first at year X", but not as a
rebuild way - more as current fact. Location descriptions are similar -
mapping an old map to our standardized coordinate system is very
difficult - the reason, why archaeological research often searches at
wrong places with a ancient map availlable.
- how to describe something like "way build between 700 and 1000, in use
(not disused, to use OSM terms) at least until 1435"
- second example: "ford over some years in midage, disused for some 100
years in between, reanimated due to the rise of City X (between 1700 and
1850), wooden bridge build in the 1760s, stone bridge since 5th July
1822 (date of completion); now disused due to stability issues, while
the new concrete bridge next to it takes over the traffic"
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