[OSM-talk] Organizational mapping policy
penorman at mac.com
Tue May 13 23:44:25 UTC 2014
We have more and more organizations and businesses mapping in OSM.
Multiple organizations have been conducting paid editing in Europe and
the US. This generally comes to light *after* complaints are made - with
the company usually not identifying who they are, what their goals are,
and what they want, beforehand. There have also been difficulties
determining what has been mapped on behalf of an organization.
We will likely see more of this type of editing in the future, and while
not necessarily bad, there are differences between it and normal
editing. Recent events in a project similar to OpenStreetMap - Wikipedia
- have demonstrated that the participation of organizations in data
editing can occasionally lead to misunderstandings or disharmony in the
project, particularly where a lack of transparency is involved.
For this reason the DWG is considering if it is necessary to issue
guidelines for organizational editing. Some previous discussion is at
There are some activities we do not want to cover in the guidelines
- Unorganized editing by employees, e.g. a shop owner adding their shop
or nearby details to the map
- Editors mapping in response to a contest or similar where the contest
organizer does not have the power to require them to edit
- Individuals who, on their own accord, decide to participate in an
organised effort or challenge, like local mapping parties, Mapathons,
HOT projects, etc
Some possible guideline requirements could involve
- Disclosing those who are directing them (e.g. employers or who they
are contracting for) on the users page
- Creating a wiki page with links to user pages of users mapping under
an organization's direction
- Requiring those working on broader projects to communicate and get
feedback from the community before starting
- Requiring disclosure of proprietary third-party sources used.
Organizations may have data from third parties that they can legally
use when contributing to OSM, but aren't able to directly show others
- Maintaining separate accounts if doing both personal and organizational
The extent of editing activities covered is something else that needs to
Some types of activities that *could* be covered are
- Teachers requiring their students to edit OSM as part of a course
- Consultants editing for multiple clients
- Being required to edit as part of an employment relationship
SEO spammers would be covered by this policy, but are not the target.
They would ignore it, so we'll just end up using the existing tools
of reverting and blocking.
For the Data Working Group
More information about the talk