It allows you to contribute by answering simple questions about your surroundings, like how many stories a building has or if a stairs has ramps for bikes or wheelchairs.
And all that with great UX.
EDIT: I don't want to dissuade anyone else from trying editing--it's fun. But, beware of the personalities, it can be like editing Wikipedia.
I noticed during a large urban area mapping on HOTOSM, one person was going around teaching everyone how to map tall buildings, he'd track down each commit and comment there with feedback, it was very nicely done in a non aggressive way. I was quite happy to learn.
It isn't obvious the first time you do it, for tall buildings you need to map the part of the building that intersects with the earth.
There are a lot of attempts to solve this problem with documentation on exactly how things should be done. The wiki, the stackoverflow-style help site, subreddit, tips in the editor software, mailing lists, slack... There are too many and they often don't agree. The information in some places changes quite rapidly, or in other places goes stale over time.
So we're bound to end up with incompatible approaches now and then. I've found it's often (certainly not always!) useful to politely communicate with other mappers. This works both ways -- I've stepped on toes, and I've had toes stepped on.
When you're staring at something ugly in OSM, the last person to work on it might have finished 5 minutes ago, or 5 years. But the tools to find out do exist. As the map gets more and more filled in, I expect that documentation aimed at new mappers will need to focus on communication and cooperation as much as direct editing of the map data.
Maybe they're doing more damage through their obsessive behavior as compared to a larger group of less enthusiastic members.
There's a public log of it: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user_blocks/
It lists 20 per page. The navigation is at the bottom of the page.
There's 230 pages, so that's about 4600 banned users.
(There are many instances of a single person having created multiple blocked accounts though)
Mostly it's a lot of effort to be a barely visible vandal, so people just go away.
Standing up for things is mentally expensive so you don't want to stand up for everything in your life, stuff on the internet is not like if someone forced into your living room.
The recommended tags that have autocomplete stuff are pretty much always good enough.
I agree with you that it would be cool to have some piece of software that would just recommend improvements though.
(I understand wanting to use new iOS-only apps like Clubhouse, and for that I just have a really old test iPhone that i got second hand that I use just for that purpose only until those apps come out with Android versions.)
The assigned names was mostly tongue in cheek but also of course a bit true :) It's all trade-offs in the end anyway.
Last time I used an iPhone and took a picture and it didn't show up in the "Files" app. WTF? Reminds me of the times when Apple measured hard drive capacities in "songs" instead of GB.
The majority of users don't think in terms of files, and I'd say a significant fraction don't even know what a "file" is.
It's always easy to say 'mine' is better than 'yours'. But both have different philosophies and histories.
https://github.com/streetcomplete/StreetComplete/issues/1892 - "iOS version"
"So, the estimation for a MVP could be as little as 2 months for UI and 2 months for the core, so in total 4 months."
I now use it on walks, as years ago I used to walk with "Ingress" game.
Edit: I found it! https://osmlab.github.io/show-me-the-way/
As is typical I couldn't find it until I said that I couldn't find it. There must be a term for this.
What I don't understand is how the duration each changeset is shown is determined. I got to spend a while watching someone circle individual yurts in Mongolia, but some other places disappeared so quickly that the satellite tiles in the background hadn't even started to show up yet.
If you notice, even in Europe the completeness and up-to-dateness of OSM data starts to break down in areas (e.g. Lapland) where distances and remoteness approach that of North America.
From what I see and hear about being your kids' taxi until they get a driver's license (at 16yo already), I'd assume the difference is pedestrians. I'm nearly 30 and never owned a car, coming from a village and living in a town. Shops are walking distance, I take the bus to work (non-covid times) for environmental reasons, and I think a small majority of people I know do the same (most of my friends/acquaintances are in NL).
Germany is already quite car-centric by my standards, yet they have the most contributors. There's still a lot of pedestrian traffic for the short distances inside of towns and cities, just no medium-distance cycling traffic. So why do they have the most contributors?
Living in Germany, the mentality is different. I have been trying unsuccessfully for three years to find a good definition or concise explanation. There's something that drives use of Threema (paid), PGP and Linux (relatively hard to use), and OpenStreetMap (when sugar daddy Google gives you free maps already). Certainly Google's map here is worse than in their home market, but it's not bad either.
Everyone in Germany will tell you that by the end of secondary education, they're just so done with the whole hitler thing. It's a huge topic throughout the educational system. So I guess morals and things like why privacy matters gets ingrained as well? But that doesn't hold for other European countries, in NL the Linux/Threema/OSM/PGP usage is similar to what I hear on HN.
So a combination of factors, with as biggest common denominator probably pedestrians, plus the mindset in Germany, and maybe a tiny fraction the cyclists (which is literally everyone in NL, by the way, it's not a subgroup but a state of being, or at least I learned that "cyclists" is a laden term in North America from someone who is from there and moved here, but anyway OSM contributorship in NL isn't that huge).
