[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Kevin Peat kevin at kevinpeat.com
Mon Feb 21 17:26:04 GMT 2011


Peter,

The point isn't whether or not your tool will create correct route relations
but what the point of doing that would be. I can understand creating route
relations for long distance cycling/hiking paths that people actually want
to navigate and historic routes (Route 66 comes to mind as a non-American)
but what is the point of creating a route relation for every highway?

No-one gets up in the morning and decides to navigate "State Highway 483"
from one end to the other and even if they did a decent routing engine could
create the route on the fly, so adding it to OSM is a waste of time and
would just add pointless complexity to the data-set.

Kevin




On 21 February 2011 16:58, Peter Budny <peterb at gatech.edu> wrote:

> Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> writes:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > On 02/21/2011 04:03 PM, Peter Budny wrote:
> >> 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.
> >
> > It is a common fallacy to believe that good map data could somehow,
> > magically, be produced from computers that evaluate GPS tracks, camera
> > recordings, or aerial imagery.
> >
> > If this were possible, then Google et al. would be 10 times as good at
> > doing it as we are.
>
> Google, like Waze, has both historic and real-time traffic data
> automatically generated by millions people with mobile phones.  So in at
> least some ways, they ARE 10 times better than OSM.
>
> > The strength of OSM is the people on the ground. If you try to
> > eliminate them from the equation
>
> Whoa, who said anything about eliminating people?  What I'm saying is
> that we should find ways to integrate human editors with automated or
> semi-automated tools, so that humans can delegate the tedious work to
> computers and spend more time doing things that can't be handled by
> computers.
>
> >> 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.
> >
> > [...]
> >
> >> The code would be in use already if not for a few people running around
> >> panicking about my devil-robot and its witchcraft.
> >
> > Maybe you haven't been able to demonstrate the added value your
> > mechanical edit would bring to the database?
>
> The value is that
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Kentucky#State_routes would show
> route relations for all 6000+ state routes in Kentucky, instead of
> 7... and then I could use the same code to finish the other 49 states in
> the US.  And then with minor modifications, I could use the same code in
> other countries.
>
> As an analogy, we store OSM's source code in Subversion and Git, and let
> those tools compare files when we make a change.  Could this be done by
> hand?  Of course.  But why would you want to?  You would produce the
> same result (actually, you're more likely to make a mistake than the
> computer).  Yes, sometimes the tools come upon situations they can't
> handle, and have to let a human intervene, but they relieve us of the
> tedious bits.
>
> Some people look at OSM and say, "It needs more tools."  Some people
> say, "It needs less tools."  Consider me firmly in the first camp.
>
> > I mean, if it can be
> > determined by a robot, then surely it would be redundant to have it in
> > the data again?
>
> First, your reasoning is specious.  Consider a shopping receipt: what's
> the "added value" to listing a subtotal and total, when these could be
> trivially computed by summing the items purchased and subtracting the
> amount paid?
>
> Second, the robot's contributions would not be perfect... but then
> again, neither are mine.  I've never drive down Kentucky State Highway
> 483, so any edits I make to it are merely the best I can do given what's
> already in OSM.  But if I see tiger:name_base="State Highway 483", I'm
> going to put it in a relation with the other ways that match it.  A
> robot can do exactly the same thing, only a lot more efficiently than I
> can.
>
> And before you counter... no, I don't think it's pointless or wrong to
> edit a part of the map I've never been to.  If I (or anyone else) ever
> DOES go there, it would be nice to have already improved the map as much
> as possible, rather than letting it remain a completely unedited jumble
> or void.
> --
> Peter Budny  \
> Georgia Tech  \
> CS MS student  \
>
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