[OSM-dev] Am I alone here?

SomeoneElse lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk
Wed Mar 5 16:40:08 UTC 2014

Sandor Seres wrote:
> ...  and maybe therefore there is very little effort dedicated to 
> errors, especially to systematic errors.

Er what?  There's a lot of effort going into all of the following:

1) developing tools that enable new mappers to not make errors in the 
first place

2) detecting errors (things that are unlikely or impossible, based on 
other things mapped)

3) helping new mappers get to grips with mapping tools and map their 

If you doubt that (2) and (3) occur I suggest that you pop in to one of 
the country IRC channels where there is a "new mappers" and "notes" feed 
after there's been a press article about OSM, such as #osm-gb.

> Systematic errors are having same, or similar causes. They are present 
> in a huge number and distributed all over the World. It is difficult 
> to see them, detect them and correct/repair them.

What would be useful here would be some sort of example the sorts of 
errors that you're talking about and (even better!) a suggestion as to 
how a particular systematic error might be avoided.  If you look at the 
issues list for the iD editor (i.e. (1) in the list above) you'll see 
lots of discussion balancing "making it easy for people to contribute" 
and "making what people contribute more likely to be correct".  It's not 
easy; please don't assume that people haven't had all of these 
discussions already.

> Usual editors based one-by-one correction is meaningless.

I disagree here.  If something's been added to the map that's physically 
impossible it's really useful that the various QA sites flag it as an 
error.  However in most cases to resolve it someone will need to get out 
from behind their computer keyboard and Go And Have A Look, because if 
an error that an online QA site can spot is there, who knows what else 
is wrong?  Merely removing the indication that there is a problem on the 
QA site doesn't make what's in OSM match reality.

So, can you give an example of a systematic error that occurs in OSM 
data (I can think of a few, but they're really "common new mapper 
mistakes", and as such easily corrected by resurvey), and can you give a 
suggestion as how to prevent / fix them?



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