…and now I’m stuck with Kid Rock’s Cowboy song in my head. I had planned on doing something in Chattanooga and time has grown too short. So I’m most likely going to pick an area I’ve been to (maybe where my dad grew up) and work on the map. So – get your 10 gallon hat on and stay up as late as you can – in my case maybe 1 or 2 if I’m good.
This a training event. Helping people learn more about editing OpenStreetMap editing is an important part of the mission. Whether it’s your very first edit, or you’re swapping power mapping pro-tips, please come along to meet and work with other OpenStreetMap friends face-to-face!
The mission is to make simple improvements to data in the U.S. This is a an “armchair mapping” project, meaning we are seeking to make simple improvements using aerial imagery, and refining the low quality imported data. The U.S. is a good part of the map to do this. We can safely make these kinds of improvements in many areas without too much danger of disturbing valuable on-the-ground mapped contributions, but please be aware of armchair mapping guidelines, and seek assistance if you are unsure.
Types of armchair mapping edits to make in the U.S.
- TIGER fixup – This is the main information resource to refer to, on the kind of data fixup that is required. TIGER is the original data import of every road in the U.S. it is of widely varying quality in different areas, with pockets of extremely poor alignment, and newer residential developments being missing. The TIGER Edited Map shows where data has not been touched since the original import.
- MapRoulette – A fantastic new tool which will be very useful for Operation Cowboy. It jumps you to random connectivity bug, but it’s important to note that many of these are also landing you in an area of low quality TIGER data, so while it’s quick to fix the connection problem, you can spend much longer fixing up the surrounding area.
- NHD – It’s worth understanding the nature and limitations of the Hydrographic data (rivers) which is another import of dubious quality. It’s not hard to find areas where large rivers are missing or broken and failing to show up on the map due to data bugs, even near populated areas.
- GNIS – There has been an import of nodes representing schools, hospitals, parks, cemeteries, lakes, and several other types of features from GNIS. This data is usually accurate although there are cases of non-existant/closed-down features being imported. As an armchair mapping task though, it’s usually helpfully to spot features in the imagery and convert GNIS import nodes to areas (copying over all tags) See USGS GNIS#Converting GNIS Nodes to Areas