Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

Raw Notes from State of the Map Water Birds of a Feather session

Notes from our Birds of a Feather session. Transcribed (as best as I could) by Chach Sikes

not wanting to do any kinds of mass imports


  • no good datasets of amazon river basin — idea to trace into OSM — has big gaps & stuff missing – interested in how modeled in OSM – what kind of metadata? — how to extract it and use in different ways — has been cleaning up data & making detailed river networks — is ism a good way to do it & how? what’s best data model

richard bercher

  • geospatial – national resource works – surface water delineate – mercury

  • ottwawa — first nations — ontario – – how to engage & use OSM? – disproportionately served – wats to approach on GIS / OSM side

rob brackett

  • new to water – coder sponge – code for america


  • environment engineer hydrology — science engineering ream – policy restoration — GIS not coder – learning python – international river basin modeling – laos – used remote sensing – unpaged river basins – figuring out what’s available there

  • DEM – & climatic datasets – temp precip – subtract ET – groundtruthing? –remote data set 1km grid for whole world — local data to verify / estimate – when don’t have gauges – and check with existing gauges — working with local ground on san leandro creek for restoration & access — shoreline to ridge line trail along san leandro — do virtual restoration — how much water needed to restore fish — ppl want to restore area — old school managed for flood – can release water — for doing retrofit chabot dam – – fish & access argument for — get to unlock the gates — — liar — have a google map of physical and social assets — restoration of san leandro creek — merritt college – connect the dots gathering – alameda county flood control, ebmud, city oakland etc. — (and other similar) — day lighted stream -needs flows & chaining certain sections –


  • mytopo – montana – in kansas — printed topi maps – and overlaps – use USGS – 30-40 years old – could maybe use OSM

Eric Thies

  • software dev — learning about water in maps & modeling aspects – curious

Laci Videmsky

  • New California Water Atlas

  • open cycle map — doesn’t have separate data — open water map usgs? – — OSM doesn’t have layers — less interest in streams than cycle – less interest – and less people —

Seth Fitzsimmons

  • kayaker – aspiring cartographer – OSM + NHD – USGS maintains NHD — has small mailing list – 150 NHD users – water is important feature in OSM – doesn’t make sense to duplicate work

  • Seth – trying to understand the tension – how ppl can create cartographic products without having to deal with conflicts — seth ignores water features in OSM

  • Topo OSM – uses OSM and elevation data & NHD low res data – a sloppy topographic map – aggregation of multiple data sources

Paul Norman

  • pnorman on OSM — from vancouver – worked with NHD – has mostly completed conversion to NHD file format — some technical issues of conversion – have to simplifyy NHD – over digitize — sane method to combine with OSM – (seth — similar to tiger) –

  • snapshot server — andy allen – for cycle streets – background layer potlatch 2 -test instance with NHD data last year for a region in NYC – brought nod — selective imports – uses potlatch’s vector layer support –


richard: -gis differentiating between analytics and cargo – nhd is dense for a reason –

gregor: outside us no NHD – amazon basin – only way to get data – is from the public – how to run analytics afterwards –

waterways have directionality – elevation data – streams need centerlines

NHD — every stream has a centerline – every polygon has a centerline

organizing sprint to map the amazon — checking the flow direction —

Paul: ism doesn’t do well with streams that don’t have a flow direction — ex. a ditch – flow direction is being let in and out for flooding cranberries —

jeanny – there isn’t a well defined tagging scheme – ordered list of nodes — first and a last — a 2 ways street has an underlying direction – interesting dataset — stream gages — how to get info from it — weather station data —

paul – stream gages hard to find —

richard: environment canada restecituve resource — NRC —

jeanny — 100 gages in laos – have that data —

rich: how is water death with in OSM?

paul: i wrote the NHD conversions — NHD defines slew of different types of ponds – in NHD it is not consistent — OSM no way to describe all of the different kinds of ponds – if NHD can’t do it…

rich: tagging structure?

