A look into a sample of edits from MAPS.ME contributors from August

Posted by manoharuss on 15 September 2016 in English (English)

During the month of August this is the approximate changeset percentage breakdown between editors that uploaded user edits into OSM:

screenshot 2016-09-15 15 33 50 Source: OSMCha

As a follow up to our review of sample edits from Maps.Me, we decided to randomly review changesets during August to understand the difference in quality and contributions from this editor from our previous review.


  • Changesets reviewed: 475

  • Problematic changesets: 12

  • Minor issues: 33 Raw notes

  • No obvious issues: 430

Problematic changesets

1.Changesets 1, 2 with a lot of amenity=fountain and tourism=camp_site tags on residential areas with alphanumeric names. We commented on the user’s changeset.

screenshot 2016-09-12 17 44 14 The edits looked like this on the map

2.Changeset with 91 toursim=attraction POIs. A community member commented and DWG reverted the changeset.

screenshot 2016-09-13 16 42 30 Density of artworks as seen on OSMCha

3.Changeset with 78 ATMs. Community reverted this changeset.

4.Changeset with a lot of of tourism=camp_site tags in one area and some are on water. We commented on this changeset asking for clarification.

5.Changeset with a lot of tourism=attraction tags in names such as I, Pa, ps and gym. We commented and reverted this changeset.

6.Changeset with POIs on roads. We commented on the changeset to let the user know of this.

7.Changeset advertising apartment in demand. We commented on the changeset.

8.Changeset added a bookshop and an outdoor shop at a stadium. We commented on the changeset asking for clarification if these are temporary stalls.

9.Changeset added tourism=guest_house POIs with personal names. We cleaned up all his changesets.

10.Changeset added tourism=attraction & tourism=camp_site POIs to map railway bridges, switches and crossings. We reverted the changeset with a changeset comment.

11.Added amenity=bus_stations over a residential area. A community member commented and reverted the changeset.

Changes observed since our previous review

  • We have not observed name=* modifications from users.

  • We have not come across partial upaloads and changesets with no changeset comments were very few.

But we have continued to observe below issues:

Comparatively, we saw less number of problematic changesets with respect to the number of changesets we reviewed. Let us know what you think of the editor and where it should improve.

Number of new contributors on OSM Source:

There has been a significant spike in new contributors to OSM that coincide with the launch of edit feature in Do you think it correlates with new user contributions using Let us know what you think.


Chetan, Krishna & Manohar

Comment from Tomas Straupis on 15 September 2016 at 20:24

Ok. So now it looks clear enough. People with little or no OSM experience make some fake* “analysis” just to give some “reference” pages just some days before the conference for garage hacker Zverik to say that “some people say is not SOO bad”. Good! Brilliant! Very “trump style”! :-D

From long term OSM mappers attitude: results are still the same. 50% of edits are revertable rubbish. And can be promoted to “the worst thing to happen to OSM ever”.


[*] edits from which region? what period? who analysed? what rules? :-D

Comment from Omnific on 15 September 2016 at 22:10

Regardless of what the OSM old guard thinks, I’m personally a huge fan of the editor. I use it extensively, and it’s been a fantastic addition to my toolbox that makes adding POIs and POI details much faster and more efficient.

Should there be more safeguards (i.e. First edits from new OSM users have to go by a real person before they are added to the database)? Sure, without a doubt. However, it’s still a net positive in my mind, even if I have to clean up the occasional misplaced/miscategorized POI.

Comment from BushmanK on 16 September 2016 at 00:50

@Omnific, is a good tool in hands of an experienced mapper like you or any other person. And exactly by this reason, it’s awful in hands of any person who has no idea about OSM: editor was designed by OSM geeks, who can barely imagine (or who don’t care about it) what could be done when such clueless person uses it.

Comment from PlaneMad on 16 September 2016 at 10:55

@Tomas Straupis, its quite clear this is just a random sample and not not a complete nor thorough analysis. If you have the motivation it would be helpful if you can share some objective observations with examples.

