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Structure of the Plan

It would be helpful if the plan were structured more like the Los Angeles, California/Buildings Import documentation. While it's not perfect (relying too much on off-OSM resource like github), it does break up the documentation into helpful sections.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

I got this from the guidelines.( Yes it's not as fancy as new york buildings documentation, but Stats Can was supposed to write the documentation for the import like new york(I'm aware they are like gods of documentation ), not myself James2432 (talk) 05:29, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I hadn't come across that template before. But it seems like a good structure.
I think there's a thing to decide on now, which is a question I can put more generally about using that "plan" template (So I will Talk:Import/Plan Outline). D'you think this page should now become the living document, rewritten to describe the import as it happened. Or should the page be preserved as it is, a "plan" document prepared at a point in time before the import happened?
I see there's a Current Status section been added, which was not part of that template, and which I guess is now out of date (should say the import is all done?!).
What we might do, is just delete that section, side-line this wiki page as a record of "the plan", and create a new page describing the finished buildings import (Include a nice picture of some buildings. State that is has been finished with x number of buildings imported. Describe the task manager process in the past tense. Link the old plan doc).
Looking at the parent page listing datasets, we've got Canada:Ontario:Ottawa/Import/AddressPoints. I guess there might be a twin page describing the building footprints Canada:Ontario:Ottawa/Import/Buildings... or we just merge those into Canada:Ontario:Ottawa/Import/Buildings and AddressPoints and describe the finished import.
Let me know what you think. I would dive in an do some changes like this, but thought I'd better check. I may be misunderstanding something
-- Harry Wood (talk) 22:48, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Commitment to follow the rules

Please ensure that any documentation contains a commitment to follow the Import/Guidelines and Automated Edits code of conduct. These are non-negotiable parts of participation in OSM imports. The Ottawa import very definitely falls under the definition of an Automated Edit.

As previous activities have been flagged by the Data working group, it should be assumed that every edit will now be watched and critiqued from afar.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

We just want to improve our crumby home map, if it involves bureaucratic hoops to jump through so be it James2432 (talk) 04:59, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


While it is generally considered that OGL-CA is acceptable to OSM, the lingering third-party waiver issue is troubling. As the City of Ottawa almost certainly relied on third parties to collect and correct the data, what efforts have the importers made to ensure that OSMF would not face legal claims if a third party could prove that their proprietary data was mixed in with the import?

Please document the “considerable effort and research [that] was made to ensure the licensing was correct”.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Bjenk will send me the signed document Friday when he gets back to the office which would solve this James2432 (talk) 04:48, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Multiple lawyers were contacted by the City of Ottawa before releasing the building outline to make sure that it was compatible with OSM and that they could share the data with the public James2432 (talk) 16:37, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Data permission

Please note that the Canada:Ontario:Ottawa/Import/Permission link refers to incompatible data. You may wish to seek updated permissions. All imports pre-dating the licence change (mid September 2016) should be reverted, as they were done without following the import rules.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

See licence comment James2432 (talk) 04:56, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Data availability

Please post a link to the original outline data and licence file. I can't support an import of data that we can't inspect.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

License is the Govement of Canada Open Data License v2.0
Can be downloaded here:
It is not available anywhere else at the moment as there is a debate on where to host it(Ottawa's Portal, Stats Can, Federal Goverment) this should NOT be a show stopper James2432 (talk) 04:54, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
This doesn't seem to be original data, but json containing OSM tags. What's the source, please? --Scruss (talk) 05:04, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
This might be the source of the data, but it's 3.1 GB of compressed DWG files: Topographic Mapping Data. It will likely be light on attributes if it's really all AutoCAD files --Scruss (talk) 02:28, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Okay, pretty sure now that this is a likely source of the data, but given its age, it might already be in CanVec. My notes from looking at it: - which anyone is free to use/modify. --Scruss (talk) 14:09, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Original File is now available on the city of ottawa website James2432 (talk) 16:40, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Data schema

Please indicate how you will map the fields from the source data to OSM tags. This is a very important part of the process, as it allows users with import experience to make helpful suggestions.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

This will be harder to explain in a high end level(addresses). Essentially the file has one field for street name which includes abbreviations like St, PKW etc. There is a process that substrings and replaces those occurances(we've been working in this for over a year) to their elongated form James2432 (talk)
Looks like the building outlines don't have metadata to speak of, but it looks like it may have elevation attached to the outlines. OSM isn't generally too hot on including elevation, but it is an additional data point you might want to use. --Scruss (talk) 00:46, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
No there is 0 meta data attached to the buildings, see source files on the city of Ottawa website. James2432 (talk) 16:41, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Data quality

