[Imports] Designated Wilderness area import

Erik Burrows erik at erikburrows.com
Sun Aug 8 23:49:55 UTC 2010


Based on feedback from people on this list, I've changed my process for
the US Wilderness data set from using ogr2ogr for the SHP->OSM
conversion to using poly2shp. I had to heavily modify poly2shp to handle
the type of multipolygons in the wilderness.net data set, but it is now
working, and a sample (one wilderness polygon) has been uploaded to the
OSM database.

Following the Importing Guidelines Wiki page, I've created the following

"USWilderness" OSM user, which will own all the data:

Wilderness.net data import description page:

Added the above page to the import catalog:

For group discussion/approval, I followed the process to upload the
"Mojave Wilderness" areas to OSM, as seen here:


Each of these wilderness areas is a single legal entity, so I created
them each as "outer" members of a relation that shares all of the same
tags as the individual areas.

Please let me know what you think, if I should change my process at all,
change the tagging scheme, etc.

There are 753 unique wilderness areas, many of which are multipolygons
as above.

I expect to process and upload each wilderness area individually,
ensuring no conflict/duplicate/etc of existing data.


> I'm sure you all saw my posts to the Talk mailing list on this subject,
> but I'm working my way through the "Import Guidelines" wiki page, which
> requests a post to this list:
> The "Designated Wilderness Areas" in the USA are of great interest to
> people like me, who like to explore the less populated places in the US.
> The "Wilderness Act" (1964) specifies that:
> "...lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural
> condition..." Section 2(a) (Wilderness.net)
> "...shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreation, scenic,
> scientific, educational, conservation and historic use." Section 4(b)
> (Wilderness.net)
> These areas are made publicly available through several US government
> agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management,
> National Park Service, etc. The "National Atlas" site makes all of the
> Wilderness Areas available for download as a single shapefile:
> http://www.nationalatlas.gov/mld/wildrnp.html
> (There is also a ton of other great information available for download at
> this site.)
> Many of these areas are already imported into the OSM database, as part of
> USFS imports, and many of the areas are already defined as other types of
> objects, such as parks and preserves. However, most of the Designated
> Wilderness areas are not in the OSM database.
> I'd like to work to import these areas. There has already been some
> discussion on the "talk" mailing list about the details, especially the
> need to be careful not to duplicate data already in the database.
> I think there will need to be a substantial amount of manual work done to
> ensure no data duplication occurs, and some cleanup of enclosing boundary
> areas, so the process I'm planning on using is fairly manual:
> 1. Convert the National Atlas shapefile into KML using ogr2ogr.*
>   *The intermediate step through KML format is necessary because gpsbabel
> below needs 3-D coordinates on input, but this shapefile is 2-D. The KML
> file allows for manual (perl script) addition of a zero-value
> z-coordinate.
> 2. Convert the KML file into OSM format using gpsbabel.
> 3. Use JOSM to add each area to the OSM database manually by copying areas
> from the shapefile-derived layer to the downloaded OSM layer for that
> region.
> Some metadata is lost in this process, such as the area state, state FIPS
> code, managing agency, unique ID and URL to wilderness.net. In order to
> restore this data, I plan to either create a patch for gpsbabel to tunnel
> this metadata through, or create a perl script to copy this data from the
> KML file to the OSM file.
> There are > 1300 total designated wilderness areas, so the manual nature
> of this process means the import will take some time. Fortunately, many of
> the areas are in very remote regions, with little other data nearby, so
> can be added with little work correcting conflicts.
> Your comments, suggestions and assistance are greatly appreciated.
> -Erik Burrows

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