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OGF:Admin handbook

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This page details the functions of the OpenGeofiction admin team, not only as a guide for admin but also as a reference for the community.

Monitoring and cleanup

Redirecting new users

New users who are editing in the wrong places should be redirected to the right places. Community volunteers may assist with this task. (See section below: Involving more users in more ways.)

Suggested message (from admin):

Subject: Message from OpenGeofiction admin
Hi there, we've noticed your recent mapping in OpenGeofiction.

Unfortunately, you can't edit everywhere in our world - we have some rules! So before making any more edits, please take a moment to read our [About Page,](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:About_OpenGeofiction) which includes instructions for new users and a summary of the rules.  

(Also available in: [Deutsch](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Was_ist_OpenGeoFiction%3F) • [español](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Acerca_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Français](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%C3%80_Propos_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Nederlands](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Over_OpenGeofiction) • [Polski](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Info_o_OpenGeofiction) • [简体中文](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%E5%85%B3%E4%BA%8E_OpenGeofiction) • [Русский](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%D0%A7%D1%82%D0%BE_%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B5_OpenGeoFiction))

In particular, please note new users may edit only in the territories colored blue on our [overview map.](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Territories) After 7 days, you may contact us to request to own a territory colored green.

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.  Thanks for understanding, and welcome to our world!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)

For new users who ignore a warning and continue to edit inappropriately, their accounts should be blocked for 24 hours, with the message "Check your OpenGeofiction inbox for an important message from the admin team." Blocks should be made from your individual account, not the "admin" account, so that other admins can see who issued them.

Any account that continues to edit inappropriately even after a temporary block should be banned permanently ("hide this user"), and the admin team and community volunteers should be notified to watch out for their return.

The admin team should also keep pursuing strategies to reduce the percentage of new users editing in inappropriate places. (See section below: Improving the new user experience.)

Reverting/deleting unauthorized edits by new users

Reverting unauthorized edits
Always revert
  • Unauthorized islands and other edits in the sea
  • Edits where existing mapping was deleted or damaged
  • Edits that violate other rules
  • Edits that involve changing a territory name or other highly visible changes
Usually revert
  • Large edits in empty unowned territories
Revert or not
  • Small edits in empty unowned territories
  • Edits in unowned territories where there is already other mapping
  • Edits in owned territories (this is really the responsibility of the territory owner)
Moving the unauthorized edits elsewhere In some cases, instead of deleting the unauthorized edits, you may choose to move them to an appropriate location where the user can continue working on them. If so, include a link in the redirection message pointing to the new location.
  • Edits of very high quality
  • Edits where great time/effort was clearly invested

Other map cleanup

In active territories, admins may perform emergency cleanup in cases where something is clearly 'broken' and highly visible, such as a damaged territory relation, a maritime boundary moved inland, a coastline moved outside the maritime boundary, etc. The admin team may also encourage territory owners who have not yet named their territories to do so.

In formerly owned territories, admins may choose to undertake additional cleanup projects, including:

  • Partial or total clearing of the territory. High quality mapping should generally be preserved (either in place or moved elsewhere) while low quality mapping may be deleted.
  • Fixing various mapping issues. As needed, but especially for problems that are highly visible at low zoom levels, such as excessive motorways, awkward coastlines, etc.
  • Removing names, reverting the territory name. This may make the territory more attractive for a new user to claim.

These projects may also be 'contracted' out to other experienced users who may be interested. (See section below: Involving more users in more ways.)

Monitoring User Diaries

Admins are expected to keep an eye on User Diaries and contribute to discussions.

In addition, admins may "hide" any posts or comments they deem to be clearly inappropriate. Such posts may include:

  • Advertising/spam
  • Content that belongs elsewhere (personal diary posts, in-world news stories, wiki-type articles etc)
  • Fighting/abuse/drama
  • Nonsense posts
  • Overly long posts
  • Repeated posts

Often times it is a good idea to send a friendly message to the user explaining why their post or comment was hidden. When in doubt about whether to hide a post or not, admin team may be consulted.

Monitoring OGF wiki

Admins are expected to keep an eye on the OGF wiki, including:

Responding to user requests

Requests for first territories

  • View user page and confirm account is 7+ days old. Borderline cases (e.g. 6 days) may be fine. If not, request is denied. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.

