Why are there only country communities in the 'Communities' category?

Is there a reason why there are only country communities in the ‘Communities’ category?
Is there a commitment to only allow country communities in the ‘Communities’ category, or is there no other kind of community application?

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What other communities are you thinking about?

Hahaha… :smile:
Of course, there is a community that would love to have one, but I don’t have the capacity.
However, there are tons of contributors contributing in various ways, and there are only country communities here, so I’m just curious.
I think various kinds of communities can exchange various information…

There was recently the idea for a hiking/outdoor community and in that discussion I learned there is way to “make your own communities”:

So try to use meaningful tags.

I get why some people still like a “my-interest” community but too much communities is not good I think so I would set as minimum requirement that the “my-interest” tag is already quite some time active.


That’s right.
Using “tags” is a great alternative for more open communication rather than a relatively closed community.
However, it has the disadvantage of being TOO OPEN and not tying people together at all.
Anyway, I’m not trying to create a new kind of community right now. :slightly_smiling_face:

‘태그’(보람말,꼬리말)를 활용하는 것은, 비교적 닫힌 커뮤니티보다는 좀더 열려있는 소통을 하는 데에 아주 좋은 대안입니다.
하지만 그것은 너무 열려 있고, 사람들을 조금도 묶어주지 못한다는 단점이 있습니다.

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If I had to guess about this (and that is all I’m doing), I think “country communities” arise largely because of the physical proximity factor (we are a map project, after all, and it is easier to feel community with those close to you in such an endeavor) along with cultural and language similarities that bind people together. “Today” (and I’m not saying it’s right or the only way, just “right now, this is how we largely do things on a global scale”), a “country” is a logical grouping to do this, at least at first.

There could also be “birds of a feather” kinds of grouping (hikers, motorcycle enthusiasts, technical / software people…) into communities here, though it hasn’t been well discussed (here).

Recall, this forum / Discourse community is in its relatively early days; we’re only a year or so old (maybe two if you count the preliminary work by the pioneers of this place who launched it). There is certainly room for improvement, which (naturally) would arise from both more discussion and specific support. “By countries” is only a first step, likely one of many.


I find that discussing a topic in my country’s community is quite different from discussing the same topic internationally. But are very useful but I wouldn’t want to mix them. Hash tagging would mix things up without unifying, I think.


Agreed, these are distinct for me as well and I think this is likely true the world over. “Internationally” (in OSM) is a “register” (a particular focus of specific language) all unto itself.

I mean, look: here are (at least) three of us on three different continents almost having this conversation in real time!

I agree with a lot of this, but I think it’s the start of a new contradiction.
(Please understand that I am adding my usual doubts and not criticizing your opinion.)
As you may know, I’ve already written about the nature of the so-called “community of nations” in another article.
It’s easy to agree that “national communities” (I prefer to call them “regional communities”) are created because of physical proximity.
But is that really the case?
If ‘local communities’ are created because of geography, then, as I’ve already said, local communities should be discussing topics that are specific to their region, and cross-regional topics should be discussed in a unified way.
But the local community is trapped by the barrier of language, and English is the language of our entire community.
(So, guys, why isn’t there a UK community? :sweat_smile: )

  1. I want to make it clear that a regional community is not a language community (which is why I prefer the word ‘regional community’ to ‘national community’).
  2. I think pan-regional discussions should be discussed together, even if communication is not perfect due to language barriers.

Korean summary :
국가 커뮤니티(저는 '지역 커뮤니티’라고 불러야 한다고 봅니다)가 통합된 논의를 방해하고 있습니다. 국가 커뮤니티의 논의는 언어의 장벽에 갇혀 있고, (주로 영어로)일반 카테고리에서 논의되는 것이 OSM 공식적인 약속으로 인가받고 있다고 봅니다.

  • '지역 커뮤니티’가 언어 커뮤니티가 아님을 확실히 해야 한다고 생각합니다.(지역 커뮤니티는 그 지역에 관련된 논제를 논의하는 공간이지, 그 언어 사용자끼리만 소통하는 공간이 아님을 뜻합니다. 실제로 ‘한국/조선’ 커뮤니티에는 북한을 편집하는 비한국어 기여자도 많습니다.)
  • 언어 장벽 때문에 비록 완벽하지 못하더라도 범지역적인 논의는 함께 통합해서 논의해야 합니다.

:pushpin: To admins, If you feel like this comment is way off topic, feel free to break it off into a new post.

The more communities exist, the more threads you have to monitor. This makes communication confusing.

By whom are you referring to monitoring?
If it’s monitoring by administrators or someone with a broader interest, I’d agree.

Nevertheless, I respect those who cross the language barrier and look at posts in other languages. :100:

Oh, and… I’m not suggesting or trying to create another kind of community right now.
I was just wondering if there was a commitment to that beforehand.

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I think this new forum supports international/cross_community participation much more than the previous osm forum.


I think it’s worth mentioning https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/about-the-new-category-requests-category/1001 here and also the discussion that happened with regard to the creation of a “Garmin” category previously - I think that much of that would also apply here, too.

I’m linking to previous discussions not necessarily because I agree 100% with the decisions made (although I can certainly understand why they were made) - just to avoid someone having to have the same conversations again.


Regardless of me, please continue the discussion you want to have, but my curiosity is almost solved.
Based on the information you’ve provided so far, it doesn’t appear that there is any agreement to limit it to just the local community.

:triangular_flag_on_post: Addendum. —

What I didn’t get to write is that I’m amazed that managers and technologists from all walks of life are looking at our community pretty broadly and deeply than I thought, and I’m eternally grateful for that.

Thank you, @SomeoneElse.
Your article has helped me a lot.
I’ve learned things I didn’t know as I read through it.

And here’s a short summary in case it helps others.
The consensus seems to be that if you need a new community, it’s best to write about it in a “tag” first, gather feedback, and then request a new community space if that tag gets flooded with enough posts.
So guys, please use ‘tags’ anyway. :smile:

I’ve found that discussing a topic with people in my rural county in Northern California is quite different from discussing the same topic with people who live in the bigger cities a couple hundred miles south of me. I’ve often thought of seeing if I could create a local chapter/community so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I guess there kind of is one with the county and city articles on the Wiki. Although it’s not the same. Regardless, I haven’t created one yet because I’d probably spend a lot of time talking to myself since I’m the only regular mapper in the area anyway. Plus I worry about the risk of creating an intellectual silo, which can easily happen with hyper local, insular discussions.

Regardless though, I just don’t think there is enough contributors in most places to justify anything more granular than country level communities. Although you could argue it’s a chicken or an egg thing since there will be more people in area if there is a community there they can join, but then there also needs to be enough people in the area to justify starting a community in the first place. More so if the community is centered around a specific topic instead of a geographical region. Otherwise, what’s the point? :man_shrugging:


Thanks, @Adamant1
As far as I understand it, it’s just different, it doesn’t mean one is right or wrong.
And that was the gist of my comment.
As you say, the geo-balancing of contributors is not a problem that can be physically solved, nor is it a bad thing in and of itself.
It just means that I don’t want it to become another bias, and let’s look at what we can do to make that happen.

What does anyone else think?