[OSM-talk] Zero tolerance on imports

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 08:54:50 GMT 2011

On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:

> This is killing OSM. We are not here to provide a free API to government
> geodata that can be obtained trivially elsewhere. OSM is all about "added
> value"; by deleting genuine surveyed data in favour of mindless duplication
> of other, poorer quality datasets, we are _destroying_ value.
> From what I can tell (talk-ca postings etc.) 'sammuell' is a fairly
> inexperienced OSMer who presumably thinks "this is how things are done". It
> isn't. How do we stop this impression taking hold? How do we explain that
> imports are _not_ welcome except as a last resort, and if you do them, you
> _must_ follow a very, very rigorous set of guidelines?

I concur with the view that bad imports hurt OSM.

I'd like to make a few pragmatic suggestions to reduce imports.

First, I think the most important thing we as a community can do to
reduce bot/import issues is to identify them.

I personally use OWL to monitor the area around where I live and I
make a cursory check of the changes in my area. I think most serious
mappers should consider doing the same, just to keep up to date with
what's happening in their area.

One could certainly write a script to help identify bots. Tell-tale
signs might include large bounding boxes, large numbers of changesets
in succession, lots of the same types of changes, etc.

Next, I'd suggest we reduce the number of changes per changeset. While
doing this might make bot detection harder, the upside might be easier
changeset reversion.

Then we should require bots to be registered- a "bot account" would
have reduced restrictions on it, but would be more heavily
scrutinised, if by no one else, then by the community at large.

None of these, with the exception of the bot detection, would require
any new software.

- Serge

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