[Openstreetmap] Re: Openstreetmap Digest, Vol 6, Issue 3

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Mon Feb 7 17:20:31 GMT 2005

hello, thanks for your comments,
On Mon, Feb 07, 2005 at 08:39:40AM -0800, wabanstar wrote:
> Just a few thoughts on you latest post. If you are
> using commercial resources use at least two that

personally, i am very uninterested in reused of data sources  that are
potentially subject to copyright and that risk bringing the data
'integrity' of the whole pool into question in the future...
i know postcodes are good common currency for the 'find my local
councillor/nearest recycling bins/pending planning application' type
project that i'd like to help support... but postcode geocoding can be
irritatingly inaccurate, as well as very UK-specific as a technique.

> accurate you need a good protocol or rule and
> standards going in, what is good data, who cleans up
> the overlaps, what are your definitions of major vs
> minor roads, what constitutes a road...

http://uo.space.frot.org/?MapOntology was my last attempt to think
about this. basically a simple adaptation of the TIGER schema with
extra properties. rdf-ising this and putting it behind a wiki-nature
editing interface is what i'm hoping to do over the next month.

> the data. Just a bit of a reality check. Your
> advantage is that you have free data collectors, and
> programmers. 
> A lot of boring work, ie. administration, data storage
> and quality checks and enforcement have to be done as
> well to make any challenge to the closed source model.

this is a a point taken. i don't see this as competing with offerings
in a commercial space; i see it as a way to offer *something* to
nonprofit, local projects (like the freenetworks groups here in
london) where only high-price data licenses or abuse of mapquest's ToC
are available now.

i want to think of this in five-year-plan terms. When wikipedia
launched, i saw it as a grandiose joke, really. four years on, and
while it's not exactly competing with the Britannica, or a gold
standard of historical accuracy, it is there for those who can't
afford better information, it is subject to correction by those who
know it contains inaccuracies, and the history of it iterating towards
something resembling "Truth" is fully visible...

If this is issuing a challenge to anyone, it's to the national mapping
agencies and those who set their policy agenda; to demonstrate what
"social-good" type apps can be built with tools and data sources
available to non-profit or non-commercial entities... to demonstrate
that the purely commercial treatment of state-owned spatial data is an
expression of a very narrow-sighted concept of value...

i'll stop here before i get too much more propagandistic, apart from
to mention http://space.frot.org/docs/inspire_directive.html , some
context about the upcoming EC legislation on state owned geodata
licensing policy...


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