[OSM-talk] Administrative boundaries export

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 2 20:01:46 UTC 2013


On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 3:58 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> What we would really need though, is something much bigger: A separate
> database of admin hierarchies, where people could - in a crowdsourced
> manner - record things like:
>
> "There is an adminlevel 2 entities called Germany"
> "It is divided into 16 exclusive adminlevel 4 entities with the
> following names: ..."
> "These 16 entities cover the area of Germany completely (no holes or sea
> areas that would be outside of one of the entities)"
> "The adminlevel 4 entity named 'Brandenburg' is divided in X adminlevel
> 6 entities..."
>
> and so on. A tree of arbitrary size where people can add and edit at will.
>

This seems exactly like the kind of data I expect Wikidata (a Wikimedia
Foundation project, spearheaded by Wikimedia Deutschland) to encode.


> Now you will say "but this tree could be generated from OpenStreetMap",
> and I grant that one could attempt to build such a tree but it will
> always be faulty and reflect the current brokenness of geometries in
> OSM. One could *start* with an OSM-generated tree, but after that, the
> tree must be kept separate. People should be able to add stuff to the
> tree even when it is not in OpenStreetMap - "there should be an
> adminlevel 8 boundary called so-and-so". A regularly-running process
>
would then compare the tree to OpenStreetMap, and generate error reports
> that can be presented visually: [...]
>
> I would expect the tree to be much more stable than the
> data in OSM. Most of all, the tree could be worked on independently,
> even by people unfamiliar with OSM. Of course the tree could link to OSM
> objects but these links would regularly be checked and perhaps even
> changed by the automated comparison system.
>

If this tree database will only be compared to OSM then it should be OK to
start it as a derivative of the OSM database (inheriting the ODbL license).
However, we lose the ability to compare this with other similar databases
like the Global Administrative Areas database (http://www.gadm.org/) as
another form of QA due to the license incompatibility.

I think it would be better if the tree were started in Wikidata (which is
CC0-licensed) or as a separate project released to the public domain or
CC0- or PDDL-licensed.

Eugene
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