US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

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US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

brad
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

Brad


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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Ian Dees
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

brad
Ian,
I want to import this data because I think its important for a complete map.   We have national forest, wilderness  and national park boundaries in OSM!   This is no different.   If you look at many maps they show all of them.

I'd like it to show up on any map that I use.   I'm working on a 'better' version for garmin using mkgmap.   I hope it gets rendered with OpenAndroMaps too.   I haven't used the onine osm.org map very much.

I am excited to participate and improve OSM and in my opinion this is a big gap in the OSM database.   Where I live, we don't use OSM for building footprints, we use it to find our way in the national forest, the BLM land and the national parks.   It's very useful to know what is public or private land.

Brad

On 1/5/19 8:19 PM, Ian Dees wrote:
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?


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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Joseph Eisenberg
This data is no less verifiable than national forest boundaries and federal wilderness boundaries; these generally need to be checked against official sources, just as BLM boundaries will.

Municipal boundaries are perhaps even harder to verify than boundaries of BLM land and National Forests in some States.

But I wonder about using boundary=protected_area and class 27 for BLM land. While this fits with the wiki definition of “land owned by the public/government”, it’s odd to include this under protected_area, and it is not specific.

If you are adding BLM lands that have any specific protection or planned usage it would be good to try to find more specific classes, when possible.

There was a comment about this on the wiki discussion page: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Tag:boundary%3Dprotected_area#Relationship_of_public.2FGovernment_and_protection
On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 12:45 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
Ian,
I want to import this data because I think its important for a complete map.   We have national forest, wilderness  and national park boundaries in OSM!   This is no different.   If you look at many maps they show all of them.

I'd like it to show up on any map that I use.   I'm working on a 'better' version for garmin using mkgmap.   I hope it gets rendered with OpenAndroMaps too.   I haven't used the onine osm.org map very much.

I am excited to participate and improve OSM and in my opinion this is a big gap in the OSM database.   Where I live, we don't use OSM for building footprints, we use it to find our way in the national forest, the BLM land and the national parks.   It's very useful to know what is public or private land.


Brad

On 1/5/19 8:19 PM, Ian Dees wrote:
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Ian Dees
On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 10:42 PM Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
This data is no less verifiable than national forest boundaries and federal wilderness boundaries; these generally need to be checked against official sources, just as BLM boundaries will.

Municipal boundaries are perhaps even harder to verify than boundaries of BLM land and National Forests in some States.

Those things shouldn't be in OSM either. They make it harder for people to map and are out of date the moment the data is converted. If you want to see this information on a map, it's available from the original source for you to add to your own map. It's the same sort of data that can not be improved by the community, so It doesn't belong in OSM.

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Martijn van Exel-3
In reply to this post by brad
Brad — I make use of BLM / NPS / NF boundary data a lot too. I use Gaia GPS for this, which overlays this data nicely with what’s in OSM[1]. There are lots of other outdoor apps that do the same. I prefer this data live outside of OSM as well for similar reasons as Ian stated. Knowing whether land is public or private or whether it’s inside or outside a NP, is important to me when I’m in the outdoors. I would much rather rely on an authoritative definition of these boundaries, than on whatever happens to be in OSM. Since there is no on-the-ground verifiability, boundary data is prone to growing stale, as you can see happening with census place boundaries. Unreliable data in this case is worse than no data at all.
If you’re looking to make a great impact on the map as an outdoors user, I would suggest mapping things you know and things you observe when you’re out there. Countless times have I been out in the middle of nowhere, to find that some mapper before me added a landmark, a water source, or something else that really helped me. That is what I like to pay forward.

Martijn


On Jan 5, 2019, at 8:43 PM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Ian,
I want to import this data because I think its important for a complete map.   We have national forest, wilderness  and national park boundaries in OSM!   This is no different.   If you look at many maps they show all of them.

I'd like it to show up on any map that I use.   I'm working on a 'better' version for garmin using mkgmap.   I hope it gets rendered with OpenAndroMaps too.   I haven't used the onine osm.org map very much.

I am excited to participate and improve OSM and in my opinion this is a big gap in the OSM database.   Where I live, we don't use OSM for building footprints, we use it to find our way in the national forest, the BLM land and the national parks.   It's very useful to know what is public or private land.

