2016 Washington New Users Report

Posted by Glassman on 9 January 2017 in English (English)

This is the second annual results report on welcoming new mappers. 2016 saw a large increase in new mappers in Washington State over 2015. Also a record number, 403, welcome messages sent. Last year I reported sending 106 messages with a 9% response rate. This year the response rate was 7.4% which I partially attribute to the larger sample size and to the increase in MAPS.ME users who seem to never respond.

Recently I starting using Toby Murry's ChangesetMD tool to help identify new users. While I'm still using the IRC-Bot to identify new users, I expect to switch over to using minutely changesets with Toby's ChangesetMD tool.

Using the new tool I was able to start capturing some new data.

  • Total new users in Washington State = 562
  • Welcome Messages Set = 403
  • Responses received = 30
  • Response rate = 7.4%
  • Percent of new users getting a Welcome Message = 72%
  • Total number of changesets by new users = 14,119

Editor Used

  • iD 474
  • MAPS.ME 53
  • Potlatch 18
  • JOSM 5
  • Go Map!! 4
  • OsmAnd 4
  • Rosemary 2
  • Gnome Maps 1
  • Vespucci 1

Some interesting statistics

  • Average number of edits by users that received a Welcome Message = 29.0
  • Average span [1] of days editing by users that received a message = 17.4
  • Average number of edits by users that did not receive a Welcome Message = 15.2
  • Average span [1] of days editing by users that did not get a message = 13.6

The numbers are encouraging me to continue to send Welcome Messages to new users. I plan to add a section with suggestions of what to edit. Cities like Seattle have quite a few features already mapped which might discouraged new users. Conversely, rural cities are pretty barren which can be just as discouraging.

Check out my current process on GitHub which includes my updated Welcome Message which includes a link to tips for Pokemon Go users.

[1] span = the number of days between first edit and last edit.


Comment from SomeoneElse on 9 January 2017 at 14:21

That's great - it's brilliant that you're seeing a difference in the "time to stick around mapping" over a significant number of users.

Comment from AHATOLI on 9 January 2017 at 18:30

Привет!!!Из Беларуси!!!

Comment from dalek2point3 on 17 March 2017 at 22:47

Hi Cliff, any chance that we could skype at some point? I'm fascinated by your work on the welcome messages, and as a researcher who studies OSM, I think there is an opportunity to systematize and learn from your efforts. Let me know! I can be reached by email:

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