IATI Consultations Archive

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Using Openstreetmap as the default location Gazeteer

As all the data that donors are reporting on is open, for the people implementing IATI tools it would be very beneficial if all locations would refer to OSM entities. This would make it much much easier for Reporting Organisations to keep some kind of referential integrity when reporting on previously funded locations. (like schools, medical centers etc.) I think this is a quite crucial aspect of what IATI aims to achieve. So far IATI is designed to monitor time&budget demarkated Activities, but the impact on consecutive activities on 1 location is rather hard to achieve.

In the current IATI model there is only 1 potential place where (financial) activities reported by different reporting organisations can be tied together, and that is the Location.

In the long run, when we want to monitor real impact, re-using unique locations in separate activities allows us to do that.

And the Openstreetmap identifier is a perfect unique key to do so.

OSM provides:

- A unique ID for every node/location. eg http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/1361167157 (yes, trivial)

- A history on all edits to this location

- A rollback mechanism for changes to this location

- A merge functionality in case a location is added twice

- A standard list of location types (what they call Features) that is extensible by a crowdsourcing process (that is far more meaningful that the current http://iatistandard.org/codelists/location_type

- A tag for office, which allows for project head-offices to have a location too. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:office

- and Global Coverage


I think it would be interesting to have a discussion on this, see if we can incorporate this as a good practice, and perhaps in a future version introduce a (mandatory) field in the location for the osm id.



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  • 0
    Bill Anderson

    Hi Reinier

    This is definitely worth a serious conversation. And I suggest that we (you?) develop an extension to the standard (with its own namespace) that can be tested, and then put forward for inclusion in the standard proper in the next integer upgrade.



  • 0
    Reinier Battenberg

    is there any documentation on how to do that?

  • 0
    Bill Anderson
  • 0
    Reinier Battenberg

    There seem to be 2 ways we could do this:

    • Embedding the osm xml format. This would mean that every location would get a mandatory <osm> element. The definition of  the current version of the schema is here http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/API_v0.6/XSD This would allow publishers to optionally publish full location details at the moment of publishing. Whatever happens with the nodes/ways/relations in OSM afterwards would not affect the information published. Theoretically you could thus render a map with hospitals at the time of the Activity, even though some hospitals have long gone.
    • Defining 2 tags inside the IATI standard "OSM Data Primitive" (Node, Way, Relation) and "OSM Id". That is just the unique key for each OSM Feature.

    I am leaning towards embedding the osm schema.

    More links

    The data primitives are described here http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Data_Primitives

    The api call that gets the <osm> element that needs to be inserted in the IATI element here http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/API_v0.6#Read:_GET_.2Fapi.2F0.6.2F.5Bnode.7Cway.7Crelation.5D.2F.23id

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