At a recent pub meeting mappa-mercia mappers felt that UK OSM contributors are all busy on their own specific projects and apart from the occasional discussion on the talk-gb mailing list don’t really get together as a community. Compare that to the Irish community where there is a real drive on one large project to complete the mapping of townlands by 2016. There’s a real buzz about this with some fantastic tools and data visualisations, chat, problem solving, and a great series of instructional videos. You feel a real part of a community if you participate.
So to try and rectify this we’re starting a campaign in the West Midlands, which we hope will be adopted by mappers all over the UK. Each campaign will last for 3 months – plenty of time to achieve something big, work together as a community on a common goal, whilst leaving you time to work on your own projects alongside.
Task 1: Check that road name!
The first task is to add missing road/street names and to correct misspelled or misnamed roads. Reasoning? This is a basic geographic data requirement for a map and we have some way to go in the UK to achieve completion.Until we complete this we’ll always lack credibility.
This task has been slowly ticking along but it’s currently both lonely and tedious. There’s a great opportunity to get out to some areas that haven’t been touched for some time; come up with some new ideas to involve newer mappers, reactivate mappers who have ceased mapping, possibly even coordinating with housing developers to keep OSM right up to date. And more…. we’re looking for ideas and actions to reach out to develop a community here.
The latest release of OS Locator data gives everyone the opportunity to get out there and chase down the latest set of road name revisions. ITOworld’s OS Locator tracker shows us at 98.14% completion. There are 14,639 major issues and 2,125 minor issues (mostly involving the use of apostrophes). (You need to register to use this tool).
If we take the end of the quarterly project as March 31st 2015 we need to correct 197 road names a day to achieve completion. We’re so close, if we get enough momentum this is achievable. Even if we only double the current rate of completion that would be a big slice off the target and we’ll have started to build ourselves into a community that does things together.
Watch out for more blogs, posts and chat about this project. All ideas discussion and action welcome!