[Imports] [Talk-us] Proposing import of sidewalk data Seattle, WA, USA

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Tue Aug 2 21:14:28 UTC 2016

On Tuesday 02 August 2016, Clifford Snow wrote:
> Frederik, I thought you were for only add objects that can be
> surveyed on the ground? Isn't that what they are proposing?
> We tell people not to map for the renderer. In the same spirit
> shouldn't we tell people not to let the limitations of the editor
> stop them from mapping?

I hope you realize the difference between mapping things in a certain 
way and importing data.  Manual mapping is self regulating here, 
something that is mappable by hand is at least in principle also 
editable.  But there are many possibilities to prepare data for an 
import that are practically impossible to properly maintain in current 

> > There have been several local imports of sidewalk data that were
> > removed again because lack of prior discussion and/or because they
> > were single-purpose imports that did not care about integration
> > with the rest of OSM (for example: what should rendering engines do
> > with sidewalks; how do they integrate with normal footways; how is
> > a sidewalk linked to the road along which it runs so that routing
> > engines can say "follow sidewalk along XY road" instead of "follow
> > unnamed footway"; how can routing and rendering use individual
> > sidewalks and still gracefully fall back to another method where
> > these are not defined, and so on).
> I'm not following you. They did announce their plans and are
> discussing the proposal with the community, including how to route.
> Unlike existing routing systems, they are proposing to enable people
> with limited mobility to find a route to their location.

So they open an RFC for a proposal and propose an import at the same 
time - that is clearly not the way things should be done.

Please keep in mind the problem of mapping things of special interest 
for limited mobility people is not something that has not been 
contemplated in the OSM community in the past.  You can see that now 
that the proposal has been announced people start to discuss it.  But 
IMO it is highly inappropriate to plan an import using the mapping 
princliples advertised in this proposal while initial discussion of the 
proposal is ongoing.  It is quite possible that discourse on the matter 
will lead to significant changes in the tagging concepts or even a 
completely different mapping approach and what would you do with the 
import then?

So the better approach IMO is to discuss the tagging, test whatever 
comes out of this for some time in manual mapping to ensure it prooves 
to be practially usable for mappers in many situations and if and when 
this all works out then consider importing data in that scheme.

Christoph Hormann

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