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Current status

Newbie-safe semi-automated edits

A quick and easy way to help improve the OpenStreetMap database

If you can look at a satellite photo and answer a simple question, you can help.

Prototype implementation available for testing: OSMQC Main Page and Check Ends activity instructions

Please Help!

I have taken this from an idea to a prototype, but I am sure it is not quite ready to use yet.

The prototype is collecting answers, but there is not yet a procedure for turning answers into map edits.

See the discussion tab for this page to read and suggest ideas for improvements.


Imagine that a newly arriving web surfer finds OSM for the first time. It sounds exciting, but there is really a lot to get through before you can make a contribution. A surfer's attention span might not be that long. Wouldn't it be nice if we had something really easy they could do to help without them having to learn anything about how to edit the map?

I recently discovered Tag:highway=turning_circle and started adding it to the map. I find that it is a bit tedious using Potlatch if adding turning circles to an area is my main goal. It takes several clicks and a few keystrokes for each one, then panning around to find the next one. Since this is such a common feature, I started thinking of how adding these might be made easier and realized that what I was thinking of could be helpful for many other editing tasks.

The following steps are involved:

1. Run a script that finds all road dead end nodes in an area (example perl script) (replace this step with a script that finds anything that a person could make a quick multiple-choice decision about.)

2. Make a small picture from Yahoo satellite centered on each one

3. Show a person each image and ask: Does it look like a turning circle?

4. Collect the user's response with one keystroke or button click and move quickly to the next picture.

5. Collate the responses and queue the edits to be made

For me, this makes some tasks much easier even though I am comfortable with Potlatch and JOSM, but I think it is more exciting thinking about making this work on a public web page.

There are several things to consider:

- We would certainly want more than one inexperienced web surfer to agree before accepting an edit.

- It might be good to let people sign in with their account, but it might be nice to let people participate (perhaps with reduced trust/additional verification) without even signing in.

- It would be good to be able to load the next images while the user looks at one so the new image can be shown as quickly as possible.

- The prototype uses javascript/AJAX