[OSM-talk] Thoughts on OSM design, and looking forward and back

Nick Whitelegg Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk
Fri Feb 26 10:31:25 GMT 2010

>When I originally signed up I found the whole thing a tad daunting and
>overwhelming originally, nothing was very clear about what it was I
>was supposed to be doing, beyond fixing simple mistakes, or how to use
>GPS traces to enter data that wasn't available from imagery.

I'd just like to make a comment on this newbie thing, having only just 
picked up on this thread.

I ran a mapping party in Fareham, Hampshire, UK in which three newbies 
came, back at the start of November. These three newbies, who were 
reasonably adept at using computers but not "geeks", if you get what I 
mean, were able to successfully use JOSM - something harder than Potlatch, 
perhaps - to add street names to unnamed streets in Fareham. So I'm not 
sure that either editor is *that* hard to use given a proper 

My own feeling is that the average newbie is more likely to want to 
contribute POIs or name roads than add completely new data. So maybe 
something which allows users to easily do that would be ideal.

This requires more server side "intelligence" though... for example, the 
server needs to auto-detect if someone tries to add a POI with the same 
name and type within a certain distance of an already-existing POI, and 
reject it if so. If this was the case, then simple, lightweight AJAX-based 
editors, more restricted than Potlatch or JOSM but optimised for these 
sorts of tasks, could be built.


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