Talk:Wiki organisation

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Discuss Wiki organisation here:

Page Name conventions/guidelines

This looks like a great place to develop some Page Name conventions/guidelines. I've linked to it from the relevant sections on the talk pages for both Cleanup and Guidelines pages. I've also added it to the category to give it a bit more exposure, previously only being found upon a search or read of the initial authors talk page.

Martin Renvoize 10:56, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Copy of my suggestions from other talk pages.

A Wiki page naming policy really needs to be created and mentioned somewhere, probably within this guidelines page. It would be nice to all be singing from the same hymn sheet.

What types of pages are on the Wiki and what types of pages do we want? Martin Renvoize 12:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

My thoughts so far, but please add/subtract to the list;

  • MapProject - All pages related to actually mapping! i.e Places, Types (i.e Cycle Network, Countryside, Walking Networks etc), etc. A description of the task, status and persons involved should go here along with links to "Sub Projects" if necessary.
  • Parties are somewhat related to this.
  • WikiProject - All pages related directly to Wiki maintenance. i.e Wiki Clean Up, Wiki Suggestions, Wiki Notices, Template Suggestions. etc. The technical Wiki Stuff ONLY.
  • OSMProject - Those pages relating directly to OSM, i.e an introduction page, the beginners guides, tagging information, tag proposals, api's and developer links, press initiative. Anything directly tied to the actual OSM concept and technology, NOT just loosely tied by the actual data.


  • Portal Pages. Like a giant introduction page for each page type with the category list included. I have no idea what the best way to implement portals are but I think many people don't really understand the category system. I think that having the "top level" category for each page type as much more of a page would be more intuitive than having a separate page linked to from the category. Does that make sense. An example is the WikiProject England page. I've converted it into a "Portal" as such, but it would work much better if the overall information was within the "Category" page with a nice auto-updating list of related pages (i.e the categories).

I think an easiest way to implement this would be to create some templates/guidelines specific to each page type.

What does anybody think? Martin Renvoize 17:23, 24 November 2009 (UTC) Just found this page! Seem to be a good start on some naming guideline as well as a few other bits and bobs. Martin Renvoize 10:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Are you suggesting page name prefixes? or just clarity of the type of page we're dealing with?
I've said before, I don't really like the prefix "WikiProject" , and would support getting rid of it (although getting rid of it would be a massive hassle) So that for example WikiProject United Kingdom becomes United Kingdom. Easier and more elegant for linking to, and consistent with other pages such as Cambridge which seem to work just fine without any messy prefix.
For the same reason I don't like other ideas for page name prefixes. They detract from the simplicity of the wiki, making it harder and more wordy to link to pages. It's an attempt to create order and hierarchy within page names, when order and hierarchy should be evident in the linking structure, and the categories. It solves a problem which doesn't really exist. People worry about page name clashes, but if somebody wants to create a piece of OSM software called 'Cambridge', then we simply name their wiki page "Cambridge software" and put a disambiguation link at the top of the place page. ...or if the software begins to rival the place in terms of significance to OSMers, we might decide to move the current page to "Cambridge (City)" (Hypothetical example. Calling software "Cambridge" would clearly be stupid!) The point is we don't need prefixes or sub pages or any of that page naming cruft.
Clarity of the type of page we're dealing with, would be a good thing, and I like the idea of having page structure examples for people to follow.
I find category pages (actual pages in the 'Category' namespace) to be much easier to understand if they contain no more than a few sentences at the top of the page, followed by the auto-generated list. But I wonder if you can "transclude" category lists. not sure.
-- Harry Wood 12:21, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply Harry, it is very enlightening. I agree, I don't like the naming "cruft", and wasn't suggesting more prefix's (the idea did initially start as prefix's, but no longer), just clarity of the type of page we're dealing with! I'de love to get rid of all the WikiProject prefix's, 907 to go and counting!

Structured examples was exactly what I was getting at; partly for people seeking advice on how to create a page, but also for those cleaning up the Wiki as something to loosely conform to. Example; I've looked at a number of pages and thought,"Tthat needs a cleanup", but then struggled to work out what should go where and whether the page should be merged into others, or split into separate bits.

As for my idea of what a portal should be. I agree, would be better to "transclude" the category for this aim. Still a "work in progress" in my head for now.

Martin Renvoize 23:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Moved from Talk:Wiki_guidelines:

How about instead of changing "WikiProject" to "MapProject" for mapping projects, we change instead to "Mapping"? So instead of "WikiProject England" or "MapProject England", why not the short and catchy "Mapping England"? I admit that MappingDC provided the inspiration. :-) --seav 11:04, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I think this has already been kinda answered above. So far the consensus seems to point to removal of prefixes, but a more clear set of templates on what each page type is used for? --Martin Renvoize 11:25, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Well that's my preferred page naming approach. I'd prefer the page to be called "England" rather than "WikiProject England" or "Mapping England", BUT...
The hassle involved in trying to shunt all the links over to a more elegant short name... It just makes me recoil in horror to think about it. It's not something I want to attempt, and I would not recommend anyone else attempting it either because if it were half finished, or done badly it will just annoy a lot of people, for a benefit which is rather subtle. I don't like the prefix, but there are bigger problems to worry about. Maybe this kind of mass moving/relinking task could work as a Wiki Cleanup Drive activity.
-- Harry Wood 17:35, 27 August 2010 (BST)


