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

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Thu Feb 3 12:12:35 GMT 2011

On 3 February 2011 11:51, Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com> wrote:

> I think automatically importing the OS data for areas where OSM currently
> has
> little to no coverage - or coverage merely traced from Yahoo imagery - is
> a great idea.  Many people don't want bots to trample on their 'patch'
> which they
> have carefully surveyed, which is fine.  But there is still a huge part of
> the
> country which is very under-mapped.  Let's get it complete as soon as
> possible
> using the best data we have.  (It is my opinion that the OS data is often
> of
> higher quality than a typical OSM ground survey, although of course
> multiple
> surveys by different people combined with the use of Bing imagery will give
> the
> best possible map.)
> I also think that what is good for ITO is good for the map in general - if
> there
> is a need to have a complete map for some government contract or whatever,
> then
> that is a need that exists in the real world.
> Lastly, I don't believe that adding data from external sources discourages
> contributors.  Quite the opposite.  It is a blank canvas that puts people
> off.
> The way to bring in contributors is to show a map with a few missing
> details that
> are so tempting to fix 'just one thing'...

Thank you Ed, I think there are two underlying philosophies running here:

1) OSM should either be 'right' or the map should be empty (which by
definition is not wrong because there is nothing that is wrong on the map).
The only way to make sure it is 'right' before adding data is to visit the


2) An empty bit of the map is by definition 'wrong' and the in the UK the OS
data is almost certainly more right than that and as such an edit that adds
OS data as an import to blank areas will make it more 'right'. The map can
then subsequently be made even more 'right' by people who know or visit the

Matt raises a useful side issues that people mapping at a distance should be
confident that they are not actually making the map worse by use of
out-of-date information. I have suggested a way of adding notes to the
background layers or a warning during data upload.

Nick has just commented that such a bot would need to be well tested. I
agree and it would need to be trialed in small areas to gain confident.
There are well established protocols for doing 'type approval' and MOT's on
Bots and allowing for feedback both here and in Wikipedia. This one would
need to follow the guidelines.

There is suggestion raised by a number of people, but refuted by others that
imports reduce the number of contributors. I believe that more people will
correct an error than go and map a huge blank area of the map.



> --
> Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>
> _______________________________________________
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