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Import Guide Lines

Actually the import guidelines, along with the Automated Edits code of conduct, should be followed when importing data into the open street map as they embody many lessons learned throughout the history of Open Street Map. Imports should be planned and executed with more care and sensitivity than other edits, because poor imports can have significant impacts on both existing data and local mapping community. The Data Working Group is tasked by the OSMF to detect and stop imports that do not comply with guidelines. So, not following these guidelines may put your account at risk of being blocked.
Imports should not be seen as an alternative to building the mapping community, running mapping parties and generating publicity to engage with more contributors. Of course, all of this is open to discussion, such as on the imports mailing list and this discussion page. 

Process
If you think your city/county/state/country government, a non-profit, or some other organization or person has great data that could be used to improve the quality of Open Street Map, here's what you need to know, starting with a quick overview of the process. Most of these areas are expanded in further sections of this page and on related pages.
Step 1 - Prerequisites
1.  Gain familiarity with the basics of Open Street Map, including editing, such as adding details of your neighborhood.
2.    Review what can go wrong with imports.
3.  Identify data you'd like to import. This might be street centerlines, building outlines, waterways, addresses, etc and the data license requirements.
Step 2 - Community Buy-in
a)   It is recommended that before any actual work is performed on the import that contact is made with the community to see if there is interest in importing the data. Different geographic areas in OSM have different acceptance levels for imports. The exact same kind of data set might be welcomed in one area and be rejected in another.
b)   Discuss your plan. Email the OSM community to notify them of your plans, including a link to your wiki page. You can do this with an email to (at a minimum) imports@openstreetmap.org, talk-(your country)@openstreetmap.org, and the OSM group specific to the area directly impacted by the import (note that you must join the lists at https://lists.openstreetmap.org/ before mailing to them). This will help gain the benefit of past experiences, which may include having already reviewed the data you're considering for import. Check for local user groups, local chapters, and country-specific mailing lists.
c)   Be prepared to answer questions from the community. Discuss with the community the suitability of each layer for importing. Some data can be readily imported without much difficulty, while others are far more difficult (e.g. street centerlines). Also some are broadly accepted for import, while others haven't had much consensus (e.g. parcel boundaries).
d)   More complex and large-scale imports should be reviewed with the assistance of more technically-oriented and experienced OSM volunteers.
e)   You must not import the data without local buy-in.
Step 3 - License approval
1.   You must obtain proper permissions and licenses to use the data in OSM from the data owner. If the license of the data is not compatible with the Open Street Map Open Database License, you cannot use the data. Many localities already have progressive open data policies. Others have data policies that are almost open, but have conflicts with issues like prohibitions on commercial use or requirements for attribution. Sometimes, getting permission to use data, even if the existing license might seem prohibitive, is as simple as asking the appropriate authority if they are willing to comply with the terms of the Open Street Map Open Database License. See Import/Getting Permission for example emails that touch on important issues. See also ODbL Compatibility for a quick view of some compatible and incompatible licenses of data to import.
Step 4 - Documentation
1. You must register your permissions and project by adding a line to the table at Import/Cataloger.
2.   You must write a plan for your import in the OSM wiki. Create a wiki page outlining the details of your plan. This plan must include information such as plans for how to convert the data to OSM XML, dividing up the work, how to handle conflation, how to map GIS attributes to OSM tags, how to potentially simplify any data, how you plan to divide up the work, revert plans, changeset size policies, and plans for quality assurance. An example for this can be found at Import/Plan Outline
3.  If required by the data owners, you must add an acknowledgement to the list   of Contributors.
Step 5 - Import Review
1.  You must subscribe to the imports mailing list and post a review of your import to  imports@openstreetmap.org. Don't upload any data until the project has been reviewed  first. Note that the imports-us@openstreetmap.org list (or any other local imports list) is not considered authoritative, and is not a substitute for approval from imports@openstreetmap.org.
2.   If possible, prepare the data and make it available for review.
Step 6 - Uploading
1.   Follow your plan.
2.   Track your progress.
3.   Provide updates to the community on your efforts.
4.   Let everyone know when you're done.
5.     You must use a dedicated user account.

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