Hi. I have been doing mapping in two towns in northern California for over a year now. During that time I have mostly been the person mapping the area and have not had any problems. Three weeks ago though I noticed that someone had created a bunch of commercial land-use and industrial areas in places where they did not belong. I sent the person a message asking why they had created the area’s, since I did not want to modify their work to much without consulting them, but I never heard back. After doing some on the internet, I found out that people have been mapping land-use features wrongly for the sake of creating Pokemon Go spawn points. I am pretty sure that is what this user is doing because it fits with the halfhearted way he added things. Plus Pokemon go is mentioned in one of his comments. After doing the initial large areas of wrong mapping, he seems to have disappeared and not done anything since then. So I have started to undo his mistakes. It is a major pain though because he connected the nodes of land-use areas to so many other things and over such a large area that it is taking a lot to fix. So my question is, how should I handle situations like this in the future? Should I message the person and wait for some amount of time to hear back from them before undoing their damage even if I know for sure that their work is incorrect? Is there a way that the work they have done can be more easily rolled back without me having to spend my weekend deleting things that I shouldn’t have to? Is there a way to have that person banned if they return and start doing it again? or for that matter a way to ban other people that might come along and do similar things because they do to much damage? Finally, has anyone else had a similar problem? If so, how did you deal with it? So far its been pretty frustrating for me to deal with. So I appreciate any answers, feedback, or thoughts on the subject.
“How long to wait before fixing” is always tricky - the sooner that problems are fixed the easier they will be to fix, since other people will be less likely to have made edits in that area, but mistakes by well-meaning new mappers are normal, and we don’t want to put them off OSM for good by saying “you’re doing it wrong” as the first thing they hear from the OSM community.
I tend to try and wait about a week between an initial changeset discussion comment and fixing (if no reply), but some problems (e.g. a node drag or a deletion of a major road) I’d fix sooner.
It’d be interesting to see what everyone else says here too.
For info the “I’ve seen a problem; what should I do?” section of http://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Data_Working_Group might be helpful (disclaimer - I’m a DWG member and wrote quite a bit of that).
also see the OSM wiki about