[HOT] Request for information about common set of tags for HOT (Was: OSM Nepal Reponse - Links to various infos)

Springfield Harrison stellargps at gmail.com
Tue May 19 19:38:20 UTC 2015

Hello Stefan & Blake,

I concur with the comments about the "tag soup" 
mess.  As I have mentioned before, I am new to 
this OSM environment but have some years 
experience with GPS and GIS mapping and database design.

To be honest, I was appalled when I discovered 
that the OSM database design looked like a 
glorified scratchpad.  I just downloaded and 
inspected 366,017 OSM database records.  There 
were 18 Key Terms and scores of values.  I 
extracted the unique combinations of keys/values 
and ended up with 388 records of those.

It is difficult to describe the results in detail 
as patterns are very hard to see with this 
system.  Suffice it to say, there is an abundance 
of overlap, redundancy, ambiguity and a confusing 
intermingling of features and attributes.  Using 
traditional methods of querying a database, it 
would be impossible to definitively extract a 
meaningful subset of any of the 366,000 
records.  Generally speaking, the problem is that 
one feature may be described in many different ways that are not consistent.

Having said all that, since I frequently hear how 
well all this mapping information is received in 
the field, I must conclude that this mishmash of 
tagging somehow creates a usable end product.  It 
may well be that I am not aware of magic 
techniques that bring order to all this chaotic 
tagging.  However, if it works, it is 
good.  However I do believe that it will work 
better with a more robust database.

Sorry to offer this harsh critique, but in 
decades of looking at database structures for 
both geographical and administrative 
applications, I have never seen such a jumble of terminology.

Anyway, I have put together what I believe is a 
more appropriate Data Dictionary that generally 
parallels the best practices in database 
design.  I have found this approach to be very 
useful, and also useful in the field, since being 
introduced to it by Trimble Navigation in the early 90s.

I am impressed with the enthusiasm that permeates 
the crowd GIS initiative but concerned that the 
geographical and database underpinnings may be 
less than ideal.  My observation from creating a 
few software applications, is that the lesser 
trained are the users, the much greater 
investment there needs to be in the user 
interface and training.  GIS and GPS data 
collection is not particularly intuitive.

My approach in projects of this kind is always to 
start at the far end with the users - what 
information are they wanting for whatever it is 
that they do?  Then I look at the reporting 
requirements and finally design the data collection process to feed into that.

In the case of this emergency relief operation, 
I'm hard-pressed to see the value in mapping 
video games, hairdresser, gymnastics, karate and 
volleyball.  To be fair, many of the other 
attributes could have value in providing relief 
services but in the record set that I downloaded, 
there seems to be little information related to 
the emergency relief effort.  In over 366,000 
records there are only 19 marked as aeroway = helipad.

I'm not sure just how thorough you intend to be 
with the "updating, streamlining and 
regularizing" but I would be happy to help where possible.

It would probably not be overly difficult to 
substitute a new feature/attribute catalogue into 
the OSM database.  Translating the existing mass 
of keys and values to their new equivalent might 
be more challenging.  Databases succeed because 
they conform to standard pattern sets.

Again, sorry to be less than enthusiastic but perhaps things can be improved.

