"The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

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"The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Oleksiy Muzalyev
This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:

Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"

https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/


"The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps"

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/02/16/2216228/the-future-of-free-and-open-source-maps


I actually read the article, and though it has got insightful
information and interesting ideas, I have doubts about some suggestions.

For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some
commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a
month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the map.

I also skeptical of massive imports from governments' databases. These
databases were created in the last century, with outdated tools,
sometimes by disinterested underpaid clerks, probably in a climate of
secrecy of that era. And such an import may replace the quality data
from modern satellite imagery, GPS traces, surveys, etc.

Best regards,

O.


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Maarten Deen
On 2018-02-17 10:56, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:
> This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:
>
> Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"
>
> https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/

Interesting that he mentions that "the proprietary mapping world has
continued to improve in data quality".

In the Netherlands I see the opposite for google maps. Sure, they may
have improved their coverage in areas that were badly mapped of old
(Africa, Asia) and I'm sure this can be contributed to OSM, but where
Google starts to go haywire is in the properly mapped areas.
New roads appear weeks even, months after they are finished (Netherlands
A5 or the roundabout at Joure where Google even now gives you an option
over the roundabout that does not exist anymore) but also in names of
places. Google has started to use very quaint and hardly used
translations for cities abroad.
For instance, Ljubljana is now displayed as Laibach, Maribor is Marburg
an der Drau, both German translations at best and not used in the
Netherlands. Or a few even weirder ones in france, a place called Oz
just north of l'Alpe D'Huez is now called Oostzijde (eastside) or
Oradour-sur-Glane which shows as "Bloedbad van Oradour-sur-Glane"
(bloodbath of Oradour-sur-Glane)

No, I don't make these up. In my eyes these things are a lot more
serious than a perceived general malaise in OSM. Because other than in
OSM, as you correctly point out, I can not change these incorrect items
in Google. I can halfheartedly issue a defect but the reporting process
is flawed in itself and the general feeling is that noting is done with
those reports.

No, I don't see a bleak future for OSM, instead, I the quality of (in
this case) google maps slipping. That does not mean that the future of
google maps is in danger, Google as more than enough money to throw at
it. But to think that this free open thing with no money is hitting a
dead and the the closed thing with lots of money is thriving is also not
true.

Maarten

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Tomas Straupis
In reply to this post by Oleksiy Muzalyev
2018-02-17 11:56 GMT+02:00 Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:
> For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some
> commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a
> month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the map.

  This is an expected problem with the process:
  edit->review->map*

  But a different approach:
  edit->map->review
  is already used and shows very good results when done properly:
  a) only changesets of new users are to be reviewed
  b) only reviewers can review changesets
  c) if a user has created x new objects (1000?), he/she is
automatically promoted to "reviewers" from "new users".
  d) new changests go into FIFO que which is later reviewed. After
being reviewed by at least one reviewer changeset is taken out of the
que in order to avoid double-work
  e) possibility to "subscribe" to new changesets in your region of
interest (should not be restricted to bbox, but countries, regions
etc.)

* "map" - here means objects appear in a database, on a map etc.

--
Tomas

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Michał Brzozowski
In reply to this post by Oleksiy Muzalyev
The emacsen's blog post is spot on. I see it as a call for change from a person who genuinely cares about OSM, not a bitter rant.

When you say A and the world says B, it maybe well worth considering that B is the way to go. 

I think many other people share his views, but were afraid to voice it, just because of being told "that's the way we do things".

Sure we can't have all of what he outlined, but doing even half of it would really benefit us.  What was sufficient in 2008 may need to be adjusted in 2018.

The great challenge is not of technical, but rather political nature.

I see hope in local communities. They bridged the gap with their tools, maps and promotion efforts. But this doesn't mean OSMF has to slack off. If only more of talented and, most importantly, motivated people from local chapters would want to drive OSMF forward...

Changing your mission statement is not acknowledging you were wrong. It's acknowledging the world has changed or maybe has different needs.

