Zero tolerance on imports

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Zero tolerance on imports

Richard Fairhurst
This is getting crazy.

Exhibit 1:

"Whoever imported CanVec in Aylmer, Quebec obliterated hours of work and introduced hundreds of errors. #osm #openstreetmap #whybother"

Once again, some keyboard jockey has decided that his l337 import skills are better than the knowledge and hours of work by a local mapper. The offender appears to be user 'sammuell' by the look of it - http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/sammuell - though he hasn't posted anything about his activities on the user page, the wiki, or indeed anywhere.

This is killing OSM. We are not here to provide a free API to government geodata that can be obtained trivially elsewhere. OSM is all about "added value"; by deleting genuine surveyed data in favour of mindless duplication of other datasets, we are _destroying_ value.

From what I can tell (talk-ca postings etc.) 'sammuell' is a fairly inexperienced OSMer who presumably thinks "this is how things are done". It isn't. How do we stop this impression taking hold? How do we explain that imports are _not_ welcome except as a last resort, and if you do them, you _must_ follow a very, very rigorous set of guidelines?