Odd edits in Italy

I’ve just noticed that a “new user” has appeared, created three changesets:

and then deleted their account. Perhaps someone local could have a look?

(apologies for English, translate button below)

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Sounds familiar…

To make things easier for others: could you turn the CS numbers into links to the respective CSs? Thanks in advance :slightly_smiling_face:

The earlier one (already reverted) was

134111041 134111802 134111852 134112624 134113073 134113234 134113397 134113575 134114496 134114565 134114849 134118169 134118248 134118982 134119037 134119092 134119177 134119316 134119492 134119578 134119684 134119781 134119908 134120047 134120091 134167898 134168361 134168884 134169105 134169172 134169470 134169599 134228252 134264033

1 of the 3 links in the OP actually goes to near Andorra, Spain.

As you can see from https://osm.mapki.com/history/node/1460478629, it’s the same edit war, just in a different place.

Same pattern as before: changing place=* tags. As that person has used a revert tool (RevertUI 1.0) I guess it’s someone who is somewhat familiar with using tools.

Would it be a good idea to revert it with “Revert revert from throwaway account that registered, made revert with RevertUI and immediately deleted account, see https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/odd-edits-in-italy/97706” comment?

On assumption that someone reverting with throwaway account, without explanation, on edit warred items is unlikely to operate in a good faith?


Someone asked me about these edits, so here’s a bit more info. You can see the userid associated with a deleted account by looking at the XML of a changset of theirs (click the XML link here to get that).

You can see the uid here is “18840068”. A search at “whosthat”** shows that the old user name was “HeadAsylum433”. We (the DWG) don’t have access to sign-up information, but can ask the admins in cases where it’s necessary. It isn’t practical to “put an address on a watchlist” - either an email address or an IP address.

It’s trivial to generate new, unique, email addresses. We regularly see new “plausible” gmail addresses being used for this sort of thing - we’ve even seen them trying to give the “new person” a bit of legitimacy by posting online elsewhere first. IP addresses change all the time - I bet if I turn mobile data off an on on my phone I’ll get a new address.

However, it is relatively easy to keep an eye on edits “of a certain sort” or to certain objects. If you’d like us the DWG to keep an eye on anything in particular we can do so - drop an email to data@openstreetmap.org explaining what and we’ll see what we can do.

Best Regards,

Andy, from the Data Working Group.

** arguably third party sites should honour OSM deletions in the same way that OSM does, as there might be a valid reason associated with personal data for the deletion, but we’ll let that pass for now.


Yes, and I’m assuming that the local community will do this. If anyone needs any help, email the DWG.

That said, I’m somewhat puzzled why someone would set up and then delete an account just to change the capitalisation of a name. I presume there’s a story behind it.

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I reverted chagesets #134456754 and #134456407.

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A “new user” has appeared and changed one of the names again.

As the Germans say’ “Im Dreieck (herum) springen”.

the tag church=parish is absent.

Not looked at what the diocese has listed it as.

Re the yannis323 edits, see comments here.

There last edit was a revert, which is not a good sign.

To add more context, this mapper (as HeadAsylum433) has made similar edits in Austria and the US. Notably, they changed the five boroughs of New York City from place=suburb to place=town, which swiftly garnered criticism from the local community. Consequently, this mapper was invited to discuss further on the OSM-US Slack, and once they joined, they initiated a straw poll on the #local-nyc channel about changing the place=* tag on New York boroughs. The poll revealed varying opinions, but none of them agreed with place=town. A few minutes later, the Slack account was mysteriously deactivated and so was HeadAsylum433’s OSM account.