All in all it's not about blaming each other, but working towards our common goal of mapping the world freely.

Michało

17.02.2018 11:03 AM "Oleksiy Muzalyev" <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:

Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"

https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/


"The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps"

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/02/16/2216228/the-future-of-free-and-open-source-maps


I actually read the article, and though it has got insightful information and interesting ideas, I have doubts about some suggestions.

For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the map.

I also skeptical of massive imports from governments' databases. These databases were created in the last century, with outdated tools, sometimes by disinterested underpaid clerks, probably in a climate of secrecy of that era. And such an import may replace the quality data from modern satellite imagery, GPS traces, surveys, etc.

Best regards,

O.


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

john whelan-2
I think there are some valid points but change is hard and needs a lot more resources than we have available at the moment.

HOT has a validation process but if you look at their projects its rarely used and when it is a new mapper has been permitted to validate.

OSM has come as far as it has with a bottom up approach.  It's worked fairly well to get us to this point.  However it is now apparent that a look at the architecture and funding might be worthwhile.

It's noticeable that there are a number of clean up projects at the moment.  Place names and telephones in Canada, some work on classification of unpaved highways by Fernando Trebien so some things are happening.

Having said that there is a lot of inertia to overcome even if we could decide what would be best.

Possibly a technical working group to identify areas that could be improved or even if we were to start over again how would we do it from a technical point of view?  Funding would be a different problem.

Cheerio John

On 17 February 2018 at 06:58, Michał Brzozowski <[hidden email]> wrote:
The emacsen's blog post is spot on. I see it as a call for change from a person who genuinely cares about OSM, not a bitter rant.

When you say A and the world says B, it maybe well worth considering that B is the way to go. 

I think many other people share his views, but were afraid to voice it, just because of being told "that's the way we do things".

Sure we can't have all of what he outlined, but doing even half of it would really benefit us.  What was sufficient in 2008 may need to be adjusted in 2018.

The great challenge is not of technical, but rather political nature.

I see hope in local communities. They bridged the gap with their tools, maps and promotion efforts. But this doesn't mean OSMF has to slack off. If only more of talented and, most importantly, motivated people from local chapters would want to drive OSMF forward...

Changing your mission statement is not acknowledging you were wrong. It's acknowledging the world has changed or maybe has different needs.

All in all it's not about blaming each other, but working towards our common goal of mapping the world freely.

Michało

17.02.2018 11:03 AM "Oleksiy Muzalyev" <[hidden email]> napisał(a):
This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:

Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"

https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/


"The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps"

https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/02/16/2216228/the-future-of-free-and-open-source-maps


I actually read the article, and though it has got insightful information and interesting ideas, I have doubts about some suggestions.

For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the map.

I also skeptical of massive imports from governments' databases. These databases were created in the last century, with outdated tools, sometimes by disinterested underpaid clerks, probably in a climate of secrecy of that era. And such an import may replace the quality data from modern satellite imagery, GPS traces, surveys, etc.

Best regards,

O.


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Eugene Alvin Villar
On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:53 PM, john whelan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Possibly a technical working group to identify areas that could be improved or even if we were to start over again how would we do it from a technical point of view?  Funding would be a different problem.

I believe the now-defunct Strategic Working Group (https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Strategic_Working_Group) is what you are looking for?

~Eugene

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

john whelan-2
I think that highlights the point on the limited resources available on the resource side.

What we have sort of works.  Could it be better?  Most probably.

The JOSM editor is very nice but it runs over JAVA and JAVA has been recognised as a security problem and it not recommended for many corporations.

Something in Visual Basic sorry Visual Studio Express might be more acceptable.

Most commercial coding these days is done in Visual Studio for good reasons.  To change the database architecture and the associated infrastructure is a fairly large change.  There is a lot of investment in what we have but on the other hand the most valuable bit of what we have is the data and that can moved across.

