[HOT] Worried about task 1018

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Sat May 9 20:15:55 UTC 2015

First for Nepal and practically all the projects we need everyone
available, I think everyone accepts this.  There are HOT projects that
haven't had a tile completed in months simply because that just aren't
enough HOT mappers.

What you are seeing here is discussion of how to make the best use of
people's time.  For Nepal there are three big tasks, the first is map what
was there before the earthquake.  If there were no buildings there then
there isn't much point in sending aid in.  So there are two parts, the
first is map the roads, paths etc.  Normally we would map the major roads
then open the project.  In Nepal there are often no roads only paths so you
need some expertise to figure out where they are.  Even experienced mappers
have difficulty picking them out correctly.  For example which direction
does a stream run in?  Just looking at a single tile may not give you
enough information.

Buildings are simple to do and give a great deal of useful information.
>From the aggregate size you can estimate the population so how many bags of
rice are needed.  We should be able to teach you how to do this is 20 mins
or less.  Whether we can or not at the moment is debatable but people are
looking into the problem and I think you've seen some discussion here in
the list.  In twenty minutes I can map roughly two hundred buildings,
someone who is new using the same tools and techniques should manage twenty
buildings but pointing the new user in the direction of those tools is
something we aren't very good at yet nor is there consensus on what we
should try to teach you.

The post earthquake imagery, leave it to those people with some experience
with that sort of imagery especially as Kevin pushed the limits on the
satellite imagery by using one that was passing over Bangladesh.

Before Nepal the general thought was that someone would map everything on a
tile then mark it as done.  To teach you how to correctly map everything on
a tile correctly realistically would take a few days training.  What we're
seeing in Nepal is perhaps a dozen mappers working an tile.  If the new
mappers can map the buildings then that allows the more experienced mappers
to sort out the rest and to validate.

Unsquared buildings as someone else has already pointed out are not a major
problem its still a building on the map of roughly the right size which is
far better than no building.  Besides a couple of clicks and who ever is
validating if they are using JOSM they can square the buildings.  Nepal is
nice in that most buildings are square, this doesn't work quite so well in
West Africa where there are a lot of round huts.

As we gain experience we are finding that task manager etc. could probably
do with a few code changes,  I seem to recall that HOT uses professional
programmers for task manager so that one will need some cash finding from
somewhere.  One would be stop suggesting validate a tile when you take a
task at random to new mappers.  We need to let the dust settle before
deciding what exactly should be done.

New mappers that just map buildings are a delight.  New mappers that mark a
tile done when they have finished their little bit and its time for tea
without carefully scanning the rest of the tile cause problems in that it
stops others from mapping the tile since they think its finished.  I'd say
more than half the tiles mapped in HOT never get validated.  Task manager
gives you a brownie point for completing a tile, you don't currently get
one for validating one.  We are pushing people to validate more in Nepal,
and we're even seeing validation of validated tiles which is good.

In West Africa where I've done a lot of validation giving gentle feedback
and explaining why highways should be connected has I think resulted in
improving the quality of the maps.  Even where someone has just done same
basic mapping I find that helps as I can then just scan the tile, add a
couple of features if need be than mark it done.  Much faster than having
to map it all from scratch.

So yes we need newbies, and yes we could do a better job at explaining
exactly what we would like them to do which is within their comfort range
and that comes back to the project managers.  Some are much better at
giving clear instructions than others.  Some instructions on the project
such as tag landuse=residential only when there are more than twenty
buildings goes against what is common practice in other projects and some
map all the buildings, well yes but we don't have enough mappers so in
practice map all the building projects are the ones that rarely get
completed, so accept landuse=residential and get something useful quickly.

So to sum up before you go home could you just knock off a few more
buildings in Nepal please.


Cheerio John

On 9 May 2015 at 14:29, laura brittain <l.n.brittain at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ideas regarding using newbs,
> Please embed instructions (and a link to Google translate or another) in
> Task manager.
> Please put important instructions in Bold Capital Letters in Task manager.
> Info on unlocking a tile isn't visible when you are locked in a tile and
> it's hard to realize you have to go back and do that in TM.
> Please don't let new JOSM users validate tiles unless they've been vetted.
> In my case it would be a disaster.
> HOT has been linked to all over in media. Of course you're inundated with
> newbs. The message out there and in tutorials is that anyone can help with
> even 20 minutes and that learning how takes an hour or two. Um, no.
> To avoid discouraging us, could discussions of our many mistakes be done
> off the HOT list that is one of the sources we go to to learn?
> Consider a message like this that pops up on unlocking a tile:
> "Thank you for mapping —please come back and see what you can do to help
> in the weeks, months, and years ahead."
> Finally, I'm sure a lot of us would love to have someone comment on our
> work and point out errors.
> Just remember the feedback sandwich: one positive feedback on either end
> of the criticism.
> And if absolute newbs  aren't helpful or needed please let us know so we
> can go home.
> Hope this helps! Thank you.
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> HOT at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
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