[Imports-us] A proposal for handling the tiger realignment

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Fri Aug 9 03:33:01 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I've been thinking about the TIGER realignment.

We've seen some incredible work by Eric, not only in providing new
TIGER data, but that aligns with current TIGER data, and furthermore,
that optimizes for the lowest impact possible on OSM for an update.

We've also seen some problems with the script, mostly having to do with

And we've seen a real interest by the community on having human being
currate imports. That's a change in how the community interacts with
imports, and I think has a lot of value on a lot of fronts.

The bottom line is that it would be extremely difficult to do the
entire US by hand, either by tracing, or even by a review process
aided by a tool. The sheer size of the task would mean that people
would be spending an enormous amount of time doing this review.

Luckily for us, the area which have had the least attention are also
the least populated (based on Green Means Go), meaning that the TIGER
update has a large geographic impact, but a low population impact,
which we can turn to our advantage.

What that means is that we can create a metric of OSM activity in an
area, and by doing that, decide whether or not the area should have an
automated import process, or a manual review process.

For area which have had little/no mapping, the TIGER update will do no
harm. It will be, essentially, as if the TIGER import had been done in
2011 (using 2010 data)[1].

For the area which are of high population (low on the Green Means Go
measurement), we'll want some kind of manual review process, both to
ensure some quality assurance, but also as a vehicle to bring the
community together.

What do people think?

- Serge

[1] This is not entirely accurate, since the TIGER update process
proposed does not add new roads, only update existing roads, but I'm
trying not to split hairs.

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