[Talk-us] suburban superblocks that nobody wants to survey

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Thu Mar 15 17:15:20 GMT 2012

At 2012-03-15 06:27, Mike N wrote:
>On 3/15/2012 8:52 AM, Hillsman, Edward wrote:
>>In the interest of figuring out how to attract more people to participate 
>>in OSM, I'd like to see some more discussion of this. Is it generally 
>>true that people who work on OSM don't like to map subdivisions? And, if 
>>so, why? Because these are home to so many people in the US, it raises a 
>>question about the viability of strategies that suggest people start in 
>>OSM by mapping their own neighborhoods.
>  I don't know anything about this specifically.   It's interesting that 
> not a single person in those 120 subdivisions was interested in mapping 
> their own subdivision.

Assuming we're talking about the US, not really surprising. I've mapped 
hundreds of subdivisions in southern Cal.  In particular, dozens of them 
were not on the map at all, having been developed after TIGER's 2005 source 
date. Some were not even on Google Maps, so you'd think someone out there 
other than me would have wanted to map them.

>    I have done some onsite surveys of smaller subdivisions (100-400 
> homes), and can set this up with a camera,  video cam, and bike to 
> collect quite a lot of information in a single visit, and the end result 
> is streets with lanes, speed limits, one ways, and house numbers.

Yup - me too, with a car, GPS, and a digital camera.

>   In this area, since no one else is participating[1], it's just a 
> practical matter to create the base new subdivision information from 
> TIGER since the local governments don't freely give this 
> information.  The only followup surveys are quick to clarify obvious 
> errors in the TIGER data.
>The subdivision plat idea is new to me, but I'm not sure where I'd find them.

I've recently done this when I see an area that really is untouched. I 
first make sure that all the ways are the original TIGER ways 
("tiger:cfcc"=* ((version:1 user:DaveHansenTiger) | (version:2 
user:balrog-kun))), remove them, then convert and transplant in new 
TIGER2011 data, connecting it to existing ways at the borders.

BTW, many (most IME) county governments have at least some data available 
for free. Assessor's maps are generally more available, though keep in mind 
that they are less authoritative on naming than tract/parcel maps because 
the assessor's role is more related to the land parcels than the streets 
between them. Tract/parcel maps, records of surveys, roadbooks, etc. are 
generally available from the planning and/or public works departments. 
While they are usually filed with the county recorder, that avenue is 
usually not free. All it takes is a little digging. If you run into a 
fee-required situation, don't be afraid to ask for a waiver, describing OSM 
and your need to use them as a reference. That's worked for me.

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>

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