[HOT] Questions regarding metrics from taskprojects, tasks and volunteers.

Martin Dittus martin at dekstop.de
Fri Jun 5 09:20:41 UTC 2015

I’m doing research on community engagement in HOT, so can answer some of these at least partially.

> On 4 Jun 2015, at 23:34, Milo van der Linden <milo at dogodigi.net> wrote:
> 1. In pre-crisis taskprojects; Do you think it is important to have a person or organisation publishing announcements and "attracting" volunteers to a task?

As far as I can tell, Missing Maps uses a combination of:
- monthly mapathons in a growing number of cities
- sustained promotion on FB & Twitter
- email notifications to pull past participants back in

… and they’re most likely the best of the key HOT initiatives at retaining contributors for low-urgency projects. (I’ve looked at the numbers.)

> 2. Is there a way to get (a rough estimate) on time volunteers spend on a task?

It always depends. Many factors involved, as Andrew says. However there are some ballpark numbers you can use.

I don’t have specific numbers per project or even task, but I’ve computed total labour hours for first-time contributors, across all projects. 
- 50% contributors work for at least 2 hours total
- 20% contributors work for at least 9 hours total
(All such contributor statistics tend to be long-tail distributed, so simple averages wouldn’t be very meaningful.)

See slide 11 of my HOT Summit presentation on the topic:

> 3. Is there a (rough estimate) on the number of objects (nodes, ways, relations) an average volunteer produces during a task?
> 4. Do you think it would be possible, given the size of a geographic "area of interest" to estimate how many volunteers and/or mapping days would be required to succesfully complete a taskproject?

In the projects I’ve looked at people tend to contribute at a rate of 500-600 edits per hour. It varies by project and contributor.

Pete Masters of the MSF found that people contribute 75 buildings an hour, which is maybe a more useful number.

Again, these numbers are somewhat useful to build estimates, but also potentially really misleading — projects and geographies are often quite different.

That said, I can see how it could be useful to have a model of expected volunteer capacity for use in project planning. Get in touch if anyone is interested in building such a model and looking for evidence, I’m not a task designer but I can certainly contribute stats.


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