Mixed emotions after some days contributing to OSM

Posted by dardhal on 27 December 2010 in English (English)

I have yet to investigate the local Spain user community in depth, buth is very disappointing to see that every user around my location has never contributed anything to the project, or did some three or so years ago, and only with minimal amounts of date. I'm not the most adequate one to tell other what to to or where to spend their (scarce) free time, but the situation unfortunately seems no better than other community-based projects out there. It seems in Spain we don't have a tradition, culture, whatever, of giving back to the community. There seems to be no sense of community at all, but, anyways, it's better to lead by example than to complain about the situation and be quiet crying.

And leading by example, a recent "OSM friend", walo, needs special credit and praise. I have only had a slight view at his (or her?) work, but seems outstanding, in volume and in quality. That's the kind of attitude that makes projects big and people willing to collaborate. Big thanks to him.

On a more personal side, I have been adding some information to OSM for the last few days: "drinking_water" and "spring" all over the place (Casa de Campo and sierra de Madrid), very useful for bikers, hikers and outdoors sports in general. Casa de Campo is much improved, more tracks and paths mapped than before, better polygon resolution and accuracy, but still some work to do here (it's a big city "park", with so many paths and tracks close to each other, that maybe and for the sake of clarity, some of the least interesting ones should not be mapped at all).

I have also added a couple of well known routes in the Sierra de Madrid, Carril del Gallo and Loma del Noruego, to name a few, that were either missing of asking for big improvements. I have lots more of GPS track logs to "transfer" to OSM, but it will be a slow process, as I want to be sure that the information I upload, won't need further improvements, only third party reviews and fixes for typos, and so on. To make sure the data is of good quality, GPS logs are compared to each other, and overlaid on top of several available mapping sources (Bing Maps, IDEE WMS), and verified with local knowledge.

I think my OSM experience isn't going that bad after only a couple of weeks contributing. Hope to keep the pace, and to feed more data to the maps, and make some more people join the effort or, at least, contribute their GPS track logs to me to be able to process and upload them to OSM myself, giving due credit, of course.

PS: second diary entry wasn't that short after all, I think I should write more often to have less things to say at a time.

Comment from andrewpmk on 28 December 2010 at 01:39

There's lots of inactive users in my area (Toronto) as well. Maybe we should send them emails to encourage them to contribute?

Comment from z-dude on 28 December 2010 at 05:25

Not everyone has to be a power user. A lot of Wikipedia was done by people who only did 1 edit. You might find that the 'guy who has no edits' might have been uploading gps tracks instead, and that's a great contribution in itself.

If you do something like email the people in your neighbourhood, advise them on how to use potlatch2, or suggest they can contribute by uploading to . Not everyone who signed up knew how to use the potlatch 1 editor, let alone the other editors.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 28 December 2010 at 08:43

I guess every area has much more inactive members than active ones. I think OSM can deliver quality maps with 1 active user per village.

As for leading by example. I'm now a (quite active) OSM member for 9 months. And 2 months ago, a member that was already member for 12 months in a neighbour village started editing. That's without me sending a mail to him.

BTW: If I look at your editing area, I see that it's already quite well maped. When I started mapping, the street where I live wasn't on the map and about 100 people live in my street.

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