[OSM-talk] Organizational mapping policy

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Jun 19 09:11:41 UTC 2014


On 06/19/2014 12:26 AM, Johan C wrote:
> Since there is still no clear picture on the exact nature of the
> (potential) problem for OSM

The problem that Wikipedia tries to solve is a lack of transparency;
they want to make sure that, where compensation is involved, the
potential motives of contributors are out in the open.

They are not saying that it is bad to be paid for editing Wikipedia; nor
are they saying that you have to request permission for paid Wikipedia
editing. They just want the larger community, who might come to judge
whether an edit has been made in good faith, to know the important facts.

I think it was you who invoked comparisons to political processes and
systems recently; you might compare this to rules that exist in many
countries where members of parliament have to disclose any extra income
they receive from other jobs. A member of parliament doesn't have to ask
for permission if they earn money on the side but they have to disclose
it, and the public can then decide whether they find this totally ok, or
whether they believe that this flow of money could interfere with that
person's contribution to parliament.

I think that a similar transparency policy - disclose if you map for
compensation - would make sense in OSM as well. (I also think - but that
is more of a practical matter - that it would in some cases be very
helpful to know that a group of seemingly separate accounts are actually
controlled by the same corporate entity.)

> it's indeed very wise not to implement a
> solution, because logically that solution wouldn't solve the (potential)
> problem.

First of all, that conclusion is wrong because even if we were to
implement a measure that you have no clear picture of, it could still
solve a problem - on purpose for those who understood it, and
accidentally for those who didn't understand it.

But as I pointed out earlier, you do not need to wait until your house
is on fire to solve the fire problem; you can try to *avoid* the problem
occurring in the first place.

A storm is forecast and your neighbour closes their windows; you are new
to the area and you would really appreciate a more thorough analysis on
if and how a storm would affect your house since it is built a little
different than your neighbour's; maybe you won't even be affected by the
weather... but would it really be considered "unwise" to close your windows?

It has been said by some people in this discussion - and I don't
remember if that was your particular position as well - that the
motivation behind an edit is irrelevant to OSM because, in contrast to
Wikipedia, we only collect verifiable facts, and why bother who enters
these and why?

I don't subscribe to that point of view, and I will discuss this in a
different thread.

I do maintain that the additional transparency requirements that
Wikipedia have introduced would serve OSM well, and I fail to see a
downside to them.

Do you simply think that this additional transparency is "not proven to
be necessary" and you are against any rule that is not proven to be
necessary, or do you see an outright downside to transparency ("if we
were to require this disclosure then there would be less good mapping"
or so)?


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

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