[Imports-us] OSM US Import Document Draft

Melelani Sax-Barnett saxbarm at gmail.com
Mon Nov 4 05:15:11 UTC 2013

Hi everyone,

Thanks for putting together some drafts to start with! I've included
some suggested changes to Serge's draft below. Additions within ++
marks, replacements within --.

I should also add that this is totally fascinating to me, since what
we did at TriMet did was basically an import that was not an import,
as the data was prepared mechanically but never put in that way (every
piece of data or tag was checked/conflated by a real person,

Looking forward to a good discussion and a great result!

My best,



Are you interested in making an import in OpenStreetMap?


OpenStreetMap contains mostly surveyed data but also contains some
data that's been +imported+ -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
+thoughtfully evaluated, carefully executed (so as to not conflict
with existing data), and maintained over time+ -carefully cultivated
and is generally a long term commitment-.

If you're interested in starting an import, you should +first join*
-consider joining- the [OSM US Import Committee+ mailing
list+](https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/imports-us)-,- +. This
committee is+ a working group of the OpenStreetMap US chapter
dedicated to import issues. +Once you join the list, start a new topic
where you discuss your proposed import.+ This group has a mailing list
and an informal meeting +on the first and third Mondays of each month
(or whenever they are) at ____+ -once every two weeks-. +Details are
available on the list.+ For a more general discussion about imports,
join the +general+ imports mailing list +ADD LINK+.

-Before you consider- +As you begin considering+ doing an import, here
are some important questions to +start thinking about+ -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. +Alternatively, you should otherwise
show that you have sufficient experience with dealing with data
conflicts, and with mapping the types of features that the import
applies to and other related features.+

* __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-
+[reword this somehow so it's easier to understand]+ or other way of
using OSM data alongside your dataset. +For example... X is desirable,
but bird migrations/other example of data that changes frequently is
not [give examples of appropriate and inappropriate 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.
+You can read more about the OSM license here [link]+

* __How will you handle data updates?__ As the data from the external
source changes, how will you plan on keeping OSM up to date? +Because
imports involve large amounts of data, their potential for becoming
out of date and cumbersome is a major concern.+

* __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- +compared or merged with existing data+. Have
you considered how that process would take place? +Will it be done
manually or by algorithm?+

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

-Lastly,- +Most importantly, you will need to+ read over the
[OpenStreetMap Import Guidelines
(http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines). These govern
the import process in OpenStreetMap, and not following
them can result in your data being reverted, or your account being
locked. +These involve such things as making a wiki page, ... etc.
etc. [list some of the most important aspects here].
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