Warning: Highway classification vandalism by new mappers

I am getting a little (lot) annoyed with new OSM mappers who:

  • modify major road classification
  • do not return any comments on changesets
  • ignore direct messages and warnings

I always include Thai translations when I reach someone I believe may be fluent only in Thai.

In this occurrence, user Auto2017 (also Autoisme):

  • contributes a lot of detailed changes around Chiang Rai province (names, places, minor roads, gov buildings…)
  • write decent English in his edits so I don’t believe English is a concern
  • modified conflicting major road classifications
  • was referred to Thailand wiki and forum thread like road classifications
  • was contacted and warned multiple times through direct messages and changesets
  • ignored messages and created a new username handle after the last message (Autoisme) but keep mapping with both
  • continuing now the same above

I am sure Autoisme/Auto2017 has good intentions and most of his local contributions look decent.
I also understand why some believe the Chiang Saen Bypass and other roads should be tagged differently due to their high importance in the road network.

However, it’s absolutely not ok:

  • to ignore messages and warnings from other community members
  • to ignore wiki classifications guidelines and not want to participate in any discussion
  • to ignore past contributions including a note saying “ชร.1063 is Provincial rd so Tertiary status.”
  • to repeatedly modify the same major road that was previously reverted for vandalism


I want to give him one last chance to respond to the community in this thread.
If we don’t hear anything in a week, I would suggest reporting this thread to DWG and having his account suspended.

Do you agree or am I too harsh ?

Vandalism is annoying, and I agree that all four of the things you mentioned are not ok. The mapper should either participate in this discussion or be blocked.

BTW, I’m still not sure what rank the rural roads ชร.1063 and ชร.5023 should have. I’d like to talk about them, but I’ve never had the chance. I believe we can now discuss it.

I’ve seen a note “ชร.1063 is Provincial rd so Tertiary status.” for a long time. It is added when it is clear from the guidelines that all rural roads should be tertiary. However, the guidelines have changed, and rural roads can now be classified as secondary or tertiary, depending on their importance in the road network.
TBH, I believe these two rural roads should be at least secondary. They are clearly more important than nearby national highways 1209, 1098, and 1271. However, it also should not be primary because it is not a national highway or an urban road like นบ.3021.

Dual carriage highway…
Haven’t been there, but I’d rather use primary or trunk.
WTF: I am totally fed up with those ref number wankery!
There are still too many people here who have not at all understand what highway classification is supposed to mean.

If you have a better system that is easy to follow and doesn’t lead to different interpretations and edit wars, please enlighten us.
Otherwise, please keep the slurs out, and let’s have a constructive discussion based on the current system, regardless of how messy it is.

I guess Autoisme thought the roads were more “important” than me - I disagree, and have reverted his edits to the original tags.
Now this is the problem with using the vague “importance” - at least using the road ref as a basis, is unambiguous.

However times have moved on and with nitiningsansit, I would support a clear Wiki statement to allow dual-carriage (2x2 lane) Provincial prefixed roads, to carry Secondary status, but no higher.

Frankly, if I’d have read the comments that you wrote on https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/115870406 , I might have ignored them too. You have made no attempt to understand what might be going wrong or why, and no attempt to help. How on earth is someone who’s been mapping with iD since the start of the year supposed to “revert their changes”?

For the avoidance of any doubt, a new relatively mapper making mistakes IS NOT VANDALISM. We all did that when we started out.

I’d suggest that you cast your mind back to when you’d only been mapping for a few months. How would you have felt if someone had written to you in the same terms that you are writing to other people now?

Best Regards,

Andy Townsend, from OSM’s Data Working Group.


Thanks for the heads up and warning, and apologies for my out-of-place changeset comments.

I made the mistake to directly message mappers for clarifications instead of using changeset comments, and assumed they were regular mappers without checking their profile.

I also thought mappers were expected to participate in communications when contacted, and that ignoring those, intentionally or not, could be considered a form of vandalism, but I was obviously wrong and I apologize to anyone I may have offended or scared off.

Be assured it won’t happen again in the future.