OpenStreetMap

woodpeck has commented on the following diary entries

Post When Comment
Details about iD editor users get publicly, permanently and silently logged with every edit – a privacy breach 29 days ago

Related discussion on the JOSM tracker: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/8701 (two years old). The compromise for JOSM was to continue uploading language settings and version number to the changeset metadata, but not operating system.

Is it the moment for OpenStreetMap? about 1 month ago

We don't want to appear anti-business - and I don't think we are. Also, we don't want to bite the hands that feed us; some (but notably not all) of the proponents of dropping share-alike have generously given to OSM and the OSMF in the form of software and donations in the past, and continue to do so. That doesn't mean we should do what they want, but at least if we disagree, we should do so respectfully ;)

And respectfully disagree I do! There's a group of people with a very limited, commercial mindset, a mindset that is entirely focused on business ideas, fast turnarounds, and the disruption for profit of existing industries. Move fast, play hard, and all that. They project their everyday business-think onto OSM: OSM needs to move fast, to stay ahead, to anticipate demand, to adapt and innovate or die. And who can blame them, because this is exactly what applies to them - what they have learnt to be the universal truth in their little disruptive startup business world.

How often have I heard people say "if OSM doesn't do this and that then they won't grow fast enough and they will be overtaken by someone else and that's it". Change the license! Make strategic deals with $smartphone_vendor! Kow-tow to $megacorp who will catapult OSM into every household!

And it always gives me the greatest pleasure to reply exactly what Zverik writes above: You know what - we're not in a hurry. You might be, because your investors want to see a RoI next year, or because you've chosen a way of doing business that requires you to re-invent yourself twice a year to escape oblivion. But us? We've been here for ten years and we'll be here for another ten years. We don't need world domination tomorrow; world domination in a decade or two is totally ok.

When projects die, it is usually not because they've not sucked up to business enough. It's because they fall apart, because the human beings in the project stop feeling like a community. I wouldn't rule out a license change in the future, but I think that one is enough for this decade.

I knof that "take it or leave it" may sound a bit arrogant but that's our proposition - here's a data set of huge commercial value but perhaps not suitable for all business models; if you want to do business with us, then your challenge is to find a business model that works.

Or, +1000.

OSM Tags - oder auch nicht? about 1 month ago

Das Problem mit dem "Aufräumen" ist, dass dabei oft übertrieben wird. So nach dem Motto "amenity=toilet mit mail=yes ist Blödsinn, das lösche ich pauschal", und dann erwischt's irgendeinen Node, in dessen Kontext amenity=toilet nur ein Nebentag war und das Haupt-Tag durchaus mit mail=yes eine regional interessante Zusatzbedeutung erfahren hat. Viele gehen an sowas mit der Haltung ran "was ich nicht verstehe oder in meinem Land nicht sinnvoll ist, damit kann auch kein anderer was anfangen, also raus damit", und das ist nicht gut. Hier gilt die alte Litanei "gut gemeint ist nicht immer gut gemacht" - so wie der hilfreiche Mapper, der alle name=McDonalds in name=McDonald's ändern wollte ("klare Sache, sowas muss man doch nicht vorher besprechen") und dabei eben auch ein Blumengeschäft erwischt, das tatsächlich McDonalds ohne Apostroph heisst.

Deswegen haben wir diese "Vorschrift", dass mechanische Edits - also solche, die man nur anhand einer automatischen Auswahl oder einer Filterung der Daten trifft, ohne sich jedes einzelne Objekt anzuschauen und genau zu verstehen, was und wo man da editiert, vorheriger Diskussion und Konsensbildung bedürfen.

Nicht das Aufräumen ist nicht erlaubt, aber das pauschale mit dem Eigenbau-Rasenmäher Drüberfahren ohne vorher andere zu fragen, ob man dabei nicht vielleicht übertreibt.

It's time to import TIGER address ranges into OSM about 2 months ago

What exactly do you mean by: "The fact is that the usability of the map in the US is seriously detracted without addressing data."? If you enter a US address into OSM's Nominatim geocoder for searching today, TIGER address data will be queried in addition to OSM; so if the address is in TIGER, you will find it, even without going through the exercise of an import. Some third-party software might rely on OSM data exclusively and not implement a TIGER fallback like Nominatim does, but should we really pollute our database with TIGER address ranges just because a few software vendors can't be bothered to take the extra step? - Let's try and have high-quality, precise address data in OSM (i.e. not TIGER import), and for everything else fall back to TIGER externally like we do today.