Will it happen.  Probably not.  Normally what causes this sort of change is money.  Things like support costs, what do we do when the guys who know this stuff disappear?  Can we demonstrate the code is clean and reliable?  I don't think there is anyone looking at these sort of things.

Cheerio John

On 17 February 2018 at 09:45, Eugene Alvin Villar <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:53 PM, john whelan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Possibly a technical working group to identify areas that could be improved or even if we were to start over again how would we do it from a technical point of view?  Funding would be a different problem.

I believe the now-defunct Strategic Working Group (https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Strategic_Working_Group) is what you are looking for?

~Eugene


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

James-2
except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++ is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.

On Feb 17, 2018 10:56 AM, "john whelan" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I think that highlights the point on the limited resources available on the resource side.

What we have sort of works.  Could it be better?  Most probably.

The JOSM editor is very nice but it runs over JAVA and JAVA has been recognised as a security problem and it not recommended for many corporations.

Something in Visual Basic sorry Visual Studio Express might be more acceptable.

Most commercial coding these days is done in Visual Studio for good reasons.  To change the database architecture and the associated infrastructure is a fairly large change.  There is a lot of investment in what we have but on the other hand the most valuable bit of what we have is the data and that can moved across.

Will it happen.  Probably not.  Normally what causes this sort of change is money.  Things like support costs, what do we do when the guys who know this stuff disappear?  Can we demonstrate the code is clean and reliable?  I don't think there is anyone looking at these sort of things.

Cheerio John

On 17 February 2018 at 09:45, Eugene Alvin Villar <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:53 PM, john whelan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Possibly a technical working group to identify areas that could be improved or even if we were to start over again how would we do it from a technical point of view?  Funding would be a different problem.

I believe the now-defunct Strategic Working Group (https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Strategic_Working_Group) is what you are looking for?

~Eugene


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Nicolás Alvarez
In reply to this post by Oleksiy Muzalyev
El 17 feb. 2018, a la(s) 06:56, Oleksiy Muzalyev <[hidden email]> escribió:

> This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:
>
> Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"
>
> https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/
>
>
> "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps"
>
> https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/02/16/2216228/the-future-of-free-and-open-source-maps
>
>
> I actually read the article, and though it has got insightful information and interesting ideas, I have doubts about some suggestions.
>
> For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the map.

There is a big technical problem with reviews too, which is conflicts. Currently you get an edit conflict if someone makes another change to the same objects after you download map data and before you upload your changes; but usually that's a short period of time.

If changes are held for review and only "merged" back to the main database after they were reviewed, conflicts can happen if there is an edit between downloading the original data and someone approving your change, which could happen days or weeks later. Thus, such conflicts will be a lot more frequent. Who will resolve the conflict? The editor or the reviewer? And will we need some very smart software to try to auto-resolve some kinds of merge conflicts?

The other obvious problem is: do we have enough experienced and motivated people to do the reviews and keep up with the rate of incoming changes?

Finally, will this need tiering of users? If experienced users can make changes bypassing the review process and/or only experienced users can review other people's changes, who decides when you get the "experienced" flag and under what criteria?


All this also makes me think that the individual points of the blog post may need to be discussed separately. It's not a single all-or-nothing proposal, it's a list of mostly-independent identified problems, and some are more feasible to solve than others.

--
Nicolás
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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Mike N.
In reply to this post by James-2
On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
> except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is
> a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform.
> C/c++ is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.

That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform
code and the C# language has an open source reference.

  That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security
issues would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how
well does JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of
indicators.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

James-2
You would need to install mono to run it and not everyone has mono or wants it installed(thats the problem with Virtual Machine languages). We would also have to rename it to Cosm. Doesn't have a nice ring to it ;).

On Feb 17, 2018 1:19 PM, "Mike N" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++ is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.

That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform code and the C# language has an open source reference.

 That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security issues would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how well does JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of indicators.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

john whelan-2
In reply to this post by Mike N.
The JAVA issue comes up as many use work machines and since JAVA has been identified by the US government as a security risk some time ago many organisations do not permit it's installation on their equipment.

