OpenStreetMap

Based on ONOSM

We need an easy way that people can add their business to the map without necessarily having to create an account and having to learn how to edit. One such way would be to add a note to the map but even then for those who don’t know very well how OpenStreetMap works they can make some mistakes by adding a note with no information other than the name (I’ve encountered many notes opened like this), so how could we improve it so that more people can have their business on the OSM? One easy way would be to create a form that would generate a note in OSM for editors to use.

By bringing a simpler design and illustrations I want it to be easy to use and ready for use in mapping campaigns and can be used by experienced mappers or even those who have never had contact with OpenStreetMap but want their business on the map

thanks for the support @alnmtt@bantu.social @olamundo@red.niboe.info

Location: Formosa, Timon, Região Geográfica Imediata de Timon, Região Integrada de Desenvolvimento da Grande Teresina, Região Geográfica Intermediária de Caxias, Maranhão, Northeast Region, 65636-060, Brazil

Comment from Hiausirg on 14 January 2022 at 18:38

These oversized legs look horrible. But the rest is good!

Comment from SimonPoole on 14 January 2022 at 22:53

Generating a note is counterproductive (not to mention that it has been done before), it increases the workload on mappers that typically are not there (if they were there they would have added the POI) and just creates frustration with the user because they will add the note and nothing will happen.

Further anything that requires an install is a nono, that is a much higher hurdle than creating an account.

Comment from SimonPoole on 14 January 2022 at 22:54

PS: give osmybiz.ch a look, it currently isn’t mobile friendly but that could be worked on.

Comment from TomH on 15 January 2022 at 07:42

Anything like this will just encourage SEO spammers (as ONOSM already does) as well as causing much subsequent confusion and support load from people enquiring about their “business listing” which I then have to spend my time explaining is not something we offer.

Comment from Zverik on 15 January 2022 at 09:04

Aaaaand the data model is more complex than you imagine. For example, many businesses don’t have a name. Different countries have different addressing structures. There are much more contact options and social networks, which differ around the world. And the business classification in OSM is both incomplete and too complex for a single drop-down list.

So yeah, the concept art is pretty, but this has been done twice on the web and e.g. in maps.me, and it doesn’t work for a typical business owner. The problem is not technical, it’s social. How do you get an owner to submit their business?

Comment from gileri on 15 January 2022 at 09:07

Pretty much agree with everyone above. The intention is good, the workflow is quick and to the point, but I sadly think it will provide the expected effect.

Comment from o_andras on 15 January 2022 at 11:50

@PlayzinhoAgro The URL to the site @SimonPoole mentioned is https://osmybiz.osm.ch I believe. And I agree that it would be better if it (1) was a web page instead, and (2) created the nodes rather than notes.

@Zverik I don’t see why it has to be comprehensive in the details. You say that “the business classification in OSM is both incomplete and too complex”, so being incomplete here shouldn’t be a problem either.

The addresing can be made “local”. The “form” doesn’t really have to be a form. The users could be guided through steps in a way that “localizes” the shown input fields, for example starting with the country. That could apply not only to addressing but to contacts, social networks, &c. These localizations could be provided/audited by the local OSM communities. I’m sure most would be happy to.

Re it not working: when you fail at something do you just give up? Not saying one should be constantly bashing the head on the wall, but there are a multitude of possible reasons for the other projects to “have failed”.

@TomH maintaining a FAQ that clearly states, among other things, that “no, we are not selling you ad space here, stop asking, thank you very much”, should be fine no? If they still come nagging, just dryly link to the FAQ. What is the volume of such people?


There’s a commerce association where I live that’s regularly in contact with shops, restaurants, &c, and organizes some campains across all such businesses (thematic days or weeks for example). For some time now I’ve been thinking about contacting them to see if something could be worked out, having the business owners add their businesses to OSM, but I’m missing the workflow. As @SimonPoole said, creating notes is a no go. But now that I’ve learned of osmybiz I’ll give it a try and see if it would be good enough.

