Author’s note: This post was made in response to a mapping-related incident, which happened earlier today in Los Baños, Laguna.
I was mapping along a certain street on my way home, when a black car approached me. (Let’s call the driver Mr. Concerned Elbizen.) At that time, I was mapping a certain house number. Then, he saw me. Here’s the non-verbatim dialogue below. (In English, original conversation is in Tagalog)
Concerned Elbizen (Elbizen) saw me mapping his place
Concerned Elbizen: What are you doing?
Curious Mapper (Me): Mapping housenumbers
Elbizen: Who are you working for?
Me: Nobody. (Author’s note: disregard your thoughts here) I’m a volunteer for OpenStreetMap
Elbizen: Don’t you know that you’re putting my house on the map?!
Me: Sorry, sir. But your privacy is guaranteed. No one will know where you live, promise.
I made a post regarding the incident here. Gnonthgol, a fellow OSMer commented on my entry. That person mentioned that the “rule of thumb” (UD|wiki) is “You can map housenumbers but don’t add the phone numbers and the names of inhabitants.
I also mentioned the need to have proper identification when mapping. The commentator mentioned that there are some contributors that have customized IDs (just in case if there are persons questioning their motives). An example can be found below:
An appeal to “Elbizen” (and others who may not like our style of mapping)
We are also persons who need a bit of privacy. We add house housenumbers merely for documentation. We don’t care about you or your neighbors, because we know that you’ll be less than pleased once people found out where you or your neighbors live.
Relax, concerned citizens. We don’t add note/description=X lives here or something like that. In fact, we don’t mark our residences on the map. Plain and simple.