[Talk-us] Facts about the world

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Sat Apr 4 16:40:53 UTC 2015

>>>exceptions, I believe the GR issue is still unsolved).
>>Yes, all of that is fair game.  Though I don't know what "the GR 
>>issue" is, and ask you to please clarify.
>Sorry for the late answer, been on the road for two days and now are 
>on a rather flaky network connection.  See 
>for a very short synopsis of the GR issue.

Thank you.  A quick GR synopsis:  hiking routes in France, even with 
trailblazers marked on-the-ground (!), are under a restricted 
copyright and cannot be OSM-entered.  Wow!  Our oft-quoted test "is 
it on-the-ground-verifiable?" to determine whether data are 
OSM-enterable is not as clear-cut as "yes or no?"

We need discussion, sometimes a Legal Team determinations, good will 
and open hearts as we figure this all out.  Sometimes on a 
case-by-case basis.  Not dogma, dig-in-our-heels zealotry.  That 
isn't easy, so let's face that squarely and cut each other some slack 
that while there may be friction, we won't burst into flame.

>>......  As "facts about the world," these data belong to us, and 
>>when true, we can put them into OSM.  (Sometimes such data, like 
>>airline routes, are inappropriate to put into OSM -- but that's 
>>another topic).
>I think where we differ is that I see OSM (not only) as a project 
>that demonstrates (in practical use) what citizens can do with 
>today's technology, in an area that just a couple of years back was 
>completely controlled by government and industry.  If by doing so, 
>more government data becomes freely available then that is a nice 
>side effect, but not a primary goal.

Recall what made me start this thread:  I want to clean up/improve 
crusty/wrong TIGER railway data.  THAT, in the instant case, is my 
primary goal.  I assert, I believe 100% correctly, that the names of 
long industrial things hundreds of km long are both "my business" and 
"facts about the world" that "belong" to nobody in particular, but 
rather everybody, and hence deserve to be in OSM as correct.  I'm not 
necessarily doing an import, I'm better naming crusty/wrong data OSM 
already has with facts about the world.  Yes, these happen to be 
confirmed by data published by my employees (government agencies). 
That's it.  Please don't conflate the process just outlined with 
"government data becoming more freely available as a side effect" as 
that is not what I just described nor is it what is happening here.

>I don't see it as a vehicle to promote any specific agenda outside 
>of the relatively narrow goals of the project itself. In particular 
>I don't see potentially impacting the primary goal of providing free 
>(as in free of legal restrictions by third parties) geo data to 
>everyone by becoming embrolied in legal fights just to prove a point.

I like proving points when it suits me (especially when I am right!) 
but again, that's not what this is.  It is cleaning up old, wrong 
data so they are correct, appropriate-to-be-in-OSM data (but only 
when correct, and they are wrong now).

>It is my subjective impression is that we are just on the brink of 
>the project being unworkable because our contributors are too bold 
>in using third party sources -not- the other way around (and yes 
>when I get back home I have to deal with removing months of work by 
>a mapper together with the DWG because they were too bold).

I respectfully and strenuously disagree.  We still (and likely will) 
continue to have some predictable and manageable problems with import 
of data from third party sources, but we have procedures in place to 
make imports and third party data sources (two different things, but 
they do often overlap) better.  Emphasis on "manageable."  My turn to 
ask:  How much of these problems are OUR FAULT?  The obvious answer 
is "every last bit."  We need to educate people, train them and be 
vigilant.  We do all of these things, but if we still have problems 
(we do, but they do not threaten to make the project unworkable) we 
simply must do better.

That's roll-up-our-sleeves work, but it isn't throw-up-our-hands "the 
project is almost unworkable."

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