Brad

On 1/5/19 8:19 PM, Ian Dees wrote:
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

_______________________________________________
Talk-us mailing list
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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Michael Patrick
In reply to this post by brad


> Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
> boundaries & elsewhere)

BLM manages about 10% of the total area of the United States, and those areas historically have had the least resources dedicated in terms of  mapping. Also, the BLM data is an amalgamation of data from corporate ( mining usually ), various government agencies at local, county, state, and federal levels. This data from other sources may have been incorporated piece meal over many decades, and not updated since ( like 'way back' US Census Tiger line files ). Some of these conflation issues are discussed in this article: https://www.esri.com/news/arcuser/0110/accuracy-precision.html

With any of these datasets, one should read ( and understand ) the metadata associated with the file. For example: https://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/821/downloads/metadata.txt - this had a fairly rigorous QA to fairly current imagery. So it might actually be much better than the existing data in OSM that came from the TIGER import ( which was in turn derived by the US Census from much older data ). The opposite situation can also occur - some BLM data was manually from paper maps.

Exactly what is the decision tree when these issues are encountered? A read through that metadata can give an idea of how they parsed out the issues, for that theme.

For instance, frequently area BLM boundaries follow watercourse, and I do a check against the best available orthophotography and the USGS  3DEP (  https://www.usgs.gov/news/new-elevation-map-service-available-usgs-3d-elevation-program ). Similarly with ridge lines. Boundaries with USDA National Forest and state forest frequently interweave. Also, one theme ( layer ) for an area might be excellent and the other just crap - BLM manages for lots of different uses, and some just get more attention than others.

There's a high, a middle, and a low road here - most likely for low end expediency you'd just leave any existing OSM lines in place even if they varied considerably, and just import any BLM information if it didn't already appear in OSM, in the middle you'd pick the best and adjust the OSM data where it was considerably different, and the high would be a thorough effort. 

At one point there was a plug-in for openJUMP called RoadMatcher that might be useful, last I looked the tools in qGIS were lagging. ESRI sells a 'personal edition' version of ArcGIS for a $100 that has extensive tools for these tasks, it becomes worth it in about two hours.

Just curious ... what makes those 'extraneous ways at state boundaries',  extraneous?

> Clean up as necessary...

So, I guess I'd be interested in how you get to the necessary. The BLM data covers an area about half the size of Europe.

Michael Patrick
Data Ferret








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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

AlaskaDave
In reply to this post by Martijn van Exel-3
Ian Dees wrote:

>"Those things shouldn't be in OSM either"

Are you implying that because such boundaries (National Forests, National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges) are non-verifiable by OSM mappers they don't belong in OSM? If so, wow!

I live in Alaska where about 60% of the land area is included in one or the other of these categories and I firmly believe they must be included in OSM. No, the boundaries aren't verifiable nor are they particularly accurate but actually nothing we put into OSM is accurate within several meters at best. If I add a National Wildlife Refuge having a total area of thousands of sq. kilometers and boundary errors amount to a few dozen sq km, for example, that doesn't bother me one bit. At least it's there for people to see. I'm really not looking for super accuracy; what I want are the visible outlines of those protected areas, be they rough estimates or not. OSM makes no warranty concerning accuracy. If you want to build a home near a NP or NWR boundary you'll need a surveyor; our rough boundaries won't serve for that purpose.

Can you elaborate on your statement, please?

Dave

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 2:05 PM Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
Brad — I make use of BLM / NPS / NF boundary data a lot too. I use Gaia GPS for this, which overlays this data nicely with what’s in OSM[1]. There are lots of other outdoor apps that do the same. I prefer this data live outside of OSM as well for similar reasons as Ian stated. Knowing whether land is public or private or whether it’s inside or outside a NP, is important to me when I’m in the outdoors. I would much rather rely on an authoritative definition of these boundaries, than on whatever happens to be in OSM. Since there is no on-the-ground verifiability, boundary data is prone to growing stale, as you can see happening with census place boundaries. Unreliable data in this case is worse than no data at all.
If you’re looking to make a great impact on the map as an outdoors user, I would suggest mapping things you know and things you observe when you’re out there. Countless times have I been out in the middle of nowhere, to find that some mapper before me added a landmark, a water source, or something else that really helped me. That is what I like to pay forward.