Should there be a template for groups, perhaps a redirect to a Map Features section or a Category? I couldn't help noticing that height=* is in group Descriptions and not group Properties, which might or might be blamed for its lack of appearance in Map Features. --goldfndr 10:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, good point, although, i'm not acutally sure what a group is; being fairly new here. Enlighten me how you think it fits into the structure. Is it, a mapping data type (like, tags, keys, nodes, relations etc) or a wiki only data type (i.e categories, can't think of another?)--Martin Renvoize 18:18, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Categories for places

Why do we have auto-generated categories for Towns in Some Area, Cities in Some Area etc. and not just Category:Some Area with all those towns/cities/villages/suburbs inside? -- Zverik 17:48, 27 August 2010 (BST)

The various wiki purposes

This text used to be at the top of the WikiProject Cleanup page. I think it got "cleaned up" , but it reflects how I see wiki organisation. :


We are using the wiki for various purposes:

  • PR material - presenting us to the public (introductions and promotional material)
  • Help information - to help newbies use our data, and/or get involved in the project.
  • Manuals/HOWTos - Information going into some detail on using OSM software
  • Development Information - detailed technical information for developing
  • Community at Locations - events lists, and links to local community contact channels, photos etc
  • Mapping status at locations - keeping track of mapping progress for a specific location and coordinating mapping efforts

These are not clear categories. A trail of links could easily cut across from PR Material to Help information to Manuals to Development pages. Indeed one page may be aiming to fulfil several wiki purposes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and certainly with a web structured wiki it is somewhat inevitable, but it does present a problem when trying to get a clear view of the overall structure.


Basically I don't see the organisation as a very rigid thing, and I think any attempt to make it so may be doomed to failure anyway. The trick is to try and find a way of being both flexible and well organised.