paul: streams rivers, polygons – lakes – ditches -well defined — things that are not survey able is a different matter — water entering sewer system —

some sewer grates noted in OSM? – some times – but not the system

paul: nod 4.00 — streams type to OSM — intermission stuff is iffier — intermittent streams vary from season / place –

seth – stream network of things that are a trickle — —

gregor: shrove atraler analysis — – storing catchment on each stream — to use cartography stage — only streams with a catchment –

seth: –

worldwide hydrology computing group

Quasi — united in – advisor Utah state david tarbotten – and ppl from Texas —

hydrology & osm — hierarchy & nested hierarchies — well mapped watershed — no where to put it

Hydro Net – supercomputers –

Daniel Spring — working with federal data – forest service — NHD – interesting —

NHD in its infancy – came from the paper quads that were manually digitized — and they were done manually cartographical of what to show — NHD mandated to put together national datasets

so they started with this — — forest service — hydrologists from forest — removing some springs adding them back in — making minor decisions — back into NHD

like tiger — NHD didn’t start form scratch — pulled from existing — — remote areas –

new elevation data sets — not carrying on legacy —

daniel spring — marin — GIS – Lidar data for marin county — but together stream flows — from berekely went to stanford – – made database for marin county –

aerial imagery — can’t see them — covered by trees — need to be large before you can see the water –

5-15 deviations of streams that find new courses — NHD out of date —

how water mapped outside north america ?

paul — aerial imagery, GPS, nothing special makes water unmappable

gregor: is a single line?

laci: in NHD it’s segments

paul: single stretch — or entire river –

OSM data format has the notion of connectivity — if you have two rivers that are connected & have the same name –

brazil – DIVA GIS — river/tree layers – for the whole world – DEM

jeanny – what is our goal?

how can we talk about this


having documented workflow

improve OSM — work with hydrant — two organizations

daniel — NHD federal ppl — they are scientists who want good data – –

proposing NHD — OSM not trustable for accuracy purposes

richard: canada — data collection – ppl near broke / citizen science –

gregor: outside us — better data via OSM —

paul: example provincial roads — NHN in canada — streams gone for 30 years

Daniel — how to imports

paul: proposed import of local water set in Florida — they proposed importing it — OSM has not moderation import queue — lots of ways to go wrong with imports — history proven can get messed up otherwise –

jeanny – how big is the community?

paul: in imports US mailing lists —

tiger was badly done —

daniel — looking at land ownership —

seth: will you have ongoing dialogue after import? trying to figure out bidirectional import —

“authoritative” has changed —

paul: NHD us dataset — only US — 100GB a few years — and watersheds — (annoying to deal with)

imports — no obvious community — who to do it for forests?

tamara — user – watershed & MSA data within urban areas — creeks that don’t flow — locals can get involved – creek restorations – as more active civic activity — urban watersheds –

seth — how much surveying of watershed boundaries?

paul: OSM — no parcels — administrative areas are them –

jeanny — is OSM a good avenue for creek restoration ?

paul: i think urban areas are the best — and the area where NHD is the worst – and many stream are gone

NHD watershed vs what’s actually there

stream mapping in urban areas — with OSM —

seth: how to reconcile ?

paul: that’s a difficult question — ex topi osm

seth: and where the data disagrees —

paul and more is not necessarily better –

jeanny: using improved dataset

daniel: OSM with hidden layers — so much data ppl want to put in – map themes — watershed boundaries important for open map —

richard: watersheds are everything — watershed, sub and reach tertiary primary basins — headwaters – it’s critical –

richard — tile drainages directed flow — ground water — soil types – etc

open environmental map —

gregor: lots of parts of the world — nothing — for most of the world — mapping focused buildings and streets — areas of the world — for location are the rivers — visualizing telling stories ecuadorian base tiles – amazon is flat — got ecuadorian datasets — miles away from satellite map — OSM has most accurately traced data — really important to get river data in there — getting people to map rivers

focusing on rivers —

tamara — get base data —

GIS / ISM / climate change — change detection & climate change

where does it fit — not all geo data should be in

OSM — watershed boundaries do not belong

tamara: ppl in africa mapping mosquito ponds — helping with health — implication of OSM more than

straight import —

imports-us — serge — most anti import person

Share Your Remembrance

You are donating to : Resource Renewal Institute

How much would you like to donate?
$100 $200 $300
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note