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

James Ewen jewen at shaw.ca
Wed Jul 9 01:32:41 BST 2008

On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 4:12 PM, SteveC <steve at asklater.com> wrote:

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

I agree, however, you need to entice people into the concept before
you can put them to work. You are talking about putting on events when
there are no members to attend these events. We need to spread the
word and build the membership base around here currently.

> 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.

Yup, enticing people into the OSM community, building a membership
base, then getting things done.

>> 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.

Putting on a mapping party in an area where there are no members for
400 kms is a fairly frivolous activity, and that's a close major
center. There's a lot more out there where it is 500 km to the nearest
dwelling. I'm not attempting to be negative, but rather pragmatic.

With a base map in place, it would be easier to entice people to
participate. I'm sure a lot of people look at the OSM project, and
have a look at their local area, see not much data and wander away.
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about taking a blank slate, and
filling it with roads, parks, lakes, and streams.

I have mapped out the >350 km of urban roads, and plotted most of the
nearly 1300 km of rural roads. Those roads need to be traced out with
a GPS, to get accurate locations for each of the intersections, and
tracks for the meandering roads in the subdivisions. I'm not sure how
to go about doing that on a Saturday without incurring any costs.

I know the concept that you are trying to promote, it's just that we
are not there yet. It's like when I took up geocaching. There were a
limited number of geocachers in the area, and I found every geocache
available within a hundred miles within a short time. There were only
so many of us placing new caches, and only so much time available to
plan and place those caches. Now, 4 years later as I look into
geocaching again, the user base has increased substantially, and I can
probably geocache like crazy for a year or so, and not run out.
Perhaps I simply need to shelve the OSM project for 5 years and then
come back and set up a mapping party. Nope, let me guess that's a bad
attitude too! 8)

We need to find and enlist GPS enabled users currently... I found out
about OSM from the Geocaching community, if I recall correctly. Hmm, I
need to create a geocache that makes people wander around the areas
that I want to map, and then make them upload their GPS track to the
OSM project to be able to log it as "found".


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