Before claiming a territory, we ask that new users spend 7 days editing in the territories colored blue on our [overview map.](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Territories). Please take a moment to read our [About Page,](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:About_OpenGeofiction) which includes instructions for new users and a summary of the rules.  

(Also available in: [Deutsch](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Was_ist_OpenGeoFiction%3F) • [español](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Acerca_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Français](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%C3%80_Propos_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Nederlands](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Over_OpenGeofiction) • [Polski](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Info_o_OpenGeofiction) • [简体中文](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%E5%85%B3%E4%BA%8E_OpenGeofiction) • [Русский](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%D0%A7%D1%82%D0%BE_%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B5_OpenGeoFiction))

After 7 days of mapping in the blue territories, you may resubmit your request for a territory of your own.  

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.  Sorry for any confusion.  Thanks for understanding!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • View edit history and confirm account has made at least a few edits. The bar is fairly low — a dozen roads vaguely resembling a town is probably OK. But if there are no edits, or perhaps just 1 or 2 roads/objects, then the request may be denied — especially if a large territory is being requested. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.

Before claiming a territory, we ask that new users spend 7 days mapping in the territories colored blue on our [overview map.](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Territories).  Although your account is over 7 days old, it doesn't seem like you've mapped much.  

We ask that you spend a few days building a small town or something, getting familiar with the mapping software, and see if this is really something you want to pursue long term.  Once you've done that, we'll be happy to reconsider your request for a territory.  

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.  Thanks for understanding!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • View edit history and confirm account has edited in appropriate locations (or at least ended up editing in appropriate locations). If not, the request is denied. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.

Unfortunately, it seems you've been mapping in unauthorized areas. Please take a moment to read our [About Page,](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:About_OpenGeofiction) which includes instructions for new users and a summary of the rules.  

(Also available in: [Deutsch](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Was_ist_OpenGeoFiction%3F) • [español](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Acerca_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Français](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%C3%80_Propos_de_OpenGeofiction) • [Nederlands](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Over_OpenGeofiction) • [Polski](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Info_o_OpenGeofiction) • [简体中文](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%E5%85%B3%E4%BA%8E_OpenGeofiction) • [Русский](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:%D0%A7%D1%82%D0%BE_%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B5_OpenGeoFiction))

In particular, we ask that new users edit only in the territories colored blue on our [overview map.](http://opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Territories) So if you can, please delete what you've drawn so far and try building a small town in one of the blue territories.  After 7 days of mapping there, you may resubmit your request to own a territory.  

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.  Sorry for any confusion.  Thanks for understanding!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • If the account is not new, search OGF:Territories List for their username to confirm they do not already own a territory. If they do, skip to Requests for additional territories.
  • Run sockpuppet check. If anything comes up, discuss with admin team.
  • Check the requested territory at OGF:Territories to confirm that the territory is available and check for restrictions on it:
    • If the territory is marked as "advanced," new users will generally not qualify, unless they show exceptional mapping skills. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request. 

Unfortunately the territory you've requested is marked as "for advanced users only." We'd recommend starting with a much smaller territory such as ___________ or ___________.  Please understand that even a small territory represents a huge mapping commitment that may require many years of dedicated effort!

Let us know what you think.  Sorry for any confusion.  Thanks for understanding!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
In place of "___________" put links to two small territories nearby, and/or small territories with similar climate or geographic shape.
  • If the territory is marked as "tropical," send the user the following suggested message and wait for a response:
Hi, thanks for the request. 

This territory has a tropical climate with hot weather all year round.  Is this what you have in mind?  If not, we'd be happy to help you find a territory that better fits your vision.

Let us know what you think.  Thanks again!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • If the territory is marked as "desert," send the user the following suggested message and wait for a response:
Hi, thanks for the request. 

This territory is marked as "desert" on the overview map, and it will have a hot and dry climate throughout.  Additionally, a significant part of this territory is filled with sand (visible at zoom 9 and higher), and we would expect this sandy area to remain largely wild and empty.  Does this fit with your vision for the territory?  If not, we'd be happy to help you find a different place.  Just let us know your preference.

Thanks again!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
Where it says "visible at zoom 9 and higher" it's usually a good idea to link to the map showing the territory at zoom 9, so the person can see how much of the territory is sandy.
  • If the user has requested a mid-to-large size territory, but (for whatever reasons) may seem better suited for a smaller territory, recommend smaller territories that share a similar climate/location/geography to the requested territory. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request. 

