OpenStreetMap

After two months contributing to OSM... I'm still here, for good

Posted by dardhal on 5 February 2011 in English (English)

It's been more than a month since I last made an entry to my diary. I have been contributing during all this time, but somewhat less than in December, when Christmas season gave some additional free time to use for mapping. I continue uploading changes and modifications to areas where I have both personal GPS tracks and personal field experience with, and I can always find tracks or paths that are either missing of in the need of huge precision (and accuracy) improvements. Hopefully all this effort will pay in the future, in the end, tracks and paths don't change that often (although the hideous housing bubble in Spain has destroyed some of the countryside near to towns and villages all over the place).

What I have also noted in the last few weeks is the usual problem we all have with respect to licensing, fair (and authorized) use of public data, license infringements (third party use of OSM data without even giving credit, etc.). All of us would want a full coverage and full precision OSM database for our country, but we shouldn't try to speed things up importing data into OSM for which we don't have explicit and very clear authorization. We could end up resorting to third party data imported into OSM, that would move people to map other regions, just to later (months, years) realize those data have to be removed, and be in a worse situation than before the import.

We can argue to death and complain about data created from taxpayers having outrageous or non-free licenses, that prevent importing data into OSM, or even free (as in beer) usage from citizens. We can (and we should) ask the public administrations to release most of those information as free, as they are not sensitive or related to national security. We should fight reluctant administrations and keep on trying to get the most free usage licences for that information. We must be polite but demanding, we should comply with current licensing, but at the same time fight for changes. But what we SHOULDN'T do it try to rush things, because in the end it could cause more harm than good.

By the way, although the active OSM community mapping in Spain seems not to be huge, some people are working hard, and improving mapping a lot. There are still lots of work to do, both in mapping coverage as well as in the precision and accuracy fronts, but the situation seems to be improving. Experience and know how is a plus for this project, and productivity can only improve with time. Currently we have been quite busy fixing lots of errors from Aktion 13 (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Aktionen/Aktion_13), and it looks like little is missing at this moment. Some of the missing fixes come from places where there is no very updated (last year or later) imaginery, as said above, the housing bubble and some crazy public expending has greatly changed some areas of the country, and new real estate areas, roads and other things like that have popped all over the place, and there is no good way to map those, or at least, to be sure if the current features mapped are somewhat usable, or errors make those better be ignored that trusted on.

Comment from LivingWithDragons on 5 February 2011 at 13:16

http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?dardhal
But you also shouldn't rush ahead with edits just to get your rank up. :)

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