[Imports] [Imports-us] Best practices for address imports

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Tue Dec 3 03:08:54 UTC 2013

Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> writes:

>>   * What does OSM define as a legitimate OSM community member? Opinions
>>     have been thrown out by individuals but this needs to be defined by
>>     the community and clearly stated.
> This is also difficult, although when talking about who should be
> involved in imports we could simply say that you need so and so much
> time with OSM and so and so many 1000 manual edits before you can
> participate in an import, without telling those that don't meet the
> criteria that they are "not legitimate community members".

1000 is probably too high.  I'm only at 854 over not quite 5 years, and
I feel like I fit in.  But 100 edits and contributng for more than about
6 months seems like a reasonable rough notion of someone having been
part of and contributing to OSM enough to be doing bulk edits.   I
definitely have a sense that someone who has participated less will not
discern the nuances of how things are.  This can be viewed as a fault of
OSM, that it's not documented well enough.  That's true, and improving
that situation is welcomed.   But the essence is that we are a group of
people working together on a larger project, and groups have to
establish norms and get to know each other to work well.

> What we currently have is someone playing with OSM, finding out how
> great and easy it is to have access to pre-rendered tiles and Overpass
> API database requests and easy planet file downloads and whatnot. Then
> they find that their county lacks building outlines. Then they find the
> building shape file on their county's GIS web site. And the first thing
> they ask is: HOW DO I GET THIS INTO OSM? - When indeed all they want is
> a convenient slippy map that shows OSM data plus the county GIS building
> outlines (or so).

What Frederik is expressing is, I think:

  people wanting to put things in OSM so they can get a map with those
  things on them is not healthy.

I agree with this phrasing in a strict sense.

But people wanting to add buildings in order to make the map better for
a broad class of users is somthing else, and I think that's good.  So
the key question for adding things: Are they added to solve a particular
need for the adder?  Or are they being added in an attempt to make the
map database better for the broad public?  The question is stewardship
of the map data.  Of course, often the acute need to be solved is
personal, but it's only proper if it's in the best interests of the
broader group.  I'm not trying to accuse Carol or anyone else of
improper motives, but I wanted to point out this nuance since I think
it's impliciit in some of the opinions, and implicit is not good in
conversations like this.

In the Mass. case, buildings were added to make the map better for all.
We had experience with having them near Boston, and the consensus was
that we thought it was better.  Since then, we've added roads that are
more obviously missing when one can see the houses :-)
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