[Osmf-talk] Anonymous notes on osm.org

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 17:46:44 UTC 2012

On 11/13/2012 09:42 AM, Derick Rethans wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Nov 2012, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> On 11/13/2012 04:04 AM, Harry Wood wrote:
>>> 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.
>> That's my thinking as well.
> Yes - perhaps on the *display* side of things we could add an option to
> hide anonymously submitted bugs though?

If too many people hide anonymous bugs, then imho there is little point 
in allowing them. It simply frustrates people who have submitted bugs 
anonymously if they don't get worked on.

And if the system gets a bad reputation like e.g. MapDust's did then 
that will negatively impact even the "good bugs" as possibly 
increasingly people ignore the system completely.

I think the MapDust experience has shown that for a bug system to work, 
two things are fairly important:

1) People actually understand what they are reporting on. I.e. they are 
reporting map data bugs. Not on rendering issues, not on software bugs, 
and in the case of third party sites definitely not on things like that 
you want areal imagery, or that one prefers they used google maps again 

2) Two way communications. For people who don't understand how OSM and 
its tagging system works, which is a core group that is targeted with 
the notes system, it is often hard to provide the relevant information 
up front as they don't necessarily know what mappers need. Particularly 
if 1) is not fully clear. So two way communication is often very important.

OpenStreetBugs possibly didn't suffer these issues as much, as it was 
hidden behind an obscure URL, so one needed to have some experience with 
OSM or interaction with mappers already to find it in the first place. 
Providing a similar barrier of entry to ensure high quality bugs.

Although again neither 1) or 2) is guaranteed by requiring a login, I 
hope they would facilitate both points compared to allowing anonymous 
mappers. Once you have an account, it might also reduce the barrier of 
going that one step further and actually fixing the data oneself.

I am increasingly of the opinion that at least a "soft launch", i.e. 
requiring a login for the first X weeks / months, would be sensible.

See how the system behaves with these restrictions. If overall things 
work well and there are mostly high quality reports that can and do get 
fixed quickly, then it can be expanded to anon users. If not even with 
the requirement of having an account and logging in the quality of bugs 
are high enough, or the volume is (regionally) too high for the mapper 
community to handle, then that situation is unlikely to improve with 
anon reporters.


> cheers,
> Derick

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