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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Thu Feb 3 15:10:51 GMT 2011

Ed Avis wrote:
> 'Worked very well so far' is the part I disagree with.  The OSM model has 
> worked well for densely populated, prosperous areas.  It's not at all
> clear 
> that it is working well for remoter ones.  If it were, we would not be 
> having this conversation.

I spend half my week in Charlbury (which ain't densely populated) and the
other half in Burton-on-Trent (which ain't prosperous). They're both
complete, and certainly not entirely through my own efforts.

We are doing amazingly well in many rural areas. We're also doing
surprisingly well in - I'm trying to avoid Fake SteveC's phrase here - many
deprived areas.

In other places, sure, we still have a way to go. But we can, and will, get
there. Shropshire mapping parties (S Shrops 370th, N Shrops 407th) with a
press release in the Shropshire Star? Hell yeah. In the vast rural county of
Powys, two people hammering at Newtown for one day will send it 100 places
up the stats. It's much, much easier than it looks.

> Also, the progress that has been made in OSM so far has not been purely 
> by people ground surveying with GPS units.

Absolutely. Bing and OS OpenData are great ways of assisting survey, and in
many ways remove the need for a GPS unit. But they don't remove the need for
a survey.

I personally like to print out the OS StreetView maps for an unmapped area
before visiting it, and to annotate it - it saves a bit of scribbling and
helps me plan my survey. If I'm cycling along a residential distributor
road, there might be a cul-de-sac branching off it where I can both see the
street sign (to check against the OS) and see all the way to the end (to
check there aren't any footpaths I'm missing). If so, that's just saved me a
minute cycling up and down there - and, crucially, staved off the boredom.
That's great. But I still need to eyeball it to check there's no footpath

> In many countries the Yahoo imagery (and now Bing) has turbo-charged 
> the project by allowing large areas to be approximately mapped using 
> your excellent Potlatch tool


There is a _lot_ which the tools can do to help and we're still only
scratching the surface. Aware that I don't do as much mapping as I like, I
try and console myself by thinking that an hour spent on Potlatch will
hopefully lead to 100 more hours of mapping productivity for others... well,
that's the theory!


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