Martijn


On Jan 5, 2019, at 8:43 PM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Ian,
I want to import this data because I think its important for a complete map.   We have national forest, wilderness  and national park boundaries in OSM!   This is no different.   If you look at many maps they show all of them.

I'd like it to show up on any map that I use.   I'm working on a 'better' version for garmin using mkgmap.   I hope it gets rendered with OpenAndroMaps too.   I haven't used the onine osm.org map very much.

I am excited to participate and improve OSM and in my opinion this is a big gap in the OSM database.   Where I live, we don't use OSM for building footprints, we use it to find our way in the national forest, the BLM land and the national parks.   It's very useful to know what is public or private land.

Brad

On 1/5/19 8:19 PM, Ian Dees wrote:
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

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--
Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

brad

Joseph,   I'm not stuck on class 27, but as you say, that fits the definition on the wiki.   I should probably look for other specific protection in the attributes and translate that somehow.   Mostly it's just grazing and recreation land.   Anything such as wilderness or monument would definitely be tagged as such.

Martijn,  Gaia is not available on a Garmin, or on a PC.  It also costs $40 a yr.   Why do you trust Gaia as an authoritative source?   How often do they update from government sources?   BLM boundaries do not change very often.  Probably less often than city/town boundaries.     For an authoritative source, I have national forest maps that are 10 - 20 years old.  A download today from a federal database is way better than that and in 5 years will probably still be just as good.    In relatively sparsely populated areas, on the ground verification does not work as well as it does in the city.    If we make OSM more useful for more people then more folks will get involved.     

Michael,   You bring up some good questions which I don't have the answer for yet.   I would get started with what you call the low road, state sized or smaller pieces at a time.  A quick look at the boundaries around me show none that follow a watercourse or a ridge, they are all straight lines and and square corners.  The extraneous ways at state boundaries look like artifacts from cutting up a larger database into state size chunks.  There was no polygon, or a skinny polygon associated with those artifacts.  I'm guessing that there is BLM land in the adjacent state.

Dave, Thanks for being a voice of reason! 

Brad


On 1/6/19 3:36 AM, Dave Swarthout wrote:
Ian Dees wrote:

>"Those things shouldn't be in OSM either"

Are you implying that because such boundaries (National Forests, National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges) are non-verifiable by OSM mappers they don't belong in OSM? If so, wow!

I live in Alaska where about 60% of the land area is included in one or the other of these categories and I firmly believe they must be included in OSM. No, the boundaries aren't verifiable nor are they particularly accurate but actually nothing we put into OSM is accurate within several meters at best. If I add a National Wildlife Refuge having a total area of thousands of sq. kilometers and boundary errors amount to a few dozen sq km, for example, that doesn't bother me one bit. At least it's there for people to see. I'm really not looking for super accuracy; what I want are the visible outlines of those protected areas, be they rough estimates or not. OSM makes no warranty concerning accuracy. If you want to build a home near a NP or NWR boundary you'll need a surveyor; our rough boundaries won't serve for that purpose.

Can you elaborate on your statement, please?

Dave

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 2:05 PM Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
Brad — I make use of BLM / NPS / NF boundary data a lot too. I use Gaia GPS for this, which overlays this data nicely with what’s in OSM[1]. There are lots of other outdoor apps that do the same. I prefer this data live outside of OSM as well for similar reasons as Ian stated. Knowing whether land is public or private or whether it’s inside or outside a NP, is important to me when I’m in the outdoors. I would much rather rely on an authoritative definition of these boundaries, than on whatever happens to be in OSM. Since there is no on-the-ground verifiability, boundary data is prone to growing stale, as you can see happening with census place boundaries. Unreliable data in this case is worse than no data at all.
If you’re looking to make a great impact on the map as an outdoors user, I would suggest mapping things you know and things you observe when you’re out there. Countless times have I been out in the middle of nowhere, to find that some mapper before me added a landmark, a water source, or something else that really helped me. That is what I like to pay forward.

Martijn


On Jan 5, 2019, at 8:43 PM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Ian,
I want to import this data because I think its important for a complete map.   We have national forest, wilderness  and national park boundaries in OSM!   This is no different.   If you look at many maps they show all of them.

I'd like it to show up on any map that I use.   I'm working on a 'better' version for garmin using mkgmap.   I hope it gets rendered with OpenAndroMaps too.   I haven't used the onine osm.org map very much.

