[Talk-ca] BC2020i - Solving the licensing issues

Stewart C. Russell scruss at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 22:37:47 UTC 2018

On 2018-02-08 08:39 PM, Tracey P. Lauriault wrote:
> OSM resembles ordnance survey as was part of the original raison
> d'etre When it started in the UK, but that does not preclude the
> possibility of incorporating administrative boundaries such as wards,
> and less formal boundaries such as neighbourhoods, and potentially
> even other cachtment are boundaries such as school boards, and police
> districts and so on.

The guiding principles of OSM are “How We Map”

> Contributions to OpenStreetMap should be:
> * Truthful - means that you cannot contribute something you have
> invented.
> * Legal - means that you don't copy copyrighted data without
> permission.
> * Verifiable - means that others can go there and see for themselves if
> your data is correct.
> * Relevant - means that you have to use tags that make clear to others
> how to re-use the data.
> When in doubt, also consider the "on the ground rule": map the world
> as it can be observed by someone physically there.

The difficulty with neighbourhoods, catchment areas and other soft
boundaries is that they can't be verified on the ground. The only
reference is the imported source file. Boundaries
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Boundaries> are assigned a fairly
limited set of tags, and administrative boundaries a very
narrowly-defined set of values
Administrative boundaries tend to pile up in Nominatim's address
resolution - I'm supposed to be living in "The Golden Mile, Scarborough,
Toronto, Ontario" (neighbourhood, postal town, city, province), though
no-one uses that level of detail. Also, the Federal neighbourhood points
(imported years ago) don't match municipal neighbourhoods (according to
the city, I'm in Kennedy Park).

So while municipal boundaries have their place in OSM, a really good
case (and a whole lot of convincing tagging mavens) would need to be
made before those softer boundaries made it into OSM.


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