We recommend that all new users start out with a much smaller territory, such as ___________ or ___________.  Please understand that even a small territory represents a huge mapping commitment that may require many years of dedicated effort!

Let us know what you think.  Thanks for understanding!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
In place of "___________" put links to two small territories nearby, and/or small territories with similar climate or geographic shape.
  • If there's anything else about the territory that doesn't require a separate warning, but the user should still probably be aware of, feel free to make a note of it to include in the reply (after the sentence about choosing a name for the territory). This may include things like:
    • "Please note this territory has a cold climate."
    • "Please note this territory is in the southern hemisphere so its southern parts will likely be coldest."
    • "Please note this territory has a tropical rainforest that extends into other countries and should be largely preserved."
    • "Please note this territory has mountains on its eastern border."
    • "Please note this territory is surrounded by 'European' style countries."
    • "Please note this territory contains extensive mapping from a former owner. You can choose whether to use, modify, or delete this content, but we recommend at least changing the names to fit with your vision for the country."
  • If everything seems good to go:
    • Transfer the territory on OGF:Territories (change fill color and message/owner) and OGF:Territories List (change fill color, owner, and descriptor word).
    • Create a wiki account by going to Special:UserLogin/signup in the wiki, copying and pasting their OGF account name into the first box.
      • For all email addresses except Hotmail and AOL, check the 'temporary random password' box, paste their email address into the email address box, and create the account.
      • For Hotmail or AOL email addresses, do not check the 'temporary random password' box. Instead, make up a random password (e.g. "u8H49p2"), paste it into both password boxes, and create the account. In the message below, replace the sentence about wiki account with "We've created a wiki account for you, with username ___________ and temporary password u8H49p2..."
      • If the user already has a wiki account, delete the sentence about a wiki account from the message below.
    • Approve the territory request. Suggested message:
Great, Territory ___________ is officially yours.  Remember to [change the country name on the map](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Adding_your_country_name_to_the_map) when you choose a name for the territory.

As you develop your new country, be sure to keep it [realistic.](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Verisimilitude) Here are some resources you may find useful for starting out:

* [Making realistic countries](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Making_realistic_countries)
* [Making realistic cities](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Making_realistic_cities)
* [Making realistic flags](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Making_realistic_flags)

We've also created a wiki account for you (with a temporary password sent to your email address) in case you'd like to share about your country there.  But we ask that new users develop some significant mapping before adding [too much](https://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Overwikification) to the wiki.

Let us know if you have any questions, problems, etc.

Welcome to Opengeofiction! Happy mapping.

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
Be sure to replace "___________" with the territory number.

Requests for additional territories

Hi, thanks for the message.

Check out [OGF:Requesting more territory](http://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Requesting_more_territory) for details on this, and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions. 

Happy mapping!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
In brief, the requirements are:
Land area of territory being requested Mapping requirement
under 20,000 km² User must present an original, contiguous zone of high detail in each territory owned, covering 10% of the territory's area.
20,000 to 200,000 km² User must present an original, contiguous zone of high detail in each territory owned, covering 20% of the territory's area.
over 200,000 km² User must present an original, contiguous zone of high detail in each territory owned, covering 30% of the territory's area.
Admin may allow the territory being requested to be treated as though it were in a smaller category, if a suitable percentage of its area is desert/jungle/etc.
These requirements may not apply when a user is recruited to serve as caretaker of an abandoned territory, or in other special situations.
Evaluation of submissions may be performed by the admin team or by a designated group of experienced non-admin users. (See section below: Involving more users in more ways.)
Also, please note this is an experimental standard and may be revisited by the admin team at a later date.

Requests to make a territory collaborative

The reason for making the territory collaborative is crucial. If it seems that the territory owner just wants to ignore the land and let others deal with it, or is primarily seeking "help" to fill the space because they can't fill it themselves, then they should be encouraged to downsize to a smaller territory. (This is often true when the territory is large, and/or has very little mapping.) In unclear situations, the territory owner should be asked about their motivations.

Even where it's clear that the territory owner is active, capable, interested and not just looking for "help" — if their primary goal is collaboration, then they should first be encouraged to consider joining an existing collaboration. Suggested message:

Hi, thanks for the request.