Which means in simple terms you can't use the building_tool plugin when mapping buildings and with new mappers that hurts data quality.

Cheerio John

On 17 Feb 2018 1:18 pm, "Mike N" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++ is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.

That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform code and the C# language has an open source reference.

 That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security issues would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how well does JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of indicators.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Nicolás Alvarez
Curiously enough those same organizations and governments then run
Java web apps on their servers. Java isn't a security risk, Java
applets running inside a browser are the problem. And that's blocked
by browsers nowadays.

I don't understand why this is relevant to the original discussion though...

--
Nicolás

2018-02-17 15:27 GMT-03:00 john whelan <[hidden email]>:

> The JAVA issue comes up as many use work machines and since JAVA has been
> identified by the US government as a security risk some time ago many
> organisations do not permit it's installation on their equipment.
>
> Which means in simple terms you can't use the building_tool plugin when
> mapping buildings and with new mappers that hurts data quality.
>
> Cheerio John
>
> On 17 Feb 2018 1:18 pm, "Mike N" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
>>>
>>> except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is
>>> a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++
>>> is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.
>>
>>
>> That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform
>> code and the C# language has an open source reference.
>>
>>  That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security issues
>> would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how well does
>> JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of indicators.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

john whelan-2
JAVA script is used by web sites.  It does not require JAVA to be installed.

JAVA itself may or may not be a security risk the issue is that it has been declared one by the US government in the past and that means many organisations will not permit it to be installed.

Relevant because it is a constraint and has an impact.

Cheerio John

On 17 February 2018 at 13:48, Nicolás Alvarez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Curiously enough those same organizations and governments then run
Java web apps on their servers. Java isn't a security risk, Java
applets running inside a browser are the problem. And that's blocked
by browsers nowadays.

I don't understand why this is relevant to the original discussion though...

--
Nicolás

2018-02-17 15:27 GMT-03:00 john whelan <[hidden email]>:
> The JAVA issue comes up as many use work machines and since JAVA has been
> identified by the US government as a security risk some time ago many
> organisations do not permit it's installation on their equipment.
>
> Which means in simple terms you can't use the building_tool plugin when
> mapping buildings and with new mappers that hurts data quality.
>
> Cheerio John
>
> On 17 Feb 2018 1:18 pm, "Mike N" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
>>>
>>> except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is
>>> a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++
>>> is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.
>>
>>
>> That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform
>> code and the C# language has an open source reference.
>>
>>  That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security issues
>> would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how well does
>> JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of indicators.


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Colin Smale

Java and Javascript have only those four letters in common. They are completely unconnected in all other respects.

 


On 2018-02-17 19:54, john whelan wrote:

JAVA script is used by web sites.  It does not require JAVA to be installed.

JAVA itself may or may not be a security risk the issue is that it has been declared one by the US government in the past and that means many organisations will not permit it to be installed.

Relevant because it is a constraint and has an impact.

Cheerio John

On 17 February 2018 at 13:48, Nicolás Alvarez <[hidden email]> wrote:
Curiously enough those same organizations and governments then run
Java web apps on their servers. Java isn't a security risk, Java
applets running inside a browser are the problem. And that's blocked
by browsers nowadays.

I don't understand why this is relevant to the original discussion though...

--
Nicolás

2018-02-17 15:27 GMT-03:00 john whelan <[hidden email]>:
> The JAVA issue comes up as many use work machines and since JAVA has been
> identified by the US government as a security risk some time ago many
> organisations do not permit it's installation on their equipment.
>
> Which means in simple terms you can't use the building_tool plugin when
> mapping buildings and with new mappers that hurts data quality.
>
> Cheerio John
>
> On 17 Feb 2018 1:18 pm, "Mike N" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 2/17/2018 11:01 AM, James wrote:
>>>
>>> except it wouldnt be multiplatform and only run on windows 🤢🤮. Java is
>>> a better alternative as it's a popular language and is multiplatform. C/c++
>>> is a bit more complicated and not everyone can contribute.
>>
>>
>> That's no longer true - .Net is open source and generates multiplatform
>> code and the C# language has an open source reference.
>>
>>  That being said, Java is quite suitable for JOSM, and the security issues
>> would rarely if ever surface in JOSM.  The big question is how well does
>> JOSM serve as an OSM editor?   Quite well by a number of indicators.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Jakob Mühldorfer-2
In reply to this post by Oleksiy Muzalyev
Thanks for pointing it out to us!

