[HOT] Newbie support for Missing Maps

AYTOUN RALPH ralph.aytoun at ntlworld.com
Sat Nov 8 13:04:40 UTC 2014

I have attended two Tuesday evening Missing Maps Mapathons so far.

The problem with mapping is it's appearance. These newbies have seen the
OpenStreetMap as it should look like, they have seen printed maps all
neatly drawn with understandable colours and names telling them what things
are. When they try to map from the imagery I see them making funny squiggly
polygons for the shapes they see and then do not feel satisfied that they
are capable of producing anything resembling the neat maps they know. Not
everyone can interpret the image they are seeing and translate those
details into the neat logical maps they are used to seeing.

At the first Mapathon I roamed around the room looking at each person's
work and gave assistance where I saw it was needed. Very few newbies
actually asked for someone to come and help.

The second one I set myself up at a table and introduced myself as an
experienced mapper. I was amazed at the difference. Here they were calling
me by name and continuously asking me to come and look at their work and
explain what they were seeing or checking that they had done it correctly.
I was amiss though, while I knew them by name I found that was not enough.
When I got home and thought I could look at their work and encourage them I
found the difficulty....they are logged on with a user name and I had no
way of knowing who was who, even accessing their profile does not give
their actual name.

May I suggest that a possible way forward would be to have a mentor at each
table that is introduced to them by name, for that mentor to get each ones
details and contact information and to remain in touch and encourage them
to do more and help them to achieve the standard required to make them feel
impressed with their own work. They would be more receptive to advice and
guidance from a person they know than random unknown user names that
invalidate their work. This may effectively tackle two problems....raising
the standard of the new mappers and encouraging them to continue mapping.
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