Proposal:Move proposal voting from wiki to the new forum

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Move proposal voting from wiki to the new forum
Proposal status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Cartographer10
Draft started: 2022-09-24
RFC start: 2022-09-24


The new forum offers more possibilities which can improve the proposal process. These new possibilities can improve the community engagement in starting these proposals and participating in them. It is therefore proposed that:

  • That voting no longer takes place on the proposal's wiki page but on the forum using the new poll functionality.


The new OpenStreetMap community forum is currently prepared for production. Currently, OpenStreetMap wiki fill an important formal role in the process for voting on proposals. For several reasons, this voting should move to the new forum. The main result will be in increased engagement by the community because current barriers are reduced. For several reasons, this changed is proposed:

  • Switching to the forums allows every mapper to participate without the need to create a new account. They can use their current OSM account. For wiki, they need to create a separate account. This raises the barrier to participate in a vote. The most popular vote on OSM wiki had about 130 votes. This is really low considering the amount of mappers present in the OpenStreetMap community. Because the forum uses OSM accounts as login, this lowers the barrier to participate in the discussion and vote. The vote will therefore better reflect the communities opinion. It has to be noted that OSM OAuth login for wiki is being worked on. This will lower the participation barrier. An implementation date is not known yet. [1]
  • Voting on wiki does not provide a very user friendly user interface. You have to edit the source text where you have to insert a line, hoping that you don't have an edit conflict with another voter. Especially if more people participate, the chance of a conflict increases.
  • The new forum also works really well on mobile devices. Especially wiki does not offer a user friendly website for editing.

Voting on discourse

As simple test of how the voting works can be observed on this [2] community topic. This systems offers various useful options:

  • The votes can be made public. You can see who votes for what.
  • The votes can have an automatic closing time to automate the voting.
  • The votes are automatically counted and summarized.
  • You can easily update or remove your vote while the vote is open.
  • As stated, you can use your current OSM account to vote.

Voting topic template

To initiate the vote, a new topic can be made with the following format:

  • Title: [Voting] Feature Proposal - <PROPOSAL NAME>
  • Topic body:
    Voting has started for [<PROPOSAL NAME>](<LINK TO PROPOSAL ON WIKI>). Indicate your vote below
    [poll type=regular results=always public=true chartType=bar close=2022-09-29T22:00:00.000Z]
    * I approve
    * I abstain from voting, leave a constructive comment below
    * I oppose, leave a constructive comment below
  • Edit the date/time and proposal title in the poll
  • Assign the tag: wiki-proposal

Potential downsides and their mitigation

That users who oppose or abstain from voting do not leave a constructive comment explaining their vote and potential solution. Votes can be made public so you can see who votes for what. Using thumps up reactions, people can also indicate they agree with another comment/explanation that has already been given.

The vote may feel separated from the written proposal on wiki The vote topic should be referenced on the wiki page. This should make it clear where the voting is taking place. This minor change is outweighed by the advances of voting on the forum.

Features/Pages affected

External discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.