admin's diary

Recent diary entries

Copying others' mapping

Posted by admin on 18 June 2017 in English (English).

Copying/pasting others’ mapping, without their permission, has always been against the spirit of our site rules, “Be original” and “Be respectful.”

From today forward, copying other users’ mapping is also explicitly against the rules: “No copying others’ mapping, without their permission.”

If our multilingual users can take a moment to add this to the translations of the rules, under the “Be original” header, it would be much appreciated.

Sharing photos for OGF wiki articles

Posted by admin on 31 May 2017 in English (English).

Announcing OGF:Photo resources, where you can find photos from other mappers to use in your wiki articles, and you can share your photos for others to use in their wiki articles.

Just read the important guidelines for photos, then set up a photo collection on any photo sharing site, and then link to it on the OGF:Photo resources page. Easy!

(Photos above from Sarepava, Isleño, & Stjur)

OGF scale tool 2.0

Posted by admin on 26 May 2017 in English (English).

Thilo has created a new version of his handy scale tool:

It’s a split screen with the OGF world on one side and the real world on the other, shown at the same scale. Each side can be moved around independently, so you can compare anywhere in OGF with anywhere in the real world. By switching layers on the right, you can also compare any two places in OGF. Comparisons can be shared with other mappers by copy/pasting the URL.

As in the previous version, zooming by mouse wheel or double-click is disabled, but there is a zoom control (& measuring tool) in the upper left corner. You can also set the zoom by entering a value into the “Zoom” or “Scale” input fields and hitting “Enter.” If you want the number in the “Scale” field to be accurate, the “pxpt=_____” part of the URL must be adjusted for the pixel pitch of your monitor.

Maintenance downtime

Posted by admin on 19 April 2017 in English (English).

OGF will be offline for maintenance on Saturday, April 22, starting at 12:00 pm UTC, for several hours (at least 4, probably).

One account per user

Posted by admin on 19 April 2017 in English (English).

Just a friendly reminder that any person using more than one OpenGeofiction account may be immediately and permanently banned. Please consider yourself warned. Thanks!

New types of 'collaborative' status

Posted by admin on 4 March 2017 in English (English). # Community-owned vs. privately-owned collaboratives

From this point forward, we wish to introduce some collaboratives that are community-owned, where ‘admin’ is listed as the owner and will appoint a user (or users) to serve as the territory’s coordinator(s).

A coordinator for a community-owned collaborative:

  • must develop the territory for the benefit of the community, working as a team with other active mappers there;
  • cannot make the territory private, closed, etc;
  • should find ways to include any well-qualified mappers who wish to participate;
  • will consult with admin before any major changes (decisions can be vetoed by admin); and
  • may be replaced by admin if necessary.

Official vs. unofficial collaboratives

In addition to distinguishing between community-owned and privately-owned collaboratives, we will also distinguish between official and unofficial collaboratives.

In a community of limited size, there’s only a limited amount of collaborative ‘energy’ available. So if there are too many projects advertised as collaborative, then that energy may be dispersed to such an extent that most such countries are simply inactive, and true collaborative experiences (multiple active users working closely together) can become hard to find.

Therefore, although anyone may unilaterally declare their country to be ‘collaborative’ and invite others to map there; only a limited number of collaboratives will be recognized as official, i.e. marked purple on the overview map and territory list, and included in the collaboration directory.

Official collaborations must:

  • have a basic wiki article that describes the country for collaborators to understand;
  • have a wiki talk page for collaboration;
  • have an owner or coordinator who is actively engaged in the project; and
  • receive approval from the admin team.

Official collaborations are not meant for:

  • inactive users trying to get help from active users;
  • users trying to get help when they’ve chosen a country too big to handle;
  • other overwhelmed users trying to get help;
  • lazy users trying to maintain control of a country without having to map very much;
  • absent users putting a country ‘on hold’ while they take a break; or
  • users trying to avoid responsibility for a country when they don’t want to map it anymore.

All community-owned collaborations will be official. Privately-owned collaborations may or may not be officially recognized, depending on their merits.

Look for these changes coming soon. Any questions, feel free to ask below.

Wiki Rule Violations

Posted by admin on 21 February 2017 in English (English).

Recently we have had several instances where text posted to the wiki has been clearly just cut-and-paste from Wikipedia. This is already clearly against the rules (see About page). Notably, there is also the ongoing problem of people who ignore notices from admin or other users about copyright issues related to images.

Let’s reiterate the rule in question:

“All wiki images — photos and artwork — must be free to use, and must contain a link to source and/or copyright info. All wiki text must be your own writing.”

