Tagless points and lines in Greenbelt, MD

Just to update people here:

The import catalogue has been updated. That links to this page. The licence is https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which is a potential problem (see also this LWG blog post).

I’ve asked here for a waiver, and given that the importer either is or is very close to someone who can issue such a waiver, I hope that that won’t be a problem.

The other thing that hasn’t happened is the “discuss” parts of the import guidelines. Clearly that page was never followed in detail or we wouldn’t have got this far down the track with a licence that isn’t appropriate on its own. To be fair, the initial “mailing list discussion” on the import list back in 2018 got no replies at all, although there were some “hello and welcome!” replies on talk-us. Clearly there was a problem seven days ago, or this thread wouldn’t have been created, but if there is anything else related to data quality, conflation, etc. that also needs raising with the importer then I’d suggest doing that directly via changeset discussion comment and also mentioning it here.

Import continues with still a lot of problems. :unamused:
I have commented Changeset: 135166090 | OpenStreetMap and Changeset: 135161789 | OpenStreetMap.

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Addressed in the Changeset comments. Will fix and then fix for future. I am also getting waiver, before future uploads, however, was wondering if that is necessary as we are the owners of the data. It is our data that we generated.


Thanks - it is necessary; it’s for OSM so that we’ve got a licence to point to if anyone asks any questions in the future.

Getting that to you shortly. Also a message was sent directly to you.

Just for info, since I didn’t explicitly point it out above, the blog post I mentioned has a link to a suggested format of cover letter and waiver that could go with the current licence. It is something like that that OSM would need. You might not need to use the cover letter at all of course - just get someone to sign the waiver.

@M-NCPPC_Import How’s the waiver coming along? Do you need anyone else’s help with it?

Where should I post it?

Somewhere on the wiki perhaps? I’d have a look at what other importers have done. Here, for example, is explicit permission granted for OSM to use some Polish government data. Personal email addresses have been removed from that (which makes sense), but the link to the data that it refers to have been left in. I’d also link to your OSM account to tie up that loose end too, without revealing your email address.

One more thing - this page was last updated in 2019. We know that whatever process you were following wasn’t really good enough because this thread got created (but you have embarked on a substantial tidy-up of the problems, so thanks for that).

However, I definitely think that it would be useful to reread https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines and think about what else you need to do. This section is presumably intended to be covered by this, but something went horribly wrong in the execution.


I will update this as well! I have shifted the process from the ArcGIS editor, back to the JOSM process described in the page. I will continue to clean up imported data with JOSM. I appreciate all the input from the community to help improve the import process.

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Alas, it seems that despite the nice words above it seems that communication with this mapper has not occurred. I’ve commented on https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/135426971 saying this:

"Hello M-NCPPC_Import,
As suggested over at https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/tagless-points-and-lines-in-greenbelt-md/97992/31 you need to stop now.
To summarise:

  • you’re still importing new data without a licence waiver in place.
  • you still haven’t discussed this import with the community properly so that people can check what you are going to do
  • you are still importing obviously incorrect data like a “30 foot high shed” https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1166123026 .
    If you don’t stop this import voluntarily we will block the account and revert what you have imported so far.
    Best Regards,
    Andy Townsend, on behalf of OSM’s Data Working Group."

I even find a lot of building=Yes from previous edits like Changeset: 134078131 | OpenStreetMap. Did not check unconnected nodes but the internal review strategy needs to be discussed, too, and prior to importing new objects, all previously made changes should be fix.

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I would actually avoid any further data changes until we have (a) a licence waiver in place and (B) an approved plan to proceed.

Without a licence I’m going to have to revert/redact anyway, so patching up errors would literally be a waste of time.

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I have had the waiver linked in the import log. As a policy the county does not issue individual waivers, however has a blanket waiver, which has been linked:

I am attempting to follow the import guidelines. I assumed that because I have shifted my workflow from ArcEditor to JOSM, as I had mentioned in this discussion, that I would be okay to continue my imports.

Let’s take this one step at a time. Addressing the licence and waiver first…

  • You need to update https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/M-NCPPC_Planning_Department so that the licence and waiver is explicitly described there.
  • You need to explain there how a waiver that says “Esri waives…” is OK. Is Esri the originator of the data, or is the Planning Department of Prince George’s County?

Once that it is resolved we can move on to some of the other issues that have been raised. Please don’t do any more editing until all of these issues are sorted out.



Just to update you. We are working on each item of the import guideline and will not proceed with any imports/updates to OSM until each item has been addressed. I will let you know when these items have been addressed, giving a chance for feedback, before imports proceed. I have been communicating with other individuals within the OSM community, which I believe you helped facilitate, and have received some guidance on the import process.



Link to Waiver



The license waiver is in place and all tag issues mentioned by Elliott Plack in Slack have been addressed, along with other changes mentioned by Skyper in changeset comments. For example, the “roof:shape” tags will only contain lowercase values, and “building=yes” will only contain lowercase values. Height values in feet have been converted to meters. All unnecessary fields have been removed from the data before the import. My workflow is now in JOSM, so the validator can be used before the import. I have also updated the M-NCPPC wiki page with all information for this import and will follow the steps outlined on the page.

At this point, I believe that all steps of the Import guideline have been followed. If there is anything else that you believe needs to happen, please let me know. Before I continue with the import of NEW buildings, I will identify any other imports that have not had QC performed and address any other issues.