[HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve

Heather Leson heatherleson at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 07:50:56 UTC 2016

I've shared this video before, but I think it would be good for us to
consider for TM and Community Management (post-emergency)

How can we learn from other Open Source communities?  What are the
contributor metrics and engagement touchpoints (see the Mozilla dashboard
on the video)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvteDoRSRr8  (14 minutes)


Heather Leson
heatherleson at gmail.com
Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
Blog: textontechs.com

On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 9:37 AM, Pete Masters <pedrito1414 at googlemail.com>

> Apologies for a second email in succession but Jo reminded me of my
> original thoughts when I read Sev's first email.
> Firstly, I agree that a hugely committed mapper or 3 / 4 regular mappers
> are preferable to 10 one-time mappers, but I think that's probably slightly
> naive. From what I remember of Martin Dittus' research (and apologies if I
> have misremembered, Martin) you need to engage with many more than ten new
> mappers to find even one regular one (and this is in a regular mapathon
> setting where there is training and community). Also, some of the most
> committed humanitarian mappers were, once upon a time, newbies. How do you
> find those hard core HOT mappers of the future without looking?
> Secondly, I think new mappers are a great thing. We need them. MSF
> certainly needs them. The appetite for the kind of speed, quality and
> coverage you guys provide so well is growing fast. In terms of tasking, I
> have a backlog of more than ten projects that I haven't even put into the
> tasking manager yet. None of them are mapping for crises that make the
> news. And I know that we can't, as a community, handle these extra requests
> without growing significantly. That means inviting new people.
> Lastly, I have seen rooms full of new mappers provide operational data for
> field teams on urgent request. Mapping for the MSF measles vaccination on
> the island of Idjwi in DRC is a good case in point. Experienced HOT mappers
> were instrumental in checking the quality of the data, but new mappers in
> Glasgow and all over Belgium turned a likely failure into an astonishing
> success by doing the initial mapping at speed and with enthusiasm. This
> should be celebrated.
> If we curb the number of new mappers coming into this space, we will have
> to say no to a lot more requests from serious NGOs doing serious work.
> Better,  I would think, to work out how their time is most effectively
> spent however long they stay for... and to work out how to encourage them
> to stay for a while. My feeling is that criticising them en masse for
> spoiling data on the mailing list might be counter productive to this.
> Pete
> On 13 Oct 2016 08:02, "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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