Talk:Automated edits

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Request for automated edit

I hope this is the right place for this. I would like to request an automated edit to change surface=brick (1857 ways) and surface=bricks (3287 ways) to surface=paving_stones (627817 ways). This is what is recommended in the wiki page for Key:surface

From my experience: it is unlikely that worldwide edit like this will be accepted. I also have doubts whatever this edit is even a good idea Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:02, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

Move -> Bots

I am proposing moving this to 'Bots' to match wikipedia:Bots terminology. I will do the move in a few days if I don't hear objections. PeterIto 19:46, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

"Bots" isn't exactly the same thing. "Automated Edits" is slightly broader. A bot is an agent which performs automated tasks via a interface primarily designed for humans. The term is widely used in wikipedia where initially bots were being created which submit changes via the wiki edit form, so basically pretending to the wikipedia server that they are human editors, but performing automated edits. In fact these days wikipedia bots are normally editing via an API (maybe they are required to now actually)
In OpenStreetMap we've always had an API. People have created similar software agents, such as User:Frederik Ramm#Fixbot, and I would call these "bots" if they are intended to be run on a regular basis or over a long period of time, but there are other forms of "automated edits" which don't fit the word "bot" so well. e.g. a script which modifies or imports data as a one-off generation of a changes file to be applied via JOSM. -- Harry Wood 14:15, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, the term bots in OSM should be restricted to software that makes 'regularly makes approved automated changes to the database over a long period of time'. Automated edits is a wider definition which includes changes made once or infrequently. PeterIto (talk) 09:34, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Terminology - Automated edits, bots or Mechanical edits?

I notice that we have a muddle of terminology on the wiki. The article is called 'Automated edits' which contains a section with a list of 'bots'. The article is in a category called category:Bots. We have a Automated Edits code of conduct but the Data Working Group has adopted and evidently enforces a Mechanical Edit Policy. Can I suggest that we standardise on one term and then update the categories, titles and text to match that term.? PeterIto 10:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

My vote currently would be for 'Mechanical Edits', because not all edits that we will be concerned with will be totally automated, but they do all use software (including standard editors) to speed up the change process with associated increased risks of damage. PeterIto 10:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I think maybe the main thing to do is try to explain what we're talking about with reference to these different terms, but maybe giving some more concrete examples. Try to say what exactly is covered by the code of conduct and to what extent? I think the best example of grey-area is a user finding all instances of a particular tag in their town using XAPI and then select-all changing the tag in JOSM and clicking upload. You wouldn't call that a "bot". It's not an "import". But both the words "automated" and "mechanical" could be applied to some extent. If they do a larger area than a town, then this starts to be a power tool with the negative aspects and the need for caution of any other bot/auto-edit approach, so it's an example of something which probably should be covered by this, but to what extent? Grey area.
I agree the terminology is a bit confusing, and we should standardise wiki page names if possible. However this page and the associated Automated Edits code of conduct have been around for a long time, and are heavily linked to (including from outside the wiki). I'd be reluctant to move these pages. And besides.. I like "automated edits". It's one of those areas of technology where different words can apply equally well, but often mean slightly different things. I don't think moving this page will help all that much. When the "Mechanical Edit Policy" popped up, I did wonder why Frederick (and the Data Working Group) didn't call it the "Automated Edits Policy" for consistency. I'd prefer to see that page moved because to me (and know it can have broader meanings) "mechanical" makes me think of clockworks and wind-up toys. Also that page is less well known and linked.
-- Harry Wood 13:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Makes sense. I have left a note on Talk:Mechanical Edit Policy requesting a discussion on the subject here. Personally I think we would do better to combine the concepts rather than try to distinguish them. PeterIto 17:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I also think that "Automated edit policy" would be the better name for the policy page, simply because this terminology has been around for longer. And since nobody reacted to the suggestion on the other Talk page, I suggest "being bold" and moving that page. --Tordanik 02:43, 20 May 2012 (BST)
Does anyone object to the move? I have added a final note to Talk:Mechanical Edit Policy before making the move. PeterIto 11:59, 31 May 2012 (BST)

(DONE. Mechanical Edit Policy was renamed and then later merged into Automated Edits code of conduct. March 2015)

