[Tagging] Emergency vehicle country-specific law

Richard Welty rwelty at averillpark.net
Thu Mar 7 13:39:10 UTC 2019

On 3/6/19 5:17 PM, Jarek PiĆ³rkowski wrote:
> On Wed, 6 Mar 2019 at 16:29, Richard Welty <rwelty at averillpark.net> wrote:
>> i spent some time looking at a project to build OSM based
>> emergency maps. i concluded we needed to do layers of
>> information, some of which were appropriate to host in
>> OSM and others which were not. there would have been a
>> program to conflate the data to produce an OSMAnd or similar
>> data file that met the department needs but avoided
>> dumping inappropriate data into OSM.
> Out of curiosity, if you don't mind/can share - what was not
> appropriate for OSM? Internal preferences or policies ("prefer to go
> down 1st rather than 2nd even though both look the same" - if only so
> drivers don't have to make that decision every time separately) or
> something else/more?

mostly, policy things like that. a lot of the things that FDs care
about are local policy rather than local regulations. if we stick to
the classical OSM theory that we map things that are observable
(which is something that is not fully honored of course) then
local policies are something a mapper on the ground can't see
unless they interview firefighters (which i've done a bit of.)

there are other examples. for example, the Chief of the Port
Henry department in upstate NY oversees a district that
is adjacent to Lake Champlaign, so you would think he has
a big enough water source. but the RR tracks running down his
side of the lake frequently carry huge trains loaded with
light crude oil. if one derails and catches fire, he can't
get to the lake. so he's been testing water flow of the streams
feeding the lake. that's the sort of data that's you can get
that benefits the FDs, but is not ground observable  in the
usual OSM manner.

a lot of rural FDs have designated landing sites for EMS
helicopters. they're not secrets, you can go to the local
FD and ask about them. but they are generally not marked, so
again, a mapper can't just walk up to them.

in the case of the Albany NY FD, there are streets downtown
that present challenges for some equipment. this matches
roughly with your example. it ends up being things like
if we want to get this piece of equipment to this building,
we need to go the wrong way on this street.

the thing i learned from all the interviews, though,
that is most interesting, is that the firefighers know
their districts, they don't need such aids if they're
responding at home. the value comes in when a company
crosses district borders to assist. this means that
a real tablet OSM app to support emergency services
should be a regional solution to support mutual
assistance calls.

rwelty at averillpark.net
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