[Talk-ca] Crowdsourcing buildings with Statistics Canada

John Marshall rps333 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 15:07:20 UTC 2017


Paul,

So once we get a letter from the City of Ottawa, are we good to add the
buildings as per the wiki?

John

On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 8:41 AM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> There is another way forward for Stats at the moment and that would be to
> use the Statistics Canada address file which is available on the Federal
> Government Open Data portal under the Federal Government Open Data
> licence.  The addresses are nodes rather than building outlines but there
> is nothing to stop building:levels, and postcode etc. being added to a node.
>
> This was the file that Metrolink used to add addresses in the Toronto
> area.  It also has the benefit that it uses less storage in the OSM
> database.
>
> Cheerio John
>
> On 21 January 2017 at 21:34, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> It's to do with the way government works and is structured.  What you
>> have is an official interpretation which carries weight.  Quite a lot of
>> weight.
>>
>> Essentially both Canada and the UK are run by acts of parliament.
>> However these are normally interpreted by civil servants to keep things
>> running smoothly. For example in the UK by an Act of parliament of 1837
>> bicycles are not permitted to  use the sidewalks but administratively you
>> will not be prosecuted for cycling on the sidewalk in certain parts of the
>> UK.  The act hasn't been repealed but it is simply not enforced.  The
>> decision was taken by a civil servant after consultations but is upheld by
>> the government.
>>
>> The day to day running is done by civil servants interpreting the
>> minister's wishes or act of Parliament.  There will be discussion and
>> debate at a greater depth than either a minister or Parliament have the
>> time for and the decision will be recorded together with the reasons for
>> and against it.  This can lead to a formal report with a recommendation.
>> It is a brave manager or minister who doesn't accept the recommendations.
>> Have a look at Yes Minister and you'll see that brave here means foolish.
>> There has to be a level of trust between the politicians and the civil
>> service for this to work.  The direction is set by the politicians but the
>> day to day stuff by the civil servants.  If a civil servant screws up then
>> its special assignment time which is the civil service way of terminating
>> you.  So an interpretation is not given lightly.
>>
>> It has taken three or four years of discussion to get this far.  My
>> understanding is the City of Ottawa licence actually makes reference to the
>> Federal government licence in the FAQ basically because all the expertise,
>> hard work and effort on licensing was done at the federal level.
>>
>> I think in this case you have to rely on civil servants and retired civil
>> servants expertise.  Both Bjenk and I are of the opinion, as his his
>> manager, that for practical purposes the OGL-CA and the Municipal
>> equivalent are identical.  There are a number of CANVEC employees and
>> retired employees floating around as well who will have an opinion but I
>> think it will be supportive.  The open data manager at Ottawa is also of
>> the same opinion.  My casual contacts at TB on the Open Data side are also
>> of the same opinion.
>>
>> My hope is that we can accept Open Data from municipalities that are
>> covered by the equivalent of the OGL-CA.  What you seem to be asking for is
>> a resolution or vote by each municipality of their councillors before OSM
>> can use the data.  This I think is getting towards the unreasonable and
>> unwieldy side of things.
>>
>> Canadian cities would like to encourage their citizens to walk, cycle and
>> use public transport.  Tagging which paths maybe used by cycles helps both
>> sides.  In Ottawa until I sat down with the cycling specialist and pointed
>> out on their cycle maps one path running through a park was on their cycle
>> maps and an identical one in the same park wasn't so how was I to know
>> which could be used?  I was armed with photos from both paths and of the
>> signs, they were identical.  After that the city expanded its official
>> cycle path network by many kms.  "The *city of Ottawa* has a vibrant
>> *cycling* culture and now boasts over 600 km of multi-use pathways,
>> *bike* lanes, off-road paths and paved shoulders"  We need the City to
>> identify these so they can be correctly tagged on the map.  Often there are
>> no signs on a path to say if it maybe used by cyclists or not.
>>
>> Metrolink has done a fair bit of address mapping in OSM in support of
>> getting people to use public transport.  They're in Toronto by the way.
>> Both sides are better off with imported bus stops.
>>
>> Life was so much simpler when OSM was just a group of cyclists going
>> round with GPS devices recording tracks but I think times are changing and
>> there are benefits.  The main problem in my mind is controlling the quality
>> of data for an import and in its careful merging with existing data.  For
>> the City of Ottawa data the quality is reasonably good and some of it is
>> already present in the CANVEC data.  The GTFS bus stop position data is far
>> better than many American cities because of the automated stop announcement
>> system to assist blind or partially sighted people.  They went out and very
>> carefully checked the position of each and every bus stop with a high
>> accuracy GPS system so it would be correct.
>>
>> There is another issue and that is volume of data.  If you are using OSM
>> data on a phone off line the smaller the database the faster it is but that
>> is a different kettle of fish.  At least if its there you can filter out
>> those things you don't need.
>>
>> My suggestion is both the OGL-CA and the municipality equivalent should
>> be acceptable to OSM based on the interpretations you have from civil
>> servants.
>>
>> Cheerio John
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 21 January 2017 at 19:37, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On 1/21/2017 4:34 PM, john whelan wrote:
>>>
>>>> What you have is an interpretation of the Federal Government license.
>>>> From my background in the civil service my understanding is for a statement
>>>> it would have to be over a minister's signature or by act of parliament.
>>>> No one else has the authority unless it is delegated.
>>>>
>>>
>>> If that's true and we can't rely on a statement from a government
>>> employee to interpret their license, then we can no longer use OGL-CA data.
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
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