[Talk-us] Starting OSM Trail Map Initiative In US

Fred Gifford fred.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Jul 22 15:19:33 BST 2012

HI All,

Thanks for all the great comments and input. This is what I was hoping for.

It seems like the biggest concern people have expressed is the idea of
doing some bulk loading of trails. I am with you on those concerns and
think that the primary rule for bulk loading should be "first do no
harm". Lots of people have made great edits and additions to OSM and
you don't want to mess those up. That being said I live in Montana and
that is primarily where I have been reviewing trail data. The vast
majority of the trail data here came from Tiger bulk loads and is very
incomplete and out of date. I know that there are trails data from the
USFS, BLM, and various state agencies that are much better. I'm not
suggesting those should just be dumped into OSM but I don't think they
can be part of a strategy of significantly upgrading and extending
what is there.

The other issue that was technical in nature that I have also been
thinking about was mentioned by Brett and that is coding of trails for
different uses. From what I can see this is pretty lacking and not
very standardized and that really limits the usefulness of the data. I
would really like to get a discussion going on this issue and hear
peoples recommendations. My general thoughts are that it Brett's
suggestion that there needs to be both classifications for activities
and difficulty (or quality) is what is needed. I know that there are
some classifications for activities but they don't seem to be widely
used or very standardized. The other associated issue in my mind is a
better trail head feature type.


On Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM, Fred Gifford <fred.gifford at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am starting the process of pulling together a group to focus on updating
> and expanding trail data in OSM. The initial focus would be in the US
> but we are hoping the model could expand to other areas as well.
> Initially the project would have two main focus areas –
> - Focused effort to gather public domain trail data and use it to
> update existing trail data in OSM through hybrid editing \ bulk upload
> methodology.
> - Build a custom version of Potlatch focused on trail mapping
> - Building trail mapping communities in the US.
> Here is where things get a little different than other similar efforts
> –  I want much of the work to be done by paid interns and I want to
> fund it initially through Kickstarter and later though donations.
> I’d be interested to hear anyones thoughts, concerns, etc, and of
> course would love to know if anyone is interested in participating.
> Thanks.
> Fred

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