[HOT] Houses or buildings with no roof in W Africa mapping

AYTOUN RALPH ralph.aytoun at ntlworld.com
Sat Sep 13 16:38:39 UTC 2014

I have been putting these buildings in as building=construction but they
can also be simply building=no_roof or barrier=wall to indicate that there
is a structure there to help the people on the ground identify where they
are and indicate that there is something there.
It is not possible for mapping from photos to be able to interpret or
identify an abandoned building as to one under construction, just as it is
not possible to identify which round structure is a residence or a grain
If we approach the HOT mapping with the purpose of producing a basic map
for people on the ground to achieve their task then trying to take it
further and making it more complex will slow down the process and also add
the element of uncertainty of what an item actually is and therefore lose
As long as we indicate there is a structure there, then people on the
ground can investigate if they need to. I believe that knowing there is
something there is better than no knowledge at all.
I would agree with showing it as barrier=wall so that it is visually
different to that of a building and will indicate that we do believe that
at the time of the imagery it was not occupied. I would apply this to a
round structure without a roof as well.
Either way we need to settle some of these tags so that we are all giving
the same instructions and those trying to use our HOT mapping will be able
to have some consistency in the output.
We need to bear in mind that what we apply to our mapping in West Africa
may not be compared to what applies in Haiti as the culture and living
conditions vary considerably.
Hence the existence of the Africa Highways guide. Keeping it simple
provided it meets the requirements of the task in the field.
Because we are continuously inviting new mappers into the HOT emergency
mapping circle through the Task Manager the ideal would be something like Blake
Girardot's  "Satellite imagery interpretation examples" and "Africa
Highways" in the instructions for these jobs and applicable to that
specific part of the world. Again this is complicated by the variations in
structures between urban and rural areas.
Hope this helps
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