[Osmf-talk] Question to board members

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Thu Aug 30 10:14:20 UTC 2012

Am 23.08.2012 18:33, schrieb Mikel Maron:
> .....
> Even putting aside people who register but never edit, we lose way too
> many people who are active mappers, or have potential. Check out the
> research I linked to back in this thread.
I'm very much aware of Pascals study, particularly the excessive  use of
"only" (in a negative sense) to describe the best in class. However I
don't really see how that it supports your conclusion that we "lose way
too many people who are active mappers, or have potential". It does
support (what we really already knew) the conclusion that we have a core
of mappers that have made OSM their most significant hobby and a largish
fringe that has either just mapped their immediate surroundings or have
just added a small number of object that they considered missing or wrong.
> I've been part of lots of events that introduce people to OSM. Of
> course, I don't expect everyone to become an active mapper. But there
> are plenty of people who would be, if it was easier for them to stay
> involved.
Short of erasing large parts of the map it is difficult to see how we
could give the "casual, map my village/block" mapper more to do  before
they go in to dormant mode. There is potential to go "vertical" (3d,
indoor etc) and added detail (lane mapping for example ) but I don't
think we are quite there yet.
> Our community and communication is too hard for a non-geek to
> penetrate. More of the social side could flow through osm.org.

With the large danger of losing the ~20k mappers we really depend on.

I would agree that our messaging could do with some improvement, but I
mainly see the deficits in too much beating around the bush and not
being clear and explicit about what we are about. And yes the website
really should be redone  to make it more consistent and get rid of
historical cruft, that however does not necessarily imply dumbing it
down (if at all the opposite) or making it more flashy.

> It's a problem because 20k is not enough people to map the entire
> world. Perhaps if they were all very active, and dispersed throughout
> the entire world. But we're heavily clustered in a few places.

> It's only an expected trend we have low expectations, and don't make
> simple efforts to change it. None of the solutions to this are
> particularly complicated. 

95% of the data we currently have has been provided by that select
group, we are not going to map the world by increasing the 160'000 that
contributed 5% to 1.6 million, but by increasing the 20k to 200k. That
growth will have to be mainly geographically and I doubt very much that
there is any simpler way to do that than spreading the word with the
usual grunt work.

I do agree that we need an OSM-branded and integrated "add my address"
and "submit a bug" solution (YAPIS etc are still an order of magnitude
too complicated for the intended audience), but we would be kidding
ourselves in a big way if we believe that is going to be the source of a
large number of active mappers.


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