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Bad wording & help

The "add a note" is bad wording. Should be "report a map error" or something (I would not have thought that it is for to report errors). Also we should mention the license in the popup and strongly discourage the use of other maps to make a map error report/suggestion. (in German: Mist, nun habe ich auf Deutsch getippt: Ich, OSM-Mitarbeiter, sah das "Notiz hinzufügen" und konnte mir gar nichs darunter vorstellen - dachte jedoch am ehesten an eine persönliche Notiz für mich. Oder an eine Art Marker mit Notiz zum Weiterschicken an Freunde. Dass das ein Bugreport/Melden eines Fehlers/Vorschlag sein soll, kam mir wirklich nicht in den Sinn. Meines erachtes eine sehr unglückliche Formulierung - zumindest auf Deutsch.) --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 23:01, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Exactly. One reads Notes, one comes here, and one reads "don't write notes but reports".
I too enabled Notes, saw no change on the map and disregarded it entirely until I learned in the wrong place that Notes exist. And if I did not have strong :reasons to be interested, search and relate my two events, I still would ignore what Notes is.
Also, please consider my suggestion for some help:
Shouldn't a link to this page or other help be put on "Parcourir les notes" "browse the notes" in the map?
A simply put page could explain basic facts of reporting such as locating something like the start of a speed limit with 1) a GPS or GPS enabled GSM, 2) a distance (number of 1 m steps) from a known point 3) the house number x) ???
--Papou (talk) 12:19, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I would go further. A lot further.

  • Not only should "add a note" be changed to "report a map error" but the name of the entire feature wherever it appears (including URLs) should be changed from notes to reports. Old URLs that mention notes should be redirected to the corresponding reports URL.
  • A registered user, posting their first report, should be shown potted summary (an abridged version of the present wiki) with a link to the full page
  • Anonymous users should be shown the potted summary and link on every post
  • Third party maps should, as an express condition of using the reports facility, be required to change the name to reports and display the foregoing before allowing a user to create a report
  • They should also be required to accept reports only if the map is showing up to date tiles and the user has zoomed in to an appropriate level
  • To enhance readability, third party maps should be prohibited from adding additional waffle to the body of the report, with the sole permitted addition being the name of the third party map which must be appended not prepended to the report (or better still, placed in a particular field of the report that OSM can display in a smaller font and/or reserved position rather than in the body).
  • The wiki and the potted summary should both forbid inclusion of promotional language or submitting reports of unmappable features such as businesses without a prominent street-visible presence (a full sized shop sign, or equivalent)
  • There needs to be a way for editors to quickly identify and request deletion or permanent hiding of reports that include promotional language

--Harg (talk) 09:10, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Should we discourage the use of other maps to make a map error report/suggestion/"notes"?

We should mention the license in the popup and strongly discourage the use of other maps to make a map error report/suggestion. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 23:01, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't think it would be a problem if an observation from another map was used to make a note about the OSM - so long it was verified independently from a non-copyright before changing the OSM data? -- Chuq (talk) 02:04, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
The same over there - RichardF writes: "Registered users agree not to copy from other maps when signing up, and are requested to verify each suggested correction from non-registered users using ‘on the ground’ information." I am not sure that this is a good idea to put this burden on the local mappers. Furthermore that means that if some "note" seems to include local knowledge we should not use it directly because it also could be derived from another map/source. Apparently this also means that notes are not OdbL licensed. By the way - look at the left panel of OSB - both (don't use other maps, and the notes content is licensed) are mentioned there. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 19:11, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
what about adding this to NON logged users only --Jakubt (talk) 12:08, 9 May 2013 (UTC)


I subscribe to an area with the RSS-Feed in Google Reader. Now I get every note update many times. I think this is because of the every time I request the Feed the time since the last edit is changed (1 minute before, 2 minutes before, ....). Is this a failure of Google Reader or does other Feed Reader also have this problem? --Maduser (talk) 17:55, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I created ticket #5012 to embedd the RSS feed in the webfrontend. If your bug persists, feel free to open a similar one --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 14:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Experience with mapping notes information - placement is issue

