OpenStreetMap

Uh...

Posted by AkuAnakTimur on 1 June 2016 in English (English)

Imgur

(Later edit)

It’s a good thing that MAPS.ME somehow increases the number of new OSM users in Malaysia (though I suspect most of them did not realise that OSM is a thing). At least they could add missing places into the map database easily, and at a faster rate. Thank goodness.

Personally, I find that it is easily one of the best OSM viewer / editor app (on Android) - on top of that, I am able to download a “daily update” from its official source. Still, OsmAnd is the best to quickly jot down places (creating favourites) not in the database yet.

However - it’s probably just me - I am a bit concerned over those whom has put their real, full name (as their username) and explicitly tagging places, such as X's House or Y's Office; revealing sensitive info. Some even has put tourism=viewpoint, labelled as name=My House (I guess it’s OK to do so if someone wants that?). For the latter, probably they haven’t found the correct tag, so the tourism=viewpoint tag is the last choice provided on the drop-down menu - and hey, simply put it into OSM!

In some occasions, there would be notes lying across, instead of uploading elements (nodes or ways), but at least notes can be sweeped (resolved) easily. It can get quite quirky, see above screenshot. I chuckled myself.

I wished that I could receive a response from commenting changesets or sending a PM, but I don’t think they would log into here (or bother checking e-mails, hmmm).

Comment from Zverik on 2 June 2016 at 19:57

These people register in OSM using their verified e-mail addreses. Some use facebook/google account for that, hence the real names. So if you answer to any of the notes, or comment a changeset, they will definitely get your reply.

Comment from BushmanK on 3 June 2016 at 00:53

This is quite common situation, and not only in Malaysia. Personally, I haven’t seen “reviews” made by maps.me users in form of map edits (like some of those listed above), but I’ve seen quite a few “personal notes”. People don’t realize that making those edits they making all that information public - they either think it’s some sort of personal custom POI directory (many navigation systems have this feature) or that all edits are local. There is corresponding issue on GitHub describing this problem.

Fortunately, simon04 was so kind and quickly added editor tag filtering to his fork of WhoDidIt, so you can put “maps.me” into “editor” field and see only edits made by maps.me users to review all of them.

I can definitely tell, that some contributions made by maps.me users are good and don’t really need to be fixed, but in the same time, in areas I’m watching, other maps.me users are the main source of unclear and even rubbish data.

Bad side of this situation is that even being able to receive feedback (such as changeset comments and private messages), many of them are unaware of fact that they are OSM project participants, therefore, those messages seem strange, surprising and unwanted for them, since they only wanted to use free navigation program, not to receive complains and corrections regarding of their edits.

Comment from AkuAnakTimur on 3 June 2016 at 07:36

Some use facebook/google account for that, hence the real names […]

Apparently, I have forgotten about that… And yes, Facebook is extremely popular in Malaysia. I think I’ll have to experiment with the app to see how feedback is sent to MAPS.ME users.

[… ] some contributions made by maps.me users are good […]

True, indeed. I believed that, actually, most of the case, a handful of visitors to Malaysia has put a great effort to improve OSM coverage here through various apps. Quite a number of Malaysians, I assume, begin to contribute towards OSM quite remarkably.

[…] other maps.me users are the main source of unclear and even rubbish data […]

I came across another diary entry, where an OSMer had to revert names of places (under his/her watch) from Chinese/Russian/non-local names to its original names (name=* field), several times. But I guess, this is not new - an OSM-based app could cause noises during their early inception e.g. Appello Wisepilot and a handful of apps.

many of them are unaware of fact that they are OSM project participants […] those messages seem strange, surprising and unwanted […] they only wanted to use free navigation program, not to receive complains and corrections regarding of their edits.

I have to agree with this - I am afraid that silly misunderstandings would simply draw (new) people away and stopped contributing to OSM.

Comment from BushmanK on 3 June 2016 at 15:24

There is an important difference: when certain app is advertised as an “OSM editor”, mistakes made by its users have same nature as in case of general OSM contribution, because usage of this app to edit OSM is intentional.

But when it’s a “navigation app”, user’s main intention is to use it for navigation. He doesn’t necessarily want to contribute into any collaborative project in the first place. Lack of information leads to delusional ideas about purpose of built-in editor, such as: “giving feedback to professional map developers”, “making own notes”, “making reviews”, “doing whatever you want”, “editing local copy of map”. Therefore, it’s incorrect to assume, that it draws people away from contributing - in this case we don’t know, if particular people ever wanted to. And it’s wrong to think, that it’s possible to “trick” people into successful effective direct contributing without telling them a word about what the OSM is.

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