[OSM-talk] Attribution guideline status update

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Fri Aug 9 13:59:35 UTC 2019

On Friday 09 August 2019, Jóhannes Birgir Jensson wrote:
> I think we move in different mapper communities as "mapping for the
> reward of being recognized by external data users" has never even
> been on my list, or of those mappers I know, of reasons for why we
> map.

Please don't twist my words - i have not said mappers are "mapping for 
the reward of being recognized by external data users".  I said "While 
elsewhere people generating geodata are almost always rewarded for 
their work also in other form (like salery) in OSM the only recognition 
mappers receive from external data users is the attribution required by 
the license".  That is a huge difference.

The growth of the mapper community and in particular the increase in the 
number of mappers who are externally motivated to map (like paid 
mappers or mappers in organized humanitarian mapping projects) can 
certainly lead to the impression that those mappers whose commitment 
depends on the social contract between mappers and data users being 
honored by the data users are not strictly needed any more for the 
project to survive.  I would not be too sure about that though.  
Research on social networks in general typically shows that the 
function and attractiveness of a network to participants often depends 
on a relatively small number of participants.  And in particular power 
mappers who might have over many years mapped a significant fraction of 
their home town and environment are quite likely to become demotivated 
when they see that data users increasingly just rip off their work and 
can't be bothered to even acknowledge their contribution in a very 
basic and collective fashion.  With mapper retention over longer time 
being an issue in general this is a significant problem.

Note that this idea of the function of attribution in OSM is not my 
invention, this is a matter that has been discussed plenty of times 
over the years with the basic point i am trying to make here being 
agreed on by many different people.  Obviously there are also many 
mappers who don't care about attribution and who would be fine or would 
even prefer if OSM data was PD.  But that is not my point here.  
Because also those mappers are to a large fraction fully aware that 
this view is not universal.

Christoph Hormann

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