[Imports] [Talk-us] TriMet will begin OSM improvements in the Portland area

PJ Houser stephanie.jean.houser at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 05:09:22 GMT 2011

Because I would like to involve the OSM community on all communications, I
would like to publish Richard's suggestions on the list.

To address some points Richard makes:

Where are the Trimet usernames?
My current user name is PJ Houser. For the Trimet changes, I will be making
another account so all changes done by Trimet interns are easy to find.
There are 3 other interns who will be doing this also.

NOT an import:
I don't think this was clear in our email, but this is not an import. This
is a manual editing based on Metro's Jan 2011 data. There are very few
changes that will be needed because OSM is pretty accurate, and in some
cases, more accurate than Metro's data as of last month. Every change will
be done one way/node at a time by an intern, and if it appears that Metro's
data is incorrect, we may have to groundtruth because the aerials are only 6
months recent. After that, we will be letting Metro know where their data is

NOT automated:
This is not a bulk import nor is it automated. We will be using spatial
queries, finding missing or spatially incorrect ways, and "manually"
snapping and editing via ArcMap's OSM Editor.

Local community:
I have been in contact with local OSM mappers for the past couple months.
You can see that from my user name PJ Houser. Some of the contact has been
done through talk-us, but a lot has been done through personal emails to the
local mappers I have found.

We will be trying this out on a small section of SE Portland on a "sandbox"
server. Feb 21, 2011 isn't the beginning of a massive makeover, but the
point at which you may see "Trimet" values (in user name and source) start
appearing throughout the region.

Richard, thank you for your concern. I think we have a lot of the bases
covered that you mentioned; it just isn't clear from our initial email, for
which I apologize.

Should I not have put this on the imports list? It seemed reasonable because
of the transit agency behind the 4 individual interns - but again, this
isn't an import. It's using a large, up-to-date (and public domain) database
to update OSM - way by way, node by node.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

Thanks again.
PJ Houser
Trimet, GIS

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Weait <richard at weait.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] TriMet will begin OSM improvements in the Portland
To: PJ Houser <stephanie.jean.houser at gmail.com>

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 9:28 PM, PJ Houser
<stephanie.jean.houser at gmail.com> wrote:
> TriMet will begin OSM improvements in the Portland area beginning Monday
> February 21, 2011.
[ ... ]

No they won't.  Not like that.  Slow down, PJ.

> Input?

Glad you asked.  Yes, I have some input for you.

Welcome to the OpenStreetMap community, PJ.  Welcome Bibiana.

I like the idea of a local transit agency using OSM data.  I'm sure
that other mappers will like the idea as well.  There is an
opportunity for you to do something really interesting here.  However
I have some concerns after reading your email, so I'm speaking
frankly, and off-list.  There are some things that you need to know if
you want your project to succeed.

Trimet doesn't have a seat at the table here.  No company does.  We're
all just individual mappers.  You are one more.  Bibiana is another.
If you have opened your import user accounts, they aren't as listed in
your email.  So consider a name that identifies the mapper and the
dataset.  You can leave the company out of it, and add the company
details to your bio if you prefer.

Successful imports to OSM only happen after careful consultation with
the the wider OSM community and the local OSM community.  Many OSM
contributors with years of experience have botched imports.  You'll
have to rely on them to get the most from botching your own import.
There are dozens of OSM contributors in Portland.  If you can't get
rousing support from other local mappers, and if you can't address
every concern they raise, then you aren't going to get anywhere.
Don't step on the toes of other mappers.  Especially not while wearing
big, heavy, import-boots.

You'll find guidelines for imports and for mass edits in the following
links.  You'll need to familiarize yourself with them before you
consider proceeding.  There are many steps required in these
guidelines that you appear to have jumped past already.  Go back.


If you use tools like arcgis or your own homegrown software that has
not been vetted by the OSM community, you'll want to proceed
especially slowly until you and we smooth out the rough spots in that
code.  You'll want to take advantage of the dev server to test your
plans before you start thrashing about with our live data.

For next steps, I recommend that you find the links to the datasets
that interest you, and to the licenses for those datasets.  If links
aren't available to the licenses, you'll need to get written
confirmation.  Put those links in to the imports catalogue.
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Catalogue  Get some
experienced OSM contributors to help you vet the licenses and datasets
for quality and suitability.

Get in touch with the other local Portland mappers.  Find out if they
hang out in talk@, talk-us@, #osm or #osm-us or all of the above.  Get
their support.  You are talking about importing data from imagery
flown last fall.  How will you handle data that is already more up to
date from local mappers?

If you want your project to succeed, you'll need the assent and
cooperation of local OSM contributors and the OSM community at-large.
Try starting again, and approach by joining the community rather than
dictating to it.

Best regards, and good luck,
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