Good #Hashtags in OpenStreetMap Changesets
by Pascal Neis - Published: May 1st, 2016
#Hashtags are commonly used on Twitter to find content for a specific topic. Also in the OpenStreetMap (OSM) universe they are popular and utilized to mark changesets, which have been contributed during a special event, such as mapping parties or HOT tasks. However, in most cases, they are added in the changeset comment section. Back in November, 2015, several people discussed the pros and cons about (only) this approach. You can find a general overview of good changeset comments here. The aforementioned wiki page also shows why it is important to write a “concise and adequate“ description of the edit. Anyway, I also support the opinion that we should not generalize this statement and only add hashtags in our changeset comments. I prefer the different approach in which the contributor adds an extra changeset tag for the hashtag(s). For example, the widely used JOSM editor allows optional tags (as you can see here). On the other hand, the iD editor, which is used in many cases by new contributors, doesn’t offer this feature. However, I am sure that with some minor changes this could be fixed. A more or less complete set of recommended or mandatory changeset tags can be found here.
As a first step, I optimized my webpage to find and visualize OSM changesets with a specific comment (blog post). You can now search for any term in any tag value of all OSM changesets. So far the search only considers the changeset comments. This means that you can also search for other values such as the editor that was used or the source (imagery).
For example, you can now create interesting statistics, such as a comparison of editors used in OSM. Have a look at the kind of created objects, amount of map changes or countries …
Thanks to maɪˈæmɪ Dennis.