Stirbt Talk-de? about 2 months ago

Meiner Ansicht nach sind in OSM sowieso zu viele Leute, als dass sie sich alle um den gleichen Tisch versammeln könnten, also ist es gut, dass es verschiedene virtuelle Versammlungsorte gibt. Es gibt ja auch Menschen, die z.B. nur auf einer der regionalen Listen (davon gibt es 44 in Deutschland) und gar nicht auf talk-de oder im Forum sind. Oder in der Facebook- oder Xing-Gruppe, oder oder oder. Der Versuch, diese Gruppen alle zu vereinen, wäre kontraproduktiv - so viel Bandbreite hat keiner, dass er alle diese Leute gleichzeitig schnattern hören mag. Und zugleich ist keiner von uns so super-intelligent und super-wichtig, dass seine Meinung unbedingt an alle diese Gruppen verteilt werden muss.

Die Frage "stirbt talk-de" stellt sich mir so nicht; es gibt eine Reihe lebendiger regionaler Gruppen, die nur 10% des Volumens von talk-de haben.

Die Frage "genüge ich meiner Pflicht, die Community um Input zu einem geplanten mechanischen Edit zu bitten, wenn ich nur im Forum und nicht auf talk-de poste" ist interessant, doch ich würde sie zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt noch mit einem deutlichen "nein" beantworten. Das hat vorallem mit der Erwartungshaltung der Leute zu tun; ich bin relativ sicher, dass ein nur im Forum angekündigter Massenedit zu Beschwerden von Leuten führen würde, die sich mit einem "lies halt das Forum" nicht zufrieden geben würden.

Ich finde, wir sollten weiterhin eine friedliche Koexistenz der Medien anstreben - wir wollen gar nicht, dass alle sich im gleichen Medium tummeln, oder dass man sich von Leuten auf der Mailingliste anhören muss, wie kompliziert das zu bedienen ist oder von Leuten im Forum, wie doof sie blinkende Avatare finden. Jedem das seine.

OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike about 1 year ago

In response, allow me to point to about 10 years worth of discussion on legal-talk that must have been before your time. All your points have been argued, and counter-argued, there already. The truth is - and I say this after having had and having heard long and heated debates about this for years - that there's something to be said for both sides.

A non-share-alike license has its benefits. It will certainly lead to greater adoption and make things easier, but it could - a scenario often discussed in the wake of the license change - also lead to OSM being ursurped by Google Map Maker or the like. If they import all our data and were to offer a superior mapping experience and even more exposure than we can offer, there would be a danger of mappers switching to that platform, leaving OSM dead in the water and providing (now proprietary) improvements for GMM. Things like this have happened in the past - think of all the fantastic prizes a behemoth like Google could throw out to buy mappers' allegiance.

I think you're overlooking one important point in our favour, namely that ODbL is already one big step more liberal than the CC-BY-SA we had before. CC-BY-SA would not even have allowed you to plot your proprietary data on top of an OSM map; this is perfectly possible nowadays and makes possible a lot of interesting use cases, e.g. where artists work on an OSM base map without having to give away their finished work for free. In a way, that was the compromise we agreed on in the license change - less share-alike for produced works, but keep share-alike for the data.

You're making your point well but - again from having been in these discussions for years and years - it will ring hollow in the ears of a share-alike proponent. What good it is to be "the map that powers the world", they will say, if along the way you have to betray the ideals that you believe in? They would rather be a map that powers only part of the world, but has stuck to its principles.

Without wanting to take one position or the other here, I do have to object to one point. "OpenStreetMap simply won't matter if ..." - I've heard that particular speech too often to be afraid. "Immediate death of OSM predicted, film at 11". Personally I am quite happy with the role that OSM plays in the world right now and if we don't change anything, we'll be just fine.

JOSM scripting plugin: be a power user! about 1 year ago

Note that any edit where you do not actually review the individual object - and using this script would certainly lead to such edits - counts as a "mechanical edit" which needs to be discussed beforehand (including publishing the code for others to review), and properly documented. Executing mechanical changes without these precautions might lead to a revert of the changeset in question and the user getting slapped on the wrist by DWG.

WOF#3. Database bloat hoax about 3 years ago

If one person believes they can, based solely on their own judgement that has clearly proven faulty in the past, and without any further discussion, "fix" 75,000 objects in one day - stuff that is not at all unlikely to require a later revert, therefore doubling the number of edits to 150,000 - then that increases the total editing activity on that one day by 5% to 10%. For that one person alone.

Not only does that unnecessarily increase the amount of data in our history tables (which is stored uncompressed in the same database and on the same disks as the current data, and where no such thing as a "simple pointer to an old version" exists, patches, as always, welcome); it also taxes our database server. Look at its disk utilization graph and ask yourself how many people you would like to have running bots on that while you wait for your bona fide upload to finish:

munin

Ten guys like WorstFixer and we can fill a separate $15000 database server just with the likes of him.

This doesn't even begin to touch the question if there's any merit in what WorstFixer thinks needs fixing.

