[talk-au] Tracks flagged as missing from government data

Little Maps mapslittle at gmail.com
Wed Aug 18 08:11:51 UTC 2021

Apologies for repeated posts on this issue, but a data dump of 250,000 ways is worth some discussion I believe… Andrew, if it is not possible to separate public and private roads using tags in the Vic gov database, can the Vic Tracks MapRoulette Challenge please be pulled down immediately? If you scan around the state, it’s obvious that the great majority of the “unmapped tracks” are on private property and not on public land. Even in the forested highlands of Gippsland, there are far more “unmapped tracks” on private property around the margins of the forests, and in the surrounding farmlands than in the forest itself.

With no better data available, it seems reasonable to suggest that this MapRoulette Challenge includes 100,000-150,000 roads/tracks/driveways on private land (maybe more), with no indication of that fact to inform well intentioned mappers, and no suggested tagging to indicate access=private. Many of the private roads are indeed short driveways that have no through connectivity, but many are longer and create through ways. In private forestry plantations in W Vic for example, all of the private internal roads are included in the challenge, which creates a wide grid of new “public” roads. I’ve only looked at the Vic challenge so far and have no feedback yet on the challenges in other states. 

A couple of months ago, Microsoft’s mapping team was told to cease and desist after they mapped a few 1000 private roads without indicating private access (they responded to that request admirably). This challenge dwarfs that issue 100-fold. I’m confident that the intentions were good but this implementation is fundamentally flawed. The fact that the data dump and challenge were sponsored and paid for by a government department with no notification or discussion from the Australian mapping community until after the fact makes the issue even more problematic in my mind.

> On 18 Aug 2021, at 4:40 pm, Little Maps <mapslittle at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I missed the last part where it mentions driveways are included, I'll take another look to see what can be improved to filter these out.
> Andrew, the 1:25,000 Vic gov topo mps show tracks/driveways on private properties in a different colour to those on public land and the map legend clearly distinguish the two. So hopefully there is a public/private field in the dataset that can be used to distinguish the two. Cheers Ian
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