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A while back I made "corrections" to the map for a location which I have known my entire life (37 years). So I made these "corrections" with local knowledge and the help of a GPS-enabled smartphone. These "corrections" are still actual and thus the only correct situation. However a certain active user ,whose username I do not publish here, altered that situation and created an incorrect situation.

I'm concerned that when I undo his/her changes that he/she will alter it again and we end up in a vicious circle. So I'd like to know why he/she made the alterations. What he/she used as a source for the alterations. And perhaps ask him/her to undo these changes.

The last 2 months I've tried to contact this user several times but he/she is not responding. This user is very active on OSM because in his log I can see he/she made changes every day since I've been trying to contact him/her.

Now my question is...
Is there an alternative I can use to contact this user? Perhaps by regular e-mail? Probably not because e-mail addresses are private. Can the OSM administrators contact him/her via e-mail and direct him/her to my messages?

Feature request for OSM:
An improvement to the message system on OSM might be that whenever a message is received in the inbox an automatic e-mail is sent as well. Perhaps limited to only 1 e-mail per day.

asked 08 Sep '13, 18:02

Thrasher's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


That (user relying too much on aerial imagery) is not very uncommon in São Paulo, Brasil because the local government is making lots of changes in streets, building large bus/subway/monorail lines/stations, and Bing's imagery is outdated. However, as in your case, I make changes based on GPS/survey/local knowledge data (I live there).

Whenever aerial imagery differs a lot from the OSM data after my changes, I leave some nodes/ways tagged with a short note alerting others users of the "error" in imagery. So far it has worked for me.

(09 Sep '13, 00:13) MCPicoli

If that user is reversing your changes based on Bing, perhaps uploading a GPS trace and mentioning the trace in change comments will help convince that your changes are correct.

(10 Sep '13, 10:03) harg

Thx for the tips MCPicoli and harg.

(10 Sep '13, 13:38) Thrasher

You already do receive an email whenever someone sends you a private message. The user seems to ignore you deliberately, or the mail gets blocked by his spam filter.

If you try to contact a user doing vandalism but he doesn't respond, then you should talk to your local community and eventually contact the Data Working Group.

permanent link

answered 08 Sep '13, 19:20

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%


I wouldn't say it's vandalism but more a mistake of not knowing the local situation and using satellite imagery as a single source.

As per your advice I subscribed to the Belgian mailing-list and directed my question there. Hopefully there I will get some response ;-)

BTW I never received a private message so I did not know about the e-mail. I knew it couldn't be they had overlooked a feature so simple :-)

(08 Sep '13, 23:13) Thrasher

After discussing this on the Belgian mailing-list, where several people suspected whom I was talking about, the user himself finally contacted me on OSM.

(10 Sep '13, 13:42) Thrasher

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question asked: 08 Sep '13, 18:02

question was seen: 2,865 times

last updated: 10 Sep '13, 13:42

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum