[Osmf-talk] Organized Editing Best Practice

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Tue Dec 12 22:57:14 UTC 2017

On 12.12.2017 18:54, Rob Nickerson wrote:
> In regulated businesses the regulator (government) does not always step
> in with legislation, and instead sends a warning to the businesses to
> "sort it out amongst yourself else we will regulate".

The problem here is that the current DWG draft itself represents an
attempted compromise between the mapper community and business
interests. (In my opinion, the draft was in parts a bit too eager to
please the business side, actually.)

If the DWG had tried to follow the "warning shot" strategy you describe,
they would have needed to threaten a much more strict set of rules – to
leave room for the haggling afterwards. Instead, they made a sensible
suggestion right off the bat, trying to listen to all affected parties.

So a fair offer of self regulation would need to look mostly identical
to the policy draft anyway. Less than that, and there are hardly any
tangible concessions to the volunteer communities left.

> I am on the advisory board as UK local chapter rep and hear a mixture of
> views from UK mappers. Some will have a stronger view and others prefer
> no policy at all.

Do these views actually balance out in the UK community? After all,
about 90% of the European respondents of the DWG survey spoke out favour
of a policy, and it would surprise me if sentiments in the UK were that
different from the rest of the continent.

Is the rest of your mail also written in your role as the UK local
chapter representative, by the way? Or does it reflect your own opinion?

> For example, the "direct rewards" is intentional here as we feel it
> would solve many of the problems whilst still allowing freedom in other
> groups. If at a later date we decide that these other groups need a
> policy then one can be introduced.

I've been involved in some of the community discussions preceding the
DWG's current efforts, and bad experiences with directed volunteers were
as much a reason for this debate as paid mapping. The DWG survey didn't
use this exact phrasing ("direct rewards"), but still, a large majority
asked for the policy to apply to both paid and other organized mapping.

In fact, it could be argued that directed mapping can be more of a
concern than payment: I don't expect an experienced OSM contributor to
suddenly cause problems if they land a job as a paid mapper. But a
poorly instructed group of newbies very well might, regardless if they
are paid or not.

So introducing this limitation to "direct reward" would amount to
leaving half of the original problem untackled.

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