Bitcoins and Business Opportunists

Posted by ika-chan! UK-USA on 14 January 2014 in English (English). Last updated on 15 January 2014.

I recently removed a node in De Beauvoir Town that advertised a flat payable with bitcoins and litecoins. I did a search on Google about the tag and it seems that there may be an overall problem about the use of the tag. Then someone mentioned about people adding their businesses just so that they show up in a website called CoinMap.

To reiterate, the OSM policy regarding places of interests is that we map what we see, or have something that we can verify: that node did not have a shopfront or any visible advert, or a reliable listing as far as I can tell, hence ineligible for inclusion for now.

What is the current status on the issue?



Update: I have since been able to verify the location as part of a another, and improvements were made: the problem that rose suspicions was it was initially poorly named and poorly located, however, I have struggled to verify a marketing business near Finsbury Park.

Comment from mcld on 15 January 2014 at 08:27

I’ve not been involved in the bitcoin discussion and I won’t get involved. But I’d just like to point out that OSM policy is not to map “what we see” in the sense you seem to be describing. Just because it isn’t obvious when you walk past it in the street, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in OSM. The gold standard for OSM is for something to be verifiable “on the ground”. So, if someone hired a holiday flat, paid for it in bitcoin, went and lived there for two weeks, then mapped it, that would be a perfect example of good OSM mapping! (I’m not suggesting this is what happened in this case.) Yet you still wouldn’t see it when you walked past.

Speaking a bit more loosely, if it’s a geolocated business (and not just a “placeless” business such as a website) then why shouldn’t it be on the map? If it’s badly tagged or spammy then there’s a problem. But if it’s a business owner who has placed their business correctly on the map, that’s a good thing.

Comment from ika-chan! UK-USA on 15 January 2014 at 10:26

The problem on this occasion was the node added by Adormo was poorly named and located, hence raising initial suspicions. Further checks this morning resulted in the node being added back because it was part of notable place, albeit poorly named and poorly located (it was in fact part of the London Open House at some point). However, the problem still stands because I have struggled to verify a marketing business near Finsbury Park.

I have got in touch with Adormo, who added the node, with the following recommendations to make it less spammy: which is as follows:

  1. Checking that the location is accurate, if possible.
  2. Checking that the address and post code of the location, including the house number, is correct, if possible.
  3. Checking that the name and description of the location is not spam-like, or better still, put it under the tag “adormo:name” and “adormo:description” respectively, similar to what we did with Naptan bus stops in the UK.
  4. Using “source=Adormo”, so we know where it is coming from.

Anything else to add?

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