[Talk-us] tiff, dwg and nad83

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Apr 16 23:46:25 BST 2012


On 04/16/2012 05:43 AM, Dale Puch wrote:
> Stating up front:
> "Importing is generally a technical endeavor and anyone not willing to
> do a bit of digging to learn new things will find it frustrating.

That is exactly the wrong message. Between the lines, it reads: 
"Importing is for professionals and you can earn laurels by doing it right."

The message we should be sending is:

Imports are nearly always bad; they are nearly always done by people who 
are not local *or* who who import way more than they could personally 
survey (and therefore way more than they ever have a chance to keep tidy).

Imports are nearly always sacrificing the long-term goal of building a 
healthy community for the short-term goal of having a pretty looking map 
or scratching some very specific itch.

I agree that there are *some* situations where the short-term goal is 
indeed good even for the project as a whole (e.g. import some data, 
thereby supporting a big project that gets us a lot of attention and 
coverage and thereby growing our community too - or, import buildings 
because you have the plan of immediately afterwards taking a pen and a 
notebook and surveying details). But this has always be weighed; if it 
were my decision I would have every potential importer write an essay on 
why he thinks his import improves the OSM community, and if all they can 
say in favour of their import is "well, we have this data, it is 
available, it makes the map look nice, so why not" then I'd fail him.

Imported data turns down potential new mappers. So importing is not a 
technical challenge, it is a community building challenge - you have to 
design your import in a way that grows the community, and if you cannot 
do that, then don't import.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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