I am excited to participate and improve OSM and in my opinion this is a big gap in the OSM database.   Where I live, we don't use OSM for building footprints, we use it to find our way in the national forest, the BLM land and the national parks.   It's very useful to know what is public or private land.

Brad

On 1/5/19 8:19 PM, Ian Dees wrote:
Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.

I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge from the official source.

But having said that, I'm curious why you wanted to import this data? Did you want to have it show up on the osm.org map? Are you trying to build a custom map? Or are you excited to participate and improve OSM? If it's the latter, there's lots of other data that is a better fit to import into OSM: address points and building footprints come to mind, for example.

-Ian

On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 9:03 PM brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd like to import BLM (US Bureau of Land Management) boundaries into
OSM.    This is not an automated import as you can see from my workflow.

Workflow:
Download shape file from PADUS (1 state at a time):
https://gapanalysis.usgs.gov/padus/data/download/
Load into Qgis and filter for BLM boundaries
Clean up as necessary (there are some extraneous ways at state
boundaries & elsewhere)

Convert to OSM with ogr2osm and the following tags
     tags.update({'type':'boundary'})
     tags.update({'boundary':'protected_area'})
     tags.update({'operator':'BLM'})
     tags.update({'ownership':'national'})
     tags.update({'protect_class':'27'})
     tags.update({'source':'US BLM'})
     use the shapefile attribute 'Unit_Nm' as the name

Import with JOSM

The San Luis unit (CO) is here for your inspection.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qxv5gny2396ewki/sanLuisBLM.osm?dl=0

Comments?

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Mark Wagner
In reply to this post by Ian Dees
On Sat, 5 Jan 2019 21:19:10 -0600
Ian Dees <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Brad, thanks for proposing this import and posting it here.
>
> I would strongly prefer that we not import boundaries like this into
> OSM. Boundaries of all sorts are almost impossible to verify with
> OSM's "on the ground" rule, but BLM boundaries in particular are such
> an edge case (they have no other analog in the world, really) and
> almost never have apparent markings on the ground to check. Since
> these boundaries aren't visible, this data can never be improved by
> an OpenStreetMap contributor. The boundaries are defined by the
> government, and any sort of change to them would make them diverge
> from the official source.

I don't know about BLM land in general, but I was able to verify a
large portion of Fishtrap Recreation Area
(https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6154436) by tracing fence lines
and looking for "No Trespassing" signs.  I suspect most of the other
BLM rangeland can be mapped this way as well.

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

stevea
In reply to this post by brad
On January 6, 2019 at 7:50:44 AM PST, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Joseph,   I'm not stuck on class 27, but as you say, that fits the definition on the wiki.   I should probably look for other specific protection in the attributes and translate that somehow.   Mostly it's just grazing and recreation land.   Anything such as wilderness or monument would definitely be tagged as such.

I agree with this approach, especially "look for other...attributes and translate (them)."  However, this is not something Brad "should probably" do, it MUST be done to correctly import these data:  each parcel must be examined as to its landuse (in the generic sense, not the OSM tag) and assigned an appropriate protect_class, especially if it is not 27.  The protect_class key may not render today (though, Carto will hopefully "fix" this with likely progressively improving methods in the future), that is a separate issue I specifically point out so additional tags (such as leisure=nature_reserve) do not get added superfluously ("tagging for the renderer") to make them "appear."  Beware this slippery slope, knowing that even a perfect, completed BLM import will (today) be essentially invisible in virtually all renderers.  The data being in the map is a good goal, even while rendering them can be put off until another day (though, not forever).

> Martijn,  Gaia is not available on a Garmin, or on a PC.  It also costs $40 a yr.   Why do you trust Gaia as an authoritative source?   How often do they update from government sources?   BLM boundaries do not change very often.  Probably less often than city/town boundaries.     For an authoritative source, I have national forest maps that are 10 - 20 years old.  A download today from a federal database is way better than that and in 5 years will probably still be just as good.    In relatively sparsely populated areas, on the ground verification does not work as well as it does in the city.    If we make OSM more useful for more people then more folks will get involved.

