[Talk-us] Available Building Footprints

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Mar 28 16:23:14 UTC 2017

I couldn't agree more, Denis.  The only thing that this (poorly named/indexed in OSM's wiki) "Available Building Footprints" page mentions about importing is "Any import of these building footprints must strictly follow the import guidelines."  Well, then, please do so!  I'm not saying that this built-in-the-last-week wiki isn't informative, for what it is, it is.  However, it is not an import project (yet), and while Nathan implies these data (data are plural) SHOULD be imported, he has not taken the time nor effort to correctly turn these into a real import project (posting to the imports list, following our "five steps...").

Nathan just emailed me to say that he couldn't open the Bay Area shapefile either, saying he split it apart with QGIS.  He continues "Even though I split the file into different areas that file still seems to be the same size as the original. It's almost like the other data is still there even though it shows only the Bay Area shapes. Maybe some one else has a better way to split up the file. The Bay Area data all runs together so it is hard to see where natural splits occur. Maybe you (stevea) or some one else will have better luck trying to split it."  This does not bode well for someone who wants to lead or contribute to an import.  (Nathan, Nathan, Nathan...).

Nathan and I have become friends, we met eight years ago in OSM, go on many hikes and camping trips together, he comes to my house parties and we further collaborate via email.  I have worked with Nathan on numerous import tasks, noted in our Santa Cruz County wiki page, including the major (now in version 3) import of Santa Cruz County landuse areas and the Monterey County California Farmland import.  The first one was nearly a disaster:  it took me four years to manually untangle Nathan's mess/data upload crashes and finally supersede with v3.  The Monterey County import was a constant struggle of "throttling down" Nathan's constant instinct to "spill buckets of import paint quickly and with little regard for data quality" until I hardcore task-managed the project between the two of us over months of careful project husbandry so it eventually became a sane and high-quality import of which we can both be proud.  Nathan is also notorious for, let's be candid, "making a mess of California's Central Valley" which, even to this day, I am not sure he has fully cleaned up.

Nathan, I do not say these things lightly in a public forum like talk-us, but it appears that you are yet again taking a cavalier and hair-trigger approach to doing a major (MAJOR!) import in California.  If you wish to do so, please learn from your past that this is a tremendous effort, bigger by an order of magnitude or more than anything you have attempted to import before, listen to friends of yours like me and Denis (below) and bite off only as much as you can chew, with the technical, social and OSM community skills needed that it takes to complete such an endeavor.  We are asking you to please do it right this time, if indeed you feel that you can and will.  There are many, many tasks ahead if you wish to see these data in OSM and not even the first tasks of what would encourage me to say I see a high quality data import ahead have happened yet, save for posting the data.  THAT is often the first step of a hasty, poor (and ultimately redacted) data import.  You have had opportunity after opportunity to do data imports into OSM and should be able to learn that there is a correct way to do it:  the only way to do it.

The next place I hope to read anything about this is on the imports list.


> On Mar 28, 2017, at 8:48 AM, Denis Carriere <carriere.denis at gmail.com> wrote:
> Instead of having tons of different people trying to attempt loading all of these 8 Million buildings, we shoul collectively start an import proposal (OSM wiki, draft a plan, set up tasking managers, pre-process data, host entire dataset, etc...).
> The best/easiest solution we (OSM Ottawa) did for importing 1M+ buildings was to convert the data into GeoJSON and then convert them into VectorTiles using Tippecanoe [0] and host them using our own custom server (Micro Data Service [1]) which hosts those vector tiles into OSM & GeoJSON. After all the "hard work" is done.. you can simply add those small chunks of data with JOSM using any Tasking Manager by adding the URL [2] in Extra Instructions. An example of a final OSM tile would look like this [3] which would be ready to import (semi-manually).
> There's also integration with QA-Tiles [4] to prevent loading any duplicate data (this feature requires continuously loading the most current QA-Tile during the import process).
> Summary: Before anyone attempts to import this data, we need to create a plan first. I'm more than willing to help out, but this would be a large task and would need to be done collectively as a group.
> [0] https://github.com/mapbox/tippecanoe
> [1] https://github.com/osmottawa/micro-data-service
> [2] http://localhost:8111/import?new_layer=true&url=https://data.osmcanada.ca/{z}/{x}/{y}/ottawa-buildings.osm
> [3] https://data.osmcanada.com/15/9478/21019/ottawa-buildings.osm
> [4] https://osmlab.github.io/osm-qa-tiles/
> ~~~~~~
> Denis Carriere
> GIS Software & Systems Specialist
> On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM, OSM Volunteer stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com> wrote:
> Hi Nathan:
> I've got pretty beefy hardware, but the "Bay Area" shapefile pointed to by your recent post chokes my JOSM to a gasping strangle:  >3.7 million objects?!  These need to be broken up further to smaller files, to either the county level or even smaller to a sub-county level, in a sane way.  You may as well save them as .osm files (and host them on some other place besides a Microsoft cloud), as shapefiles still remain a "foreign" (though importable) format within OSM.
> SteveA
> California
> > On Mar 28, 2017, at 5:00 AM, talk-us-request at openstreetmap.org wrote:
> >
> > https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Available_Building_Footprints
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