[Imports] Inserting OSM data

Jaak Laineste jaak at nutiteq.com
Sat Mar 27 17:28:56 GMT 2010


> > some kind of priority over the others. Like possibility to
> > lock/protect some parts of the data. It could be done in several levels:
> 
> > 1) my inserted data (tag, node, relation, way - any of them) can be
> > defined as private, nobody else can not even see it.
> > 2) my data is protected - you can see, but not modify
> > 3) my data has group privacy/protection under my control: I can give
> > view/ modify / delete permissions to specific users/groups
> 
> These three are, in my opinion, not compatible with the spirit of OSM.
> If you want your own data, store it somewhere else ;-)

There could be quite good reasons to protect some of the data at least
temporarily. Very technical reason: to avoid accidental deletion of nodes
during bulk import (which takes days sometimes). Well, maybe bulk import in
general is not really fully compatible the spirit of OSM after all. What is
more important purpose of OSM: is it the biggest outdoor mapping capturing
tool, or does it want to be the world largest and best community-created map
database? If outdoor mapping is the primary aim, then right, the corporate
imports are not needed, maybe even need to be banned. If the database
contents and quality the is target, then the imports and database links must
be as plentifyl, good and made contributor friendly as possible. My implicit
assumption was that OSM wants to be as good database as possible, but I
could also have totally missed the point of OSM. Anyway, my preference is
that OSM aim is to be as good database as possible, and outdoor mapping is
just one of the great ways to create and update data.

 There are good datasources (from public sector) who have 80% of their data
open and in principle well compatible with OSM, but 20% of them should have
some protection. Technically splitting the data could be so complicated that
their only option now is not to share anything, i.e. just not to use OSM. 

 I have a particular example: a friend just called me, and he is in board of
national assiocation of museums. They have and maintain kind of official
database of all museums in the country. They wanted to have them on web map,
and I suggested to use OpenStreetMap, and not only as background image, but
also insert their data as points to the OSM. This bought me several
questions: 
- is the only legitimate way to have one-time bulk import, and then just
hope that community will only improve it? Or could they have a bit more
special control (external IDs, notifications, soft locking of some tags etc)
over the data, at least to make their data maintenance easier. To enable
more automatic sync with their in-house data maintenance systems and
procedures. 
- Today the only way for them is anyway double maintenance: they maintain
their internal/primary database, and maybe they care to copy their
day-to-day updates manually also to OSM. Is there a way to make maintenance
of only their specific data in OSM easy? One complicated solution would be
to use JOSM+XAPI to make extracts based their own tags. But this is risky,
you can easily create reduntant data if you do not see the data around each
node. Also I cannot imagine this type of "once a month" users actually using
hard-core mapping beasts like JOSM, maximum what they could care to learn
would be somewhere in Potlatch (but without the roads!) / Mapzen level. 


Jaak





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