Hi woodpeck. I think your definition of spam is too broad. For instance, this random POI: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/4923689269
Yes, its editor has only one edit. And yes, the editor has a direct interest in advertising their POI. However, these facts do not make it spam. Let's analyze the removed tags one by one:
website: valid site. The site also points out at this exact location, so he's not randomly spraying ads around the map. He added the tags on his real physical shop.
email: seems like a valid shop email, it even has a domain identical to the site
phone: nothing wrong with that.
description: Not the slightest ad tone.
Suppose I'm the one who added those tags. I don't think you would have reverted. They're just fine. Now there's nothing wrong for the shop owner to add those same tags, even if out of self-interest.
That was one example, but a significant number of your reverts do not remotely qualify as spam, and I think no one would have had any problem if an experienced mapper had added them.
Although the intentions are clearly good, in my humble opinion this is harming the map and must be discussed.
For comparison, this is something I would flag as spam for the excessive ad tone, and I would justify its removal: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/5135107648/history
Just another comparison to draw a clear line between spam and self-interest driven neutral edits:
Not spam: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/4989363747/history
It seems the majority of this changeset is real, clear cut spam, though.
SafwatHalaby, the line I have drawn is: If the self-interest mapper can at *least* be bothered to find out the proper OSM tag to describe their business, then I will only remove the spammy "description" and leave the rest in place. There are quite a few of that sort here. If, however, the spammer has *only* specified their web address, telephone number, name, and description (and maybe when they're open and what credit cards they take), but *not* spent the time to find out whether they are shop=cosmetics or craft=plumber or office=lawyer, then I will remove the data. Yes, looking at the description tag and name will often give me, as an experienced OSMer, an idea of what the right tag would have been; but in most of these cases we are not dealing with a self-interest person but with a paid spamming company, and I really don't see why I should spend my free time to help them improve their quality!
I agree to that line. (And I'd suggest leaving the description too if it's factual and not spammy).
But the second POI in particular: The right tagging was used, office=lawyer, and the description is completely factual and not spammy, "Personal injury attorney assisting clients throughout McAllen & Pharr Texas who have been injured in car, motorcycle & truck accidents."
I agree with Frederick, this reads too much like self-promoting advertising that has little to do with a geographic database that is OSM, and too little like a short informative description that I would expect to find.
(I wonder if the present 255-character/byte limit that mercifully truncates many of these long-winded rants could be shortened to SMS length. No, wrong design criteria ;-) Same with these changeset discussions, when I have to rewrite my original comment when it exceeds acceptable verbosity)
OSM does not need to be a vehicle to host a lawyer database, nor travel and restuarant reviews, or similar.
For OSM, the primary interest is to record that at this particular location, this lawyer is to be found. Not so much what they do, although I have added a one-word description to narrow down a particular craft in the past.
Such a description would have been covered by the first three words, `Personal injury attorney' (the third being redundant to the office=, now that I look at it). The geographic information is conveyed by the location in OSM, and no doubt duplicates the website content where it belongs and which anyone seriously considering these services will consult rather than relying on the description field on a map if it gets displayed at all. The rest of the content adds little to the first two words, other than to exclude me as a cyclist or pedestrian after being flattened by a bus.
If I were to rewrite this advert into a description, for brevity and clarity I'd again use a single word:
There. Nothing subjective about that, gets the point across where brevity is important. And goes beyond OSM's remit of a geographic info database without approaching the line between useful additional info and self-serving promotion.
The definition of spammy has nothing to do with factual or advertising, but that it is irrelevant and taken as a whole, hides the original intent and pushes it aside, or drives out wanted participants, as in the original Monty Python viking sketch. A single advert blurb may not be a spam, but no matter how factual, hundreds of them scattered around a city, or filling bug-reports, turns OSM into an advertising platform rather than a collection of objective geographic facts.
This is only my personal perspective after a couple weeks of trawling tens of thousands of items in the OSM bug-report database and closing hundreds if not thousands of them, that obscure actual problems, even if perhaps their content would have been worth the bother of someone to manually transfer it into the description or similar field, which as a volunteer, it was not worth mine.
Thank you for the thorough comment. You changed my mind. I now agree that the attorney example is too self-promoting and could have been 3-4 words, and that its word redundancy is spammy.
Note that Frederik removed "description" and "name" (also "phone" and "email" or contact info) added to address nodes only (housenumbers with street names) that were actually not qualified with actual POI classification (e.g. "shop=*" or "amenity=*" or "office=*").
Some removals are then legit but these names and contact addresse had no use if there was no correct POI qualification.
Note also that there's N-to-N relations between POIs and addresses, also N-to-N between addresses to buildings, and N-to-N between POIs and buildings.
Addresses also have N-to-N relations with landowerships or cadastral parcels (which we actually don't map directly, most parcel ivisions are historic and too many objects and land properties are built on spans of multiple cadastral parcels).
This means that POIs (with correct shop/amenity/office/... tagging) should be tagged as separate node objects (or area objects) with their own contact fields ( including their address which may not match exactly the geographical address) and should never be made on address nodes or buildings, but only on separate nodes (or possibly on landuse areas, for example a school or a retail area including its buildings/parkings/surrounding gardens and private service driveways or storage areas)
Most POIs accessible to the public (or visible from the public domain, or advertized on the ground) should be distinct geolocalized nodes, with name=* (and brand info, operator...), plus contact info (mail, web...),, opening hours...). Keeping them distinct will avoid many later problems. and we can enforce the classification (so that, for example, all shop=* may be removed from a rendered map independantly of names and brands)
OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open license.
Hosting is supported by UCL, Bytemark Hosting, and other partners.