Pedantry (maybe the wrong term but): Things must be in order. It's really nice to see white areas vanish on the map (I started ten years ago) or just to complete and correct stuff, translate osmand etc. Lots of tourist locations have german editors btw., myself included. "This intersection is wrong!" Lets edit this feature or at least leave a note on the map :-)
Control. Having something that cannot be taken away from me feels great (applies to linux, osm, osmand, f-droid). Take it and use it at my discretion. The ability to contribute.
Privacy: you can have a complete offline experience via osmand if you want to. BigCorps or the state can leave me alone and let me do my stuff, plz
Share: i really enjoy it when my work is useful to others
The bike sales stat includes MTBs that aren't commonly used for actually getting somewhere. From my colleagues, I know that two cycle and one basically takes the car to go cycling somewhere and doesn't use their bike any other time.
Heck, I'm Dutch and I don't cycle here. The roads inside this town are very dangerous and I'd feel obnoxious sticking to the rules and bothering the much faster car traffic. Then, cycling between towns usually means driving on what is a highway in the Netherlands (100km/h). The drivers there have murder in their eyes when they have to crawl behind you waiting for a safe moment to pass, or squeeze past at high speeds. And I don't blame them, it'd be the same in NL if you cycle in the car lane on one of our 80 roads.
I'm happy that the stat is going up, it's healthier and more sustainable, but it's just not yet commonplace to cycle to any type of regular destination (work, supermarket, family, friends, city center, pick anything people go to on a regular basis) for any population subgroup except students without driver's licenses, let alone common for the population and set of destinations as a whole.
This is far from my experience! People in Bayern are crazy for bikes, they do long rides on the weekend to lakes and pre-Alps: there are a lot of bike shops, and possibilities for any kind of budget.
People go by bike also in these days, while the temperature is way below 0.
Also in Italy there is quite a culture, especially outside the big cities. All the Alps area has amazing tracks, also cross countries
Where I'm from, a third of people say that cycling is their most common mode of transport (according to Wikipedia). That's different from taking your bike out, even if you'd do it every evening, to go ride in the (indeed very beautiful) Alps.
It might seem "huge" to you, but check a nearby bus or train station. If there's not even a few percent of people arriving there by bicycle, which for a typical bus or train station is at least a hundred bikes¹, then practically nobody cycles. Now take a slightly busier-seeming station near where I live today (don't have stats handy), in Germany, and there's zero to one bikes there. Or the main bus station, hundreds or thousands of people travel on my line alone (most buses are filled and they go every 15 minutes), but the number of bikes parked there can be counted on one hand. And this is just across the border, there is Dutch vla, stroopwafels, kroketten, all available in a regular supermarket, sporting Dutch flags (but tasting slightly different, clearly made for this market :p). The influence is clear, but cycling is near zero. We won't have the highest cycling stats I'm sure, but I do think it's representative of Germany.
¹ On the quietest train station I know of in the Netherlands, Diemen (typically I'd see a handful of people on the platform), stats say that in 2019, 3300 people enter or exit there daily, so even if only one in twenty people would get there by bike, that's 165 bikes that should be parked there.
It's plausible, perhaps you might say probable, but I don't think it unlikely that it's just that kind of person (open data contributor about the outside world) that also chooses to get a zero emissions vehicle and go outside, rather than that the cycling causes them to contribute to OSM.
If it were causal, I'd expect many more contributions in the Netherlands compared to other European countries. Looking up the populations of Germany, France, UK, and Poland and taking yesterday's OSM contributor count stats from neis-one, all outrank NL's contributors per population (todo: someone with more time could do a proper analysis also with more than one day's worth of data - I didn't see a button to get an overview of contributors per week/month/year). It's not only cycling that causes mappers, or at least that's not the driving force.
You don't maintain extensive bike infrastructure during harsh winters just for a few leisure cyclists.
Although I agree that no one comes close to the Dutch, the situation in Germany is not as grim as you describe it. The quality of cycling infrastructure varies from city to city and I guess it's safe to say that infrastructure is the main driving force in getting people on the bike. Münster isn't famous for nothing, right?
As for my exaggerating about the situation in Germany: perhaps, that's of course a matter of how it comes across and what your reference frame is. I wrote it how it seems to me; to you, it might seem different, and as you say, it's additionally regional. I do think that where I live is probably representative for Germany though (reasons given in a sibling comment, ctrl+f my threads page for stroopwafel).
(by country): https://osmstats.neis-one.org/?item=countries
Also time of day.
Why there are less contributors is a harder question.
This literally shows crowdsourcing of updates in action, and makes me want to contribute more where I can.
Route planning is tough, even with automated helpers like Every Street Challenge (http://www.everystreetchallenge.com/). Automated ones don't take into account things like being able to cut through a park as a short cut.
Usually for route planning I pick a chunk of streets bound north and south, east and west by some primary streets, then print it out and hand-optimize the route.
For example, for few minutes I ran, I saw more contributions from Saturday evening locations compared to Saturday morning.
Its fun to see causation of common life patterns via data.