Category Archives: Editors

Proposal for Software Dispute Resolution Panel

Summary

Following community and membership consultations via the OSM-talk and OSMF-talk channels respectively, and in response to needs expressed by iD developers, the OSM Foundation Board proposes to create a small panel, the Software Dispute Resolution Panel (“Panel”), that will on request seek to resolve disputes that arise over features of the iD editor. Other OSM-related software products may also use this Panel if they choose to opt-in. We ask that comments on the proposal below be made on the OSM-talk mailing list (register to OSM-talk).

Background

Although relatively rare, compared to the total volume of updates, modifications, and enhancements made to the iD editor over time, such controversies as have arisen over changes to iD have threatened the project due to the emotional responses of some involved in the disputes. These controversies are undesirable and cannot be allowed to harm OSM or the OSM community. Hence, at the suggestion of iD developers, the OSM Foundation seeks a method of amicably resolving any disputes that may arise via a mechanism that is ultimately under the control of the OSM community.

Proposal

The OpenStreetMap Foundation (“Foundation”) Board will create a Software Dispute Resolution Panel (“Panel”) consisting of five members. Any Foundation member may be nominated to serve on the Panel. Self-nominations (volunteers) are specifically permitted. The Board will select five persons from among the nominees.

Initially, the Panel will deal solely with disputes over changes to the iD editor. If subsequently developers of other OSM-related software wish to use the Panel, they may request inclusion in the Panel’s remit. Opting into cooperation with the Panel is voluntary and will not, for example, factor into OSMF decisions related to funding.

Once a software product has been included in the Panel’s remit, the Panel shall be the venue for resolving disputes over that software without exception, that can not otherwise be resolved in the everyday discussion and governance of the project. Developers may request dispute resolution at any time. Members of the community may, after having made their issues known to the developers and working through their processes in good faith, request dispute resolution from the Panel. The Panel may decline to handle any requests where community discussion on the issue is still in progress, or requests that it deems abusive, repetitive, frivolous or spurious. Members may appeal to the OSMF board if they consider a resolution process was unjustly declined.

The Panel will be empowered to enlist assistance of subject-matter experts to study and resolve disputes, such as tagging presets. The Panel will examine all sides of any dispute and render a judgment. For tagging-related features, the Panel will advise against controversial presets or validation rules which are not based on sound and settled best practice. The panel will look at existing documentation, any recent community votes, usage numbers, and past discussions, and may convoke subject-matter experts. By having requested inclusion in the Panel’s remit, developers agree in advance to be bound by the Panel’s decisions.

Term of office

The term of office for members of the Panel shall be two years, except that in the first year of operation, two of the members shall have a term of office of one year. In this manner each year either two or three members of the panel will potentially turn over, allowing for some overlap and institutional memory. Members may be reappointed up to two times, but must step down after a maximum of three terms in a row, and may be reappointed after a one-term break.

Composition, conflicts of interest

Members of the panel must have a background as volunteer contributors to the OpenStreetMap project. In appointing members of the Panel, the Board shall strive for Panel composition (membership) that reflects all interests of the OSM community writ large. Members must not participate in cases involving software products developed, whether fully or partially, by employees of the same organization. Conflict-of-interest rules comparable to those for the OSMF board and working groups shall apply to the panel.

Transparency

Panel decisions will be recorded on the OSMF website, where the Panel will have its own page.

Evaluation

The decision to install the Panel will be evaluated by the Board and in public discussion among the Foundation’s members after one year.

Before installing the Panel, and as part of the evaluation at the one-year mark, the OSMF board will verify that existing working groups are not interested in adding this responsibility to their group’s scope.

Request for comments

We ask that comments be made on the OSM-talk mailing list (register to OSM-talk).

Allan Mustard
Chairperson, OSMF Board of Directors

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The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Toward resolution of controversies related to iD

The OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors seeks to resolve controversies that have periodically arisen around updates of and enhancements to the iD editor. This request for comment is expected to lead to adoption of community structures that will not answer to the Board or be influenced by the Board, in keeping with the OSM philosophy that the Board supports OSM but does not tell anybody what to map or how to map. We ask that comments be made on the OSM-talk mailing list (register to OSM-talk) or -if you are an OSMF member- to the OSMF-talk mailing list discussion (register to OSMF-talk).

OSMF offers and recommendations for iD governance

iD is the simple, friendly, default web editor for OpenStreetMap, centrally important software for the project. There’s a lot of passion about its development, and that appears sometimes to become a problem.

