Those who entered the data from their browser and directly used the bing data do know and I'm sure they appreciate it.
The data is very accurate (for example I can zoom into my parents cottage and see the out house on it). Later on they used laser scanning from planes to scan the whole country for very accurate topological map too.
The moment this information was released for free both OSM and Google Maps quality jumped a notch or two. Before this google maps only had roads but now it has small foot paths etc too.
When you are pondering the question of why all USA is not as integrated as Finland, ask yourself also why Finland is not tightly integrated with Croatia. It is the same reason.
Uhh. You're off by two orders of magnitude. Los Angeles county is 4751 sq mi . Finland is 130,666 sq mi .
Arizona and Croatia have the same population, but look at the aerial maps...
Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.
Which can be found here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
Why would the EPA laser scan buildings?
The EPA handles clean air and water.
The only entities that have any business laser scanning any building are the county tax assessor and the insurance companies.
Land surveying, yes - The USGS.
Building surveying, no. It's the "private" part of "private property."
Unless someone's committed a crime being investigated by a federal agency, the federal government has no right to know what's on my property. And even then there are limits. The feds can look down from a satellite, but so can anyone else. But the feds can't come onto my property and laser measure my house, as was the scenario proposed by the parent commenter.
As I stated earlier, external-only building surveys can be done by the local tax collection agency for the purpose of assessing taxes in places where taxes are assessed based on improvements to the land.
And your insurance company may also want to make similar measurements, but those are usually done only very rarely these days. They were more common in the past when structure fires were more of a problem. (Think Sanborn Maps† and The Great Chicago Fire.)
That's why the size argument comes into play so often. It's not really a landmass or even population argument as much as is it a complexity argument.
It depends on the topic. When it comes to things like interstate commerce, you are correct -- the states don't each have treaties with each other.
But when it comes to other things, like education, that's very much a local function. The feds set minimum best practices (enforced by the threat of removing funding), but it's up to the tens of thousands of local school districts to decide what to teach their children.
Some of those local school districts are huge, on the order of 10's of thousands of students. Others can be as small as 15 or 20 students, or even one individual school.
When it comes to the topic at hand -- GIS information -- It is pretty much a county situation. There are numerous competing GIS standards and products, and each county or municipality chooses the software that works for its needs, and budget.
So, yes, there is creeping federalism in the United States. But claiming "it's not true and hasn't been for over a century" shows a lack of understanding of local civics.
I think the US shows itself to be pretty homogeneous, with some differences between the rural, suburban, and urban areas, but not much.
I can smoke weed legally for recreational purposes where I am here. Where I grew up I'd be thrown in jail.
Texas has no zoning laws of any kind. You can build any kind of building for any purpose anywhere (I'm sure there's still restrictions, but there's no zones per se.)
States have wildly different speed limits on highways. Different levels of allowed alcohol.
This is just off the top of my head without googling, I'm sure there's probably even bigger examples as well.
Federal databases of postal addresses don't really have any reason to maintain data on the structures.
Some fire fighting authorities have building layouts for recently built buildings. They may all have their own methods for storing the data, and the coverage is confusing enough that the bodies and budget authorities responsible for fighting any long lasting wild fire frequently change.
Properties lines are usually recorded and maintained at the county level, and enforced by a county court and sheriff at their direction, but this too is not the case everywhere.
It is not outlandish to think that there are multiple federal databases that include all of the data on buildings in the US, whether at the Department of Defense, or at multiple agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. However, it seems common that only data collected as a side effect of the regular course of doing government business are released to the public, but data sets created as part of some form of security-related goals are not released to the public.
We just had a Supreme Court ruling affirming states’ anti-commandeering rights .
There is probably a separate db (if its even a db) for each county. It is very much a data cleaning nightmare from my limited experience.
It is absolutely bizarre that we need to rely upon commercial companies to map things like streets and buildings when this is very accurately tracked by government. In an ideal world OSM data grids could be delegated to the appropriate governments, where it could have perfect precision with changes, street closures, one ways, redirects, etc.
Your use of the word "trivial" indicates you've never worked on complex GIS systems.
Whether it should be standardized is a matter of debate. Currently, each county or state or municipality uses the software and standard that suits its needs, and more importantly -- it's budget.
The GIS needs of New York City are not the same as the GIS needs of Saint George, Utah. Saint George doesn't need skyscraper functions, and New York doesn't want to measure airports on top of mesas.
The real world is messy, and so is pretty much every single GIS deployment. The real world doesn't digitize well.
In the same way that vaccines are `debatable'. To export an accurate, up to date model of roads (and road data) and optionally building layouts should absolutely be the norm.
Nor does a standardized export format necessitate using a single uniform GIS solution, of which I've had to inter-operate with a number.
The real world digitizes spectacularly well, a lot of people just make poor choices and make excuses (or worse, buy nonsensical excuses) for not helping in getting there.
No, it doesn't. If it did, then the surveying industry would be out of business. Yet every time a building is permitted in the United States, surveys are done.
