Forum:Standards and documentation/Reevaluating the Application Process in OpenGeoFiction

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ForumsStandards and documentation → Standards and documentation/Reevaluating the Application Process in OpenGeoFiction

Discussion: Reevaluating the Territory Application Process in Opengeofiction

Hello fellow mappers,

I wanted to open a discussion about the current territory application process in Opengeofiction. While the platform has thrived under the guidance of our dedicated admin team, there are aspects of the territory application process that I believe could be reconsidered for the benefit of the community.

The Current State: The existing vetting process, although effective in preserving quality, has set a high barrier to entry. While there's no formal requirement of 1000 hours of mapping experience, the intense scrutiny from the admin team often makes it feel as if one needs that level of expertise to even be considered for a territory.

The Concern: This rigorous process seems to discourage many talented mappers. There's a sentiment among some that it's easier to pass a driving test than to secure a piece of virtual land on Opengeofiction. This is particularly concerning given the number of vacant territories, such as those in the FSA and Deodeca.

Perspective: It's worth noting that while territories are guarded as if they're a matter of utmost seriousness, at the end of the day, they are just lines on a website. The stringent requirements can make it feel like a high-stakes endeavor, when in reality, it's a platform for creative expression and community building.

Suggested Changes: I propose that we consider a more balanced approach that encourages participation without compromising quality. A review of the current application process could benefit the platform and its community immensely.

Conclusion: I hope this discussion will serve as a starting point for reevaluating the territory application process. I have the utmost respect for our admin team, especially those with deep expertise in HRATE, and I believe their insights could be invaluable in this discussion.

Unsigned comment by AustinBoath (talk).

The new territory application process is definitely different! It's good to remember that the current territory application process, while not perfect, is the product of a long reevaluation of the former territory application process (7 days of mapping in a blue territory was the only prerequesite for the former). To me, the goals of the current process, in response to community feedback, were to 1) raise the quality of mapping around the world overall 2) allow community input on new territory applications 3) reduce territory cleanup from short-term territory occupations. So I think the current process does ask for 1) long-term commitment 2) willingness to improve mapping quality and 3) consideration of how the new territory will integrate into the region; and it does align well with the idea that our world is a creative, communal, quality work of art rather than simply "lines on a website." Chazeltine (talk) 13:49, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I fully agree with what Chazeltine is saying here. That said, I can understand how some frustration might arise from being relegated to a beginner territory. If that's the issue, it's not (to my understanding) the only option for improving your mapping and receiving a territory. It's pretty easy and feasible to participate in a blue or collab territory instead, and build up your mapping skills that way, then apply for a territory. --Lithium-Ion | [1] (talk) 16:38, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I think it’s frustrating because my mapping is very developed; I’ve been on this site since 2018. The fact is: the whole idea that a sketch is needed takes the fun out of it. Half the fun of OpenGeoFiction is getting the territory and using your imagination and creativity to plan the towns from an idea in your head. The idea that we now need a blueprint has taken all the fun out of the process. Arhet has helped me get around this, but it’s quite chaotic and not as ‘canon’. For a territory in Deodeca, where most of my future neighbours want me to join and like my plans, it should be a vote by them that allows a person to get a new territory IMO. This would be a significant improvement, compared to the moderation of just one person. Perhaps territory applications should be decided on by all surrounding neighbours, with the territory admin providing guidance but not having complete say over it. I also mapped the towns of Coonalpyn, Tintinara and Pinnaroo on OpenStreetMap, so I think I’m qualified enough. It’s the nitpicking of the sketches that is frustrating; I’ve had to do 4 revisions and still denied a territory. AustinBoath (talk) 00:34, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I assume this thread is in regards to your present active application, which I will note is indeed active, with ongoing discussions with neighboring territory owners and with the continental admins who work to ensure that applicants (1) are able to appropriately fit in culturally with the regional context of a territory, especially important in collaborative nations like the FSA and Deodeca, and (2) are adequately considering verisimilitude, especially in terms of larger geographic features to ensure the continuity of a continent. As Chazeltine and Lithium noted above, our current territory application process does “daylight” a lot of the decision-making by the admin team, and provides neighboring territory owners with the opportunity to directly interact with applications that may affect their territories to help ensure more cohesive regions. There are dozens of examples now publicly available to demonstrate what is needed for successful territory applications, and to provide additional guidance for unsuccessful applications. While this process does take more work and take a longer duration between application and approval, I personally feel that it’s worth it in the long run as it ensures that mappers are serious about the territory they wish to adopt, their longer-term plans cohesively match with neighboring territories and existing regional plans, and that they show an acceptable temperament required to be able to coordinate, collaborate, and compromise with neighboring mappers. While I understand the frustration of an iterative process, please let me assure you that the admin team will always strive to fairly assess all applications, provide direct feedback and suggest actionable items to address any potential issues on the application, and suggest reasonable alternatives or additional guidance to help with future applications.
To be bluntly clear: your current application is still open and has not been denied, although continued resistance to reasonable clarifications and suggestions as to how to make the application more realistic and successful will not be seen favorably in regards to the final decision. -TheMayor (talk) 04:41, 24 September 2023 (UTC)