[Imports] Seattle Sidewalks Import (v2 - testing)

Nick Bolten nbolten at gmail.com
Sun Feb 19 03:08:18 UTC 2017

Hello everyone, this is Nick Bolten from the OpenSidewalks and AccessMap

This is a notification for an upcoming, limited *evaluation* import as well
as a progress update from our last email (from Meg Drouhard in August
2016). The wiki page for this import can be found at
This is a follow-up to our previous announcement:

# Test Import

In collaboration with OpenStreetMap Seattle (the local OSM community), we
are hosting a mapathon on Feb 19. One portion of this mapathon will be to
evaluate an import workflow for a limited region (the University District
in Seattle, Washington). We have tested our import strategy on local OSM
copies in the past, as well as the live testing servers, but want to do a
further evaluation period for a limited region to ensure that our workflow
and data do not cause breakages.

We will be following best practices for this import evaluation, and every
single piece of data will be reviewed and modified, by hand, by individuals
at the mapathon. This evaluation import has the support of local OSM
community leaders (Clifford Snow, Chase Stevens, and others) and we will be
working with them closely to ensure that best practices are followed.

# Questions about tagging and the data

Our last post to the imports list elicited many discussions about our
tagging scheme. I would like to save as much of that conversation for
future, larger-scale import announcements, if possible. Our tags will be
virtually identical to those used in Graz, Austria and Washington, DC,
recently highlighted on weekly OSM (http://www.weeklyosm.eu/archives/8595),
and do not involve inventing any new tags.

This evaluation import will involve tagging sidewalks as separate lines.
Many cities and local communities have chosen to follow this method of
describing sidewalks, and the local Seattle community is on board for
trying it out. It's also a preset in the iD editor. There are many
advantages to this approach, particularly for people with disabilities, but
I would like to save discussion of that question for a future, larger-scale
import announcement.

The data is available in the public domain and we do not foresee any
licensing issues.

# Progress Report

The data we are importing has a substantial improvement in quality over
what we proposed previously (we rewrote our sidewalk and street crossing
extrapolation algorithms). You can get a sense for what the data looks like
at https://accessmap.io.

We have taken the responses to our previous announcement into
consideration, and want to thank you for the vigorous discussions and for
providing many use cases that we need to consider. Before announcing a
larger-scale import, we will be updating our tagging proposal's wiki page
to account for the feedback we received, and make it clearer which tags
would be new, what conventions would be new, why the changes are necessary,
and how we will address potential pitfalls.
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