[OSM-dev] OSM Notes API, Issue Tracking

Richard Duivenvoorde rdmailings at duif.net
Thu Apr 24 08:24:18 BST 2008

Tom Hughes wrote:

> I was trying to follow a KISS principle here and have as few fields
> as possible to avoid haveing a bugzilla grade barrier to entry when it
> comes to reporting things. That's why I was kind of hoping to avoid
> having multiple ticket types.
>> You're thinking more along the lines of a feedback channel between the
>> broader public (non-OSM user surfing the web page) and our community.
>> That is unquestionably an important feature that we want to have  But
> Well maybe we need to find ways to link those things to the map
> better ;-)
>>>>  IMHO notes are very well suited for placing them *outside* of the
>>>>  central OSM data base because they do not have to integrate tightly
>>>>  with the rest; there's no reason I can see why notes should not reside
>>>>  on an external service, with editors connecting that service through
>>>>  appropriate plugins.
>>> I think they do need to integrate tightly - sure JOSM can get them
>>> from somewhere else via a plugin, but the whole point here is to lower
>>> the barrier to reporting issues.
>> *One* point I should hope, not *the whole point*.
> Well it's certainly what I see as the main point ;-) Though I am a
> little concerned about how well it will work and what sort of number
> and/or quality of notes/tickets/whatever we will get.
>>> So we want people that see a problem on the map to be able to click
>>> and report it, not to have to go wandering off finding some external
>>> issue tracker.
>> Sure. When I said "does not have to integrate tightly", I meant that
>> there is no database reference between, say, a way and a note (or is
>> there?); there is no need of updating both in a transaction or
>> whatever. Of course they need to be integrated on the user interface -
>> JOSM can get the stuff from somewhere, OpenLayers can get the stuff
>> from somewhere, it doesn't have to be in the API. The NameFinder is
>> integrated very well without being in the API, is it not?
> No, there is no direct relationship to specific objects, and no need
> for transactional integrity in updates like that.
> Well my starting point is that anything which appears to be an
> integrated part of www.openstreetmap.org should be running under
> our control and preferably on our servers.

Thanks for the discussion! I favour principles anyway.. KISS, REST etc 
etc ;-)

In the Netherlands we have pretty much covered the country with basic 
data. In such a way that my customers (I do geo-stuff) are willing to 
use/see osm as an alternative for official data (I can hopefully sent 
you a nice picture the end of this month). But those same customers 
always see little twitches in their own neighborhood.  That's how it 

So I started with a dutch version first, had some discussion about other 
projects alike. For example, using trac for this, or about giving people 
their own 'area' to monitor. After that concluded with mvexel that we 
would sent it to this list for discussion.

I really like the restfull 'permalink' principle of Openlayers, and 
started with that. I also like linking different services by url's:
- use a georss-feed on whatever map to see notes/issues/xxx in your 
neigborhood/'area of concern'.
- use the permalink for directing to that area in 

I did not want to build a separate system, or clutter the current osm 
system anyway. It's at my home now because it's just easier to do stuff 
at this moment. But I started of with the code from 
tile.openstreetmap.nl just to be able te 'merge' this into it back again.

I favour this note/issue system as a separate (meta)data system, but we 
can connect the two by for example:
- in a certain tool/modus (in the main map), clicking in the map gives 
you the issue-reporting form (after for example showing all issues in 
this area first): so no "wandering off"
- it's even possible, to add a 'note'-point to the real osm-data, with 
as attribute-value the url pointing to the 'issue-system'

I think that this 'issue-tracker-like' webapp should be hosted on 
www.openstreetmap.org/nl anyway (port to rails?), starting to show the 
notes as a geofeed on it (as a separate layer...).


Richard Duivenvoorde

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