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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Fri Feb 4 12:15:53 GMT 2011

Ed Avis wrote:
> This is the one thing that perturbs me too about using the OS data.  Back
> in 
> the days when we only had Yahoo, I would not tag the name on a way until 
> I had walked all the way down it checking for footpaths.  If I'd only
> explored 
> part of the way, I would tag the name on that part only.  Then the noname 
> map was a guide to unsurveyed areas.  But now there isn't such a clear 
> indication.
> So I did hesitate about adding name=Newton Road to a street which I had 
> not visited.  But then I considered the folk living on that street typing
> its 
> name into Nominatim and getting no results.  There is no reason to make 
> them wait for a thorough ground survey of their street before it appears 
> in OSM at all. We must make the best map we can now, and improve it later.

I am thoroughly bemused by the widespread attitude of "if it isn't in OSM,
it doesn't exist".

OS OpenData is a fantastic resource and, believe it or not, you can use it
outside OSM. In most ways it's easier to use than OSM: the data quality is
consistent, everything is neatly layered, you don't get some roads drawn at
1pt/500m and others at 1pt/2m, the .shp format is an industry standard, and,
of course, OS/CO chose a sane licence.

And people _are_ using it. I spotted a major national charity the other day
which has just started using VectorMap District. There are iPhone apps using
it. I produce three or four maps for Waterways World every month using
Meridian2, and am just about to make a couple of cycling maps for West
Oxfordshire District Council using VectorMap District. 

So. The data consumer has two choices.

a) They can have consistent, reliable data with national coverage right now.
That's OS OpenData.
b) Or they can have glorious rich data which doesn't have national coverage
_yet_. That's OSM.

If we import OS OpenData into OSM, then OSM becomes national *but* is no
longer rich. Because no-one is out there trudging the streets, because
no-one cares for the data, it becomes sterile. I note, once again, that the
Worcester estates that someone "helpfully" traced from StreetView last year
are still bereft of most of the footpaths and half of the road names.

So we lose the chance of a real, community-built map of the UK. Meanwhile we
have helped precisely no-one, because the complete data *already* exists and
is *already* usable.

Can't we actually have a go at doing it ourselves and finishing the UK this
year? Say "right, let's look at a bot in spring 2012, but we have a year to
get this right"? I'll do a town this weekend if you will.


View this message in context: http://gis.638310.n2.nabble.com/Adding-a-further-250-000-UK-roads-quickly-using-a-Bot-tp5986539p5992349.html
Sent from the Great Britain mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

More information about the Talk-GB mailing list