[Talk-us] San Louis Obispo CA area - Chimney Wildfire - OSM US

Jonathan Witcoski jwitcoski at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 16:17:36 UTC 2016

Hey all,

I just wanted to comment on the current state of nationwide datasets (most
States/Counties have better). The United State has a baseline of "official"
data available for free (general building outlines not being one of them).
This data is available to download and called HSIP Open.  More datasets are
available to federal agencies and those working on federally declared
emergencies.  I used to work on this project and its great for groups with
no budget for data collection or emergency responders who get put into an
unknown area.

The Dataset link:

When HSIP Open came out I did a small investigation in PA on hospitals to
see what one was better (HIFLD/HSIP VS OSM) and the results are mixed
(where there is active contributions OSM is better otherwise HSIP is the
only thing around).

Web Map showing "Official" vs OSM Sources

Hopefully someone can do a better analysis than I can (i.e. OSM vs
State/County vs Federal sources).

The US has basic GIS data available (a few years old but ~80% correct)
already. Awareness of OSM is growing and I also hope to help to push the
use of OSM data into broader usage.  Use cases like this fire will only
help to bring more emergency GIS managers on board.

Great job guys,

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 8:00 AM, <talk-us-request at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

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>    1. Re: San Louis Obispo CA area - Chimney Wildfire - OSM US
>       Tasking Manager Project (Blake Girardot)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:22:22 +0200
> From: Blake Girardot <bgirardot at gmail.com>
> To: Mike Thompson <miketho16 at gmail.com>
> Cc: OSM Volunteer stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com>, Open Street Map
>         Talk-US <talk-us at openstreetmap.org>
> Subject: Re: [Talk-us] San Louis Obispo CA area - Chimney Wildfire -
>         OSM US Tasking Manager Project
> Message-ID:
>         <CABmB++R+06mLZa1G4dZAS90VF3JF-DESL=braX3Sa=eHkb_p5Q at mail.gmail.
> com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hi Mike,
> HOT has been asked 2 times in the past that I know of to help with US
> based incidents that I know of.
> One was another CA fire and we were contacted by a local responder who
> was already used to using OSM data, knew of its quality and potential
> limitations and asked us to fill in/update/review data in the rugged
> terrain AoI he was working in fire fighting.
> We also did a FEMA related project (Russ Deffner knows more about that
> one I think)
> And recently we did a project to update the island of American Somoa
> for the Red Cross.
> I have also personally mapped to support a local rural volunteer fire
> department that had no object map of their area of responsibility,
> (but I have no idea how or if they used the data I generated for them,
> I need to follow up and see if they are using the data, that was a few
> years ago when I first got heavy in to OSM). I suspect there are many
> many rural agencies just like that of all sorts that would benefit
> from OSM data and process if they only knew about them and had someone
> to help them benefit from open geo data and tools.
> In the developing world/global south context it is easy to recognize
> the value of OSM because it is often the most complete dataset
> available and is "easy" to get a basemap completed over a very large
> AoI, there typically are just very few other options immediately
> available or open enough to make use of the raw geo data.
> In the more developed countries like the US (and others) there is a
> built in bias for "official" data for a number of reasons which
> Jonathan Witcoski pointed out in the osm us slack channel from his
> experiences. Mainly "cover your butt" reasons. As he also pointed out,
> that thinking applies even if those official sources are of less
> quality and/or less accessible than the dataset in OSM
> But that is changing in my experience. More and more folks who work at
> these agencies are seeing the value OSM brings in having so much geo
> data all in one place and easily maintained and exported for GIS
> systems and personal devices. And typically the osm data is well
> curated as well as incorporating and improving the official data.
> That is one of the main reasons I was so happy to work with Jon on
> wildfire related support. I am quite convinced that OSM data and the
> OSM platform are uniquely useful and this "grass roots", bottom up,
> trend of agencies of all types using OSM data and workflows will
> continue. I hate to say it, but I think "build it and they will come"
> applies here as I am already seeing it happen in a limited way.
> One place you might look for another pretty amazing example of OSM
> data in official use is on the OSM Canada-talk list. StatCan, a huge
> government agency in a well developed nation, is making a major effort
> to incorporate OSM data, processes and community into their "official"
> data and workflows. (I have not followed the thread, I hope it is
> still as on track as it was when we initially spoke to them a few
> months back :)
> I would also just point out, the wildfire support in CA is an OSM-US
> community member driven effort (3 of us at last count, maybe it grew
> some this week, I hope), not a HOT effort. It makes use of OSM-US's
> installation of HOT's OSM Tasking Manager tool and some of us
> OSM-US'ers are also HOT community members and so bring a lot of
> enthusiasm for, and first hand knowledge of, OSM's value in crisis
> response. But so far it is up to us as the OSM-US community to make it
> as successful as it can be.
> Thank you again to everyone who has pitched in on these wildfire
> projects, it is a slow process but the awareness and respect for OSM's
> data, workflows and community continues to grow and projects like
> these I think really contribute to that goal in addition to their
> primary purpose: the good they potentially/hopefully do for people
> affected by these wildfires.
> Respectfully,
> Blake
> On Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 3:35 AM, Mike Thompson <miketho16 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Blake,
> >
> > It is great to see OSM being used in disaster response within the US.
> >
> > 1) Will there be more such tasks, either associated with this fire, or
> with
> > other events?
> > 2) Are there other cases where OSM has been used like this in the US? I
> am
> > scheduled to give a talk about OSM to the Wyoming GIS Conference and it
> > would be great to cite some additional such examples.
> >
> > Mike
> >
> > On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 11:41 AM, OSM Volunteer stevea
> > <steveaOSM at softworkers.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Thank you for setting this up, Blake.  I've never done a HOT task
> before,
> >> and since this is my backyard, I dove right in.  And it was FUN!  (BTW,
> it
> >> is San Luis Obispo).
> >>
> >> A couple/three years ago I made contact with Joe Larson, a SLO-county
> >> based firefighter and OSM volunteer who used County GIS data to add all
> >> buildings (and most if not all associated address data) to SLO.  He and
> his
> >> team also completed TIGER updating of roads.  (These are still not
> perfect,
> >> as many roads are tagged tiger:reviewed=yes, which is superfluous and
> can be
> >> deleted).  Way to go!
> >>
> >> But as is true of any fire:  it's great to be prepared!  (Good maps with
> >> excellent road and building data).  Smart to add swimming pools, too.
> In
> >> the half-dozen or so tasks I did, I also added some small (sub-1-acre)
> >> natural=water "ponds" which were usually at the confluence of two small
> >> streams.  With the drought, I'm not sure they are there, though.  The
> >> imagery layer used here is excellent, especially at very high zooms.
> >>
> >> Good work, everybody, now all we need to do is finish validation.
> >>
> >> SteveA
> >> California
> >>
> >>
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