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Updated contributor numbers

Posted by SimonPoole on 7 December 2013 in English. Last updated on 4 January 2014.

Updated for the full year 2013

In May (2013) I produced a set of graphs and numbers on our contributor growth based on analysing the regular changeset dumps. Given that this was half a year ago I believe it is time for an update.

Our total contributor number has continued to grow at something around 7’000 per month giving a total of 391’367 at the end of December:

The number of active contributors per month continues to show a slight upward trend: The jump in April 2009 coincides with anonymous edits no longer being allowed.

Which reflects itself in the number of active contributors per year too (the year end number for 2013 is 129’000).

The above graph also shows that the number of contributors that contributed in a previous year is showing growth too. Note the lack of “old” editors going from 2008 to 2009 is likely due to anonymous edits going away in 2009. This is likely also the reason for other low counts in the early years.

And while it is a bit too speculative to state reasons, we do see, compared to active contributor growth, over proportional growth in the number of changesets. Going over 500’000 per month for the first time in September of this year:


Comment from رامز on 6 January 2014 at 03:48

Great news and also very informative graphs..thanks very much I have a good experiment on how to increase contributing potential in such open source projects, simply by turning contributing into a challenge cause people loves this and giving prizes for winners! of course not a real prize only a medal or an honor degree under the name of “winner account” seems great,So I suggest turn map editing into a real game and set levels like “if you complete adding your first 50 POI you’ll up from newbie to next level” that will make New Users enthusiast to move on and will rapidly increase Monthly Active Contributor number and make people indirectly spread the word as they will wrote in their social accounts the prizes they got like “Hey guys I’m a Trusted Member at OSM” or “I’m on the Top 10 Active OSM Contributor in March” and so on..

finally,I do believe that 2014 will be great for OSM :) and I know it’s too late but Happy new year (^_^)

Comment from jaakkoh on 10 January 2014 at 18:27

Wow. This is quite something. .. So, the numbers for 2013 are in short: - about 400k map data contributors with about 7k new every month - 130k of them contributed during past year, and - over 20k in the past month

I was still remembering a figure of bit over 200k for total map data contributors. Good to see that this has doubled since I heard this number! It’s also nice to see that with 1.5m registered users mark being crossed in the near future ( we actually have nearly one third of registered users that have contributed (at least once) to the data. .. All of this is much less bad than I remembered - if that bad at all.

Comment from SimonPoole on 12 January 2014 at 11:25

@jaakoh I believe the “200’000” number stems both from the Pascal Neis 1st study (which is simply a coulple of years old) and from last-editors numbers which by the nature of the beast tend to be smaller (currently at ~280’000). On top of that we shouldn’t forget that we dropped contributions from roughly 15’000 contributors* during the licence change, most of them very very small, but which distorts the registered user vs last editor numbers even a bit more.

The historical run rate for actual contributors at least since 2007 (when the project started getting off the ground proper) has always been at roughly 30% of the registered accounts, the only period this was different seems to have been in 2012.

  • some of these have since come back and have accepted the CTs

Comment from CristianCantoro on 16 April 2014 at 20:49

@sabas88 mapped 100 countries in 100 days:


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