I too have some thoughts on points in the article.
One I agree with, one not

Let me start with this one:
"No Support For Observational, or Other Datasets"
This is the point I agree with.
OSM is missing out on some valuable information due to this strict
"verifiable on the ground" policy.
There is much more to a location, that the things that are currently
there to see and easy to check.
I spent a long time browsing "atomic bomb text explosion sites" that are
currently in OSM, a few people not interested in OSM were also really
excited to see where they happened. But you would hardly be able or want
to verify these?
Same goes for shipwrecks, they are accepted in the database, but how
many people can first hand confirm the Titanic is really at this location?
I myself would also have liked to add a few locations or buildings used
in movies, whoever dislikes such information could just ignore it.
Generally people who are experts in certain fields or have certain
interest could generate a lot of highly interesting information, that
others could learn from and that could also amaze "non OSM" people and
get their interest in the project.

The thing I disagree with is
"OSM's Lack of Layers"
First concern is, that it would really restrict us.
How are you going to connect a highway to a building entrance? Have the
entrance node on one layer, the building layer on another, the highway
on a third, and then have some "relation style" super link across
layers? Same for a ford on a highway over a river, and many more.
Second concern is, that it does not seem to be working in other maps
that have it. Sure, it might more simple to write a few tools, but for
example the map of the big G has illogical collisions of these layers in
almost all parts of the world. Human editors would still need to work in
the context of all layers to avoid these illogical "two features in once
place" errors, and on a software level you would need a whole new set of
complex validation software checking across all layers.

My thoughts on the issues



Am 17.02.2018 um 10:56 schrieb Oleksiy Muzalyev:
> This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:
>
> Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"
>
> https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/
>
>


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Colin Smale


On 2018-02-17 22:02, Jakob Mühldorfer wrote:

Thanks for pointing it out to us!

I too have some thoughts on points in the article.
One I agree with, one not

Let me start with this one:
"No Support For Observational, or Other Datasets"
This is the point I agree with.
OSM is missing out on some valuable information due to this strict "verifiable on the ground" policy.
 

The rule would better be expressed as "verifiable from public sources", so that any member of the public can verify its correctness without being privy to any secret or confidential knowledge. Admin boundaries are a case in point; there is no dotted line across the fields, but the route of the boundary is (usually) a matter of public record and therefore verifiable without privileged access.




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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Milo van der Linden-5
In reply to this post by Maarten Deen
"but where Google starts to go haywire is in the properly mapped areas."

As someone who lives remote in the Netherlands, I can agree to that. DHL, UPS, even ambulances; they are still unable to find my house although I am living here 7 years now.

But, I think OSM is also going haywire in the Netherlands, where we've all been blinded by imports and lack true numbers of mappers to keep the entire country acurate and actual. I have been using maps.me to route from my house to Delft, Leiden, Utrecht and all the way up to Den Helder and I have collected screenshots of strange routing errors that, in my personal opinion, are due to nobody being involved in the road-routing quality in the Netherlands. As routing is one of the basics for self driving cars, this is (and on this I DO agree with the author of the blog) troublesome.

I still think (and I actively tried to send out this message between 2008~2012) that an inclusive community and growing such a community should be one of the focus points of the OSMF.

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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Tobias Zwick
In reply to this post by Oleksiy Muzalyev
I also read this article and I found it identifies some areas in which
(the central infrastructure of) OpenStreetMap could improve.

