[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Katie Filbert filbertk at gmail.com
Mon Feb 21 00:20:56 GMT 2011

On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 7:03 PM, Felix Hartmann <extremecarver at gmail.com>wrote:

> Well we have no hard data, but evidence. Basically no users and editors in
> the US but loads in Europe.

We do have users and editors in the US, but not near as many as Germany.  I
see healthy amount of editing in the Washington DC area, and expect we will
do more mapping parties once the weather gets warm.

One issue is that the US is so large, users so spread apart that it's more
difficult for communities to form, outside of places like DC and Denver.  On
Wikipedia, we have the same problem, that the only really active meetup
groups or chapters are in DC, NYC, somewhat in SF, and a few pockets

> And loads of countries without imports flourishing as communities start to
> grow (like Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark)
> but less involvement in countries with imports. A vast empty map is no fun,
> but neither is a complete map.

I wouldn't have been happy to be tracing those endless subdivisions,
especially knowing we have TIGER data that could be used.  Unlikely I ever
would have joined OSM without TIGER as a starting point.

It's certainly best that imports are done with a huge amount of care, in
small batches and with tools like JOSM where the data can be checked and
manually merged with existing data.  It's also important to discuss the
import with the local (or national) community, make sure there is consensus,


> The worst is a seemingly complete map, with crap data (like plan.at data
> in Austria, that was in general off by around 20-100m).
> Just show me some neighboring countries where the one with imports some
> time ago (minimum 1 year) are doing better than neighboring
> countries/regions where no imports took place.
> I think imports are good for stuff we cannot easily record ourselves (like
> borders) - but no good for stuff we can get ourselves.
> And if you see tracing from aerial imagery as a chore, you're making a
> mistake. I think we should wait till local people do it. That way it gets
> better quality and is not much work for anyone. We should not strive to be
> complete, but offer more or different data than commercial map providers,
> because that's where we are good at. Striving to get a map with best use for
> carnavigation will not happen - our structure and means are really inferior
> here. Getting speciality maps noone can compete with large communities.
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