OGF Awards

Posted by Sarepava on 20 July 2016 in English (English).

I have a proposal to make, that we have annual awards for outstanding mapping, wiki articles and conception in the OGF project. A chief purpose is to showcase to new users good practice, but also to bring to the wider community attention map edits that they might not come across when viewing the map.

My suggested categories would be:

Best large city (over 500,000 projected population) Best small city or town (under 500,000 projected population) Best natural feature (river, national park, mountain range etc) Best transport feature (detailed railway tracks, motorway junctions, realistic airport) The Commonia Award for Restraint in Motorway Building and Grid Cities (not replicating Shanghai on every available grid square)

Best collaborative project Best wiki article Best created image (banknotes, stamps, etc) Best image editing (real-world image edited to be in OGF) Best cultural invention (most compelling, believable and inventive national or regional cultural feature, including language) Best OGF News article Best new member (any user joined in the last 12 months who has made substantial progress in mapping and upheld the spirit of OGF)

Suggested process:

For reasons mentioned above, we will allow users to nominate their own work, as others may not be aware of its existence. You may nominate to the longlist as many things to as many categories as you wish. After a certain date users will vote to nominate eight-ten or each to the shortlist, these will then be voted on either by a panel or by the whole community.

There is a general rule that the object nominated must have been created or substantially edited in the last twelve months to be eligible, however as this will be the first awards this will be less strictly adhered to. I would allow for example Khaiwoon to be nominated for best city even though most of the work took place.

Feedback please!

Comment from Myrcia on 20 July 2016 at 11:27

I think this is a terrific idea. One of the major flaws with OGF is how difficult it is to find other people’s work. The featured map and image section on the Wiki goes some way to rectify this but these awards would really highlight what people are most proud of.

I think it’s very important that people are encouraged to nominate their own work.

When do we start? :D

Comment from Thunderbird on 20 July 2016 at 12:10

Certainly! I love this idea, can we also nominate others work?

Comment from Sarepava on 20 July 2016 at 12:20

Well, I can jump right in with some nominations:

Best collaborative project: Gobras City, Gobrassanya Best large city: Charleville-Troie, Brocéliande; Pyngshum, Kojo, Gobras City, Gobrassanya Best small city: Känton, Karolia; Dunwic, Myrcia; Porthbrenin, Tircambry; Vennburg-Mahnern conurbation, Kalm; Bhagurah, Goytakanya Best natural feature: Pilsmina caves and river system, Piikajarv National Park, Karolia,; Forests of Suvuma; Best transport feature; Känton S-Raud, Känton, Karolia; Lapise-Jarve airport and surrounding roads, Lapise, Karolia; Saisraud and Torsaraud scenic railways, Taamramae, Karolia; Trams and metro of Dunwic, Myrcia; Best created image: map of Florescenta railways;

Comment from Yuanls on 20 July 2016 at 12:31

I like this suggestion and feel like this is a great morale booster and an encouragement for mapping and wiki work! I feel like we should make a wiki article for the nominations. My nominations are:

  1. Harcourt and Decton for small towns.
  2. For natural feature I nominate Rasmus’ work on [Wyster] (

More to follow!

Comment from Myrcia on 20 July 2016 at 15:11

Can I also suggest a category for ‘Neighbourhood I would most like to live in’

Comment from tparigo on 20 July 2016 at 17:30

Excellent idea !

Comment from Yuanls on 20 July 2016 at 18:15

Continued nomination list:

Comment from BMSOUZA on 20 July 2016 at 18:25

Very very good idea!!!!

Comment from Pawl on 20 July 2016 at 19:50

I think this is a great idea. Good for raising awareness of each other’s work, and a good incentive to produce even better work!

Comment from Ernestpkirby on 20 July 2016 at 20:13

The only thing I can think of I’ve made that would be worth nominating for the top list would be my QUARTA wiki article, with full credit to Sarapeva for the digitally created bus stop and subway car images. It took a lot of work over almost two years to get it to the point it is now, and I’m still working to update it as the city expands and improves.

