[OSM-talk] Bitcoin Spam

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Dec 3 22:10:48 UTC 2013


   we're seeing a rising number of new ways and nodes which seem to be
added by people who create an account for just one purpose, namely
adding a business to the map.

This could be great - if every business were to add themselves to the
map, we'd have a nice collection of POIs.

However, in the case at hand, it seems that the interest is not to
improve OSM but instead we're just a vehicle for people to show up on
the "coinmap", a business directory for bitcoin-accepting businesses.

It seems that a name and "payment:bitcoin=yes" is sufficient for that
site, with an optional advertising slug in the "note" tag. But for us,
not so much. First of all because advertising has no room in OSM; second
because many of these businesses seem to be not really "on the ground"
(but just a mail-order place that wants to have some marker somewhere),
third because they often don't contain even minimal information that
would make them useful to us. I've collected these objects created in
the past couple of days here


A few examples:

    <node id="2520077777" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-04T17:56:44Z"
uid="1795331" user="The Tobacco Seed Company" changeset="18716456"
lat="51.5442768" lon="0.7236584">
      <tag k="name" v="The Tobacco Seed Company"/>
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="website" v="http://www.tobaccoseed.co.uk"/>

This is blatant advertising for a web site. It doesn't even say what
kind of shop this is supposed to be.

    <node id="2523904649" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-08T04:46:05Z"
uid="1798995" user="mkondratov" changeset="18776505" lat="41.4183069"
      <tag k="name" v="Noosphere Ltd, Computer Repair"/>
      <tag k="note" v="Computer Repair Services"/>
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="phone" v="1-216-459-1994"/>
      <tag k="website" v="http://www.noospherecomputers.com"/>

This, too, is little more than a name on our map. We don't usually
include the field of business in the name - this should have been
expressed through a proper "shop" tag.

    <node id="2526590372" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-10T15:46:58Z"
uid="1801179" user="79s VOF" changeset="18818705" lat="52.372218"
      <tag k="name" v="79s VOF"/>
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="website" v="https://store.79s.co"/>


    <node id="2537387222" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-18T01:07:54Z"
uid="1809524" user="webhostpl" changeset="18964238" lat="50.0727563"
      <tag k="domeny" v=""/>
      <tag k="hosting" v=""/>
      <tag k="name" v="Webhost.pl"/>
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="strony internetowe" v=""/>
      <tag k="website" v="http://www.webhost.pl"/>

Broken tagging (quite frequent).

    <node id="2540057545" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-19T18:09:14Z"
uid="1651798" user="oldenburg69" changeset="18998877" lat="36.2026532"
      <tag k="addr:city" v="Las Vegas"/>
      <tag k="addr:housenumber" v="5216"/>
      <tag k="addr:postcode" v="89156"/>
      <tag k="addr:street" v="Glendale Ave."/>
      <tag k="name" v="Hannig Fab Works"/>
      <tag k="note" v="Hannig Fab Works LLC is a custom metal
fabrication shop specializing in creating high quality metal fixtures,
custom fabrication and metal art to customers in the Southern Nevada and
abroad via the internet."/>
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="website" v="http://www.hannigfabworks.com/"/>

Tagging is ok as far as the address node is concerned, but without a
shop tag the rest is kind of useless, and the "note" tag is not for your
marketing tagline.

    <node id="2548748273" version="1" timestamp="2013-11-24T14:38:32Z"
uid="1817212" user="l337 PLace" changeset="19091714" lat="60.1491622"
      <tag k="addr:city" v="Espoo"/>
      <tag k="addr:housename" v="1337Place"/>
      <tag k="addr:housenumber" v="4"/>
      <tag k="addr:postcode" v="02320"/>
      <tag k="addr:street" v="Espoonlahdenkatu"/>
      <tag k="name" v="1337place.com (Logistics only)"/>
      <tag k="note" v="Quality products shipping worldwide starting
@5EUR. BeagleBone Black and much more. U can pay with Bitcoin! #BTC
      <tag k="payment:bitcoin" v="yes"/>
      <tag k="phone" v="+358466401678"/>
      <tag k="website" v="http://www.1337place.com"/>

Whatever BeagleBone Black is, this house is certeinly not called

   <node id="2563617422" visible="true" version="1" changeset="19261838"
timestamp="2013-12-03T21:42:21Z" user="EcoBox" uid="1828695"
lat="29.4561384" lon="-98.4193203">
      <tag k="moving boxes" v="moving boxes"/>
      <tag k="name" v="EcoBox"/></node>

What shall I say. The changeset comment contained something about
accepting bitcoin.

This is all rather undesirable - people adding their business to OSM
would be great, but advertising isn't, and we'd prefer if they actually
used tagging that is used in OSM, rather than simply rushing in a name
tag and a location because that's enough to get listed on some third
party web site.

I delete the ones I encounter when they're outright spam but I'm shying
away from suggesting some kind of automated cleaning job because I'm not
clear on what the minimum tagging should be on any node. We don't
currently have any such rules but seeing people dumping things into our
database that we can't use just so they're shown on coinmap seems a bit


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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