[HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve

Suzan Reed suzan at suzanreed.com
Thu Oct 13 22:23:36 UTC 2016

A few months ago the Training Group was working on a short document "How to 
Map in 5 Easy Steps". It fell through the cracks. It described the basics 
of mapping in short sentences and used pictures, and included how to draw 
and square a building, how to draw a road and tag it, etc. If completed it 
would be a great way to get better data from new mappers.


On October 13, 2016 7:43:07 AM Autre Planete <autreplanete at gmail.com> wrote:

> Greets!
> Sorry to barge in. ...but what Mr.Phil says  is really true  in the case
> of  new mappers.
> Cheers:)
> Autre
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 7:08 PM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​I think we have to accept we need new mappers and we need them to be
>> motivated so mapping projects that do not seem important ​may not be so
>> motivating.  The Statistics Canada project is interesting as in the longer
>> term I think we should see a pool of experienced mappers coming out of that
>> but it is a longer term project and its interesting to see a different
>> approach with more emphasis on data quality.  We rarely discuss the needs
>> of our clients ie those who use the maps in the discussion group.
>> Mapping one on one with new mappers you can train them fairly quickly but
>> it still takes twenty minutes or so.  With a group I think you have to
>> accept you have them there for two/three hours, 50% will never map again,
>> and they want to start mapping now.  What's the guy at the front talking
>> about OpenStreetMap and boring stuff for?  Asking them to train for two
>> hours first and get a badge is a sort of non-starter.  Ask me to go through
>> training for validation and I'm more likely to go off and play in Blender.
>> They are volunteers.  Making the training available to them is a different
>> issue to making it mandatory.
>> There is an issue of trust, locally the American Red Cross has hit the
>> headlines with their six permanent houses built in Haiti.  Divide into the
>> money raised and its not pretty.  There has been mention of the
>> Humanitarian Industry.  There is a suggestion that the NGOs look upon
>> mapathons as a way of engaging the public hoping to gain donations from
>> them.
>> I've long thought that many projects could have better documentation.  Why
>> is this project important? who will use the data that we know about?  This
>> is being addressed through the training for project managers.
>> For a crisis certain projects will need a higher level of expertise.  I've
>> worked on critical high priority projects where tiles have been marked done
>> with only 25% of the mapping done.  Other tiles had been "validated" but
>> still left much to be desired, and my standard of validation isn't that
>> high.
>> Validating and giving feedback is useful.  Quite a few of the new mappers
>> I've given feedback to are now solid mappers but quick feedback is critical
>> and when you get twenty or more mappers mapping in a mapathon you can't
>> give each the attention you'd like.
>> By the way it doesn't seem to be just HOT mappers who leave much to be
>> desired.  I've been looking at parts of Africa and there are mappers there
>> who have done a fair amount of mapping more than 500 buildings for example
>> but still don't tag their ways and their userid does not show up in HOT.
>> I'll leave you the thoughts but no real solutions.
>> Cheerio John
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