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Author Topic: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?  (Read 66144 times)

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2015, 09:58:32 PM »

If it's his site -- if he's paying the hosting and domain registration fees and doing the work -- then he can do whatever he pleases, and others are free to participate or not.
other than 'doing the work', we all agree. Yes, Tim did a lot of the work, but by no means all of it (though he'd have done less work/more fruitful work if he was more trusting that his team knew what they were doing and thus didn't create busy work for himself with arguments about "Town Highways", or duplicate work already done by others). I'm pretty sure better hosting was offered and turned down in the past too. It is his site, and yes, he can do what he wants - thats a key reason why he refused the offer of better hosting, kept everything going through himself, etc.

He, absolutely, doesn't owe the general users anything, but he does owe the people who've put in many hours on to making his site better 5 minutes to post a forum message giving us some sort of information, rather than uncertainty about the project's future.

That the collaborators, if they can, still want to work with Tim, despite himself, shows that we do very much agree with him that the project is his baby. Goodness me, it's March - four months ago in November, we were similarly hopeless and then there was the tiniest couple of flickers of life that means we still haven't given up.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2015, 12:39:28 AM »

If it's his site -- if he's paying the hosting and domain registration fees and doing the work -- then he can do whatever he pleases, and others are free to participate or not.

Yes, but nobody is proposing that we try to take the site away from him. That... wouldn't even be possible since the domain is his. The aim is to build a new site around the same premise.

The datasets for the highways themselves were assembled by collaborators (not by Tim), and several of said collaborators are more than willing to get on board with a new project. Indeed, a couple of them did the instant it started getting discussed back in December.  So the route data we have access to and every right to use and wouldn't need to recreate. The work would be to rebuild all the back end stuff (map and stat generation, site navigation, highway browser) which is Tim's and therefore we can't just grab and plagiarize.

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2015, 12:56:34 AM »

Does how the AARoads Forum started and evolved, into a multi-collaborator effort growing beyond the original AARoads team, offer any lessons here?  I ask the question as someone who didn't sign up here until it was well-established, so I don't know much of the story other than a little bit about one crisis overcome (before my time) to reassert collective control over this project. rickmastfan67, who is both a administrator here and a CHM collaborator, and Bickendan, a moderator here who once was active at CHM, might be in a particularly good position to comment.

I can't really comment about the V'Ger incident since I arrived well after that.

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2015, 10:33:28 AM »

Is this thread now the primary place for those interested in implementing new CHM functionality to discuss it?  While I continue to hold out hope for Tim's site, I want to help where I can moving forward on an alternative.

I can't offer a ton of time right now, but I can offer some development or hosting space in my hostmonster account and/or on my FreeBSD system if and when that's useful.

Has any consideration been given to storing code and data for such project on a site like Github, where many could easily contribute?
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2015, 10:40:31 AM »

The datasets for the highways themselves were assembled by collaborators (not by Tim), and several of said collaborators are more than willing to get on board with a new project. Indeed, a couple of them did the instant it started getting discussed back in December.  So the route data we have access to and every right to use and wouldn't need to recreate. The work would be to rebuild all the back end stuff (map and stat generation, site navigation, highway browser) which is Tim's and therefore we can't just grab and plagiarize.

Many have contributed to the datasets, including Tim (who I'd guess is either at or near the top of the list of 'most waypoints plotted').  I wholeheartedly give permission to any new project to use the data sets I've created, but it's probably best to get everyone's permission before using them in a new site.  Of course, it's probably a while before a new site would be ready to go into a "production" mode and there's plenty of data that could be used during design, development, and testing.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2015, 01:27:05 PM »

Many have contributed to the datasets, including Tim (who I'd guess is either at or near the top of the list of 'most waypoints plotted').  I wholeheartedly give permission to any new project to use the data sets I've created, but it's probably best to get everyone's permission before using them in a new site.

Complicating things is that some datasets have been extensively revised by team members other than their original authors. For example, I extensively overhauled the datasets for North America's Arctic jurisdictions, and made a lot of updates (including but not limited to point tweaks to reflect the latest online mapping) in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Few of the original plotted points in those datasets remain intact.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2015, 02:01:07 PM »

Many have contributed to the datasets, including Tim (who I'd guess is either at or near the top of the list of 'most waypoints plotted').  I wholeheartedly give permission to any new project to use the data sets I've created, but it's probably best to get everyone's permission before using them in a new site.

Complicating things is that some datasets have been extensively revised by team members other than their original authors. For example, I extensively overhauled the datasets for North America's Arctic jurisdictions, and made a lot of updates (including but not limited to point tweaks to reflect the latest online mapping) in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Few of the original plotted points in those datasets remain intact.