IMHO this "cleanup of 'mechanical edits' pages" was done like a bad mechanical edit: A discussion quite old and hidden, no announcements anywhere, no information of the users involved and no useful changeset comment given. -- malenki 20:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Note that there's a bunch of subpages. Special:Prefixindex/Mechanical Edits/, and we still have instructions to create new sub pages under Mechanical Edits: Automated Edits code of conduct#Document thoroughly. Not sure if these need to be moved. -- Harry Wood (talk) 18:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Harry. Am looking to clean these 'mechanical edits' subpages up now. Also... As you may have noticed, I will be running a session on 'bots, patrols and automated edits' at State of the Map in New York in June 2015 much of which I hope will be a discussion about how OSM should use and manage automated edits.
I do also agree that the term 'bot' should only be used for largely autonomous editing software that operates on the OSM database making autonomous edits largely autonomous edits on a long term basis using a bot account. Automated edits include bots and also one off scripted tasks and imports etc.
-- PeterIto (talk) 09:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I see most of these Special:Prefixindex/Mechanical Edits/ are redirects now (showing in italics on that list), but some still need moving if we are to remove "Mechanical Edits" completely -- Harry Wood (talk) 02:38, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Re-import/fix of data from CanVec

My (wife's) parents have a cottage on Mackenzie Lake in Ontario. Looking at this data I noticed a number of minor problems, and started to use the editor to try to fix them. However, I came across the same problem over and over, and when I looked into it a bit, found a more serious issue that I think could be automatically fixed.

Basically the data for the area, if not all of Canada, was automatically imported from CanVec. CanVec is split into grid squares, and the vectors are not continuous across the lines. Looking at my example, Mackenzie Lake ends up split into three parts, as there is a grid corner in the northeast corner, splitting the lake into parts. This same problem effects the entire map, at least in the areas I looked at, so lakes are split up, roads are non-continuous, etc.

I strongly suspect that there is data inside the CanVec database that would allow us to re-connect these vectors back into continuous paths.

That assumes that such a thing is "good". Does OSM want the data to be split up in a similar fashion? Or is it fine with large-scale vectors?

I would like to know how to better explore this, and perhaps start the process of updating the import to fix this, if possible.

Maury Markowitz 19:23, 15 October 2012 (BST)

Help to control updated translations

Is it possible to create a page on the Wiki, which is updated from time to time, with the following columns:

Updated translations

  1. Page name of the key/tag/element, etc. with "EN"
  2. Date of last change
  3. Page name of the key or tag equivalent to "Pl" or other language.
  4. Date of last change
  5. Optionally, a red symbol appears when the date of translated page is later.

This would help to control the update translations from English, while showing missing translations. --Władysław Komorek (talk) 05:52, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

surface values

I propose to reduce the number of values of the surface=* key once. According to taginfo there are currently 2468 different values. I want to rename errors and translate local names (especially german) to english. In particular:

  • (p. 154): (ground) -> ground
  • (p. 153): concrete-plate -> concrete:plate
  • (p. 150): find_gravel -> fine_gravel
  • (p. 149): unpaved␣ -> unpaved
  • (p. 149): unpaved- -> unpaved
  • (p. 148): paving␣stone -> paving_stones
  • (p. 145): ␣cobblestone:flattened -> cobblestone:flattened
  • (p. 145): asphat -> asphalt

