[Imports] US Forest Service Data

Tom Ponte tgis at bendbroadband.com
Fri Feb 4 02:17:46 GMT 2011

I am looking into adding Forest Service Road data to OSM here in Bend
Oregon. The local forest is the Deschutes National Forest. I contacted the
lead GIS person there who is going to check with a few people like the FOIA
person and the roads person to see what they think.  I included a link of
the wiki import guidelines page for them. Anyway, assuming it is ok with
them and I can't see why it wouldn't be as it is public data that I believe
they create for the most part, I have some questions. 


The FS data is much better than the tiger data spatially and it has the road
numbers which correspond to the signs the Forest Service uses for signage
unless they are shot to pieces by second amendment intellectuals.  I moved a
few roads into place with the imagery west of town but quickly decided this
would be a large undertaking especially adding road names. It appears that
no one has touched the tiger data in the area of the FS land. I am guessing
that is the case for much of the west but I have not checked that out. So if
it has not been touched then importing new data would no doubt be a lot
easier that if it had.  Many of the existing roads showing in OSM with the
tiger data have been decommissioned. 


I looked through the previous posts and read the thread about adding FS
trails in New Mexico. One thing that would be easier in that case is if
there was no data to compete with in OSM at all. In this case there would be
some questions similar to the thread on importing public domain county road
data and the different methodologies for dealing with the existing OSM data
which is probably more likely to have been edited than most of the FS
logging road data.


But before I get too far along with that is there any talk of updating these
roads with newer data like the newer tiger data -(for all forest service
districts)? I haven't looked into how much of that there is in the areas
managed by the FS to see it is available or if it is any better - as good as
etc. I sort of doubt it is better or as good unless it is now derived from
FS data somehow. I am not an expert in all things tiger in case you couldn't


My personal interest is mapping for mountain bike trails. I and apparently
at least one other person have been adding them in the local area. The
problem is OSM is not really all that useful, say if used as a GPS backdrop,
if the FS roads in the area frequently have no names - have been closed -
are way off spatially etc. The FS does have trail data also but OSM is a
good vehicle for MTB trails as they are being added at a feverish pace here
like a dozen miles a year. There are also many trails on BLM land that often
take years before they get the official stamp of approval with their
extensive review process and get mapped.


Any comments? Any other efforts with FS roads? I do not want to reinvent the
wheel with my efforts. 



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