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

Tom Chance tom at acrewoods.net
Mon Oct 6 10:30:15 UTC 2014

I'd echo Andy's comments, particularly about politely contacting all new
users in your neck of the woods.

My principal difficulty is in working out what people have done in each
changeset. The best tool we had for this - OWL - is now defunct. This let
you browse around the area looking at all changesets, seeing features that
had been deleted / moved / tagged, getting popups with more info, and being
able to go through to the changeset.

It would be wonderful if somebody could resurrect that tool!


On 5 October 2014 23:07, SomeoneElse <lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk> wrote:

> 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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http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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