[OSM-legal-talk] What happens on April 1?

Ian Sergeant inas66+osm at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 04:10:06 GMT 2012

On 8 March 2012 13:50, Nick Hocking <nick.hocking at gmail.com> wrote:

> The presence of non compliant data in our database can only harm
> the community and thereby the project.

I don't understand why some people are  now
> starting to "panic".  Maybe it's just that time of month again where
> we have to rehash the licence debate for the n+1th time.
Please, lets not confuse the timing issue with the licence debate.
Different issues entirely.   I appreciate that every time this discussion
is raised there are the naysayers that jump in.  Let's just apply the
appropriate filter and focus on the issue at hand.

It has always been a matter of finding the correct balance between the
damage being done to the community by having non-compliant data, and the
damage done to our data consumers, who we also owe a duty to.   If we
weren't trying to find this balance, we could have just gone ahead and
removed the data in April last year.   In some parts of the map, I'm
confident that balance has been reached.  I'm keener than anyone to see any
end to the red and green lines, and go back to "normal" mapping.

However, if the transition happened today in Sydney,  we would lose every
freeway, every trunk road, every primary road, the harbour crossings, the
foreshore.  All the rivers.  We'll lose at least 50 entire suburbs to the
very last street and their place names.  We'll lose railways, stations,
ferry wharfs and routes.  We'll lose large chunks of the regional cycle
networks.  This dataset will be completely, utterly, and entirely unusable
by anyone for any purpose.

Progress in remapping is being made.  It is purposeful and effective, but
takes time.

We need the right balance to set the timing, and from my perspective I just
can't see how we can reach that point in this area by April 1 -   unless
several additional committed volunteers join the effort full time in the
next week.  We've tried our best to do it in time, but we've not
succeeded.  There needs to be a different timing or a different approach.

I defy anyone to run OSM Inspector over the Sydney area and say we have the
right timing to go now.

I therefore repeat my suggestion that we adopt a phased approach over a
couple of months, working from the most complete areas to the least.  There
are other risk-management benefits to this approach beyond giving an
extension to the less well developed areas.  Still a deadline, still an
imperative, just the extra time we need with the tools that we now have to
make sure that a very basic usable dataset exists for our consumers on the
transition day.

P.S. Anybody who has finished mapping in their area, and is twiddling their
thumbs waiting for the transition, we have many tens of thousands of
kilometres of rivers, lakes, coastline, long distance railways, etc in
Australia that are amenable to aerial remapping!  Come visit!
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