[OSM-dev] Data source for robot

Jonathan Bennett openstreetmap at jonno.cix.co.uk
Wed Oct 13 00:03:21 BST 2010

  On 12/10/2010 20:54, Alan Millar wrote:
> You can't equate the need for improvement in the data with the method
> used to improve it.  Well, apparently you can, but it is a specious
> argument.
Saying that data needs some improvement doesn't prove that a particular 
method *will* improve it either.
> Obviously Mr Budny cares about the data and wants to improve it, or he
> wouldn't be here discussing it.  I'm with him on this.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Nobody is doubting good 
faith here, but they are trying to warn that making automated edits to 
as complex a data structure as OSM isn't as simple as it seems.
> People need to stop shooting down every automated edit without
> listening to the reasoning.
Are you willing to check, by hand, every single change made by this bot? 
If not, how can you be sure it hasn't created as many problems as it has 
solved? That's the problem with automated edits -- people assume they're 
100% correct when experience has shown this not to be true.

What's getting missed in all this is that it's far less important that 
OSM uses a particular data structure (that's probably isomorphic to the 
alternative anyway) than that the data is an accurate representation of 
what's on the ground. That needs people to check it, and it's a far 
greater job than a quick tag fix-up.

By all means run the experiment offline and publish the results, just 
don't assume you've thought of everything, and nothing can go wrong.


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