[HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve

Mike Thompson miketho16 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 15:43:43 UTC 2016

Two situations that a new mapper may face:
1) Task area with nothing, or very little, mapped.
This *should* be pretty easy. For example, in the case of buildings: draw
building, square it, tag it as a building, don't draw two buildings over
lapping each other.  However, despite verbal instruction, demonstrations,
and written instructions, many get it wrong. My conclusion is human
learning is more complex than many of us assume (hence the need for
professional educators in our society). We may need to adjust our training
(both online and in person) to be more effective. Just providing the
information is not enough.

2) Task area has already been partially mapped, either outside of the
tasking manager, as part of a previous project, or as part of the current
project where another mapper didn't finish.
Essentially we are asking the mapper in question to be a validator, because
we expect that when he or she marks the task as done, they are saying that
all of the mapping is done according to the instructions, not just the
mapping he or she did. This can be very difficult for a new mapper,
especially without the tools in JOSM. For example, if the instructions call
for buildings to be square, they have to pan the entire task looking for
buildings where is in JOSM, I put all buildings into the to do list and
step through them (I could also search for ways tagged as buildings with
less than a certain number of nodes and square them all at once).

* Have the tasking manager require a mapper to open (no way of knowing if
they actually read them)  their messages before they can do checkout
another tasks.
* Have tasking manager forward messages to mapper's email account.
* Require that a mapper at least visits the "instructions" tab before
checking out a task.
* Enhance project instructions to cover "edge cases". For example, should
buildings under construction be mapped? Should existing features be
spatially adjusted to the preferred imagery source, or should the imagery
be adjusted to them?
* Enhance project instructions to have links to examples (some of the
Africa projects already do this).  "Not sure what a building under
construction looks like? Click here for some examples." "Not sure how to
adjust imagery offset in iD? Click here for instructions."
* Mapathons should not be held without experienced mappers present who are
willing to spend the entire event going from person to person to check on
their work and answer any questions. We need many different people to make
this work, and if someone just wants to be an organizer that is great, but
they should ensure experienced mappers are in attendance.
* Some sort of online way to quickly give feedback as soon as a save is
made such that it is not necessary to wait until a task is marked as done.

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