You may have noticed that there are a lot of collaborative territories in the world, but very few of them have attracted much participation. Unfortunately it seems like everyone wants others to join *their* collaborations, but they don't want to join *others'* collaborations. As a result, we have very few 'successful' collaborations.

So if your main objective is to collaborate with others, then instead of starting a new collaboration, we'd invite you to consider joining one of the many collaborations that already exist, to help an existing collaboration become 'successful.'

That said, it's your choice. You're free to start a collaborative if you like. If you choose to do so, however, we'd recommend that you develop a really compelling and unique vision, or a really engaging collaborative framework, or some other way for this collaborative to 'stand out' from the others and help it succeed where others haven't.

Hope that makes sense. Let us know your thoughts. Thanks!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)

If a user unilaterally declares their territory to be collaborative, admin may send a message inquiring about their motivations, and may not change the territory's status on the overview map until a reply is received.

Requests to make a territory blue

All blue territories are "no owner," so any request to make a territory blue, while continuing to own it, should be denied. A purple territory may, however, adopt the same rules as a blue territory (anyone may edit) without any permission needed from admin. Requests to make a territory blue and relinquish ownership should be discussed as a team.

Requests to switch territories

  • If the requested territory is smaller than the user's current territory, then the request is routinely granted, and OGF:Territories and OGF:Territories List should be updated.
  • If the requested territory is about the same size, the request may be granted, but the user should be encouraged not to switch again.
  • If the requested territory is significantly larger, discuss with the admin team. Absent a very compelling reason, such a request is unlikely to be granted.

Requests to downsize within existing territory

Requests to give up part of one's territory are routinely granted. However, users who intend to give up only a small area should be advised that downsizing is ineffective unless the reduction is significant.

Generally speaking, the size reduction cannot be "exchanged" for new territory elsewhere; to acquire new territory, the mapping requirements at Requests for additional territories still apply. However reducing the territory size will make it easier to acquire a second territory, since the size of the required detail zone will be smaller, mirroring the reduction of territory size.

Requests to expand territory

Requests to expand territory by annexing neighbors should follow the same procedure as Requests for additional territories. Requests to expand territory by building into the sea or constructing large islands should be discussed as a team.

Requests to give territory to someone else

Giving a territory to someone else is allowed only when the recipient is eligible to own such a new territory. If the territory owner is leaving OGF and wants to transfer cities or other local mapping as a "bequeathment," the users involved should be encouraged to move these areas with JOSM.

Partial transfer of territory is similarly restricted. A territory owner may give away land only if the recipient is eligible to own such a new territory. In cases where a territory owner wants to give away land to others because they aren't interested or aren't capable of mapping it themselves — they should be encouraged to simply downsize instead, making the remaining land available for a new user.

Despite the restrictions above, territory owners are free to split their land into various divisions/countries/etc, and allow other users full control over those areas, de facto giving lands to other users without requiring any permission. When this is done on a small scale, in the spirit of collaboration and/or creating interesting exclaves, etc, it does not present any problem. However, admin may or may not accept these as de jure (official) transfers of territory, reflected on the overview map.

Requests to update the overview map

The purpose of the overview map is to record owner and status information for every territory. The map does not need to show the name of every country, or display the various new territories created by an owner who divides their land into multiple countries — unless the different pieces have different status (e.g. half private and half collaborative).

Requests for new islands, new territories, new land, reshaping land, or other changes to the OGF map

Requests and proposals
No permission needed
  • "Small" islands within 100 km of mainland coast
  • Creating new territories by dividing one's territory
  • Uniting neighboring territories that are already owned
Permission needed — team should discuss
  • Any islands beyond 100 km (considered a second territory, subject to the requirements at OGF:Requesting more territory)
  • Any "large" new islands in any location
  • Any new peninsulas, expansions into the sea, or other new land of significant size
  • Any reworking of land/water that would affect the shape of the continents, the overall look of the world map, or the way the territories fit within their polygons on the overview map.

If unsure, discuss with team.

Requests for wiki accounts

  • Check to make sure account is 7+ days old, and has completed enough mapping to claim a territory. If not, the request is denied. Suggested messages:
Hi, thanks for the request.

We normally don't create wiki accounts for users who have been here fewer than 7 days, or who haven't yet completed significant mapping.