The OSMF Board recently convened a small gathering to discuss how to improve the development environment for iD. While there have certainly been times when major and minor decisions in iD have triggered conflict, the vast majority of development discussions are non-polarizing and productive. The convening focused on the key areas where problems emerge (most often, though not only, tagging), and ways to allow for constructive disagreement and resolution, without their deteriorating into disputes that hurt the project.

Essentially, the maintainers of iD need a productive space to carry out their work; contributors, users and other interested parties need to be heard; the decision-making process needs to be understood and respected; and disputes need a way to escalate and resolve.

There’s no technical solution to this kind of situation. What’s required is process and organization. To that end, below are several offers and recommendations from the OSMF Board that the iD project may consider supporting and adopting. We hope that the iD project finds these suggestions helpful and looks forward to discussing what sounds workable and what does not.

OSMF will establish an appeal process

OSMF is seriously considering creating or identifying a body to adjudicate various kinds of technology disputes, capable of drawing on expertise ad hoc to determine the best path forward for the community. Software projects could opt-in into using this appeal process; it would not be required. This appeal process may simply involve arbitrating the disagreement between different parties or projects and helping to find agreement between them; or might involve making or overruling decisions. This mechanism is under early discussion, yet to be defined.

If disputed decisions cannot be resolved directly within the iD project by its maintainers and stakeholders, then the issue can be escalated to this appeal process.

The role of this group would certainly not be to force developers to add certain features. However, if issues are escalated to the group, it could verify that newly added features (e.g., presets, validation rules, or inclusion of external services) are in line with a consensus view.

If this sounds potentially helpful at this stage, OSMF asks iD to share input and expectations to make the process most effective.

OSMF will support development of better systems for tagging decisions; iD documents status quo and separation of concerns

The only way to assess the “correct” tags is a baroque evaluation of the various sources of OSM documentation – the wiki, tagging mailing list, taginfo. This leaves editing and consumption tools in the position to “decide” on what tags are appropriate or not for OpenStreetMap. When this turns contentious, at best this is an unwelcome distraction; and at worst, development can be blocked. To this end, the OSMF welcomes the development of better documentation, decision-making and a curation process for tags. Where needed, the OSMF is prepared to aid such efforts with infrastructure and other support. This would provide a greater degree of clarity for tool developers. If an action taken on presets in iD is contested, the issue could be escalated to the appeal process described above.

For iD’s part, while work on tagging systems is ongoing, we recommend now adding detail on the status quo approach iD takes to tagging decisions in CONTRIBUTING.md. It’s clear that iD aspires to refrain from making decisions on what tags are appropriate for OpenStreetMap; rather, iD aims to represent the consensus view on tags in presets. “Consensus” is currently subjective, and the iD project strongly (we believe, please say so if otherwise) supports efforts in OSM to bring more clarity to how tags are developed.

Presets can be requested in issues, and in PRs, as well as discussion in the issue/PR. The maintainer of iD reserves the right to include or exclude certain tags/presets on technical or usability grounds, though the goal is to avoid curating tags and making decisions on the merits of tags in general. If there seems to be consensus, based on evaluation of source documentation, and it meets a need for other users, presets will be accepted. If there is not clear consensus, the preset (or validation rule, etc.) won’t be accepted.

Institute quarterly planning meetings, and publish bi-weekly sync time and notes

OSMF recommends iD hold a quarterly (or so) video meeting with iD stakeholders. This meeting is a chance to step out of the everyday work of iD and make sure work is on the right path. The agenda would assess development over last quarter, discuss requirements and priority needs, and make plans for the next quarter and beyond. Additionally if any decisions or topics have proven difficult or disputed over the past quarter, this is a time for direct discussion. Notes will be taken and distributed.

Additionally, iD holds a bi-weekly sync, but it is not well known. iD could raise awareness of the bi-weekly sync by announcing it on additional channels, including https://ideditor.blog/; and make sure notes from the sync are visible and accessible.

iD can improve clarity on decision making and communication

We recommend that in CONTRIBUTING.md iD maintainers add a new section which explains how decisions are made in iD. Some points made here are contingent on adopting other recommendations. The new section would explain the following.

