[Imports-us] OSM US Import Document Draft

Carol Kraemer cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com
Mon Nov 4 03:22:40 UTC 2013


I've disabled the Google Group and taken down the published documents.
Please find below my comments and edits in a format that I hope will work
for you and the others. -Carol

Are you interested in importing GIS data or other large datasets into

OpenStreetMap focuses on its contributors collecting data they survey
within their local communities. However, in some cases, data (often in a
GIS format) can be donated to OSM from an external source such as a local
government entity. OSM’s data does not work in exactly the same way as
those familiar with GIS may expect. For this reason, careful consideration
and collaboration is required before importing these data into the main
OpenStreetMap. OSM considers the following actions to be data imports:

^^^Comment about above paragraph: Since only scripted imports and automated
edits are stated on the main OSM wiki page for imports, I would suggest
being more clear about what the OSM community views as a data import. Keep
in mind that building footprints could be digitized in JOSM in large groups
and then uploaded to the map, possibly being interpreted as a data import.

***IMPORTANT: To avoid having your data reverted and/or your OSM account
locked, please read and follow the Import Rules found in the [OpenStreetMap
Import Rules](http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines)***

^^^Comment: We have established that these are no longer "guidelines" and
are enforced rules.

Join the discussion! Get your questions answered!
OSM-US Import Support Network: Imports-us mailing list
Imports-us at openstreetmap.org

> 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.

^^^Comment: Joining the mailing list should be a requirement since it seems
like the imports group will be evaluating the data and every step of the
process. In regards to the bi-monthly informal meeting. When is it? Where
is it? Is this by invite only?

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

^^^Comment: This section with the questions still reads "This is an
exclusive club and we really don't want you in it." As you read some of my
comments below, I think you will understand where I am coming from here.

> * __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.

^^^Comment: How will you evaluate who is ready? Who will be making this
call? Is it just a year as a registered member? How many edits and what
kind of edits within a year qualify? Based on what has been shared with me
so far, imports are considered vastly different than entering in survey
data, not even comparable to one another really.

> * __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.

^^^Comment: It might be helpful to provide a list of datasets OSM would
like to have as well as a list of what would not be appropriate for OSM.
This provides a starting point for a discussion like, "Oh, hey! I have
building footprints. OSM wants those. I'll let them know." Does "mixin"
mean combining your data with other data?

> * __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.

^^^Comment: I brought this up before that it appears that one could just
add anything they wanted to the [Import Catalogue](
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Catalogue) table for license. In
many cases there is no formal agreement from the data source provider that
states that the licensing listed is legitimate. Simply writing in "Public
Domaain" or linking to Creative Commons is not really enough. Is this
information verified by anyone  before it is considered blessed by OSM?

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

^^^Comment: This is likely determined on a case by case basis depending on
the data being considered. For things like building footprints, you would
not need to necessarily update the entire boundary every time a new GIS
dataset became available. Once it has been imported, it would be assumed
that it would be modified by the local community's contributors in some
fashion. If you want to keep this expectation in, I'd suggest adding in
examples of when this would be necessary to consider. It just seems like
you are putting more unnecessary pressure on import contributors than you
would on survey contributors.

> * __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
> place?

^^^Comment: Since many of your import contributors are going to be from the
GIS profession, you may want to explain conflation which seems to be a
spatial join. This will help them understand this expectation and they can
then add this into their checklist as part of their process before the data
gets anywhere near an OSM editing tools or the OSM main map.

> * __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.

^^^Comment: How much time do you require survey contributors to dedicate to
OSM? This just seems like an unfair expectation. The process of importing
could be modified to accommodate the import contributor's schedule just
like a survey contributor might wait until the weather is better tomorrow
instead of mapping in a blizzard today.

Carol Kraemer
North River Geographic Systems, Inc
404.431.0125 cakraemer at northrivergeographic.com

On Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 8:45 PM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Randal,
> I strongly dislike wikis for discussion because the discussion is
> split between the group and those on the wiki. If we keep everything
> on the list, we keep not only the text, but the discussion, which is
> even more important.
> I sent the draft in plain text markdown, which is the format that the
> OSM US Board will want when they post it to the website. The nice part
> about that is that we can also use the normal in-line reply style to
> address a specific issue or wording.
> Regarding length messages or frequency of messages, this group
> averages 36 mails a month, compared to 195 messages per month on
> talk-us during the same period. But if that's too frequent, someone
> can set your list preferences to get a daily digest, or even read the
> list on gmane (
> http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gis.openstreetmap.region.us.imports),
> and they can subscribe and set themselves to no mail, which would let
> them read it via gmane and then post when they need to, so we have a
> number of ways to address people's concerns if the number of mails is
> too frequent.
> - Serge
> _______________________________________________
> Imports-us mailing list
> Imports-us at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/imports-us
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