I navigated to IETT’s (the governing body of Istanbul’s transport network) website to cross reference the route maps. I noticed that there were some minor differences between the route on IETT’s website and Alikam’s version on OSM. The route wasn’t following the exact roads. This wasn’t a major issue but I still commented on the changeset, mentioning discrepancies between the two versions. Alikam, who’s an urban planning student and OSM contributor with a priority on transport network, wrote back a few hours later to tell that the major junction at that point had been rebuilt as part of the construction of a new underground line. Apparently due to that major change in the highway infrastructure, the bus route have been changed as well. But as of this writing, IETT haven’t updated their website to reflect the relevant changes. Meanwhile, thanks to Alikam and all the contributors like them, OpenStreetMap is more up to date than the official source for Istanbul’s transport network.
This wasn’t a major issue, but it makes one think if there are other cases where people rely on the official/private/closed data and left stranded or were late to a very important meeting (I’ll give you a clue, answer is yes).
So kudos to Alikam and all those great contributors of this wonderful open community.