-- Harry Wood 12:21, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand the "Information on Locations" purpose. Can you give an example (page)? --Cantho (talk) 09:18, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
OK actually I've just changed "Information on Locations" to "Community at Locations'" which hopefully is clearer. I was actually originally thinking of a slightly different purpose, which a lot of "city pages" are tackling at the moment, but ... it's a bit out-dated and pointless.
Way back in 2006 people were creating wiki pages about different cities purely to give us a place to put a sample rendering image. This was before openstreetmap has a map display! There's obviously less need for that nowadays, but still quite a lot of wiki pages which do nothing but show a map (at least we're mostly showing auto-updated maps nowadays) and saying things like "X is a city in Y". I've heard it argued that this might be useful in itself, as a google rankings trick, but mostly I'd say that kind of generic information is a bit useless nowadays except as a placeholder for "Community at locations" and "Mapping status at locations"
...and actually "Community at locations" is far more important that "Mapping status at locations". I haven't really seen very successful example of mapping status information being kept up to date in a way which helps the community much, except perhaps in German cities. The best purpose a wiki page about a city can fulfil, is stuff about how to contact the community, and possibly a space for organising events (but like the mapping status info, events info is only as good as the people willing to maintain it) Increasingly I'm thinking these wiki pages should be trimmed down to just link to facebook pages/ twitter accounts / wherever local communities are actually congregating.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 18:02, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if there's cities with a living OSM community and an empty template wiki page for the city. Is it that what you're aiming at? --Cantho (talk) 15:16, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a clean-up target there for sure. Empty template pages, or otherwise poorly maintained wiki pages. There's plenty of examples of quite lively local communities at city or even country level, for which the wiki totally fails to reflect what's going on. Failed over-ambitious attempts at doing "Mapping status at locations" and not enough "Community at Locations". e.g. the page has some crappy old mapping status tracking table which hasn't been updated since 2008, meanwhile there's a lively community gathered in a facebook group or having regular events with Clearly the most useful thing for the wiki to do in that case is have a big fat prominent link to help people find the active community. And people need to have the confidence to blow away old status information if it's not useful. I'm not just talking about for obscure 3rd-world places. A lot of wiki pages on states and cities of the U.S. are in need of a tidy up. -- Harry Wood (talk) 16:23, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
Cleanup is a huge task which requires sorting and collecting many pages so that they can be effectively found when searched for, correctly categorized (in all languages) with languages sorted correctly an navigatable in a way that is similar and unified across languages, with corerct naming conventions.
Cleaning up old pages is difficult when they are in fact hard to find and not categorized at all, or simplify categorized the wrong way.
Even in the English-only part of the wiki, categories need cleanup and consistant organization. And many pages have been created with extremely poor linking, and absolutely no care at all about how they could be translated. And then left unmaintained as is. Lots of things are then spread everywhere in different states, and this wiki has become overtime extremely difficult to navigate whjen we really search for something: what we find (sometimes) has never been updated or even corrected since the day they were written. And most writers don't care at all about the orthography and terminology (complicating the task when searching for things).
The cleanup project is huge, but even before attemptin to cleanup the content (possibly merging dusplicate pages), we need to categorize it, collect all we can find in coherent sets of related information: this is this task that further helps correcting the rest within pages themselves.
I've spent countless hours since several years trying to reunite the categories and correctly separating and organizing the languages, I've created (or corrected) various templates to help resolve these issues, notably because this wiki is and should remain international and open to all active languages of the world, and as easily to use for English native speakers in UK or users in other parts of the world: we need more people involved locally, working more easily in their language, we can't stay only with a few people in UK trying to do something in other parts of the world where they've never travelled and for which all they have is a few approximately translated resources, and anonymous satellite imagery). This work consist in lot of small incremental changes, lots of searches, resolving red links in many places, fixing broken redirects, fixing the orthography (notably in page names), fixing some layout issues (for languages written in RTL scripts), building or improving reusable templates that will help translators to do their work with lower efforts.
But this work is rarely appreciated. Many people (even translators) don't realize all what has been made to facilitate their work, or don't understand why some things are done in one way rather than another. Or don't understand why a page is incrementally updated multiple times (sometimes in a short time, because further updates or corrections require first performing searches or checking other pages).
Thanks, MediaWiki provides us with useful Special:Pages. But there are still tricks to do in the MediaWiki syntax (notably because this wiki is not Wikipedia and does not support some extensions found in other international wikis like Wikimedia Commons). For long this wiki used an outdated version of MediaWiki, and we still have limitations in terms of capabilities (this wiki runs on a much smaller server than Wikimedia Commons). There's no support for Lua module scripting, no support for Wikidata or any external database.
Things can be very complex and cannot be corrected without many intermediate steps (if we don't want to break many pages at the same time). We need a gradual upgrade before we can simplify what is no longer needed. — Verdy_p (talk) 17:14, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
You really cannot divorce organising wiki pages from their creation. This wiki isn’t and can’t be anyone’s private playpen; it is a community resource to promote and help develop OpenStreetMap, otherwise it loses its point and may even deserve to be shut down. Ghost town categories that people don’t want to populate because of a hostile atmosphere are as bad as the ghost town status pages Harry was talking about above. Bear in mind that that without large numbers of motivated contributors there will be no multilingual pages here, I reserve judgement on whether or not that is a good thing.--Andrew (talk) 21:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Which kind of "divorce"? What are the "ghost towns"? And how are they related to multilingual contents? The "hostile atmosphere" was also not spoken about. I really don't understand any meaningful word in your remark.
All I did personally was helping collecting the many pages that were extremely badly linked, difficult to search for, and then difficult to translate in a useful way, as they were largely disorganized. This is part of the general cleanup that this wiki needs. Progresses are slow yes, because they are incremental. But the more we progress, the more there are new useful (and more acurate contributions, not just in English but in many more languages. And there's more pairs of languages being worked on to extend the collaboration.
Look more precisely, I've never changed the general organisation which was already present, but I unified them so that they offer the same compatible framework across languages, with the same tools offered to them as much as possible. Somtimes I've found duplicates that were maintained separately even of being maintained only once. Everywhere I made navigation possible in one click, even if a translation was missing in a given language it was easier to return to one's prefered language.
Also there are tons of bad assumptions in tricky details of some templates. As much as possible I avoided breaking things by maintaining a maximum compatibility or the transition using transitory parameters in templats to help make the transition (until the rest is cleaned up and these comptibility things can be removed when no longer needed.
But yes, this is a difficult task if we don't want to break everything and not mixup completely the contents. Most of the work is to help organizing things, I did not mean that any existing contents had to be deleted and in fact almost everything is kept, including for historical reasons (to know from where we started, but also because there are remaining things that people started to use in the past and they don't know where others have progressed to make things better. OSM is a worldwide community, not just a British one. We are building a map of the World and the best maps will come with data from local people where they live. These people must be able to recruit locally and have support data in their language.
For many years, this wiki has suffered from many people trying to do similar things but in different ways and over time this has cumulated a lot of contradicting practices. But consider all I've done since months, the wiki has largely been enhanced to be more usable and easier to search and navigate. I've documented also many things that were not. Corrected many true errors left all around (creating many broken links, broken HTML that caused very bad layout or incompatiblities across browsers (notably for mobile users). But this task will never end and now there's a good stable base for the most important things.
But still not all is perfect, and notably the "Map Features" page that has grown too much and becomes impossible to maintain. But we still need more documentation for more tags, but thye won't fit in the single Map Features page. That's why we must prepare the way to split it (we have no other choice). But we cannot split it into convenient subsets without first categorizing the content correctly (and accurately) in subgroups. And performing cleanup between some category topics that are mostly the same or not grouped correctly in meaningful way. How do yo want we do that without doing many incremental steps and searches?
Note that I am not concentrating my efforts only to English, as much as possible I do that across all languages at once, so they all benefit the same general framework for navigation (actual translation of content is not my direct priority but it's easier to do when things have been prepared for that).
I've not deleted any content, I will not correct linguistic errors in many languages, native speakers will do that better or faster than me. Just consider from where we started months ago, and when I initiated the Languages navigation bar which works everywhere, even if it has some limitations for languages other than those in the "top-50". I know that you want to change some things there, but these changes are in fact minor (as long as you don't break them more). When I started there was content usable only in English and German, but they were done compeltely differently. There were some other contents in Russian. 7 languages had their own dedicated namespaces but working differently and without working links between each other. Outside these 7 languages it was completely impossible to navigate. Even English native speakers did not know where was the content in other languages, even if they could read part of it.
Now people may want to register themselves or not in this wiki, this is their choice, and there's a place for that with Users categories if they want to connect each other. Nobody is required to register. But nobody should be required to use only the English language. — Verdy_p (talk) 07:17, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Consolidate all the "wiki-fiddling" pages together?

