[Tagging] types of surveillance cameras

Martijn van Exel m at rtijn.org
Mon Apr 11 10:08:38 BST 2011

On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM, Georg Feddern <osm at bavarianmallet.de>wrote:

> Hi,
> Martijn van Exel schrieb:
>  I am noticing a two major types. There's what I
>> call the dome cameras [1] that live in a dome-shaped enclosure and can
>> probably tilt and swivel to cover a larger area, and there's the static
>> ones
>> that have a more traditional camera shape [2] and are usually fixed,
>> pointing in one particular direction.
> but do not forget the so-called "vandal dome" cameras which look like a
> dome, but are only static/fixed types.
> Or the 360° cameras which look like a big raindrop only ...

>  * Does the distinction between dome and static cameras make sense or are
>> there more major categories?
> Ask yourself the question "What info do I get with this distinction?"
> I think, the only info is a "Maybe ..."
> A 'normal' mapper can not see the difference between a real PTZ-Dome or a
> vandal-dome camera - you may even do not see, in which direction the latter
> is mounted.
> Also not the difference between a fixed mounted static camera and a fixed
> mounted zoom camera.
A lot of information going into OSM is of the 'best effort'-type, so that in
itself would not deter me from putting it in if I'm not sure. From the
outside, you can probably not even see if there's even a real camera in the
enclosure or if it's just a dummy enclosure. Do you know how to tell  fake
cameras from real ones?

>  * Would this be a relevant attribute to tag? I think it is.
> My conclusion:
> You can not easily map the correct type of camera - and you can not
> estimate the surveyed area or details without the technical data of the
> camera.
> So I think it is not - at least I won't trust these attributes. ;-)
> Tag the manufacturer and the model instead. ;-)

That is even more difficult to establish, isn't it? I'm glad if I even spot
a camera mounted 10ft above the ground, but I won't be able to make out
manufacturer / model.

On trust - I am a strong believer in iteratively increasing trustworthiness
of information. If I tag a camera as just man_made=surveillance /
surveillance:type=dome (or whatever is convenient) this information may lack
sufficient quality / trustworthiness for some, but someone else, someone
more knowledgeable will come along and fill in the blanks or correct what's

Martijn van Exel
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