  • There are many places to discuss and input on iD development – GitHub issues and PRs, the monthly syncs, quarterly planning meeting, and in response to announcements on https://ideditor.blog/.
  • The developers of iD are committed to being responsive and transparent. By default, iDs maintainers determine the sequence and timing of fixes, changes and enhancements in order to optimize technical work.
  • Invite stakeholders to join an “acceptance testing” process, where feedback on releases is sought and handled for a time delimited period of time.
  • Ultimate decision on accepting PRs is with iD’s maintainer, Quincy Morgan.
  • If there is a dispute on a decision, that will be escalated to the quarterly planning meeting and/or an appeal process managed within the OSM Foundation.

Additionally, we recommend that iD publish a roadmap and regularly update status on major iD releases. iD3 plans were last shared at SotM US. The approach has changed, with more focus on updated UI, and more iterative efforts on componentization. It would be good to get a clear idea of where things are, and where things are going (as much as is clear now), and especially where help is needed in order to build momentum on this important effort.

Document how Code of Conduct is handled

iD has a Code of Conduct but it lacks details on how to report a harmful incident within the iD development environment, and how those reports are adjudicated. Previously Code of Conduct complaints were addressed openly by opening an issue on GitHub, but maintainers later directed people towards the private OSMUS committee. Clarity on process is just as important, if not more, in order for a CoC to be helpful to the project. If that process is not well defined, then thought is needed, perhaps within the quarterly planning meeting. Our recommendation is to add a section on CoC process.

Allan Mustard
Chairperson, OSMF Board of Directors

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to support the OpenStreetMap Project. It is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data for anyone to use and share. The OpenStreetMap Foundation owns and maintains the infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project, is financially supported by membership fees and donations, and organises the annual, international State of the Map conference. It has no full-time employees and it is supporting the OpenStreetMap project through the work of our volunteer Working Groups. Please consider becoming a member of the Foundation.

OpenStreetMap was founded in 2004 and is a international project to create a free map of the world. To do so, we, thousands of volunteers, collect data about roads, railways, rivers, forests, buildings and a lot more worldwide. Our map data can be downloaded for free by everyone and used for any purpose – including commercial usage. It is possible to produce your own maps which highlight certain features, to calculate routes etc. OpenStreetMap is increasingly used when one needs maps which can be very quickly, or easily, updated.

Bing Streetside imagery now available in OpenStreetMap iD editor

Interactive Bing Streetside viewer embedded in the iD editor © CC-BY-SA

We are excited to announce that you can now use Bing Streetside photographs when you edit OpenStreetMap using the web-based editor iD! This is the same imagery currently visible on Bing Maps. You can activate the Bing Streetside layer in iD by opening the Map Data pane (shortcut F). The new layer provides 360-degree panoramic imagery across large regions of the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Spain. The massive imagery dataset covers approximately 1.6 million kilometers and takes nearly 5PB of storage! Thank you, Microsoft.

Go on – try it!

Other street-level imagery datasets in iD
This street-level imagery dataset in an addition to the existing ones provided in iD by OpenStreetCam and Mapillary, which you can also activate by opening the Map Data pane (shortcut F).

If you find street photography helpful for OpenStreetMap editing, you can also contribute your own photographs, using the Mapillary and OpenStreetCam smartphone applications. These are developed by companies independent from the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

A reminder about photomapping
Are you a new mapper excited about photomapping? Please remember that on-the-ground survey is always superior, as photographs represent a specific time snapshot. Feel free to improve the map using photographs, just keep in mind that the photos might be old. Before changing someone else’s edits, consider contacting the mapper first.

Street-level imagery in other OSM editors
Street-level photographs are also available for improving the map in other popular OpenStreetMap editors, such as JOSM. The Bing Streetside imagery will probably become available in some of these editors soon, so stay tuned!

Happy mapping!

About iD
The iD map editor is an open source project. You can submit bug reports, help out, or learn more by visiting the project page on GitHub.

Version 2 of the iD editor

Version 2 of the “iD” editor recently went live. New features include better support for right-to-left languages, authenticated calls to OpenStreetMap servers, and an updated Mapillary viewer.

Viewing street-level Mapillary photos within the iD editor, also super hi-res imagery appearing by default in Cape Town

Viewing street-level Mapillary photos within the iD editor (also super-hi-res imagery appearing by default in Cape Town)

Behind the scenes the editor code has been made more modular, helping future development and customisation. Bryan Housel has been leading the development effort. Read more on his blog post here. Big thanks to him and all the developers involved.

iD is the default editor appearing on the OpenStreetMap website when you click ‘edit’. Never tried? You’ll need to get signed up and logged in first. Follow the ‘walkthrough’ to learn how ‘iD’ works. This is improving all the time, but there’s also a range of desktop or mobile app alternatives. See the list of editors.

iD In-Browser Editor Now Default on OpenStreetMap

The State of the Map 2013 venue in the new iD editor

The State of the Map 2013 venue in the new iD editor

If you click the edit button today on OpenStreetMap, you will find a new, easier to use in-browser editor.

