[Talk-us] Brainstorming an Import Tool

Ian Dees ian.dees at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 15:58:48 BST 2010

On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM, Lord-Castillo, Brett <
BLord-Castillo at stlouisco.com> wrote:

> Once I get our data uploaded into ESRI Community Basemaps (which is a
> simpler process, has technical support, and will accept and integrate our
> authoritative data even without an editor community), I'm going to have to
> make a choice whether our public maps will continue to use OSM. If
> significant barriers are made to our agency being able to upload or edit,
> that will be an easy choice. ESRI and Google are both actively recruiting
> data uploads with offered support. I don't think it is wise to go the
> opposite extreme with actively refusing uploads.

We are not refusing edits, but Frederik makes a good point: we've seen that
imports stifle community mapping in other areas. One of the groups of people
OSM is trying to attract are regular, non-GIS folks that usually are
passionate enough about getting their area correct that we end up with data
that is more complete than anything a paid GIS analyst can do.

That being said, the GIS community is definitely another segment of the
population we should attract so that our community can learn and grow from
your input.

However, you should realize that ESRI Community Basemaps, Google, etc. all
have a *very* different mission than OSM. Google wants to get your data so
that they can have a more accurate map so that they can sell more accurate
(read: expensive) ads. ESRI wants to get ahold of your data so it can sell
more Arc products. OSM wants your data to have a better map and to give it
out to whoever wants it.

It is my understanding that once you send data to either of these places,
not only can you not edit it, but you can't get it back out. Also, there's
no community updating your data, so what's the point in giving it to them
(other than legal obligation)? Why not just keep your data in-house and edit
using your own in-house setup?

It boils down to what you want out of your data upload. Are you offering
your data as an improvement to data that exists in the system already? Are
you hoping to get community-based improvements sent back to you? Are you
trying to supplant your $20k+ GIS system? OSM can offer solutions for some
of that, but the bottom line is that we don't want this new data to harm our
already-fragile community in the US.
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