[Talk-us] Help fight advertising

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at rushpost.com
Sun Mar 18 23:41:39 UTC 2018

On 03/01/2018 04:44 PM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> there have also been situations where a local mapper had diligently
> copied a business's sales slogan into the description tag and was
> then upset to see this removed.

If they are upset about it, tough turkey, it doesn't belong there.

> As more and more SEO firms start dumping their stuff onto OSM (and
> here I am not talking about those who actually talk to us and listen,
> but those who don't care), this is becoming a fight that needs to be
> fought by the community as a whole.

My approach this morning was different. I did an Overpass query for a
huge chunk of Texas (west of San Antonio, then going east including
Austin, Houston, and most suburbs, going to somewhere east of Beaumont)
for anything with a description tag. I then saved the layer from JOSM
and edited each occurrence of the description tag by hand (which also
made it easier to do things like just change "description" to "name"). I
made a few other related edits and submitted as changeset 57284276.
Generally speaking, I purged anything that looked like it was trying to
sell me on the business, including ad-copy-like descriptions of local
libraries. I also deleted any description=* that was duplicative of the
content of name=* or which added no useful information, and added
appropriate tags where description=* had been used by a sloppy/lazy
mapper to say things like "bowling alley" or to include opening hours.

By the time I had gotten around to doing this, I had completely
forgotten about the CSV export, though I was able to go through the
entire chunk I had exported with my text editor in the span of a
half-hour or so (I did a search for "description" and just kept hitting
"next match" when ready to move on).

My Java programming skills are nearly non-existent, but it is tempting
to (re-)learn enough to write a plugin to automate the process from
within JOSM, perhaps naming it something like "AdTerminator".

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at rushpost.com>

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