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To set the record straight
I created the account HeadAsylum432 some 20 days ago and I made some changes, notably the New York City boroughs one, explaining it in detail as it can be seen on the changeset comment and discussion (just to clarify I didn’t barge in without being open to discussion and simply changed the nodes tag to my liking without any comment).
Then I received many comments from local mappers telling me they didn’t agree and to come join the OSM-US Slack community, which I did shortly after, using the name “John”.
As it was said, I created a poll (with the intention of it being simply a test of waters) that asked what was the preferred way of tagging the New York City boroughs nodes.
Some hours and further discussion after, I mistakenly used another account to post a comment to the changeset discussion, so, since it was clear the discussion wasn’t going anywhere, I deleted the HeadAsylum432 account and also the Slack account, since I don’t use Slack and I didn’t need it to be around.
The aftermath is that after seeing my changesets reverted for the only reason of being of a deleted account and called vandalism, I tried to restore them with other accounts because I didn’t like my work being wasted.

I only ask of you to not call my changesets vandalism, since this is an obvious misrepresentation, and to not revert my changesets in batch without showing respect from someone who doesn’t get paid to contribute to OpenStreetMap. If you think I made negative contributions you are free to delete them, but at least spend a fraction of the time I spent to make them.

Hello @yannis323 ,

Thanks for posting here. What was the reasoning behind the name changes to e.g. https://osm.mapki.com/history/way/208731874 in Italy?

Best Regards,


Hi @yannis323,

thanks for joining the forum and the discussion.

Maybe this isn’t clear to you, but changes you upload are live immediately. Making big changes without upfront discussion is barging in. If you want to change the name of a capital city (your change to Vatican City) you have to assume they have a long history and you must discuss it with the local community before actually applying the change. If there’s no consensus, don’t make the change.

Using different accounts or aliases is a tactic often used by vandals and people hiding malicious edits, so it raises red flags. Why did you need several accounts?

Guess what, most of us don’t get paid. Please value our time as well.


Is leonardashley87330 another one of your accounts? The discussion here makes it look like both accounts are yours: Changeset: 134806147 | OpenStreetMap.

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My conclusion was right:

And I’ll gladly repeat the formal and technical issues, with most (if not all) edits in Switzerland:

  1. The changeset comment, doesn’t fit the changeset content at all. If the comment field is too short, you’re changeset is too large – simple as that.
  2. The changeset lacks (valid) sources. There’s no way, the size, structure, elevation or population of a village or suburb are retrieved from Orthophotos (aerial imagery). Same goes for all the names, that should either be determined OTG or through OGD with a compatible license. Also road categories are determinded OTG according to the actual signage, and not by gut feeling.
  3. Wikipedia is not a valid, compatible source, as @habi told you in Changeset 134806147. By using an incompatible source, you didn’t just waste your time, but basically wasted all our time. Instead of copying from Wikipedia something that might be incorrect or already outdated, I’d suggest you start reading the OSM-Wiki.
  4. It’s not the problem of the Swiss community, that you don’t like, how we handle bilingual names. How the bilingual cities like Biel/Bienne and Fribourg/Freiburg handle bilingualism is for them to determine. Same goes for all other regions dealing with bilingualism including Graubünden, Misox, Valais and so on.

And to circle back to what @hfs said: if you waste your time, because you didn’t get acquainted with any of the rules, that’s on you. But you clearly don’t show any respect for other peoples’ time and work, instead you revert your incorrect changes back, just because you “don’t like [your] work being wasted”. Sorry, but that’s on you and no justification at all.


note that people reverting them are not paid to contribute to OpenStreetMap either

Can you stop creating and deleting series of accounts? This is not helpful in general, makes contacting user impossible so unclear edits cannot be explained and need to be reverted - even if in usual case it would be possible to explain what is going on.

Please use a single account so people can contact you (there are good reasons for separate accounts in rare cases, but they do not apply here).

The next step would be to stop deleting accounts and use a single one for all you edits.

Also, if some edits were reverted: please discuss it with others what is the preferred version and why, rather than trying to revert changes, each with a separate account.

EDIT 9 days later: given nonending cycle of throwaway accounts and refusal to communicate, it is clear that you are malicious vandal that should be reverted on sight. Please stop editing in OSM.