[Talk-GB] Preparation before going mapping (was: ...using a Bot?)

Ed Avis eda at waniasset.com
Thu Feb 3 13:27:32 GMT 2011

Jonathan Harley <jon at ...> writes:

>I used to be quite active in wikipedia, and the experience there is
>clearly that there are far, far more people who want to be editors
>than who want to contribute brand-new content. I suspect if OSM did
>more to attract "gardeners" as someone else put it, there could be a
>big, largely untapped source of contributors out there.

I suppose I'd count myself as one of the 'gardeners' since I started
out in OSM just adding street names and bits in my local area, which
had already been traced from Yahoo imagery.  Even today most of my
surveying trips are 'noname hunts' although the unnamed streets may
have come from OS Street View or Bing tracing rather than from Yahoo.
(Typically, the street turns out not to have a name, but there are
always useful things such as building names which you discover on the

I have mapped areas from scratch using a GPS, but that was before the
availability of the OS data or Bing.  Nowadays, if I know I am going
to visit a strange place, I try to prepare the area in advance so I
know where to visit on foot.  If I have enough time I will fix obvious
errors flagged by keepright, then add missing street names from OS
Locator (noting down mismatches to survey), and perhaps trace missing
roads and public buildings from OS Street View.  That gives me the
best 'noname' printout to go mapping with.  (The Bing imagery I
usually save for after I have visited the area, although I'd make an
exception if the area is completely empty.)

Given that this is the way I prefer to work, you can see why I would
love to have a bot to automate some of the more tedious part, giving
me more free time to go out mapping on foot.  But equally I can see
that others who have a different style of mapping would see a bot more
as an annoyance than a help.

So I'd be interested to hear what strategies others use and whether we
can learn some hints from each other.  Once you understand how someone
maps you may also understand better their position on data imports and
robot assistance.

Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>

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