[OSM-talk] What is OSM for? (was: Re: Ground truth for non-physical objects)

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 13:44:17 UTC 2018

On 12/12/2018 13:05, Tomas Straupis wrote:
> ... I do not imagine how would it be possible to
> capture all that "on the ground" without an army of mappers devoted
> specifically to this very boring and uninteresting but useful class -
> addresses.

If you're looking for a project that essentially mirrors "official" data 
without actually checking that its valid then OpenStreetMap might not be 
the project for you.

What makes OSM unque and better than the alternatives is that the data 
in it is, where possible, verified by people on the ground.  In a sense 
it's the "anti-wikipedia" - original research is not just allowed it's 
positively encouraged.  Only this original research will catch corner 
cases like the house that has a name (but that name isn't in any way 
"official") that still gets mail delivered to it using that name (like 
the house that I'm sat in right now, actually).

Obviously different OSM communities in different regions differ over how 
much they want to rely on "official" data* - indeed some different 
regions within the same country have argued about this in the past, but 
the general view, which I think we can see from the balance of the posts 
in this thread, is that most people back the "on the ground" principle - 
if there's a housename that looks like looks like a house name, it's a 
house name, even if it's not in an "official" list.

Best Regards,


* for the avoidance of doubt here I'm talking about "official data" 
outside of any conflict or dispute.

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