[OSM-talk] Newbie alert

Bryce Nesbitt bryce2 at obviously.com
Wed Mar 19 17:03:28 UTC 2014

On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 2:53 AM, SomeoneElse <lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk>wrote:

> Bryce Nesbitt wrote:
>> The "entry level editor" could reasonably limit new users to "entry level
>> edits".
>> Messing with anything with a relation is not a first edit kind of
>> activity.
>> What if the entry level editor said "hey, this is too complex, map
>> something else
>> and gain some experience and come back to this section".
>> The barrier is still low.
> Saying "you can't update anything that involves a relation" rules out
> rivers and streams (borders), roads (turn restrictions), and many types of
> landuse and buildings (multipolygons).  I don't think that it's feasible.

You've taken the proposal farther than I intended.
Certainly adjusting the geometry of a boundary should be just fine for

Let's take "Stack Exchange", a Question & Answer site, as a possible model.
 A new user can vote up *any* answer.  However, it requires a reputation
level of something like 100 to vote *down* a question.   This reflects that
voting down has some social cost, and it takes some time for new users to
become familiar with the community norms.

For OpenStreetMap the moment a new user *deletes* a member of a border
relation something might pop up:
*Feature locked: this type of edit requires more editing experience. Please
see here for details.*

Not only have you prevented a messy deletion, you've given the new user
something to strive for (unlocking the capability).

I dispute that this is any sort of barrier to a new editor.  A new editor
(particularly a non-geek editor) may well feel
comforted that they are in an environment where the sharpest knives are
locked away, at least until they are ready to use them.
And you're teaching at a teachable moment.

Another possible model is OK Cupid, where users must pass a short quiz to
access features.  For OpenStreetMap that could mean a quick educational
quiz on relations.  A user trying to make an edit that requires relation
experience would be directed to the quiz.  The moment they answer the
questions correctly their account is permanently unlocked with regard to
relation editing.

In this approach one quiz would handle all editing platforms, and the
rejection of an edit would happen at the API level.  The editors would only
need to format the API error message for viewing (perhaps with a i18n layer
for translations).
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