scruss has commented on the following diary entries

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Not Yours, OpenStreetMap 12 days ago

I'm a (sometime) ham radio operator. Hams have been writing “Ham radio is dying!!!!1!!” screeds for the last 70 years or more. It's still here. It's changed a bit, but it's still here. It's survived total shutdowns due to world wars, but come back. It's expensive, time-consuming, semi-futile and the community can sometimes be entirely toxic, yet it persists. In between the noisy gatekeepers and public nuisances there are good, innovative and kind operators.

OSM is much the same. It'll only die when there aren't enough contributors to write “OSM is dying!!!!1!!

Maybe it's your interest in OSM that's dying. If so, that's okay. You contributed for a while, and now it's not fun any more. These things happen. OSM can't compete with commercial web mappers. That's okay too. Maybe you'll come back when it seems like fun again. I hope so.

This, That & The Other about 1 month ago

Nope, Warin61 - these are real roads, as logged in the national roads database.

Building an inclusive map - OSM and gender discussion 2 months ago

Thanks, Heather! The mailing lists get extra-special fighty and aren't a great way of finding a welcoming community.

MeFi weighed in on why Cartography is democratizing but not equitable.

multilingual names in Canada 9 months ago

Not looking for feuds at all, James — just surprised that there's nothing codified for OSM in Canada.

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist over 1 year 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 over 1 year 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 over 1 year 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? over 1 year ago

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

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist over 1 year 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 over 1 year ago

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

The Great Canadian Mailbox Heist over 1 year 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 over 1 year 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 over 1 year 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 (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 over 1 year 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 domain …

Let's Talk Local at the Global State of the Map over 1 year 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 almost 2 years 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 … almost 2 years ago

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

MAPS.ME is now an editor about 2 years 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 users?

Volunteered Geographic Information … why, that's us! about 2 years 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 over 2 years ago

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