[OSM-talk] Building a free/open reviews community w/ OSM support

Pine W wiki.pine at gmail.com
Sat Aug 6 02:48:53 UTC 2016

Hi Erik,

Interesting project, though I must admit some caution about its success.
How do you plan to develop readership for this site? Yelp seems to have a
commanding lead.


On Aug 5, 2016 18:17, "Erik Moeller" <eloquence at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Michał,
> Thanks for your comments!
> On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 4:55 PM, Michał Brzozowski <www.haxor at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Have you devised any robust algorithm for linking OSM primitives to
> > objects in the external database? In general case, it seems really
> > hard to track objects as they get converted from nodes to areas, or
> > decide whether given OSM feature is no longer representing some entity
> > in the external database.
> No, and I'm not very familiar with OSM's data structures and APIs yet.
> What I'm imagining for now as the initial OSM-related features are:
> 1) enabling search for POIs similar to http://openpoimap.org/ but more
> lightweight and purpose-focused (so you can start a review and just
> select a POI from the map to identify it)
> 2) importing (and attributing!) relevant data on demand, which by the
> looks of e.g. https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/422293736 seems like
> it often includes quite a bit of relevant data that future reviewers
> would appreciate.
> If possible, I'd also like to add:
> 3) flagging imported data as read-only and synchronizing it in regular
> intervals. People who want to improve that data would then just be
> pointed to OSM (or Wikidata, or whatever community source).
> I have no intention of performing a bulk import anytime soon; while
> this could be good for bootstrapping, it will be too big of a
> technical challenge too early, I think. Instead for now we'll
> add/import metadata about things we review if/when we review them.
> Do you see fundamental technical challenges with any of the above? I
> don't think conversion from nodes to areas would necessarily be
> problematic, as long as the sync job can learn that such a change has
> occurred to the object it's trying to keep in sync.
> > A framework / API for performing such linking would be of great
> > interest, as it could enable many applications to exist on top of OSM
> > - recognizing that not everything belongs to OSM.
> *nod* OSM-land is interesting compared with the Wikimedia world I'm
> more familiar with, with much more emphasis on a large distributed
> community building tools and APIs, some proprietary, some open. I'll
> want to look at the state of the open tools out there to see if what
> I'm describing above can already be built, or if there's someone who's
> willing to collaborate!
> > Regarding the idea, I reckon it may not scale well, if at all. Weeding
> > out spammers needs constant attention, and community moderation is
> > prone to the Sybil attacks. This may be less of a problem on sites
> > such as OSM or Wikipedia where data needs verifiability that or
> > another way (so in order to gain trust you have to do actual work).
> > Reviews are inherently subjective. Not to mention any legal BS one may
> > get from business owners.
> Heh, it's certainly a hard problem. :) Here are a few things to note:
> - Currently the system is invite-only and likely will be for a while.
> I reckon building a core community that cares about quality,
> organization, etc. will take a while, and we can then give a lot of
> those folks permission to also act as moderators so they can ban
> spammers once we (temporarily or permanently) open the floodgates.
> Invitation is something we can give away liberally, but it functions
> as a bit of a barrier to entry for bad faith actors.
> - I'm building into the architecture strong notions of trust and
> affiliation. Users can be members of like-minded teams with given
> rules (think sub-reddit as an analogy), and they can individually
> express trust toward one another, so we can track the trust graph that
> allowed an abuser to act with elevated trust levels. Trust will likely
> factor into ranking calculations, visibility of content, and so on. To
> give an example, it's already the case that the reviews shown on
> https://lib.reviews/ are written by users with the "trusted" flag set,
> while https://lib.reviews/feed shows all (unfiltered) reviews.
> - In general, my experience with Wikimedia has taught me that
> transparent community collaboration in good faith is a pretty good way
> to deal with such problems. Wikimedia has to deal with paid PR flacks
> regularly, for example, and generally has established procedures for
> spotting and kicking out such folks. Similarly, WMF has had to face
> down nasty legal threats long before it had a big budget. As long as I
> give the community good tools to self-organize rather than following
> an enterprise-style approach of solving everything from the top down,
> I am optimistic that we can make decisions such as "when do we open
> the floodgates" collaboratively.)
> Warmly,
> Erik
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