Hi, I have been doublechecking, mapping and resolving the notes for few days. It is a great feature and I am glad we have it on the map, because it lowers the contribution treshold for novices. Here is my experience after working with it for a while:

The biggest shortcoming is that the notes are very often misplaced. It often sais something like "Hotel XY" and after web search you find out that the hotel is a block apart or in the parallel street. Of course that the information from notes will be always inaccurate and should be doublechecked, but we should make effort so that it is as precise as possible. I have asked some nonmappers to use the note feature to see their reaction and I thik the problem is that the novice often does not understand that the (+) mark can be moved around. Here is what happens:

  1. Novice finds a bug.
  2. She zooms in and maybe puts the bug somewhat in the center of the map she sees.
  3. She clicks add-a-note link (If she find it at, all I think the link needs to be promoted and reweorded in the future)
  4. She types the note and submits it.

Are you missing something? Yes, the novice does not necesserily understand that the marker can be moved around. I think we should at least change the text which explains what to do. The best would be if there is additional step - after the user clicks on add-a-note link, only the (+) marker would appear with explanatory bubble "Please drag the the mark as precisely as possible on the problematic place." with button "Continue" which would open the text field with explanation "Please describe the bug, give information on feature missing ...."

--Jakubt (talk) 10:27, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I confirm, that tt is getting better as the text before the note clearly explains that the mark should be moved arout. Still I think, that the two step contribution (maybe for anonymous users only) would be an improvement. --Jakubt (talk) 17:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Removal of notes that aren't useful

I don't know if I am missing something but if you find a note that isn't useful, such as telling people where they think the best place to park is, you can't mark it in away to show it is unsuitable. You can only resolve them, I don't think is really that good as it is hard then to show that the note wasn't the sort we wanted on the map and instead just saying we fixed it. --awardle 21:34, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Just add a comment about it an close the bug. "This is not a map bug. closed it." or something like that. --Werner2101 (talk) 20:05, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Todo. Guidelines for resolving notes

In this discussion here: it's pointed out that we don't really offer many guidelines on resolving notes here on the wiki page. I'm not sure if I'm ready to start writing such guidelines, because as I said there, we're forging new ground with the "netiquette" around how we process notes. They're still quite new. ...but we maybe we could start with some basic advice. -- Harry Wood (talk) 16:37, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I added new section about resolving notes Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:44, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

TODO. Guidlines for adding notes

Same as of OSB we have map users and mappers that add notes. While the map users only add few Notes, some power mappers add masses of them. Some type of errors are not that usesful. e.g. "name of restaurant is missing" (this is self descriptive and mappers have tools like keepright to detect missing features. Others are "watch the contruction area", or "highway/waterway" or "bridge or tunnel".

Other mappers are using Notes to take mapping notices. You can see their bulk upload of Notes with osmand app.

Any chance to create a guideline that tells the users not to use it for mapping and machine detectable errors? --Werner2101 (talk) 20:12, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

I've just added a little bit to the red box "do's and don'ts" to cover those points a bit more, although we need to keep that box brief. Maybe we should create a separate page or section for guidelines, to go into more detail.
"bulk upload of Notes with osmand app" is an interesting kind of problem. People recording stuff via apps could offer interesting new workflows for mapping. We don't want to discourage it necessarily. I see what you mean though. I guess if somebody's going to litter a neighbourhood with 200 notes which mostly just make sense to them, and they resolve them all again soon afterwards as part of their personal "collect data->input data" cycle, then that's going to be annoying noise within the notes system, and something they could just as well keep to themselves. Hopefully I've phrased something to discourage this in the red box there.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 00:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Bounding Box (in Article RSS Feed) not working

the page at the link isnt working correct, so is there an better alternative?

