[Talk-GB] Deletions and newbie editors (was: Vandalism in London)

Dan S danstowell+osm at gmail.com
Mon Oct 6 07:32:08 UTC 2014

That's interesting Andy, thanks


2014-10-05 23:07 GMT+01:00 SomeoneElse <lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk>:
> With new editors though I sometimes think we forget how hard it is for
> someone to start editing now in e.g. the centre of London compared to when
> we "experienced mappers" started.  Here, for example (courtesy of Martijn
> Van Exel's "OSM Then and Now") is what the area I started mapping in looked
> like at around the time that I started:
> I went through at least three iterations of how the paths there should be
> tagged, committed numerous "X not joined properly to Y" sins and on at least
> one occasion managed to duplicate all the minor roads in the area.
> Many new mappers are just "hit and run" mappers and often it's easy to tidy
> up their contributions after they've long disappeared**. The ones who do
> stick around do need to be given a bit of time to get the hang of things -
> there are a lot of concepts to understand that really aren't obvious (the
> fact that the "map data" is more than just "the standard map style as seen
> at osm.org" is one of those).  However often a polite message helps - not a
> "you broke the map!" one, but more like "oh dear, something appears to have
> gone a bit wrong", together with an offer to assist and answer any other
> questions.
> As has been said earlier in previous thread, it doesn't make sense to
> restrict the ability to edit OSM data to people who understand what e.g.
> relations are.
> I'm certainly not the biggest fan of the way that iD does some things, but
> sometimes it seems to be being suggested that the people who wrote iD
> somehow "don't care" about OSM data quality and "if only it were more like
> JOSM" a number of these issues would go away.  The problem is that the task
> that iD sets itself is fundamentally different from the one that JOSM has.
> The quickest scan of the discussions on
> https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues would show that the balancing of
> "how to stop new editors from causing problems" with "how to allow new
> editors to contribute at all" is taken very seriously indeed***.
> I did try and do some systematic analysis to compare editors back in
> September last year
> (https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-September/068178.html),
> and in that the "newbie error rate" in iD was lower than in P2 (and other
> editors including JOSM, although the numbers are a bit too low to reliably
> draw conclusions there).
> This isn't so much an "iD" problem as a "new mappers" one (and we don't have
> so many new mappers coming forward that we can afford to shoo them away).
> We do have ways of seeing new mappers when they start
> (http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/newestosm.php and the IRC country bot
> feeds).  We have ways of being informed about changesets in an area that
> might be problematical (WhoDidIt among others), ways to collaborate (IRC
> country channels, forums, mailing lists, etc.) and everyone has the ability
> to contact new mappers near them and offer to help.
> Cheers,
> Andy
> ** Of course, people who delete lots of things because they think they're
> editing _their own personal copy_ of the map data need to be addressed
> immediately - but those edits are easy to spot.
> *** Some of what it feels like from the other end of "the iD debate" was
> written up at
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2014-September/002551.html
> (obviously read the thread and links to get the full context of that, but
> suffice to say that the reason that iD isn't perfect is because it is trying
> to solve a Very Hard Problem).
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