Why are Google Developers leaving their name on the map?

See this:

Well, it’s quite funny really isn’t it? House with toilets that are private and don’t accept payment, is a transport stop, has a roof ‘across’, has tactile paving … Sorry, I can’t think of any useful comment to make.

Funny indeed, but do you put your name (and job title) in the name=* tag?
Did you check all the other nonsense that is combined in that node?
Like place=locality with population=500 (locality is supposed to indicate an unpopulated place, wiki) and at the same time it is also an amenity=youth_centre!
And all that (and much more) on a single node!
Your sense of humor is different than mine!

If you are certain it is malicious, report it to the Data Working Group. If it jut might be an honest mistake, add a changeset comment and escalate if there is no reasonable response.

I just did:

A comparison with dogs and lamp posts springs to mind :slight_smile:

I doubt malice is involved. It looks to me like somebody was investigating what was available in OSM and, lacking a sandbox, decided to add all sorts of stuff to his home in order to see what was involved in doing so and how it appeared in the renderer.

Maybe there should be a sandbox mode in editors and renderers where people can do things to see how they work without disrupting the real map. Maybe there already is and I haven’t spotted it.

There are a couple of options - see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Sandbox_for_editing . You can use the dev.openstreetmap.org and edit all you like there, although you’ll only see your changes in the editor; there’s currently no-one rendering that site on a map.

There’s also the “walkthrough” that you get with the iD editor - everybody who signs up to OSM will, by default, be taken through a series of test edits.

The fact that there’s no rendering on dev means it’s not a proper sandbox. Yes, you can play with the editor, but you can do that with the real map by just not saving your edits. It’s not always easy to understand how it all fits together without going through the full process and seeing the result.

The walkthrough is a useful tutorial but it doesn’t cover everything one might possibly do (or wish to do).

Which is why I think the google engineer (if he actually is one, which may not be the case) was using his own location as a mini-sandbox to get a feel for how everything works. As long as he reverts his changes relatively quickly there’s no real harm done.

It occurs to me that various GIS apps (for many different mapping systems) over the years have been programmed by people who treat undefined co-ordinates as zero (or program using languages that coerce undefined values to zero). The has resulted in an accumulation of junk at 0 north, 0 east where there is no land. Is there a case for us planting the mythical island of Erewhon there as a sandbox? Probably not a good idea for two reasons: newbie mappers wouldn’t know it was there and consumers might find it and assume it was real.

There’s an offer on the table to to support the funding of the hardware to support the missing bits: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/dev/2016-November/029557.html . What it would still need is people to step forward and offer to plan, specify, and manage the system.

Traditionally in GIS systems there is “null island” there - https://www.gislounge.com/null-island-where-geocoding-errors-go-to-live/ . It even has its own website: http://www.nullisland.com/ . Realistically in OSM new mappers (particularly new JOSM users, but also people adding the learnosm test data to OSM by mistake) often create things there, but becase it happens so often they get tidied up very queickly too. It wouldn’t be fair on the good people of West Africa to impose an imaginary country on their doorstep

To me it looks like you may have yelled away an OSM participator who is just not very fluent in English. An OSM participator that may have been become a valuable contributor in the future…

Why not leave this policing up to the local OSM contributors in the area which are able to communicate better?

Whilst that is a potential problem, in this particular case I doubt that this user is actually acting in good faith. They’ve just re-added the “obviously invalid tag values” that people have previously talked to them about and haven’t engaged with OSM changeset discussions for about a week. With a DWG hat on I’ve sent them a 0-hour block (essentially a message that they have to read before continuing to edit). We’ll see what happens next.