Here's an example for a recent project surveyed in Chicago just this year:
West Roosevelt Road; South Clark Street; a line beginning at a point 116 feet north of vacated West 16″‘ Street as measured along the west line of South Clark Street that is westerly 135.20 feet along the arc of a circle having a radius of 375.00 feet concave northerly and whose chord bears north 79 degrees 49 minutes 52 seconds west a distance of 135.20 feet; a line north 69 degrees 46 minutes 04 seconds west a distance of 101.85 feet; a line north 69 degrees 49 minutes 57 seconds west a distance of 26.00 feet; a line along the arc of a circle having a radius of 407.80 feet concave southerly and whose chord bears north 75 degrees 52 minutes 04 seconds west a distance of 85.51 feet a distance of westerly 85.67 feet; a line north 83 degrees 47 minutes 05 seconds west a distance of 164.45 feet; a line north 69 degrees 43 minutes 24 seconds west a distance of 25.16 feet; a line north 43 degrees 07 minutes 24 seconds west a distance of 31.91 feet to a point on the easterly dock line of the former South Branch of the Chicago River; a line south 46 degrees 47 minutes 47 seconds west along the easterly dock line of the former South Branch of the Chicago River a distance of 73.33 feet; a line south 89 degrees 54 minutes 55 seconds west a distance of 32.69 feet; a line south 49 degrees 36 minutes 35 seconds a distance of 46.38 feet; a line north 89 degrees 54 minutes 55 seconds east a distance of 296.25 feet; a line easterly along the arc of a circle having a radius of 375.00 feet concave southerly and whose chord bears south 78 degrees 32 minutes 39 seconds east a distance of 109.97 feet for a distance of 110.36 feet; a line south 69 degrees 46 minutes 04 seconds east a distance o f 136.90 feet; a line easterly along the arc of a circle having a radius of 391.00 feet concave northerly and whose chord bears south 79 degrees 33 minutes 50 seconds east a distance of 135.64 feet for a distance of 136.33 feet; South Clark Street; vacated West 16″‘ Street; a line 155.40 feet west of and parallel to South Clark Street; the north line of vacated West 16″” Street; and the South Branch of the Chicago River
Cities have loads of data that define property lines. They could keep it on paper, but more and more they keep it in computers now. Surveyors take that digital data and convert it into its precise real world marks. This has literally nothing to do with whether the real world digitizes well, and if really stretched only proves that it certainly does because that's the entire basis of property grants.
Further, pointing out a massive civic project in the middle of a large city as some sort of counterpoint, when it is in reality still not that complex at all, doesn't make your case.
As an example -- in Seattle, sewer lines are still denoted with "sewer cards", digital images of pencil drawings on hundred-year-old paper. It is sufficient for sewer records, but utterly insufficient for OSM.
To put this in perspective, in Kitsap county alone they've renumbered nearly 300k lots over the past few years. Google Maps doesn't get those new addresses or road names until its trickled down through USPS (who they're required to notify) then eventually to their data vendor, leaving you with a spotty patchwork of places that Google users have updated to the correct addresses.
Google had a good strategy with sourcing user contributions, but pulling the public domain data that is offered freely for download and is literally the canonical source isn't hard, a small team can manage it for OSM, why is Google paying a 3rd party vendor that gives them trash instead of the latest data?
No thank you. New York City doesn’t need a federal bureaucracy to be checked into every time a building goes up or a pipeline gets laid. And the level of detail which is necessary for New York would be overkill for rural counties; they have better things to spend their tax dollars on.
Further, saying that the detail necessary for NYC is overkill for a rural county is just bunk. Yes, of course NYC would have more detail. Do you think a rural county is going to be overloaded plotting their dozen streets?
The whole "better things with tax dollars" bit is really the cherry on the top.
This complicated thing is already so complicated, it couldn’t possibly hurt to add even more complexity!
Additionally, there is enough problems getting the global OSM community to come up with one tagging scheme. If every country made their own stuff, it would not be one map.
That's assuming there are any records at all. In states like Idaho and Montana, once you get out of the bigger cities I very much doubt there are permits on file for most dwellings. Partly because few people care, and partly because the land owners resent any sort of "big government" telling them what they can and cannot do.
As for why other governments even have to "release" such information, it's historical and surprisingly hard to change. The UK government holds possibly the most detailed map in the world covering every inch of Britain. But after 2000 when GIS based products started to take off people discovered that none of this data was available to use. OSM was created specifically to give the UK some open geographical data because there simply wasn't any and campaigns to the government were taking too long (the government data still isn't fully open).
The rest of the world doesn't necessarily work the same way Finland does, unfortunately.
So I tried www.bing.com/maps. The first thing that surprises me is that it tries to set 5 cookies from google.com and one from www.google.com
What is the reason for Microsoft to allow Google to track everybody who uses their maps?
In the Netherlands the businesses (shops, restaurants, and general businesses) are more complete than OpenStreetMap, but not as complete as Google because everyone sees Google as the de facto standard and they push owners to add their info in the de facto Google search.
Bing Maps is fast and responsive (unlike Google Maps on anything other than their own, proprietary platforms such as Google Chrome, the Google Maps app, or Google Earth), and has aerial imagery and traffic info (unlike OSM).
Bonus game: turn off labels on satellite view, zoom out to world view, and try to find your house or other places. Surprisingly hard!
Downvoted because the cynicism and not paying attention.
The other option is to use 3rd party services to purchase or lease the data. This data can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the entire US dataset.