[Osmf-talk] Directed Editing Policy

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Thu Nov 23 19:34:13 UTC 2017

On Thursday 23 November 2017, Tim Elrick wrote:
> Ok, then I guess, I am missing out on background as of why this
> policy is put forward (and I apologize for that). If I understand
> your interpretation correctly, a mapathon for mapping buildings in a
> certain town would be covered by the policy (that would be clause a)
> in the policy),

I think that depends on the situation.  As the policy says it is well 
possible that at such an event there are both people for whom the 
policy applies - newcomers who know nothing about OSM and who are 
seated in front of a computer with the task to trace buildings (exactly 
what and how) - as well as experienced mappers who are there and map, 
who might also help and map buildings if they feel like it but who work 
under their own resposibility and decisions without being "directed by 
a third party exactly what and how to contribute".  If the organizers 
of the event run a tight ship and distribute specific tasks to all 
participants including the experienced ones it can also be a fully 
directed event of course.  For a mapping event (a) probably never 
applies unless people are there as part of their job or as part of a 
school project or similar - unless participants only get pizza if they 
can show they have mapped a certain number of buildings. ;-)

Again this is my interpretation - if what the DWG had in mind differs 
from that they should speak up.

> Ok, I agree that money is not the point. But, let's make it clear to
> myself: the
> policy is proposed, because the community is concerned about third
> parties (whatever interests involved) making big changes to the
> database without following well established procedures. Is this
> correctly phrased?

The purpose of the policy is mainly - as stated in the introduction - to 
ensure individual mappers and mappers in organized mapping efforts 
interact on eye level.  Most of the processes within the OSM community 
(peer review of mapping work among mappers, discussing and establishing 
how to map certain things, resolving conflicts etc.) work well between 
individual mappers but if there are individual mappers on one hand and 
a larger organized project on the other hand with for example several 
people doing mapping full time this creates an imbalance that leads to 
the usual processes and checks and balances not working any more.

And not to forget it is also meant as a helper for organizations who 
want to engage in mapping to successfully integrate with the OSM 
community and engage in productive cooperation.

> So, my suggestion then would be to modify the requirement of listing
> the participating people. First, it is not feasible to expect that
> the director knows
> who is showing up at the event (so no prior entering of names is
> possible). Second, for privacy reasons and because it is handier to
> have in OSM to change the requirement to list the participating
> mappers identified by their user names where the entering of the user
> names should be done right after the event - as it might be too
> difficult to 'run the show' and enter the
> user names on the wiki page at the same time. The attention of the
> 'director' should be on the quality of the mapping during the event
> and not to fulfil bureaucratic tasks.

I think it was not the intention of the DWG to require recording real 
names since the survey clearly showed this is not widely supported.  
This probably can be made clearer in the text.  The requirement to 
document "the participating people" is probably meant to say 
documenting just a list of OSM accounts is not sufficient if there is 
no 1:1 relationship between mappers and accounts.

IMO at an event where directed mapping takes place (which is not 
necessarily every mapping event - see discussion above) it is not a too 
high burden to have the organizers giving the instructions to also 
record the accounts the mappers use and instruct them not to use other 
accounts while mapping under instructions at the event.  If organizers 
use some kind of tasking manager this will not require significant 
additional work anyway.

That at a short time event the full list of participants will only be 
available afterwards is obvious.  As the policy says "a best-effort 
approach is expected and sufficient".

Christoph Hormann

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