As a segue from my recent comments on USA rail being about 40% done (over a decade since their nationwide TIGER import), with such challenges (importing nationwide data such as BLM boundaries) come great responsibilities.  To repeat:  we imported "all" (that TIGER had) of US railroad data and here we are, eleven, twelve years later at about 40% completion of reviewing, improving and reporting on their status.  Such nationwide tasks (in the USA) are Herculean efforts, though breaking things up into wikis / efforts at a state level has proven effective (if relatively slow, it does make logical sense given state DOTs create rail inventory / planning reports every so often, which help a lot).  Should this BLM data import progress, Brad needs to know how large an elephant this is to eat.  I began similar importation of national forest (and wilderness, national grassland...) data in California between 2012-3 but abandoned doing so, as the effort simply overwhelmed my ability to either do this myself or do it with the coordinated effort of other OSM volunteers.  I cannot emphasize this enough:  to do and manage these kinds of national-level data management tasks is an absolutely huge undertaking and I speak from extensive experience at either attempting or (partially, successfully, unsuccessfully) completing two or three of them (national rail, national bicycle routes, NF/Wilderness/BLM/other federal lands).

> Michael,   You bring up some good questions which I don't have the answer for yet.   I would get started with what you call the low road, state sized or smaller pieces at a time.  A quick look at the boundaries around me show none that follow a watercourse or a ridge, they are all straight lines and and square corners.  The extraneous ways at state boundaries look like artifacts from cutting up a larger database into state size chunks.  There was no polygon, or a skinny polygon associated with those artifacts.  I'm guessing that there is BLM land in the adjacent state.

I enthusiastically encourage an initial pilot project of a single state-at-a-time's worth of data.  It is far easier to scale up (or abandon) something you can bite and chew (and swallow and digest) rather than try to scale down a disastrous import that is so large you (and OSM) choke on it.

> Dave, Thanks for being a voice of reason!  

I also agree with Dave's and Brad's assertions that these data belong in OSM.  Publicly-owned BLM lands afford numerous recreational, educational and other opportunities, similar to leisure=park, leisure=nature_reserve and related areas.  Denoting where these are with recent federally published data is in complete harmony with other sorts of boundaries in OSM.  But there is wishing or agreeing that the data belong, then there is doing a high quality job of importing and maintaining them.  The former is relatively easy, the latter is actually quite difficult, though it can (and imo should) be done.

SteveA
California
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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Martijn van Exel-3
In reply to this post by brad
Brad — 

My reference to Gaia GPS was meant to illustrate that third party apps are perfectly capable of overlaying data from various sources. Just because a data source exists doesn’t mean that it should be in OSM. On the ground verifiability has always been the gold standard for OSM, and I feel strongly about keeping it that way. We have departed from that gold standard somewhat already, especially when it comes to administrative boundaries.

Another argument for keeping this data out of OSM comes to mind. In many places, OSM has come to be the most complete map out there. OSM data is now used by major companies and organizations, and is therefore increasingly seen as ’the truth’. With that comes scrutiny and responsibility. We have already seen the project drawn into political disputes that are not ours to take a stance in. To give one recent example, our representation of the Ukraine / Crimea border recently drew sharp criticism and unneeded negative attention to OSM that could easily have been avoided. I’m not saying that public lands boundaries in the U.S. are to be compared with international conflicts, but public lands are in fact under heavy scrutiny here in the West, and incorporating these boundaries into OSM would just generate another attack vector we can do without.

If you want a Garmin map that incorporates both OSM data and boundary data from BLM or other federal or state sources, there are great ways to accomplish that goal, and I would be happy to help with it.

Martijn

On Jan 6, 2019, at 8:50 AM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Martijn,  Gaia is not available on a Garmin, or on a PC.  It also costs $40 a yr.   Why do you trust Gaia as an authoritative source?   How often do they update from government sources?   BLM boundaries do not change very often.  Probably less often than city/town boundaries.     For an authoritative source, I have national forest maps that are 10 - 20 years old.  A download today from a federal database is way better than that and in 5 years will probably still be just as good.    In relatively sparsely populated areas, on the ground verification does not work as well as it does in the city.    If we make OSM more useful for more people then more folks will get involved.      


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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Michael Patrick
In reply to this post by brad

> Joseph,   I'm not stuck on class 27, but as you say, that fits the definition on the wiki.   I should probably look for other specific protection in the attributes and translate that somehow.   Mostly it's just grazing and recreation land.   Anything such as wilderness or monument would definitely be tagged as such.

