[Talk-us] Facts about the world

Eleanor Tutt eleanor.tutt at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 14:55:48 UTC 2015


While I think that (vetted, high quality) imports and armchair mapping have
the ability to improve OSM, especially for things like building footprints
that are hard to survey on the ground without traipsing across private
property, I certainly hope that people do not view the US as *exclusively*
importers and armchair mappers.

My preferred way of contributing to OSM is via "on the ground" field work.
I believe the structure for participatory mapping that OSM provides is
important in part because it distributes power and allows residents to map
what matters to them in their communities.

How do I map, as a US resident living in the Midwest?

1) I don't drive, so I take the bus everywhere. Because I work for a
community development non-profit, my travels take me all over my city and
region.  I will often take notes on scratch paper as I pass key
intersections/assets and later (when I have time) add these items to OSM

2) I also organize mapathons in my community, providing basic instruction
on mapping using Field Papers and/or GPS devices (I personally prefer
paper, but a local university lets us borrow GPS devices and getting to
play with tech is fun for lots of our participants).  While current OSM
contributors are the ones most likely to attend mapathons, I focus on
finding residents of the neighborhood who may not have heard of OSM
before.  One mapathon I held included a "home base" in a storefront art
gallery so that we could catch strangers walking by and give them a Field
Papers atlas and basic instructions.

If anyone on the list is interested in organizing a mapathon in their
community, OpenStreetMap US has a mapathon weekend coming up April 11-12
with the theme "The Great Outdoors."
http://openstreetmap.us/2015/01/2015-mapathons/  If you need help, I'm
happy to talk with you about how I organize mapathons...I'm not an expert
by any means, but I've picked up a few things over time.


On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 7:18 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 04/03/2015 02:41 AM, stevea wrote:
> > Erring on the side of "high ground" safety might be
> > a good place to plant an initial flag, but if it's location is wrong and
> > we need to move it to a more accurate place, we must do so.
> Frankly - no. OSM does not depend on the inclusion of third party data
> sources for its quality. Taking a "high ground safety" approach with
> regards to third-party rights in data might cut us off from some third
> party data sources but then re-publishing these third party sources in
> OSM clothes doesn't do us much good anyway.
> If an individual is desperate to use a third party data source, let them
> do the due diligence on the legality of the source, but it certainly
> isn't "us" who must move our flag to make it (even) easier to swamp us
> with (often low quality) third-party data.
> > It sounds like it is getting a bit shrill.  I'll say it again:  I wish
> > light, not heat.
> I would be absolutely thrilled if more people, especially more
> Americans, would stop thinking about what data they could take and add
> to OSM, and instead grab a GPS, or their car, or their boots, or
> bicycle, or mobile phone, or all of that, and simply map stuff.
> It seems to me that in the USA, what people think about OSM is one of
> these two:
> (a) A project for hackers and couch potatoes who trawl their county web
> pages and other sources to look for stuff they could "upload" to OSM
> (because it's such a big country and nobody could possibly, yadda yadda
> yadda)
> (b) A project for people who roll up their sleeves, travel to places of
> humanitarian crises, and help those in need by creating maps where the
> government hasn't done their job well.
> The idea that you could also roll up your sleeves and map your own
> backyeard, village, town, or city quarter, instead of copying from
> official bicycle route publications, official railway brochures, or
> stuff that the administration has done, seems to occur to very few
> people, and others will say: "OpenStreetMap is cool, but I don't think
> that actually going out and doing a survey is a good use of my time".
> I'm really sad that time and time again we have to fight about whether
> or not a specific source is permitted to be used in OSM, when we could
> just collect the facts ourselves and therefore be completely free of any
> legal implications (and also free of errors that others may have made).
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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