[OSM-talk] Who's That? OSM User Names Database
zverik at textual.ru
Sun Jan 20 09:48:39 GMT 2013
2300 users have changed their username at least once. 126 of those did
that twice or more. One of the problems with OSM API is that it heavily
relies on user names, not even allowing to query users by their
identifier. As a result, when a user changes his display name, he
virtually becomes a new user, with no history and no links to his past.
He even gets new logins in forum and wiki, with clean state!
A new service http://textual.ru/whosthat/ remembers. If you see a user
in an object history who you'd like to question, but he appears deleted,
just enter a part of his name into search box on that site, and you'll
get his current display name. For example, this user
http://textual.ru/whosthat/?id=347929 has changed his name two times
after being caught vandalizing the map.
Source code, API documentation and a link to the database dump are
Also, there was a poll on how to solve the problem of changing display
names: http://polls.cc/q35Mva/results/ and a trac ticket:
https://trac.openstreetmap.org/ticket/4671 . Maybe in 2015 whosthat
service will become obsolete.
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