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I help a municipal agency to start working with OSM.

They want to document in a wiki page how they will use OSM and how they would like to contribute to it (data import). One of their concerns is that they are afraid that someone might vandalize the wiki page. In an attempt to appease them, I looked at the wiki's best practices/etiquette/conflict resolution but found nothing.

Is there anything I could use to reduce their fear?

Thanks in advance :-)

asked 16 Feb, 16:32

jfd553's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

While wiki documentation is a required step in a data import, community consultation is equally important and does not happen through the wiki alone. Please observe the guidelines in https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import and make contact with the community through the relevant forum or mailing list as described there.

Anyone can edit any wiki page but for import documentation it would be unusual for someone other than the organiser of the import to edit it, unless the organiser was using the wiki page to make bold and misleading statements. Actual vandalism - as in, not just correcting a mistake or adding a different opinion but instead making the content useless for fun - is unheard of on wiki import pages, and if it happened, would clearly be quickly reverted.

I must say I am intrigued by this line of questioning. An import that not overwhelmingly welcome should not happen in the first place, and that would become clear during the consultation process. You make it sound as if the agency you're working with is expecting OSM to be hostile to their participation - and if that's the case, I'd say that's what you need to work on. Is the data they want to import really likely to be unwelcome - then don't import. Or do they have a twisted picture of the OSM community as their enemy - then correct that before you import.

Just as with stuff they put on a wiki page - once they put their data into OSM, it belongs to all of us and can be modified by anyone.

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answered 16 Feb, 18:53

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Bonjour Frederik

My point is not about importing data - we all agree that import guidelines should be followed and that guidelines require a broad community consensus (local and import lists) before doing it. However, I see your concerns when you write “You make it sound as if the agency you're working with is expecting OSM to be hostile to their participation”. On the contrary, they contacted me to guide them through the import guidelines. They want to get a broad consensus in order to work with the community.

The problem is simply that they don't know how wikis work. For them, as anyone can write on a wiki page, it could be possible that someone malicious tarnish their name. I've already explained to them that an act of vandalism can be reverted, but I'm just trying to find something other than my word that proves they shouldn't be afraid.

So, if there are docs like "OSM wiki for dummies" available, I'm interested.

(16 Feb, 21:02) jfd553

The problem is simply that they don't know how wikis work.

That is the core problem with this agency. Any changes can be undone, no matter if it is vandalism or not and that can be undone as well. If moderators/administrators come to the conclusion that some users are involved in unproductive "undoings", they will take actions. In those aspects, OSM and the wiki work identically.

just trying to find something other than my word that proves they shouldn't be afraid

Just look at OpenStreetMap, the moderation obviously works. Our wiki is a second example. Wikipedia is a similar case more commonly known.

To stress one point mentioned by Frederick: if the agency does not trust this mechanism, there is no point in uploading any data to OSM.

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answered 17 Feb, 15:09

Tigerfell's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

"Just look at OpenStreetMap, the moderation obviously works."

I am well aware of how it works. So, again, it's my word against their apprehensions. To "trust this mechanism", they will have to learn and experiment (like all of us), which takes time. I was just looking for a way to speed up their learning curve.

(17 Feb, 16:31) jfd553

Understanding and trusting wiki mechanisms takes time. Since there doesn't seem to be any guidelines on Wiki etiquette/conflict resolution, so there's no way to speed up one's learning curve - and speed up the trust of the agency in Wiki mechanisms.

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answered 17 Feb, 16:51

jfd553's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 16 Feb, 16:32

question was seen: 429 times

last updated: 17 Feb, 16:51

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