[OSM-talk] Streetcomplete and Geographically Large Changesets

Justin Tracey j3tracey at gmail.com
Sat Jul 24 21:33:20 UTC 2021

On 2021-07-24 3:23 p.m., Mike Thompson wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 12:41 PM Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk 
> <mailto:andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk>> wrote:
>     On Fri, 23 Jul 2021 at 22:32, Mateusz Konieczny via talk
>     <talk at openstreetmap.org <mailto:talk at openstreetmap.org>> wrote:
>      > The only case where valid editing would produce such situation
>     are cases where
>     There are several other scenarios than the two you list; for example
>     * User is on a long-distance trip and makes notes on paper, or
>     mentaly; after returning home they answer quests
>     * User refer to their own photographs from a recent trip to answer
>     quests
>     * User refers to recent images in Mapilary or Wikimedia Commons, or
>     open-licensed aerial imagery, to answer quests
>     * User asks a friend or relative to check a remote feature ("Hi Mom,
>     is the postbox still outside your house?")
>     * User is away from home, but is answering quests about where they live
> All are possible, but at least in the case of the imagery, they should 
> cite that as a source and not "survey" (or doesn't Streetcomplete allow 
> a source other than "survey", in which case that too is a problem)
> MIke

The entire idea of StreetComplete is that it's an editor intended *only* 
for low-effort survey data via quests. The goal is to make it 
unambiguously the highest quality data for simple tags. Adding 
non-survey data, no matter how confident you are you know the answer, 
subverts that purpose. If you have other information to add to OSM, 
either because there is no relevant quest or because you aren't 
currently looking at the thing in the real world, you should not be 
using StreetComplete for it. All of the above examples should be added 
via some other editor (e.g., iD if you want something quick and easy, 
Vespucci if you want something on Android, or JOSM if you want full 
desktop editing), with the appropriate source cited, not StreetComplete. 

  * Notes on paper are, IMO, borderline for citing "survey" as a source, 
and not suitable for StreetComplete. Mental notes are definitely not 
surveys, they're almost the definition of local knowledge.
  * Your own photographs are fine to use as surveys, but should not be 
used with StreetComplete, since again, you're not there. iD is perfect 
for this case, and you'll be able to add a lot more than what can be 
added with StreetComplete anyway.
  * Mapillary, Wikimedia Commons, and other public streetlevel imagery 
sources are not survey sources, they're they're own thing, with their 
own set of considerations (which is why iD adds them as sources 
automatically when you use them; I suspect there may also be licensing 
considerations involved). Again, they definitely should not be used with 
  * Asking a friend or relative is not a survey (at least, not in the 
geography sense -- with enough people, it could be the other kind of 
survey ;)). I might mark that as "local knowledge", or even something 
more specific like "friend"/"relative".
  * Answering quests about where you live without actually physically 
looking at it is, again, the definition of local knowledge, not a 
survey. Do not add this kind of info with StreetComplete, that's not 
what it's there for.

I'm curious why a StreetComplete user would think these things are okay 
to add with StreetComplete, since it loudly complains when you answer 
quests that aren't in the vicinity of your GPS location (it tends to be 
a bit overzealous on this, e.g., warning about adding building levels on 
a high rise a block away, but there's no way you could miss it).

  - Justin

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