Comment from redsteakraw on 15 January 2022 at 15:36

The idea is fine but instead of a note why not just create a change-set with the node awaiting approval? Furthermore businesses need some sort of incentive to adding this so logos of big name OSM users would be good and maybe a yelp like directory / Business profiles generated from POI tags so they have something to show for and other users can search for POI types in a given location. having a percent complete requiring a website, phone and hours of operation for base complete and extra tags such as wheelchair accessibility, and extra information tags for full completeness.

Comment from TomH on 15 January 2022 at 15:43

Because draft changesets that can be approved aren’t a thing and because we’re a map data provider not a business listings service…

Comment from RobJN on 15 January 2022 at 17:38

Having business on the map makes sense, particularly those that are open to the public. I’ll leave others to debate how best to do this but on the question “How do you get an owner to submit their business?” perhaps look at how others do this, e.g. google maps. Last time I looked, it wasn’t all just web scraping; they did have a site that owners could go to provide detail about the stores they operate. And of course google also asks for crowdsource info here.

Comment from TomH on 15 January 2022 at 17:47

Yes and that is exactly the problem - people expect us to provide the same sort of advertising style business listings as Google but that is not something we have any intention of offering.

Mostly it’s not actually the business owners, it’s whatever bargain basement SEO shop they’re using this week that submit the information - the real problems start when the next SEO consultant comes along and starts complaining about the “business listing” the previous one created (which usually turns out to be a note) but of course they don’t have the details of the account the first consultant created.

Comment from PlayzinhoAgro on 15 January 2022 at 17:48

First of all this project is just a concept.

Unfortunately I can’t answer everyone individually but I will try to address all the issues mentioned above. Notes are the only way a user has to report a map problem, I myself use it a lot to add POIs while I am on the street, OSM by default does not offer a way to review beginner users edits nor a way for lay users to report an error, in case it was to add directly to the map it would be good to add with a fixme=* tag to signal to other mappers to review.

I don’t even believe that this project would work because of the very structure that OSM submits to being only a data source for a base map, not offering basic things will keep us as a background service (obviously this is the wish of most in OSMF).

Obviously the project was thought in my reality and how it could be used in a campaign to encourage more companies to join OSM and that is why it follows with address labels and social networks standard in Brazil and although not mentioned obviously would be a WebApp.

Comment from Cristoffs on 16 January 2022 at 09:57

Great Job! In Poland, we are currently running a large project on the mapping of AED (defibrators) as part of it, a website was created under which it is possible to add the location of such an object via a simple form after logging in with the OSM account. The project deeply involved the Polish community, but we had a loose idea to use the created code to add other types of POIs. This is important from our point of view because one of the disadvantages of OSM in Poland is the lack of a large number of them.

Maybe we’ll join forces? Together, we can create something cool and create a large international project!

AED project described at [pl / en] (https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Cristoffs/diary/398324)

Comment from qeef on 16 January 2022 at 12:34

How do you get an owner to submit their business?

That’s the question. All the solutions here needs OSM account which makes the onwner also an OSM contributor.

Why it wouldn’t be possible to submit their business by email? Or SMS? Ideally localised? Then, the received messages would became issues, and the list of issues possible source for POI import.

Of course, we can discuss about automatic processing of received messages, but that’s the second round.

Comment from o_andras on 16 January 2022 at 13:12

@qeef:

All the solutions here needs OSM account

Not really I think. The editor can have an account of its own for anonymous users.

Why it wouldn’t be possible to submit their business by email? Or SMS? Ideally localised? Then, the received messages would became issues, and the list of issues possible source for POI import.

What’s the difference from https://www.onosm.org ? You can filter notes created by onosm.org on e.g. https://ent8r.github.io/NotesReview (go to Filter and enter for example “onosm.org” in the Query field). I believe you can even create RSS or Atom feeds for a specific filter.

The onosm.org notes are also easy to parse. The values are human input though…

Comment from qeef on 16 January 2022 at 13:28

All the solutions here needs OSM account

Not really I think. The editor can have an account of its own for anonymous users.