"Multiple uses under BLM management include renewable energy development (solar, wind, other); conventional energy development (oil and gas, coal); livestock grazing; hardrock mining (gold, silver, other), timber harvesting; and outdoor recreation (such as camping, hunting, rafting, and off-highway vehicle driving). ... 36 million-acre system of National Conservation Lands (including wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, national monuments, national conservation areas, historic trails, and wild and scenic rivers); protecting wild horse and burro rangeland; conserving wildlife, fish, and plant habitat"

Also agriculture. Burning Man's Black Rock City is leased from BLM under an Special Recreation Permit (SRP). ... " crop harvesting, residential occupancy, recreation facilities, construction equipment storage, assembly yards, well pumps, and other uses." So, even though it might be BLM, it could also be under a 50 year lease to a commercial entity, so for all intents and purposes be regarded as private property - like massive solar ( 19 million acres  ) and wind ( 20 million acres  ) energy farms. I seem to recall a Nevada brothel was at one time operating on BLM land with a lease and permit - pretty much, as long as you don't leave the land damaged and it doesn't interfere with other planned uses, you can get a lease.

Just saying, one class isn't going to do it. Mostly, 'exploited', not 'protected'.

Michael Patrick
Data Ferret




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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

AlaskaDave
Absolutely agree with your assessment of the management style of the BLM, Michael. In Alaska, BLM land is literally crisscrossed with ATV trails. It's a travesty but there's nobody around to enforce the rules and the amount of land under BLM's "care" is truly humongous. Unmanageable, even without a government shutdown.

On Tue, Jan 8, 2019 at 10:05 AM Michael Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Joseph,   I'm not stuck on class 27, but as you say, that fits the definition on the wiki.   I should probably look for other specific protection in the attributes and translate that somehow.   Mostly it's just grazing and recreation land.   Anything such as wilderness or monument would definitely be tagged as such.

"Multiple uses under BLM management include renewable energy development (solar, wind, other); conventional energy development (oil and gas, coal); livestock grazing; hardrock mining (gold, silver, other), timber harvesting; and outdoor recreation (such as camping, hunting, rafting, and off-highway vehicle driving). ... 36 million-acre system of National Conservation Lands (including wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, national monuments, national conservation areas, historic trails, and wild and scenic rivers); protecting wild horse and burro rangeland; conserving wildlife, fish, and plant habitat"

Also agriculture. Burning Man's Black Rock City is leased from BLM under an Special Recreation Permit (SRP). ... " crop harvesting, residential occupancy, recreation facilities, construction equipment storage, assembly yards, well pumps, and other uses." So, even though it might be BLM, it could also be under a 50 year lease to a commercial entity, so for all intents and purposes be regarded as private property - like massive solar ( 19 million acres  ) and wind ( 20 million acres  ) energy farms. I seem to recall a Nevada brothel was at one time operating on BLM land with a lease and permit - pretty much, as long as you don't leave the land damaged and it doesn't interfere with other planned uses, you can get a lease.

Just saying, one class isn't going to do it. Mostly, 'exploited', not 'protected'.

Michael Patrick
Data Ferret



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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Kevin Kenny-3
In reply to this post by Michael Patrick
On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 10:05 PM Michael Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
> "Multiple uses under BLM management include renewable energy development (solar, wind, other); conventional energy development (oil and gas, coal); livestock grazing; hardrock mining (gold, silver, other), timber harvesting; and outdoor recreation (such as camping, hunting, rafting, and off-highway vehicle driving). ... 36 million-acre system of National Conservation Lands (including wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, national monuments, national conservation areas, historic trails, and wild and scenic rivers); protecting wild horse and burro rangeland; conserving wildlife, fish, and plant habitat"
>
> Also agriculture. Burning Man's Black Rock City is leased from BLM under an Special Recreation Permit (SRP). ... " crop harvesting, residential occupancy, recreation facilities, construction equipment storage, assembly yards, well pumps, and other uses." So, even though it might be BLM, it could also be under a 50 year lease to a commercial entity, so for all intents and purposes be regarded as private property - like massive solar ( 19 million acres  ) and wind ( 20 million acres  ) energy farms. I seem to recall a Nevada brothel was at one time operating on BLM land with a lease and permit - pretty much, as long as you don't leave the land damaged and it doesn't interfere with other planned uses, you can get a lease.
>
> Just saying, one class isn't going to do it. Mostly, 'exploited', not 'protected'.

