[Talk-us] Quick intro and request to contribute

Dave Oksner dave-osm at oksner.org
Thu Jan 16 18:49:52 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 03:47:37PM -0800, stevea wrote:
> >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.

I'm definitely the "help me do it myself" type, but that inital
"where do I start" was a bit daunting.  I've used Potlatch2 and (recently)
iD, but for large quantities of similar edits, it seemed teidious.
I'm definitely the "automate if possible" type of person and thought
that a small set of data would be a good place to start.

I'll check out JOSM next to see how that works and if it can assist me.
I'm definitely not opposed to making ALL of these changes by hand if
automating it just isn't feasible.  My hope was to learn on a small
dataset so that if I was able to come up with a much larger dataset
(say, an authoritative document on all state-set speed limits for CA),
the same process could be applied.

I'll do some playing around with stuff and report back if I have any
questions (some of which you already anticipated and answered here).


More information about the Talk-us mailing list