Some questions on OLM and best practices

Ok, where to begin? :laughing:

I’m new to OSM as of yesterday, although i’ve been aware of the project for a while. The issues with the G1 phone (Google pulling the plug on an otherwise perfectly good navigational program due to map licensing issues) brought me back to help. needs better data…

First off, the forum is difficult to find. I’ve already been on irc because i didn’t see a link for a forum. I know this is a known issue–just wanted to cast my vote toward more obvious linkage.

Second, it’s a very impressive project. Kudos to everyone who has made it happen.

Third, as far as best practices go:

  • It turns out my region has all the buildings added as areas from an external database. Is there a need to keep POI (points of interest) in OSM as points (nodes) or is using an area equivalent? I ask because it appears that some renderers (napnik) don’t show e.g. place_of_worship if a building (area) is tagged as the amenity instead of a point. I guess that’s somewhat of an answer in of itself, but–is the renderer at fault or the map data in such a case?
  • Is it ok to double functionality? For example, when a subway entrance is also a bus depot entrance, should one use two separate points to mark them? Osmarender renders it as two co-incidental icons, which seems less than ideal, while mapnik renders nothing at all (no subway icon?!).
  • Speaking of all this imported data (tiger, massgis), are these one-time imports into OSM? If i fix/change something, is it going to get clobbered/duplicated in the future when a new import from the database is made? If someone could please point me to where i can read about how this is managed… I r nub. :smiley:

Thanks for whatever guidance you can offer.

Edit: Might as well put my findings here for other US/New England/MA users

Have a bit of an answer to my own #3. However, it seems that others are having the same questions i have, and whoever knows the answer isn’t talking:

One-way transfer to OSM. TIGER is a US national database that is occasionally revised. There is discussion about how to best go about including updated TIGER data.

The most recent discussion of updating TIGER:

National db. Full country import completed March 09. Considered fairly low-res and possibly imprecise in position; however, GNIS is the authoritative database for names. GNIS-tagged features should be corrected for position and especially name. GNIS may be updated at some point based on OSM edits. (Possibly two-way transfer.)
See discussion:


A one-way transfer; more information exists that wasn’t imported.

I thought tiger data was updated irregularly for the US census, like once in 2000 and another time know in 2006. Or something like that.

Hmmm, maybe “every year” isn’t right. I changed the wording, but there is a new TIGER data set for 2008 that was released at the end of the year, FWIW.

Anybody have comments on the other two questions? :slight_smile:

This is an issue that many user already mentioned for a rather long time. But it seems the responsible people who can do modifications to the OSM main website don’t think that it is so necessary … :confused: I would be very happy when a link to the forum is listed on the main site!

Another point is that the searchbox for places on the main site is positioned so deep down at the page that when you have a small screen like many netbooks you are always forced to scroll down when you want to enter something in the search box.

A better solution was integrated in the wikipedia site layout many month ago.

Greeting !

A comment on question #2 given here:

Also, for anyone looking for answers to questions about OSM. I’ve discovered that, as annoying as it is in this decade, the mailing list is really where you’ll probably have to go.