[Talk-ca] BC2020i - Solving the licensing issues

Matthew Darwin matthew at mdarwin.ca
Wed Feb 7 16:17:37 UTC 2018


Hi Alessandro,

This is great news. Thanks for sharing. Getting a subset of the 
municipalities' data into a repository with a common license will be 
be a huge step forward.  Once you have some data in the repository, 
then the broader OSM community can look at how to import the data into 
OSM.  Then as more municipality's data gets into the repository, then 
OSM import work can expand.

So my suggestion to you is thus: work to get a *subset* of the data 
assembled under the license first.  Then expand coverage second.  This 
enables planning for imports to start sooner and would engage the 
broader OSM community.   I believe the work the broader community is 
doing now is mostly focused on tracing building footprints based on 
satellite images.


Personally, I believe that the Federal Government should play a role 
in consolidating municipal open data.  It's much easier to make the 
data *usable* by having one way (or small number of ways) of 
representing things across the country than to have 100s of different 
Municipalities doing things in their own way and left as an exercise 
for the user to sort that all out.


On 2018-02-07 09:42 AM, Alasia, Alessandro (STATCAN) wrote:
> Dear all,
> It is fantastic to see all these exchanges about BC2020i! There are 
> a lot of great ideas and improvements being made. I cannot follow up 
> on each point, though I wanted to update you regarding one area of 
> specific relevance: the attempt to find a solution to the licensing 
> issue for building related datasets. I believe this is one area 
> where my team can contribute to support the BC2020i.
> With my team, I am looking into the feasibility of compiling all 
> available municipal open data files into one single file and then 
> releasing this single file under one common license, specifically 
> the open data licence of the Canadian federal government. This 
> would, hopefully, solve the license compatibility issue. We are 
> still exploring this possibility but are moderately optimistic.
> So far we started with the "easy" task: compiling all the known 
> files – a special thanks to those who contributed to the tables on 
> the BC2020i wiki page! With that and other OD sources, we compiled 
> an "OpenAddressRepository" file of nearly 11 million records 
> (georeferenced) and an "OpenBuildingRepository" file of nearly 3.2 
> million polygons (still in progress). Preliminary analysis suggests 
> that the coverage and geocoding are very promising. More 
> importantly, given that the files all originate from official 
> municipal sources, there should be no reason to doubt the quality of 
> the data.
> The next step, for us, is to look at the process required to release 
> these files with a GoC open data license. We do not yet have a clear 
> timeline for release, but if this idea is possible, we should almost 
> certainly make it before the timelines that were discussed on 
> Talk-ca for vetting each and all individual municipal open data 
> licenses  - 2080s or 2030s if I recall correctly :-)
> We believe this solution/approach, if successful, puts an end to the 
> issue of license compatibility (at least for the files found thus 
> far) and greatly facilitates the use of these open data by the 
> general public as well as the private and public sector. 
> Furthermore, and more importantly for BC2020i, this solution paves 
> the way for the many local OSM groups to import these open data as 
> they see fit. As well, once the large national level files are 
> released, we might be able to collaborate with local groups and 
> provide more manageable partitions of the larger files.
> Of course, this approach will not necessarily solve the license 
> compatibility issue for all types of municipal files. Thus, needless 
> to say, anybody is obviously free to pursue submitting individual 
> municipal OD licenses to the License Working Group of OSM.  Though, 
> given that the Working Group resources are scarce, and assuming the 
> approach outlined above works for building footprints, we would be 
> happy to discuss the feasibility of compiling and re-releasing other 
> municipal open data under the open data licence of the Canadian 
> federal government.
> Finally, as I mentioned in other communications, my team is also 
> exploring other activities that will hopefully contribute to the 
> BC2020i. These activities touch on data analysis, data monitoring, 
> and building footprint extraction from satellite imagery. For this 
> work, we are primarily using open source tools and applications that 
> can be integrated in open source environments (more updates on all 
> of this hopefully soon!).
> More updates, feedback, and follow up on other interesting points of 
> discussion later on.
> Regards to all,
> Alessandro and DEIL team
>
>
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