[OSM-talk] Revert requests in general

Ben Last ben.last at nearmap.com
Wed Aug 4 05:41:19 BST 2010

On 4 August 2010 09:45, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:
> Ben Last wrote:
>> the edits that we're submitting all come from one user
>> (that represents NearMap) since we don't (and can't) require
>> users of our site to all be registered with OSM.
> Um... this is the sort of stuff that really, really needs to be discussed
> first.
And I've tried to discuss it on a few occasions, and not had much of a
response :)  We've (at this point) ruled out asking all our users to
register separately with OSM, and we can't register with OSM on their
behalf (complex both technically and legally).  So we don't have many

> Whenever it has been raised in the past, the opinion of the community has
> generally been that proxy edits like this are strongly discouraged.
Maybe my Google skills are sadly lacking, but I spent a while looking
for information on this.  There's some discussion of the freietonne.de
site back in January, but nothing else significant.  Nor is there
anything on the wiki; the OAuth section discusses technical usage, but
there is no statement about proxy editing, the section of automated
edits doesn't cover this.  Note also that this is not anonymous
editing; the identity of the user submitting the change to us is
tagged with every edit.

> At the
> very least, you need to make sure your contributor agreement is widely
> discussed so that others (not least OSMF, which may be held liable for any
> copyright violations on the part of your users) are happy that they are
> compatible with current and future OSM licensing.
Our signup terms and conditions are being rewritten (by lawyers) to
explicitly handle this issue.

> Previous discussions, IIRC, took place in the days before OAuth. Now that we
> have OAuth on OSM there is even less reason to allow editing without an OSM
> account.
I'm not sure I agree.  We don't want to put barriers in the way of an
average user (and I use that term to explicitly distinguish between
the average map site user and a mapping enthusiast) making simple
corrections such as adding address information or naming un-named
streets.  In particular, we don't want to bounce them to the OSM site
to register (and face yet another set of terms and conditions), when
they're already registered on our site.

I'm not saying that we have to implement it this way, but up until
this point we've not been aware of any great community disapproval of
proxy editing as a principle.  I can absolutely understand that it's
not something that should be undertaken lightly, but I hope by now
that many OSMers will appreciate that we continue to do a lot of
support OSM, and that we do take the integrity and reliability of the
data very seriously.


Ben Last
Development Manager (HyperWeb)
NearMap Pty Ltd

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