However, we look forward to creating a wiki account for you when you meet both of those conditions. Happy mapping,

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • If the account is old enough and has completed enough mapping, go to Special:UserLogin/signup in the wiki, and copy and paste their OGF account name into the first box.
    • For all email addresses except Hotmail and AOL, check the 'temporary random password' box, paste their email address into the email address box, create the account, and send the following suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.  We've created a wiki account for you, with username and temporary password sent to your email address.  Feel free to let us know if there's any problem.

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
If the account has completed very little mapping, it may be good to add a note recommending that the user complete more mapping before contributing to the wiki.
  • For Hotmail or AOL email addresses, do not check the 'temporary random password' box. Instead, make up a random password (e.g. "u8H49p2"), paste it into both password boxes, create the account, and send the following suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.  We've created a wiki account for you, with username ___________ and temporary password u8H49p2.  Feel free to let us know if there's any problem.

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
Be sure to replace "___________" with the wiki account name, and make sure the password matches exactly.
If the account has completed very little mapping, it may be good to add a note recommending that the user complete more mapping before contributing to the wiki.

Requests to be added to the OGN News blog

  • Check to make sure the account has invested some serious mapping effort in OGF. If not, the request is denied. Suggested message:
Hi, thanks for the request.

Before we add your account to the news blog, we'd like to see your mapping developed a bit more.  For example, can you develop a major city in detail, or a vast rural area?  Feel free to let us know if you have questions or anything.  Looking forward to see what you can do.

Happy mapping,

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
  • If the user does qualify,
    • Go into Wordpress and send them an "Author" invitation with the suggested text: "Hi! All you need to do is 'accept' this invitation and you are free to start posting articles. Let us know if there's any problem. Thanks!"
    • Reply to the request via inbox. Suggested message:
Thanks!  We've sent an invitation from Wordpress.  All you need to do is 'accept' the invitation and you are free to start posting articles.  Let us know if there's any problem.  Thanks!

___XXXXX___ (from admin)

Enforcing rules

Rule enforcement by admins should be infrequent and friendly. In many cases, users should be encouraged to address a rulebreaker themselves rather than involving the admin team.

Situation Notes
Unrealistic content
  • Egregious violations of realism, such as highly visible content that is obviously unbelievable to most people, or any content that appears deliberately unbelievable, are typically resolved by friendly message.
  • Borderline cases are generally left for community members to address, although community consensus does not carry the 'force of law.'
  • Fantasy and science fiction content may be resolved by 'closeting' it away from the OGF community or transforming it into 'in-world fiction.'
  • Humorous content should be subtle and clever, not blatant and obvious.

To preserve creative freedom, the rule is not enforced in all circumstances. Viewed another way, realism may be seen as the genre of OGF, not the primary goal of OGF — so the function of the realism rule is not to construct an elaborate alternate reality where everything makes total sense; but rather to promote an environment that generally feels realistic to most users. Therefore some unrealistic content may not be subject to enforcement:

