[OSM-talk] Indiscrimate layering

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Fri Dec 19 22:27:51 GMT 2008

On 19 Dec 2008, at 21:45, Frederik Ramm wrote:

> Hi,
> Chris Hill wrote:
>> Is it too late to ban anonymous edits in API 0.6?
> And of course it is a matter of building consensus. Last time we
> discussed the issue, an (IMHO) overwhelming majority were in favour of
> banning anonymous edits but among those wo said let's keep the  
> practice
> was the founder of the project & chairman of OSMF so the discussion
> fizzled somewhat ;-)
I was not aware that the change had not gone through. I though  
anonymous edits were banned. already So all those edits by <no name>  
on OSM Mapper are a random selection of unidentified contributors?

I have just checked - yesterday <noname> has fiddled with layering in  
Suffolk (layer=-1 etc), altered the coastline up near Great Yarmouth  
and fiddled a bit with the A12. A new way with the message 'FIXME  
previously unwayed segment' has been entered!

Can I have a button to nuke all of that session please?

A total of 321 ways have had there last edits made by <no name> in  
Suffolk/East Cambs, South Norfolk North Esses area.

Also, I wonder how we contact them to see if they agree to the new  
licence - Do we have to strip it out or what - That is a good question  
for the legal-questions wiki page (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/Open_Issues 
) - If they don't what happens to content derived from their work?

> His argument was that there may be places where you face legal trouble
> for mapping and we need to allow these people to remain  
> unidentifiable.
> - I still think that anyone mapping in such a place would be better  
> off
> using a series of throwaway accounts anyway, whether we make all edits
> public or not. Nobody has said we need to publish the user's identity,
> just the screen name...

There are two questions here:

1) Was it the right answer? We do actually have the IP address  
somewhere on the servers so the edit so not really anonymous. Also the  
username does not need to say a lot about the person. Can we not put a  
warning splash screen up if someone presses 'edit' in a dodgy part of  
the world that warns them of the risk and advised them to use an  
untraceable username or take notes and do the edit when the leave the  
country or just not bother! What about the ability of regimes to  
monitor IP addresses doing editing on OSM from their national  
firewalls? Surely a splash-screen would provide more safety that what  
we have and why do we need anonymous edits in Germany and the UK.

2) Was the decision made is a good way? A decision like this should  
probably be  made with a wiki page, outlining the issue, where people  
can make their positions known and we then decide by voting. I think  
the time of one person making such decisions for the community is over  
and just isn't going to work with a project of this scale (if that is  
what happened in this case). Can someone dig up the thread on talk so  
we can see how the decision was reached? If decisions are made by  
decree (if this one was) then when does one review them and change them?

All good stuff and signs of a great project :)



> Bye
> Frederik
> -- 
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09"  
> E008°23'33"
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