[HOT] Buildings and HOT's reputation in OSM

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Tue Dec 12 13:31:18 UTC 2017

It seems like there is a need for a specialized "buildings editor". Yes
JOSM building_tools beats iD now, but how about making a new web based
editor that addresses the problems you highlight:

  * Can only enter buildings
  * Uploads (& downloads) frequently. Potlatch used to upload as soon as
you had deselected an object. OSM changesets can be opened and have many
uploads. Why not upload every X minutes?
  * Rather than free form drawing, you can only draw rectangular buildings
  * Don't allow the user over lap buildings (or auto-merge the rectangles

If you know your users are doing one thing, then it's probably easier to
change the software than the users. 😉

Of course, suggesting things is easier than actually doing them, and I
don't think my JS is good enough to do it.

On 09/12/17 20:59, john whelan wrote:
> Recently there has been some discussion of HOT's input into 
> OpenStreetMap in the OSMF mailing list.
> Perhaps one of the problem areas is mapping that is less than ideal.
> Basically HOT mainly maps highways, landuse=residential and buildings.
> These shouldn't be difficult to map correctly.
> Buildings appear to be the most problematic.
> I think we need to think about why we are mapping them.  Is node good 
> enough?  There would be less room for mistakes.
> If we need outlines and there good reasons why an outline is more 
> valuable than a node then we need to define what is acceptable.  Or do 
> we even care?  and its the do we even care part that is perceived to be 
> the case by some within OSM and that perception is something we should 
> care about.
>  From a validation point of view does it matter if the building is not 
> square?  Is it acceptable to square a building even though we know this 
> will introduce an element of approximation or error.
> What should be done with a building=yes that covers more than one 
> building?  Do we expect the validator to map each building or just 
> invalidate the tile?
> What should be done when the building mapped is more than 50% larger 
> than the image?  Invalidate the tile?
> We are still mapping buildings twice.  I suspect some mappers are not 
> uploading within two hours.  Getting mappers to upload every 30 minutes 
> max would go a long way to reduce this, extending the tile lock to four 
> hours would almost certainly eliminate it.  Recently on high priority 
> project I've seen in the order of a hundred buildings double mapped.  
> They have been done within the last two weeks so it is an ongoing 
> problem. There is a new tool that detects these so they aren't the 
> problem they once were but someone has to run the tool.
> If HOT could support a few more projects that were from the community on 
> the ground rather than the "We are the professionals we know what is 
> best" which appears to be perceived sometimes from the number of 
> projects for the RED Cross or other northern hemisphere charities that 
> might also help the reputation and relationship.
> So two points here on one message first is can HOT's reputation be 
> repaired and I suspect that is longer term problem that will take time 
> and a lot of effort rather than a PR job.
> Second would someone care to comment on what is acceptable mapping for a 
> building and what guidelines can we give to validators?
> Thanks John
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