User:!i!/What a company should never do

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This page is a slightly ironical view on how companies (might) behaved in the past when joining the OSM community as contributor and why this resulted in some problems with the community. Crowd-projects follows some slightly different rules than usual business (esp. communication and social aspects), so we hope that you will find here some hints on how not to behave. Don't feel daunted, we are a nice and funny community :)


  • Don't introduce yourself.
  • Don't identify your employees as such. Use sockpuppets to 'moderate' public discussions.
  • Friday before closing is a good time to communicate. Prefer your public relation division or somebody who is not involved in your own project!
  • The community loves surprises! Don't talk to us before the official launch, or somebody might steal your unique idea!
  • Searchengines love links! Create in our wiki and at your profiles a lot of backlinks to your website.
  • Don't take feedback too serious. Answer always ironical and avoid to really answer the questions.
  • Create a multi-layer communication-shield with a lot of divisions, to avoid that useless communication passing into your company.
  • Don't overestimate the community. It's only a few dozen nerds and seniors.
  • Don't communicate peer to peer, broadcasting is better as everybody is interested!
  • Don't talk to your local mappers face to face. They bite!
  • If somebody complains, fire back. You as company are too big to fail!
  • Use your lawyers if somebody force you onto the defensive. This will give you back free space!
  • Saying "thank you" will be interpreted as weakness.

Using OSM data

  • Only use the data and the work of the community, don't give anything back. No data fixes, no modules or algorithms, no resources!
  • Don't display the license attribution. Or if you have to, hide it at the about dialog below your legal terms.
  • Be happy! Mix OSM data with the data of your customers.
  • Concentrate on the negative aspects of the OSM dataset, everytime you need to communicate: no standards, slow and big fileformat, useless objects as benches, …

Adding OSM data

  • Hurry! Just start contributing data. Ideally you use a bot and without any way to get informations or send feedback.
  • Introduce your own mapping schema. Add fields for data that are just for your specific needs. Of course don't discuss it nor make an RFC.

Removing OSM data

  • What a mess of geodata! You can just purge huge regions which don't match with your data/knowledge/perspective!


  • Don't collect any informations before you start. Not how OSM works, not about basic rules and don't ask anybody!
  • Add hidden features, to realize 'quality assurance' and to find out, what your users do. User should not be able to deactivate this feature!
  • Don't use existing OSM tools to process the data. This ones are full of bugs and uncomfortable. Create new ones with a GUI, but of course this ones aren't offered for free, as you spent a lot of time in development!
  • Use OSM resources like the tileservers, as they are public.

This are some results, we hope you enjoyed reading. If you find your company in one or two lines, to feel sad, we don't want to point a finger at somebody, the goal is to be a benefit for new companies, that join our community. And have fun of course and laugh about the past :)