[OSM-talk] Why OpenStreetMap is not Wikipedia

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Thu Jul 31 19:32:00 BST 2008

Frederik Ramm wrote about OSM vs. Wikipedia:

> 3. Not an End Product
> Working with Wikipedia, what you see is what is there: You 
> always have the current version of some article in front of your 
> eyes, and you will usually access this product with your web 
> browser and, ultimately, your eyes. Wikipedia does not collect 
> raw data, it collects/creates an end product.

This description of Wikipedia is wrong.  Just like OSM, Wikipedia 
is about compiling free contents.  How this is presented can be 
determined by the user, who downloads the database dump and 
converts it to something useful: on the web, on CDROM or in print.  
What you happen to see on Wikipedia's website is just one example.  
In this respect, Wikipedia works exactly like OpenStreetMap does.  
In both cases, many users are (mis-)led to believe that what they 
see is the one and only end product.  When Wikipedia's website is 
one of the world's ten most visited ones, this is just a big cost, 
and not the purpose of Wikipedia.  It would be better for 
Wikipedia if more readers went to other mirror websites, so that 
Wikipedia's servers could just serve the active contributors.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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