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Mappy Hour - June 2014

What is OpenStreetMap all about? How can you improve the map in your neighbourhood, and why would you? Mappy Hour is all about questions and answers. Friends and maps.

Join us to learn how to contribute to the OpenStreetMap project. And learn how the OpenStreetMap data can help you.

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  • TazmnDvl

    I'd like to say the meetup yesterday was very interesting. It was great to see such a diverse community of mapping enthusiasts get together and discuss their passions. As the Manager of Geomatics at the City of Mississauga I learned a few things. I still like to boil down issues around open data to responsible, ethical release of appropriate data. Not everything on the ground is true. Addresses are a good example, anyone can put up a house or business number, regardless of whether the address is true or not. As an author/creator of data, accuracy, completeness and currency of the data is of paramount importance. What data to release is no less important. In the example I gave above, many people cling to address number regardless of what risk they present to the public at large (delivery of EMS). As another example, the CIty has an extensive Natural Area Survey. Release of the location of flora and fauna (at risk) would expose those habitats to increases in foot traffic, and stress..

    June 3, 2014

    • Laura O.

      I recently explored the Toronto open data web site using a boundary file, data on social housing and ambulance stations locations. I mapped this in ArcGIS and exported it in PDF format:

      https://www.dropbox.co...­

      I admit this is an “issue-based” map that draws attention to the proximity of Toronto Social Housing units to ambulance stations (with the caveat that other important data, such as hospital locations is missing). What resulted was a fairly “busy” map. If I had dumped this into OSM much of it may not have been rendered due to saturation and layer issues (see my above comment).

      There have been initiatives in which the OSM community has expanded into with varying success (e.g. http://www.openhistor...­ and (http://openstreetview...­ )). I’m not sure whether or not OSM is the right place for open data or vice versa. Others more familiar with projects that have expanded on OSM may be better situated to address your query.

      June 3, 2014

  • TazmnDvl

    I'm still interested in figuring out a way where major data creators, such as the City can update OpenStreetMap in a more automated process. As an example, I could easilly extract all 169,000 civic addresses (official addresses). An autoamted process to run through a batch file would be best, but dealing with errors that are in the current base is problematic (see my reference to improper addresses). If anyone wants to work with me to make this happen I'd be only to happy to include such an endeavour within our current Open Data working group. The same could also apply to updating all City facility amenities within a given city property. We have the data, lots of data. Making this work properly is more important than simply making the data available to a well meaning community who devotes their private personal time to improve the map base for the rest of the user community.

    June 3, 2014

    • TazmnDvl

      my interest is in helping develop a sustainable maintainable model without having to duplicate our current maintenance environments.

      June 3, 2014

    • Laura O.

      If I understand your post correctly your idea is to “dump” open data into OSM, presumably with the intention of building on a robust platform and engaging an existing community to save time /resources. I’m not an expert in the OSM rules or regulations. I will share my experiences on contributing to OSM as an individual and my own exploration with Toronto Open Data.

      When I first began participating in the Toronto OSM community I added names and addresses of 5 or 6 restaurants/ stores east of Jarvis on Front Street. I used Open ID editor at the Open Street Map web site. Some entries showed up on the map. At a subsequent meeting it was explained to me that if an area of the map is “saturated” with entries not all of the information will appear. Further it may depend on what layer the data is entered at. Since then I have entered other data points (heritage plaques in the St. Lawrence area) with similar results. Some showed up, some didn’t.

      June 3, 2014

  • TazmnDvl

    Finally, it was interesting to hear that although the City of Toronto espouses Open Data, that their license requires citing them as a source and that they reserve the right to "pull" data back at any time. I guess it's not so open after all.

    June 3, 2014

    • Stewart C. R.

      That was their old v1 licence. The new one is better, but still includes all sorts of IP protection so isn't entirely useful. CC-0 would have been better.

      June 3, 2014

    • TazmnDvl

      Thanks for the clarifications

      June 3, 2014

  • Laura O.

    Interesting convo as always

    June 2, 2014

  • Dimitri P.

    Great event. Next time we should stick more to OSM topics though. Got a little carried away today

    June 2, 2014

  • Joseph Z.

    Sorry today will not be able to meetup

    June 2, 2014

    • Richard W

      See you next time, Joseph. Thank you for updating your rsvp.

      June 2, 2014

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