Rules for remote organized editing teams

One of the conclusions of the vote on how to end corporate vandalism was that:

  • the work of organizations/companies can still be beneficial to the community and a complete ban is not a sustainable solution
  • stricter rules for organized edited teams and consequences for not respecting them must be decided by the local community.

Let’s gather and discuss ideas for rules, and then later consequences for not respecting them.

The goal is to come up with a first version and try it out on a small scale.
If this works well, restrictions can be loosened over time.

@nitinatsangsit: would you mind please collecting ideas from Facebook vote members who might not be able to communicate in English?

@jinalfoflia: could you please list all categories of OSM edits you have done and planned to do with Grab and prioritize them based on their importance to the business? (e.g. improve street names, add missing residential roads, realign road segments, improve signs directions…)

PS: if you want a full ban and already voted or B), then no need to comment, your vote counts but we need a minimal solution as a compromise.

Excellent start from nitinatsangsit.

@cmoffroad I would like to suggest two improvements to this effort:

  1. the resulting rules should be documented on the OSM wiki, this way not only it can benefit from the collaborative nature of Wikis, but it also exists in a sort of permanent space where other directed mappers can look through as well. The rules can then be ratified by the community using existing OSM voting mechanisms.
  2. I think we’re jumping the gun a little to go straight to the rules, I would suggest that we document the major issues first, define them in general terms, then propose solutions and rules for each issue documented. This will make sure nothing gets left out of the discussion and we can try to find possibly more creative and better solutions to the problems the community is facing.

Best Regards


  1. Wiki

Definitely. The rules are meant to apply to any organized editing team and should be visible to any organization and mapper.

Vote: What is the “existing OSM voting mechanism”? who can vote? where is it documented?
Beware that people who voted for B) will most likely downvote any rules, essentially making the temporary ban permanent.

  1. Issues

I have summarized below a rough overview of all issues. FYI, I have no more time to revisit/debate these. I have done my part to raise them and issue a vote.

It’s only fair to say that the biggest complaints revolved around:

  1. remote organizations overriding local mappers changes
  2. remote organizations using their own highway classification to fits their agenda (e.g. Grab => residential everywhere to reach any roof presence)

In line with nitinatsangsit, I think in the first version, organizations should:

  • have a single point of contact inside the organization who is responsible for OSM campaigns and quality assurance and can respond proactively to forum feedback and incidents (changeset comments)
  • present each campaign in the forum (as Grab has nicely done recently) to ensure it fits the rules
  • use tag import=xxxx for any new additions (points, ways)
  • refrain from changing any existing highway classification
  • be informed > warned > temporarily banned > permanently blocked on repeated infractions

I hope 2 things:

  • whoever is still part of the community and cares enough can come up with a minimum acceptable solution for most parties
  • people who left OSM or the forum in part or fully because of corporate vandalism join back under these new rules (Tom Layo, Beddhist, Paul_012, Nutchanon Wetchasit, …)

If this succeeds, then we have a bigger community and we can look into a proposal to have better community guidelines and a process for moderation.
Until then, I will be taking a long break from this forum.

Recurring Common issues

  • overriding changes from local mappers
    • including valid highway classifications
    • watching changes in areas and reverting them
  • conflicting own guidelines and highway classification methodology
    • lack of local knowledge about the features of the Thailand road network and landscapes (farm huts are not residential houses!)
    • adding thru-traffic residential roads everywhere in rural/farming/agricultural areas resulting in routing nightmare
    • changing (valid) tracks and service roads to residential
  • lack of communication
    • mappers not responding to changeset comments
    • mappers not responding to direct messages
    • organization not responding to concerns (exaggerated curves)
    • organization giving empty promises and pb reappearing years after
  • lack of quality control
    • inconsistency across mappers (e.g. classification)
  • overwhelming mass edits
    • use hundreds of different mappers per campaign in small areas following a longitude line
    • commit hundreds of daily changesets in small areas (hard to review)
  • road geometries
    • exaggerating curves including at visible sharp intersections
    • low-quality road additions zigzagging thru visible intersections






@cmoffroad here’s a proposal I’ve recently seen with the voting enabled

We should be following the process.

Hello folks,

These are the attributes that we are actively planning a project around or have been mapping in the past.

  • Missing road geometry and possible map data errors related to road geometry like sharp angles, smoothness issues
  • Realignment in case there is a misalignment
  • Expressway exits
  • Missing Street Names
  • Validation Tool issues from JOSM
  • Missing buildings
  • Map errors related to oneway inconsistency or Turn Restrictions
  • Points of Interest

The remaining attributes and features on OSM are modified/added basis on the feedback received through our feedback channels or via ground-truthing by our local teams.

Following up on our conversation in the previous thread, we were wondering if there are any suggestions for a location that is convenient for most of the folks, or as a first step towards that, we wanted to invite you all folks to virtually meet up to discuss more about the mapping projects in Thailand, understand the new data contribution policy guidelines as well as we’d really like to hear the feedback on ways we can work better together. Here are the details to join:

Link: Zoom Link
Date: 26th May 2022
Time: 5:30 PM SGT - 7 PM SGT / 4:30 PM - 6 PM Thailand time

Looking forward to virtually meeting you all!

Thank you,
Jinal Foflia

Re the topic of this forum thread, “Rules for remote organized editing teams” already exist: .

If anyone believes that a group of editors isn’t following that, please let us know.

Best Regards,

Andy Townsend, on behalf of OSM’s Data Working Group.


I’ll be there.

Best Regards

Thank you Mishari for joining in today and sharing this feedback with us. We realized since this was a sub-thread a lot of folks were not aware of the meet-up happening today.

As a follow-up to the discussion we had today, we are setting up another meeting next Friday. Here’s the topic on the same: Please do let us know in case there’s another time for us to catch up. Thank you!

Best Regards,
Jinal Foflia