Large amount of personal tags in West Bank / Gaza Strip


I decided to inspect the rest of the middle east, and simple overpass queries reveal a treasure trove of personal bookmarks. Do I have the green-light to exterminate them?

For instance, the following query caught 499 nodes. The vast majority is personal bookmarks.




/* 3 variations of the word home/house */

The location distribution is interesting. Image:

Thanks for the analysis!

Unlikely though it is to get a reply, I’d definitely try and contact the mappers concerned first via changeset discussion comments. If you get a case of mappers ignoring comments but keeping adding “home” locations, drop a mail to the DWG and we can send a message that they have to read before continuing mapping. That’ll stop those who have no idea what OSM even is, and at that stage it’s definitely OK to get rid of obviously dodgy MAPS.ME-entered locations (subject to the caveats discussed above about what might be a “useful” entry).

Best Regards,

Andy from the DWG

Is that procedure really necessary? There are probably thousands of personal bookmarks. Contacting them all is time-consuming and inefficient. Additionally, most of them are 1 -time Maps.Me editors. They add their home and disappear. No real need for blocking them, so contacting the DWG will consume the DWG’s time needlessly. Lastly, Maps.ME 1-timers never answer. The chance is 1 in a thousand.

On a tangent: The situation seems severe. Are there any efforts being made to make the MAPS.ME devs fix their app? In its current state, the app is doing so much damage. Simple UI changes / notices may be enough to get people to use the bookmarks rather than the map editor.

You could either contact them via one of the methods on or write to the OSM talk mailing list which is followed by one of the devs, as you can see in e.g.

In my view, is one of the biggest causes of bad data this year.

I think they urgently need to solve the problem of the lack of effective accountability. Unfortunately the only way of doing that would probably be for one of their staff to review changeset comments on their edits that don’t get a response within, say, a week, and I doubt they would have a viable business model if they had to do that.

IMHO, not only added bad data to the database, but also show “bad” data to their users, since they are offering an advertising service to POIs, so, when you search for something, which will came first, the bests items or the sponsored ones?

I looked a bit more into this, and wow. Sorry for straying a bit off topic, but is slowly destroying the middle east. This is very serious. I assume the experienced mappers of Europe / USA have kept things in check. But there are considerably less dedicated mappers in the middle east. Overpass is not even needed, just browse a major city for a while.

Taking that Baghdad link as an example - there’s nothing else there, and people are filling in the map the only way they know how!

Maybe if someone who spoke fluent Arabic could try and get in touch with them they might be able to convert a small percentage to “mapping properly” :slight_smile:

Also - just in case you’re not aware - you can use to highlight (and revert) MAPS.ME edits on a country by country basis.

Added to wiki Quality Assurance Monitoring Tools

I’ve deleted hundreds of personal houses. But now I’m wondering:

Certain areas of the world have no addresses for various reasons. What if this is helpful for people to navigate, where names are kind of ad-hoc replacements for addresses?

Maybe I’m over-thinking this and it’s just reckless edits, but I don’t want to reduce the map usability to anyone.

It seems I had at least a single false-positive:

I’ll stop deleting until/if more people from those regions explain things or discuss this.

I will keep deleting the blatantly obvious: My house, My uncle’s house, etc.

I wonder if some kind of “legal amenity” tagging would make sense for some of these - somehow indicating that “here is the location of someone who can mediate in a dispute”. MAPS.ME displays the name for (which is an “amenity=solicitors”) and (“office=solicitors”). I don’t think that “solicitors” is quite right, but maybe a different one from might be?

I’ve decided to keep deleting. I am confident most edits are personal. And if some place is important as above, I’ll likely be contacted (or I’ll notice it’s been readded again and again or edited by different people).

I decided to create a dedicated account for QA. There’s simply too much work to be done and my main edit history was getting crowded. Maps.Me devs have to do something about this.

This forum will probably get limited attention, maybe you want to bring this up on talk mailing list, where similar issues were discussed recently.

Thanks. I think I will try the app for a while, come up with specific suggestions, explain the middle east mess, and post on the list.

Are we absolutely sure I should delete “X’s house”-style points and they’ll never be wanted in the future?

I’m still deleting about 10 - 100 weekly in WB/Gaza strip (I gave up on the rest of the middle east. too much work). Most them are guest_house named “X’s house” where X is some personal or family name. But I’m a bit uncomfortable with this because if sometimes in the future it’s decided they’re wanted, it would be an extremely time consuming revert.

For the record: I concluded almost all of these strange additions are in fact people all across the Middle East adding the houses of people they know (and sometimes phone numbers) as guest_houses, alpine_huts, caravans, or anything with a pretty Maps.Me icon.

I simply gave up policing the region.