Andy Townsend wrote to me “we’d ask you to step back from your self-appointed role as “OSM gatekeeper” in Panama”

now, I have no idea how to stop caring for quality.

only option I see is to stop even looking at what is being added to the database.

someone please shows some support in public, or as said I am short of options.

Comment from Rovastar on 13 March 2021 at 07:03

I’ll presume you are a mapper on the ground in Panama and your issues are with remote humanitarian mappers.

Looking at your recent changeset comments (well the ones in English anyway and the few longer ones I translated) I can’t see what the problem is with them. You seem to point out problems and seem reasonable with it. I read through the email thread about the HOT/youth mappers and I don’t see too much wrong there either (maybe there was more I missed) expect that it is wasn’t really HOT it seems but old Youth Mappers tasks that completed poorly and you want to know where to turn for help about this. Your language may be a bit abrupt, but I don’t see too many issues there.

I am not sure what the ongoing issues with editors in your area might be and it is difficult with the lack of transparency within DWG to know what you have done that is so bad. I can’t see any edit/changeset wars going on from a quick look. You sure do a lot of changeset comments (I wouldn’t do that many but it is not against the rules) but it is important to know how many/percentage DWG think is an issue.

People stop mapping all the time for all sorts of reasons. I have witnessed people leaving for all sorts of reasons from very minor suggestions to even just sending a “welcome to mapping” message makes some people stop. It is unclear has caused them to stop mapping.

All that said a few tips: In general, very few people reply to changeset comments. Do not get too hung up if no-one replies. People must start somewhere with mapping and mistakes will be made so focus on how big the mistakes are. Look at it like do these edits improve the map or not? Compare their new edits to what was there before and imagine that nothing will change from before they started. Is the map better with their edits or without? If it was a completely blank area and they add some roads that are slightly misaligned and some houses for me that improves the map.

I am not sure what they are doing wrong is it one end of the spectrum “that 1 building is not 100% square out of the 100 you added, or this road is slightly misaligned or not enough curves in it” (in which case you could just ignore it or change the small offending bit yourself without saying anything) or “remapping existing correct data with old outdated imagery and adding things wrong” (it worth saying something)

It is annoying when you receive a “you should map things this way” messages. I know I get annoyed when I have received them and I have told users face to face that sent me them as much.

So try not to send them too often. Let some things just go. Don’t look for every single thing that is not perfect.

Maybe it is more systematic issue that the entire project on Tasking Manager is wrong and outdated and needs to be changed. If for example you were to resubmit it what would you change in the instructions to reduce errors occurring or maybe change the area to focus where it is needed more/less conflicts?

Comment from Nmxosm on 13 March 2021 at 10:02

I support Rovastar’s comment. I had a look at the changeset comments in English that you left and I didn’t find any obvious rude or offending things. As I don’t see any specific references, I won’t support nor oppose your position, mariotomo. In particular I can’t comment on the situation regarding any Telegram chats.

As I comment a lot on changesets myself I try to stick to the following principles, that you might consider (and discuss with DWG as a compromise): * only comment on the most important issues * don’t comment too often without getting a reply * make comments personal, directed and including a proposition for a fix * offer help * thank the other user for the contribution * back up my points with wiki links * assume good intentions of the other user

Sometimes I don’t take my time to apply them all, but I do it on a best effort.

Greetings Nmxosm

Comment from qeef on 13 March 2021 at 10:23

Let assume nothing is binary. Then, I guess you can see each changeset as “yeah, well, this is not so good but useful”, or “whoo, no way, too many mistakes.”

I do support keeping the quality of data.

I started my contribution within the Missing Maps project. I’ve been told not to map if I’m not (the guess now) 80 % sure. 20 % can be found be “OSM gatekeepers” as you. (Thanks for that.)

IMO, each mapper should start with simple tasks (like map buildings and residential areas,) learn from the feedback, and listen to the local community.

IMO, each “OSM gatekeeper” should assume good faith, balance between useful/harmful, and trying to see the potential in newbie mappers.

Comment from mariotomo on 14 March 2021 at 21:55

thank you all. it’s heartwarming. I’ll keep trying moderate my tone before writing, and … oh, well, just thank you all.

Comment from G1asshouse on 15 March 2021 at 09:21


I have been following your saga for almost a year (Mailing list / OSM telegram / OSM diary / a few changeset comments). My heart goes out to you. From what I have seen, you have balanced insistence and civility for much longer than a person can be expected too. I must soften that statement by mentioning that I have not been involved and do not know the full actions of all involved. So, maybe my praise is misplaced. Only you know the truth.

I have seen the DWG publicly interact with OSM contributors, whom are part of some disagreement. I have yet to feel that the DWG has made the correct decision in any of the situations that I have witnessed. In other situations (vandalism, reverting undiscussed mass edits, spam, etc.) I support their actions. Unfortunately, I feel you have become the focus of the DWG’s “solution” because you are the easier resolution to this conflict. Again, I only know what I have seen so I might be wildly off in my interpenetration.

As for advice in regards to your frustration (if you can do the following): Stop looking at change sets to reduce your own frustration. Stop interacting with the community to avoid getting banned from the OSM project for unjust reasons. Fix what is incorrect when you come across it so that you can feel proud about continuing to improve the quality of OSM data. Don’t change edits back if another contributor changes your work to avoid edit wars, which might bring the ire of the DWG and a possible ban. I attempt to do all of these things myself even though I’d love to be very active with the community. I personally value the altruistic nature of the OSM project (and FOSS projects in general) more than I value the personal interaction with the community. I guess, you might need to think about what you value the most about your contributions to OSM and see what you can avoid doing while still feeling fulfilled. I think it is unfair that you have found yourself in this position but sadly life is not always fair.

I am sorry you have been going through this. Please, be well and happy mapping.

Comment from skquinn on 15 March 2021 at 17:26

I didn’t see anything horribly wrong with the few changeset comments I translated. Honestly, if I was somewhere like Panama instead of a major city in the US (Houston), and I had to deal with a lot of remote humanitarian mappers coming in and making a fine mess of things, I could easily be making very similar changeset comments and facing the same situation. As it is, I have, so far, gotten along with everyone in charge at OSM and haven’t had any major issues in a decade of mapping. We had a guy down in Florida who managed to get banned for continuing to provoke silly edit wars and engage in silly disputes; he contributed about 6 times the volume of data I have to date in only 3½ years. It’s perhaps the saddest story of someone being separated from the OSM project the I know of.

I hate seeing people leave for reasons like that. While I may never visit Panama, I appreciate that you care about the quality of the data in OSM and I hope you remain with the project. Either way, thank you for your contributions and desire for quality data in OSM.

Comment from ConsEbt on 20 March 2021 at 10:00

I have not read much in the forum or around this topic. I also assume you are a mapper on the ground in Panama.

Reading some of your comments on change sets as linked by Andy I would like to make the following comment for you to consider.

Approaching a new mapper is a great thing to do and has a big potential to make or break their engagement. Example: If I write a simple computer question into a forum and I get a very brief very technical answer that is way over my head then this will put me off.

e.g. ‘hi. what is your opinion on the conflict among this relation Cristóbal (11842011, v9) (which only has you among the authors) and the one produced with’

This could be seen as hard to understand for a new mapper.

A comment to a new mapper should be more ‘taking them by the hand’. Maybe include a greeting, an observation and a explanation why the observation requires a fix/change (plus link to wiki?).

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