Currently we have Wiki organisation, Wiki guidelines, WikiProject Cleanup, and Wiki Cleanup Drive. Can we consolidate all of these things into 1 or 2 pages? Maybe one for what things should be (organisation/guidelines) and another for coordinating efforts to bring the pages to what they should be (cleanup). We all know that the wiki is a mess. --seav 04:43, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Well it started with just WikiProject Cleanup. I think Peter originally decided to split them out. We now have enough content on Wiki guidelines, that its quite useful to have it as a separate page. -- Harry Wood 19:40, 4 October 2010 (BST)

Community pages

They are pages, mainly Project_of_the_week & Community Updates and also HOT, and, why not, of the Wikiteam, for community animation.

I have started creataing templates for the community Updates, helping publication. I had made templates using mediawiki tricks for the Haiti Project (see the kind of feed WikiProject_Haiti/News)

It is possible to increase the reuse the content of those pages ( and maybe of tag pages...) in other pages by using whole content templates that can render the page differently, to make a summary of the Community updates, of the Project of the Week, of the HOT news appear in the main page (like the image of the week), to get the main info of a tag anywhere...

I put an example on my sandbox : User:FrViPofm/Bac_à_sable. Yes the layout can be improuved :-)

FrViPofm 11:05, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Clean up the wiki

Here is my suggestion in order to clean up this wiki, which seems to be a little messed up:

  1. Namespace: some namespace should be added: "Key", "Tag", "Relation", "Project" (or "Wikiproject"?). No page should have a ":" in the middle of the name (ex: "France:Paris" (and Paris exists too!))
  2. In the namespace 0 ("{{ns:0}}:" returns ":") should be teh place for cities and in the namespace ("{{ns:4}}:" returns "Wiki:") should be the place for wiki organization (so this page should be moved there together with translation page))
  3. Translations: Prefix should be avoided (otherwise you have to edit wiki files in order to add every new language) in order to prefere subpages (like in Meta Wikimedia): NO "IT:Main Page", YES "Main Page/it". In this case it is possible to manage translation in a simpler way with the template:Languages. In order to permit the traslation of the title a new feature should be added in MediaWiki:Common.js in order to permit translation of the title with a parameter in Languages template
  4. Subpages: someone should enable the subpage option in order to add this feature to namespace 0
  5. cities: they should be collected in categories by land (Cities in Italy) or - better - by other kind of division (City in province of Milan). Every page rilated to a city (example, public transport) should be a subpage of the city (NO "Milan metropolitan", YES "Milan/Public transports/Metropolitan").

Other feature I will add later :) --★ → Airon 90 16:31, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

