Protecting the map against Pokemon Go mappers

Posted by PlaneMad on 27 March 2017 in English (English)

The Pokemon Go mappers can strike anywhere, converting buildings into parks or pools of water. Check any changeset with ‘Pokemon’ in the changeset comment using osmcha.

Comment from Glassman on 27 March 2017 at 15:01

Unfortunately very few of the pokemon edits announce their efforts in the changeset comment. It really takes looking at every changeset. Sad.

Comment from Vincent de Phily on 27 March 2017 at 15:37

Sigh… If abuse from PoGo player is continuing to waste OSM contributor time like this, we should really push for some official response from Niantic to the OSM Foundation.

Either PoGo doesn’t use OSM at all (in that case Niantic should say so clearly) or it does (in that case Niantic must respect the license by crediting OSM, and should acknowledge the maintenance burden they are causing and help somehow).

In the first case, the abuse will hopefully slow down, and in the second case OSM will get some PR, the respect of not violating its license, and hopefully some resources to deal with the abuse.

Comment from pizzaiolo on 27 March 2017 at 18:27

@Vincent: The first option doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, which is the difficulty of spotting and reverting edits in a semi-automated fashion. Wikipedia does this very well, and we’ll need to improve our tools to make this process easier, possibly inspired by their efforts.

Comment from Vincent de Phily on 27 March 2017 at 20:41

Neither option solves the fundamental problem (improving our anti-vandalism processes and tools). They only ease the pain somewhat for this particular instance of the problem.

But both options fix the wrongness that a hugely successful commercial game is indirectly harming a Free data/software community without any attempt to soften the issue, and maybe even profiting from it without respecting its license.

Note that I’ve been playing PoGo since August, and mapping on OSM since 2010.

Comment from Glassman on 27 March 2017 at 21:39

@pizzaiolo Wikipedia has the problem of scaring off new users by their over zealous “police.” As a result, they have a real problem attracting and keeping new editors. We could find ourselves in a similar situation if we are not careful. It’s a thin line that we have to follow.

Comment from KillCheats on 31 March 2017 at 07:23

Unfortunately not much of the pokemon edits announce their efforts….

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