[Talk-it] Fwd: [OSM-dev] Notes - OSM improvements BoF at SOTM PDX

Simone Cortesi simone a cortesi.com
Mar 16 Ott 2012 16:07:22 GMT

Come forse sapete, la Knight Foundation ha destinato alcune decine di
migliaia di euro al miglioramento delle interfacce di OSM.

Questa  una prima lista deI possibili miglioramenti che verranno
implementati da mapbox come parte del contratto con Knight.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *Alex Barth*
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Subject: [OSM-dev] Notes - OSM improvements BoF at SOTM PDX
To: "dev at openstreetmap.org list" <dev at openstreetmap.org>

Hello everyone -

Here are my (slightly edited) notes from the Birds of a Feather session on
the Knight grant and OSM improvements we had at PDX. Much of what's been
mentioned meshes closely with the OSM Wishlist thread [1]. Please fill in /
expand / contest where you see fit.

Just like the wishlist thread this is a pretty open ended list, but doing
this kind of giant brain dump is really, really useful for getting oriented
and finding out where to dig into prior work.

[1] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/dev/2012-October/025746.html

## OpenStreetMap.org

- There is a big value in tightening the design of OpenStreetMap.org
- Small, continuous improvements are the way to go rather than a
change-everything redesign
- That said, we'll want to rethink some of the paradigms on osm.org
- Making the rails port easier to set up brings more contributors,
installing got a lot easier, there are still pain points that are harder to
- Translations are a frequent bottleneck for copy changes, unclear how to
solve this.

## Mapnik style

- How could the Mapnik style be more open to improvements? We definitely
need to get it on GitHub.
- Should we have multiple canonical styles?

## Getting data out of osm.org

- Starting from osm.org it could be more straightforward to find proper
download options
- Export tab on osm.org is one of the most popular locations, but needs a
lot of improvement. E.g. it does not explain how the downloaded data can be
used. How can export be more actionable?
- There is an expectation problem around data downloads from osm - why
exactly would a user download from the export tab, what are they looking
for? why is embedding under exporting? if an export fails due to its size,
it's not clear where to go to get a larger dump.
- Should SVG export be replaced with something else, or improved in Mapnik
enough to be worthwhile?
- How can third party services like geofabrik's shapefile exports (or
jXAPI) be tied in better?
- (not a data export topic but came up here) there are needs around
managing/merging external vector datasources, there's work around that in

## Social Experience

- Improving the social experience on OSM.org is not about integrating with
social platforms like Facebook, but about making it easier for mappers to
- There is a gap between the broad, public mailing lists that many are not
subscribed to and private messages, leading for instance to situations
where individuals can be flooded with dozens of personal messages in the
case of disputed changesets.
- Github style commenting on changesets with appropriate notifications
could be useful.
- There are notes from OSM ux session in Washington DC earlier this year
- Privacy and safety is tantamount.
- On osm.org user profile, it would be more useful to see who's mapping in
your area than who's living in your area.
- If someone modifies OSM data within a few days after you did, it would be
awesome to see a note in your user profile feed about that.
- OWL is setting an important precedent for social features but is
currently down due to technical difficulties.
- live.openstreetmap.fr is another great example
- Activity streams is a nascent effort in this space
- We'll want to focus on solid bottom line features that we know work well,
rather than going all out on bells and whistles.
- Could OSM.org facilitate groups of common interest? E. g. 'cycling' or
'Portland, OR'. Could we for instance have diary entries in certain areas
or with certain tags show up in the feed of our user profiles?
- How could community events be highlighted on osm.org? On your user

## First time mapping

- What happens after you sign up? Where do you go next? How many people do
we lose before the first edit because we just don't do a good job
explaining how to get started?
- We could drip feed people emails with useful information after they
signed up, maybe just one a week after s/o signed up and didn't edit, maybe
a week after s/o did a single edit.
- The emerging Welcome Working Group will ideally be able to shed more
light onto good actions for helping people through the first steps with OSM.
- What is this first edit anyway? Do we have data on this?
- A sandbox for beginners sounds like a good idea at first, but there's a
real danger of loosing people to it who could be mapping the real world
- A real expectation challenge is the fact that it just takes a while for
your changes to show up on a map. How can editors communicate this better?
Could they show fresher tiles than osm.org?

## Editing

- OpenStreetMap data is complex which makes building editors hard and
making a truly simplified editing experience even harder
- That said, we know that there is much room for improvement in current
- The OpenStreetMap API is intentially held simple, we don't want to make
it more complex than it needs to be.
- That said, it should be easier for editors to share common tasks like
validation. This could happen in a library. There could also be a hosted
validation service (there are questions whether the latter really makes
sense based on bandwidth restrictions etc.)
- Internals of Potlatch are currently being ported to ID
- The goal for ID is to become the most intuitive OSM editor there is,
leaving the expert editing space to JOSM.
- ID is written in JS because Flash has turned into a hurdle for developer
- Filtering - we dwelled quite a while on this topic. OpenStreetMap data is
generally speaking too interconnected to only edit a filtered part of an
- A first alpha version of ID could be up before the end of the year. Such
a version would be able to safely edit OSM data.


- Jeff Meyer
- Coleman McCormick
- Zach McCormick
- Ian Dees
- John Firebaugh
- Kate Chapman
- Paul Norman
- Henk Hoff
- Serge Wroclawski
- Andy Allan
- Richard Fairhurst
- Saman Bemel Benrud
- Eric Gundersen
- Tom MacWright
- Dane Springmeyer
- Artem Pavlenko
- AJ Ashton
- Alex Barth

Please add if I missed someone.

Alex Barth
tel (+1) 202 250 3633

dev mailing list
dev at openstreetmap.org <javascript:;>

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