[OSM-talk-ie] Over-zealous rejection of sources by editors

Dermot McNally dermotm at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 15:05:05 UTC 2014


Hi Colm,

Firstly, it's great that you want to improve OpenStreetMap. That's what the
rest of us here want and the most important thing is that we are all
aligned in this goal. Secondly, thanks for putting a name to your notes,
since the community aspect of OSM really benefits from having an
identifiable personality (which needn't be a person's real name and often
won't be) behind a thread of participation, be those edits, notes or
whatever. I suggested this on one of the notes and I'll do so again now, it
would be great if you would register an account on OSM and make your notes
under this identity. That will facilitate the collaboration on which we
rely and will also provide useful things like email alerts when others
contribute to your notes.

But mainly I think it's only fair that I address your frustration. I'm the
one who called a lot of your notes out for citing prohibited sources. So
here's the thing - those sources _are_ prohibited. We may draw no
conclusions from copyrighted sources where we do not have the permission of
the copyright owners. And a confirmation is a conclusion. There is no
middle ground on this. This is a very important and necessary principle of
OSM and it's documented in the most fundamental "what is OSM" documents
published by the project:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Beginners_Guide_1.1

Keep in mind that the project doesn't apply this policy to be nice or out
of any particular zeal, but because it is the law and because being found
in breach of that law will require the destruction of vast amounts of
contributor data.

In summary: notwithstanding that it took you a lot of effort to prepare the
references you did, you really should have read the above link beforehand,
because it would have saved a lot of time.

On the issue of being over-zealous - I accept that you use the term in
frustration, but it is a discourtesy to those of us who have brought the
map to where it is today. We have taken the trouble to understand what OSM
is, what the rules of contribution are and we have worked within them. In
particular, we have burned energy, petrol and shoe leather to go out in the
field and survey a lot of these things. OSM has some contributors who are
scornful of "armchair mappers" and I'm not one of those - I map plenty from
my armchair - but the fact is that our level of zeal is not excessive if we
reject from you the sources we ourselves forego BECAUSE WE HAVE TO.
Copyright law is a complex matter. And some of the rules we apply to
ourselves do err on the safe side (not all legal opinion agrees, for
instance, that Google Street View is certainly a prohibited source), but we
abide by community consensus out of respect for other mappers and their
data that would be undermined if a grey area were to be tested in law with
an outcome unfavourable to us.

So with all that said, welcome to our community. There are certain rules we
work within, some of which are less convenient than we would like, but
that's life and if we are to operate within the community, we have to
either conform or, alternatively, demonstrate why things don't have to stay
exactly as they are. I hope you stick around and keep identifying facts
that we can use (in case you didn't notice, I have applied map changes in
cases where permitted sources alone allowed it). Where we are short on
sources, I certainly encourage you to go and verify the ground truth.
Sometimes that's the only way.

Happy mapping!
Dermot



On 27 March 2014 17:18, Colm Moore <colmmoore72 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> As background, I am editing the  Road Traffic (Special Speed
> Limits)(County Monaghan) Bye-Laws, 2014. I may sound angry in this email,
> but please take it as frustration and confusion.
>
> Over the last day I have added notes to various roads around County
> Monaghan, several of which have been rejected on over-zealous "Sources
> Prohibited " grounds.
>
> For example:
>
> ----------------------------------------------------
>
> Resolved note #140906
> Description
>
> "Clones Road (National Road N54)" according to Road Traffic (Special Speed
> Limits)(County Monaghan) Bye-Laws, 2014
>
> **Confirmed** by OSi, Google, Bing, NTA JP
> Created by anonymous 23 minutes ago
> Resolved by 12element 21 minutes ago
>
> This note includes comments from anonymous users which should be
> independently verified.
>
>     Resolved by 12element 21 minutes ago
>
>     Sources Prohibited.
>
> ----------------------------------------------------
>
> Both the council and Department of Transport refer to it as "Clones Road"
> and it indeed it goes to Clones.
>
> S.I. No. 53/2012 - Roads Act 1993 (Classification of National Roads)
>  Order 2012 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2012/en/si/0053.html  places
> Clones Road west of Market Road and east of Mullaghadun and
>  Tullygrimes.
>
> Why are separate council and governmental sources, available under the
> European Communities (Re-Use of Public Sector Information) Regulations 2005
> (SI 279 of 2005) referred to as "Sources Prohibited"?
>
> I have only used OSi, Google, Bing, NTA JP as confirmation - not original
> sources. NTA JP actually misspells it as "Clones Raod" at one point, but
> you get the idea. :) Even if I only used OSi, Google, Bing, NTA JP as
> original sources, surely that is 'genuine' research', not plagiarism.
>
> If everybody is calling it "Clones Road" it just might be "Clones Road",
> but the attitude seems to be walk like a duck, talk like a duck ... oh, no
> you can only call if **Anas platyrhynchos**, not a duck. :(
>
> Colm
>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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