Organized Editing Guidelines to prevent issues from the past (Thailand)

Our small Thailand community had a fair share of issues with organized editing teams in the past, and even if Stephan added a prominent node to the wiki mid-2020, most members including myself were not aware that Organized Editing Guidelines existed since late 2018 and could have prevented some of the issues we experienced e.g.

  • over-whelming number of changes e.g. number of edits/mappers on a daily basis
  • unresponsive/unreachable mappers
  • not following the community’s general consensus on specific topics (curved corners, minor road classifications…)
  • lack of post-cleanup activities

The idea is that when an organization does not follow some of these guidelines or repeatedly ignore concerns from the community, the community should collect changeset ids and comments and contact the Data Working Group (DWG) which may after investigation decide to warn, and on repeated offenses possibly block and ban the responsible organization.

Most organized editing teams do business across countries/continents and I am sure they would have interacted a lot differently if they had received at some point an official warning from DWG.

The guidelines also say that any Organized Editing Teams should:

  • contact the community forum when planning a new campaign
  • document their activities in the OSM wiki or on a public URL
  • use a specific hashtag or URL in their changesets.
  • have a single point of contact in the organization

Nowadays, things are quiet since Grab stopped outsourcing mapping to an India-based company and is relying on a few local mappers. Still, problems may arise again with existing campaigns or new organizations.

So if you find any changesets in your area that looks like the work of a new/undocumented organized editing team/campaign, please create a new forum post and ask them to contact the community there (or contact one of our community’s moderator to do it).

Does anyone have any other tips/suggestions/concerns?

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