         Thanks for your patience, Cheers . . . . . . . . Spring Harrison

At 17-05-2015 08:29 Sunday, Stefan Keller wrote:
>Hi Blake Many thanks for your clarifications. 
>2015-05-15 22:13 GMT+02:00 Blake Girardot 
><bgirardot at gmail.com> wrote/a écrit: ... > We 
>would welcome any assistance with updating, 
>streamlining and regularizing > HOT's tagging 
>and tagging guidance and underlying data model 
>if need be. I'd like to help and my proposal is 
>1. to collect and identify most common tags 
>specific to HOT 2. to mention and document them 
>in Wiki page "Humanitarian_OSM_Tags" [1] So, to 
>begin collecting the candidates, I only foumd 
>these two: * damage:event=* * 
>operator:type=private • goveernment • community 
>The "idp:camp_site=spontaneous_campp" is already 
>sub-specific to a disaster event. Any others tag 
>or key candidates? Yours, S. [1] 
>2015-05-15 22:13 GMT+02:00 Blake Girardot 
><bgirardot at gmail.com>: > > Hi Stefan, > > HOT 
>(and OSM) tagging has grown and evolved since we 
>first started 5 or 6 > years ago that is for 
>sure. And given the somewhat intermittent > 
>participatory nature of OSM and the wiki things 
>can for sure get out of > sync. > > We would 
>welcome any assistance with updating, 
>streamlining and regularizing > HOT's tagging 
>and tagging guidance and underlying data model 
>if need be. It > is a big project for the folks 
>in and out of HOT who developed and maintain > 
>it. > > It was through gentle ;) feedback from 
>the OSM community that we have > started use 
>some more planned tagging schemes you mentioned 
>so there is yet > time for some of that to catch 
>up. > > I am excited for us to roll up our 
>sleeves and give the tagging, guidance, > data 
>model and rendering a timely review and 
>updating. At the moment many in > HOT are 
>concentrating on working with our fellow 
>travelers in Nepal (and DRC > and Vanuatu and 
>Guam and South Sudan and Nigeria and several 
>other places > unfortunately), but when that 
>begins to thankfully be less of an urgent > 
>matter several of us look forward to joining you 
>fully in the process. > > And like I said, any 
>reorganization or updating and streaming in the 
>wiki > you could help us with in the mean time 
>will be very welcome and > appreciated. If you 
>have any questions please just ask them here on 
>the > mailing list but under a different email 
>thread so it is less confusing > talking about 
>something that has nothing to do with this 
>thread. > > Cheers, > Blake > > > On 5/15/2015 
>8:43 PM, Stefan Keller wrote: >> >> Salut 
>Pierre, hi Will, dear leading HOT members, hello 
>all >> >> 2015-05-15 18:44 GMT+02:00 Pierre 
>Béland <pierzenh at yahoo.fr >> 
><mailto:pierzenh at yahoo.fr>> wrote: >> >>> Such a 
>response has brought various discussions on the 
>HOT list on how to >>> both respond quickly and 
>assure data quality. >> >> >> I really 
>appreciate your work and the work of all 
>contributors. So >> excuse me if I'm little bit 
>too harsh now. >> >> I'm trying to to collect 
>the minimal common set of HOT tags for >> 
>specifying a renderer, for future use and for 
>OSM quality in general. >> >> Will already 
>answered finally in an earlier post (thanks!) - 
>but I'm >> sorry to say: What we (OSM) now have 
>in HOT pages is a tag mess since >> years! >> >> 
>Please correct me if I'm wrong. Perhaps there a 
>process on tagging >> mailing list I'm missing? 
>Here's what I found: >> >> To me the potential 
>main HOT tag page is "Humanitarian_OSM_Tags" 
>[1]. >> This page is very "orphaned" - it has 
>been edited twice since 2013(!?). >> It 
>prominently points to 
>"Humanitarian_Data_Background" as "An >> 
>up-to-date list of tags for HOT" - being a page 
>which has been updated >> 3.5 years ago 
>(!?). >> >> Then I see that no single wiki page 
>with Nepal in its title - including >> 
>"2015_Nepal_earthquake" [3] - is pointing to 
>Humanitarian_OSM_Tags, >> whereas the 
>Nepal_remote_mapping_guide [4] mainly lists the 
>usual main >> tags (like building=yes, 
>natural=wood|water, water=*, waterway=river, >> 
>waterway=stream, landuse=farmland). >> >> I 
>would expect at least to see tags like 
>damage:event and idp:camp_site >> - being top 20 
>in [6] - to show up in any wiki page related to 
>tags >> mentioned above. >> But these aren't 
>even mentioned in the wiki except somehow in [4] 
>- but >> which was declared outdated 2013. >> >> 
>How can we clean up this under-documented mess 
>and "tag soup" at least >> for a small common 
>set of tags? >> >> Yours, S. >> >> [1] 
> >> [2] >> >> 
> >> [3] 
> >> [4] 
> >> [5] >> >> 
> >> [6] 
>http://nepal-taginfo.openstreetmap.hu/keys >> >>  
> >> 2015-05-15 18:44 GMT+02:00 Pierre Béland 
><pierzenh at yahoo.fr >> 
><mailto:pierzenh at yahoo.fr>>: >> >> >>    This 
>OSM response for Nepal is quite challenging. And 
>even more >>    difficult for our friends at the 
>Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) who >>    have to 
>suffer the emotional impact of the second 
>earthquake this >>    week. They also have to 
>move from the famous Yellow house to 
>a >>    school. This should assure them a more 
>secure area to work. >>    Cheers to them that 
