[OSM-dev] A better way to watch nodes and ways?
gioele at svario.it
Wed Aug 12 18:09:01 BST 2009
could a WikiMedia-style or MusicBrainz-style submission system for nodes and
ways be implemented for OSM?
I, like many other edits, care about all the information I have entered in
OSM (not much right now, I'm new here). I especially care about random
people changing or reverting things that have been hardly researched and
edited. Other open databases suffer the same problem: the example I am more
familiar with are Wikipedia and MusicBrainz. Both Wikipedia (WikiMedia I
should say) and MusicBrainz allows users to subscribe to certain pages
(WikiMedia) or Artits (MusicBrainz). When a change occurs they are notified
via mail or feeds. Those messages usually include a link to the diff so the
user can see whether the changes are acceptable or not.
The subscription system used by WikiMedia and MusicBrainz saves a lot of
time to editors, especially when compared to other methods or, in general,
to methods that does not point out what exactly has changed and how.
OpenStreetMaps has two different mechanism, both with some issues. First,
the watch:user=1 tag. The feeds produced by the Xapi using the watch tag
would be interesting but they don't seem to work (at least in the past
hours) and they expose very little information. Moreover, all those tags
pollute the database. Second, OSMMapper. OSMMapper is an interesting project
but it is less structured than one would hope. It is based on areas so it is
impossible for a user to follow just a street or certain nodes (f.e.
attractions) in a crowded area. The number of commits would be just too
high. Also, it is graphical-only tool and this reduces the ability to
integrate it in other projects: f.e. JOSM could not use that information to
zoom to changed ways. More, it is a separate project and I think this watch-
list stuff should be part of the main infrastructure.
Could a subscription list for users be implemented in the OSM server? JOSM
could be used to set the user subscription on nodes and ways. A per-user
subscription list would simplify the server code removing the need for all
the "clever bits of code" that the Xapi wiki page talks about.
PS: is there a bug tracking system for the OSM infrastructure? All I could
find is OpenStreetBugs but it deals with errors in the map, not in the
Gioele <gioele at svario.it>
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