[Tagging] the nature of large-scale paid edits (was Re: Service road)

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Thu Nov 7 17:19:26 UTC 2019

Dave F via Tagging <tagging at openstreetmap.org> writes:

> On 06/11/2019 18:04, Greg Troxel wrote:
>> I think a shared driveway is still a driveway.
> This is the crux. The only distinguishing attribute from what we'd all
> tag as a driveway is that's it's shared.
> A driveway is designated as privately owned rather than by the local
> authority. It isn't defined by how many own it.
> As Greg pointed out no one gave it a specific name in this thread. All
> references were to it being a 'shared driveway'.

And I guess, if it's not service=driveway, how does one claim it it is
still highway=service?

>> If other people had tagged in driveway, and amazon removed it as part
>> of a large-scale paid edit, I think that's totally not ok.
> I'm unsure if this is a blanket policy of Amazon, I think it maybe
> just this one editor.

If it's just one editor, that's not a big deal.

>> I see large-scale paid edits as part way to mechanical edits, and think
>> they have to be more deferential than normal mappers.
> I really think OSM as a whole needs to steer away from considering
> edits based purely on their size as something to be fearful of. As
> long as the data is accurate & improves OSM's database quality then it
> should be welcomed.

Certainly; I didn't mean to suggest that edits that meet OSM's norms
should be unwelcome.

My point is that we have a lot of mappers and a set of norms (which are
pretty fuzzy and/or a bit contradictory).  We have rules about
mechanical edits (including imports), since they change things in a
large-scale systematic way.

When we have a very large set of edits that are under the common policy
direction of one entity, then that starts to have some of the
characteristics of mechanical edits.

We have had problems in Massachusetts with Amazon mappers removing
landuse=conservation (which has been deprecated world-wide by the
boundary=protected_area fans -- who *wrongly* think it has the same
semantics -- but landuse=conservation is very much in use in
Massachusetts, whose people are not vigorous wiki fiddlers).

So what I meant is that adding driveways that are actually there (which
by all accounts is what they are doing), tagging them as driveways, and
access=private, is all 100% great.

But, any removal of service=driveway from shared driveways, if under the
guidance of the organization, is not ok.  I am not aware of them
publishing their guidelines; perhaps someone in Amazon management will
speak up in this thread and point to where that is published.

> With Amazon specifically, the data is coming from their GPS recordings
> & is being gradually added. (Unsure whether the contributors being
> paid makes any difference). Overall I'd say their edits contain the
> same amount of errors as the average OSM contributor.

Being paid makes a difference because paid people do what they are told
by the people paying them.  So an edit with 1000 paid mappers has a very
significant aspect of a mecchanical edit.

When the the guidance is "add driveways that we know exist from GPS, and
tag them highway=service service=driveway access=private", then
everything is fvine, because that's what a normal mapper who had the GPS
data and the inclination to spend time on it would do.

So I'm not opposed to large-scale paid editing; i just think it needs
some caution and that the guidance to paid mapeprs needs to be
published to the OSM community.

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