[Imports] [Imports-us] Address Data Import for Fulton County, Georgia

Ian Dees ian.dees at gmail.com
Thu Jan 9 14:01:40 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 7:05 AM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1. The license issue is still unresolved
> I looked at the pdf you mentioned. The distribution statement appears
> to be for the document itself, the "Standards and Definitions for the
> Driveway / Access Point Address File", rather than the actual data
> itself, which I can't find. I looked in the shapefile metadata xml
> file, and I looked at the disclaimer.txt, but neither contained what
> I'd consider to be any sort of definitive information on distribution.
> Without explicit distribution permissions, the default stance of
> copyright in the US is that information from a non-federal agency is
> subject to copyright and thus not distributable. In other words,
> unless they give explicit permission, the default position in the US
> is that all information is held under copyright and thus cannot be
> distributed.

Although it certainly could be made more explicit, the "data disclaimer" on
the Georgia Clearinghouse website [0] has two paragraphs. The first is a
pretty standard indemnification, the second says that "The Clearinghouse
has no restrictions regarding the redistribution of information-mapping
products and/or data obtained through the Clearinghouse, other than those
identified by the pertinent data owner(s)." They also "request source
credit". That's pretty clearly saying "no restrictions, but please give us
credit." The address dataset in question doesn't specify any additional

That's about as clear as some local governments are willing to get.

> 2. Building outlines
> The amount of data that a naked address point adds to OSM is very low,
> and the amount of data that a tagless building outline provides is
> very low- but combine the two and you get something of very high
> value, so I would encourage you to strongly pursue getting the
> building outlines before focusing on the other issues.

I strongly disagree with this. A well-tagged address point in OSM makes
geocoding work and makes it *vastly* easier for a mapper with a mobile
phone to add POI information. A tagless building footprint is less useful,
but it still provides an outline that makes tagging the inside POI(s)
easier. Clearly, if addressed building outlines are available they should
be used, but if address points are available alone it should not prevent an
import from happening.

Having said that, Saikrishna, I looked at my GIS data spreadsheet [1] and
found that the county government has much more recent building footprints
[2] and parcels [3] data. The two could be combined spatially (I don't see
any IDs that make them directly joinable) to apply addresses to the
buildings, but you would lose any "unit addresses" (where there are
multiple buildings with different addresses on a single tax parcel).

Bottom line: I would e-mail or call any/all of the Fulton County GIS folks
[4] and ask if they can work with you/us to get the best and most recent
data released with someone explicitly saying it's OK for OpenStreetMap (and
preferably others) to use.


[0] From https://data.georgiaspatial.org/index.asp?body=disclaimer

Georgia GIS Clearinghouse Data Disclaimer:

The Georgia GIS Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) has made known to User, and
User acknowledges notice that data obtained from the Clearinghouse may
contain known/unknown errors and inconsistencies. The Clearinghouse in no
way ensures, represents or warrants the accuracy and/or reliability of any
information-mapping products and/or data obtained from the Clearinghouse.
The information-mapping products and data published by the Clearinghouse
are provided to User in an "as is" format and condition on behalf of the
appropriate data owner(s). Any concerns about mapping products and/or data
must be addressed with appropriate data owner (i.e., not the
Clearinghouse). In addition, information-mapping products and data
disclaimers and metadata must be referenced for further information.
The Clearinghouse exists as a brokering agency only, with the sole purpose
of distributing data to the public. The Clearinghouse has not developed,
i.e., does not own, any of the data found through its website interface or
in its data library. User expressly assumes all risks and liabilities which
may arise from information-mapping products and data furnished to the User
by the data owner via the Clearinghouse. Use of any information-mapping
products and data in no way entitles the User or any of its officers,
employees, designees, assignees or agents or employees to recover any
damages whatsoever from the Clearinghouse or its officers, employees, or
other representatives, for unreliable or inaccurate information.

The Clearinghouse has no restrictions regarding the redistribution of
information-mapping products and/or data obtained through the
Clearinghouse, other than those identified by the pertinent data owner(s).
However, source credit to the Georgia GIS Clearinghouse is requested.

[4] http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fcgis-contact
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