>maintain the Nepal earthquake Ushahidi 
>map, >>    provide various mapping services to 
>the humanitarian in the field >>    and assure 
>the interface with the Nepal governement and the 
>various >>    UN Coordination structures for 
>this response (ie The clusters 
>to >>    coordinate sanitation, water, logistic, 
>food distribution, health, >> etc). >> >>    As 
>usual, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap community 
>assures the >>    interface between the OSM 
>community, the UN agencies and 
>the >>    international organizations. We 
>support the OSM remote response 
>from >>    around the word and we co-coordinate 
>with KLL. We both interface >>    with the 
>DHNetwork digital organization and various other 
>groups via >>    Skype. We have a great support 
>from the International Charter >>    (imagery 
>providers), UNOSAT, DigitalGlobe, Airbus, the 
>HIU unit of >>    the US State dept., Google, 
>and our dedicated OSM/HOT 
>experienced >>    contributors and 
>developpers. >> >>    Plus the various groups 
>that provide the 30 minutes updates for 
>the >>    various OSM exports. >> >> 
> >>    Still more challenges to come with the 
>landslides risks and the >>    monsoon coming 
>soon. >> >>    At the same time, it is important 
>to assure a good coordination of >>    the OSM 
>community from around the world. The statistics 
>below show >>    great numbers and some 
>challenges with all the new contributors 
>that >>    participate to the response. Note 
>that these are preliminary >>    statistics that 
>can be revised later. With less then 3 weeks 
>of >>    response, we already have edited more 
>the 13 million of objects. >> >>    The pbf 
>export file increased from 27 megs april 24 to 
>84 megs >>    yesterday. Three times bigger. 
>This is quite awesome. It also shows >>    how 
>we should adapt to such a rapid growth of the 
>OSM database for >>    Nepal and maintain 
>quality to adequately respond to the 
>operational >>    needs of the humanitarian 
>organizations in the 
>field. >> >> >>    Preliminary statistics, Nepal 
>Response Apr-25 ­ May 15, 
>including >>    worldwide mecchanical 
>edits         NB >>    Contributors 
>*6,456* >>    Days       *11,877* >> 
>Changeset Sessions *154,048* >>    Objects 
>edited (ie. Points, lines, 
>polygons)       *13,089,247* >> >> >>    Such a 
>response has brought various discussions on the 
>HOT list on >>    how to both respond quickly 
>and assure data quality. OSM >>    crowdsourcing 
>can be compared to an image that we load 
>throug >>    internet. First, we have a quite 
>inprecise image, coming clearer >>    gradually. 
>The Mapathons a bit of this role. If 
>unorganized, they >>    can bring a lot of data 
>quality problems. The worlwide 
>OSM >>    community can play a strategic role in 
>such a response by >>    contributing to 
>structure the way the new contributors learn OSM 
>and >>    edit the map. For the first day of 
>contribution, what is important >>    is that 
>people better understand what are the various 
>steps and >>    provide quality data. If we 
>succeed to bring them a second day 
>to >>    help, this will show quite a 
>significant succcess since the majority >>    of 
>them contribute only one day for the 
>response. >> >>    There will be surely Lessons 
>learned from this Response. For now, 
>I >>    suggest that people that organize 
>Mapathons communicate with >>    activation @ 
>hotosm.org <http://hotosm.org> and provide some 
>infos >>    about the Mapathon >>    - who 
>Organize this mapathon >>    - town, 
>country >>    - Name, email of 
>organizers >>    - how many experienced osm 
>contributors to support the mapathon >>    - Nb 
>of people that you plan to receive >>    - 
>twitter account if you plan to publish 
>updates >>    - indicate that you give HOT the 
>license to reuse photos that you >>    publish 
>on Twitter. This can help for outreach and 
>various Blog >> updates. >> >>    *Various map 
>products* >> >>    UNOSAT GDACS Live map with 
>geolocated damage analysis. >> >> 
> >> >>    Visualisation, /Potentially Dangerous 
>Glacial Lakes of 
>Nepal >>    / >> 
> >> >>    Lanslides in the mountains with the 
>last earthquake this week - See >>    this video 
>to better understand the reality of people 
>living in >>    remote areas of Nepal with only 
>paths connecting the high 
>mountain >>    villages. >> 
> >> >>    A Visualisation Gift from Christian 
>Quest of OSM-fr >>    New contributions to OSM 
>Nepal >>    Awesoooooooooooooooooooooome!!! >> 
>  http://osm.cquest.org/nepal/#9/27.7139/85.3198  
>http://osm.cquest.org/nepal/#9/27.7139/85.3198 >> 
>  >>    twitter update on 
>this >> 
> >>    Cheers 
>all >> >>    Pierre >> >> >> 
>_______________________________________________ > 
> >    HOT mailing 
>list >>    HOT at openstreetmap.org 
><mailto:HOT at openstreetmap.org> >> 
>https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot >> > 
> > >> >> >> 
>_______________________________________________ > 
> > HOT mailing list >> HOT at openstreetmap.org >> 
>https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot >> > 
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