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I've encountered a user that has changed many highway tags I added last summer in Homer, Alaska, where I have lived for 30 years. I'm suspicious that the user, USAMAP85, who has not yet replied to a message I sent, might be an automated bot or something. USAMAP85 has been very active with over 1300 edits in Alaska and the western United States since joining OSM in July 2013. The usual comment on almost every changeset is "fix some roads".

The Alaskan roads in question are all residential but are unpaved, a common situation in the entire state. User USAMAP85 has changed many of these to highway=track, which is incorrect. I am aware of discussions going on in the tagging group about the track classification but would someone merely launch such an automaton without first discussing it with other mappers?

Is there any way to determine who (or what) USAMAP85 is?

asked 01 Jan '14, 12:59

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

edited 01 Jan '14, 13:09

iii's gravatar image



I don't spy NE2 - NE2 never did blatant vandalism and would respond to a query, and most of his changes improved the map (but some were controversial). I believe I found the previous user's account which dates back to the beginning of time with the same perplexing actions: SimMoonXP (it's been blocked, and the last edit ends when USAMAP85 picks up.)

(02 Jan '14, 10:58) Mike N

Good spot.

(03 Jan '14, 09:58) Richard ♦

Okay, so I reckon you will deal with this fellow appropriately. What is he trying to do? It's not blatant vandalism IMO but changes that are almost reasonable. Can you roll back the changes he's made?

(03 Jan '14, 10:35) AlaskaDave

As you already tried to contact the user and you seem to discussed this bad behaviour with the local community, you might get the very last step and contact the OSMF data workinggroup. They are able to look into the account details and (as a last step) might block the user (for a certain period of time ... unlimited).

If you do so, please provide details that help the team to analyse/isolate this behaviour without looking into every changeset. Also please write in the comments here that you send a mail, as some members here at this portal are also member of the Data WG.

Anyway, thanks for your QA :)

permanent link

answered 01 Jan '14, 13:08

iii's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%


I have already asked the DWG for more information. Maybe this user is legitimate but until I understand what he's doing and why, I am very concerned.

(01 Jan '14, 13:30) AlaskaDave

Personally I don't think that a well known (or 'legal') account would doing such kind of edits without providing any informations nor react on PMs. Please be patient, as everybody at OSM is volunteering it might take a few days till the DWG will be able to react.

(01 Jan '14, 17:07) iii

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question asked: 01 Jan '14, 12:59

question was seen: 4,557 times

last updated: 03 Jan '14, 10:35

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