[Tagging] Hiking "guideposts" painted on rocks, trees etc.

Matthew Woehlke mwoehlke.floss at gmail.com
Sat Jul 25 16:21:28 UTC 2020

On 25/07/2020 07.06, Andy Townsend wrote:
> Why do people in OSM map anything?  I can't see any reason why I'd want 
> to add urban buildings, or comprehensive address data, or a whole bunch 
> of other things that people think are _really important_.

How are addresses _not_ important? If I'm trying to find 123 Cherry 
Lane, I really, really appreciate if that entity actually exists in OSM.

I guess I don't know what you mean by "comprehensive".

As for buildings, I know you meant that as a rhetorical question, but I 
have a fascinating perspective I hope you'll forgive me if I share. I'm 
working on traffic simulation, and one of the problems is creating 
realistic waypoints. To do this, I either have to specify start and stop 
points manually (a huge amount of work that is of no benefit outside a 
particular simulation), or make educated guesses based on knowing where 
things like offices and houses are. I also need to guesstimate *how 
many* people will leave a particular house, or travel to a particular 
office. If buildings are present and fully tagged as to their purpose, I 
can not only decide what category they should be in, I can also use 
their square footage to estimate their occupancy.

See? Urban buildings are *useful* to me! :-)

Someone else recently posted that having the buildings *and their 
material composition* tagged is useful for planning purposes for folks 
going around trying to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

(Yes, that means I may need to model the buildings, but at least all 
that work makes the map better and might be useful to someone else.)

For me, it's probably power lines that seem useless, but someone else 
probably has a use case where having those mapped is really helpful. 
(Maybe someone planning to buy a house wants to know, without having to 
drive there, if there are high-voltage power lines nearby?)


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