With OpenStreetMap rapidly becoming the go-to map for thousands of mobile apps and websites, more and more users are seeking an easy way to add their local knowledge to the map – without the technical background of OpenStreetMap’s early adopters. The new all open source web editor, named iD, was launched last May as an additional option to make the editing experience much easier for first-time mappers.

Since then, the iD developers have worked hard to close feature gaps and improve performance such that it can now take its place as the default editor for OpenStreetMap.org. iD offers a walk-through tutorial for first-time users, inline documentation for tags, and a more comprehensive help system than previous in-browser editors.

Potlatch, the existing online editor, continues to be developed for intermediate-level users and will remain as an option in the edit dropdown. For a full list of available editors, take a look at our wiki. You can configure your personal default  in your user settings.

Head over to OpenStreetMap.org and give the new editor a spin.

JOSM Tutorials?

Over a year ago I did a handful of JOSM tutorials
( http://wiki.openstreetmap.org /wiki/JOSM ), for example this one on
making a simple edit for the first time using JOSM:
http://russnelson.com/osm/josm-first-edit-ever.swf , or this one on
merging two ways into one:
http://russnelson.com/osm/JOSM-merging-ways.mp4 . JOSM has changed
since then, and I should probably re-do those tutorials. What
tutorials do you think we need to have for JOSM? Are you having
trouble using JOSM? Ask questions in the comments below, and I’ll see
if I can record a video that answers your question.

JOSM goes multi data layer

The latest JOSM now supports multiple data layers again. This was requested since about the day after I removed the feature over a year ago ;-).

As another big data source hits the main database (AND’s netherland-parts-of-china-and-india map) the feature got more urgent. I think it is especally cool for people who want to compare two unrelated datasets ;-).

Every file open and every download opens the data into a new, seperate layer now. You can merge these layers using the merge button in the layer dialog. By selecting an layer in the layer dialog, you can switch the current editing dataset as needed.

Now for the bad news:

As the feature is a ground shaking one for the whole JOSM data holding structure, I expect many new bugs introduced :-(. If you run into problems that block you from mapping, please revert to the latest release from last week.

For Plugin writers:

Plugins, that used Main.ds could be affected as well. Main.ds now holds the dataset of the current editing layer rather than all the data together. If you are a plugin writer and your plugin is broken and you cannot fix it to work with josm-latest *and* the josm-1.5 release, please link a version which is working with the latest release at http://josm.openstreetmap.de/wiki/Plugins/LatestRelease.

New Release: JOSM 1.5 “Hits The Road”

Hi,

after almost 9 months of more or less JOSM-coding, I finally announce a new JOSM release. In shortage of a better name and in spirit of the good old Sam & Max adventure game (which I finished yesterday.. Hurray!), I hereby call this release: “Hit The Road”. 😀

Before I get to the new features, I want to Frederick Ramm, Christof Dallermassl, Francisco R. Santos, Bruce Cowan, Thomas Walraet, Martijn van Oosterhout and all the other guys I forgot who send in patches, bug reports and ideas and who wrote plugins for the community. 🙂

Ok, now to the facts:

download: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/download/josm.jar
mirrors: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/JOSM#Requirements.2C_download_.26_installation
online-help: F1 (or http://josm.openstreetmap.de/wiki/Help)
bugs: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/newticket

Some new features since the last release

  • 0.4 complaint. I bet you already noticed that in the latest beta 😉
  • Tons of new modes and tools as split / combine ways, reorder nodes in
    a line, reorder segments in a way, (un)select all…
  • Better support for plugins. There are over a dozen plugins
    already available. A basic plugin downloader has been integrated into
    JOSM to ease the plugin installation process. See
    http://josm.openstreetmap.de/wiki/Plugins for more
  • The MarkerLayer displaying annotations from gpx tracks.
  • More visualization options, e.g. drawing the segment ordering number
    or drawing boundary rectangles of all downloaded areas.
  • HCI improvements as one-time warnings, customization support for the
    toolbar on top (including annotation presets), detach the dialogs
    on the right, welcome screen, cuter images…
  • And of course: fixed tons of bugs.

I hope you enjoy the new release and good mapping.

Ciao, Imi.