[Talk-us] Quick intro and request to contribute

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Jan 14 23:47:37 UTC 2014

>Thanks for the great info.  I'll definitely check out the Speed_limit
>page for tips.
>Also, I know that the data is largely good, partly because it _is_ the
>Traffic Code and therefore is the legal origin of the speed limits of
>the county, but mostly because I use many of the roads on there and every
>one that I've checked out matches what I know and remember.
>I can certainly enter data manually--like I said, I've made several edits
>here and there over the last couple of years--but I was hoping to find
>someone who is somewhat authoritative about mass changes.  I'm pretty
>good with scripting and can probably not only extract the useful info
>from the PDF (the document is here:
>http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PW/Traffic/Traffic+Codes.pdf ) but
>could probably also parse an OSM extract to match up the ways and nodes
>that need to be changed.  But I don't know what to do with the information
>or how to get it back into OSM in a "safe" way.
>So, if there's anyone out there who can assist me with that, too, that'd
>be great.  :-)

Dave, what I'd like to do is help to be encouraging to you to push 
ahead.  This is my initial "assist."

Sometimes, we look to others to "do it for us."  Sometimes, we look 
to others to say "help me do it myself."

There are a lot of methods to complete the task you have outlined.  I 
don't know if you are looking for "more automatic" methods, or are 
asking the way you seem to be because you can't or won't do the 
manual entry of the data yourself.  If you ARE willing (and able and 
ready) to do the manual entry of the data yourself, I recommend 
starting with a small subset of data, and an eye towards ways you can 
improve your own editing skills (either by becoming smarter at them, 
quicker/more facile with them, or some combination).  Think of 
yourself as "the authority" for changes.  As best you can.  Then, do 
them, maybe even automating them.  I'm fairly local to you, I do 
collaborate in OSM with one of "the firehouse folks," (shout out to 
Joe! in SLO county), I can point you to tools and methods, and I hear 
(a large part) of what you are asking.

You asked, so I am offering my opinion:  get comfy with JOSM if you 
haven't yet already.  The pdf file is a bunch of legal text.  There 
is "some work" (I'd say "substantial" or "medium-sized") involved 
with going from pdf to "well-mapped speed limit tags."  That path 
seems like it is your path.  Walk through a subset of these, 
downloading a little smidgen of the road segments you want to tag (at 
a time).  Consider the segments of the ways and where they begin/end 
often being at a jurisdictional boundary as helpful (maybe) and don't 
be afraid to split and join segments that already exist in OSM with 
authority as "I know that this makes sense."  Make use of the 
shift-click multiple selection action.  Tag "smartly selected" 
(perhaps with command-f find command, perhaps other methods) ways 
with your new speed limit tags.  Beef up these (manual) editing 
skills with simple practice.  See what might be automated as you do 
so.  Repeat, while improving.  That is safe.  (Oh, take a deep breath 
and be proud as you click the upload button, remembering that walls 
are built one brick at a time and Rome not in a day).

I believe this is largely what Tod just said.  It's simple to say 
"legalese -> (mystery robot smarts) -> script -> upload" but it is 
hard to achieve that as a goal, when expressed as a wish.  It doesn't 
really work like that.  It is doable but needs more thought.  Likely 
your thought, but we are listening.  You chose the word "contribute" 
in this thread.  Your contributions don't have to dead-end here, and 
they certainly are not doing so, but this one faces the hill it must 
climb, and there are few, if any, shortcuts.

We're listening (these talk-us pages).  We want to help you, the 
project, the data, all together.  You have permission to be 
authority, we do our best to achieve consensus as we do so.  We wish 
to set good example by way of precedent.  We wish to be helpful to 
one another as a community.  What you are talking about is 
"medium-sized."  One person CAN do it, it is also helpful, even 
necessary at some junctures to have help, especially if and as you 
need it.  This might mean advice, other people, shoulders to look 
over, lots of things.

The above is my opinion.  OSM missive me at stevea if you wish. 
What's next is how you think about it.


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