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

Dair Grant dair at refnum.com
Thu Feb 3 12:53:52 GMT 2011

Ed Avis wrote:

> I suggest, but cannot prove, that seeing an entirely blank canvas doesn't
> entice you to start adding to the map, which must necessarily involve adding
> small bits at a time.

Actually, seeing a blank canvas in my local area was exactly my motivation.

But everyone is different, as proved by us having had the exact opposite
reasons for starting. :-)

> However, we do have some real-world evidence.  There are towns which have been
> blank for a long time on OSM.  If a blank canvas were a good way to encourage
> contributors, they would have been filled in by now.  The fact that they are
> still missing suggests that the strategy of deliberately leaving an area blank
> and hoping for somebody to go out and survey it from scratch is not always
> effective.

Part of that problem is that we have no way to distinguish "this area is
unmapped" from "this area is under-mapped" - they both look blank.

If you could rewind time to the start of OSM, an import strategy I think
would have been useful would have been to start with a set of towns and
create straight lines between them for roads.

That makes it obvious there's something there, and that it can be improved,
without having the "tiger effect" of going from an empty map to one which
looks complete but is full of bad data.

>> If you want a 1:1 copy of the OS data, why not just use the OS data?
> What I want (and I think what others want) is a map in machine-readable form
> which corresponds to the real world.  The source it originally came from does
> not matter.

At the data level, no. But for the longer term impact on motivation, I think
it does.

Things change over time of course, so perhaps people who were interested in
mapping "by hand" will drift away and people who're more interested in
automated maintenance will come in.

But I can't say the latter sounds like a very interesting thing to spend my
free time on.

dair at refnum.com              http://www.refnum.com/

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