[talk-au] Bulk loading all the Australian Statistical Geography Standard into the OSM - a query from the Australian Bureau of Statistics [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Simon Biber simonbiber at yahoo.com.au
Wed Feb 23 01:35:22 GMT 2011

Marcus Blake <marcus.blake at abs.gov.au> wrote Wed, 23 February, 2011 11:31:50:
>From the ABS point of view the principle reason for doing this is that an the 
>OSM database would hold  a copy of the official version of the boundaries and 
>that this point of truth would be available for all OSM users and downstream 
>distributors. It would therefore become one of the channels by which the ABS 
>distributes the ASGS boundaries and associated coding structures

Hi Marcus,

You may be misunderstanding how OSM works. OSM doesn't hold official, unchanging 
versions of things. Things get modified all the time.

The ABS suburb boundaries have been imported into OSM previously. They were used 

as a basis for identification of the path of roads and rivers which often tend 
to run along the boundaries, and in many places were split and joined with those 

roads and rivers such that subsequent improvements to the roads and rivers have 
modified the position of the ABS boundaries. This makes it difficult to replace 
the boundaries in OSM with updated data from ABS.

OSM does not have layers. All the objects are joined together according to the 
real world topology (e.g. roads with paths and railways at level crossings). All 

of OSM is released under CC-BY-SA which is an attribution license compatible 
with CC-BY. The attribution includes a link to a list of data providers and 
contributors on www.openstreetmap.org in which ABS is listed.


OSM has a web API and a set of community built tools which may be used to handle 

imports (or write your own tools). However, a lot of care needs to go into 
identifying and improving the existing data, without either duplicating existing 
data or removing people's work in edits they have made to features that may be 
joined to the boundaries.


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