[talk-au] Introducing myself and I have a question too

Andrew Harvey andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 12:24:31 BST 2012

On 08/08/12 15:53, Matthew Landauer wrote:
> All of our projects have involved some kind of geo lookup, where we
> find out where something is, or the user is and we map that back to
> some kind of government area, either and electoral boundary or a local
> government or some such thing. We've had a number of ad-hoc approaches
> to this over the years but now we we would like to make this all
> simpler.
> Recently, mySociety, a UK based charity and one the worlds pioneers in
> online digital democracy released a web service called mapit:
> http://global.mapit.mysociety.org/
> What it does is slurp administrative boundary data from OSM and
> present and republish it in a really easy to use (and free) web
> service.

I had a quick look and it seems it can also consume other non-OSM data
sources. I would support a small hack which allows it to directly
consume the ABS ASGS Non-ABS Structures?

Even if we end up importing the stuff into OSM, since OSM editors can
improve or change it, it will still be of benefit to have a direct link
between mapit and the ABS source data.

> What I would like to do is help the Australian OSM community in
> whatever way I can get the administrative boundary data in OSM up to
> date and complete. My personal focus really is on the local government
> area (LGA) boundaries.
> Since I'm a virtually complete newbie in the OSM sphere I don't want
> to just blunder into something that I know little about, tread on
> peoples' toes and generally create havoc.
> I see that 2011 LGA boundary data is available on data.gov.au:
> http://data.gov.au/dataset/local-government-area-asgc-ed-2011/

That dataset is actually the LGA structure from the ASGC 2011.

I would get it straight from the source. The source even includes more
documentation about it.

However as stated in that page, that structure was replaced by the ASGS
2011. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1270.0.55.003

I'm not sure if there is any differences between the two though.

I've also got some scripts to load the ASGS 2011 into PostgreSQL/PostGIS
at https://github.com/andrewharvey/asgs2pgsql

> and according to this post
> http://blog.osmfoundation.org/2011/09/24/odbl-data-gov-au-permission-granted/
> data from data.gov.au can safely be included in OSM.

Well, the data is actually ABS data licensed CC-BY (though itself a
derived work from various other works), and that statement from
data.gov.au is simply their interpretation that CC-BY data can be
uploaded to OSM, but okay.

> Is this something that has already been done, or is already in progress?
> If not, what can I do to help? I'm happy to learn and get myself up to
> speed in whatever technical way is required. I just need a little
> guidance. ;-)

On 08/08/12 17:03, Matthew Landauer wrote:
> I want to see the LGA data in OSM because that will make it easy to
> get the data into the mapit service that I mentioned and we want to
> use mapit for the OpenAustralia Foundation.
> As for "why not import the data directly into mapit?"
> Well, we could of course but that would limit the reusability of the
> work. OSM is an incredible resource and it would be great to be able
> to contribute to that rather than taking a shortcut which would just
> benefit our needs and not the greater good of the community.

Keep in mind that mass importing of this data into OSM, may be of
benefit to OSM consumers, it may actually harm the OSM contributing
community (I said may; it is an ongoing debate).

That said I'm not going to weigh into this side of the debate because
I'm not currently an active OSM editor.

> As far as I understand the LGA boundaries totally fit within what OSM
> should provide, doesn't it?

It is also worth to note that this data is "an ABS approximation of the
officially gazetted LGAs".

> We've seen already a large duplication of effort (even in Australia)
> on work to map locations to political and administrative boundaries
> and we want to do our bit to help move things in the right direction.
> I hope that vaguely answers your question!

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