User:Mvexel/Welcome Working Group/report121213

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The Welcome WG met today (12/13/12) to discuss ways of easing entry of new mappers into OSM. Next meeting will be 20 Dec 2012.


The meeting focused on two primary areas: new user engagement and retention stats and documentation and entry path to OSM, with more of an emphasis on the documentation and entry path to OSM.

Number 1 takeaway for non WG-members: there's a lot of good stuff going on with learnosm. If you're interested, check it out:

Other topics: possible need for a Documentation WG & a Welcome WG mailing list.

Attendees/active IRCers included: Martijn van Exel, SomeoneElse, PovAddict, Manfred, RichardF, sabas, tmcw, LMC, jeffmeyer, alexbarth, shaunmcdonald & potential lurkers (lezurdis, Caterpillar, Blackadder, cypher...)



  • Premise: we should pick some metrics for measuring how well/poorly we're doing with welcoming mappers to OSM. (jeffmeyer)
  • Segmentation of users could help design better paths for them through (sabas, others)
    • New Users ->
    • Commercial users -> switch2osm
    • Experts, nerds, addicts -> wiki
  • We may want to survey past, inactive users (jeffmeyer)
    • Need to consult with Welcome WG on survey design & OSMF on restrictions for outreach (RichardF, mvexel)
    • Not everyone will be a lifelong mapper (mvexel), but we should learn if they leave due to OSM not being their bag or out of frustration
  • ACTION: jeffmeyer to put together a summary of stats that might be helpful for measuring retention quality - it's not straightforward
  • Have we analyzed how people get started in OSM & where they go astray? (jeffmeyer)
    • Several sites were identified as being separate from OSM, but potentially could be tied / integrated more tightly into the core OSM site:


  • There are many good resources for newbies, but it can be easy for people to get lost as they go through the front door *-#toomanychoices?
  • In spite of all of these resources, HOT has chosen to build new docs: (alexbarth)
    • (As in - existing resources weren't meeting needs for getting HOT's volunteers up to speed (jeffmeyer))
    • Value of docs created and maintained by people who train on a regular basis is a huge help for these docs' value (alexbarth)
  • Many questions about how various editors influence new mappers' behavior (RichardF ;) )
    • e.g. current resources point at JOSM & QGIS, but not Potlatch, which might be easier entry
    • Current thinking on iD is that it will have tightly integrated documentation (alexbarth, RichardF)
  • Much side conversation about the role / status / usability of the wiki as documentation (various)
    • This is left for a separate thread
  • General consensus was that there are concerns in using a wiki for documentation (ironically...)