[Talk-us] Difficult USA mapper(s)

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Wed Oct 31 14:11:24 GMT 2012



The Data Working Group has had a high number of complaints about a
small number of mappers in the USA.  The matter falls outside the
normal activities of DWG.  DWG would like to help, but need your
guidance in how to do so.

What is the Data Working Group?

The Data Working Group exists to handle matters that users don't wish
to handle.  Namely:

    Resolution of issues in copyright violation, disputes, vandalism,
and bots, beyond the normal means of the community.
    Helping to set policy on data.
    Detecting and stopping vandalism and imports that to not comply
with guidelines.

Most of this is uncontroversial and largely invisible to the
community.  As an example, when a mapper notices that somebody has
created an imaginary town and notifies DWG, DWG can contact the
mapper, block the account temporarily and revert the changesets to
restore the real map data.

It is also uncontroversial when a user self-reports that their bot or
import has made an error and they ask DWG to revert the error for
them.  I should also note that many experienced users on the OSM IRC
channels can offer help with undoing self-reported mistakes. DWG is
called at times to block parties involved in edit wars and other
harmful activities.

The current matter

An unusual number of complaints have come to DWG regarding a small
number of accounts.  It is unusual to get a complaint about any
account from more than one other account.  The numbers involved here
beggar our experience in any other part of the world.

The matters from that varied complaints are typically differences of
opinion on tagging.
The mappers involved have generally attempted to resolve the matters in private.
The matters generally involve a local mapper and one from further away.
The local mappers generally report that they are being 'over ruled' by
a remote mapper who won't accept the local mappers local knowledge.

DWG has the administrative tools to block an account.  What we don't
have is a clear rule stating that we can block an account for "being

Questions for the US mapping community:

1) Do you want DWG to act on your behalf on this matter and or similar matters?
2) How would you frame your guidance to DWG so that DWG act
appropriately now and in the future?
3) How would you frame your guidance to DWG so that there are no
false-positives and few false-negatives?

It is my opinion that this very limited number of difficult mappers
are a large net-negative to the US mapping community and that the
difficult behaviours must be stopped for the benefit of OSM.

Best regards,
Richard Weait on behalf of
OSMF Data Working Group

[1] http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Data_Working_Group

More information about the Talk-us mailing list