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

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Tue Jul 8 23:12:33 BST 2008

On 8 Jul 2008, at 15:07, James Ewen wrote:

> 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
> higher.

But you're sort of giving up before you started. OSM didn't start by  
having universal member density throughout Europe or something.

You run a mapping party in I don't know, Calgary. Someone there gets  
really interested and his brother is a Geography teacher in, I don't  
know, Ft. McMurray and he emails him about it, he runs a class and it  
gets mapped.

See? Networks effect is everything and you have to start somewhere.

>> 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.

See above - just try and make a start somewhere.

>>> 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.

That kind of ignores the better than exponential user take up and is  
being super negative.



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