[Talk-us] Request for community mediation

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Oct 16 23:15:32 BST 2010

Dear talk-us list,

    we - the Data Working Group - have an issue that we hope you can 
help us resolve.

There is one person in the US community - Paul Johnson a.k.a. baloo - 
who is rather creative with his tagging. It seems to us that Paul has, 
in the past, used the mere existence of a cycle route to tag neighboring 
residential roads as "bicycle=destination" which probably stretches the 
meaning of the concept, and might, if there is indeed a local law saying 
you must use cycle routes, even be redundant. Recently, Paul has also 
started tagging some highways as bicycle=avoid on the grounds of them 
being large and there not being a cycleway - again something that other 
mappers might consider unnecessary.

While this might be considered slightly eccentric tagging by some, it 
can hardly be considered harmful, and Paul seems to restrict this 
tagging to his local area. In OSM, we're usually happy if someone cares 
for their area, and we certainly allow them some liberties in shaping 
OSM for their area.

There is another person in the US community - Nathan Edgars II a.k.a. 
NE2 - who seems to have made it a mission to fight the kind of slightly 
eccentric tagging that Paul uses. While Nathan is most active in his 
local area, every now and then he reverts large parts of Paul's work, 
2,500 miles away, claiming, in is changeset comments, that he was 
"removing bogus tags".

We have tried to calm down both parties by suggesting to Paul that he 
stick to tagging that is clearly verifiable and offer proof where 
challenged; and by asking Nathan to consider sticking to his local area 
instead of feeling responsible for "fixing" tags on the other side of 
the country.

But ultimately, this is a conflict between two individuals and their 
idea of how OSM should work. The Data Working Group has been dragged 
into this by multiple complaints, and in principle conflict mediation 
does fall within its remit but we feel that issues such as this should 
be debated on the lists, and that the community should reach a consensus 
on how to deal with such situations. If there is community consensus, 
the Data Working Group will certainly help enforce it, but we don't feel 
that we should be the judge and jury in this.

If we should continue to receive more complaints from or about the 
individuals named in this posting, we will respond by banning both 
accounts until they cool down.

Thank you
Frederik Ramm
for the Data Working Group

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