[OSM-talk] AND donate entire street network of Netherlands to OSM

Andy Robinson Andy_J_Robinson at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Jul 5 10:37:13 BST 2007

Lambertus wrote:
>Sent: 05 July 2007 10:13 AM
>To: Steve Coast
>Cc: talk at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] AND donate entire street network of Netherlands to
>Steve, hopefully this email you've sent is based on misinterpreting
>Martijn's. I therefore suggest that you re-read it and send an apology.
>The way you, as a project foreman, replied is shocking. You should not
>treat other members like this, even if they ask for it (which is
>certainly not the case).
>I think the question from Immanuel is very interesting. Martijn was just
>answering on the 'why a commercial company would give away the core data
>on which their business is based'. I find nothing negative in his
>answer, just realistic assumptions on the subject.
>Back on the subject of the TS:
>As a mapper in the Netherlands, I am a bit ambiguous about this news.
>Ofcourse it is really, really cool that the coverage of the Netherlands
>will be enormously enhanced by this attribution. When the data import is
>successfully completed we will be able to call the OSM map of the
>Netherlands a 'real' map. It will probably be the start of many people
>actually using the OSM data, not just the few dozen mappers.
>On the other hand, currently I am able to put my mark on the map and a
>'considerable portion' (which is subject to dispute ofcourse) of the map
>is based purely on my work (cycling and driving around and mapping the
>tracks afterwards) which is greatly satisfying. Like many I am addicted
>to all factors of tracking and mapping. The arrival of a huge
>professionally acquired lump of data will drown (or even replace) my
>contribution which feels disappointing.
>So my conclusion: This news is great for the OSM project, but not
>directly for the mappers.

I totally agree that as a mapper you feel a great sense of achievement and
ownership of your own bit of history in the making of a new map. I've
thought about the prospect of the OS in the UK releasing data and whether
that would make my hard efforts wasted. But I don't see it that way. The
data that is provided by AND, and what might come from other parties in the
future, is generally going to be basic line data and not much else. That's
not what produces a great looking map. Its also important to consider that
every road still needs cycling or whatever simply to verify that the data
that gets imported to OSM is correct or not. Easter Eggs aside we can all
find examples of where the current online mapping sites have data that
simply is plain wrong.

So, having spent quite a bit of time thinking about this very aspect over
the last couple of years my overall feeling is that there should always be
the opportunity to stop an import to an area where a local mapper really has
things under control already, although the existence of a second data source
is a great way of identifying bits that are missing or bits that need double
checking. If the street level data is imported elsewhere then a local mapper
has a much better chance of wrapping up a first rate map rather than
struggling to complete a half presentable one (through lack of time or

I know that in my own area I have mapped almost everything within workable
quick cycle distance. So I have to make other plans, or I have to think
about other interesting things to do related to OSM. At the moment that's
not difficult, if anything there are too many things to do, so I think in
reality the availability of data sources widens the possibilities for
mappers rather than decreases them.



Andy Robinson
Andy_J_Robinson at blueyonder.co.uk 

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