Monthly Archives: February 2019

Organised editing guidelines

OpenStreetMap is powered by its community. While originally supported by individuals, the continuing growth and popularity of OSM have also spawned organised mapping efforts by companies employing mapping teams and unpaid groups like school classes that are directed to work on OSM. 

Organised mapping efforts are an integral part of today’s OSM contribution landscape and, when done well, help make OSM better and more widely used. 

The OSM Foundation has created the Organised Editing Guidelines that summarise expectations, consensus and established conventions based on discussions with the community, members of the OSMF advisory board and humanitarian mapping efforts. Their goal is to provide a framework to both organised mapping initiatives and the communities to encourage good organised mapping. They are not meant to apply to community activities like mapping parties between friends or doing a presentation on OSM at a local club. If you’re not sure whether you should apply them, contact the local community for advice.

The Organised Editing Guidelines can be found here: 
https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Organised_Editing_Guidelines

The guidelines have been developed thanks to volunteers of the OSMF Data Working Group, with various rounds of feedback from the wider community, and have been approved by the Board of Directors. Unofficial translations are found here: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Organised_Editing_Guidelines 
You can add your translation there, or contact the Communication Working Group at communication@osmfoundation.org

Sometimes edits made as part of an organised exercise can be problematic, or their accuracy/quality may be disputed by others in the community. As with other disputes, the Foundation’s Data Working Group will respond to organised edits that have gone wrong. While they will intervene for edits that are problematic, not following the guidelines per se is not treated an offense. The overall goal of the guidelines is to provide a framework for ‘sizeable, substantial’ activities: “We wanted something that doesn’t scare casual events off while letting us regulate a geography class gone berserk or a misguided volunteer mapathon.”

Look for the monkey

We – the State of the Map working group and the local team of Heidelberg –  are already working on SotM 2019. In December we launched the website

https://2019.stateofthemap.org/

The local team prepared a wonderful logo and an appropriate conference motto “Bridging the Map” which not only applies to the basics of OSM community but also to our host city Heidelberg:

State of the Map 2019 logo by Michael Auer
Right next to the old bridge in Heidelberg there lives a curious little statue – a bronze monkey. In its hand, it holds a mirror to remind anyone crossing the bridge to look back from where they came from and remember who they are. For the 2019 SotM in Heidelberg we want to take the role of that little monkey and remind everyone that no matter where we are going and what we are doing with OSM, we should never forget that we all come from the same origin: a little map that anyone can modify and use. Whether you are a hobby mapper, a scientific researcher, a humanitarian, an NGO, a government agency, a small business or a global company — we want to bridge the gap between us, or better yet, we want to Bridge the Map.

Our estimated timeline for 2019 is

15 Feb – Call for Scholars
28 Feb – Call for Abstracts (general and academic)
30 Mar – Deadline of Call for Scholars
24 Apr – Deadline of Call for Abstracts
16 May – Start Early Bird ticket sale
20 Jun – Program Announcement
04 Jul – Switch to regular ticket prices
21-23 Sep – State of the Map in Heidelberg/Germany

Open open open

Apart from the daily work of conference preparation, we have spent considerable efforts in order to use more FOSS tools. We started by moving our meetings from Hangout to Mumble. We use HOT’s Mumble server which already serves the OSMF board and other OSMF working groups. So it was already proven that Mumble is smart and works on all platforms.Our next step was much more challenging. We moved our email communication from Google Mail to the OpenStreetMap mailing list server. We couldn’t move our domain yet as there were too many constraints for a rigorous cut. So we decided to keep the Google account with the stateofthemap.org MX until everything is sorted out. At the moment the mail address “team@stateofthemap.org” is still valid, but it is forwarded to sotm@openstreetmap.org.
Tom – thank you so much! – has set up a number of private mailing lists for all our needs:

sotm@openstreetmap.org
program-sotm@openstreetmap.org
academic-sotm@openstreetmap.org
scholar-sotm@openstreetmap.org
sponsor-sotm@openstreetmap.org

All these lists are private. Only members of the SotM working group or the appropriate teams are able to read the emails addressed to these lists. For example progam-sotm@openstreetmap.org is read by the program committee and used for all internal communication. At the same time everybody (from outside) can write to this email address send their questions to the program committee using this email address.

Our next step will concern the submission form for the conference contributions – the “Call for Abstracts”. We will move from Google forms to Pretalx, which is Open Source software. It is already used by FOSSGIS (the German local chapter). So we know about advantages and limitations.

We still have some proprietary tools in use, and switching from a proprietary to an Open Source tool takes additional work – not only for us but also for the operations working group. In the past few months we could spend some time on this, but during the hot phase of SotM preparation there will not be enough capacity. Also, the Open Source tools are sometimes less comfortable than the proprietary equivalent, and it needs a lot of communication to persuade all the affected people to make this additional effort. The State of the Map working group supports the idea of Open Source software, and we think this goal is worth the extra effort (even if the path is sometimes rocky).

State of the Map working group
Sign up for event updates