[HOT] Getting organised

Denis Carriere carriere.denis at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 14:46:37 UTC 2016

Well said John,

I agree very strongly with all your comments, thanks for giving your
valuable input.

On Jan 5, 2016 9:26 AM, "john whelan" <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> HOT is evolving, we started off with mainly experienced OSM mappers
> mapping in response to short term emergencies.  Now do do a wider range of
> tasks with a wider range of mappers.
> We're seeing organisations such as MSF and the Red Cross guiding people
> who want to help them to mapping with HOT, so our mappers are changing.  It
> helps engage volunteers.
> We're starting to see more GIS and mapping being organised locally but
> still not as much as I'd like to see.  The locals are better at reading
> street names than people mapping from imagery.
> Currently http://tasks.hotosm.org/ is our splash page if you like.  At
> the moment we see two or three high priority projects followed by medium
> priority projects in date order, the most recent last.  So the medium
> priority projects get their five minutes of glory then drift down into the
> mass of medium projects.
> We end up with a large number of projects that get 25% done, 5% validated
> and drift on for years.
> I suggest we have ten slots set at high priority, that way we stand a
> chance of getting a few projects completed.
> Of these I suggest that MSF, American Red Cross get given two permanent
> high priority slots.  That would concentrate their minds on which of their
> projects are most urgent.  At the moment I suspect mappers are seen as a no
> cost resource and some projects that are still around where the ground
> workers have finished their tasks but we're still mapping.
> Of the others, I'd give three to other organisations for a period of say
> three months.  For example Cameroon has a mapping department, Bangladesh
> has an active community, Nepal again has an active community and there are
> others.  Let them decide which projects will do them most good.  They may
> make some mistakes but I hope it will develop a sense of ownership.
> The other five I'd let the board decide.
> Then we have the dead wood projects that clutter up the medium priority,
> these are projects where no one has mapped or validated for more than a
> month.  It maybe the imagery is poor, the instructions too complex, or
> whatever.  I'd downgrade these to low priority, that way the active
> projects would stand out more and again stand more chance of completion.
> It might even be worthwhile having a weighting attached to each project,
> the more active projects or highly validated projects move up the list the
> less active ones move down.  It just needs a tag for the task list to
> order.  The actual computation can be done off line say once a day and
> someone else can sort out the algorithm.
> Can we get more out of our mappers?
> I think we can.  On project 1390 I validated as people mapped.  New
> mappers got feedback, the advantage is they get a bit more involved and
> feel engaged.  So we got more tiles out of them.  We got 6 or more tiles
> out of a number of new mappers or ones who had mapped less than six tiles
> before, typically I'd expect one or two tiles from them.  On the data
> quality side I think it was up.  By correcting problems early on the new
> mappers made less mistakes that need intervention later on from the
> validation side.  However it takes effort, the faster the feedback the
> better the results.
> Validation is a tricky.  HOT isn't traditional OSM where individuals like
> to map park benches or waste bins.  There is a service level to be met, and
> if the building is five feet out, well that's probably good enough although
> we  should strive for accuracy.  It's a bit lets get something useful done
> with the resources we have.  Normal good management technique is catch them
> doing something right.  So invalidating a tile is the last thing you want
> to do.  I normally correct then leave a note, such as added fourteen
> settlements. Where possible third party it JOSM validation picked up the
> following: African wiki suggests higway=living street in an African small
> village may not be appropriate and I must confess I normally delete any
> zebra pedestrian crossing I come across in Africa.  There is another issue
> with experienced OSM mappers HOT has its own conventions, such as
> everything that looks like a building is mapped as an area and tagged
> building=yes.  Some OSM mappers use a node tagged building=hut etc.  Giving
> feedback is delicate because in the OSM world what they are doing is
> acceptable.
> The worst validation is by someone who has mapped two tiles.  I recently
> double checked one and JOSM validation picked up a dozen problems and
> visually there were a few more.  This is a data quality issue and it
> becomes a matter of are any of the validated tiles to be trusted.  In Nepal
> this was a major issue.
> We don't have enough good tactful validators.
> 1390 was also interesting in that I came across an MSF volunteer, new
> mapper who mapped accurately, did a fair number of tiles but when it was
> complete wanted to know which MSF project to map next.  So project managers
> need to have something in the pipeline.
> Project managers need to understand the mappers.  We have more
> inexperienced mappers than experienced ones.  Projects that demand only
> buildings and have documentation on how to map them work well.  Projects
> that ask for landuse=residential and connecting highways to be tagged
> unclassified work well.  Ones that ask for forests, and everything else
> don't work as well.  New mappers get confused and give up and take up
> basket weaving instead which is not what we'd like.
> Mapping should be fun.
> Anyway there is enough to mull over.
> Cheerio John
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