[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Jaak Laineste jaak.laineste at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 12:00:24 GMT 2011

 Without knowing local situation I cannot comment this particular
case, but I can tell about mass-imports what I have done myself, spent
each time many man-days for conversions, improving scripts,
discussions with community etc

 1. second largest city of our country full data (streets,buildings
etc) import. The city had a few streets before, and person who had
added most of them, agreed to replace them. It created positive buzz
about "good quality OSM database", but killed local community.
 2. Corine Land Cover, nation-wide import. Today I would do it much
more carefully, or not at all. It has made more mess and troubles, the
only advantage is that medium-zoom rendering looks nicer with a lot of
green forests; but high-zoom is terrible and it is very hard to fix it
 3. National administrative borders (from state source), all levels.
This was the only good import so far you could not get the data with
field survey.
 4. I have also prepared quite good water info - decided NOT import
it, keep for manual copy
 5. In the pipeline is national address database (should have all
addresses/buildings as points).  I have permission from source,
accept/comments from the community, reject from local post agency
regarding including post codes (surprise-surprise).

 So out of 5 imports maybe 1 or 2 were really "good" ones, if you look
it this way. So imports are very-very dangerous and should be done
only if there really is no other alternative. My own optimism of
re-using existing souces (as anyone with strong background in
GIS/geodata would have) to improve OSM has reduced dramatically.

 But I like the idea that there should be separate shared import-data
layer in OSM database (API and editing tools) itself, similar to GPS
files. Right now I have several new datasets just as bunch of OSM
files somewhere in our HTTP, and URLs are posted to local talk-list,
but this is not a good solution, I actually dont recall myself where
they were.

Jaak from Estonia

2011/2/20 Frank Steggink <steggink at steggink.org>:
> On 11-02-20 11:54 AM, SomeoneElse wrote:
>> Frank Steggink wrote:
>>> I believe the average community opinion is more like: imports _are_
>>> welcome, but _only_ if there are no better alternatives, and _only_ if a
>>> strict set of guidelines is followed (for example _not_ deleting better
>>> quality user contributed data).
>> I think that historical messages here show that there IS a majority
>> anti-import stance in the community, but that's mainly because your two
>> important provisos aren't often followed.
>> However, surely we're missing the important point here - that someone had
>> "hours of work obliterated" by another person?  There's a lesson that we can
>> all take from this - to better respect other mappers' work and to try and
>> understand what they're trying to do and how they're trying to do it.  That
>> might be by respecting "no import" or "no tracing" zones or it might be by
>> working together in other ways - but we have to try and work with and not
>> against each other on this.
>> Cheers,
>> Andy
>> _______________________________________________
>> talk mailing list
>> talk at openstreetmap.org
>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk
> Andy,
> Not everyone in the community is following OSM-talk, let alone commenting on
> discussions. There is surely a vocal minority against imports, like there is
> also a vocal minority against the upcoming license change. Yet, support for
> ODbL and the CT by pre-May 2010 users is growing, and yet imports are not
> rolled back large scale.
> People tend to make themselves heard when they do not agree with something,
> not whenthey are content. So, the messages here have a certain bias.
> I do agree that we should all respect the efforts of others. OSM is a
> collaborative effort. My response is mostly an attempt to counter the
> anti-import discussion. I find that what has happened in Aylmer is equally
> bad as the next person.
> Frank
> _______________________________________________
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> talk at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

Jaak Laineste

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