[Imports] how do i get a mapper to engage with the community over mass imports?

Robert Coup robert at coup.net.nz
Fri Apr 24 19:47:26 UTC 2015

Hi Robin & List,

For context I'm a founder & CTO at Koordinates, and have been actively
involved in the open data and OSM movements in NZ for a number of years.

As Glen said, the building imports have been part of the LINZ2OSM work
<http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/LINZ>where the local user group has
taken existing released open data in NZ and brought it into OpenStreetMap -
in a scrutinised and controlled manner by the community. We started out in
2010 with a large number of layers (170+, now above 200 afaik), and decided
that a tool that would allow us to review tagging collectively, and do
merges in a consistent and measured way was a good investment of time to
build -- there's a lot of data, a huge area, and a very small community -
it *will* take a long time. A prototype was originally presented at SOTM in
2010, and it has gradually evolved from there.

The tool & processes have been discussed on the imports list several times,
and the nzopengis mailing list is clearly linked from NZ-related pages on
the OSM wiki -- there have been a few discussions about creating a -nz list
(same for OSGeo fwiw), but it's the *same* small number of people and
what's there has worked for us until now.

> it bothers me more that he's an openly acknowledged employee of a local
> company, koordinates, who engage him amongst other things to add data to
> osm - it looks like more than just a single bull-headed individualistic
> person, but an active policy of the company.

Stephen has been volunteering his own time to import data to OSM, as do I
and other members of the Koordinates team -- because we're passionate about
mapping and open data. Koordinates supports getting data into OSM (who
doesn't want a better, open map?), but we have *always* worked alongside
the community, and all the data that is part of the import is CC-BY
licensed NZ government data.

Stephen originally wrote much of the open-source linz2osm
<https://github.com/opennewzealand/linz2osm> tool under a contract to
Koordinates in 2011, and has worked hard as the defacto maintainer. Over
the years we have occasionally funded Stephen's time to make several
improvements (eg. in the last six months it now supports turn restrictions
and some other complexities around road networks), but in general it has
just ticked along quietly.

Robin and anyone else, I'm happy to discuss this if you want to know more.


Rob :)
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