That’s wonderful! If you haven’t seen this yet, there is some very interesting work being done by MapBox on producing better satellite maps without clouds - http://www.wired.com/design/2013/05/a-cloudless-atlas/
A belated thank you to you all for the (slightly overwhelming) welcome! sejohnson has it right - helping experienced mappers and OSM developers understand the new-mapper experience is part of my goal.
Tom, my experience with edits taking more than a few minutes to show up was happening in July, before the stylesheet change. :)
dcp, those are some cool error-checking links, thanks! The learning curve actually wasn’t as steep as I expected - I was imagining something more complicated than this point-and-click interface for the basic stuff. I wish I’d taken the leap into editing years ago when I first found an error, but there’s a difficult-to-explain mental hurdle between browsing a map and clicking the “edit” button. Part of the hurdle for me was being afraid of making a mistake without realizing it + that mistake lingering in the map for a long time, because map diffs seem so much harder to check than the text diffs that I’m used to (on Wikipedia for example). Eventually I just had to commit to trying it and seeing what happened. Maybe there’s some way OSM can better communicate a message to newcomers that our inevitable mistakes won’t hurt the project, like Wikipedia’s “be bold” message in its core philosophy.
lxbarth, you answered my implied question of how to actually help fix these things - thank you so much. I was pleased when I recently made an edit with iD and saw the note about map update delay times - I’m proud to have contributed in a small way to that happening.
I’m delighted that this User Diaries system exists, by the way. Despite participating in software mailing lists before, I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to go seek out an OSM mailing list and post my unsolicited thoughts to everyone, but posting to a “user diary” felt fine - that it’s “mine”, so I get to put my thoughts here.
I hadn’t thought of this before! But you’re right, there is something warmly familiar about drawing lines and buildings - I spent a lot of time playing with the Terrain Editor in SimCity Classic.