[Talk-us] Talk-us Digest, Vol 101, Issue 10

James Mast rickmastfan67 at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 12 20:49:24 UTC 2016

Hello Tom.

I was the first person to notice yesterday your students doing the changesets.  I'm always happy to see new users adding stuff in the general Western PA area (as long as it isn't fictional items of course), and I'm glad you're doing this.

However, there was one common problem with their changesets that I kept seeing.  If you could explain to them first the difference of the 'area=yes' [1] and 'building=*' [2] tags, that would be greatly appreciated so other users don't need to come in and fix the new items at a later date.  Most of your students were using 'area=yes' for buildings from the start.  Some corrected it on their own, others didn't, which required some other users to do it instead (one example that hasn't been fixed yet [3]).

So, as long as you can show them the wiki pages on those tags and explain the differences between the two, I think everything should be good to go here. [&#X1f60a]

-James (rickmastfan67) https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/rickmastfan67

[1] - <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:area?uselang=en-US> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:area

[2] - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:building

[3] - https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/409620139

From: Mueller, Thomas <Mueller at calu.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 8:01 PM
To: OSM Volunteer stevea; talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] Talk-us Digest, Vol 101, Issue 10

I am very sorry for my lack of communication.  Yes I am Tom Mueller.  I have a class called Introduction to Geography.  It is a class of 100 students.  I offered my students an opportunity of extra credit if they completed 3 new buildings in their hometown (about 45 students took me up on this option.)  I had the students watch the MapGive video and they are submitting the screen shots to me.  I am asking students to make changes if there are problems.  I attempted this type of project about a year ago and did not have any problems.  I am sorry I was unaware that I needed to contact anyone.

If this is a problem, I will ask my students to stop.  I apologize.  I was using this extra credit as a test case for a bigger project in the fall semester .  However if this is causing a problem I will also not proceed.

Again I am sorry


From: OSM Volunteer stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com>
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 7:35:32 PM
To: talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] Talk-us Digest, Vol 101, Issue 10

At least a couple of posters have responded to the thread:

I'm equally inexperienced in the contact department, so take what I say with that gain of salt.

This appears to be a class at California University of Pennsylvania (calu.edu<http://calu.edu/>), and the last of the users you link appears to be Dr. [Tom] Mueller himself.

Perhaps someone with some degree of officialness can contact the professor directly (via institutional email, I'd guess) to start the conversation in a good-faith fashion.

I have had excellent results in working with my local University (of California, also my alma mater) with professors (of Computer Science, Environmental Studies), staff, interns, contractors, etc.  OSM is very higher-education friendly as there are many ways that using and improving its underlying data can be beneficial to both the students and back to the project.  My best experiences come from acting in the capacity of a local “ambassador” to the project, offering longer-term project perspective, consultation, direction, technical answers, in-person class attendance (once or twice during a quarter or semester is quite sufficient) and whatever else might be needed to support the professor and the aims of the class.  True, this is most helpful before-the-fact (students joining OSM and editing) rather than afterwards, but it can be successful either way.  I just think its easier to do a little discussion and planning up-front to reduce surprises and anything unexpected.

If you are in academia as a professor/instructor, new to OSM yourself and are contemplating using OSM in your class (especially if more than just a few students will be editing en masse) please endeavor to find some local OSM person(s) who can act as a guide.  While not necessary, this can reduce misunderstandings, more easily glide into the brief (yet necessary) additional “mapping curriculum" that must be developed so students are both good editors yet while still furthering the aims of the class.  Our map is a shared fabric, not only among us, (OSM volunteers who add and edit data) but also among the wider world who can and do use OSM to teach and do wonderful things that we might not even have imagined.

I don’t particularly think any “degree of officialness” (Ph.D. or otherwise!) is required to contact the professor:  simply introduce yourself as an interested and eager OSM volunteer who wants to help.  Then, listen.

Good luck to everybody, COMMUNICATE, keep learning and most of all, have fun!

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