What I do not like about this article is the deeply pessimistic and
resigned tone of it, like clickbait. It reads like "OSM needs to change
from the core up or else it will be doomed!".

Yeah, I don't think so.

And I do not think that this mode of appeal is that productive. It's
good if it sparks discussions about what we can and want to improve, but
I do not think that it is going to inspire anyone to "save" OSM by
innovating things. This is not how it works in FOSS, and not how
innovation works. AI detections of features from pictures/drone videos
for example is not going to happen because someone writes that we
_really_ need this now to keep up, but because someone is enthused about
the concept (and is able to capture others with that).
Also, Serge maybe doesn't know
https://blog.mapillary.com/update/2015/01/27/traffic-signs.html

That there might be a conflict of interest regarding pulling more
technology and services into the core OSM toolset is an interesting
thought that did not cross my mind before and that may very well be
true. Though on the other hand, I consider the fact that OSM runs on a
"shoestring budget" as something that contributes to OSM's
sustainability: I.e. I observe with concern that Wikimedia apparently
requires more and more money every year to survive.
OSM's minimalistic organizational structure is simply a different
concept than WP.

Regarding the "area" type, I agree that it would be a good improvement
to introduce a more fixed notion of areas in OSM data. To introduce
another data type has quite the ramifications on backward compatibility
but there may be other options. Right now, every single piece of
software needs to maintain an area detection based on tags like this:
https://github.com/westnordost/StreetComplete/blob/master/app/src/main/java/de/westnordost/streetcomplete/data/meta/OsmAreas.java#L13-L28
Naturally, it is different, thus inconsistent, for any piece of software
- and needs to be updated for any tagging scheme that comes up.

If I were to name the biggest challenge for us, it would be the
maintainability of the map data, a topic that he never mentions directly.

Tobias

On 17.2.2018 10:56 AM, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:

> This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:
>
> Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"
>
> https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/
>
>
> "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps"
>
> https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/02/16/2216228/the-future-of-free-and-open-source-maps
>
>
>
> I actually read the article, and though it has got insightful
> information and interesting ideas, I have doubts about some suggestions.
>
> For instance, reviews. I hope it will not come to what there is at some
> commercial maps, when one adds say a building and then has to wait for a
> month that an almighty moderator approves it, so that it appears on the
> map.
>
> I also skeptical of massive imports from governments' databases. These
> databases were created in the last century, with outdated tools,
> sometimes by disinterested underpaid clerks, probably in a climate of
> secrecy of that era. And such an import may replace the quality data
> from modern satellite imagery, GPS traces, surveys, etc.
>
> Best regards,
>
> O.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk


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Re: "The Future of Free and Open-Source Maps" Slashdot.org , Saturday February 17, 2018

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by Maarten Deen


On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:29 AM, Maarten Deen <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2018-02-17 10:56, Oleksiy Muzalyev wrote:
This article is on the front page of the Slashdot today:

Fri 16 February 2018 "Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble"

https://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2018/02/16/osm-is-in-trouble/

Interesting that he mentions that "the proprietary mapping world has continued to improve in data quality".

In the Netherlands I see the opposite for google maps. Sure, they may have improved their coverage in areas that were badly mapped of old (Africa, Asia) and I'm sure this can be contributed to OSM, but where Google starts to go haywire is in the properly mapped areas.
New roads appear weeks even, months after they are finished (Netherlands A5 or the roundabout at Joure where Google even now gives you an option over the roundabout that does not exist anymore) but also in names of places. Google has started to use very quaint and hardly used translations for cities abroad.
For instance, Ljubljana is now displayed as Laibach, Maribor is Marburg an der Drau, both German translations at best and not used in the Netherlands. Or a few even weirder ones in france, a place called Oz just north of l'Alpe D'Huez is now called Oostzijde (eastside) or Oradour-sur-Glane which shows as "Bloedbad van Oradour-sur-Glane" (bloodbath of Oradour-sur-Glane)

 It's just as bad in most of the US.  I covered this extensively on Reddit.

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