OpenStreetMap

We need Y O U for for OSMs wiki! - OR - Is our wiki healthy?

Posted by !i! on 2 March 2011 in English (English)

In Nov last year I analyzed the user contributions on our Wiki. 4 months past, so I did it again:

-2186 Users were active during the past 3 month
-72.3% did less than 10 edits/3 months
-97% did less than 100 edits/3 months
-only 34 users did over 150 edits/3 months
So I have to say nothing significant changed :(

But it's you we need! A wiki is only useful when it's alive, when outdated content got replaced and everybody does just a bit of this job.

A wiki is OUR library and not a collection of articles that is owned by the authors. So please help us doing one of the following things:

Updating content


You found a page where you know it's last edit is years ago? Check if it's still true what the content says. You might want to ask the editor if it's ok if you edit the page, but this is a wiki, you don't have to cause everything can be undone.

Labeling bad pages


Not the time to update the page? At least mark them for others! Just add one of the following statements to the text.

  • {{OutOfDate}}

  • {{Stub}}

  • {{Cleanup}}

Find lost pages


You can use this wikipages to find uncategorized and lonely pages. Now add

  • [[MyCategory]]
  • at the end of the page for corresponding category
  • [[wikipage]]
  • on words you know there are wikipages for

Everything you do can help! There is a preview on your edit, so don't be afraid you damage anything. Any troubles? Contact the wikiteam, you are not alone!

Comment from daveemtb on 2 March 2011 at 07:58

wiki seems to be down at the mo :-s

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Comment from !i! on 2 March 2011 at 08:00

I know, this was my reminder ;)

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Comment from Thommse on 2 March 2011 at 09:31

Es liegt wahrscheinlich in der Sache der Natur, dass der Mensch träger wird - je aussagekräftiger und je datenreichhaltiger ein Auskunftssystem ist.
Da die OSM-Datenfülle in letzter Zeit erheblich gewachsen ist (ein Bsp. wäre da die Möglichkeit des "Abzeichnens" von BING) - verliert der Mensch ein wenig die Lust. Ich für meine Person fühle mich da mit der angebotenen Datenflut ein wenig "überfordert" ;-) ... wenn ihr versteht - was ich meine: dass man nun alles auf dem Silber-Tablett präsentiert bekommt ... und es an einem selbst liegt, Daten nachzudigitalisieren.

Ich denke, dass eher so Aktionen wie "OSM-Projekt der Woche" den Mensch als Individuum mehr zum aktiven Handeln anspricht, und es den Menschen mehr reizt - spezielle Dinge ins OSM einzupflegen, wo man sich selbst ein wenig *drehen* muss und eine übersichtliche Menge an Daten aufzunehmen hat. ;-)

Ich hoffe, ihr versteht, was ich meine.

Achso LiL ... sieh' es mal so - die "OSM-Gemeinde" legt gerade eine "Verschnauf-Pause" ein ... mit ein wenig neuen interessanten Projekten/Ansätzen/Ideen ... kann das bald wieder ganz schnell anders ausschauen hier.

(Nun hoffe ich nur, dass es legitim ist, meinen Eintrag hier in deutscher Sprache zu verfassen (mit ausdrücklichem Hinweis auf die rhetorischen Mittel und Begriffen in Anführungszeichen).

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Comment from !i! on 2 March 2011 at 11:09

Well what you say is right. Nevertheless I think everybody should care about documentation cause this is essential to attract newbies.

What would happen, say 5 of the most editors on the wiki would abandon the project? So if this task is on more shoulders it's better for OSM as a whole.

Keeping things clean is not a bad task, it shows you the real variety of OSM and brings up a lot of lost gems :)

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Comment from chriscf on 2 March 2011 at 18:00

Part of the problem is that we seem to have a group of idiots that think the wiki should be used as a venue for tag bureaucracy, and another group of idiots that won't bother with it because of the first group. A prime example is the designation tag. A "proposal" has lingered for a year and a half, and in that time the tag has entered common use - yet someone is now suggesting that we proceed with the utterly pointless and futile exercise of a formal vote (you couldn't action a "no" vote at this stage).

The former group need to accept that the wiki is for documentation - description, not prescription. Only once they're dealt with are you going to get the latter group into the fold.

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Comment from !i! on 2 March 2011 at 18:04

You are right, this is a reason, why the wikiteam recommends not to work on the tagging related pages cause it's a minefield.

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Comment from chriscf on 2 March 2011 at 19:22

That's unfortunate, because the nonsense that goes on at tagging-related pages is precisely the thing that has driven people away in the past, and you're unlikely to win them back unless you put a stop to it. Another brilliant example: Template:No proposal seems to encourage the creation of proposal pages for tags that are documented and in use.

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Comment from !i! on 2 March 2011 at 20:32

Well I tried to do improvements but all reactions stoped me and so I spend my time on things I can change and where people benefit more.

The Template was my idea after some edit wars. Another user created the blue ribbon campain. All in all I think Jochens taginfo service is the right thing to put the discussion/documention on a serious criteria again

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Comment from netman55 on 3 March 2011 at 10:53

"...the wikiteam recommends not to work on the tagging related pages cause it's a minefield"

This just highlights how crazy the wiki has become. The MAIN reason why newbies visit the wiki is to find out how to tag. If they find over complicated irrelevant documentation this becomes a BIG BIG turn off and they give up/do their own thing.

The tag pages in particular are just too bogged down in too much detail, I think some people lose sight that OSM is just a map not a directory of what every Tom, Dick & Harry does in the world

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Comment from !i! on 3 March 2011 at 12:03

Yes this is probably the most important usecase. On the other hand this is the current situation. I hope that there will be a better chance if the team approved that it can deal with a neutral refactoring of the tagging related pages cause it shows that it worked on other things (development, software, gps,...). But his is just an idea. If you have a better one feel free to join the discussion. :)

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Comment from drlizau on 4 March 2011 at 08:02

If marking "out of date" or "cleanup" etc, just a few words of why you think so might be helpful, otherwise marking work may do more offence than good.

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Comment from !i! on 4 March 2011 at 08:18

Well this allows others (e.g. wikiteam or other "cleaners") to find pages that need attention. To externals it allows to see that the informations might not be as accurate and that it's necessary to validate them (e.g. post on forums). To the users adding such hints it's the most easiest way on working on the wiki and to see that it's not that complicated :) This might be a point to do the cleanup work by yourself instead of waiting for others.

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