The need for a psychological rewards program(심리적 보상 프로그램의 필요성)

While the OSM Foundation needs tangible and intangible donations, I believe that OSM contributors need to be rewarded as well.
I’ll outline my thoughts on this, and I’m sure others will fill in the blanks.

There are some compensation measures in place now, but I would like to see a more aggressive compensation policy, especially psychological compensation since we can’t do material or financial compensation.

The Need for Psychological Rewards

  • Pay for effort
    Of course, we can still get small rewards for our efforts.
    OSM mapping is a great way to develop an interest and knowledge of geography, and the OSM wiki is a great way to learn about the humanities.
    But I think it would be nice if we could more actively support these activities.
  • Healthy reward psychology
    This could easily be misunderstood, but I think it’s pretty important, so I’ll write about it later.
  • Sense of responsibility
    I think it’s also important to make sure that OSM mapping is done with a little bit more responsibility and thoughtfulness, rather than just out of necessity or as a one-off or purely on a voluntary basis.
  • Healthy motivation
    Many people contribute to OSM simply because they are motivated to do so.
    But I think it’s also important to keep contributors interested and engaged in OSM with more active motivation, along with accountability.

Recently, we’ve been using the Welcome tool to see who is new to OSM for quite some time.
From that, I’ve noticed or guessed a few things.

  • There are a lot of people who make a one-time edit and then leave (and I suspect that a small percentage of them come back to edit at another opportunity).
  • People who come in and edit one or two places for the first time rarely think about the weight of their contribution.
  • They don’t seem to have a basic understanding of OSM’s system or things like tags. (I don’t think it’s possible to hope for that with the current system).
  • Even among the most prolific and long-time editors, there are quite a few people who enjoy “wolf mapping” alone. (They don’t interact with the community, and seem to rely on some OSM wiki content to continue editing. Sometimes they don’t even bother to follow the consensus).

I think there are a number of things that need to be done to encourage new mappers, as well as existing mappers, to map with more responsibility, weight, and care.
I think that’s what the discussions about membership privileges, the ever-present issue of vandalism, and the need for better communication are all about.
I’d like to throw a small piece of that into the discussion: psychological rewards.

Of course, as an OSM that stands for free data, free access is something that we hold dear.
However, it also sometimes degrades the quality of the data and makes it easier for vandalism to occur, and we have to work harder to recover it.
(So while this isn’t a debate, I think restricting membership privileges to newbies to some degree is something to think about).
Anyway, I think accountability, healthy reward psychology, and healthy motivation are pretty important for new members.
I don’t think it’s about “I’m contributing to OSM with my valuable time and effort, so I deserve respect for that alone” or “I have the right to not be interfered with by others”, but I think it’s about being able to recognize that one piece of information that I’m editing could be very useful to someone else, but it could also be something that could annoy or endanger someone else.
So, I think it’s important to be able to say, “Your contribution is not free to OSM, and here’s what we’re doing for you”.
And I think we need to be able to say, “Here’s how you can contribute to the OSM community with better quality mapping.”

Finally, let’s close by listing some compensation policies you might want to consider.
I hope others will fill in with better ideas.

# Examples of psychological rewards to think about

This is just a list of ideas to consider, so we’re not at the stage where we’re talking about their effectiveness or feasibility.

  • Badging profiles(Assign badges by level or role)
    I think it would be a good idea to introduce a badge system for OSM maps to recognize roles and achievements.
    (I realize that some people don’t like the current badge system).
  • Issuing physical badges or stickers
    We issue physical badges(stickers) to members of a certain rank or status, and since QR codes are widely used these days, it would be nice to issue badges(stickers) with QR codes.
    Of course, it would be great if the foundation could issue and deliver physical badges to members, but that would be too much of a logistical and human burden, so the idea is to issue QR codes on the web with various members’ information so they can print and use them themselves.
    The QR code information would include the member’s number and some information about their contributions or accomplishments.
  • Hall of Fame
    I think it would be motivating to have something like a “Hall of Fame” to recognize people who have made significant contributions to OSM or have done things based on OSM.

It’s time for a new era for Maps.
Getting directions from a map is old news, and now it’s time for maps to be used for autonomous driving and even delivering packages.
OSM needs to step up its game to contribute to that.
If it contains a lot of inaccurate or arbitrary information, I think it will be left behind.

English is not my first language, so please bear with me as I tell you that I will not be able to comment on your posts one by one.
If you don’t understand the translation for this post, please use DeepL or Google Translate.
I think if you write in simple sentences, non-English speakers will be able to relate and communicate with you.
May there be peace for all the suffering people of the world. I hope there is peace in Myanmar.

There was something similar from 2016 to 2019: OpenStreetMap Awards - OpenStreetMap Wiki

Also I believe OpenStreetMap Belgium does something similar choosing one mapper every month.

It sounds great at first glance, but keep in mind, where light is, is also shadow. If you put some mappers into the light (award them), you put at the same time other mappers in the shadow (who think why it’s not me). This applies for most psychological rewards.


I agree in principle.
That’s why I’m cautious, but OSM has too many people in the shadows right now, at least in my opinion.
Wouldn’t it be better to let those who have taken the first steps first stand in the light and recognize themselves, and then let them be free to stay in the shadows?

Every time I bring up this topic, I feel the stumbling block.
I don’t want to bring this up, but I have to.

As someone with an East Asian ethos that values community, I question the extent to which we should allow ourselves the freedom to disrupt that community.
The freedom to not be bothered by others, the freedom to hold my beliefs regardless of community consensus, the freedom to practice vandalism, and even more so, the freedom to oppose freedom, the freedom to discriminate…
Because those are precious, individual freedoms?
Because those are the same precious freedoms that OSM wants to have?


I know that in East-Asian countries the community spirit and those psychological rewards are very different to the Western understanding. People are less jealous by far in this regards. Anyway, on a global scale such kind of award system would not work, so I believe if you think it’s beneficial, it might set something up in (South-)East Asian area.

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Thank you for your understanding and feedback.
I think it’s a good idea to have a (psychological and non-material) reward program based on local conditions and realities.
But unfortunately, there are only a few places that have the substance-chapter foundations- to do that.
And OSM doesn’t seem to like such authoritative entities very much.
After all, the number one value ideology at OSM seems to be “liberalism”.

Just my thoughts… but I don’t think you need much of substance for something like this. Just for instance… you could announce monthly focus points, like adding opening hours or adding restaurants or adding cycleways… and in the end of the month you check for the quantity by counting the objects in the 4 weekly change-files and announce it in the community section here and/or where your local community is active. I’m pretty sure it will also make it into weeklyOSM…

Just saying: If you run this globally, the criteria would be on a level, smaller communities might have difficulty to “win” or the criteria won’t met the situation/priority in your area. Run something like this more local gives you the possibility to set the criteria suitable for OSM in Korea to emphasize adding features to OSM, which are important in Korea at the moment.

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