[OSM-dev] finding OSM users by their home locations

Russ Nelson russ at cloudmade.com
Sun May 31 13:46:14 BST 2009

On May 31, 2009, at 7:00 AM, Matt Amos wrote:
> if we want to keep the map on the users' pages showing the nearest
> other users to them, we might as well offer this data publicly. as
> russ said, it's one script and a bunch of server load away from being
> public anyway.

Right.  If we want to protect people's privacy, then we should change  
the map on the users' pages.  We shouldn't claim to protect people's  
privacy and then do so ineffectually.

> in my opinion it's evil to contact users who haven't opted in to be
> contacted. it's a valid point of view that they implicitly opted in,
> but i don't think this is what most users intended when they added a
> home location - it's certainly not what i intended.

By this principle, nobody -- not any individual editor, not the OSMF  
-- can send email to any user.  And yet, OSM has an email system, and  
people are encouraged to use it to ask users about their edits.

> i like jochen's idea of being able to additionally put in a bbox (or
> maybe several) that are "areas of interest - please contact me about
> OSM activities in this area". we could then make the users' home
> locations private,


And then create a way to "Send an email to a location" which gets  
archived so that people who come along later can see earlier messages  
posted to that location.

If we could get those bounding boxes (to protect privacy, without  
usernames), that could also let us find the places in which nobody (or  
few people) are interested.  If there are holes in the interest level,  
then the map isn't going to be very good in those locations.

Russ Nelson - http://community.cloudmade.com/blog - http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:RussNelson
russ at cloudmade.com - Twitter: Russ_OSM - http://openstreetmap.org/user/RussNelson

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