-- User:Hakuch 20:47, 7 September 2014‎

Was it that site which was down, or the notes RSS feeds themselves? In any case they both seem to be up and running right now. Must've been a temporary outage. For that website I guess the best place to report problems is the osm-qa-feeds github issue tracker -- Harry Wood (talk) 14:27, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Bus line off by two blocks dilemma

In the case of a bus route that is off by two city blocks, I made a note on the correct place. Alas there is no way to somehow also attach the note to the misplaced bus line, which I suppose would allow more direct notification to the original author. Jidanni (talk) 11:45, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

You can attach a note to any existing node on the wrong way you want to see modified, even if you have added the correct position in a separate node (indicate the ID of the correct node in your note for the wrong node).
Notes are not stored directly in the main OSM database, you can place notes where you want without modifying the data. — Verdy_p (talk) 12:07, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
I find no way to attach a note to a certain segment of Jidanni (talk) 12:29, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
I guess Verdy_p means to add a fixme tag to e.g. the relation object (not possible to attach to single segments), but I doubt this will be very effective. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 13:04, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
best write an osm message to the relevant user (or simply one of the active, involved users) pointing to your note URL and asking for help and comment on the note. You can find an easy-to-read overview of the relation at .--Aseerel4c26 (talk) 13:04, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

personal to-do-list

I believe that it is perfectly fine to create notes that one intends to fix, as long as notes are usable by others. So in case of somebody forgetting to handle them or somebody else being faster other editors will not be confused.

For example I believe it is perfectly fine to create note "this road is now oneway according to media report", also if one is planning to resurvey such place. It is only not OK to create note illegible for others like "problem #34" Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:37, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

This section was created to discuss Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:38, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! I mostly agree. However, there are downsides which should be kept in mind. Some users watch all the notes in an area via an RSS feeed (or other means). If a user creates hundreds of surveyed housenumber as a note just to enter them some hours later into out data, I think that is avoidable spamming of other users. There are much better ways for personal notes - which do not spam other users. Also I would avoid to post notes of such stuff like "this road is now oneway according to media report" if you plan to visit it in some days anyway. The thing is that every created note likely is viewed by some other mappers - which simply need time for this. Time which also could be spent actually mapping. However, if a user knows "this road is now oneway according to media report" but let's pretend visiting that road is quite some detour for that mapper and such a detour would be planned when it suites another tour, possibly in some months, then a note is a good idea. Maybe some other mapper can visit that note's place and solve it. --aseerel4c26 (talk) 21:44, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
"If a user creates hundreds of surveyed housenumber as a note just to enter them some hours later into out data" OK, that would be horrible. I am curious, in what situation one may add note and be unable to make a direct edit? I would expect one to use Vespucci (or other mobile editor) or be unable to create notes at all. Also, there is StreetComplete that is good for this type of edits... If that is a common problem it should be mentioned - maybe as "if mapper verified that change should be made it is preferable to make edit over making note and an edit"? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:51, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
"if you plan to visit it in some days anyway" I disagree here - at least I would quickly forget about the affected street and I would need to make note anyway Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:51, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Logged in

Mention if there ever has been any thought of requiring the user to be logged in first, or if such a concept is worthy of suggesting. See also [1] . Jidanni (talk) 18:56, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Editing based on notes

When editing, are we able to rely on notes from a logged-in user to edit an area in OSM? For example, if a user made a note saying "There is no public toilet here" or similar. Qantas94Heavy (talk) 08:21, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

If the note creator specifies the source, I may be inclined to map it. If they do not, I won't, as there is no way to know whether they read it on a reliable, license-compatible source. But such notes are useful anyway, as even from a proprietary or unreliable source, they may trigger an on-the-ground survey by a mapper capable of editing OSM. --Gileri (talk) 12:16, 21 August 2021 (UTC)
It depends (a) is it indicating survey or report from third party source (b) trust in the user (c) how likely is that report is correct (d) have the linked some confirmation (e) is it verified by aerial imagery or external source Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:14, 21 August 2021 (UTC)