There are a couple map features I’m proud of but I don’t think any of them could be considered “best” in light of the amazing mapping I’ve seen on here that inspired me. I do like how some parts of Quentinsburgh like downtown (, One Fredrick Tower and surrounding areas (, the Geolympiad Complex in Quenitnsburgh ( and the improved SBD International Airport and surroundings (

Comment from Ernestpkirby on 20 July 2016 at 20:15

I suppose Fort Franklin Military Base looks pretty good after today’s work (

Comment from Yuanls on 20 July 2016 at 21:46

I imagined a system where the admins and more experienced users drew up a shortlist of the top 5 for each category, and then put to a community vote.

The main problem I see is that people focus on different areas for mapping, e.g. realism, historical accuracy, micro-detailing etc. This means some mapped places may not be comparable with others. Some of those features might get overlooked by users which do not map that way. I think if we asked users to evaluate each others maps and gave them a score out of 10 for each aspect of mapping, we could tally the numbers up and put them in rank order, so we can decide on a victor.

Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 20 July 2016 at 23:08

While I can understand why its might seem good idea to pick ‘the best’ of a particular map feature or wiki, for me, this isn’t what OGF is about. I see some amazing things on here, and I definitely have some favourite places - and wikis that I find interesting - but I’m not sure I think one is necessarily better or best. For me, to pick a single place in OGF that would be better than another in ‘its category’ would be a bit too much of a challenge, and might depend on the mood I was in as much as anything else.

I’d say, by all means, list your favourite places in OGF. Even better, if you can, explain why you like them. For me to rank them against each other would be very difficult.

We have the wiki main page which identifies and brings lots of places and wiki articles to users attention. The page could always do with more attention, and as Luciano said a few months back, if users volunteer to take this on, it can be updated more frequently. Or, if it was agreed, a few categories like ‘city of the month’, ‘natural feature of the month’ could be added, I’m sure.

In world, I think we can definitely find a place for identifying some great ‘cities of culture’, ‘natural features’ and so on. The OGF - monuments pages which Sarepava created last year see diary entry here were an attempt to do that. But somehow they ended up too complicated and haven’t really caught on. There must be a way to go back to these pages as well - after all, we have ANESCO - and shouldn’t that be the place for some of these things anyway?

Something along the lines of a ‘quality wiki articles’ page is something I’ve always thought would be a good idea - maybe that is something similar to the shortlist of good pages that’s being suggested here.

Comment from wangi on 21 July 2016 at 00:17

Ūdil, i really do appreciate you sticking you neck out, really helps to get another view on things.

In this case though, bang on; go for the awards.

I think the longer term impact will be what you would like to see.

Comment from isleño on 21 July 2016 at 22:42

Like Udi, it would be hard for me to pick favorites, although I think using approval voting would make it easier (i.e. everyone can vote for as many options as they want).

I’d also point out that the wiki main page is a much more visible way to showcase good practice and highlight quality content, since it’s a constantly ongoing display, not just a once-a-year event. And if we want to draw more attention to this content, we could easily do a “Featured Favorites” awards by simply asking the community to vote among the Featured Maps, Featured Articles and Featured Images that have been shown over the past year… (which might also encourage people to submit more great stuff to display!)

If we want to set up something entirely separate from that (separate nominations, separate categories, etc) then I’d suggest shifting focus somewhat. Instead of mirroring the role of the wiki main page, I think we should try to figure out a way to inspire us to reach for the “next level,” by encouraging what our OGF world is still largely lacking: big areas full of quality details. So rather than thinking in terms of small individual features, like airports or neighborhoods, or even towns and cities, I think we should begin promoting the mindset that all of this mapping needs to start coming together into a bigger picture… and some annual awards might be a good way to do that.

So instead of having categories for individual cities/towns/transport/etc, I’d suggest that categories be structured to promote full and detailed mapping over a challengingly large area. Like for example, we could make it a “10,000 km² Contest,” where the goal would be to create large, immersive, integrated, realistic landscapes full of interesting features to explore. Not only would this give us all a fresh new challenge, but it could be a great incentive to push our mapping forward in a way that could really enrich the OGF world.

