[Imports-us] [Talk-us] RFC: LA County building import

Alan McConchie alan.mcconchie at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 19:29:56 UTC 2016

Hi Frederik,

> On Feb 12, 2016, at 11:33 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> How many of your team are local to LA, and how are you cooperating with
> the OSM community in LA?

Of the four of us who have been preparing the data and who will be overseeing the import, two of us (Omar Ureta and Jon Schleuss) live and work in LA. One of us (myself) lived in LA in the past and travels there often for work. The fourth (Maning) doesn't live in LA.

We've got connections in the OSM and geospatial community in LA, especially through the local Maptime chapter which is one of the largest and most active chapters. We haven't started our outreach process in earnest yet, but we have github issues to track that, see: [0] and [1]

We consider this email to talk-us as the start of our outreach. 

> What is your estimate about participation of local mappers? Is it likely
> that we'll see 10 people participating, half of them not even living in
> the area, and each of them importing 300,000 of the 3 million buildings?
> That would be my main fear about this; it is not unheard of for previous
> building footprint imports in the US to be called a "community import"
> but the community was really a very eager one-digit number of people who
> mostly didn't even have any ties to the area they were importing in.
> Can we have the hope that the LA building footprint import will be
> handled by people who have actually been to the area they see on their
> editor screen?

We understand your concern. We are involving local mappers as much as possible through:

	• organizing mapping events with a variety local mapping groups [0]
	• contacting local OSM contributors via OSM.org [1]
	• allowing local mappers to define areas where they don't want data imported [2]

> Will there be people participating in this community import as part of
> their day job?

Yes, the Mapbox data team [3] will assist, but we're going to make sure that the local OSM community is equally involved, and that we use this as an opportunity to grow the local OSM community on the ground. We have assurances that the Mapbox team will keep pace with the local mappers and not overtake them. If it takes us a long time to get local mappers involved, then the Mapbox team will back off and wait until the locals catch up.

We're not exactly sure how we're going to negotiate the balance of labor, and we're open to suggestions on how we can do this well. One possible idea is to divvy up the tasks in a kind of checkerboard pattern, with one group of tasks set aside for locals only. This way we could make sure that the Mapbox team and the local mappers are working side-by-side and checking each others' work.

Also note that the Mapbox Data Team had already started tracing buildings in LA County [4] and they agreed to stop that effort and instead join this manual import process. So I think that having the Mapbox team involved in the import is a better outcome than having them trace all the buildings without any local involvement, which would've been the alternative.


[0] https://github.com/osmlab/labuildings/issues/39
[1] https://github.com/osmlab/labuildings/issues/1
[2] https://github.com/osmlab/labuildings/issues/37
[3] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mapbox#Mapbox_Data_Team
[4] https://github.com/mapbox/mapping/issues/148

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