[OSM-talk] Fwd: A short online questionnaire on the OSM users .....(It takes 48 seconds)

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 27 19:14:29 UTC 2013

One major problem with surveys is the responses.  You really want a cross
section sample so to be meaningful you'd need to generate a random list of
OSM users to send the questionnaire to then try to get the highest response
rate possible.  OSM would need to be involved to send the questionnaire out
by email.  The number needed to create the sample would need to be worked
out mathematically but it could be done.

Language is a problem.

The emails would need to stress the importance of replying even if the
person concerned felt their answers were not important.

I think probably it would make sense to run once a year then over time
multiple years you can see trends.

I'm not certain if you'd target active mappers or inactive ones, we have a
fair number of these.  One technique is to have a basic questionnaire and a
more detailed questionnaire which is sent out to a smaller sub section of
the sample.

I would suggest a coordinated approach since the bigger the survey the
better the quality of results.  It needs a small committee to balance
respondent burden with the value of the research.  I'd also suggest a
sample survey is run first, sometimes the questions or possible answers
don't make sense to the respondents.  For example job, retired isn't an
option yet many mappers are retired.

Cheerio John

On 27 June 2013 14:55, Kai Krueger <kakrueger at gmail.com> wrote:

> I tried sending this mail through nabble earlier on, but it doesn't seem
> to have gone through, so I'll try and resend. If you did get this email
> twice, I apologise.
> -----
> Clifford Snow wrote
> >Your survey is mostly demographics. There were two actual questions
> >related
> >to mapping. I'm not sure what you hope to achieve.
> Understanding the demographics of the mapping community can be a very
> interesting question and topic of research.
> After all, there has just been set up a new mailing list
> "diversity-talk", to discuss the demographics of openstreetmap and how
> to achieve a broad appeal to many different demographic groups. Having
> some good hard numbers about the current situation, to augment the data
> we already have, would be rather helpful.
> If good methods can be worked out how to achieve those numbers, these
> studies can be repeated periodically. That can then be helpful, amongst
> other things, to see if various outreach programs to try and diversify
> the community have had success, and if yes in which demographics.
> Understanding the motivation of mappers can also be hugely interesting!
> This information can help figure out how best to promote OSM and get
> more people involved in mapping and where best to focus efforts to
> attract more people.
> >Clifford Snow wrote
> >Please rethink this survey and try again.
> Without knowing the questions this research is trying to answer and what
> other tools and data they are using as well as their analysis method,
> you cannot judge if it is a good survey and appropriately set up for the
> questions it hopes to address. Furthermore, good research in social
> sciences is often incredibly difficult. As you usually have no
> interventional control on the subject of study and you often have to
> deal with subjective reports in surveys. So it is often not uncommon to
> have to ask many seemingly redundant and strange questions in order to
> get around or detect biases.
> >Clifford Snow wrote
> >As Frederik Ramm suggest, please
> >explain more about your research.
> I would be very interested in hearing more about the research as well.
> However, there are situations when you don't want to reveal the actual
> questions you are interested in ahead of time to your survey
> participants as alone the knowledge of what the researcher is interested
> can bias the results. With the relatively factual questions of this
> survey that seems less likely though..
> Overall, I think there is more than enough room for a lot of different
> research, both social and gis research in the OSM community and its
> data. Imho it is great to see research into these topics and the more
> the better!
> Kai
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