Reaching a new audience in the UK

At our monthly mappa-mercia pub meeting we were chatting about new ways of encouraging participation in the current quarterly project to fix street names. It seems that there are people who both contribute Notes and comment on them who might not be on talk lists nor be aware of the OS Locator data which highlights name problems. So we thought that adding Notes about road names that need fixing on the standard OSM map, asking for confirmation of the correct name might elicit some response via a comment indicating the correct name. This could then be edited by a mapper.

Potentially, by using this method we would address a new audience who are prepared to add data occasionally but don’t want to be hard-core mappers.

This method would work best for situations where OSM and OS Locator have different road names.

We’d like to try this in an area with a high density of road name fixes and few active mappers. Liverpool, Rotherham and Manchester look to be likely candidates (258, 225 and 198 road name fixes respectively). If there are active mappers in these areas who don’t want this to happen please let us know soon and we’ll keep away. You could of course volunteer another area, either for us to pilot or to do it yourself.

If we don’t get a sufficient response to our Notes we would follow up with web searches for local community groups who have twitter or facebook accounts and ask for their participation via those media.

2 Responses

  1. Harry Wood

    One thing to watch out for with this idea, is that Notes feature “is intended for humans to communicate with other humans (mappers). It is not a place to dump automated error checking.” We have lots of “quality assurance” tests, which tend to get presented on separate websites. We don’t want to start duplicating these as notes on a large scale.

    I think there’s an argument to be made that certain QA tests, such as the OS Locator comparisons, are of a much higher importance than others, so they might deserve to be “promoted” as notes, but this might be a slippery slope.

    If the notes are still only ever created by humans, then this is less likely to be a problem. This way we might try it in a test area (as you’ve suggested) and also create notes first in areas where it’s higher priority, or where it seems more likely to work.

    I love the “quarterly project” idea by the way. Must try to join in some more.

    • RobJN

      I think we are within the scope of Notes. We are communicating to mappers – both those that contribute via the map editing software and those “mappers” who have not yet made the leap to edit the actual data but are happy contributing via the Notes system.

      Let’s do trials and see what the impact is. We just need to keep an eye on the number of notes and the open:close ratio:

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