The effect of would be very different around the world, its probably doing damage in micromapped areas because that level of detail is not visible to the user in the editor, but in areas with close to zero contributors like here in India, its making a definite positive impact with the addition of new POIs even in smaller cities which were map dead.

To really understand the scale of the problem, its necessary that local communities gather accurate stats of whats working and not, generalized statements are really not very helpful for developers to make the system better.

Comment from SimonPoole on 17 September 2016 at 00:14

WRT the new contributors per month stats: it isn’t so simple, given that there was both the launch of the editing capability and a larger HOT/MM event during the same period.

Down the road once things have stabilized a bit there will be some analysis, given that the peaks alone doesn’t really say much.

@planemad well it is not different in that respect than numbers that MB published claiming everything is fine and dandy ……

Comment from BladeTC on 17 September 2016 at 04:48

After years using JOSM, I started to use the to do some quickly mapping and add poi’s. It’s is simple and amazing!

Comment from PlaneMad on 17 September 2016 at 18:53

Simon, theres a detailed listing of issues the editor has caused that need to be addressed, clearly everything is not fine and dandy.

Comment from joost schouppe on 19 September 2016 at 14:53

I’d like to point out that every “ooh this is all crap” comment makes it easier for the developers to dismiss any criticism of their app.

It is just as obvious that introduces a whole lot of new problems, as that it is probably the biggest community expansion thing to happen recently.

Unless you want OSM to become your private garden, this is a wave of the future. Unless you want to start your own POI dump, you’re going to have to listen to the old guard, whether they are friendly or fierce.

Comment from mikelmaron on 19 September 2016 at 15:09

Thanks @joost schouppe. Exactly – there’s a rational and smart way to go about looking at, based in real assessment and cool heads and respect for each other and all mappers.

I do wonder looking at these issues, how could adapt to address some of the issues discovered.

On the stats, I would be very surprised if the scale of this jump meant was due to something other than, since HOT and Missing Maps events occur frequently. One way to dig into this would be to look at each newly signed up users and look at their changeset comments.

Comment from joost schouppe on 21 September 2016 at 13:49

Well, this is what the wider OSM community should do IMHO: make a feed like Pascal Neis’s new contributor where you can filter by editor. Write these to a little website (eg fork our Belgian effort) where people can share their analysis of those changesets. For example, generate a list of all first edits with Build in a data dumping tool, so we can make stats to count the number of “crappy edits”.

There are two things I think we can all agree upon that should do:

  • explain more clearly what you are doing: “Looks like you want to share these points of interest with the rest of the world! That’s great. Just make sure they’re useful to the rest of the world. “My momma lives here” is not useful. “There is something of tourist interest here” is not specific enough. If you’re not sure how best to map something, just write a Note for other mappers to solve. Want to know more about the database you’re feeding? Head to”.

  • integrate OSM messaging into their app. Yes, response rate is always low when you contact other mappers (even very experienced ones), but several people have mentioned how low it is for users. I think something is going wrong there, from a technical point of view. If a OSM contributor receives a message on OSM, that should pop up within the app until they read it. It might make sense to introduce this a bit. “Remember you uploaded some points of interest to the internet? Well, the internet has a question to you about that”.

I’m not really using myself, so maybe some steps in that direction are already there.

Comment from BushmanK on 21 September 2016 at 17:22

@joost schouppe,

I’m very sorry that I have to point on that, but this is a kind of demagoguery: > It is just as obvious that introduces a whole lot of new problems, as that it is probably the biggest community expansion thing to happen recently.

It can’t be a “community expansion” since those people, who adding “Mom’s house” have no idea they are a part of some community (and you’ve just admitted that in the second comment). In Russian, this situation is called “you marrying them without their presence”.

So, how about to stop using obviously false statements to support your point (which is reasonable in general and it doesn’t really need any demagogic arguments in its support)?

Comment from R0bst3r on 22 September 2016 at 06:51

Glad to see the results and yes, same opinion here, is improving quickly.

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