[HOT] Getting organised

Leon van der Meulen leonvandermeulen at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 15:56:33 UTC 2016

Nice email John, I totally agree with this idea. What I hear from new
mappers is that they find it difficult to pick a task themselves. Something
I found difficult myself in the beginning was the fact that tasks for
experienced mappers are also shown in the first screen, e.g. imagery
adjustments, road checks. Often you'd only see the note when the task is
already opened. It would be nice to have some kind of filter (maybe even
automatically set) for new, intermediate and experience mappers in
combination with the prioritising you proposed.

About the validating Jim was talking I also strongly agree. Especially for
mapahtons it is crucial to have validators who are there at the same time.
Personal and immediate feedback really helps a lot.


2016-01-05 15:24 GMT+01:00 john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com>:

> 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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