[OSM-talk] Potlatch again

Michal Migurski mike at stamen.com
Wed Jan 14 06:31:26 GMT 2009

> Well, one of the reasons is that our beginners' documentation is the
> weakest part of the whole caboodle. Put yourself in the position of a
> newbie. You're not sure what to do (as Chris Schmidt observed on
> #irc, "editing topology is hard") - you may not even realise that the
> roads have to link together. So you click the nice "Help/Wiki" link
> on the left. There's a big button marked "Beginners' Guide", so you
> click that.
> And then it all goes wrong.
> ...
> What would be the single best patch anyone could contribute to OSM
> right now? Rewriting the beginner docs from scratch. I'm 100% serious.

I'm looking at replacing MS VEarth imagery in http://oakland.crimespotting.org/crimes 
  with OSM, and I've been working on how to introduce the idea of an  
editable map to our (non-technical) visitors. OpenStreetBugs offers an  
obvious pathway in, though my experience observing local bugs is OSB  
shows that people don't understand the rendering delay: "I added this  
bug, someone closed it, yet the mistake is still here in the map."

So I'd love to introduce people to Potlatch. Since it's what you get  
when you click the "edit" tab on OSM, it's obviously the first editor  
most people will come in contact with. I've grown to really like it  
over the last few months, but I can see that the guide on the wiki is  
as useless as you describe above, irrelevant to the tram line fixer or  
city park adder that I expect in this situation.

I'm hesitant to blow away the existing guide, but I wonder if it can  
be moved behind a disambiguation page? Something that lets you  
understand different levels of involvement: found a mistake, need to  
add a street, have a spreadsheet of local amenities, live in the US  
where crummy TIGER data exists, live in Eastern Europe where there's  
nothing, have a GPS, don't have a GPS, etc.


michal migurski- mike at stamen.com

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