  • Unrealistic content that is small-scale and low visibility may be ignored as long as it is not deliberately unbelievable.
  • Unrealistic content that is only obvious to an expert, or requires considerable observation for most people to perceive, may be ignored.
  • Unrealistic content due to poor mapping skills may be more effectively addressed with community advice.
  • Unrealistic content due to mapper issues may be contained within a small area and ignored.
Imports from OSM and elsewhere
  • If importing is suspected but not confirmed, discuss with the admin team.
  • 'Disguised' imports are also a violation of the rule, with the standard being that if we can tell where it came from, it must be deleted.
  • Repeated violations should result in a site ban ("hide this user").
Copying real geography
  • For imported content, see the box above.
  • Cases where someone either traced or tried their best to copy real geography are usually resolved by friendly message. The standard being that if it's an obvious imitation of a place on Earth, then it should probably be modified in a way that makes it unique and different.
  • Borderline cases are generally left for community members to address, although community consensus does not carry the 'force of law.'
  • Cases where a place is only loosely 'inspired' by somewhere are okay.
Using well-known names
  • Egregious violations are usually resolved via friendly message. These include names that point primarily to one specific place or person, are known to millions of people, are used unchanged, and are highly visible (name of country, largest cities, titles of wiki articles, etc). See OGF:Making realistic names for more detail.
  • Borderline cases are generally left for community members to address, although community consensus does not carry the 'force of law.'
  • Often this rule is not enforced with small-scale content like street names, small towns, etc. There may be additional cases that are grandfathered in from earlier times.
Using real companies/organizations
  • A friendly message usually solves the problem.
Non-free/unsourced images in the wiki
  • First time and occasional violations are handled using Template:Image_issue.
  • Repeated violations in defiance of warnings may result in a ban ("hide this user").
  • Community volunteers can help check the wiki images for copyright violations.
  • More information at OGF:Uploading_images.
Copied text in the wiki
  • All text should be original. Violations are rare but usually resolved by friendly message.
Mapping in others' countries or moving their borders
  • For new users who don't know better, see Redirecting new users.
  • Users are expected to try resolving disputes themselves before involving the admin team.
  • Violations are rare but usually resolved by friendly message.
  • Repeated violations should result in a ban ("hide this user").
Writing about others' countries in the wiki without permission
  • Users are expected to try resolving disputes themselves before involving the admin team.
  • Users may write freely about their country's reaction to events in another country, but not directly about what happened in another country, or about the citizens or agents of another country.
Inappropriate maritime boundaries
  • Cases where boundaries are clearly being extended to claim more space should be addressed as soon as possible. Usually these can be fixed by sending a friendly message pointing the user to OGF:Rules of the sea.
  • Cases that are merely sloppy are often left for community members to address. The admin team may step in if the user refuses to fix the problem.
Inappropriate island building
  • Islands that flagrantly violate the spirit of the rule should be addressed as soon as possible. Usually these can be fixed by sending a friendly message pointing the user to OGF:Rules of the sea.
  • Borderline cases are generally left for community members to address, although community consensus does not carry the 'force of law.'
Disputes over shipping lines
  • Users are expected to try resolving disputes themselves before involving the admin team.
Extending country beyond its overview map shape
  • Generally, this rule is enforced only in egregious cases, such as someone aggressively building their country out into the sea, or repeatedly pushing the limits in spite of warnings.
  • It is not enforced for islands that follow OGF:Rules of the sea guidelines.
Sockpuppets
  • Incidents of sockpuppetry should always be reported to the admin team.
  • A first time violation is resolved with a friendly message and the sockpuppet account is deleted.
  • A second violation is likely to result in a ban for all accounts ("hide this user"). Persistent violations may call for special measures.
Deliberate vandalism
Offensive/insulting content
  • These occur very rarely. Discuss with other admins.
Inactivity

Purging inactive users

Occasionally, when the pool of available territories becomes small enough that users routinely have difficulty finding territories they like, the admin team will conduct a purge of inactive users. Territories that have seen no activity for more than a certain number of months — at least 2 or 3, but starting with the territories that have been inactive longest — are switched to 'marked for withdrawal' on OGF:Territories and OGF:Territories List (the latter including a deadline date), and the owners should be sent a message such as:

Subject: OpenGeofiction inactive territory
Hi there,

We've noticed that you haven't made any edits to your OpenGeofiction territory for several months.  If you plan to keep developing this land, please reply to this message to confirm you are still active.  If you don't plan to continue the project, please let us know so that we can release the territory for a new user to adopt.  If we don't hear from you by ___________ we will release the territory so that someone else can take charge and carry your work into the future.

Let us know your preference.  Many thanks,

___XXXXX___ (from admin)
The date "___________" is normally set around one month in the future.

After that:

  • Owners who fail to reply by the deadline will be checked again for recent activity. If there is none, the territories are switched to 'available.' This is normally the majority of cases.
  • Owners who want to keep the territory are typically allowed to do so, however...
    • In cases where the territory is large and very little has been mapped, these users may be strongly advised to downsize to a smaller, more manageable space (and given an offer of help if necessary).
    • In cases where there are mapping quality issues, these users may be encouraged to fix them if they wish to continue in OpenGeofiction.
    • In cases where the owner continues to remain inactive through multiple purges, yet keeps requesting to retain control, they may be given a deadline to map something or lose the territory — especially if the territory is large.

