Best way to import city database of bike infrastructure

I want to import SF’s bike infrastructure from their data website, and I can export it in the following formats:
KML,KMZ,Shapefile,Original, GeoJSON (

What is a good approach to quickly importing that data into open street map and properly tagging roads with bike lanes? I am not averse to writing software–just new to the whole mapping thing.

You should start reading :slight_smile:
Then discuss with the local community and see whether they are willing to help.

There are two issues here:

  1. database copyrights;

  2. mechanical imports.

As far as I know, only federal government, in the USA, produces public domain material. The city is likely to hold a copyright on the data, and it is questionable whether anyone, other than the federal government, can put things into the public domain before they naturally enter it. Therefore, you will need the city to license it under terms that are compatible with the OSM licence. The best way is probably if the city itself becomes the owner of the account used to add the data, even if they delegate the actual work of entering it.

Mechanical imports are a sensitive subject, in part because they can easily destroy or duplicate existing data. It is generally considered preferable to provide tools that either highlight discrepancies, or just the lack of data, and then get individual mappers to confirm the information on the ground, and enter it manually.

Thanks for the information. This data has no copyright, sf opendata lists it as: Public Domain Dedication and License.

I agree perhaps creating a tool to highlight the discrepancies and then manually adding them might be better, I am in the city I want to edit so I can confirm it physically myself.

I’d appreciate some guidance on how to go about creating such a tool, what are some existing tools or methods that I could use to highlight the discrepancies?

That dedication is void outside the USA. It may be void inside the USA, as a lot of people say that only the federal government can create public domain material without a delay of several decades. That’s one of the reasons for the existence of Creative Commons CC0 Licence. In particular note the fall back in clause 3.

The position for local government documents seems to vary from state to state, and does seem to suggest that California case law is that there is no copyright.

I can’t be completely sure of the OSM policy on this, but claims of public domain dedications ring alarm bells for me as too many people make them when they are legally void.