[Talk-ca] SOTM 2008: The State of The (Canada) Map

James Ewen jewen at shaw.ca
Tue Jul 8 23:07:39 BST 2008

On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 3:17 PM, SteveC <steve at asklater.com> wrote:

> I think you're being obtuse. From looking at the map it wouldn't take
> me much time to map the whole place myself so it doesn't need a party.

That gets you one small city, now add in the rest of Canada. The
problem is the sheer size of the country, and the low OSM member
density. There are no OSM members in Ft. McMurray, and it is a 5 hour
drive to the city from my home. There are a whole lot of other towns
and villages, not to mention hundreds of thousands of miles of rural
highways, and county roads to map as well. Mapping parties are fine
when you can get a bunch of members together. Since this thread is
about the state of the (Canada) map, I am talking about issues seen
here, not issues seen in areas where the member density is much

> I know I'm helplessly stupid and lame, but, to run a party in my
> nearest city (San Francisco) basically costs nothing. I get a space
> for free (or just go to starbucks). I drive, cycle or walk there. I
> put out the publicity using the internet. People turn up, we do some
> mapping and I show them how to do stuff, then we grab a drink
> afterward. None of these costs are different from any other Saturday.

I am not insinuating that you are stupid, nor lame. I am suggesting
that if I want an OSM map of Fort McMurray, AB, that it is not going
to be a zero cost event. Can you show me how to find users in a
specific area? I know that I can find users located near me on my home
page. Is there a way to query for users located near a specific
location? I'd be willing to bet that I am probably in the top ten
closest members to Fort McMurray.

>> On another tangent, if the licensing issues can be settled, we might
>> soon have a base map provided by the Government of Canada upon which
>> to build. This is probably our best avenue to pursue. A base map will
>> get 95% of the roads in the database, and making minor edits and
>> adding new roads can then become the priority.
> I'm working on that from the OSMF PoV

That's going to be the way that the majority of Canadian roads get
added to the OSM map. There's simply not enough user density to be
able to effectively map Canada any other way within my lifetime.


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