Sister projects are the unsung heroes of Wikipedia’s success. Disputes between inclusionists and deletionists led to the creation of Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and more, fueling new contributions to the sum of human knowledge while reinforcing Wikipedia’s culture. OpenStreetMap is no stranger to deletion debates. Nascent sister projects like OpenHistoricalMap offer an outlet for more mapping, creating a more vibrant community than a fork ever could. As always, the hard part is starting from scratch. How can we learn from Wikimedia’s experience with sister projects to build a similar ecosystem?
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OpenStreetMap started 18 years ago with a blank canvas and the ambition to become the best map of the world. All we could do in the beginning was create: draw all the...