[OSM-talk] Where have all the contributors gone?

Ed Loach ed at loach.me.uk
Mon Dec 1 14:47:08 GMT 2008

Andy asked:

> If anyone out there who was contributing in the summer and has
> now stopped
> could share the reasons I might help shed some light.

I've not stopped as such, but there are a number of factors that
mean I can't contribute as much as I did initially.

When I started mapping I went out for about an hour each evening
after work capturing the local roads using GPS and then mapping them
when I got home. There were a lot to do. I can't do that now

* It's dark by the time I finish work
* Most of the local roads are done, so an hour doesn't really give
me the time to get any roads that need tracing and back

So now I'm limited to taking strange routes to get from A to B to
try and add POIs, which in terms of number of points contributed
will be much fewer. Oh, and I had three hours on Saturday free that
I spent driving around Harwich, Dovercourt, and Parkeston, adding
the details to the map on Sunday though someone had helpfully traced
many of my Saturday uploaded GPX tracks already so I really just had
to apply tags in most cases and add the POIs from the photos
imported against the relevant track in JOSM.

I would guess that many of the well populated areas may have similar
issues, in that they need to go further afield now to map. The new
contributors won't be evenly distributed across the planet
(unfortunately), so many of them will find that if they live in well
populated areas much of the stuff will be mapped.

I'll be back in Dovercourt on Wednesday evening and in Wheatley and
Oxford on Thursday afternoon/evening/Friday morning but while I'll
take the GT-31 with me I doubt I'll find much to add new while I'm
there, though looking at the UK A roads project pages I might be
able to find a route to take in the A120 around Braintree, though
need to check that it hasn't already been done and the wiki page not


PS: Just seen the other responses which suggest mapping footpaths
and house numbers. It's something I've considered, and indeed I did
a few footpaths one evening when walking into town, but again you
can't really get far if you have an hour to get there and back, plus
it is now dark and cold(er) in the evenings. 

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