All that 'BLM land' says is 'this land is owned by the US Government'
- generally because it was Government-owned at the time that a state
was admitted to the Union and hasn't been sold since.

Some BLM land - about 145,000 km² - is 'conservation land' in some
way, and some small sliver is special recreation land.  But large
amounts are simply leased, to mining and drilling companies, cattle
ranchers and farmers, solar and wind energy companies, private
residences, basically, any land use that the Government agrees to.
Some, if not most of these leaseholds are exclusive, so that a ranch
can run barbed wire, put up posters, and treat it as private property
for as long as the lease runs and it pays the rent. (Some timber
leases explicitly require public access in areas that are not actively
being logged.)

Given the political controversy surrounding the BLM (in some Western
states, the BLM owns a majority of the land and the inhabitants resent
it), I'd tend to steer away from a wholesale import. I would think
that a pilot project could start with an import of land in one
specific, limited category of particular public interest (such as
wilderness areas or recreation areas) and use that to study issues of
integration and conflation. Restricting to wilderness or recreation
areas is also safer since these are relatively stable, rather than
other land uses that could change entirely with the next leaseholder.
Most other BLM land designations could be used only to inform
landuse=*. The land in many cases does not enjoy any form of legal
protection. It is simply owned by the government, and any protection
is simply by the policy of the agency that manages a particular parcel
and could change with the stroke of a pen.

Clearly, no land use is 100% guaranteed stable, and the fact that
something might change tomorrow is ordinarily not a reason to refrain
from mapping it today. Nevertheless, given that the justification for
an import is usually that the project lacks sufficient staff to map
the features being imported, importing features that are known to be
volatile seems imprudent.

I say this as someone who has done imports from databases of
government-owned land. In both the rework of New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation lands, and the import _de novo_ of the
New York City watershed lands, I restricted the import to particular
categories. I specifically excluded New York City lands that are
closed to the public (I could have mapped them as
boundary=protected_area protect_class=12 access=private, but decided
that they simply were neither sufficiently verifiable nor of
sufficient public interest to pursue.) Similarly, I excluded several
classes of New York State lands such as private conservation easements
and the bizarre category of "Forest Preserve land underwater".

It's much easier to go back later and import more than it is to
recover from a botched import.

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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

brad
I'm going to start close to home, extend that to the state of CO, & see
how it goes.
I've done quite a bit of recreating and boondock camping on BLM land and
I've never come across any that are leased exclusively, altho I'm sure
there are some.    It's more of a rarity, than 'most of'.

Politically, your comment that the inhabitants resent BLM ownership is a
gross generalization.   I'd say that the majority of western inhabitants
do not resent it.

