Video tutorial development

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This page is collecting ideas / tools / scripts and coordinate efforts for Video tutorial development. Check out the video tutorials we have so far. Lets work on improving and adding to these.

Open source your materials

Translators will be thankful for:

  • text transcripts
  • audio comments in each language as separate file(s) from main video file
  • (technical) uniform naming for scripted video creation (you only need to recreate audio translation)
  • (technical) clear instructions how to make translated version of video tutorial from source

Translators and viewers will be thankful for:

  • defined score of the video as text (we will do X using Y but not using Z under Q conditions)
  • software/tools (and versions) as text

Let community help you by outsourcing materials instead of doing all job:

  • place transcript at this wiki
  • place introduction text/scope at this wiki
  • let others improve/correct errors in your texts/video over time (text is easier to update than video-materials! text is low-tech and well understood by anyone)

Text vs Video

See also Text articles vs Video tutorials

Text pros

  • information instantly available to reader:
    • each reader will read hard parts for them slower
    • each reader will skip boring, nothing new sections instead of guessing of what you would say next
  • low-tech, absurdly low size in kilobytes, lossless
  • easier to translate with common translator tools and even regular text editors (to update wiki you need only web browser, now compare this to video-montage pipeline)
  • text is so good, you will use it in your videos at some point:
    • lists (do 1, do 2, do 3), (option A, option B)
    • tables (X1 vs Y1, X2 vs Y2) - surely you can make 4 short videos instead of table but it will require way more resources than you expect.
  • Text can be done in wikipedia:en:Hypertext (Yeah! Hyperlinks! Back to 1963!)
  • If placed on web, will be understood by more search engines (web is not limited to your big search company)

Text cons

  • boring, no visual effects (but do we need this when we teach someone?)

Video pros

  • Video of action may be more visually descriptive, detailed than 10 descriptions in text written by 10 authors
  • Description and demonstration at the same time (but how many topics in OSM require that approach?)
    • Your first edit with JOSM
    • ... nothing else?

Video cons

  • Bandwidth consuming
  • Stone-age interactivity, no Hyper-links from 1963
    • to compensate this you can place skip-anchors in your video with sections (but this is hack compared to how text-readers skip hypertext sections by clicking single link). How hard is to place single [[Link]] instead of placing skip-section in video?
    • to compensate this you can place TOC + time table in text format (toc line + link to particular moment in video)
  • Unsearchable by search engines without good transcript (automatic voice recognition tech is only good for minority of languages)
  • complex tech, hard to maintain, approach described in video will be obsolete at some point in OSM development

Super glossy videos. Some inspiration

It's quite interesting to take a look at the 'guided tour' video for for some inspiration. are competitors. As we OSMers all know, deep down at the end of the day they suck, not just because it only has motorist-oriented features (no building outlines or footways), but also because they are just another evil corporate mapping company using "crowd sourcing" techniques, but keeping all the gathered geodata for themselves. But you have to hand it to them, that's a pretty compelling sales pitch video.

  • Crisp friendly cartoony graphics
  • Crisp clear friendly audio.
  • Well thought out messages. Short and to-the-point.

The Waze guided tour video is not particularly a 'tutorial', so that means they can skirt around the technical details where things start to get ugly. Perhaps we should try to do something similar for an intro to OpenStreetMap. But we can try to get more glossy even with the more technical tutorials.

Some more tutorial style inspiration from google mapmaker (another closed-crowd-sourcing outfit) : [1] [2]

How to create tutorial videos

It's surprisingly easy to get started, but surprisingly hard to get really good results. To achieve super-well-polished results like those linked above.... well nobody's managed to do that yet for OpenStreetMap.

The process of creating video tutorials usually involves using 'screencasting' software at least as a starting point.


wikipedia:Comparison of screencasting software - lots of screencasting approaches - looks like a nice online tool for making cartoony videos. (tutorial: how to make a promo video in 15 minutes)


At the moment we're doing this in ad-hoc way. Various different people have had a crack at creating video tutorials. There's something to be said for quantity over quality, in that we can cover a broad range of topics with a range tutorial styles. Something for everyone. But how can we push up the quality? And how can we work together in a more coordinated way to help do this?