[Talk-us] Facts about the world

Greg Morgan dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 07:13:24 UTC 2015

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 11:19 AM, Martijn van Exel <martijn at openstreetmap.us>

> It would be nice if we could have SotM US this June be a venue to dispel
> some of the assumptions that seem to exist abroad about the U.S
> OpenStreetMap community. Reducing the U.S. community to a bunch of couch
> potatoes who are more concerned with mapping remote places and importing
> data is not only inaccurate but also disrespectful to all of us who
> tirelessly work to improve our neighborhoods and towns based on good ol'
> ground surveying and local knowledge.
> Perhaps we, as the U.S. chapter, play a role in creating or sustaining
> these false assumptions? Do we need to do a better job highlighting really
> good local mapping efforts? I would welcome opinions and ideas.
As I recall Martijn, there were a number of videos from SOTM US 2013ish
that laid out the issue. It is the size of the US project that complicates
the issue.  By the time your talk came around, you stated the same thing
once again.  By the way, I am so thankful that the US Conference records
these sessions.  I have not been able to attend but I try and view the
videos every once in awhile.

I'd have you focus on something else than trying to dispel the assumptions
about the US.  I have the sense; it is what I have observed; no mater what
is done in the US, we did not do it like the Europeans so it cannot be
good.  That's my perception of their view.

One of the most interesting things I saw from 2013 was the progress report
and the meta tile report that some of the report was based on.  I had to go
look at what some of the mappers had accomplished in these regions.  It was
so cool to see all those buildings that were imported in Chicago.  That was
a major accomplishment.  Arizona has this problematic issue about trying to
make money off their GIS data.  Sadly, there's no cost recovery even if
they think that there is.  Moreover, there is no building data set that I
know of in AZ that could match what Chicago cataloged.  The Chicago area
inspired me to trace as many buildings as I can.  One of the cool areas
that I worked on was the Scottsdale Air Park
http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/33.62087/-111.91182 .  Thanks for the
inspiration Ian!  I got bored.  I moved on to other areas.  However, I
always look for those nice challenging buildings to map.

One of the Carolina meta tiles also inspired me
http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/254964599#map=19/35.84273/-78.66457 .
Wow.  Look at that!  The mapper added driveways too.  I saw a number of tag
combinations that I never thought of because of these meta tiles. I
actually setup a daily import to generate my own meta tile report.  I was
shooting for x number of nodes in each tile of the meta tile.  I found out
that Arizona has a number of zero meta tiles.  I also saw that $user in the
East Valley had a number of very dense tiles but no 100K meta tile yet.  As
for me, I got past 50,000 nodes in one meta tile but no 100K meta tiles
yet.  There's so many interesting things to see and map that when I achieve
boredom with an area, I find another interesting area to map.

I always try to think of the glass of orange juice as half full or half
empty.  Either way their's room for Vodka!  So Fredrick builds a tool to
solve a rendering problem.[1]  It is not just the US where a "certain image
is painted".  The resulting discussion sounds like a Ford verses Chevy
debate __to_me__.  The debate goes like this, if your Chevy has more nodes
than my Ford, I have to find some vault with the Chevy.  The opportunity to
see a Craig's List or Rand McNally use OSM without all the great or small
contributions would not have been possible with the efforts of OSM
mappers.  The sea of change that OSM has brought is just amazing to me.


[1] https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-May/067194.html


Because it means that this is probably dead data without a community behind
it to fix problems and to do updates.


Endless story. That's the "anti-imports" theory : a map looking
"complete" does not call for new contributions. Which means that we
should gum out the map from time to time just to build a new community
of contributors when the previous one consider the job done or is
exhausted ;-)


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