[OSM-talk] Survey on global and local communities in OpenStreetMap

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Wed Aug 7 21:24:22 UTC 2019

On Wednesday 07 August 2019, Simon Poole wrote:
> @the designers of the survey. The question wrt remote mapping would
> seem to be designed to achieve a specific result.

I can also see some expectations and assumptions being visible 'between 
the lines' in some questions but this looks more like projecting own 
preconceptions and state of mind and less like active manipulation.

There seem to be overall a lot of questions where there is a high 
likelihood that many participants will answer a different question than 
what those designing the survey wanted to ask - due to unclear and 
vague terminology for example and due to ambiguous references.

The question you referred to for example says

"Do you remotely map other countries?"

and it is unclear if the "other" refers to the country where you live or  
to "where do you map mostly".  Pure armchair mappers only mapping in a 
single country might answer "No" to this question.

My main concern is rather that there are a lot of free form questions 
yet there is no option for the participants to allow publication of the 
individual free form answers in anonymized form.  This means we will - 
just like in the previous survey - only learn about any of these 
answers through the lens of the subjective interpretation of those 
making the aggregation.  This provides a lot of room for distortion 
through either cultural bias or deliberate selectivity of those doing 
the aggregation which kind of defeats the whole idea of doing a survey 
to reach parts of the community that are otherwise not visible.

In other words: What the survey says is you are welcome to provide your 
ideas through the survey but we, the creators of the survey, reserve 
the right to interpret your answers as we see fit and neither you nor 
anyone else may correct us if we do not correctly interpret what you 

Christoph Hormann

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