The point is to strictly differ between an owner and an OSM contributor.

What’s the difference from https://www.onosm.org ?

I should point out all the solutions are WWW based, too. BTW, see the TomH’s comment.

Comment from TechlaraPoint4 on 16 January 2022 at 18:52

Hey, I don’t think that the concept and image that you have given in this article for starting a new business is very easy because of the fact that some businesses have different structures and names in different countries. Similarly some businesses are legal in few countries while same are banned in other countries. So personally I think that this is not applicable to all over the world and even not for majority. Like my business. One can even check it out like https://techlarapoint.com/project-qt-mod-apk/ which may banned in some countries but allowed in many countries.

Comment from o_andras on 16 January 2022 at 21:45

@qeef

The point is to strictly differ between an owner and an OSM contributor.

Why? If anyone can edit all of the map, without any restrictions, why make that distinction?

I should point out all the solutions are WWW based, too.

Oh I didn’t realize that was the point. But I still fail to see the connection between being a website and SEOs coming to waste mappers’ time. Wouldn’t the same happen if they were made to send the details by SMS or email?

Comment from qeef on 17 January 2022 at 17:07

The point is to strictly differ between an owner and an OSM contributor.

Why? If anyone can edit all of the map, without any restrictions, why make that distinction?

I can imagine a situation when an owner wants his company in OSM but doesn’t want to become an OSM contributor. In other words, an owner wants to improve OSM but only by adding his own business, without the hassle of learning how to do that. I believe this diary is about such an use-case.

I should point out all the solutions are WWW based, too.

Oh I didn’t realize that was the point. But I still fail to see the connection between being a website and SEOs coming to waste mappers’ time. Wouldn’t the same happen if they were made to send the details by SMS or email?

From onosm.org GitHub: > The result is written to an anonymous OpenStreetMap Note.

So in fact ONOSM exploits (I’m not sure this is right wording, I don’t mean it necessary in a negative connotation,) anonymous notes where should be the POI mapping. My proposed workflow keeps track of POIs in a separated database that can be used as the dataset to import, keeping not-yet-ready data apart from the OSM.

SMS and email are just other sources besides the WWW. It should be trivial, from the architecture perspective, to extend support for bots for any chat platform (IRC, Matrix, Slack, Discord, …) or even add call/voice messages processing (GSM, SIP, Skype, …)

Comment from o_andras on 18 January 2022 at 00:08

@qeef

This is starting to turn into a dialogue (as in actual 2), but whatever! :)

I can imagine a situation when an owner wants his company in OSM but doesn’t want to become an OSM contributor. In other words, an owner wants to improve OSM but only by adding his own business, without the hassle of learning how to do that. I believe this diary is about such an use-case.

Yes, I believe that’s the case too! But I don’t see why one thing leads to the other. I can imagine two ways a website/w.e. may allow users to add POIs without having to first create an account:

  1. Create anonymous notes (like onosm does);
  2. Have a website-specific user of its own (e.g. onosm_user, osmybiz_user, …).

Re the second part: ah now I think I understand what you mean! It would be something outside of OSM, not directly on OSM.

Comment from Zverik on 18 January 2022 at 07:34

I believe the first this we should think about is how a hypothethic shop owner even learns about OSM and these tools to add their business. Most people don’t know of us.

Comment from qeef on 18 January 2022 at 12:44

It would be something outside of OSM, not directly on OSM.

Yes.

But I don’t see why one thing leads to the other.

In my opinion, this would suite an owner because an owner doesn’t need to understand OSM from the contributor perspective. Moreover, OSM would be free from “spammed” notes. There will be some kind of buffer that enables owners sending information in a format they understand, then maybe automatically process the information, and create the list of POIs to import for mappers in a format the mappers understand.

I believe the first this we should think about is how a hypothethic shop owner even learns about OSM and these tools to add their business. Most people don’t know of us.

You are completely right but I don’t think I’m able to help with that.


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