[HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve

Robert Banick rbanick at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 07:15:48 UTC 2016


Just quickly: I agree with both Heather and Jo.

I think the Tasking Manager and associated technologies are the
cornerstones on which we build mentoring, community and good practices. So
much of HOT’s way of operating in a disaster is set by the current
structure of the Tasking Manager. So if we build out a good new TM that
explicitly allows for mentoring, learning and on-boarding then we’ll be in
a better place.

Anyways for now mentoring, validating or pairing people + explicitly
inviting them onto Slack / IRC for questions is definitely necessary.

On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 12:44 PM Jo <winfixit at gmail.com> wrote:

> Unfortunately there will constantly be new crises. So we'll always be 'in
> the middle of a crisis'.
>
> Polyglot
>
> 2016-10-13 8:29 GMT+02:00 Robert Banick <rbanick at gmail.com>:
>
> Hi all,
>
> HOT is clearly one of, if not the, most successful crowdsourcing projects
> for humanitarian response in the world. Success means not just contributors
> but also use of the data by actual humanitarians. It’s unsurprising we’re
> encountering some limits to the approach and need to evolve it.
>
> I like Phil and John’s automated approach to these things. I think the
> Tasking Manager has proven that the best way to manage these interactions
> is through an automated platform. My only concern is making what’s
> currently straightforward overly complex and intimidating for new users.
> But that’s a call for good design and introductory materials, not dumbing
> down our approach.
>
> However, it’s the middle of a disaster and clearly not the time for
> wholesale changes. I suggest we flag these thoughts for the forthcoming
> Tasking Manager redesign and embrace makeshift systems in the meantime.
>
> Cheers,
> Robert
>
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 8:31 AM Phil (The Geek) Wyatt <
> phil at wyatt-family.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Folks,
>
>
>
> I am a retired long time map user, occasional mapper (in QGIS, Mapinfo)
> and supporter of the OSM mapping project. It seems to me that the issue of
> poor mapping, especially for HOT projects, is coming up on such a regular
> basis that it's time to consider some mandatory training for users before
> they get to map under the HOT task manager. I don't think this would be too
> difficult for most volunteers and it could ensure that at least a certain
> level of competency is attained before being exposed to complex tasks. If
> people know that in the first place then they can make a choice as to
> whether they commence or continue to map.
>
>
>
> I have no idea how this could be accomplished as I know little of the
> linkages between OSM and the HOT Task Manager, but restricting HOT tasks to
> those with some defined training could improve the results.
>
>
>
> Let's say as a minimum you train folks on roads and residential area
> polygons - that might be level 1 (ID Editor)
>
> Level 2 could be after training for buildings, tracks, paths (ID or JOSM)
>
> Level 3 for validation (JOSM)
>
>
>
> In this way HOT tasks simply get assigned at each level and you know you
> have the right people doing the tasks at hand. The task manager could also
> only highlight jobs at their assigned level until they do the next level
> training.
>
>
>
> You might even consider, as part of validation, dropping people from a
> higher level to a lower level if they continually fail to produce results
> at the desired consistency.
>
>
>
> Just my thoughts as a casual mapper.
>
>
>
>
>
> Cheers - Phil
>
>
>
> Thin Green Line Supporter <http://www.thingreenline.org.au/>, Volunteer
> Mapper (GISMO) - Red Cross <http://www.redcross.org.au/volunteering.aspx>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Severin Menard [mailto:severin.menard at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:34 AM
> *To:* hot at openstreetmap.org
> *Subject:* [HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve
>
>
>
> The edits on hotosm.org job #2228 <http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/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
> <https://leslibresgeographes.org/jirafeau/f.php?h=26gWjHki&p=1>).
>
> 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.
>
> Séverin
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