So number3, move every page which has a language prefix, to have a language postfix (and subpage) instead. That's a colossal change. Maybe it would be an improvement with some technical advantages, but I don't see how it's ever going to happen without creating a massive amount of disruption.
If we do number 1 at the moment, add a 'key' namespace, then we'd have to multiply up and have a 'DE:key' namespace too, and every other combination. This would be horrible, so we can't really do number 1 without first doing number 3.
I don't really understand number 2, but I think you're saying we should have an 'OpenStreetMap:' namespace to keep all meta-pages. That's a very wikipedia concept. It's not so important to us that we keep meta content separate from content. The key thing to realise with this is, this wiki is "merely" the documentation for the OpenStreetMap project. The wiki is not the project. The wiki serves the project. We don't have the same clear separation of 'articles' versus other things like you see on wikipedia. Nevertheless there may be a case for moving some meta things into a different namespace.... but same problem above applies.
Number 4. This is already enabled. To be honest I wish it wasn't because in my opinion people get quite carried away with using subpages to try to group everything hierarchically, instead of just making sure things are cross-linked sensibly. See my subpages rant here.
Number 5 Categorisation is a good idea. I believe we are already do a bit of that e.g. Category:Cities in Italy. In England there's some hierarchy happening: Category:Regions in England. Can't say I use them myself, but it's there for the classification pedants. Again this is not wikipedia, and the aim is not to create a city page for every city in the world. These pages are about coordinating a community of mappers. Subpages may be a good idea for the case you've given, or a transport network in a city.
Overall you seem to be proposing some pretty sweeping changes here. I tend to think some restructuring might be good, but for some ideas the pay-off in terms of some minor technical advantages, would not be worth the turmoil and broken links. You're new to the OpenStreetMap wiki (welcome!), so I would suggest to you that you start a little less ambitiously. There's plenty of other clean-up work to do, including some important changes across lots of pages (Wiki maintenance tasks) Also remember that the wiki is not the project. You've just fired talk page messages at 18 different OpenStreetMappers, but you'll discover a fair proportion of these people don't care that much about discussing wiki cleanup. They're big OpenStreetMappers, but not big OSM wiki editors. Doing some OSM mapping is a great way to gain an understanding of what's really important in OpenStreetMap, and this will help guide you towards the most important aspects of wiki cleanup.
-- Harry Wood 14:00, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Disruption can be avoided by using bots, which can move pages and find links to change. It's not so much difficult but our code is not simple to write.
You're right about the first paragraph (1 implies 3 already done).
About the second paragraph: wiki organisation is not a page of namespace 0 but it should be a page of the namespace 4 (the correct link should be "OpenStreetMap:Wiki organization" or "Project:Wiki organization" too), Milan is a page of namespace 0.
In conclusion, I don't own a tracking device, so I can't help the project, but I love to much wikis so I give a help there.
I know that I wrote to all the sysops but I think this is an important thread to be discussed. --★ → Airon 90 14:46, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
As for 1/2 I don't the content of this wiki well enough to judge whether the current fake namespaces are really a bad thing, nor what the boundaries of content/project namespaces should be; 4 also depends on them because currently subpages are surely needed in main namespace.
However, 3) is the wrong way to address that problem (it's the old-old-superold way Meta and other wikis did it), so in the end you depend on Talk:Wiki_Translation#Translate_extension which is the correct solution (and the main cleanup problem of this wiki). --Nemo 10:30, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Navigation by use-cases

Key sites: Proposal to restructure the main page, Contribute map data (as an example of a navigation page) and Proposal for a navigation concept.

Inspired by a presentation about the redesign of I propose to organise the navigation of this wiki by use cases. This is already partially done as the main page clusters some entry points to the content by groups like "Contributing" or "Developers". But, for example, "Software" (in the portal block on the current main page) groups features, not use cases. This group of entry points dont't help satisfying one same intention of a user. Secondly I would like to consequently group related entry points together. "Related entry points" in this meaning refers to a relation between use cases. A good counter-example is the very left column of this wiki. It clusters some maybe "most important" links. But this doesn't help at all to orient people. Navigation should make content accessible, of course, but it also needs to help people to orient oneself. This leads to my third intention: I would like to lighten the main page and consequently introduce navigation pages. "Hiding" content a bit more doesn't disturb too much the accessibility, if you have underlying navigation pages leading to all the content. On the other hand, it helps a lot in orienting people and give them a fast overview of what they can find in this wiki. Finally, I would like to document this navigation concept. Thus, people extending the navigation can better understand the main idea and keep a coherent navigation.

As a first step I would like to

  1. Link an existing/ create a new navigation page for every group of use cases. These navigation sites share a common layout, which makes them easily distinguishable from content sites.
  2. Clean up the main page. See my Proposal to restructure the main page.
  3. Create a new page explaining this navigation concept.

--Cantho (talk) 17:06, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

You should link this proposal also at Talk:Main_Page since this one seems to be involved. I have only quickly skimmed this lot of text. Two weeks? That is too short, in my opinion. You will not get that much comments in this short amount of time. Not everybody has the next two weeks free. ;-) --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 13:04, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it was pretty much too long :) I shortened it (and removed also the proposal with the two weeks). --Cantho (talk) 19:58, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Created Proposal to restructure the main page and shortened the text here a bit more. I also started to (re-)write the navigation pages. See the result at Using Openstreetmap. --Cantho (talk) 08:07, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, the main problem with your proposed main page is that it's too long and has too much text to read. Currently the navigation fits on a screen without scrolling. I'm worried that many users will give up instead of carefully reading through the entire list.
There's also some problematic details such as lumping together technical details for developers with really basic "user manuals", and I also think some of the links are just not important enough to warrant inclusion on the main page. But it makes only sense to talk about details when the basic concept is nailed down, and right now it just seems too verbose to be an effective navigation. --Tordanik 17:24, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I shortened it heavily. Now the software development of and with OSM is left together. For each group of use cases there are two links to major content and a last link to a corresponding navigation page. Some groups have a bigger link as entry point for newbies. I will continue work on the navigation pages. Please add more criticism if you have! --Cantho (talk) 06:51, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
This looks pretty good now, I could see that as a working main page replacement. Some feedback:
  • The "Use OpenStreetMap" section has web services and GPS devices, but desktop software and mobile apps are missing. I suggest to add (perhaps instead of the third item?) a link to Software.
Added them, removed the second item (links to education and research). The idea is to have two bullets with links to major use cases and a third one linking to a navigation page, which covers all the rest. Thus the main page stays short, but the major content stays accessible. --Cantho (talk) 05:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
  • The icon selection seems somewhat odd based on what I associate with them. In particular, swapping the "use" and "develop" icons would fit better imo.
Switched them. --Cantho (talk) 05:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
  • For the links from the current main page that you chose to not include (Notes, Imports, Help), I'd be interested in your reasons for the decision.
Basically, for me an attractive main page must not include douzens of links. This is dounting to newbies and people who dont have an overview of the wiki's content. To give an idea where to start, two major use cases are bulletet for each group of use cases. To keep the other major content accessible, there are the "more..." links at the end of each group. They lead to overview pages (I call them navigation pages). I will try to find a good layout (fitting to the main page layout) which makes them identifiable as navigation pages and fast to use.
Concerning the links you mentioned: Notes and Imports are a way to contribute geodata, thus I will write them in the corresponding navigation page. I thought the map features are much more important and the Mapping projects are more worth to attract people to them. The help page I just don't find much helpful :) It is too broad, guiding to map features, wikipedia, the develop page... If you need help on, for example, contributing map data, the beginners guide is linked right next to the heading on the main page, you don't need a help page for that. What I think would be useful instead is a link "new to this wiki" or "how to use this wiki", explaining amongst others the search box in the top right. But I don't stick to the selected links! For me it's important to lighten the main page and have a clear structure with a concept behind. Thanks for your feedback so far! --Cantho (talk) 05:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
That's all I can think of right now. --Tordanik 13:01, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

