[Talk-us] A Friendly Guide to 'Bots and Imports

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Fri Aug 6 21:59:52 BST 2010

At 2010-08-06 06:11, Serge Wroclawski wrote:
>1. I think the first reactions to a request to import should be
>something that outlines the danger to OSM of importing.

The biggest danger of which, IMO, is duplication of existing data. I 
believe many newbies will want to import datasets that already have at 
least some representation in existing data, given that we already have 
transportation, hydrography, admin boundaries, and some POIs. This last 
category might be one of the only ones that could be genuinely useful, like 
importing a chain of restaurants, fuel stations, etc.

"Import" of most county land datasets (parcels, addresses, centerlines) is 
far more difficult in that it is really more of a comparison and 
synchronization than adding of data. Someone else noted the import in the 
city of Bakersfield, CA, which included parcel and building outlines, as 
well as landuse polygons that follow street edges in excruciating detail. 
It seems that, while interesting to look at, at least some of this might 
should have been discussed first, as it resulted in 10x the number of 
objects as similar areas with just centerlines.

>2. I think widespread "bot fixes" should be encouraged to wait 10

Yes. Someone said something like "just long enough to annoy the author". 
Anyone who subscribes to multiple lists could easily not see something 
important or be able to comment on it for several days. The importer should 
also send a "last call" a day or two before.

>3. I think imports and bots are inevitable, so the more documented we
>make the process, the less we encourage people to go wild and write
>their own. At the same time, we want to discourage bots and imports in

It would be nice to have some boilerplate search/replace code or an app to 
use. Another issue is that of co-ordinating efforts. A few times, I walked 
through tagwatch and downloaded/corrected/uploaded by hand one bad key at a 
time until I got bored. I know there are people out there doing this, too, 
but it would be nice if there were a page we could use to divvy up and 
co-ordinate those efforts.

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>

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