[Talk-us] parcel boundaries and associated data in OSM

Steve Coast steve at asklater.com
Thu Feb 14 20:41:13 GMT 2013


Personally I think it's brilliant you're working on this, and I'd love OSM to work hand in hand to make it happen. Ideally I'd love OSM to be the repository for this, it helps everybody.

There is speculation (but no actual statistically valid causation data) to suggest that imports somehow "harm" the community and, either way, it'd be great to find a way to help local communities help massage things as we pull it in.

At the end of the project, say in 2030 or something, it's going to have this level of detail anyway so, I say why not start now?



On Feb 14, 2013, at 12:29 PM, Brian Cavagnolo <bcavagnolo at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey guys,
> In my research group (the Urban Analytics Lab at Berkeley's Department
> of City and Regional Planning), we use parcel data for land-use
> projection, accessibility, and visualization.  For example, over the
> past couple of years we worked with regional government agencies here
> in the Bay Area to put together a parcel-level urbansim
> (http://www.urbansim.org) land-use model for regional planning
> purposes.  We've also developed a prototype 3D visualization tool
> (http://www.urbansim.org/Documentation/UrbanVision) to visualize
> parcel data, and published on using OSM data for accessibility
> calculations [0].  If you poke around the Internet for references to
> our director Prof. Paul Waddell you'll get the idea.
> We really want a nationwide consolidated, standard parcel database to
> build upon.  Such products are available from numerous proprietary
> data vendors who make it their business to routinely gather and
> consolidate data from local government agencies around the country.
> Of course these are often expensive and have restrictions on
> redistribution.  Our federal government has been trying for sometime
> to create a nationwide public domain parcel database [1][2][3], but
> this has not happened.  Many states have managed to consolidate parcel
> data (e.g., Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey).  This is very
> helpful, but notable work is required to adapt tools or research from
> one state to another.  And our state along with many others has no
> such offering.  As a result, parcel data users for whom proprietary
> sources are too restrictive or expensive go about manually gathering
> the data from county agencies.  If the application doesn't span county
> lines, and if the county is open with their data, this may not be a
> problem.  But these two conditions are often not both met, driving a
> more intensive data gathering effort.  Such efforts are often
> duplicated for different projects.  We believe that this landscape of
> use and parcel data availability represents an opportunity to form a
> parcel data community concerned with building and maintaining an open
> nationwide (global?) consolidated parcel database.
> This idea is [obviously] inspired by OSM.  And my immediate thought
> was, Fun!  Let's add parcel data to OSM!  How do we do that?  This
> inquiry has of course led to numerous more detailed questions, the
> most fundamental one, of course, being: Is parcel data welcome in OSM?
> I've spent some time reading through the mailing list history.  In
> addition to gaining an appreciation for some of the issues regarding
> the management of parcel data, I promptly learned that this is a
> controversial question.  For each claim that a consensus exists
> against parcel data in OSM, a parcel data advocate seems to emerge.
> This leads to debate, which seems to focus on a specific set of issues
> that I have posed as specific questions below.  I've also dusted off
> and enriched the wiki page and associated talk page on the matter
> (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Parcel).  My hope is that people
> can respond to these questions and we can reach a clear consensus on
> {whether,what sort of,conditions under which} parcel data is welcome.
> And of course feel free to bring up any issues that are not
> represented in this list.  Finally, even if you believe that parcel
> data does not belong in OSM, but that a nationwide open consolidated
> parcel database would be useful (and possible:) I'm super interested
> in this perspective.
> Is parcel data useful to OSM?
> Can parcel data possibly be kept up to date?
> Does parcel data meet the "on the ground" verifiability criteria?
> Can tools be adapted to accommodate parcel data density?
> Ciao,
> Brian
> [0] http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/conferences/2012/4thITM/Papers-A/0117-000062.pdf
> [1] http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=NI000560
> [2] http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11978
> [3] http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40717.pdf
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