[Talk-GB] Importing Website Data

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Dec 21 16:35:36 UTC 2017

This discussion brings a couple of similar sayings to mind (and there
are many more in the same vein): 

_To Sacrifice The Good On The Altar Of The Perfect_
= and = 

_Perfect is the enemy of good_ [1] 

A dataset will never be perfect. Resisting an import because a small
proportion of the data is likely to be wrong, is a standpoint that can
never be countered. And yet, a more pragmatic assessment may come to a
different conclusion. Is "OSM" more valuable to its users after the
import than before? Is the net result considered an improvement?

Such assessments require a definition of "OSM", its "value" and its
"users" and I don't think there is a clear consensus about this, only a
collection of opinions. 


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good 

On 2017-12-21 17:06, Mark Goodge wrote:

> On 21/12/2017 15:49, Frederik Ramm wrote: Hi,
> On 21.12.2017 16:13, Mark Goodge wrote: 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. 
> That is certainly a valid approach that many will subscribe to. The
> goals you mention will sometimes have to be weighed against each other
> ("is a large amount of inaccurate data better than a small amount of
> accurate data", "is it good to add this bulk data which is unlikely to
> be cared for by mappers and hence will soon lack in timeliness" etc) but
> on the whole they're a good selection.

Data has to be accurate. Inaccurate data is worse than missing data
(although, it must be noted that imprecise is not the same as
inaccurate, and we can tolerate a reasonable amount of imprecision
provided it is not misleadingly imprecise).

> I think that relevance plays a big role, and commercial players tend to
> claim that concept for themselves ("tell us something about you so we
> can display ads that are relevant to you") - in my view, a pub in your
> town is not "relevant" because the chain operating it thinks that it
> should be, but because the locals find it relevant.

As far as a map is concerned, something is relevant if it is there. Even
if only one person a year actually wants to know it's there :-)


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