[OSM-dev] TIGER field report, Columbia, Maryland

Alex Mauer hawke at hawkesnest.net
Sun Sep 2 01:56:09 BST 2007

Robert (Jamie) Munro wrote:
> We probably want to keep the special tiger tags wherever possible, so
> that we can import extra data from tiger into the database at a later
> stage (e.g. house numbers). 

That'll only work if we somehow make sure to never merge/edit stuff from
tiger (or manually merge the "TLID" fields...which I think is not going
to happen with any sort of consistency.)  Of course, I suspect there
won't be a whole lot of editing of the tiger data for quite awhile, at
least until people start using OSM in some sort of "production" system
(sat-nav or such) and find errors which want correction.

> Also if we get a future version of Tiger, we
> need to not try to re-import the road assuming it is new, we need to
> know that we know the road better than tiger does.

I hope we won't ever do that, and as far as I know the plan has been
that the TIGER import will be a one time thing.  At the least, I'd be
very disappointed if we simply dropped the whole US and re-merged TIGER
every year or two (losing any corrections made) ... and I think merging
a new TIGER dataset is simply infeasible.  The data we get from TIGER
are obviously highly useful in improving OSM's coverage, but once we
have that, the OSM process should either stand or fall on its own. (i.e.
is OSM any good at long-term maintenance.

Actually, that might be a /disadvantage/ of importing TIGER, or at least
a good reason to make county imports only on request/manually -- with
the assumption that whover imports a county is likely to be interested
in maintaining data for it.  The UK obviously has a large base of people
interested in creating/maintaining the data, but I fear that without
having that existing user base over here, the data will go largely
unmaintained.  But I guess we'll see, in the coming years.

-Alex Mauer "hawke"

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