I can look for further examples if I know this can be done--Nobelium (talk) 13:21, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Removing leading or trailing whitespaces, or compressing multiple whitespaces by a single one may be done automatically (some editors do that implicitly in their tag editor).
Replacing whitespaces in the middle by underscores may be done if the vbalue is enumerated (it should not be done in tags with free-text values such as name=*)
There are a few tag that still use whitespace in their key name, most of them are specific to a region and were documented as is: this should not be automated before a discussion occurs in the relzvant community and the documentation page is updated to reflect the change accepted by the community (sometimes these tags have been introduced de facto by a single user but were never objected and are docuemtned as is since long: there's little benefit to change them). When these tags are region-specific, their names may not be restricted to just basic ASCII and accents (or non-Latin letters) may be used, as well as capitalization appropriate for the language in which it was defined (these are not generic British English terms and it's even illusory to attempt any kind of imprecise translation if there's no goal to transform the tag in a more global meaning usable elsewhere: such approximative translation, with unattested English terms will be extremely fuzzy, it's best to keep the local terms which may also have precise legal definitions, with no clear equivalence in other countries; however if these tags are country specific and map to legal terms, these tags should preferably use an uppercase country/territory code prefix from ISO 3166, and a colon without whitespaces around).
However we don't need any bot to perform these edits mechanically: QA tools are already reporting such cases, and manual editing can be done locally with much less troubles.
I suggest then to ask this only to wellknown QA tools authors. Manual review of their individual reports is still better: these small "errors" are so frequent that we need to dedicate a bot to make massive edits on very large areas
Bots should still edit only local areas in their changesets (not much more than a city and surrounding suburbs, i.e. within a ~20km radius in rural areas, ~5km in low density urbanized areas, and ~1km area in dense urban areas: this allows easier reverts. As well, these edits per changeset should not exceed about 200 objets (lower limit than human edits, that limit may be larger only for import tools that should still work without spreading their changes over a large zone: this allows easier reverts without impacting too many users: human editors can review bots edits and resolve edit conflicts only if these lists of changes do not exceed about 200 elements; above this threshold, they have to resign and abandon their half-terminated uploads, leaving many disconnected objects). Large changesets are frequently disruptive against the work currently being done by other users (and resolving edit conflicts is not easy, and very errorprone if these happen too repeatedly). — Verdy_p (talk) 11:33, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Automated edits from personal accounts

I have noticed that this automated edits say that they are actioned via personal accounts: MichaelSchoenitze's bot and User:EtienneChove. Not sure if they are still used. probably worth asking the users directly. PeterIto (talk) 18:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

For the second case, these are old (2009-2010) and were discussed at that time on the relevant mailing list. At that time, the OSM data in France was still in very early stage and most of them have been refined later. Also the bot policy was not so clear as it is now, but if it was efefctive, these edits were compliant to the rules.
Local edits are not necessarily discussed here, but in relevant local mailing lists. EtienneChove properly listed what he did, and gave hints about with whom they were discussing. Theses were not isolated bot edits. Etienne was playing very fairly by documenting this in his page. Particularly, he was fair because he added or unified many source tags that were requested by the source (according to its licence), including an important information: the year (this allows all of us to detect old data that may need updates now when the source has fresher data, for example changing from bitmap cadastral maps to more precise vectorized data, or when conflation between multiple maps that was then needed is no longer needed because sources have been synchronized with also a better terrain model data for adjusting the orthophotographic sources). — Verdy_p (talk) 11:44, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Local public transport operators in Tuscany

It appears that very recently all local public transport (i.e. bus and tramways, idk whether trains run by non-national companies such as LFI as well) operators in Tuscany (Italy) have somehow merged into Autolinee toscane s.p.a. This definitely affects Ataf, Linea, Gest, Cap and the Tuscan branch of Busitalia (formerly SITA). I wonder if there is an efficient way to update the affected relations (operator tag on bus routes), of course after thoroughly checking the details of the news. Please move the above to the relevant message board. Sorry for my English. --Pegasovagante (talk) 11:47, 12 February 2022 (UTC)

@Pegasovagante: you may use Contact channels to find place where Italian or more local community discusses mapping Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:51, 13 February 2022 (UTC)
Thank you @Mateusz Konieczny:. In fact, I've been advised to contact the Italian language mailing list. --Pegasovagante (talk) 11:15, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

wood vs tree

In an area, I found 23762 nodes with the tag wood instead of (I think) tree, see If someone can help me, I don't know what to do. Krako73 (talk) 00:00, 31 January 2023 (UTC) I just see that all were created by one user : I will ask him to fix that. Krako73 (talk) 00:10, 31 January 2023 (UTC)

Place a node at a given X,Y

A user might turn to a batch edit method, because e.g., iD has no way to place a node at a given X,Y. (E.g., a boundary monument in a forest, so air images are unusable.) So he must first upload the node, then can proceed to edit it in iD. Jidanni (talk) 13:21, 21 February 2023 (UTC)

Use JOSM, Vespucci or Level0. Something B (talk) 12:27, 25 April 2023 (UTC)