I wrote an example of a navigation page. --Cantho (talk) 07:28, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

I was not studying it very intensively as I am working on something else now, but I can say that I like to graphic layout. I believe it is much nicer then it was before. I like it so far. Chrabros (talk) 10:15, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
There is a substantial difference in the length of the left and right column, this makes the end of the right column lost by first visitors, therefor move the news box back to the left column (as on the existing Main Page) and re-instroduce the Portals box also in the left column will balance out the two columns. I like the simplification and the icons of the new navigations/links section. Corresponding navigation pages need to be made before this can be put onto the live Main Page --Skippern (talk) 17:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback! I skipped the Portals box to reduce overloading of the main page and to move a lot of direct content links to the navigation pages. I will ensure that all important content stays accessible (I will provide a list with all main page links I removed and where to access them in the new layout).
Concerning the column lengths, I agree. But I would like to keep the boxes on the right, to keep the main entry points in the middle column and the additional stuff in the right column separated. I propose to reduce the visibility of events and news (on the main page) to three items each. This will also solve the length issue. What do you think? --Cantho (talk) 06:32, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I have mixed opinions. I'm not a fan of the proposed main page as it changes things for very little benefit. The current page is well categorised (view, contribute, develop, ...) and the proposed format reorganises this but little more. I also don't like how the beginners guide is not obvious and that the Portals and Meta Info boxes have been removed. I am however a fan of the Contribute page but my concern is that you'll end up with a lot of duplication - for example, you have a link to legal stuff on the contribute page, but this would probably also go on the about page. I'm not sure what you'd put on the proposed About and More Help page. The problems with the wiki are far beyond navigation ones. We have a tendency for pages to be too long, out of date and overly complex. --RobJN (talk) 22:11, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback! I don't think that the current main page is well organized. It structures the entry points somehow, leading first to a overloaded main page with dozens of links and second to partly feature oriented navigation like the "software" group in the Portals block. The benefit of my proposal is not to give yet another arrangement of all the links with some more icons, but to propose a concept on which all future decisions about navigation can be based. The main idea is to design navigation through use cases (and only through use cases). Another important aspect is to lighten the main page. Thus the portals and meta info boxes are removed and underlying navigation pages are established. This hides content a little bit more without bothering content accessibility.
The beginners guide is intentionally only obvious to people who want to contribute map data and look at the corresponding block.
There will definitely be some duplication as you described. But I don't see a problem with multiple navigation paths to desired content. That's different from content duplication. --Cantho (talk) 06:32, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the main page: The main article links (as they would be called in the normal pages) are intermixed with some picked topics. I think this is not that easy to understand. I would expect the link in the heading itself or below it. The list of usecases and subtopics looks quite cluttered / unstructured to me. But I am not sure why... In general I think the structure into usecases is good. E.g. on the current main page there is "map features" and "mapping projects" flying around - I am not sure why, maybe because they can belong to several usecases? And the "meta" box is quite essential. Clicking through (to which usecase?) is too much effort. If some system is down, it should be visbile! All in all: what about taking the current main page and just replacing the usecases with your more clear ones?
Regarding the usecase page: good idea in principle, but isn't this all covered by categories? What about cleaning up / structuring the category system? Then one could just link the "contributing" category.
I am not sure if it is worth the effort... Yours is not much more than an idea - not something finished which can be put into as replacement. Someone should look into the old discussions and the reasons for the current layout. It should be made clear why the old decisions are not the best ones anymore. And, last but not least, I do not want to invest much time into this. I think the current situation is not that bad. There are many wiki pages which need work more urgently (all that, taking mapping aside...). We are too few people here... in general and, more drastically, in the wiki. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 21:55, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback! Sorry, I don't understand what you mean with the main article links and the picked topics. Can you explain more or give an example? Regarding the meta box: I don't think that a lot of people visit the wiki to check if all systems are running, and those who do are more advanced users who are able to find a subpage using the search box. But if you keep at wanting that box, we can add it again. Regarding the portals box I instist more to remove it. It adds too much links to the main page, and it adds a feature-oriented/ randomly-organised navigation, which disturbs in my opinion. The categories can definitely help to structure the content, but you cannot easily explain links, order blocks of links in your favorite order and use images as all done in the example navigation page. Don't worry about the effort, I will finish the two missing navigation pages and also I will write a page explaining the navigation concept, thus in future nobody needs to read tons of discussions to understand it :) --Cantho (talk) 07:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Example for the third section: main article (you call it navigation pages) links is Contribute_map_data and the picked topics is e.g. Map Features. Main article links could be like in Elements (by the way: it was broken for 14 days now due to unfortunate template edits!) for uniformity in the wiki.
Status: No, maybe not to "check if all systems are running" but to see what is wrong (or if it is just for them) if something does NOT work. Yes, you could design a template which only shows up if something is NOT working. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 01:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, now I understand your point with the main article and picked topics. I will think about it. The meta box is back again, together with a new layout (see below) :) The idea with a information only showing up if something is wrong sounds good! Maybe later... Good night --Cantho (talk) 01:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Now the links to the navigation pages are bold. --Cantho (talk) 12:26, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Still they are list elements like the direct topic links. What about a "… more" as last list entry? That at least is differing by a distinctive text. But I think the best place is below the images, where you now e.g. linked the beginner's guide (not clear why exactly this one is linked there...). Oh, by the way: you know about the nogo to use tables for layout, right? ;-P --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 17:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I highlighted it a bit more, also with a "...more" beginning. The big link below the image is reserved for an entry point for newbies, that at least is the idea. Thus the first attention is directed to that beginner's entry point. The second attention comes to the list below, containing some most important related links (to be discovered by newbies and to be fast accessible for advanced users) followed by a link to the navigation page giving a more comprehensive overview. Thus the user can discover the content step by step in a reasonable order. To me it was more important to direct newbies to a proper entry point than providing everyone first with the navigation page. I think the navigation is still accessible, but true, people have to read through the three-item-list before they find it. --Cantho (talk) 16:31, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
To get rid of table layouts in a really good way, I would need access to the css-files. Other solutions have also drawbacks, like documented here. --Cantho (talk) 16:57, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi there. Thanks for your work, it is true the main page needs some work. I am sorry I don't have the time to read through all the previous comments at the moment, but here is my general feeling:

  • I believe the Licensing and Help parts are very important - people need to know how to legally use the data, and where to look for help.
  • It has been said before, the column length issue. However, I do agree that the Meta info box is not necessary in the front page - I imagine not many people actually use it, and people who need will find the information in another page.

Cheers Chtfn (talk) 14:25, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback! There will be links to licensing and help stuff in the navigation pages (as already in the example navigation page). The column length issue will be reduced by limiting news and events to three items on the main page (with links to the whole lists). --Cantho (talk) 07:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

I now shortened the right column by limiting news and events to three items each, with links for further reading. According to the wish of Aseerel4c26 I re-added the meta box. --Cantho (talk) 16:53, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Limiting the calendar to 3 events completely defeats its purpose. It should allow visitors to discover and prepare for events in the future, not just today's and tomorrow's events. --Tordanik 21:08, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

OK, I changed the layout so that we have all events on the main page without overhanging column and still a separation between navigation and other stuff. I also added a help link. The content of section "Other ways to contribute..." moved to a navigation page How to contribute. The meta box is still there, but further down, which hopefully gives a good compromise between "quite essential" and "not necessary" :) --Cantho (talk) 01:36, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

I added a link to in the Use OpenStreetMap-section. --LordOfMaps (talk) 07:47, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I would like to reserve the bigger link below the image for an introductory page, further description you find in my new proposal for a navigation concept. What do you think of how I changed the main page proposal again? I kept the world map link and kicked out the get maps links. --Cantho (talk) 21:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I like this proposal, and I agree to apply it to the Main page. --Władysław Komorek (talk) 10:38, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


I want to propose the following icons:

Use OpenStreetMap
Use OpenStreetMap
Contribute free map data
Contribute free map data
Software Development
Software Development

--LordOfMaps (talk) 19:19, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Incorporated them. Thanks for the feedback! --Cantho (talk) 20:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Omitted links

There is now a list of omitted links, indicating how users should be able to find them (starting on the proposed new main page). --Cantho (talk) 11:23, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Not yet accessible are Twitter and OSM_Blogs, which I propose to incorporate into the news box. --Cantho (talk) 11:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

navigation concept

I wrote down my Proposal for a navigation concept, which I propose to include as a section to Wiki organisation. --Cantho (talk) 21:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Since the main page which follows this concept was adopted i would propose to add this text.--Jojo4u (talk) 15:05, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to change the main page

I now proposed to change the main page. Please give your feedback/ vote. --Cantho (talk) 10:39, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Category:Proposed features was moved to top level

It was hidden in Technical for some reason. Proposal process is way better with Template:Proposal Page and Proposal_process#Proposal_list.

