[Talk-us] [Imports] Addition of building footprints in selected U.S. and Canadian cities

William Morris wboykinm at geosprocket.com
Thu Apr 5 19:24:53 BST 2012

Howdy folks,

Thank you all for your thoughts. I am now aware that it's a
complicated thing to "Add data" in bulk to a crowdsourced database.
Users have eloquently argued both for and against the import of the
building footprints I'm working on, and I find it boils down to a pair
of inextricably-linked perspectives on OSM:

1.) OpenStreetMap is a community of individuals. The interaction
between the user and the map is most valuable when one user "owns"
their offering, and a dozen building-footprint-tracing contributors
from Baltimore will feel greater ownership of their neighborhood than
one guy in Vermont who uploads the whole county in one batch.

2.) OpenStreetMap is a tool. It is becoming a basemap of record in the
GeoSpace precisely because that's what we wanted to do with it. OSM
competes admirably with proprietary datasets, and we can use it for
beautiful cartography and complex analysis. Any scale of addition is
valid, as long as it is offered on the same open license.

The question that lies between these two perspectives: Can we have a
quality basemap while maintaining a strong commitment to individual
user engagement?

I think the answer is yes. I'm going to proceed with my buildings
import in very small doses now, based on an assumption that was echoed
by Kate and Bill: If a user in Bethesda finds that the buildings in
her neighborhood are "already there", maybe instead of losing a sense
of ownership she'll take it to the next level by adding identities to
those structures.

Because I'm just adding the outlines. I can't tell you which one of
them is a Bodega. There are many layers of value yet to be added.

-Bill Morris

William Morris
wboykinm at geosprocket.com
Twitter: @vtcraghead

GeoSprocket LLC, Burlington VT

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 8:57 AM, Bill Ricker <bill.n1vux at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 6:58 PM, Kate Chapman <kate at maploser.com> wrote:
>>   I personally find [building footprints] makes the map far more usable
>> for adding other information.
> the coastal-swath NOAA LIDAR footprints imported is MASS are wonderful.
> (Especially in Stamen watercolor tiles, but also in TopOSM render too. )
> A Buildings layer is most useful if they're ubiquitous, not here-and-there
> when interesting. As GPS mapping of individual houses is not accurate
> without professional differential GPS -- 10m accuracy means i can't be sure
> which corner of my house is which ! -- the choices are bulk imports or
> tracing compatible imagery. When NOAA or a state has paid for LIDAR scans
> and auto vector conversion, using that is efficient, and we can better use
> volunteers to add value -- e.g. naming stores, as Kate says -- rather than
> doing rote manual vector extraction from imagery.
> There's quite enough for volunteers who *want* to do manual vector
> extraction from imagery to do without tracing every darned house and barn by
> hand!
> --
> Bill
> @n1vux bill.n1vux at gmail.com

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