As for what a “10,000 km² Contest” might look like…

Comment from Ernestpkirby on 22 July 2016 at 01:23

For the most part, I have to agree with Isleno on this one.

The only thing I’d have to say on the 100,000km2 scenario (and even with the awards) that really concerns me, is that even with equally talented mappers, sometimes it’s much harder for some than others to map a certain way.

I know I personally don’t have my own computer at the moment, and therefore, I don’t currently have access to JOSM. Along similar lines even when I did have a computer and tried to get JOSM, I didn’t really understand how to get it to work. For these reasons, I have been limited to iD and Potlatch 2 for my editing because of their in browser versatility. Both have been very helpful in their own ways; iD for certain types of buildings, grass, rounding out road corners, railway curves, etc; Potlatch 2 for “large scale edits”. However, that means when it comes to large details, I can only map at a zoom of 15 or higher. Things like mountain ranges, river systems, and even just long highways (not interstate spam XD just long distance roads and such) are nearly impossible for me to do well with Potlatch 2 in comparison to it perhaps being easy for someone with access to and knowledge of JOSM.

Another limitation I know affects others on here is simply time. Many with jobs and such work very hard and do amazing work, but in comparison to others with much more free time, often times much less gets done.

Even the territory itself is a limitation. Some people I know on here who are amazing mappers don’t even own territories that are 100000km2 large.

I appreciate the desire to recognize and show notice of the great mapping here in OGF. Many sections of mapping deserve more recognition than they get. However I fear that if we begin looking at “best” like this it will be easier to us to judge people’s work in comparison to others without an understanding of their differences in technique and circumstances. Even the whole idea of large scale (unless we’re just talking in the sense of people who make no effort for large scale unity of sorts and don’t take advice or criticism) could become an unfair look without truly understanding perhaps the reason behind why they haven’t gotten that far.

Comment from isleño on 22 July 2016 at 07:11

Thanks, Ernestpcosby. :-)

Remember, no one would be forced to participate in anything, and people with more time available will have an advantage no matter what. And with the “10,000 km² Contest” idea, owners of smaller territories could still participate in their own category, “Territories under 10,000 km².”

It is possible to build large regions using Potlatch 2, simply by editing one small area at a time. All of Histor’s work has been drawn using that program, for example, and he’s one of the most prolific mappers here. But it’s definitely not the optimal way to edit, which is why we encourage everyone to learn and use JOSM. And at the end of the day, anyone with a sizeable country probably needs find a way to edit large areas, sooner or later.

So the fact that some people haven’t been able to switch to JOSM shouldn’t be a reason to back away from promoting that shift in focus. If anything, such a contest could serve as an encouragement to those people to make it happen. (Used laptops are cheap, JOSM is learnable, etc.) For people who are serious about OGF, it may be just the incentive they need to start making more progress. And if not, that’s fine too — hopefully no one would be devastated because they weren’t able to compete in a contest. ;-)

Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 22 July 2016 at 10:59

@ isleño - very positive suggestions. A simple ‘contest’ I think is always going to be easier to understand and to be involved in than a complicated one. I still don’t know how exactly you could score different aspects of mapped places, but I’d be open to ideas about how to do that.

Issues: 10,000 km² is a big area to edit - VERY big for an urban area (i.e. more than 10x size of Khaiwoon). And how do we decide what is urban and what is rural - it would be hard to work out e.g. % of urbanisation. Would it be simpler just to have one >10,000 km² competition - that is one > and one <10,000 km² category? I don’t know how to approach the collaborative aspect, if we want to do that; along the same lines or just a single category >10,000? That might give us 3 different categories to score.

I think Sarepava’s original ideas of ‘best wiki’, ‘best image’ etc, have merit, but perhaps we just need to use the main page in a way that highlights these good things. For example, if you see a page that you think is the best page you’ve ever read, add it to the ‘featured list’, saying why you like it.

Like you say, for me, as well as having access to the resources, it always comes down to questions of time, time, time. Focussing on a few simpler things often pays more dividends than spreading ourselves too thinly.

Comment from Luciano on 22 July 2016 at 15:07

I haven’t really joined this conversation. I’d like to emphasize what some others have - much of what seems to be hoped for in this kind of “contest” could be accomplished by better using the Main Page.

