Organized Editing Best Practice

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Posted by members of the OSMF Advisory Board - this is not an official policy or suggestion of the OSMF. See also the Directed Editing Policy.

The OSMF Board has tasked the DWG to come up with a policy, consult with stakeholders, and suggest something to the Board on Directed Editing. Stakeholders on the OSMF Advisory Board have been discussing this topic since early this summer, participated in the survey, and since the beginning of October, we have been formulating our current collective “best practice” in this document. This is meant as input to help further the OSMF designed process.

The following guidelines outline best practices for organized editing based on experiences from several companies and organizations. The goal is to standardize around a set of practices that encourage involvement in OpenStreetMap, contribute high quality mapping, provide transparency around practices and provide support for and cooperation with local and global OSM communities.

What is Organized Editing?

  • An institution directs editing activities in OpenStreetMap for which the mappers have some form of direct benefit.
    • That benefit could include remuneration, fulfilling a class obligation, or some other tangible exchange.
  • Situations like mapping parties, mapathons or workshops typically would not qualify if individuals are engaging with a group in order to only gain experience, contribute, and learn.

Best Practices

Declare affiliations

Be visible as a group and as individuals. This helps the community understand who is participating and why.

  • Have a visible presence in the OSM community, such as a GitHub page
  • List the OSM accounts associated with a team
  • Declare organizational affiliations in mapper profile pages
  • Designate a public lead, or leads

Communicate and be contactable

  • Messages and comments should get prompt responses
  • Designated leads should be reachable and responsive
  • Publish relevant details on mapping projects and invite input
  • Proactively outreach and develop relationships with local communities where you work
  • Share accomplishments and results periodically with the OSM community
  • Established organized editing teams should onboard new organized editing teams

Quality Control

  • For group editing, have integrated quality assurance processes that reflect the types of quality control you would expect for your organization.
  • Implement and share quality assurance tools and processes

Full part of the community

  • Be a full part of community. Take part not only as mappers, but as community members in the local and global community as well.
  • Help improve the community in multiple ways, for example, promoting documentation and public communications, taking active roles in the OSM Foundation, participation in State of the Map conferences and local meetings.
  • Abide by community policies and norms, for instance following best practices for imports and tagging.
  • Be a good community member. Participate. Be a good steward of the OSM database.