Re: [osm-nyc] Bicycle Parking points

From: Skye B.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:22 AM
To add a bit more into the import discussion, we would also need to check the licensing terms from NYCDOT before importing anything.  NYC DoITT, who effectively publishes what the other agencies create, keeps a tight enough leash on the data that makes its use legally ambiguous at best.

For what its worth, when I've had to contact them they do pick up the phones and usually know the letter of the law but not necessarily the spirit.  I haven't engaged them at all on the OSM question as I feel outright asking would get it pushed up to a lawyer and likely come back as a no.  I think OSM in New York has a better chance of collaborating with GIS folks working within the city who are as interested in open data as we are.  In short, its a policy shift that the city needs.

On Jul 18, 2012, at 11:11 AM, Serge wrote:


Thanks for the feedback; your real world experience is really vital to this discussion.

It took me a long time to really have a solid grasp on why imports are so problematic,
but you've touched on a few of the prominent reasons, so I want to explore it a

On Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:53:28AM -0400, Chris Mcnally wrote:
That is because as of 2009, there may have only been one or two racks, but 2010 and
2011 were big years for bike rack installation.  I noted that node[masked] was
accurate, and also contained some good info about the size of the rack and node
[masked] is accurate but it says 24 West 13th street, and I am not sure if that is

Given what you've said, what's the right thing to do?

Do you make a new bike rack node?

Do you fix the existing node?

Do you do something else entirely?

I have been adding and editing bike rack location in NYC for months now and I can
tell you if the DOT would update their data it would be so much easier for me to
import it.

If you re-import the DOT data, you now have to do conflation, and this is where OSM
and imports really fail.

So let's say that in the above case, you made a new node representing the bike racks
you found.

How will the import process know that your data (the node you added) is present?

Using more technical language "What can we use to conflate the two datasets?" and once
you do conflate them, what do you do if there's a difference in the data? Eg you've
said there are 4 bike spots, but the DOT data says there are 2?

So if you aren't sure what the right answer is, then do you make changes at all? That
is, knowing there's going to be an import may actually de-incentivize you from making
the change yourself!

Further complicating the issue, even between governmental datasets, it's often the
case that the IDs are not kept between processes. That is ID 1000 in dataset 2012 may
not be the same object 1000 as it was in dataset 2009.

It's a real mess, and it's why a lot of old timers like myself are pretty down on

- Serge

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