The other thing I would suggest is that rather than trying to devise complicated scoring schemes and making contests, instead encourage users to document their own thoughtful likes and favorites in their User namespace, as some users already do. We could look establish a tradition of “best of” blog-type entries by individual mappers. I have several times almost started a regularly updated “Luciano’s Pick” type series for my bliki, in the same vein as my “Mapper’s challenge.” The only reason I haven’t is because I already feel stretched a bit thin by various projects. But I would very much suggest other users could take such initiatives, without having to build complicated “contest” infrastructure by consensus.

Comment from isleño on 22 July 2016 at 18:51

@Udi: Thanks. You’re right that 100x100 km is big enough that most “urban focused” entries would need to include plenty of rural surroundings, and most “rural focused” entries would likely include some smaller towns and cities. That’s by design: to get people thinking about how to integrate urban and rural areas into something bigger. (I imagine mappers could self-select whichever category feels more appropriate for their work.) The “Under 10,000” category could be opened up to anyone, but I’d worry that doing so would remove some of the incentive for people to aim for 10,000. On the issue of scoring, approval voting makes it a lot easier for me — I just vote for all the ones I like, haha. I don’t have time for anything more complicated. ;-)

@Luciano: I think the issue is that people want more visibility for quality work, and writing in their User namespace or bliki are both very low visibility. Even the featured content on the wiki main page could use more attention, which is why I suggested awards where the featured content submissions could be used as the nominations and Maps/Images/Articles used as the categories (perhaps a bit of annual attention could draw more appreciation for the featured content and also encourage more people to make submissions). I do like the idea of “best of” blog-type entries by individual mappers — but maybe in User Diaries, for better visibility. I’m also wondering if it might be useful to have an OGF:Highlights page in the wiki, to bring together different “best of OGF” content and encourage more people to share their favorites.

Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 23 July 2016 at 10:20

@ isleño -

The “Under 10,000” category could be opened up to anyone,

did you have an alternative idea that this would be restricted?

I like ‘approval voting’. That would mean each user can select as many shortlisted places as they want, giving each 1 point - highest aggregate score is the winner?

Its hard to make a decision - but I’ll try and add to the OGF highlights page. I only see detailed land use at zoom 10+, so perhaps rather than basing it on exact 10k2 area you could have a competition based on an area at that zoom? Could this be the ‘shortlist’? If so, I think you could flag this with a new diary entry, some time soon.

Comment from isleño on 24 July 2016 at 00:47

The “Under 10,000” category could be opened up to anyone,

did you have an alternative idea that this would be restricted?

Yeah, on the test page I was imagining that “Under 10,000” would be its own category, restricted to territories under 10,000 km² in land area. (That way everyone except the tiny countries would be encouraged to aim for 10,000.)

I like ‘approval voting’. That would mean each user can select as many shortlisted places as they want, giving each 1 point - highest aggregate score is the winner?

That’s right. Approval voting is what we used to name the new continents. People vote for as many options as they want, and the one with the most votes wins.

Its hard to make a decision - but I’ll try and add to the OGF highlights page.

Thanks for adding a row! The only reason I limited it to one map and one image on display is just to keep the table manageable. If you want to list more maps and images as text links, you’re welcome to do that, like Luciano and I did.

I only see detailed land use at zoom 10+, so perhaps rather than basing it on exact 10k2 area you could have a competition based on an area at that zoom?

I actually thought about that possibility, but I didn’t want to encourage mapping with a specific zoom level in mind. If we said “zoom 10,” then I’d worry that some people would just draw for zoom 10 and ignore details that only show at higher zooms.

Could this be the ‘shortlist’? If so, I think you could flag this with a new diary entry, some time soon.

Depending on what type of contest (if any) ends up being decided on, then sure, it might form a basis for a nominations shortlist. I don’t know. In any case, I imagined that the OGF:Highlights page might be sort of a “first step” no matter what we end up doing, where at least people can check out others’ favorites and share their own. Good idea about posting a diary entry — I’ll go ahead and do that, and we can see what feedback it gets.

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