[Talk-GB] Adding a further 250, 000 UK roads quickly using a Bot?

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Thu Feb 3 11:11:34 GMT 2011

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I won't respond to individual points not
because I don't think they are valid, but because I think it will be useful
to hear from others and let the conversation develop. I am of course aware
that there is ia lot of concern about the proposal in the comments so far.

One point of clarification though - I did indeed consider that I and other
could be  'locked out' of OSM due to my use of OS Open Data, however that is
no longer the case given that the OS have adopted the Open Government



On 3 February 2011 11:03, Jerry Clough : SK53 on OSM
<SK53_osm at yahoo.co.uk>wrote:

>  On 02/02/2011 21:10, Peter Miller wrote:
> ITO have been offering a service to compare osm road names with os locator
> road names for a while now[1]  which has encouraged a lot of activity - and
> has even led to Andy to obsession.[2] I have also suffered from a bout of
> urgent mapping myself while completing all of Suffolk to 95% in the past few
> weeks! Can I suggest that for our sanity we should consider developing a bot
> to do some of this work for us? This would also allow us to get the rest of
> the 250,000 remaining roads in place in less than the 13 months Andy
> estimates will be required?
> This bot would do a number of repetitive tasks for us within the bounding
> box in which it was authorised to operate by a contributor.
> It could do the following:
> 1) Add names to existing roads in osm where there is a single un-named ways
> in osm with a bounding box which matches that of a single entry in os
> locator.
> 2) In addition...  it might be able to also add roads to osm from os vector
> district, snapping them into existing roads as required where the existing
> roads align neatly with os streetview. It would only do this if there were
> no ways close by on either side.
> Complex situations will be left to humans. Humans could also sometimes
> prepare an area for analysis by the bot, splitting ways as appropriate,
> adjusting alignment of existing roads and dealing in advance with situations
> we know the bot will have difficulties with.
> Edits would be made as individual changesets, referenced to the mapper
> operating of the bot. Each edit would be 'signed off' by the mapper who
> would be able to see the proposed changes visual prior to accepting them.
> Any thoughts?
> Peter
> [1] http://www.itoworld.com/product/data/osm_analysis/summary
> [2]
> http://www.gravitystorm.co.uk/shine/archives/2011/02/02/the-london-streets-challenge/
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> Talk-GB mailing list
> Talk-GB at openstreetmap.orghttp://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb
> I personally don't think it's a great idea. There are many aspects to this,
> so I'll just take the ones which occur to me right now.
>    - Automating road completion is not a huge impossiblity. In a desultory
>    way I have been playing with name assignment to VectorMap District data, and
>    I'm sure that approached in a more systematic and determined fashion it
>    would feasible to produce a programmatic way to assign Locator names to the
>    VDM data set. I have a pretty good idea of the major issues, and the outline
>    algorithms to do this. The main step I have not tried is sticking
>    combinations of linestrings together to maximise fit to a locator box.
>    Connectivity is the other main issue. However, I think such data would be
>    pretty much useful on their own, or could be mashed-up with OSM data for a
>    given application (e.g., a garmin map). I don't see huge immediate utility
>    in putting such data into OSM, as opposed to making it available in such a
>    way that it could be integrated with OSM data.
>     - Relying on OS data reduces the range of sources and validation of
>    OSM. I'm currently experimenting<http://sk53-osm.blogspot.com/2011/01/simulating-urban-atlas-using-osm.html>with the Nottingham area to see how close I can get to the Urban Atlas
>    mapping done for the EEA. My gut feel is that OSM data which is sourced
>    through combinations of ground-survey and aerial imagery can provide similar
>    levels of accuracy in terms of areas, and higher levels of reliability in
>    terms of landuse classification. In other words, once OSM data start to get
>    very detailed they provide a separately surveyed source of data which is
>    distinct from OSGB. If we populate huge swathes of the country from OSGB
>    data we lose this value (but see next).
>     - Huge swathes of the country *are to all intents and purposes* only
>    populated with OSGB data. Most towns in Northern England appear to have been
>    largely traced: obvious examples: Darlington, Middlesborough, Bolton,
>    Oldham, Rochdale, Grimsby, many parts of South Yorkshire. In many cases
>    tracers using OS StreetView have not bothered to add road names (from time
>    to time, I have been doing sweeps through Oldham fixing some of these). The
>    few journeys I have made in these places indicate a poor level of quality.
>    Adding data does not add mappers.
>     - Many areas traced from Yahoo have received little or no ground
>    survey. Most of Merseyside, Greater Manchester and West London fall into
>    these categories. In some cases a concerted effort has been made to at least
>    add street names from OS StreetView. See comment above.
>     - We are still nowhere near 1 dedicated mapper per City/District which
>    seems to be the minimum to give a mapped area 'life'. Of course we really
>    want a group of people maintaining an area, but I'd settle for A lifeless
>    but complete map will not IMO attract these individuals.
>     - Progress has been substantially affected by license FUD. This is not
>    just about using OS OpenData, but the prospect that edits may be lost
>    because an earlier editor in an area is no longer contactable or refuses the
>    new terms. You, yourself, have expressed concern about this issue [1]<#12deb3173222df5c_1>
>    ,[2] <#12deb3173222df5c_2>. I anticipate the ODbL, CT issues will
>    continue to affect how and what people map until the whole process is
>    resolved. Pushing in a whole load of additional data won't help,
>    particularly as strong resistance to ODbL may result in certain areas
>    becoming rather sparse. Consideration of doing this after complete adoption
>    of ODbL may be a different issue.
>     - Availability of OS OpenData has opened whole new avenues for using
>    data for many OSM contributors. Exploring these avenues have reduced time
>    and effort devoted directly to generating OSM data. However, I would think
>    that these explorations will produce more people able to manipulate OS and
>    OSM data in more sophisticated ways, which in turn will result in richer OSM
>    data.
>    - OS OpenData is out-of-date. The April 2010 StreetView tiles are at
>    least 2 years old, and where I've checked VDM is similarly dated. I have not
>    failed to find a significant change between OS OpenData (and Bing imagery)
>    in detailed surveys I've done this year. Chris Hill has a similar
>    experience <http://chris-osm.blogspot.com/2011/01/surveys.html>.
> So in summary, I have no problems with collectively working on an *external
> *enhanced data set sourced from OS OpenData designed to complement what is
> in OSM, and tools to link it with OSM data outside the planet db. Importing
> such data on a large scale will just leave us with a lifeless data set and a
> stagnant contributor community.
> Jerry Clough
> P.S. I long ago generated an OSM file with all Nottingham roads so as to be
> able to preemptively 'flood' any unmapped areas should mass tracing or
> import occur. I did this to avoid a reoccurrence of mass realigning of
> ground surveyed roads to OS StreetView as happened in the Carlton & Gedling
> area. The changes required to unroll this are too complex, so effectively
> this area requires re-mapping from scratch.
> [1]
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-gb/2010-August/010185.html
> [2]
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/legal-talk/2011-January/005611.html
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