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

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Fri Feb 15 07:08:59 GMT 2013

Brian Cavagnolo writes:
 > We really want a nationwide consolidated, standard parcel database to
 > build upon.


 > 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?

No. Not really. Part of my property has stone fencelines as property
lines. The back part of my property is forested wetland, and there is
no practical way to discern property lines on the ground.

 > Can tools be adapted to accommodate parcel data density?

Some will work now. Here's the problem: This data is maintained by
someone else. As they change it, OSM will need to be updated. And any
updates made by *any* editor will be non-authoritative.

BUT! There is a solution: put them into a parallel database to OSM,
say, http://closedstreetmap.com. This has three pleasant effects:
  o You're not tied to ODbL licensing, so you can have a more free
  o When you get a new data dump, you can completely nuke the old one
    and replace it with the new.
  o You don't have users making changes that nobody visiting the
    county real property office will fine.

On the downside:
  o When a property line is tied to a feature, there's no way to
    associate them with each other.
  o Users of the data need to download from two locations.
  o You're not using the ODbL, so that people making collective works
    have to comply with all the licenses.

These characteristics are shared by the unsolved 'OSM Layers' concept.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
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