[OSM-talk] will we be nuked from orbit?

Ulf Lamping ulf.lamping at web.de
Wed Jul 25 09:24:22 BST 2007

Nic Roets schrieb:
>> Google don't get community (it's just the way they operate as a black
>> hole, witness picassa, blogger &c.) and unless TT do some very clever
> I'm quite happy with JOSM+YWMS+0.4 for the last week. But OSM is still
> far from being as user friendly as Wikipedia or any other popular
> internet community. I'm not pointing fingers or complaining, I'm just
> stating the facts
Yes, usability is a point where my concerns are as well.

Google will make it damn easy for people to edit stuff, and I guess 
TomTom will do it similiar.

 From the three things new users in OSM come in contact with: map, wiki 
and JOSM (online edit is no real choice except for very basic things 
IMHO), I would only call the map to be easy to use. The wiki is still a 
mess (I've tried to improve some stuff, but annoyed / bored about the 
argumentations that followed) and JOSM installation and usage is still 
much more difficult than it could/should be. For example, I've 
implemented a Win32 JOSM installer and asked how to integrate it into an 
automated build process but got no response, so I've stalled this for 
now. It seems that the potential 90% user base of windows users is just 
not interesting for our developers ...

The spirit in the OSM developer community unfortunately still seems to 
be: I'll do the cool new stuff and someone else probably will take it 
and make it easy and shiny.

So we can keep congratulate each other for doing such a fine work: "we 
have exponential growth, in two years most will be complete (at least 
for western europe)" or we can think about why this might not happen: 
"Google/TomTom might take away a lot of our potential mappers", because 
they will make it easier for mappers to do what their interested in. And 
IMHO most users are NOT interested in licensing stuff as long as they 
can do what they want.

If Google will make it easy for people to build maps their interested 
in: cyclist maps, geocaching maps, ... (and I guess they will sooner or 
later) and if OSM will have the reputation of: "you'll better take 
Google Maps, the OSM stuff is too weird" we will simply have lost a lot 
from the potential we still have today ...

Regards, ULFL

P.S: BTW: Easy to use doesn't mean advanced features are not available. 
It does mean that even advanced features can be used intuitive, e.g. 
without experimenting an hour or reading the manual three times!

More information about the talk mailing list