OpenStreetMap

2019 Washington State, US New User Report

Posted by Glassman on 12 January 2020 in English (English)

2019 saw 760 new mappers in Washington State, again down slightly from previous years. Not a trend we want to see continue. This includes the late influx of Tesla’s mappers that are mapping parking lots so they can summons their Tesla. Don’t think badly of Tesla owners in Washington, it rains a lot. I only wish I could summons my old car.

Welcoming messages were set to 679 new mappers. The message remained the same even though I keep thinking of changing it. Guess there must be something to consistency or is that procrastination?

I was able to identify 7 of those new editors as paid mappers. It was fairly easy since they typically have thousands of edits each. Paid mappers are making significant contributions to OSM. Only Amazon has significant number of edits in Washington. From my experience they are making quality edits. I’ve caught a couple of errors, certainly less that what I’ve made. They are quick to respond and fix the problem.

For the number crunchers here are some of the stats:

  • 760 new users including SEO spammers
  • 679 welcoming messages set with 31 replies (4.6%)
  • 344 users were sent one or more changeset comments (50% of new users)
  • 62 new mappers responded to a changeset comment (18%) It should be noted that not all changeset comments expected a response. For example, if the changeset requested a review and that review was good, a response wouldn’t be required.
  • New mappers contributed over 40K edits since joining OSM. However, paid mappers contributed nearly 32K of those changesets.
  • Not counting paid mappers, new mappers edited a total of 1990 days

Have you considered welcoming new users? I highly recommend starting. It only takes me a few minutes a day for the entire state of Washington. The start of new quarters of some of the universities and colleges, when new GIS students are given an assignment to edit in OSM, are challenging, but mostly it is just a few a day. Mapbox’s OSMCha will help you identify new users in your area. Feel free to use and modify my Welcome Message or even better use the Belgium’s communities welcoming process.

Clifford aka Glassman

Comment from Alan Bragg on 12 January 2020 at 14:58

Very interesting. I should try to break the compulsive mapping habit and spend some time encouraging a few newbies. Interaction between users in Massachusetts if minimal.

Comment from SimonPoole on 15 January 2020 at 15:51

Clifford I assume the ~10% difference between total new mappers and messages are mainly SEO accounts? That would line up with what I saw checking new signups over all of the states for a couple of weeks.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about some slowdown in growth rates, we’ve had that on and off the whole time. We actually had the same effect globally in 2019, a small part of it was the tail of the large maps.me influx and to be expected, a further part would seem to be HOT et al loosing some of their attraction.

I sent 1’280 mails vs 1’383 in 2018 so again mirroring the slowdown (no actual SEO spammers in that though), very comparable base populations btw.

Comment from PhysicsArmature on 16 January 2020 at 05:27

New mapper here. Not paid. Not in Washington State. I am glad that you are preparing for the arrival of new users with greetings. Well done out their. I hope I have made made large quantities of errors.

Comment from PhysicsArmature on 16 January 2020 at 05:28

Sorry, “I hope I have not made large quantities of errors”. Sorry, typing fast.

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