[Tagging] [OSM-talk] "Limitations on mapping private information" - wiki page

bkil bkil.hu+Aq at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 13:43:33 UTC 2020

Could someone perhaps clarify why this page resides in the main
namespace and not in the responsible proposer's user space?

> Do not name individuals in OpenStreetMap tags, unless their name is on a business sign posted towards the street, or part of the business name and available in public records.

What if the name of the operator is printed on each receipt when you
shop there or a certificate is placed on the wall that shows it? We
usually add that to operator=*.

Indeed I think that the article confuses mapped things that are
worthless and mapped things that are dangerous (according to GDPR).

For example, the reason why we don't map private washing machines is
that its location and capacity is not information that is in public
interest (hence why it is not a POI). Another reason that it fails the
verifiability criterion: if I want to check that the position and type
information of the washing machine is still accurate, I need to ring
the doorbell and be invited in to see for myself, but it is not
realistic that an owner would invite dozens of potentially malicious
random people into their house just for this.

Even if the object would be visible from the outside, it is of no use
to 99.9999% of individuals if the owner does not let me do my laundry
there. If a TV is fully and clearly visible from the outside through
the window, it _may_ serve a public utility of entertainment if you
can lip read, but you need to ring the doorbell each time you want to
switch channels...

Private parking and driveways are acceptable because it hints at which
way the entrance is - helping delivery personal and guests alike. I've
mapped some very interesting hilly terrain where this can be
especially useful, as roads were pretty dense and the road towards
where the entrance is was not trivial and a failed guess could cost
you a few more minutes of walking or driving for each house.

Private swimming pools aren't that interesting but people seem to
enjoy tracing them. Maybe in case of emergency they could be used as a
nearby water source by the fire brigade?

>From the privacy section, am I reading correctly that you suggest that
you find it acceptable to map each tomb in a cemetery by name?

I think a lot of considerations are missing in this article other than
those stemming from the GDPR, like military and national
considerations. You also do not mention that there exist regions where
mapping activities are forbidden by the law and punishable by prison
sentence. And anyway other than describing "what is worthless to map",
I think you are trying to basically gather "mapping ethics", and maybe
this should be better be done in Wikipedia because it does not only
concern OpenStreetMap, but any mapping provider.

On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 3:15 PM Niels Elgaard Larsen <elgaard at agol.dk> wrote:
> Mateusz Konieczny via talk:
> > https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Limitations_on_mapping_private_information
> >
> > Do you think that this page is a good description of community consensus?
> >
> > The page has
> > "This page is under development (May 2020). It may not yet reflect community consensus."
> > and I would like to check whatever it matches community consensus well or mismatches it.
> I think we should avoid language such as "There is no need to split residential
> landuse into individual plots".
> Of course there is a need for someone somewhere to tag just about everything.
> For example, if you want to buy a house you would want to see where the plot is.
> This is not about needs, but about privacy, and maybe data quality.
> --
> Niels Elgaard Larsen
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