Long term projects and ideas

Preparation for new continents

The admin team administers the continents of the Western Hemisphere, and is committed to ensuring that careful preparations are complete before they open for general mapping:

Reserved territories

The admin team retains a number of other reserved territories (colored gray on the overview map) for different purposes:

  • Reserved for new blue territories: UL153, UL110 (Dagelanden), UL113, UL115, UL161, UL030g, UL340, TA024b, TA009, TA015, AN130a, AN126b, AR100c
  • Reserved for possible linguistic homelands: UL109/111/159 (Eastern European languages?), UL137 (Arabic?), AN137d (content to move to Chinese homeland?)
  • Reserved for future collaborative projects:
    • Small: TA027, UL059 (Neutra)
    • Large: UL099, AR120 (ER001, KA001, part/all of Commonia)

Improving the new user experience

The admin team endeavors to improve the experience for new users and has considered a wide range of ideas:

  • Removing "Edit" tab idea
  • Smaller blue territories idea, separated by language (in progress).
    • Remove Commonia/Midistland/Rhododactylia from blue list?
  • Newcomer Islands idea 1 2 3 — to potentially replace all blue territories.
  • Starter territories idea; Beginner/Advanced territories idea
  • Isleño/Sandbox/OGF:Discussions
  • OGF:Introduce yourself
  • OGF:Ask a question
  • OGF:Request feedback
  • Remove all "name" tags from available territories, to make territories more attractive?

Involving more users in more ways

The admin team recognizes the benefit of involving more members of the community in more ways, and is exploring ways to facilitate that process.

Consolidating discussions

The admin team understands the need to consolidate discussions and make them easier to access:

Promoting quality mapping

The admin team is constantly exploring ideas to promote quality mapping:

Promoting realism

The admin team routinely discusses ideas to promote realism in the OGF world:

Promoting successful collaborations

The admin team is committed to promoting successful collaborations:

  • Potential requirements for collaborations (wiki page describing the project, discussion page for interactions, expiration date without activity)
  • Smaller blue territories? Eliminating blue territories? (see "Improving the new user experience" above)
  • OGF:Seek collaboration

Helping people find OGF

The admin team recognizes the need to help new people discover OGF, as well as the importance of making sure those people are a good fit for OGF:

Other ideas

The admin team considers a wide variety of other ideas, ranging from the easily implementable to the utterly impossible:

  • New map layers? Pseudo-satellite layer?
  • Roantra layer to Art layer?
  • Tutorial for topography
  • Globe/3D world?
  • Routing? for example
  • Mini image bank for wiki?
  • Territory finder? (to help new users find a territory that meets their needs)
  • Automated territory assign/unassign
  • Chat option?
  • Application for viewing mapping offline
  • Gallery exhibit?

Admin communications and other info

Communication between the admin account and other users is handled via OGF inbox.

  • To reply to a user request in the inbox, mark the message as 'read.' If you cannot reply within a day or so, or if you do not intend to reply to it, leave it as 'unread' so that someone else may reply to it.
  • Whenever your conversation with a user is complete, you should mark their final message as 'read' (even though you do not intend to reply) so that it no longer appears to need a reply.
  • Do not respond to a message that has been marked as 'read,' because that means another admin is writing a reply to it.
  • When responding from the admin account, put "(from admin)" after your signature to differentiate it from messages you may send as an individual user.
  • When in doubt about a response, discuss with the admin team via email.

Communication within the admin team is handled via email.

  • Much communication within the admin team is requests for input/feedback/suggestions/etc. In such cases, it's a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before taking action, to make sure others have seen your message and have had a chance to respond.
  • If someone is asking for feedback and everything seems fine, it is helpful to send a quick response such as "Looks good" or "OK by me" to let the person know you think they're fine.
  • When replying, be sure to "Reply All" and make sure your reply is going to the admin address. (Do not disclose the admin address, ever.)
  • Most decisions are the result of consensus, although Thilo is able to veto for a final say on all matters.

Miscellany

  • Admins should try to set a good example for other users, being friendly, obeying rules, avoiding conflicts of interest, etc.
  • Admins should try to find a good balance between admin duties and individual mapping. When you have more free time, do more; when you have less free time, do less. In this way different members of the admin team can take turns being more active when they have the time to do so.
  • Sometimes members of the admin team choose to take a break from admin; this is done by simply informing the rest of the team. It is also possible to retire — admin team is not a life sentence if you don't want it to be.
  • Admins may be asked to step down from the admin team by consensus of the other admins, but Thilo has the final say.
  • Experienced users may be invited to join the admin team by consensus of the other admins, but Thilo has the final say.