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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed that the source for some of the points is the rather inaccurate National Charge Point Registry.
OCM says that these are automatically added from that data source and corrections should go via that.
Well with the NCR that isn't going to happen.
Is there a way of correcting/improving the information that plays nicely with OCM?
The last thing I want to do is add updates that then get wiped by an automatic import.
As examples, the points in Manchester Central and Great Northern are shown roughly in the right place, but there is no indication that they're in a pay car parks and run by CYC. I wouldn't be able to find the point from the information given, so I'd like to fix them...

Hopefully this is the right place to ask, so please correct me if not.
 

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Nothing we add will be wiped AFAIK. Stuff we add goes up as added by an "Contributor" and so will not be changed by auto imports. Even if you change an entry that came in on an import it then gets changed to owned by "Contributor" and isn't then auto-updated from then on.

Auto imports and reconciling them with manual entries/changes, deciding what can be overwritten, preserving history and an audit, all of these things are huge challenges and not easy to solve/resolve. It is complicated at best.

I would make the corrections but as with all updates to OCM it needs a little care to ensure that sensible names are used or it can become very confusing. I look at similar entries and make sure I use a sensible name that is a similar format to others. For example... some of the imports just call a location "car park"... that is less use than a chocolate tea pot! I rename those, when I see them, to something sensible such as "Town Hall NCP Car Park". You get the idea :)

We could really do with some naming guidelines for OCM as right now it is a bit of a free-for-all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok thanks, that's great to know. I'll update those entries soon.
Obviously I welcome any feedback as to how I can do it better.
I'll be adding photos and directions where possible as well.
 
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Wouldn't it work something like:
  • Auto import - Listed as unconfirmed, three user confirmations "verified" status achieved, future imports ignored.
  • Contributor added - Listed as such (and unconfirmed), three confirmations "verified" status achieved
  • Auto import - contributor altered - status changes to "unconfirmed" if previously "verified", once three people verify it's changed to "confirmed"
Not sure how user contributed which are then auto-imported would be matched? lat/long matches?
 

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The issue I have found a number of times (but if may now be fixed!) is that I have added a new charger when I find it has been commissioned; I enter lots of info and usually a photo or two. Then, a month or two down the line NCR adds the point and a new entry gets imported in a slightly different location, missing most of the important data. Often the location is quite a way out. I then find that I cannot delete these new entries, even though I am an approved editor.

Sadly I now use PlugShare which has a far superior web and app interface and when I have issues I have found a fault report gets it swiftly fixed. I want the data I enter to go to the OCM database, but I have fallen into the habit of helping a 'competitor'
 

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I would much prefer to see the OCM database be 100% contributor maintained. That would solve a number of issues surrounding copyright and licensing too.

In my scenario there is nothing stopping OCM importing data from the networks or NCR but an entry shouldn't get onto the OCM database with an "active" status until it is verified by a contributor in some way. The quality of the data coming through on imports is pathetically poor and makes OCM almost unusable if the data cannot be relied upon or if the descriptions are so bad that the charge points we need cannot be searched for and found.

At the moment I rarely use OCM. It has such a huge potential but is let down by its poor quality data IMO. The contributor supplied entries are mostly reliable... the imported entries are mostly not until they have been corrected and added to by contributors.

The concept of OCM is sound though but it needs more attention to the data quality rather than just bulk importing and assuming everything imported is correct and usable. IMO nothing imported should be considered correct until contributor verified. Perhaps @Paul 's process might be a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AFAIK the plugshare data isn't open, so that is a deal breaker for me.
For some of the stuff we want to do on https://evstatus.com we need a good and open data source.

Something like @Paul suggests seems sensible though I think that's a bit overly complex.
I would simply have two stages unverified and verified but maintain a link back to the automatically imported data so someone can revert if the added changes are garbage. Requiring 3 verified is too much given the current lack of contributers to the database. If you track the who made the changes, then you should be able to block and revert if someone starts messing with stuff.
And obviously contributions should always win over automatic imports especially from the NCR.
Also lat/long is not useful as a UID because I definitely want to tweak the location of some points so that they are precise.

I've just got some additional details on an NCR imported point, so I'll monitor what happens to my contribution there.
 

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The major challenge would be to match those charge locations put in first by users, then added by auto update. I agree Lat/Long isn't ideal, but I can't think of any reliable automatic way to do this, especially if chargers are close by. You can't apply any kind of numbering system, as the auto-imports wouldn't know this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think an option to manually link them together should fix that. At worst you'll get a doubled up location until someone fixes it. I wouldn't try to make it automatic. As you say, too much scope for errors.
Should be relatively easy to do a little analysis script to show close/identical points that are candidates for linking.
The NCR has a ChargeDeviceId so that data source has a unique key you can use.
At worst you could use lat/long/data source as a composite key.
 

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The concept of OCM is sound though but it needs more attention to the data quality rather than just bulk importing and assuming everything imported is correct and usable.
Agreed... data quality is critical :)

Automated data capture of charging sessions is in active development and we're considering releasing a new open database (ODbL) that ranks automated data above manually entered data. The database would be OCM compatible but would return to the original goal of providing an open database without maps/apps (which would be developed by third parties).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
IMHO there will always have to be a level of manual data entry to make a worthwhile database. Even capturing sessions will only tell you that there is a charge point there. It won't tell you how many points/bays/max power/triple head, access times, parking charges etc. In other words all the stuff that you need to make the map useful.
I think heading down a Wikipedia style system that allows reviews and corrections would be a better approach.

Also it seems that making edits to NCR imported data is a waste of time as it reverts back.
I changed the network from Electromotive to CYC on a charge point, now it's back as before.
The associated comments/pictures are still present though.
Also, please allow deletion of points.
So we can clean up cruft like the Best Buy points that really aren't going to appear.

Is someone actively looking at this?
 

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IMHO there will always have to be a level of manual data entry to make a worthwhile database.
Agreed we also need manual data entry but that should always be used on top of automated location and charging capability data.

One of the most time consuming problems for OCM is the fact that people have so many ways of describing chargers and it quickly unravels. Thats why I want the cars to report details like physical location, voltage, and current, and have additional data like connector type validated by superusers with appropriate expertise. I really want to get to the point where the average driver is contributing to OCM simply by charging :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds good :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry mini rant...
It's really frustrating that the networks themselves can't get the charge point locations right.
CYC have finally put our biz park one up in their map.
Search for "Cheadle SK8 3GY, UK" on the http://chargeyourcar.org.uk/ map.
It's on the wrong side of the park with zero additional information.
You'd never find it based on that information. It's a big business park.
You can see where it really is on OCM http://openchargemap.org/site/
I've told CYC but nothing back yet.
 
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