[Imports] Inserting OSM data

Ian Dees ian.dees at gmail.com
Mon Mar 22 19:12:19 GMT 2010

On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 2:02 PM, Nic Roets <nroets at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 6:18 PM, Tom Hughes <tom at compton.nu> wrote:
> > On 22/03/10 15:00, Nic Roets wrote:
> >
> >> One solution is to add your own tag to the OSM files you generate e.g.
> >> smartsoft_id=nnn. And publish the files for review somewhere. Then
> >> scan the minutely updates at planet.openstreetmap.de for your id
> >> numbers and when they appear you can delete them from your DB.
> >
> > I'm not sure we really want to encourage the use of our database as a
> > storage space for third party identifiers like that. It could get rather
> out
> > of hand if everybody else wants to attach their own IDs to our data.
> >
> Hello Tom,
> Unfortunately it has already happened many times. Below is a list of
> the third party identifiers that I have found.
> Instead of banning them outright, I would be happy if we have
> guidelines that (a) make it easy for us to identify them as third
> party (b) make sure they don't clash with other imports and (c) make
> sure they don't take up unnecessary disk space.

Almost 100% of the time these are imported to allow for the possibility of
future updates to the existing imports. In order to have this possibility,
there needs to be a consistent/persistent identifier for a particular
"thing" on the map. Since we don't have support for that in OSM this is the
next best thing.

If, when the import occurred, we were given an ID by the OSM API that always
referenced that object into the future, then the entity performing the
import could hang on to the link between the OSM "perma-id" and whatever the
imported element was and perform updates if a new set of data was made

Of course, this isn't possible right now because some other mapper could
come along and split the imported way into several small pieces, delete it
all-together, or rename it.

Anyway, I'm not advocating for or against anything, simply explaining what
I've experienced as an importer and someone helping others import.
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