[HOT] Buildings and HOT's reputation in OSM

Bjoern Hassler bjohas+mw at gmail.com
Tue Dec 12 13:54:52 UTC 2017

Dear friends,

I do think that quality assurance is important. That doesn't mean just
assuring how objects are mapped, but also quality assuring training and
mapathons. From my perspective (specialising in adult education) I'd say
there's a fair few things that could be done to improve outcomes from
mapathons, e.g. c.f. message on this list some time ago about a volunteer
wanting better feedback at mapathon (not have received much / any).

How about having a voice call for an an initial brainstorming, to see where
core issues are and how they could be address as a shared effort? Does
somebody want to coordinate a doodle for a possible time, or we do this as
the next community talk (as an "open meeting on improving quality" rather
than a talk)?


On 12 December 2017 at 14:31, Rory McCann <rory at technomancy.org> wrote:

> 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
> together)
> 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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>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
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