[Talk-GB] Recent edits to estate agents / companies adding their own branches to OSM

Will Phillips wp4587 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 31 17:59:03 UTC 2014


Over the last few months user 'country_wide' has been systematically 
adding branches of estate agents as well as adding data to already 
mapped ones. Following recent communication I have confirmed that this 
is an official account for Countrywide PLC who own these branches.

I have been mildly concerned by some of their changes to my ground 
surveyed edits. Specifically:
1. The word 'lettings' was added to several branch names despite the 
fact it doesn't appear on the signs displayed outside. Also, the ones I 
have checked are not primarily letting agents. These changes have now 
been reserved as far as I can see.
2. Deleting building tags or changing building=shop/retail/office to 
building=yes. A minor matter, but still problematic when done 
systematically.
3. An incident where a branch was added at a location that closed a year 
or two ago. I then corrected this following a ground survey, but it has 
since been put back at the wrong location despite me appropriately 
tagging the now vacant shop at the old location.

Questions:
1. Is there an official policy regarding systematic edits of this sort? 
- i.e. companies who wish to add all their own shops/offices/etc.
2. Could these edits be considered an import? In this case hundreds of 
branches have been added over several months in separate changesets.

My view is that such data should be welcome and encouraged if things are 
done in the right way, but there should be as much transparency as 
possible. I think OSM accounts operated by commercial bodies should make 
this clear. Also, they should not be absolved from treating existing 
ground surveyed data with care.

Has this already been discussed elsewhere?

Cheers,
Will (will_p)



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