I am hoping that we wouldn't forget to put sources in our editing. This is mainly as a note to others where those tracks/ways come from.
What I fear is that some might get data from google/mapping software (copyrighted including malfree/malsing) and then incorporate them into OSM. Which, possibly, would then lead to deletions, and I don't think that is a good thing. What if someone skipped mapping the area after thinking that streets etc in that area has been mapped (without knowing that it will be deleted eventually due to copyright violations) ? Want to do things twice with our small party of active mappers?
In addition, citing sources would ease the suspicion of others, like noticing how somebody in germany added primary roads in malaysia where bing imagery doesn't exist. Something like that... I mean if it is from well meaning tourists, wouldn't it be wonderful to know that they contributed to our osm map? Just a source=gps would answer that.
Well, geng, consider this as an improvement to our mapping standards.
To try to use and understand this meta-data will always be a bit hit and miss. Different mappers have different ideas for how to use the source tag. e.g. Adding the tag on elements versus changesets is a fundamental difference. All sorts of other open questions too though. There's more information on what's agreed (and what isn't) on the wiki page Key:Source.
I think the source tag is worthwhile, because even if it's only partially or inconsistently used, it can be helpful information for other mappers. but there are limits.
I also think it's not very important. We have to face the fact that some mappers don't bother with it. I don't think it's something we should agonise over too much. Also it's fine, when you're teaching a new mapper, to skip over this in the first few lessons. It adds some complexity to a mapping process which may otherwise be extremely simple. For example if you're just teaching somebody how to add their local restaurant as a first ever edit... don't start telling them to add a source tag.
I understand your concern. I was mainly emphasizing on sources for road and highways since there are quite a few, more detailed non-open road maps available for Malaysia compared to OSM now (traces to make from Bing is limited to few key areas). The allure to just import from copyrighted sources and incorporate it into OSM must have been great.
In summary, although OSM road map coverage for Malaysia is still far from satisfactory, a slow and steady mapping effort is better than trying to copy from non-open sources.
May I suggest you guys have a look at Kuantan area to realize why it is important to include sources in your edits. A lot of roads are not aligned to the imagery (which I suspect from previous mapping using gps), while some are traced from the bing imagery. Which brings in a dilemma, should we realign/shift the imagery to the older mapped roads (none was tagged as from gps source), or should we realign everything to the imagery?
From my experience, gps tracks from my samsung is pretty consistently 10-15+ meters away from imagery for certain parts of KL and Kerteh (I placed the samsung on dashboard to get the best satellite coverage. Despite using gps of a smartphone, it will show me going both ways of a 2 lane road). With gps tracks, at least we have some reference to align the new imagery, although with some loss of accuracy, rather than just accepting the imagery as it is.
What should I put if I am familiar with that area because I stayed there? Should I put sources=survey?
Welcome to OSM,
Here's a list for sources on wiki: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:source
Sources=survey can be used and encouraged. Not all bing imagery is up to date, sometimes a major roadwork has been completed that is not reflected by bing.
Again, welcome to the few, the proud, the osmmappers..