We have decided to pursue a new, stonger policy, in this respect. Users who are found to have copied text from other sources into the OGF wiki, or who repeatedly disregard concerns expressed about possibly copyrighted uploaded images, may have their wiki privileges suspended, without notice.

Thank you for understanding, and happy mapping.

The OGF Admin Team

Only one account per user

Posted by admin on 14 July 2016 in English (English).

After a few recent confusions caused by people having multiple OpenGeofiction accounts, we’re adding one of our unwritten rules to the written rules: “No sockpuppets. Only one account per user.” So…


And no, we don’t care about that account you made a few years ago, only used a couple times, and haven’t touched since. The people we need to hear from are those who are actively editing with more than one account, or those who use more than one account to control more than one territory. If this describes you, and you fail to promptly contact admin, please be warned that all of your accounts may soon be deleted from OGF.

Thanks for understanding. Happy mapping to all.

Quick rules update

Posted by admin on 14 July 2016 in English (English).

Two minor additions to the OpenGeofiction rules have just been posted:

  • “No real world companies or organizations.” So if you have real companies or organizations in your mapping, please change them to something original. This is to encourage originality and also to avoid companies/organizations getting upset about their names being used without permission. For more info see the User Diaries discussion here.
  • “No sockpuppets. Only one account per user.” This has always been an unwritten rule, but we’re adding it to the written rules. More info soon in a separate post.

So, anyone with translation skills, please take a moment to add these to the translated versions of the rules. (We’ve also added a question about multiple accounts to the FAQ.)

Many thanks!

Can you help with translation?

Posted by admin on 10 April 2016 in English (English).

A year ago, the OGF community helped produce translations of our About page into German, Spanish, French, Dutch and Polish.

Since that time, we’ve made some big changes to the English version, in an effort to make the rules of OGF clearer and the steps for new users easier to follow.

So if anyone could help update the translations of the About page to match the current English version (or produce a good translation for another widely spoken language) we’d appreciate your efforts enormously. With all the formatting involved, it’s probably easiest to simply copy/paste the entire wiki code from the English page, and start from there.

If you’re interested, feel free to comment below or jump right in. Many thanks for your help!

Please don't import from OSM

Posted by admin on 30 November 2015 in English (English).

Imports of OSM data are problematic for a number of reasons:

First, it’s against Openstreetmap’s licensing terms to use their data without attribution.

Second, I think it’s rather uncreative. That’s not what Opengeofiction is about.

We discussed this issue a while ago among admin team members, and finally decided that we rather don’t want to have imported data at all. It’s an official rule now:

If you have imported significant amounts of OSM data, please be so kind to delete them yourself. Otherwise I’m afraid that the admin team will eventually have to do it.


Voting results for naming the oceans and new continents

Posted by admin on 27 November 2015 in English (English).

Thanks again to everyone who suggested names, and everyone who took the time to vote. Congratulations to those who contributed the winning suggestions!

The new ocean names are the Ardentic Ocean, the Hesperic Ocean, and the Asperic Ocean. The new continents are Orano, Ereva, Kartumia and Pelanesia.

It has been mentioned that Hesperic/Asperic may be too similar. What are your thoughts? How would you feel about changing to Hesperic/Asperian or Hesperian/Asperic, in order to differentiate them a bit more? Or is there another easy solution? Let us know what you think in the comments.

For anyone interested in the vote tallies and other details, we’ll be adding a wiki page soon with the number of votes received by each option, the list of voters, and a list of the name submissions that didn’t make it to the ballot. Some of the ideas would make great names for gulfs, seas, bays, rivers, lakes, countries, states, cities, etc, so we encourage the community to make good use of these names, and not let them go to waste.

Thanks again to all who participated. Again, if you have opinions on the Asperic/Hesperic issue, let us know in the comments, and we may modify one or the other of these.

Vote now for your favorite continent and ocean names

Posted by admin on 19 November 2015 in English (English).

The vote is ON for naming the oceans and new continents!

Visit our online voting booth to cast your ballot. To vote, you must enter a valid OGF user name, and you may only vote one time. When you hit the “Done” button, your vote will be locked in, so don’t click it until you are completely finished.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit name ideas. There were a huge number of great submissions and it was really hard to narrow down the choices for a somewhat manageable ballot. To make voting easier, you can vote for as many names as you like in each section. You don’t have to pick just one.

Voting will remain open until Thursday, November 26. If you have questions, feel free to ask below.

Again, the address to visit is:

Happy voting!

Last chance to submit suggestions for naming continents and oceans!

