[OSM-talk] Deleting data

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Sat Oct 19 10:52:19 UTC 2013


Though I'm not the person you're talking about, the problem with your
argument, in your case is that you map things in places you have not

I've seen imported data from you that was created before the LWG's
position on these things, and a lot of it is *highly* suspect. I've
seen old railroad data from you that you got from elsewhere, but was
not entered in correctly and *as it appeared*, was data that was

So I can imagine that someone else, encountering similar data, would
make a similar conclusion "This data is wrong, thus needs to be
removed. When I've encountered this kind of data from you, I've
reached out and contacted you, and you've corrected some of it.

As a mapper, you have mapped from third party sources and not been in
the place physically to confirm. But you expect other mappers to have
a different threshold for deleting these edit, why?

I am sympathetic to the issue of bad edits, and editors who are
thoughtless. I think we need better mechanisms to discuss edits
intelligently, and I think and hope that if we had such mechanisms
that it would result in less deletions of good data. We could also
provide information on deleted data more comprehensively, to make
those things easier to find.

I agree that we need better communication mechanisms and better
monitoring of edits. I do not agree that deletions should only happen
when someone has physically gone into the area other.

- Serge

On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 1:05 AM, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:
> I've recently had two instances of people deleting data that I had
> entered. Their rationale? You only map what's on the ground.
> Their authority to do so? Armchair mapping.
> This is wrong, and it's got to stop. Nobody should be deleting data
> that somebody else entered unless they have actually BEEN to the
> place, failed to see any trace of the mapped entity, and are an expert
> at identifying the mapped entity. This should be the case no matter
> the entity: whether fire hydrants, buildings, intersections, park
> benches, railroads, canals, whatever.
> This, of course, has to be tempered against the TIGER data, which is
> flawed. So I think the rule of thumb should be: delete, but if
> somebody else reverts, then you have no authority to start an edit
> war unless you've been there and they haven't. Or if you have any
> doubt, send them a message via OSM: "Can I delete this?"
> Apparently some people object to seeing things in their editor which
> they can't see on the aerial photograph. I counsel tolerance,
> humility, and in the case of JOSM, liberal use of the Filter to hide
> data that bothers you (I almost always edit with border=administrative
> hidden. I don't see them on the ground, but I don't suggest that we
> should delete them).
> We need to make sure that the Wikipedia deletionism doesn't take hold
> within OSM. Because, if I have to spend time defending the data I've
> already entered, that will take away from my effort to enter new
> data. In case you think I'm blowing smoke out my butt (who the hell
> blows smoke out their butt??), I've entered about 90% of the lakes in
> NY that are there, and about 50% of the rivers and streams that I have
> looked for (so far). I've aligned the TIGER data in about 7
> counties. It's a huge amount of work that nobody else is doing, and it
> would be a shame if I had to stop people from deleting what I've
> already done.
> I stand firm against deletionism!
> --
> --my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
> Crynwr supports open source software
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