[HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve

Mikel Maron mikel.maron at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 21:53:11 UTC 2016

Could be a good idea John. Is there a GitHub issue?


On Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 5:12 PM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

A suggestion would be for these types of tasks disable the tasking manager from communicating with anything but JOSM its a bit drastic but where data quality matters it is a very simple but crude method of keeping the very inexperienced mappers away.

The other suggestion is disable Tasking Manager from permitting anything but a JOSM mapper from validating but that would be on all projects.

Cheerio John

On 12 October 2016 at 16:57, Dale Kunce <dale.kunce at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks everyone. I agree that the task should be marked as appropriate for intermediate or advanced mappers. 
I also wanted to reiterate a point that Mikel made. Having two tasking managers, is not the greatest for more coordination. HOT's official tasking manager should be the only tasking manager used. Having conflicting tasks introduces errors and makes coordination for actual data use difficult.
Romain,Thanks for your suggestions. My apologies on not getting back to you I've been very busy and traveling the last couple of days.You are correct that we changed the way that created tasks. There was some debate within the activation team as to which way to do the work. All of your comments will be captured in the after action for some lesson's learned.
Thanks again for everyone that is contributing to the mapping.

On Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 3:35 PM, Romain Bousson <romainbousson at gmail.com> wrote:

I noticed the same issues recently. All along the week, as the media coverage increased, the way that the projects and tasks were completing themselves changed. From large tiles completed by several users turn by turn, we came to big tiles directly divided into tiny tasks, being completed by only one user in a few minutes. The peer review process, making the quality of the work, was botched. 
I personnaly found many tasks checked green as "validated" by newcomers, and "completed" by newcomers.

For example, here is an extract from a message I sent to Dale Kunce (admin of many Haïti projects), where I was pointing to the fact that many newcomers did not see the instructions tab and so did not use the new Digital Globe imagery, and stayed using Bing (that was before today's post disaster imagery). But I unfortunately received no answer. I am not here to complain about that: I understand that there may be a lot of other things to do during these days.
I just saw 4 tiles on the #2223 - Hurricane Matthew: Grand Anse coast project and all were wrong according to me (but maybe I am wrong and somebody have to tell me):- task #53 was checked "complete" by @michaelcraven, but many buildings were missing.- and the 3 main tasks of ANSE D'HAINAULT town : #232, #233 and #13. All 3 were clearly not done using Digital Globe imagery so it missed a lot of things.

I think some more warnings and advices written in the instructions tabs would be very simple and quite effective.

Romain Bousson (mapping as Romainbou)

2016-10-12 19:34 GMT+02:00 Severin Menard <severin.menard at gmail.com>:

The edits on hotosm.org job #2228 have started and now happens what I feared. There is no mention of what are the necessary skills and newbies are coming with a lot of enthusiasm but with almost no OSM experience. A quick analysis of the first 29 contributors shows that 20 of them have created their OSM account less than one month ago. Some did it yesterday or today. Wow. 

The result of that : obviously, crappy edits are coming, spoiling what we have been doing over the last few days : now we have building as nodes where shapes are totally visible, un-squared bad shaped buildings and the main landuse area is self-cutting in various places (see there). 

Nothing new under the sun : it was already the case for Haiti EarthQuake 2010. Quite a pity that six years after, despite the OSM tools have improved a lot, it remains the same. It is though quite simple to fix the most part of it: do-not-invite-newcomers-to-map -over-complex-crisis-contexts.

I guess some will argue that the OSM newcomers are people of good will and that they just want to help and that they my feel offended/discouraged. Of course their intentions are high and yes they may feel a bit hurt. But this is really a classic in humanitarian response: people with the best intentions in the world may not fit for it, just because they are not experienced yet. 

Mapping in OSM in crisis response is not an exciting one-shot hobby : it does have its learning curve and it is key to learn how to map correctly before being dropped over complex humanitarian contexts. This is why I mentioned three sets of necessary skills for the jobs I created these last days on http://taches.francophonelibre .org. And the beginner mappers who joined the job that fitted for beginners are people that already have a few months of OSM experience, not newcomers. Newcomers should be driven over non urgent fields.

If someone is not interested to learn first in not a mass media covered crisis context : this is not a problem, it is actually a good way to see real motivations. I personally prefer to get one mapper that will become a huge, excellent contributor, 3-4 more occasional but still producing neat data, than to lose 10 that would create crappy objects and just leave forever afterwards anyway. 

I guess the resulting need of duplicating the number of necessary edits (crappy ones then corrections) to get a clean data is a rather a good way to grow the number of total contributors and the number of total edits created through the # of the HOT TM instance that seems to be so important for the board of HOT US Inc (two current directors have contacted me for this purpose) to make communication and raise funds from the figures. But what is at stake here is to provide good baseline data for humanitarian response, not distorted metrics.


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Dale Kuncehttp://normalhabit.com

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