Posted by admin on 25 October 2015 in English (English).

Send your name ideas to admin by Tuesday, October 27! The admin team will then select our favorite suggestions for a community vote!

For more details, check out the original post here.

Naming Continents and Oceans

Posted by admin on 20 October 2015 in English (English).

The admin team wants to hear your suggestions for naming our continents and oceans!

Submit your ideas by sending a message to admin by Tuesday, October 27. The admin team will then select our favorite suggestions for a community vote!


  • You can submit as many suggestions as you like, for each continent and each ocean.
  • If you like, you can target your suggestions to a specific continent or ocean (using the letters A through G on the map above) or just submit general suggestions.
  • If you like, you can include explanations for your suggestions. “It just sounds nice” is a perfectly fine explanation.
  • Ideally we don’t want continent names that begin with A, T or U, since those letters already belong to the existing continents.
  • Submit your suggestions via private message instead of posting them here.

Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

OGN World News Center — two months in

Posted by admin on 4 August 2015 in English (English). Two months ago, the OGN News blog (“World News” in the top menu) was set up for members of the community to share news stories from their countries with the rest of the world.

So far, 29 articles have been published by 10 users, an average of about one article every two days. The articles are sortable by country, author, and subject area.

Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join. And if there’s anyone with feedback, suggestions, requests for what you’d like to read about, etc, feel free to make a comment here, or send a message to the admin team.

Thanks to all the great authors for all their writing so far!

New in the menu bar: WORLD NEWS

Posted by admin on 2 June 2015 in English (English).

The OGN World News Center is a new, highly visible way for national media in OpenGeofiction countries to broadcast news stories of worldwide interest.

Basically, it’s a Wordpress blog that looks like an international news site, sharing stories reported by various news networks around the globe. So far, stories have been contributed by Khaiwoon’s KTV and Ardisphere’s Ruífono.

Any OpenGeofiction member who wants to share about current events in their country is invited to join. To do so: (1) create a free Wordpress account for your national news network, and (2) send the Wordpress account name to admin so we can add you as a co-author of the blog. Once you’re added, then you should be able to post stories through Wordpress to appear on the OGN site.

Some guidelines:

  • When writing an article, provide links to OGF wiki articles and map locations, where appropriate. See the Ardisphere and Khaiwoon articles for example.

  • Assign categories to each article you post. Most articles will probably have a country category (e.g. “Khaiwoon”) and a topic category (e.g. “Sports”). Sometimes more categories will be appropriate, for example if a story is about more than one country.

  • Be realistic. Remember, it’s easy to accidentally write unrealistic things when describing your mapping projects on OGF, for example “The freeway which began construction last week is now completed.” Realistically of course, freeways take years to complete, not days.

  • Don’t write about other countries without their permission. However, you may write about your country’s response to news from another country.

  • Don’t violate copyright laws. All text should be your original work. All images should follow the same guidelines as those for the wiki.

The admin team regards the World News Center as something of an experiment. If there’s little demand for it, or if demand fades away, then we may remove the WORLD NEWS link from the menu bar. But for now, we’d like to see how much interest it generates.

Any questions, feel free to ask here. Thanks!

Admins will begin deleting images without copyright info

Posted by admin on 31 March 2015 in English (English).

Don’t put Opengeofiction at risk of a lawsuit. Add copyright info to your wiki images.  Even if the actual risk of getting sued might be rather low, it would threaten the very existence of OGF if it happened.

Just a reminder: all images uploaded to the wiki must include information showing that you have permission to use them, including a link to the original image (where relevant). This applies to photographs and artwork, including original artwork.  

For examples, see our new expanded image use guide in the wiki.

In a few days, the admin team will begin deleting all images lacking this information. Please make our job easy by adding this information to your images so that we don’t have to delete them.

If you can’t find copyright info for your images, please replace them with images that are freely usable. They’re not hard to find. For details see the image use guide.

Thanks for doing your part!

Waiting period for new users shortened to one week

Posted by admin on 25 October 2014 in English (English).

New users can now choose their territory after one week of membership. Based on my experiences so far, I’ve come to the conclusion that one week is probably enough.

~ Thilo

Please don't import from OSM

Posted by admin on 29 June 2014 in English (English).

Don’t do that, please!

First, it’s against Openstreetmap’s licensing terms to use their data without attribution.

Second, I think it’s rather uncreative. That’s not what Opengeofiction is about.

If you import small amounts of data from OSM temporarily to use them as an orientation for object sizes, that’s probably OK. But if I see imported data from OSM to be used permanently then I’afraid that I have to delete them.