[OSM-talk] Response to A critique of OpenStreetMap
ce-test, qualified testing bv - Gert Gremmen
g.gremmen at cetest.nl
Fri Oct 15 14:35:08 BST 2010
+1 Jonas, can you put some of your ideas on a wiki page ?
Openstreetmap.nl (alias: cetest)
Before printing, think about the environment.
Van: Jonas Krückel [mailto:osm at jonas-krueckel.de]
Verzonden: Friday, October 15, 2010 3:17 PM
Aan: ce-test, qualified testing bv - Gert Gremmen
CC: OSM Talk
Onderwerp: Re: [OSM-talk] Response to A critique of OpenStreetMap
Am 15.10.2010 um 14:40 schrieb ce-test, qualified testing bv - Gert Gremmen:
>> I agree that we need to have a map to demonstrate what one can do with OSM. But in my opinion, the one we currently have already surpasses, by a large >margin, that which would be required to attract people to the project. And still people whine about our "lack of vision"!
> Nonsense Frederic, Justin makes a number of very valid points
> that make the impression on the average visitor, that show
> we are a unstructured community in some ways.
> And no-one is whining, we are trying to make a better
> OSM, and the mapnik map is in most of the cass the first
> impression the user gets.
> We have voluntarily choosen to use the MAP(NIK) as 80% of our
> frontpage. There are no statements about that are just
> in for data quality.
> That is the first (and too often) the last impression
> a visitor gets.
I'm not sure how much we have chosen to have a big map on the front page. It has been this way for years and hasn't change while the project itself has changed and involved in a lot of ways.
Why don't we display more info about our project on the front page but instead let the user more or less guess what we are about (by showing them a map and a search box that looks a little bit like yet another Google Maps clone and a small text description + a few links.)
Why don't we show them different map styles to choose from. We can force them to choose a map style and they will learn that OSM has more than one map (and maybe they also understand that OSM data can be used to produce different maps, but it's a start anyway). Or do you really think that this little plus over there is discovered by anyone visiting osm.org for the first time?
Why don't we show them upfront that we already have thousands of contributors mapping right now (think of something like those maps showing edits live) and make information about how this mapping is done available with just one click? Why don't we show them that OSM contributors meet up in local groups to have fun?
Why don't we show them the different ways OSM data can be used - OSM data on mobile devices like smartphones and outdoor GPS devices, routing based on OSM, mashups with OSM basemaps...
Why shouldn't we educate the visitors and make them learn what OSM truly is. As long as we can agree, that OSM is more than a small text description on the side and a big map, we can do a much better job showing the diversity and richness of OSM and giving the visitors reasons why they should want to contribute to this awesome project.
And of course, I know that this needs someone to write the code for it and write the text and pick some images. But I think that making osm.org look even more similar to Google Maps and the like is the wrong way .
Also, please don't tell me that we can't put all this information on the front page, we can. Web pages can be longer than 600px because there is scrolling. Web pages can contain elements that move like a slideshow. They can contain small videos and images.
We might even have all this information available in our wiki already, but why shouldn't we display it upfront on osm.org?
 We can still do this and make it available as maps.osm.org for example and put a pretty big link on osm.org But it shouldn't be the main element on osm.org
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