OpenStreetMap

Dorm OSM tutorial

Posted by Minh Nguyen on 4 February 2009 in English (English)

Tonight I organized a brief tutorial on contributing to OpenStreetMap at my dorm. My dormmates raised some good questions that I didn’t have the answers to off the top of my head. One of the questions was whether there was a way to tag historical features that are now gone. Besides railroad rights-of-way and the old_name key, I couldn’t think of a general way to map features that are entirely gone. I also fielded the standard questions about vandalism.

Location: 37.424, -122.166

Comment from Mappo on 4 February 2009 at 11:20

I'm also interested in historical mapping. Particularly since out-of-copyright maps are available to trace from it seems a shame to not trace the parts that have since been demolished or built over too. It should also provide the opportunity for nice animations of city growth over time.

Comment from sargas on 12 April 2009 at 21:05

Sorry to comment on an old post, but there is historic=yes

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 12 April 2009 at 21:35

To follow up, recently there’s been talk on the U.S. mailing list of using a :historic suffix after certain keys, since the recent GNIS import added countless numbers of historical churches and schools without proper tagging (but often with “(historic)” in the name).

Comment from Harry Wood on 12 October 2011 at 14:56

"way to map features that are entirely gone"? Mostly the answer is "no". Depending on how intrusive this data is, you might get away with adding it, but it's not really encouraged. Some of the prevailing thoughts on the topic can be found on Question: Does OSM use any historic data? or want to? The question does come up a lot. It's the kind of thing which could be catered for quite well if somebody made a serious attempt at setting up a parallel database project re-using OSM technology, but it would be a lot of work to take on the thorny technical challenges around how a time dimension would appear in editors and on the map. Also there's a few social collaboration challenges which OpenStreetMap simplifies by only mapping things are verifiable (This includes the requirement that the things still exist. You can go there and look at them)

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