[OSM-talk] Timezones (was: Deleting data)

Philip Barnes phil at trigpoint.me.uk
Mon Oct 21 14:54:04 UTC 2013

It is not always possible to separate admin boundaries from real world features. Rivers, roads or even hedges often define a boundary.

Phil (trigpoint)
Sent from my Nokia N9

On 21/10/2013 15:41 Toby Murray wrote:

On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 6:29 AM, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:
Back on topic: how do you phrase an objective rule, or at least well-worded guidelines, which allow admin boundaries but disallow time zone boundaries? I wonder where the UK ceremonial counties, fire department areas, national parks etc will end up. My point is, gut feelings aside, that it is not reasonable to single out TZ boundaries for this deprecation. 

Having edited over a thousand of them, I would not be sad to see admin boundaries removed from the general OSM database. I think Russ is on to something with his "ClosedStreetMap" concept although that is some terrible branding so we need another name :) But at the end of the day, we are terrible at maintaining such boundaries and very good at breaking them in OSM, mostly because they are usually hard/impossible to spot on the ground and verify. So people see random lines going through the area they are trying to map and either don't pay attention when they touch them or just delete them outright. Essentially what we need is the concept of layers. If all the admin/timezone boundaries were in their own "layer" and didn't interact with roads, rivers, etc in OSM then they would be much easier to keep up to date from external sources.

Yes, OSM *can* contain just about anything. But if we are terrible at it and there are other datasets available that aren't terrible then why should we try to poorly duplicate others efforts?

Some of my opinion may be due to some problems with the way they were imported here in the US but I suspect it isn't all that different in most other places. 


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