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

Ed Loach ed at loach.me.uk
Fri Feb 4 09:17:19 GMT 2011

Andy wrote:
> I've just checked a few well-mapped areas - Tendring, Hull and
> Edinburgh - and the not:name is running at 2%, 3.1% and 1.9% of
> the roads. 

I'm just catching up as I was out all of yesterday (always seems to
be loads of emails when I'm not keeping current) so this may have
been covered already, so if so sorry. In Tendring most of the
not:name tags are from after I went out surveying all the apostrophe
discrepancies and the name I'm using in OSM is the name on the road

I also have looked this morning at the 4 new roads I have to go
check in the district. Two seem to have added names to service
roads, unfortunately at opposite ends of the district (Brightlingsea
and Dovercourt). One is a road I marked as highway=road, but missed
the FIXME=stub and hadn't noticed it since. It wasn't named in the
last set of data, so this has helped me locate an actual road I'd
missed. The fourth is a new road (recently built) that I had already
and the OS have the name wrong (they missed an L from MITCHELL), so
I've tagged it not:name. Even bing only shows it as a building site
so I was quite proud when I added it all last June in pre-bing days.
>From the foundations I can see in bing though I seem to have
estimated the location of buildings slightly out though.

Having said that I have also added roads based on a combination of
StreetView, OS Locator and Bing recently in the Bridgnorth district
of Shropshire. I have added source:name=OS_OpenData_Locator where I
have done so in much the same way as we used to add source=NPE to
roads traced from the out of copyright OS maps (and I find
realigning these a bit of a pain, too). I chose that area as I have
some (admittedly a little outdated) knowledge of the area - I worked
in Bridgnorth for a couple of years and we spent many weekends
enjoying visiting areas of Shropshire when I used to live in
Wolverhampton; I have had friends that lived in Bridgnorth and
someone I was at school at was a councillor there. Looking at OSM
Analysis I'm guessing I added about 359 such roads which increases
coverage from about 29% to about 68%. While doing so I found a
number of obvious typos in the OSM data on the few roads which were
mapped, and there are roads I didn't touch because my recollection
of the name agrees with OSM but I'm not sure enough to add a
not:name tag without a survey. I have a feeling in one case the OSM
name might be the local name everyone uses rather than the official

I agree that we need to grow the community, but will having traced
roads (whether NPE, Streetview, Bing or whatever) affect this
greatly? I know it will upset existing active mappers in an area if
it is done without consideration to their ongoing efforts, but in
quiet areas of the country might the addition of roads change some
people's perception from "OSM is rubbish in my area" to "Gosh, OSM
has got my street on it - perhaps I can add my house/the path I take
to cut to the shops/whatever"? Take for example Skobbler - in
Colchester there are a few missing road reports which need a survey
(too new to be on bing/os/fake reports), which is great (I've
cleared away all rubbish reports to see the useful ones that
remain). But what about someone trying to use Skobbler in an area
where most of the roads are missing? Will they bother reporting lots
of missing roads or get the impression OSM data is of no use?

Too many questions, and judging by the many emails yesterday lots of
different views.


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