If you wish to delete existing buildings, please prove that the city's data is better. We've run into this problem before in Canada: municipalities want to work with us, but only if we overwrite community data with municipal GIS data. We couldn't accept that, as their data is never better in all ways.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Ottawa is just providing us the data, it doesnt care what we do with it. StatsCan doesnt care what geometry is there, it cares more is this building commercial? Does it have wheelchair access? So I dont forsee this as being a problem James2432 (talk) 04:45, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Are you dismissing my issue, or something else? --Scruss (talk) 05:07, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I was commenting on "municipalities want to work with us, but only if we overwrite community data with municipal GIS data." As for deleting objects I think I have addressed this in another comment(we wont). As for Ottawa's data being better? It's traced from 30cm nader(straight on) imagery, much more precise than anything bing or mapbox can provide(Especially in orleans: nice clouds everywhere on Bing) James2432 (talk) 05:35, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Data deletion

While you will likely be able to show that some imported outlines are more accurate than existing tracings, please don't delete/overwrite community contributions. Also, under no circumstances delete anything other than bad building outlines or erroneous address points. The reverted import deleted Address Interpolation ways (example: Way History: 69590585) that other OSM users rely upon.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with this, until we have every address on the street which would be another discussion. James2432 (talk) 05:03, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for agreeing not to delete data. --Scruss (talk) 05:07, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Process comments

The three stage “Import Buildings/Import Addresses/Merge Addresses” process appears cumbersome. Could the import and merge stages be combined offsite, rather than adding lots of edit history?

What steps are you taking to avoid address point duplication? Other municipal imports may have addressed this and have tools available to help.

Is it correct to assume that address points outside a building can be moved over a building?

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

We thought about that, but Ottawa data is a mess. Sometimes on a terraced home you will have one address outside the building in the backyard and one inside the building. This would mean invalid merging of data. As well as spatial joins being complexe enough, we didnt want to have add another level of validation on top of the work
By placing addresses where they are supposed to be(on buildings) any straggling duplicated address should be squashed by the person using JOSM.
Yes, it's very easy to determine where addresses go from sat imagery combined with building outlines. They are usually just outside the polygon or in the backyard(if they are not spot on the building(80% of the time))
James2432 (talk) 05:25, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


I'm unfamiliar with this term. Who are OSMCanada? Do they claim special standing? I do hope that no representations have been made to the City of Ottawa or Statistics Canada that “OSMCanada” have authority to import data or speak for OSM process beyond being who we all are: just some people who happen to contribute to OSM.

--Scruss 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

OSMCanada are people who run the name comes from) in no way do we think we are an authorative source. We are osm contributors, it's just easier to refer to the osmcanada team to not leave anyone out. James2432 (talk) 04:41, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

How can we help?

The Ottawa/Gatineau import pilot shows great potential. With wider community discussion, it could be a paragon of OSM/Government interaction. How can we help move this process along after community concerns are addressed? --Scruss (talk) 04:23, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Not much until it's approved. P.s. Kingston is already thinking of doing the samething James2432 (talk) 05:39, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


It seems the licence, at least the text that is linked to, requires downstream attribution which OSM cannot provide (not exactly news). The import project will need to get explicit confirmation from the licensor that providing attribution via the wiki contributors page is sufficient to fulfil the licence requirements.

Further there seems to be a 2nd, address, dataset involved, provenance and licence needs to be documented for that data too. SimonPoole (talk) 18:20, 20 October 2016 (UTC) Has this clause too and has been deemed to be compatible with ODbL. Attribution can be given via the Contributors wiki page(Example montreal and Halifax(which has v.1 but same attribution clause)): James2432 (talk) 18:29, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
"compatible" typically simply means that you can licence the data on the terms of the "output" licence without creating a (fundamental) conflict with the "input" licence, while this is a necessary requirement, it does not mean that we can use the indirect attribution of sources as OSM does without explicit permission.
Again we do have permission from the city with a signed document which will be sent to me friday James2432 (talk) 18:56, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
The attribution issue has been dealt with in other OGL places by adding the required attribution text and link to the now hideously lengthy OSM Contributors page. --Scruss (talk) 02:24, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
I see you got the permission note. Cool beans! --Scruss (talk) 14:10, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Tasking manager?

You say you were going to use the tasking manager, but there's nothing here about process: OSM Tasking Manager - --Scruss (talk) 04:39, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Guess you didn't watch tutorial video? What's the point of a wiki if no one will use it? James2432 (talk) 04:42, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I'll even save you some time as you do not want to look over all the material presented here: 6m26s into the video. Bam taskimg manager and the process of how it works.
- James2432 (talk) 04:47, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I know how it works: it's just that the Ottawa import isn't listed as a Project on --Scruss (talk) 02:38, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Post import observations

For documenting issues observed after the import to improve future imports.

  • Some buildings which had been purposely deleted (demolished) were re-imported. Fix for this would be to check for overlapping buildings in not only the current map, but also the history. DFyson (talk) 18:19, 26 August 2017 (UTC)