[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Peter Budny peterb at gatech.edu
Mon Feb 21 18:18:50 GMT 2011

Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> writes:

> On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:03 AM, Peter Budny <peterb at gatech.edu> wrote:
>> I find this discussion very distasteful.
> Peter,
> I'm sorry that you feel that way. Can you tell us what specifically
> you find distasteful? Is it the issue of automated edits or is there
> something else?

Let me try to elaborate as concisely as possible.

OSM right now has very little tools to support editing.  Compare this to
text processing, where we have diff, patch, CVS and Subversion, etc.
The tools can't handle every case, but they do the tedious work and help
support higher-level functionality.  Wikipedia extended this to support
crowd-sourced editing, and has support for, e.g. detecting a reverting

Right now OSM lacks tools like that.  When a user like Josh Doe has a
data source with hyper-accurate road centerlines, the only way to
integrate that into OSM is manually.  When someone else destroys some
existing data, either accidentally or maliciously, we have to post to
the newsgroups to get an admin to fix things manually.

There is a whole realm of tools and techniques to support computerized
mapping that are waiting to be developed.  No doubt other groups like
Google, Bing, and even MapQuest are already working on them.

I really don't understand how certain individuals propose to manage a
large database with many contributors WITHOUT the aid of tools to make
the humans' jobs easier.

>> 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.
> I the issue, which Wikipedia also faces, is that automated edits have
> a history of being problematic for the project.
> A very small number of people in the community are against all
> automated edits, but a majority of us are concerned that current
> automated edits have been so problematic as to turn away users and
> contributors.
> What we're discussing is how to get good automated edits while still
> allowing for 20th century methods of input, which include on the
> ground surveying.

See above.  I generally agree with this goal.

>> 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.
> Waze is proprietary. Is that right?

My point, as below, was that Waze is another crowd-sourced map which has
much better tools and support for semi-automated editing than OSM does.
What difference does the license make?

>> 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.
Peter Budny  \
Georgia Tech  \
CS MS student  \

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