[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Peter Budny peterb at gatech.edu
Mon Feb 21 15:03:28 GMT 2011

I find this discussion very distasteful.

I really like OSM's goals: a complete map of the Earth with more-or-less
unlimited detail.  But I don't understand why people think that this
500+ GIGABYTE map should be managed using 19th-century methods,
i.e. manual labor.

Waze is a much newer project than OSM.  I don't really care for its data
model, because I think it's much too limited in the amount of detail
it's capable of capturing; OSM's model is much better IMO.  BUT, Waze
has captured traces of a much larger portion of the US than OSM has.
Waze has both average and real-time speed data, whereas OSM has no
provision for this whatsoever.

At some point, OSM will reach a size -- either size of database, or
number of users/contributors -- where it will become totally infeasible
to manage with the tools we have (or rather, the tools we don't have).

Those of you who think all automated or semi-automated data
contributions are harmful to OSM are dooming this project to never be
able to grow to become a leading source of mapping data.

Do you think that when MapQuest started using OSM data to generate their
maps, they performed all the necessary data transformations BY HAND?

Last year, as part of a school project, I built a robot that will
automatically create route relations for all the state highways in the
US, being careful not to change or duplicate existing data.  I haven't
shared it with the community because a handful of users were so
terrified of the prospect of automated edits, they insisted I do a
large-scale trial run on a local copy of the database, and I haven't had
the time to compile the results of those trial runs for review.  The
code would be in use already if not for a few people running around
panicking about my devil-robot and its witchcraft.

... I don't even know how to end this e-mail.  I'm so distressed by what
I'm reading that it makes me want to just walk away from the whole
Peter Budny  \
Georgia Tech  \
CS MS student  \

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