OpenStreetMap

Newcomers are welcome, even Pokemon Go mappers

Posted by rorym on 29 January 2017 in English (English)

Recently some players of Pokemon Go think that OpenStreetMap data is being used as data in the game, and by editing OSM they can force new things to appear in the game.

Some people don't like this swarm of newcomers, and rightly point out the bad, incorrect data that people are adding. Sometimes these newcomers are using Google Maps without a full understanding of what copyright is, and why that's not allowed in OSM.

I'm skeptical that Niantic are actually using OSM data this way. They may be using a static dump, but it's pretty rare for external, non-OpenStreetMap, companies to have a continuously updated database from OSM.

New users are always welcome, and if they are adding correct things, then I welcome them. It's always good to have new mappers, adding things for an area they are in. Pokemon Go is a game you play by going outside and walking around, so these people are adding data to their neighbourhood, which can often be better than remote mappers with no idea of the local area.

Comment from BushmanK on 29 January 2017 at 18:37

I hope you understand, that the major concern here is not about the "swarm of newcomers", but about the fake data added by some of them because of what they think could benefit them in the game. It is important not to exaggerate this because otherwise, it turns into a straw man argument. Exaggerating a level of a negative reception makes it easier to condemn it.

Hide this comment

Comment from pizzaiolo on 29 January 2017 at 19:02

I guess what we need is some robust vandalism-fighting mechanism like Wikipedia has.

Hide this comment

Comment from Math1985 on 29 January 2017 at 19:06

Hi rory, I used to be very sceptical as well, but at least for South Korea, credit to OSM has been added in the app now: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/5ptg4q/openstreetmap_data_attributed_in_0532_at_least/

Hide this comment

Comment from Richard on 29 January 2017 at 20:37

Rory: amen to that. As a data consumer, I recognise that more harm can be done to the utility of the map by one self-regarding "super mapper" than by a thousand newbies adding ponds.

Hide this comment

Comment from d1g on 30 January 2017 at 12:31

Some people don't like this swarm of newcomers

few users like Eternal September effect.

If they add real objects - fine, even if using suboptimal tags.

If they add imaginary pokemon parks and woods - no so much, right?

OSM value is not in "everyone can edit", but "actual, verifiable" data.

If they tag pokemon spawns using pokemons=here - then it's fine, but if they change woods to parks and vice versa...

Hide this comment

Comment from SilentCat on 31 January 2017 at 12:49

If they tag pokemon spawns using pokemons=here - then it's fine, but if they change woods to parks and vice versa... Wrong. Because openstreetmap stores only current real data and not virtual imaginated ones.

Hide this comment

Comment from rorym on 31 January 2017 at 12:53

I agree. OSM must only contain real, verified data. And some Pokemon Go users don't do that. But people have been adding nonsense data to OSM since the dawn of time (2004).

Hide this comment

Comment from BushmanK on 31 January 2017 at 16:06

But people have been adding nonsense data to OSM since the dawn of time (2004). This fact can not serve as an argument for being more tolerant to any other kinds of fake data.

And yes, Pokemon-related features are imaginary, even being imagined in a certain relation to a real-world location. So, it shouldn't me kept in the OSM as well as, for example, real locations of fictional events of some book or movie.

Hide this comment

Leave a comment

Parsed with Markdown

  • Headings

    # Heading
    ## Subheading

  • Unordered list

    * First item
    * Second item

  • Ordered list

    1. First item
    2. Second item

  • Link

    [Text](URL)
  • Image

    ![Alt text](URL)

Login to leave a comment