[Imports] Vancouver campus data

Gregory nomoregrapes at googlemail.com
Fri Mar 26 08:46:18 GMT 2010

To imports and talk-ca mailing list,

As you may know, I'm in Canada until May studying at the University of
British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver.

I'm doing one class in GIS and this week the teacher just introduced us to
some data on the geography computers we can use for our project. It is from
the UBC Plant Ops division and has a lot of exciting data for the Point Grey
campus ( http://osm.org/go/WJQi9HNV- ).

I think it would be great to have some of this data in OSM, as it would
benefit both sides. For example they have all the bicycle rack locations,
but we add the capacity to each node, and with the locations it would be
easier to do that. I'm going to write an e-mail to my professor to see who
his contact in Plant Ops is and then contact them to ask for OSM import
permission. From the start of the class he became he became aware of me and
that I have OSM connections, our first "Web 2.0 and Neogeography" lecture is
on Monday (my hand is going to be raised so often).

For importing I suppose it will just be about using a shp2osm script on each
of the files and then opening them in JOSM for a quick check before
uploading (it's a relatively small area). I should probably read some of the
wiki pages about importing, but I have two questions:
1) Should the source tag be used on every node/way(that has other tags), or
just on the changesets?
2) Most layers imported I think will be none or few existing data, but some
(like bicycle_parking) will have a fair few duplicates. Are there any good
tools for that (does the US tiger remove dupes work for this?) or is it
showing/hiding layers with JOSM?

I had a bit of a look at the data in ArcGIS available and wrote these notes
on what's there:
The prof made a point of Plant Ops not using GIS, it's originally in a CAD
program and so there is no metadata. For a lot of files it's just nodes with
no data besides the co-ordinates and an id.

It seems to geographically match OSM road shapfiles, which I aligned to GPS,
so I don't see realignment being needed.

There is a folder for each year 1995, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 - the file
names and types inside vary. I think we only care about the latest data (so
maybe if I request a new update rather than use 2009 even, assuming that
isn't too much work or it will be used for Geog students anyway)

2009 Contains:
Annotation/BigAnno, BuildingAnno, RoadsAnno - all positioned text labels
e.g. road names
Base/Buildings - outlines with (street?) number and name, OSM has a lot
already from Yahoo! Imagery
Base/Contours - very detailed but out of the scope of OSM
Base/SiteAll - I think a lot of layers combined
Base/SiteRoadOutline - beyond the scope of OSM, and I think OSM already has
all the roads.
BikeFacilities/BikeRacks, BikeStorage (secure), CyclistFacilities (showers,
lockers, washbasin + public/private)
Campus/Benches, Bollards, StreetLights, Trees - it's a lot of information,
but I know OSMers who gather this data.
Campus/PatiosAndCourtyards, Plazas, SoftLandscaping - too much information?
Campus/BlueLights - aka blue posts, emergency phones connected to security.
OSM(me) has refs & names, but only half of the 24 so far.
Campus/CatchBasins - don't know what, but a lot of nodes
Campus/Landmarks - anything with a plaque it seems (including trees, totem
poles, artwork, stones and benches). Some have links to photo files on a
PlantOps drive. I think it would duplicate nodes too much. Notes field often
include names and there is a field for condition (dirty, weather damage,
Campus/ParkingLots - I think all are in OSM (some may just be nodes).
Campus/WaterFeatures - not many and perhaps not all of them, but it might be
handy to have the outlines without getting wet feet.
Grids - 5 different grids of varying sizes
Routes/Lanes, Paths, Roads, Walkways - OSM definitely has more paths and
walkways but maybe I could just open these in JOSM to quickly find the ones
we're missing.
Signage - BelkinSigns (no idea, only 13), BuildingDirections (only contains
a number field and condition), FacultySigns (don't know, of type D or F),
RoadSignage (B,C,D,no exit, O, P, PA, R, S, Scool, SP, ST, Y) - not useful
or out of OSM scope?
Signage/Kiosks - contains NumPanels, ViewableArea, and LockingMech.
amenity=information and probably has telephones and vending machines next to
Signage/MapBoards - only 15. amenity=infromation information=map.
WasteManagement/CardboardDumpsters - amenity=recycling but probably intended
for residents/staff of the nearby building
WasteManagement/GarbageDumpsters, TrashBins - it's a lot of information, but
I know OSMers who gather this data.

Please let me know your thoughts. I originally wandered if it's worth it
(it's not a large scale import) but I think it would give me valuable import
experience (including the agreement side) and in the short time I'm still
here it might aid me make some more OSM contributors. Also, it will make the
UBC coverage go way beyond University of Victoria, and kick their mapping

osm at livingwithdragons.com
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