Tagging guidelines reminder

For some regions/countries of the world we have tagging guidelines.

Still, I often find and correct non-standard tagging when editing OSM. I suspect that some newcomers don’t bother to read and learn about OSM and would not be aware that tagging guidelines exist.

When clicking on edit, could we have OSM remind or prompt us with a quick on-screen message to use the relevant tagging guidelines?

I’d far rather than someone adds information to OSM with the “wrong tags” than was force to read a long prescriptive screed first, get bored, and not map anything at all.

When someone signs up to OSM before they even start editing they’re taken through a brief introduction which involves https://www.openstreetmap.org/welcome. When they start editing in iD they’re taken through a walkthrough to help them editing stuff. A fair bit of discussion about both of those has already happened; if you have a specific change you’d like to see to either then it’d be useful to see more details (“a quick on-screen message to use the relevant tagging guidelines” isn’t really “details” - what would you like to see, and when? Before the iD walkthrough? During it? Afterwards?).

The issues list for iD is at https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues , but it’s worth reading through some of the design documents and previous issues first to see where the designers are coming from before saying that iD should “do X instead of Y”.

Edit: changed https://www.openstreetmap.org/help URL to https://www.openstreetmap.org/welcome based on comment at https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/1107#issuecomment-163923207 .

The Belgian and Dutch communities try to contact every new mapper in their area. They welcome the new mappers, thank them for their first edits and send them suggestions on what to read or how to improve their initial mapping. This is personal approach that might work better than an automated text that pops up.

A definite +1 to what the Belgian and Dutch communities are doing. Thankfully, that sort of personal approach is actually fairly widespread (have a look at http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/osm-discussions - you’ll see “Willkommen bei OSM!” in several languages). It’s far better than some automatic text that someone’s going to click through and then not know how to get back to.

Yep, sounds OK. In Australia we seem to have a weak OSM community. So people just map what they want, how they like and then someone like me comes and fixes their work or deletes (I love deleting garbage :). Yep2, the Australian tagging guidelines are very dry, but we need to constantly refer to relevant guidelines and the OSM Wiki and try and map with a common “language”.

You have to be a little careful fixing other mappers’ work remotely. Often it’s not clear from the imagery what the current situation on the ground is (even if it looks like it is from the imagery). With tagging, nuance is often lost. Also it’s important to remember that even if it’s “garbage” that you’re deleting, it’s still the work of another human being, and deserves a bit of respect just for that.

As you’ve said, the Australian OSM community is fairly small, and it needs all the new mappers it can get!

I’d always try and let new mappers know of any problems, to try and help them get better (usually via changeset discussion comments) and try and say things like “something went wrong” rather than “you added garbage”. Also, if it’s not clear from the imagery what the fix is (and even sometimes when it is) consider adding an OSM note instead of “just fixing the data” if you’re not local. Often, new local contributors start out by fixing notes in their local area (they know the area, and the existence of the note empowers them to make the change).