That's often the case with the earliest routes -- I think Tim was on his own with the original Interstate system and a small number of people worked on US numbered highways.  Many of those were significantly revamped by those who later added state highways (for example, I did a lot of work on existing files from NY, MA, and NM in the process of plotting those).

On the upside, if we can get more people involved, some older data might be able to be re-created as sort of practice before they get down to adding new regions, systems, etc.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2015, 02:29:28 PM »

As the original curator of some states, I would be interested if this project continues forward, though my programming skills are effectively nil.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2015, 05:38:09 PM »

Does how the AARoads Forum started and evolved, into a multi-collaborator effort growing beyond the original AARoads team, offer any lessons here?  I ask the question as someone who didn't sign up here until it was well-established, so I don't know much of the story other than a little bit about one crisis overcome (before my time) to reassert collective control over this project. rickmastfan67, who is both a administrator here and a CHM collaborator, and Bickendan, a moderator here who once was active at CHM, might be in a particularly good position to comment.

I can't really comment about the V'Ger incident since I arrived well after that.
Same here, but in the interest of a good story, I am curious, lol

Many have contributed to the datasets, including Tim (who I'd guess is either at or near the top of the list of 'most waypoints plotted').  I wholeheartedly give permission to any new project to use the data sets I've created, but it's probably best to get everyone's permission before using them in a new site.

Complicating things is that some datasets have been extensively revised by team members other than their original authors. For example, I extensively overhauled the datasets for North America's Arctic jurisdictions, and made a lot of updates (including but not limited to point tweaks to reflect the latest online mapping) in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Few of the original plotted points in those datasets remain intact.
Being the person who did all the preliminary work for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, and Northwest Territories (except for BC 1, done by Tim, which I then revised), I'm glad you were able to give them the pass through they needed. I believe you were also revising my work on the California system (which had never gotten to the point of activation).
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2015, 05:39:55 PM »

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2015, 05:59:04 PM »

Regarding V'Ger: Voyager was the original admin for the forum, "hired" to create/run everything.  The forum was a very different place then - Forum Games was its own forum, with things like "Guess the Highway" and "Guess the aerial image" being there, and the meets forum only being added over Voyager's objections.  Threads like "Voyager's Cosmic Bbar" also existed.  Tensions between Voyager (who had invited his teenage friends onto the forum) and the AA Roads staff kept rising, up until the point where he and Alex banned each other and sabotaged the server.  Voyager attempted to use his backup to set up another site before he was convinced to stand down and pass the reigns on to agentsteel53.  Before the site got back online, however, he was banned (with his username subsequently changed to V'Ger) after ranting on MTR about the whole thing.  At this point the Forum Games forum was deleted (causing everyone's post count to drop by 50-75%) and his friends left.

Is this thread now the primary place for those interested in implementing new CHM functionality to discuss it?  While I continue to hold out hope for Tim's site, I want to help where I can moving forward on an alternative.

I can't offer a ton of time right now, but I can offer some development or hosting space in my hostmonster account and/or on my FreeBSD system if and when that's useful.

Has any consideration been given to storing code and data for such project on a site like Github, where many could easily contribute?

I would guess that this thread is now the place.  Facebook was the venue before, but this thread can obviously reach more people.  And I did indeed raise the thought of using something like Git.

I'm interested in continuing to be involved in a new site, though I don't have as much time as I estimated back in December.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2015, 07:10:06 PM »

and the meets forum only being added over Voyager's objections

I have to take some of the blame for that. I posted a notice for my Charleston, WV meet in two or three regional forums so everyone who was within reasonable attending distance would see it, got chastised a bit for overposting, someone suggested a meets board, and it was on.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2015, 08:13:18 PM »

I'm interested in helping with a spin-off site if someone can show me the ropes.

Thanks. Just realize that a spin-off site would not only have to overcome technical programming challenges, but also deal with "softer" issues about how to get a larger team to work smoothly together. As I noted above, Tim's approach seems to have been to keep the team small and expanded only with great reluctance. That's easier to manage and "show the ropes", but limited in what it can do since it depends on volunteers who generally have jobs, perhaps spouses/significant others/children, and other personal interests. My own "management style" is no better, especially without the advantage I once had pre-retirement of a well-paid full-time staff. So I have no useful advice on the management issues of scaling up the enterprise, other than to not make me the manager, and look instead to how the AARoads forum or similar enterprises are managed for a possibly better management model.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2015, 08:44:02 PM »

The AARoads forum is managed collaboratively by everyone who has an admin or mod title under their name. For smaller issues, we are empowered to take whatever action we feel is necessary. If controversy arises, or for larger issues like bans, we shift to a group discussion in a private section of the forum. In the rare case that we cannot resolve the issue as a group, Alex has the ultimate executive authority and breaks the deadlock (he usually prefers to let the forum run itself otherwise).

