[Talk-GB] Historical Mapping in OSM

Lester Caine lester at lsces.co.uk
Mon Sep 27 12:50:53 BST 2010

Richard Palmer wrote:
>>    On 26/09/2010 23:47, Richard Palmer wrote:
>>> >  >  	I'm involved in a project looking at the history of a street in London
>>> >  >  	(The Strand). One of things we'd like to do is produce a 'animated' map
>>> >  >  	showing the changes along it from the C18th onwards. I've had a go at
>>> >  >  	adding some attributes to OSM for building dates and then generated
>>> >  >  	different tiles for layers each century, (quick demo up at:
>> >
>> >  Is this what we should be using OSM for? For me OSM is for*current*
>> >  data (I've been deleting any demolished buildings).
> Sorry, I should have made clear, for this project we're quite happy to run
> a seperate mapnik/openlayers server showing the data. Although I would be
> quite interested in building that up into a more general historical map
> server (ideally kept in sync with "current" OSM but historical information
> as well), but that's just a personal project (with lots of problems!) and
> not what's needed at the moment.
>> >  This project sounds great, but should be set up as a separate entity.
>> >  The database would become far to cluttered otherwise.
> Agreed.
>> >  I've an abandoned railway in my area where sections of it are now
>> >  invisible having been completely leveled&  used as agricultural land.
>> >  Someone's tagged these as railway=abandoned. I don't think they should.
> Yes, what's more interesting (and now possible) for me would be showing
> the change in usage over time, especially for heavily mapped areas like
> London.

start_date and end_date exist, But are not used as much SHOULD be.
http://www.slideshare.net/frankieroberto/mapp-history-on-open-street-map was 
presented last year and gives a nice summary ...

The problem with providing the data in a separate database is how to sync the 
two ... when does something marked as 'demolished' get moved to the 'historic' 
version. Either there should be a proper mechanism for providing 'overlays', or 
the data simply gets stored in the exidting database. In many cases ALL this is 
missing is a start_date for existing objects on the ground. While some objects 
my eventually be obliterated by future development, on the whole the road system 
in London for example has simply evolved and expanded so all that is needed is 
to know when a road first appeared? No clutter as such, just currently missing 
real data?

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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