[Imports-us] OSM US Import Document Draft

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Sun Nov 3 19:41:45 UTC 2013


At the last meeting, we discussed creating a page on the OSM US
website about imports. The message for this page is that we welcome
imports, but that before an import is done, the importer must do a lot
of homework and be prepared for a long process.

Martijn and I separately decided to take a crack at writing this. Here
is my draft, and feel free to make comments.

Are you interested in making an import in OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap contains mostly surveyed data but also contains some
data that's been sourced from external sources. Unlike many other GIS
databases, though, imported data cannot simply be dropped alongside
existing OSM data. Instead, an import in OSM must be carefully
cultivated and is generally a long term commitment.

If you're interested in starting an import, you should consider
joining the [OSM US Import
Committee](https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/imports-us), a
working group of the OpenStreetMap US chapter dedicated to import
issues. This group has a mailing list and an informal meeting once
every two weeks. For a more general discussion about imports, join the
imports mailing list.

Before you consider doing an import, here are some important questions
to ask yourself:

* __How experienced are you with OpenStreetMap?__ We generally don't
recommend people import into OSM unless they have at least a year's
worth of experience editing OSM.

* __Is this a dataset that belongs in the OSM database?__ There are
many datasets which are interesting or useful, but do not belong in
the OSM main database. Instead, you may want to consider a mixin or
other way of using OSM data alongside your dataset.

* __Do you know license for the data you want to import?__ The OSM
project is very strict with its data and licensing requirements, and
any potential imported data needs to adhere to those strict standards.

* __How will you handle data updates?__ As the data from the external
source changes, how will you plan on keeping OSM up to date?

* __How will you handle conflation issues?__ Your data cannot simply
be placed on top of existing data, but instead, will need to be
carefully conflated. Have you considered how that process would take

* __How much time and energy are you willing to dedicate to this
process?__ Most imports require months, if not longer to complete.
This time includes planning, discussion, revision and the import
processes itself. If you take on an import project, you will be
responsible for overseeing its execution from start to finish.

Lastly, read over the [OpenStreetMap Import
These govern the import process in OpenStreetMap, and not following
them can result in your data being reverted, or your account being

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