Duplicate cat Category:Proposals_admin is now HIDDENCAT and located in Category:Categories>Wiki>Category:Proposals_admin Xxzme (talk) 07:53, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Replace most of links with Deploying your own Slippy Map


  • inaccessible for translators and as result only English and French guides. You can see it right now and it was so 1-2 years ago.
  • inaccessible for readers (not a wiki! no talk page to ask question)
  • lack of recent promotional materials or consistent updates
  • it doesn't matter where guide is located, it will be obsolete
  • Category:Technical guide is not ready yet to fully replace but it is better starting point now. I guess was created for that reason. Over-categorization in technical articles was significantly reduced by me, now we have to update important guides with more recent examples and good external links (if we still need any)

Only 2 pages should be left with link:

Xxzme (talk) 04:16, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

I sort of agree in that I think there's a good principle of wiki linking which I should probably express on the guidlines somewhere. It's basically an extension of what I wrote about wikipedia Wiki guidelines#Wikipedia linking. Wikis are good at doing internal wiki linking. We should interlink often. External links can be clumsy by comparison. So therefore I imagine we should probably see more interlinking with the Deploying your own Slippy Map page, than we do external linking to
But you're being too extreme when you say Only 2 pages should be left with link. No need for such a sweeping change. is the site developed and curated by RichardF and communications working group to help people with certain types of technical problems around switching. It's part of "our family of websites", so naturally will see quite a lot of linking throughout the wiki (and elsewhere on OSM related websites) Basically if that's the most useful link to provide, then let's provide it.
Incidentally Deploying your own Slippy Map is a weird clumsy name for a wiki page. It might be more natural to link to it more if it had a better name. The move would need to be done carefully though
-- Harry Wood (talk) 11:14, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Rules for arbitrary titles

Hi, I am imagining that, as in Wikipedia, there are rules for create arbitrary new pages: a page title must in the correct namespace context. Examples:

  • All key documentation must be into the key: namespace, e.g. key:wikidata.
  • Any personal content or personal's initiative without use or utility for the community, must be an user's subpage.
  • etc.
  • No one here is "the owner" of the page, except in the case of the user's page or an user's subpage.

So, where the rules?   --Krauss (talk) 16:31, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Well, I would take a look at Wiki_organisation#Pages_naming_convention. From the points mentioned, the first and second one is definitely wrong (not regulated), the third one is questionable (Why writing unrelated things in this wiki anyway? Chances would be high to get this deleted/marked as spam.).
Please remember that this is a smaller wiki than Wikipedia. There are not rules there for every kind of incident. Some things are not regulated, follow conventions only or are uncontrolled/decided in a case by case analysis.
If you tell me about your intentions, I may be able to assist when creating a new page... --U30303020 (talk) 22:07, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Hi @U30303020:, the main "dilema", where we need some help at this moment, is about correct namespace for our "near personal" projects — when we drafting, we still do not know if the project will be widely used by the community or not. See this other example: need to be a language (pt-BR) subpage? a WikiProject_Brazil subpage? a user:author subpage?
The example was placed correctly.
The pt-BR-namespace was removed, for some reason I do not know right now (I was not involved in it).
There are two options:
-- main namespace page (like your example)
-- user subpage (if it beocmes more popular, we can move it to the main namespace)
In case of a translation, this page will be moved anyway. U30303020 (talk) 08:29, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Template : use Uppercase or lowercase ?

In the section of link templates, there is a list of the more common templates that we can use on the wiki pages. The problem is the inconsistencies between this main page and the templates themselves. On this page, the coding of these templates is written with lowercase. For example, for the template Tag, it shows that it should be used with the code {{tag|key|value}} (and some other codings) = the word tag with lowercase. But when we follow the link to the template itself, all the template is written with uppercase : {{Tag|key|value}} = the word Tag with uppercase.
Same thing for map and role.
The templates node, way and area and relation are the worst because they show node with lowercase and relation with uppercase.
When I look at the history of the Wiki organisation page, since in 2009 (at least) the code is written with lowercases. But when I look at the other templates on this page (notice, stub...), all are with uppercase.
So I clearly don't know what is the good rule and what I should use. Krako73 (talk) 16:22, 20 July 2023 (UTC)

Mediawiki ignores the case of the first letter in every link, including every template reference. It therefore doesn’t matter what you put in code. Andrew (talk) 17:14, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
For the human readability of the code it might be slightly advantageous if the template notations start with capital letters, in my opinion. So I tend to use capitalization and sometimes change lower to upper case. But I'm not completely consistent with that either. There is probably the opposite view as well. Technically it doesn't seem to matter. --Chris2map (talk) 06:18, 21 July 2023 (UTC)