On 1/8/19 9:15 AM, Kevin Kenny wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 7, 2019 at 10:05 PM Michael Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> "Multiple uses under BLM management include renewable energy development (solar, wind, other); conventional energy development (oil and gas, coal); livestock grazing; hardrock mining (gold, silver, other), timber harvesting; and outdoor recreation (such as camping, hunting, rafting, and off-highway vehicle driving). ... 36 million-acre system of National Conservation Lands (including wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, national monuments, national conservation areas, historic trails, and wild and scenic rivers); protecting wild horse and burro rangeland; conserving wildlife, fish, and plant habitat"
>>
>> Also agriculture. Burning Man's Black Rock City is leased from BLM under an Special Recreation Permit (SRP). ... " crop harvesting, residential occupancy, recreation facilities, construction equipment storage, assembly yards, well pumps, and other uses." So, even though it might be BLM, it could also be under a 50 year lease to a commercial entity, so for all intents and purposes be regarded as private property - like massive solar ( 19 million acres  ) and wind ( 20 million acres  ) energy farms. I seem to recall a Nevada brothel was at one time operating on BLM land with a lease and permit - pretty much, as long as you don't leave the land damaged and it doesn't interfere with other planned uses, you can get a lease.
>>
>> Just saying, one class isn't going to do it. Mostly, 'exploited', not 'protected'.
> All that 'BLM land' says is 'this land is owned by the US Government'
> - generally because it was Government-owned at the time that a state
> was admitted to the Union and hasn't been sold since.
>
> Some BLM land - about 145,000 km² - is 'conservation land' in some
> way, and some small sliver is special recreation land.  But large
> amounts are simply leased, to mining and drilling companies, cattle
> ranchers and farmers, solar and wind energy companies, private
> residences, basically, any land use that the Government agrees to.
> Some, if not most of these leaseholds are exclusive, so that a ranch
> can run barbed wire, put up posters, and treat it as private property
> for as long as the lease runs and it pays the rent. (Some timber
> leases explicitly require public access in areas that are not actively
> being logged.)
>
> Given the political controversy surrounding the BLM (in some Western
> states, the BLM owns a majority of the land and the inhabitants resent
> it), I'd tend to steer away from a wholesale import. I would think
> that a pilot project could start with an import of land in one
> specific, limited category of particular public interest (such as
> wilderness areas or recreation areas) and use that to study issues of
> integration and conflation. Restricting to wilderness or recreation
> areas is also safer since these are relatively stable, rather than
> other land uses that could change entirely with the next leaseholder.
> Most other BLM land designations could be used only to inform
> landuse=*. The land in many cases does not enjoy any form of legal
> protection. It is simply owned by the government, and any protection
> is simply by the policy of the agency that manages a particular parcel
> and could change with the stroke of a pen.
>
> Clearly, no land use is 100% guaranteed stable, and the fact that
> something might change tomorrow is ordinarily not a reason to refrain
> from mapping it today. Nevertheless, given that the justification for
> an import is usually that the project lacks sufficient staff to map
> the features being imported, importing features that are known to be
> volatile seems imprudent.
>
> I say this as someone who has done imports from databases of
> government-owned land. In both the rework of New York State Department
> of Environmental Conservation lands, and the import _de novo_ of the
> New York City watershed lands, I restricted the import to particular
> categories. I specifically excluded New York City lands that are
> closed to the public (I could have mapped them as
> boundary=protected_area protect_class=12 access=private, but decided
> that they simply were neither sufficiently verifiable nor of
> sufficient public interest to pursue.) Similarly, I excluded several
> classes of New York State lands such as private conservation easements
> and the bizarre category of "Forest Preserve land underwater".
>
> It's much easier to go back later and import more than it is to
> recover from a botched import.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-us mailing list
> [hidden email]
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Re: US Bureau of Land Management Boundaries

Kevin Kenny-3
On Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 11:48 brad <[hidden email] wrote:
I'm going to start close to home, extend that to the state of CO, & see
how it goes.
I've done quite a bit of recreating and boondock camping on BLM land and
I've never come across any that are leased exclusively, altho I'm sure
there are some.    It's more of a rarity, than 'most of'.

Ok. I knew exclusive leases exist, not how usual they are. I've other correspondents who've complained about what they see as a trend toward such arrangements. I personally have the good fortune to live in New York, which has very little Federal land, but a wealth of state-protected land whose protection is enshrined in the state constitution.

Politically, your comment that the inhabitants resent BLM ownership is a
gross generalization.   I'd say that the majority of western inhabitants
do not resent it.

Careless editing! I even thought while typing that message that I needed to go back and change 'the' to 'some' - but clearly didn't do it!  Sorry! Still, one of our political parties has latched onto the issue. (Obviously, not all members of any party share all its leaders' opinions.) In any case, it's undeniable that a political controversy exists and has garnered media attention.

In any case, in general we map land use, land cover and land access, not land ownership. Of course, those attributes often follow property lines, so cadastre has a way of coming along for the ride, but the focus should not be on the ownership. There's no consensus about whether cadastre should be in OSM at all, but boundaries for public-access facilities such as parks are widely tolerated.  (Hardliners would exclude all cadastral data, including boundary=administrative, but they appear to be a relatively small minority.) Tagging with landuse=farmland/meadow/forest/..., with or without natural=wood/grassland/heath/scrub/moor/... would be appropriate (assuming that either the use or the cover is coterminous with the parcel), as would leisure=nature_reserve if passive recreation in nature is the parcel's purpose. Boundary=protected_area is appropriate if and only if the protection status is known. For at least some BLM lands, there is not significant protection; it's 'working land' that happens to be government-owned. (alaskadave's comments notwithstanding, this last sentence is not intended to be a comment, for well or ill, on BLM's stewardship.)

Hey, whad'ya know... I even wikified something about that... https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Parcel#Parcel_data_as_a_secondary_source . I don't remember writing that, but I still agree with it.

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