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Now that the functionality is there in the current version of the site for having personal account information, I'd like to suggest some improvements to this and the user profiles, and will be attempting to add some of these things to the site in the near future.

Please help build this list with any suggestions/add comments where necessary.

User profiles

Each user now has their own profile page at user/username (e.g. user/dankarran) with links to various bits of functionality including user messaging, friends, diaries. This page could be cleaned up to make it more useful. Some of these things are already there, or may just be better in different places:

  • should be largely the same whether logged in or logged out, or looking at your own profile or another user's (done?)
  • should show 'user says:' information right at top of page, under username
  • should show home location
    • location map
    • 'near [place name]' perhaps based on one of the Search engines' API
  • should show latest messages in inbox and link to inbox (and RSS feed accessed from a randomly hashed URL?) (only to self)
  • should show latest diary entries and link to full diary (and RSS feed)
  • should have quick method of adding a diary entry (like Facebook/Jaiku status updates) (only for self)
  • should list friends and link to their diary entries (and RSS feed) and maybe map of locations
  • should delete added friends
  • should list nearby mappers and link to their diary entries (and RSS feed) and maybe map of locations
  • should provide preference editing
    • 'edit' link on each editable profile field, perhaps?
    • also a link to a preferences page for less profile-specific things? (as we do with the user/<username>/account page at the moment)
  • a field for wished language (we can use it later on)(done - we now have a list of preferred languages in priority order)
  • a field for languages spoken by the user(done - we now have a list of preferred languages in priority order)
  • Last logged in/last contributed data? It's currently not trivial to find out if an user's active in the community or not. :) Ash 13:51, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


  • could use the same login as wiki (same username/password, single login via domain-wide cookies)
    • there are name clashes that make this pretty much impossible
      • people aren't that precious about their wiki accounts are they? Clashing wiki usernames could be underscore-prefixed? --robert 14:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Editing user account information

There is functionality on this page (such as nearby mappers) which doesn't fit here very comfortably. This page should just be for editing your own account information.

  • should be able to set a default language for user - for when writing in their diary, and potentially other things in the future(done)

Diary entries

  • should show a user's User Image next to diary entries and comments as an avatar. (low hanging fruit)
    • Perhaps something like Mockup shot 00.png would allow an entry to convey coarse location information along with it. This could help add some visual context to the post. Some possible types of location information:
      • User's home location?Mockup tinymap homelocation.png
      • A post's associated location?Mockup tinymap assoclocation.png
      • A visual summary of the quantitiy and location of edits performed by this user in her lifetime? A logarithmic heatmap. This gives a quick hint to the user's level of experience and areas of interest.Mockup tinymap heatmap.png Clearly generating a useful image every time will require some experimentation and refinement.
  • should have ability to associate a location with each entry (useful for e.g., 'Today I was editing these streets in Soho and was amazed at how many tiny alleyways and things there are.')(done)
    • and provide that as GeoRSS tags in RSS.(done)
  • should be able to assign a language to each entry(done)
    • use first language selected as default(defaults to first language in user prefs, but is sticky if changed)
  • could auto link URLs in blog posts(done)
  • could show entries from users regular blog via rss feed set in preferences (eg ), as users with existing blogs are probably reluctant to switch or write two blogs. This way osm would get much more exposure in established blogs, and journal would just aggregate those.
  • should allow for previewing a diary entry
  • should allow modifying a diary entry done
  • needs some way of responding to diary entries (maybe just 'trackbacks' from one user's diary to another) (you mean comments? done)
  • Date should be simplified as RFC2822 is long and unruly — “Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:51:43 +0000” — Suggesting we could adopt the “25 minutes ago” approach (for the first 24 hours ago, at least,) with a microformat-style abbr title to show the full date. Benefits: Reduced clutter, eliminates timezone issues. Drawbacks: Some poeple might not like to mouseover to find the publication date? Ash 13:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Inline coordinates aren't user friendly and clutter the layout. Suggest dropping them for the “view/edit” links alone. Benefits: Can use CSS to add icons for extra context, saves space. Cons: If you wanted to use the coordinates in another application you'd have to click through first. Ash 13:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Allow easier formatting using Markdown, which is used widely across the internet. Add some notes how to format diary entries (at the moment, this is possible using plain HTML, but there is no note that it is possible at all). --Candid Dauth 18:25, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
perhaps we could use gravatar for the user image? It would help people keep their avatars consistent across different sites Kenguest 13:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure we could, but osm already has support for user images, and many people have uploaded theirs, it's just they're not used for much on the site. robert 17:36, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

RSS feeds

  • RSS feeds for individual user diaries(done)
  • RSS feeds for friends' diary entries
  • RSS feeds for nearby mappers' diary entries
  • RSS feeds for all diary entries(done)
  • RSS feeds for all diary entries in each language(done)
  • a meta tag should be used on each page specifying RSS feeds so that browsers will pick them up(done)
  • Add GeoRSS tags where applicable (personal diaries...)(done)
  • Recent edits in my area as GeoRSS (so it can be shown as markers on openlayers)(done)
  • Ping a blogging service to notify of updates


  • should show number of unread messages in top right of each page, next to username, with link to inbox (done?)

User Stats

An encouragement to many users is to see some stats of their activity. If we could pull the node, way and gpx data stats for the user concerned onto the user page, ideally with the position in the global scheme of things, then it should provide mapping motivation. Awards can then also be doled out automatically by the system. Blackadder 17:08, 12 June 2007 (BST)

I like this idea but I'm not sure of the most effective way to do it. I doubt we should be running these stats against the live database. Could we do something against Planet.osm and import the results? --Dankarran 18:42, 21 June 2007 (BST)


Some pretty rudimentary event listings on the site with lat/long (and URL for more info), so that mapping party organisers don't feel the need to message-spam people with invitations. --Richard 13:37, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


Join a micro project. Tag your activity and share these tags with others so that users can see what sort of stuff you are mapping. Mapping isn't just about location, its also about themes. blackadder 14:14, 14 July 2009 (UTC)