[Osmf-talk] Anonymous notes on osm.org
roman at mybabey.ch
Tue Nov 13 06:37:40 UTC 2012
I strongly suggest that we learn from other bug-reporting systems.
My experience with the "bugs" reported via Mapdust (Skobbler-App on
the iPhone) is: Only 1-2 out of 10 reported "bugs", are useful. Useful
in the sense that they lead to a map-correction.
The rest of the reports is unclear, irreproducible or duplicates. :-\
While I agree that it should be simple and easy to report bugs, there
should be a way to contact the reporter in case more explanation is
needed... Maybe a "login" should not be required but at least an
optional email address for feedback/questions would certainly help.
Quoting Harry Wood <mail at harrywood.co.uk>:
> I feel quite strongly that we should allow anonymous notes. The
> exciting thing about OpenStreetBugs was always the simplicity of the
> user experience, particularly for non-registered fly-by
> contributors. Close your eyes and think back to a time when you
> weren't obsessed with OpenStreetMap. Imagine you're this
> guy: https://forums.craigslist.org/?ID=221103972 Looks like I
> failed to persuade him/her to add a bug, and that's without
> requiring sign in. It's a user experience thing. For me this
> massively outweighs the other considerations you've mentioned.
> But a period of a few months of lockdown might be a good idea ("soft
> launch") Discussed here already:
> From: Kai Krueger <kakrueger at gmail.com>
> To: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> Sent: Tuesday, 13 November 2012, 2:01
> Subject: [Osmf-talk] Anonymous notes on osm.org
> Hello everyone,
> I presume you are all familiar with OpenStreetBugs and I suspect you
> also have heard that there are efforts underway to bring a similar
> concept to the front page of osm.org to increase the exposure of map
> bugs and notes to a wider audience of mappers and problem reporters.
> The current efforts can be seen at
> One of the outstanding issues needing to be addressed before
> deployment is whether to allow anonymous (i.e. non logged in users)
> notes and comments. Although part of the issue is technical, it is
> equally a question of policy and if OSM wants to allow it or not.
> That is the reason I bring it up here on this list to see if a
> consensus can be found.
> The question has already to a degree been discussed on the rails-dev
> list  and on talk-de  (probably amongst other places).
> I'll try and summarize the points raised pro and contra so far:
> - A question of legality: Some people have raised the concern of
> legal issues. One hope for the notes system is that people provide
> good enough bug reports for (experienced) mappers to enact on these
> bug reports without needing to have own local knowledge of the
> issue. However, with anonymous reports, the knowledge of the issues
> (e.g. the name of a road) might be copied from proprietary sources
> like Google maps. As a non logged-in user will not have confirmed
> the contributor terms and therefore has not vouched for non
> infringement of third party rights of their contributions, can this
> information be used directly?
> - A question of spam: Having an open API to create notes on a (sort
> of) high profile page like osm.org probably invites the miss use of
> the feature in particular in form of spam. Obviously requiring a
> log-in won't completely prevent spam, but it might reduce its
> volume? An alternative would be to add e.g. captcha's to the posting
> process of notes. However, once you do that, is it really much
> easier than to create an account? Especially with the simplified
> sign-up process via third party authentication of e.g. "login with
> gmail"? It might however be a significantly higher psychological
> barrier though.
> - A question of communication: A key component of OSM is the
> community and the discussions of local knowledge and how best to map
> it. With anonymous users it might be more likely that a two way
> communication is not possible, as a bug reporter may not respond to
> clarifying questions. This might leave a lot more bug reports open
> that could be solved with a quick answer to a short question of
> This also brings up a secondary question, assuming the decision is
> to support anonymous users. Should the system allow people to add an
> arbitrary name to their report / comment or should they just be
> listed as "by anonymous"?
> - A question of simplicity of use: The main argument for anonymous
> users is obviously the simplicity of use. One of the key points of
> the notes system is to make it as simple as possible for people to
> contribute their local knowledge even if they find actually editing
> OSM data to challenging or daunting and don't want to put in the
> effort to learn the complexities of OSM and its tagging schemata.
> Adding a signup / login process before being able to contribute
> valuable knowledge might be too high of a hurdle, scaring away
> people who might other wise contribute.
> - A question of third party use: A number of third party sites using
> data and showing maps of OSM have included interfaces to add "report
> a problem" links to the old OpenStreetBugs. It would obviously be
> encouraged to do the same again with the new system. However, how
> would a login requirement to OSM interact with this third party use
> of OSM (whereby third party might be an editor like JOSM)? On the
> one hand it would probably make implementing this on third party
> sites more complicated as the site would possibly have to implement
> something like OAuth to osm.org. On the other hand it might increase
> the awareness of users of what osm is and what they are actually
> commenting on. For example one major flaw with the other wise nicely
> done bug reporting system of the navigation app Skobbler (MapDust)
> was the far to low signal to noise ratio. Quite a number of reports
> were of the form that e.g sound in skobbler didn't work or other
> software interface issues
> that had nothing to do with OSM's map quality data. Will requiring
> a signup to an openstreetmap account help educate people about what
> OSM is if they click the "report a bug" link on some unrelated third
> party site?
> - A question of capacity: From a more practical point of view, some
> have raised the issue of whether the mapping community has the
> capacity to deal with a larger influx of bug reports. If a lot more
> reports get submitted than the community can deal with, the notes
> system will perhaps cause more frustration than actually help solve
> problems. Requiring a log-in (at least initially until the capacity
> of the system and community is better understood) might reduce the
> volume to more manageable levels and favor those committed enough to
> be willing to sign up to an account, increasing the chance of
> providing enough information to solve the bug. But that is somewhat
> speculative at the moment.
> As I am sure the discussion will show, there are many more pro and
> contra points for anonymous notes. But perhaps the more important
> point is to come to a workable conclusion to be able move forward on
> finally deploying the notes branch and not let the perfect be the
> enemy of the good. After all things aren't set in stone in the first
> iteration of deployment.
>  http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-de/2012-October/099091.html
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