[HOT] Dealing with future growth: three recommendations to organisers (my SotM16 talk)

Blake Girardot HOT/OSM blake.girardot at hotosm.org
Thu Nov 24 20:22:14 UTC 2016

Dear Martin,

Thank you very much, this is invaluable! I have some questions in line
below, I also added these three items in the TM2
http://github.com/hotosm/ issues list so discussion is welcome there

On Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 7:08 PM, Martin Dittus <martin at dekstop.de> wrote:

> In brief, I’d like to make three key recommendations:
> • Carefully manage the tasking manager task listing during large disaster events. People who join during these events don't tend to stay active for long, and their contributions tend to have a lower quality. Point them towards newcomer-friendly projects where they can make some early experiences.

In the context of disaster response, an activation, how long should
the early experience be? Is it ok if it is not a disaster related
project, but a specific new mapper project, probably from missing
maps? I would think we need a new mapped tailored part of the response
mapping to direct new mappers too.

> • Introduce a notification mechanism to inform contributors of emergent campaigns. While the mailing list may work for the core community, there is likely a larger number of one-time mappers who may be willing to help out again when they’re needed, but currently they have no means of finding out.

Yes, we have to make better use of email i think is what it comes down
too. Really we need to engage with new mappers where they are, but the
recurrent theme in many of these discussions is that email is best
because OSM only or TM only contact solutions are missed by literally
1 day mappers. Emails seems the consensus, allow contributors to
provide their email and opt-into some email messages from the Tasking

> • Try to connect newcomers to the existing community as soon as possible, and in a setting that is appropriate for absolute beginners. Where can people ask questions online? Is the mailing list still appropriate for absolute beginners?

See the Live OSM mapper-support channel, that is a direct result of
this suggestion and an attempt to accomplish the goal of connecting
absolute beginners with the OSM community. (
https://hotosm-slack.herokuapp.com/ )

We have talked about embedding it in the TM or maybe making a PR to
the iD editor. Please see this example of something like that:


But the friendly supportive channel has to be there first and hot's
slack channel mapper-support is intended to be that text channel, glad
to see you in it!!

The members of that channel now are all OSM members, some of the most
experienced OSM members there are and they are also among the most
motivated to welcome and support new mappers to OSM and humanitarian
mapping in particular.

And talk about validation, best practices for mapping, instructions,
etc. It is a direct conduit to most if not all of the groups creating
projects on HOT's instance of the OSM Tasking Manager software at the

It doubles as validtors "teir 3" support, they are identifying issues
and problems and this is how to get things changed, they should not
have to struggle to do their critical work, but instead have a direct
line of support to the project managers so issues with projects can be
identified fast, changes and fixes can get made fast so there is not
more work later.

It is a great support channel and about as plugged into the global OSM
community as you can get with all the OSM and disaster response
professionals in that channel.

Thank you again for sending this email, your work Martin, has always
informed our work and HOT and Missing Maps (and many other groups)
would not be where they are today without you.

Cheers from Ann Arbor, MI

> Do these recommendations make sense to you?
> Do you have ideas about how to make them happen?
> (Note that I’m making the fundamental assumption that we’re trying to grow the community. One could also make a case that the existing community is big enough, and we simply need to refine the existing tools.)
> Greetings from London,
> m.
> _______________________________________________
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Blake Girardot
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, TM3 Project Manager
skype: jblakegirardot
HOT Core Team Contact: info at hotosm.org
Live OSM Mapper-Support channel - https://hotosm-slack.herokuapp.com/
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