Ponte Morandi: why fiddling with the map?

Posted by sabas88 on 14 August 2018 in English (English)

I counted at least 50 changesets in or around the area of the collapsed brigde in my home town, following I assume some news in the mainstream media. I wonder why there’s need to edit further the same object to add little value to the map. People in Genoa already made the necessary changes after watching local news. I deleted the bridge because it will be quite surely removed altogether, what is the point of showing a “collapsed” bridge when the actual bridge segment is in ruins in the waterway below?

When the news will fade, we local mappers will once more take care of the local situation. (which will reflect on the traffic of North-West Italy, but that’s another problem).

Location: Ex Isola Ecologica Campi, Centro Ovest, Genoa, Liguria, Italy

Comment from Rallysta74 on 14 August 2018 at 18:44

Ciao sabas88, intanto ti ringrazio per la mail di risposta ai miei editing in cui ho completato l’inserimento dei tratti di A10 e A7 chiusi al traffico e in particolare gli svincoli di accesso al ponte da est e le uscite e immissioni di Genova Aeroporto. In quel momento ero connesso e la visione che ho avuto dei dati inseriti come access=no era decisamente incompleta e avrebbe potuto generare confusione sui GPS. Nell’augurarti una buona serata rivolgo un pensiero a tutti i coinvolti in questa tragedia. Bruno (Valle d’Aosta)

Comment from sabas88 on 14 August 2018 at 18:51

Grazie Bruno, il tuo è stato uno dei primi edit che sono stati inseriti, ed ho apprezzato commentando il tuo primo changeset. Hai fatto benissimo a chiudere gli accessi autostradali, cosa che poi si è riflettuta nella realtà.

Il problema sono i changeset “esteri” (francesi, tedeschi) che si limitano alle foto aeree e a quanto visto in tv. :-)

Comment from Hjart on 14 August 2018 at 19:45

I’m responsible for one of those changesets :-). I didn’t touch the bridge itself, because I noticed from it’s history that enough people had done that already and I didn’t feel like adding to the (minor) chaos,. I just fixed some minor technical issues near it, because, well, I like to check on how well areas are mapped. Rather than outright delete objects still visible in current imagery, i also like to use lifecycle prefixes to notify other mappers that objects that for some reason doesnt physically exist anymore, wasn’t just “not-yet-mapped” or “mistakenly-deleted”. The Ponte Morandi I would tag collapsed:bridge=yes and leave it like that for as long as necessary (possibly years).

Comment from ImreSamu on 14 August 2018 at 20:09

sometimes I have found an OpenStreetMap links on commenting the news.

like: Hacker News comments

Comment from sabas88 on 14 August 2018 at 20:55

Thanks Samu, I left some comments on HN!

Thanks Hjart, your changeset was good as well, that’s the correct way I try to use when looking at “hot” areas (sorry for the pun)

Comment from LivingWithDragons on 14 August 2018 at 22:57

Hjart makes good points, on providing a note for other mappers (oh how people think aerial imagery is always correct!). News stories pushing us to check OpenStreetMap and maybe help tidy up surrounding area can be good, especially if it might be used or viewed by people wanting to understand the place.

Keeping features mapped that are not routable is still important. I might be hiking or flying, and a partial/collapsed structure could be a good landmark to confirm where I am heading towards the right city, especially if using a static map not a GPS. I might just want to make a local map of the city, and the local map is becoming a feature or talking point. Or I might be interested in searching the world for collapsed and not replaces bridges. OpenStreetMap data is used in many ways, and because a feature isn’t use for a certain use case (e.g. car routing) that shouldn’t be the only reason to delete it.

As for your tweet to this post, “Stop OSMfiddling when there are is a local community please”. I totally agree, when there are strong local communities then it is good for them to lead on making the map perfectly up-to-date for all those people sudden;y looking at their part of the world.

Comment from dieterdreist on 15 August 2018 at 00:47

It is now common that big media events are also reflected on OSM. The reasons for the mappers can be multiple, for example improving the map with more detail as it will be publicly used (media like tv and newspapers) the next days (less relevant in well mapped areas, more important in poorly mapped or unmapped areas). Another reason could be mappers looking at the place, and along the way adding stuff from aerial imagery they see missing (with the potential problem of using global coverage but outdated or inferior quality imagery, compared to what might be locally available)

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