And because mass edits have this potential of negatively affecting our systems and upsetting people, we require that they be discussed beforehand and a community consensus reached.

ChrisCF's statement about just fixing things is mostly ok for ordinary manual mapping activity (but even there it may happen that something that looks "bad" to you is ok for others). It is, however, not ok for large-scale automated changes.

I won't be writing any more comments here. This is ridiculous. WorstFixer, get your act together and participate in what the grown-ups do. Continuing to piss over everybody else's work won't earn you respect.

WOF#3. Database bloat hoax about 3 years ago

If one person believes they can, based solely on their own judgement that has clearly proven faulty in the past, and without any further discussion, "fix" 75,000 objects in one day - stuff that is not at all unlikely to require a later revert, therefore doubling the number of edits to 150,000 - then that increases the total editing activity on that one day by 5% to 10%. For that one person alone.

Not only does that unnecessarily increase the amount of data in our history tables (which is stored uncompressed in the same database and on the same disks as the current data, and where no such thing as a "simple pointer to an old version" exists, patches, as always, welcome); it also taxes our database server. Look at its disk utilization graph and ask yourself how many people you would like to have running bots on that while you wait for your bona fide upload to finish:

munin

Ten guys like WorstFixer and we can fill a separate $15000 database server just with the likes of him.

This doesn't even begin to touch the question if there's any merit in what WorstFixer thinks needs fixing.

And because mass edits have this potential of negatively affecting our systems and upsetting people, we require that they be discussed beforehand and a community consensus reached.

ChrisCF's statement about just fixing things is mostly ok for ordinary manual mapping activity (but even there it may happen that something that looks "bad" to you is ok for others). It is, however, not ok for large-scale automated changes.

I won't be writing any more comments here. This is ridiculous. WorstFixer, get your act together and participate in what the grown-ups do. Continuing to piss over everybody else's work won't earn you respect.

WOF#2. Thanks all the guys for promises to kill me about 3 years ago

Dear WorstFixer,

I said it before and I am going to say it one last time. Before you "clean up" anything in the future, you must discuss this publicly; in the case of the "nmixter cleanup", talk-us or the talk list would have been appropriate places to do so. It is important for this process that there is a "blocking" discussion; it is unacceptable for one party to mess with the database first and then ask questions later; among other things, this leads to unnecessary database bloat (remember we keep all history).

This is true even if the person whose edits you are "cleaning" has agreed in private conversation.

I will explain the same to nmixter.

Your account will be blocked if you make one more automated edit that violates the discuss-before-you-act rule.

Bye Frederik

Worst OSM Fixer about 3 years ago

You seem to think that you are doing "the right thing" but you aren't. You are worse than the people importing garbage.

You have changed thousands of roads named "S/N" to service roads based on the erroneous assumption that S/N was Spanish for serivice road. Had you followed the automated edit policy and discussed that before you acted, the error could have been avoided.

You have removed the "created_by" tag on more than 100,000 nodes, therefore significantly increasing database bloat without good reason. It is community consensis to remove created_at when you touch an object for some other reason, but not if that's the only edit you make. Had you discussed that beforehand, this error could have been avoided.

You have converted is_in tags to addr:country or addr:province, even though the addr:* tags are for exclusive use by objects that have addresses - addr:* is not a replacement for is_in. This mistake could have been avoided if you had talked to other people before you acted.

Not only do you make the wrong edits, you are also quite arrogant about it; this is not the right attitude to engage with mappers.

And in addition to that, your edits are technically flawed (see e.g. http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/43635302/history where you edited something without editing it).

You want to do something useful for the project but you act like a child. You use fragments of German in an attempt to be funny but you fail; you don't want to reveal who you are but you want your contribution to be taken seriously.

I think you have to decide. Yes OSM has shitty imports and we need good people to guard against that and to keep up our standards. You could be one of these people - or you could be a self-righteous twat playing silly games.

Worst OSM Fixer about 3 years ago

You have not been told to announce before you edit; you have been told to discuss (with those who are likely affected). The proper procedure, if you want to automatically "fix" anything, is:

  • make up your mind about what you think needs fixing and how it could be fixed;
  • discuss on talk list (or, possibly, on the mailing list for the country affected by your edit)
  • find consensus
  • make a wiki page or similar to document what you're doing
  • then do it.

If consensus cannot be found, then the edit is not ok; no matter what speed it is done at.

The Haircut Change Process almost 4 years ago

The thing I like about this story is that the project is presented as one - a dog cared for by a group of people - and not a collection of individual items (villager one, left eyebrow; villagers two and three, tip of the tail; villagers four and five, right testicle...). The Contributor Terms we're introducing now help us to get to a point where the same can be said of OpenStreetMap.

So little time... over 5 years ago

Well if the original Liam123 could write coherently then we'd not need a fake one to explain his innermost feelings ;-)