[OSM-talk] [OSM-legal-talk] Are we strict enough with imports ?

Emilie Laffray emilie.laffray at gmail.com
Thu Feb 11 12:27:15 GMT 2010

On 11 February 2010 12:24, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> (I'm hijacking this thread which Nic started about legalities of imports
> on legal-talk, and moving over to talk)
> Nic Roets wrote:
> > My suggestion is that we should have a fixed, but simple procedure for
> > users who import data:
> I think that every import should start with a deliberation on whether to
> import *at all*.
> Currently, I have the impression that many people are very trigger-happy
> when it comes to importing data. I believe that is running the risk of
> making OSM into one giant data rubbish dump.
> The old-style GIS community is currently working on several projects
> that collect what they call "metadata" - basically, because they know
> that there are so many different people with so many different data
> sets, they are working on ways to describe these datasets in a way that
> hopefully enables intelligent clients to present data retrieved from all
> of them as one coherent data set.
> This is of course extremely difficult and introduces many problems that
> one does not have when using just one huge database instead of thousands
> of different databases. But since many datasets are not static, you
> cannot simply grab them and pour them into one large database and be happy.
> What does this mean for our data imports?
> Data that is externally "owned" and maintained should not be imported,
> with the following exceptions:
> * if the data is so important for us (usu. as the foundation for other
> crowdsourced stuff) that we'd rather have and outdated version of it in
> OSM than nothing at all;
> * if we are confident that we, the OSM community, will do a better, more
> reliable, more thorough, and more timely job in updating the information
> than the original owner (this includes cases where the original owner
> has ceased maintenance);
> * if he are confident that we can easily synchronize our database with
> any updates made by the original owner to his data set.
> In all other cases it would be *much* more desirable to establish better
> mechanisms of merging OSM data with that other data in preparation for
> map drawing etc., rather than pulling it all in and having it rot.
> I would very much like to develop a kind of "litmus test" for imports,
> and get the message across that not every import is a good import (even
> if legally spotless). Today, even newcomers to OSM sometimes seem
> hell-bent on importing large quantities of data just because they can. I
> would like to remind people that OSM has a very lively culture of
> surveying data - and I'd rather have 1 sq km surveyed by a newbie than
> 100 sq km imported.

+1 globally.

Emilie Laffray
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