It's a model that works pretty well for a small site like this, and I would imagine CHM. It's important that all of the moderators trust one another. You also have to acknowledge that "consensus" does not mean "unanimous" and not allow a minority to gum up the process (as frequently happens on Wikipedia).
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2015, 09:00:54 PM »

I'm not good with drawing the map or anything like that, but I do know a lot of HTML, JS, PHP and MySQL to potentially allow a way more robust system that doesn't involve sending a list file (think a "control panel" where you can update your clinched highways).
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2015, 09:30:40 PM »

I'm not good with drawing the map or anything like that

All we did was take coordinates from the center points of intersections/interchanges off of OSM and put them into a text file.  We didn't 'draw' a map or anything like that.  We left that part up the the software to plot the points to connect a route.

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2015, 09:46:17 PM »

All we did was take coordinates from the center points of intersections/interchanges off of OSM and put them into a text file.
Technically, that means the entire file including modifications by other people is under whatever license OSM was at the time (either cc-by-sa or ODbL, both of which are share-alike/viral).
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2015, 09:53:32 PM »

I'm not much of a programmer, but I'm pretty good at proofreading. If you need my skills as the project develops, drop me a line.

In the list of features I'd like to see, I'd like to see some sort of button feature for entry though it's not critical. I think having to compile a list and e-mail it kept the numbers down. Being able to compile the list and submitting it directly to the site seems BIG to me. I'd also be very keen to be able to re-use my CHM list as-is. I'd also like the ability to download a human-browsable backup given what has happened.

If rail were added on a second layer or another project, I'd also be *very* interested.

For what it's worth, I'd be willing to pay to have a site like this available. Maybe $10 or $20 a year to make sure the lights stay on. I've had too many sites that track things for me go dark in the last year.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2015, 10:51:58 PM »

All we did was take coordinates from the center points of intersections/interchanges off of OSM and put them into a text file.
Technically, that means the entire file including modifications by other people is under whatever license OSM was at the time (either cc-by-sa or ODbL, both of which are share-alike/viral).

We centered them on the map, not from the actual nodes coordinates data.  We also got a lot of coordinates from GIS data from the various road departments.

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2015, 12:04:05 AM »

Quote from: jim
Is this thread now the primary place for those interested in implementing new CHM functionality to discuss it?
I suppose it may as well be, for lack of a better place. IMO. (Of course, I type this without having read all the way down the thread. It could be people say otherwise...)

Quote
Has any consideration been given to storing code and data for such project on a site like Github, where many could easily contribute?
I think someone mentioned that back in December -- possibly Valerie? I know little about it, but would be on board. It sounds like a Good Thing.

Quote
I wholeheartedly give permission to any new project to use the data sets I've created
Ditto.

Quote from: oscar
Complicating things is that some datasets have been extensively revised by team members other than their original authors. For example, I extensively overhauled the datasets for North America's Arctic jurisdictions, and made a lot of updates (including but not limited to point tweaks to reflect the latest online mapping) in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Few of the original plotted points in those datasets remain intact.
True. Same goes for me and Alberta and Manitoba. These datasets are almost a whole new work...

We centered them on the map, not from the actual nodes coordinates data.  We also got a lot of coordinates from GIS data from the various road departments.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2015, 01:35:15 AM »

I think having to compile a list and e-mail it kept the numbers down. Being able to compile the list and submitting it directly to the site seems BIG to me.
This. 100%.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2015, 08:16:28 AM »

We centered them on the map, not from the actual nodes coordinates data.  We also got a lot of coordinates from GIS data from the various road departments.


Think you can explain it better? :P

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2015, 02:12:22 PM »

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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2015, 10:44:09 PM »

If direct uploading is the way to go, then I assume some sort of spam prevention will be necessary.
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Re: Is the Clinched Highway Mapping site still active?
« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2015, 11:21:28 PM »

If direct uploading is the way to go, then I assume some sort of spam prevention will be necessary.

Well. perhaps more like setting up user accounts (with webmaster approval, to help screen out the jokers), with password protection to keep kiddies from easily screwing around with user data. Also perhaps some kind of automatic screening of submitted files, to keep viruses or other malware from hitting the server.
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