OpenStreetMap

scruss has commented on the following diary entries

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The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist about 2 months ago

… and I finally hear their decision: they refused.

The gist of it is that they feel that disclosing mailbox locations would:

  1. provide commercial advantage to Canada Post's competitors; and
  2. be a disclosure of Canada Post's confidential information.

I'm frankly O_o about these reasons. I mean: mailboxes are bright red things left out in the street in highly visible locations so that you can find them to use Canada Post's delivery service. How could they be confidential? Not even the Underpants Gnomes could come up a business plan to drive Canada Post out of business by mailing things. Sheesh.

I can appeal, and I will. I suspect the real reason is that Canada Post just doesn't want to go to the bother of opening data.

Rail Crossing Warnings Are Sought for Mapping Apps 2 months ago

True, but we have the data, and it's readily available. So for app providers not to provide it could be classed as negligence — oh wait, what was I thinking? Software developers taking responsibility for anything? Sheesh!

Building local mapping communities 3 months ago

This is great. There's a lot we can all do locally - even in huge countries with tiny communities like Canada

Does this look like a theme park to you? 4 months ago

Some are commercial, others are municipally-owned. landuse=commercial is too broad.

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist 4 months ago

Had a call from the Manager, Access to Information and Privacy at Canada Post this morning. It seems that most rural mailboxes are documented as human-friendly addresses, and not geocoded. I've agreed that my request should be limited to:

Please provide all current geographic locations in the region of GTA for public (outgoing) mailboxes. Canada Post does not provide this information on its website. Please use a suitable computer-readable format, as I intend to add these locations to OpenStreetMap.

Crowdsourcing oops 4 months ago

I'd refer you to this discussion: [Talk-ca] City of Ottawa imported buildings & addresses

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist 5 months ago

(further update: I've just sent an ATI request to Canada Post. I'll keep you all, um, posted …)

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist 5 months ago

That might be the sensible thing to do, but they do have a cost recovery mandate, so anything that incurs costs will likely need an internal business plan.

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist 5 months ago

Good to know. Canada Post is still a government body (a “Crown Corporation”). They haven't been very good about open data, entering a lawsuit against geocoder.ca (now settled on unknown terms).

I think I'll try the "polite request" approach first before going for a full-on FOI request (if we even have the ability to FOI in Canada). Most Canadian Crown Corps are bound by cost-recovery requirements, so this might cost me.

Tell me about your username 5 months ago

scruss has been my nickname for 35+ years. If there's a scruss on the internet, it's me, except for some kid in Indiana who is sadly deluded and kept telling me to give him my gmail account and scruss.com domain …

Let's Talk Local at the Global State of the Map 5 months ago

There are chapters? I've been an OSMF member for years and didn't even know!

Then again, it's probably good that there aren't any in my country.

Canada Road network 2015 - StatCan Open Data 7 months ago

Statcan aggregate data from NRCan and other sources. So this is only as good as the CanVec and other data sets we already have access to.

Mappers have also found that some of these roads aren't quite right on the ground, and have updated the map appropriately. Similarly, mappers have corrected many connectivity errors in the raw Canadian data set to improve routing. The Statcan data won't have any of these improvements.

I wish I'd known about … 9 months ago

Yes, I knew about that, but it's far more complicated than anything I could ever imagine.

MAPS.ME is now an editor 11 months ago

You said: So, every MAPS.ME user that edits the map submits their confirmed e-mail, so you can contact them. It works, as I have contacted some of the users during the beta testing.

So are you saying that edits are coming in from people who are not registered as OSM users, but are maps.me users?

Volunteered Geographic Information … why, that's us! about 1 year ago

To various points:

  • Yes, the assumption that volunteer data is of lesser quality is annoying. I should reach out to CIPPIC and point them to research like Anita Graser's OSM quality assessment with QGIS: positional accuracy. Got any other links?

  • In a Canadian court, if the three tests described in When would a VGI website be liable in negligence for inaccurate information? were met, then the mapper could be found liable. If in the unlikely case of a link between that mapper and OSM(F) being found, then they too could be liable. The article makes the point that a licence disclaimer alone is **not* sufficient*.

  • Canadian municipalities must publish/maintain up-to-date maps, by law. Any phantom details in OSM knowingly supplied or left uncorrected and used by municipalities could open them to liability. ‘Could’ is the operative term here; there are no precedents, as the article says.

  • Regarding the Darwin comment, almost everything you think you know about the Stella Liebeck case is wrong.

Map Maker Canada schadenfreude about 1 year ago

I don't know how, but there are features that appear to be point-for-point the same in Map Maker as OSM.

West Street Blues about 1 year ago

I used Talky Toaster's exports a couple of years ago. They had their own shortcomings, not least their routing being very weak (though very scenic).

Shame about the address source problems. I usually map addresses from my own street surveys. Food hygiene open data is a good source, and we're looking at that in Toronto for OSM — though Canada jealously guards the copyright of its postal code data, so we have to look elsewhere for that.

OpenStreetMap Power Mapper Survey about 1 year ago

Good project. Wish we could do the same in Canada, but we don't have federal energy policy.

West Street Blues about 1 year ago

It's in the OpenMapChest garmin extract that gives the location as “W ST”. It's fine in the database, but is clearly being munged by the conversion script.

If you look at the changeset that included those restos, you may find a familiar user name … I don't have a reliable free source of address data for the UK, so I didn't add them. Slightly surprised that there aren't even address ranges for these locations. I was under the impression that the UK was pretty sorted for mappers and Ontario was a bit crap, but if you can't even find a decent curry using OSM …

Village Curry House is very good, btw.

The most inefficient way in North America about 1 year ago

Of course it would be a CanVec way. Most of Northern Canada is horrid land use squares, all at the maximum node limit, splitting up lakes and real features. It's almost impossible to edit, and likely never will be corrected.