OpenStreetMap

Paris is a bicycle shop

Posted by PlaneMad on 20 March 2017 in English (English)

The Paris city node got renamed to France and tagged with shop=bicycle yesterday. This was found and reverted by user:Chetan_Gowda from the Mapbox data team 27 hours later. For some reason the tiles still show a shop, while the name has got fixed.

While inspecting the Paris node, another user seemed to have renamed the French name to Algerie 6 month ago. This was fixed after 4 hours.

Both edits came through Maps.me, but this is just as simple an edit through any other editor. Its surprising no local mappers noticed this.

Location: Beaubourg, St-Merri, 4th Arrondissement, Paris, Ile-de-France, Metropolitan France, 75004, France

Comment from Hjart on 20 March 2017 at 17:46

I'm not familiar with the situation in France, but being extremely familiar with the situation in Denmark, I'm not at all surprised if no local mappers noticed anything.

In Denmark very very few people (even in our large cities) appears to have the time, interest and technical knowledge necessary for regularly following the activity in their local areas and if the situation in Paris is in any way similar to our situation, there's no way I can be surprised.

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Comment from GinaroZ on 21 March 2017 at 00:20

Wouldn't it be a good idea if important places like this were semi-protected like some Wikipedia articles? Or if there was a tool which kept an eye on any changes to important nodes?

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Comment from BushmanK on 21 March 2017 at 02:31

This is quite explainable, how similar changes remain unnoticed by a local community. Supervision tools such as Who Did It treat all changes equally. Editing a node that refers to a bakery isn't different from editing a node that refers to a city. So, it's easily getting lost among the other, more complex edits that should be reviewed. Many data consumers know that, so they just don't sync their own copy of information about administrative boundaries, country names, cities with OSM automatically.

What I'd really like to read in this diary entry to make the story complete, is how these edits were actually spotted. Just by a naked eye, using some tool that helps to watch maps.me users or some other tool we don't know about?

Regarding of the last sentence, there is a logical fallacy in it. Indeed, similar edits can easily be done using any OSM editor. However, they were made by maps.me, and it correlates with a common feature of many maps.me users: ignorance. Currently, maps.me user can more likely do something similar to it than anyone else. Workaround for that is simple - do not allow to edit anything related to administrative boundaries with this editor, but developers don't seem to be concerned - it is way easier to "delegate" all responsibility to experienced users.

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Comment from Hjart on 21 March 2017 at 09:43

A great tool for quickly discovering and correcting edits like these is the osm-analytic-tracker. I've described my experiences using it on the talk list.

Semi-protecting specific areas in my experience isn't necessary. The mentioned tracker (or similar) and a small, entusiastic local community is what's needed.

In my experience too the vast majority of Maps.me users do not have any clear idea that they are editing something called OpenStreetMap or that our project is actually different from Maps.me.

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Comment from PlaneMad on 21 March 2017 at 12:22

What I'd really like to read in this diary entry to make the story complete, is how these edits were actually spotted.

The data team at Mapbox regularly reviews changesets using https://osmcha.mapbox.com . Of course this is just a small percentage of changes, so theres many many more skipping anyones eyes.

Currently, maps.me user can more likely do something similar to it than anyone else

Don't quite agree, its new users who are likely to do this rather than with any specific editor. Look at what happened today with iD https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/PlaneMad/diary/40722

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Comment from Almtesh on 21 March 2017 at 13:39

Hi, I got a question, is that possible to be notified or find somewhere the modifications done to a specific area? If not, I'm not really surprised of that.

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Comment from BushmanK on 21 March 2017 at 16:31

@PlaneMad, are you serious when trying to disprove a tendency with a single case? I hope, not, because it is fallacious reasoning.

I'm not saying that only maps.me users do that (that would be stupid to say). I'm not saying that all of them do that (that is stupid as well). My statement is that they more likely do that, and it is not an empirical knowledge, it's a fact that originates from the whole situation with an editor that is built into a navigation app. Indeed, newbies more likely using iD or maps.me, but that is just an additional factor that only makes a situation worse.

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Comment from PlaneMad on 21 March 2017 at 17:56

Or if there was a tool which kept an eye on any changes to important nodes?

Yes, it would be great if it was easier to know which landmarks in my country was recently modified. There are many important features in sparsely populated places that I would be interested to keep a watch on.

is that possible to be notified or find somewhere the modifications done to a specific area?

osm-qa-feeds gives RSS feeds for notes, changesets, new contributors and other qa errors in any area. Just discovered it myself on the wiki!

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Comment from escada on 22 March 2017 at 08:05

Wambacher has a dedicated site with daily checks for the boundaries: http://osm.wno-edv-service.de/index.php/10-osm-reports/838-countries-compare-2017-03-21

The number of boundaries and their size is checked. Perhaps he could check for name changes as changes to the admin nodes as well ?

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