[Talk-us] Better Than OSM was Your opinion about SOTM US

Greg Morgan dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 22:58:35 UTC 2015


I really like this "Better Than OSM" map.  The very accidental name has
that Missouri state "Show me" impact.  Show me where the newer TIGER is
better than OSM and I'll show you where OSM is still better than TIGER.
The accidental genus of the map comes in the last example.  With these
ideas in mind:

I found this area from area from the magenta/blue TIGER map that MapBox
produced several years ago.  Back then the magenta/blue line stood out.
Here I said let's see if TIGER caught up to me.  In this case, TIGER has
improved but there is a yellow line replacing the magenta/blue line.  The
interesting building and parking lot pattern really shows up nicely in this
map.  Both the discovery and mapping of geometric patterns in OSM has that
Bob Ross "happy little animals" affect on me.  ;-)  I spent additional time
improving the area based on the perceived challenge laid down by the map.

Here are two missing apartment/condo like areas that show up with the map.
The blank and gray blob on the OSM main map provide no real indication that
there's something to improve upon.  TIGER is better in this case because
OSM doesn't have the additional detail that TIGER shows.

The "Better Than OSM" map flags this next area yet we can see that OSM is
better than TIGER in this case.  Here is an example of the challenge that
you face.  How would you turn off these yellow lines that fall between the
"real" roads in this sardine subdivision?  This area feels like one of the
scale problems that TIGER has.  It could also be that TIGER staff have not
had a chance to clean up these kinds-of lines.

Here's another TIGER cleanup issue for TIGER staff.  However, the "Better
Than OSM" chanllege pointed me to a way that needed to be turned into a
dual carriage way.

This next area is what I call a sub-prime rate subdivision.  The area may
have stalled right before or during the sub-prime mortgage rate debacle.  I
cannot always tell if TIGER staff received the plat information right after
bankruptcy. I wished MapBox had a version of satellite that would stop at
zoom 17 and let me over zoom the imagery to 18 and below.  Does anyone know
of a way to make over zooming of MapBox Satellite work in JOSM with the
current MapBox configuration?

Whereas an earlier example had TIGER yellow "pointers" to an area concealed
by OSM one color blobs, the "Better Than OSM" also points to areas that are
a tie: both maps are equally bad because there is missing data.  These
large cavernous areas really attract my eye while panning and zooming the
map.  One feature that would be helpful is a wispy thin building outline.
I don't know what the exact ratio would be but If you are using 9 for a
road width, then 2 may be that wispy thin building outline value. Adding
too many additional features would diminish the impact of the map.  As a
volunteer, I might have time to get lost in a detailed building.  At other
times, I might try to knock out a few nodes while waiting for the
carpooler.  The building outline might be a helpful gauge for the type of
project that I can fit into the time constraints of the moment.  I have
been using this map as my primary launching point since you introduced it.


On Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 12:37 AM, Greg Morgan <dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com>

> On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 9:11 PM, Alex Barth <alex at mapbox.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 3:40 AM, Greg Morgan <dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Thanks for another TIGER tool.  I used it to look at some areas and made
>>> changes.  The map reminds me of another map that MapBox produced several
>>> years ago using a slider tool.
>>> Useful features:
>>> * Timely updates.  The old slider map was never updated and lost value
>>> after a couple of edits.  Oh! I see that my edits showed up.  The problem
>>> is how do you remove the yellow TIGER data?
>> Yea..... this is on my far-out backlog. A live (or daily) updated TIGER
>> diff map, ideally at first showing only major roads.
>>> * iD, Potlach, JOSM, remote control features.
>> What do you mean by that?
> Often I will go to the OSM site to look around.  If I see something
> interesting, then I will use the edit menu option to started editing the
> area in JOSM..   I am not sure what your plans are with the tool. If the
> tool only has a web browser interface like the current version, then having
> an "edit in" drop down feature would be really useful. Since there are few
> major visual clues in this great low contrast map, I find it hard locate
> the same area in JOSM when I switch from web browser to JOSM.
> Perhaps I am experiencing beta blues?  I found the secret hand shake to
> use the map in JOSM as a tracing layer:  tms[21]:https://{switch:a,b,c}.
> tiles.mapbox.com/v4/lxbarth.647bc246/{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoibHhiYXJ0aCIsImEiOiJFVXdYcUlvIn0.bbaHTEWlnAwGgyVwJngMdQ
> <http://tiles.mapbox.com/v4/lxbarth.647bc246/%7Bzoom%7D/%7Bx%7D/%7By%7D.png?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoibHhiYXJ0aCIsImEiOiJFVXdYcUlvIn0.bbaHTEWlnAwGgyVwJngMdQ>
> If this is your ultimate design, then I am sure my "edit in" drop down
> feature request would be puzzling.
> Yup. We're cautious and trust the TIGER data only where it coincides w/
>> imagery and there we trace off the imagery and don't just take the TIGER
>> data. Sometimes you run into situations where you just don't know whether
>> TIGER's right or the imagery (a lot of imagery is pretty old on Bing) - in
>> these cases we just don't touch the data, maybe drop a note.
>> There are also many places where TIGER is just flat out behind - an
>> opportunity for community and government to work more closely together.
> I spent some quality time editing with the map on Friday and Saturday.
> There were some great improvements that I made in OSM while using your
> Better than OSM map.  In practice, I had Bing, MapBox Satellite, Tiger
> 2012, Tiger 2014, and your Better than OSM as background imagery. Between
> ITOWorld Tiger Fixup [1], Better than OSM, and Battle Grid,  Better than
> OSM comes in second place to the ITOWorld map.  Both ITOWorld and your map
> provide me more precision than Battle Grid.  That's just my way of working
> and preferences.
> 1. Better than OSM made me reexamine areas that I thought were mostly
> complete. One of the issues I have with ITOWorld and Battle Grid is that
> the colors can obscure single roads that have not been reviewed.   I found
> that Better than OSM threw all those issues in my face in the area that I
> was editing. The same yellow at all zoom levels is also a plus.  Not sizing
> the line width between the highway=* tags is also a plus.  The simple
> styling made me see all issues clearly.
> 2. I needed the other two TIGER maps to add missing names for some roads.
> The yellow contrast is great and keeps the map simple but is missing the
> names.
> 3. I concur about TIGER being behind.  Some of the yellow lines where
> "stray" roads that had not been cleaned up in the TIGER data.  The "stray"
> lines really did not point to where TIGER was better than OSM.
> 4. Since some of these "stray" roads do not touch other OSM roads, I don't
> know how you would "turn off" the yellow TIGER line once OSM had been fixed
> or that TIGER data had been determined to be a false positive.  If feels
> like you would have to have a tiger:reviewed="yes" interface or something
> like what Keepright uses to turn off the "stray" roads in Better than OSM
> map.  Perhaps some sort of attribute can be kept in the "flagging" data.
> You could then pass the information on to the government as you note in the
> community and government working closer with each other comment.
> 5. I found that painting OSM highways white without bridges or tunnels an
> issue.  I went to these areas thinking that the there was a problem because
> there were yellow lines in the area too.  I found the bridge and moved on.
> There may be some other data to add to the white OSM layer but I am not
> sure what that would be right now.
> Thanks for the tool.  I am not sure how long it will be available but I
> did find it useful for a number editing tasks.
> Regards,
> Greg
> [1] http://www.itoworld.com/map/162?lon=-112.09148&lat=33.53444&zoom=11
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