OpenStreetMap

China mappers complain about there are many students mapping around Zhongnan University, which seems assigned by school teachers, but lack of QA process after students had done their mapping tasks. These kinds of issues are faced by the community someday, whatever the community decides to fix it, or just remove the low-quality stuff, it is all OK. And in an extreme case, the community could ask the Data Working Group for help, by banning accounts that keep editing and adding low-quality data, getting some precious time for the community members to fix the data.

As a Taiwanese mapper, Taiwan experience of dealing with school assigned tasks from teachers, leaving changeset comments are quite useless, few will response to the comments. Directly fixing the error or low-quality data is faster, and reseach where do these change come from? If you do not want to spend your time of fixing error or improving the data quality, then just delete the stuff is OK. If the damage so big and no response from the mapper, can’t be handle by community, then the Data Working Group can step in and no further damage.

Recenlty most serve incident in Taiwan is Micron editing group. They use HOT Task Manager to draw buildings in Changhua and Yunlin. They drew so many problem buildings, that can’t be handle by the community, so the HOT ask Data Working Group to step in and delete all the buildings by Micron editng group.

Another incidents like editing group from shcool of Changhua, which one could not trace which school they belong to. And another incident like some mappers adding psychological medical clinic, which using coordinate geocoding by Google Maps, there is a data license issue.

There is an Organized Editing Guideline on OSM Wiki, which means for the best practice, when a organized want to edit OSM, they have to register on the Wiki page, filling the contact person name, email, what do you want to map, how long will the project go. Organized Editing Guideline is guide for organization who want to edit stuffs in OpenStreetMap eco-system, every organization should follow, and could look at other organization’s examples.

The good way a handling editing group lead by school teachers is get in touch with the teacher, and let the teacher know about the importance of OpenStreetMap that is used by many important website around the world. So the involved students shold do job well, avoid just simple let students trace building outlines without guiding. We recommond while students are new to OpenStreetMap, they can draw some simple stuff, like adding POI around their school or their home. We will not recommond drawing complex stuff, or drawing stuffs in a huge area.

Another issue is China authorities not allowing ordinary people to make map in the current China circumstance. It is against their law to making map by indivual people. So it might not be a good idea for the teacher to register on the Organizated Editing Guideline page. For the student we recommond that not using the real world name to register online service including OpenStreerMap.

Location: Yuelu, Yuelu District, Changsha, Hunan, 410012, China

Comment from caxton on 24 November 2021 at 07:47

When I still was a Wikipedia editor we had a project called “Schools off the net” meaning we were blocking the IP ranges of most schools because a constant stream of vandalism was coming from them.

If these school mapping project don’t document themselves – may you please be so kind to quickly document the usernames in the Wiki? We could add a NOINDEX tag to keep search engines away.

The same for Micron editing group, it would be interesting for me to check their contributions.

Comment from Supaplex on 25 November 2021 at 01:53

In Chinese Wikipedia, there is a filter that will trigger when mass accounts are created in the same IP block, and block new accounts created by this IP block.

But I am not a member of OpenStreetMap China, so maybe first ask them, if they want to keep track and add the group to the organized edit guideline.

Micron case is raised awareness in the talk mailing list. You could check out their activities by Pascal Neis’ changeset tool #gomicron21 changeset comment


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