I’ve been digitizing a lot of building footprints and parking lots in the last week or so, in preparation for an upcoming mapping party in Falls Church, VA. User [OpenBrian] (http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/OpenBrian) has advocated this technique as a means for making the editing/tagging phase of the mapping party more productive. The theory (I think) is that it simplifies the process of transfering field notes onto some pre-existing geometric shape. I’m beginning to see that it maximizes the effectiveness of arm-chair mapping as well, since even the most familiar of landscapes have easily-overlooked details that require a site visit.
So, to test this out I’ve added a considerable amount of detail to commercial and institutional buildings along Lee Highway starting in Falls Church and proceeding east into Arlington. I typically add the building footprint, adjacent parking lots and parking aisles. Later I’ll add business/institutional names, addresses, and other useful information as time permits, typically one or two at a time.