OpenStreetMap

What is OSM? The best free map of the world

Posted by jremillard on 8 November 2013 in English (English)

What is OSM?

A crowd sourced, free map of the wold, containing information that can be verifiable by ground surveying. What about administrative borders? Probably don't want them removed ....

A crowd sourced, free map of the world. What about imports? We are up to our ears in imported data. That ship has sailed.

Lets not make things more complicated than they need to be.

The best free map of the world.

Comment from Richard on 8 November 2013 at 16:02

Right, and it's a valid question to ask what methodology makes the best free map of the world; and, in particular, whether the community that (everyone agrees) is required to update the map grows best when presented with a 'fait accompli' imported map, or when it's able to evolve the map at its own pace.

You are welcome to draw your own conclusions on that score, but it's worth noting that the two best-mapped countries in OSM are probably Germany and the UK, neither of which has any significant imports.

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Comment from jremillard on 8 November 2013 at 19:03

Neither of which had any choice in the mater. There was no free data to import.

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Comment from chillly on 8 November 2013 at 20:05

When OS Opendata was released (2010) all of the vector data could have been imported, but the UK community resisted it.

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Comment from jremillard on 8 November 2013 at 20:10

2010, kind of late. OSM probably forced OS to release that data.

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Comment from Richard on 9 November 2013 at 08:21

No, Chris is right. We could have imported all of the OS vector data automatically and we chose not to. We could have imported all of NAPTaN automatically; we tried a few bits and chose not to.

The fact that OSM was a (partial) contributor to achieving the OS OpenData release (though the Guardian's Free Our Data campaign and the Cabinet Office's open data initiative were more significant) is hardly relevant. OS OpenData still did (and does) contain a lot of stuff that isn't in OSM and that we could have chosen to import had we wanted to.

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Comment from jremillard on 9 November 2013 at 15:48

OK, let me try this again. This is what I should have said.

Over the past year, I have seen imports done in: US, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Antarctica, HOT (Jordan), and Netherlands. Good or bad, that the current situation. When we are trying to figure out what this project is, any definition that does not match is current reality is probably not optimal.

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