[Talk-GB] Importing Website Data

Mark Goodge mark at good-stuff.co.uk
Thu Dec 21 15:13:11 UTC 2017

On 21/12/2017 10:28, Frederik Ramm wrote:

> My vision of OSM is that of a grassroots movement that makes its own
> decisions about the data. We decide what the fuel station around the
> corner is called - not the marketing department of the fuel station
> chain. Corporate interests already dictate enough of our everyday lives;
> I don't want Shell to "help" me show the "right" information about their
> fuel stations.
> A lot is wrong with capitalism; large chains are one of those things.
> Small independent shops, booksellers, or pubs *already* face
> difficulties against the marketing and purchasing power of big
> corporations. Your approach will ultimately lead to every last
> large-chain pub in England being nicely mapped from afar, whereas the
> independent pub next door has to wait until a mapper comes around. You
> might say "well one pub mapped in town is better than no pub", but this
> is not my opinion; I would have wished for OpenStreetMap to be a map
> made by the people, not a map made by corporations large enough to hire
> SEO companies to manage their online presence.
My vision of OSM is a movement which places its users first, by 
providing the maximum utility possible for those who look at the maps. 
That means maximising the quantity, accuracy, relevance and timeliness 
of the data.

I don't particularly care where that data comes from, so long as it is 
accurate, up to date, and open. Who provided the data, and what their 
motivations may be, are neither here nor there. Individual mappers can 
have compromised motivations just as much as mega corporations. Our task 
is simply to sift that data, ensure that it is accurate and up to date, 
and incorporate it in an effective, consistent and timely manner.

On a wider note, the potential conflicts that can occur when a formerly 
under-the-radar, purely grassroots movement becomes big enough to 
attract participation from bigger players are not confined to OSM. The 
debate between the "purists" and the "expanders" has been played out in 
scenarios as different as open source software, fair trade products and 
real ale. But, in the long run, the expanders win, or the movement dies. 
Because once the principles are adopted by the large corporations, if 
the pioneers of those principles reject their participation then they 
will simply take their participation elsewhere.


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