Vandalism? Seattle, University of Washington campus

Also posted to Users: United States. Been using OSM for a while but new to the forums, so sorry if posting to two sections is a no-no.

Someone seems to have done a real number on the UW Seattle campus. :frowning: I can’t tell if it was deliberate or not, but changeset 32813770 and user melissa_resendiz seem to be involved at the very least. There are paths and alleys and streets going all over the place now — DEFINITELY not where they really are and how they used to appear on the map just a few days ago. Can someone more skilled than I figure out what’s going on and revert en masse?

Changeset 32813770 reverted.

PS: I don’t know why says 7 edits in and only one shows in

Thank you! Her other changesets seem OK, then? Or is that what you’re saying — one page says there are 7 and another says no, just 1?

A couple of points:

Please dont refer to things which may have been caused by an inexperienced editor (or indeed an experienced editor, I’m immune for breaking things) as “Vandalism”. Our general experience is that there really is relatively little vandalism, but a fair amount of people not necessarily understanding how OSM works, or just inadvertently moving something in an editor. Using the term “vandalism” may really put newcomers off, particularly if used in forums & mailing list.

Did you contact (I think the current argot is “reach out to”) the user, for instance with an OSM message or using a changeset comment. New editors have made a commitment to do something with OSM and these days natural mistakes which are inherent in the learning curve tend to show up: helping people through that learning curve is what we need to do. This will mean to a certain extent not reverting this type of thing immediately, unless the user agrees to it. Wikipedia suffers heavily from the “speedy deletion” phenomenon, and we should strive to avoid the same syndrome: although we will still need to do reversions frequently a minimum is an effort to contact the user concerned.

If you revert bad edits fast you’ll get lesser version conflicts.

@lukobe do things at UW look OK now? After the reverts (the one mentioned above and a couple of others that took place at the same time) there still seem to be a few odd-looking footpaths (around for example) but it may be just reflecting the situation on the ground.

A mapper with 7 edits, but only 1 with any data in (the others are empty) is usually an indication of a new mapper “trying to get the hang of things”.

If they’ve made a real mess sometimes it does make sense to do a revert of their edits so far, but when someone does that local to me I’d always contact them to try and explain what went wrong, why the changes had to be reverted, and to help them either see their changes applied to the map, or towards a more appropriate tool (e.g. to uMap if they’re trying to create a map for a location or event). Ages ago I wrote; some of that still makes sense, though polite messages in changeset discussion comments make more sense than mapper-to-mapper messages now.

You get a sense from looking at changesets in an area (and specifically at the volume of edits in an area) whether an immediate revert makes sense or not; here there seems to have been a recent attempt by a couple of new mappers (not just the one mentioned above) to map the wheelchair-appropriateness of ways within the UW area. The volume of edits around UW didn’t look that high, but It may be that they had made such a mess that a revert was needed. However a changeset comment of “Reverting changeset XYZ due to vandalism” is unhelpful in the extreme.

Is anyone in this thread actually local to Seattle? I’m not, but maybe someone who is could add a polite changeset comment explaining the problem and offering them to help them towards whatever they’re trying to do? We do need to encourage new, local mappers - they’re the only people with the local knowledge to make a difference.

I just reverted because it seems to me the best choice after seen what the changeset does.

My changeset description just says “Revert changeset #32813770” without saying or thinking “due to vandalism”. This description is just what the changest does. ¿What would you add?
I dediced to not delay the revert, because the changeset not only affects several footways, but also a primary way.

I think you should always give a rationale for reverting, as it is such a drastic action. Describe the effect of the problem, not the assumed motivation.