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OpenGeofiction:Blue territory etiquette

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This page outlines suggested etiquette for blue territories of the OpenGeofiction overview map.

Although these territories are free for any user to edit, the experience is more pleasant when people are polite and respectful. We realize that new users are unlikely to see this page, but the information here may benefit 'regulars' in the blue territories. Experienced users are encouraged to direct new users to this page in the event of conflict.

Have patience

  • Wait it out. Most people map in the blue territories for only 7 days. If someone's mapping is bothering you, and it is not in violation of site policies or totally implausible, the best strategy is often to just ignore the user until they leave.
  • Give people their space. Try not to act like the 'owner' of any part of a blue country. Defend the right of all to participate. If you want to own territory, please see the territory assignment procedure. Mapping done in blue countries may be copied to a new territory using JOSM.
  • Communicate in a friendly way. If someone is making edits that you don't like, send a friendly message to see if you can sort it out. Be nice and always assume the best in others. In extreme cases, different visions can even be resolved by copying an area to different locations so that different mappers can take it in different directions.

Map thoughtfully

  • Think about context. Blend well with the existing mapping. This applies to patterns of style, scale, language, natural features, etc.
  • Set a good example. Experienced mappers should pay careful attention to realism and detail. Observe OpenStreetMap standards, such as avoiding abbreviations like "Ave." for avenues or using all caps.
  • Balance motorways with other roads. In the US for example, the Interstate Highway System represents only about 1% of the total road length. So for every kilometer of motorway you draw, try drawing 100 km of other roads. Realistic mapping is a tiny amount of "big stuff" plus a huge amount of "little stuff."

Preserve quality work

  • Show mapping appropriate respect. The degree of respect depends on the quality and recency of the mapping. Higher quality mapping should generally be preserved regardless of its age—improving it, moving it, or otherwise adjusting it if necessary, rather than deleting it. Lower quality mapping should be respected while the user is actively working on it, but it may be reworked or deleted once the user has moved on to another territory.
  • Refrain from changing or deleting quality work just because you have a different vision. It's fine to fix mistakes, rework implausible things, clean up sloppy mapping, or help blend areas with those nearby. Don't change or delete someone's hard work merely because you happen to prefer something different.
  • Relocate quality work rather than deleting it. If someone has drawn something great in a bad location, move it somewhere else.

Do the right thing

  • Fix your mistakes. When you make a mess, the polite thing to do is clean it up.
  • Provide useful and polite edit summaries. "Fixed airport runway lengths" may be a useful edit summary. "You guyz are soooo DUMB!!" is not.
    See OGF:Good edit comments for more info.
  • Respect the site rules. If someone is unambiguously violating OpenGeofiction rules, send them a friendly note linking to the policies. If that fails, contact admin.

In summary

The points above are merely etiquette, not rules. Repeatedly ignoring the etiquette may be considered a violation of OGF's "Be respectful" rule. In such cases a user may be asked to stop the behavior, to move to a private territory, or even to leave OpenGeofiction.

Questions? Comments?

Other thoughts or suggestions from blue territory 'regulars?' Feel free to add to the [[Talk:OGF:Blue_country_etiquette|talk page]].

See also