[HOT] Why the HOT obsession with low quality buildings in Africa ?

Lists blslists at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 04:10:22 UTC 2018

I concur with the points made by Jean-Marc Liotier. As Deming said in the 50's, it is important to build quality into the process, not depend on checks after the fact.
Along those lines, I still think that we could have an AI program do a big part of the initial mapping.

Bryan Sayer 

-------- Original message --------
From: Jean-Marc Liotier <jm at liotier.org> 
Date: 07/02/2018  10:58 AM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: AMEGAYIBO Kokou ELolo <amazanake at gmail.com> 
Cc: talk at openstreetmap.org, hot at openstreetmap.org 
Subject: Re: [HOT] Why the HOT obsession with low quality buildings in
  Africa ? 

On Mon, July 2, 2018 11:55 am, AMEGAYIBO Kokou ELolo wrote:
> The majority of these tasks were created in training workshops on
> OpenStreetMap in Bamako, quality control work is done afterwards by the
> local community normally. I share your points of view, but for training
> workshops it is our best method to channel, control the work of the
> newbies and also familiarize them with the use of the Tasking Manager.
> I am open to any contribution who can help us improving our approach.

I understand the difficulty of getting large numbers of new contributors
started with Openstreetmap - mistakes are normal and must be accepted as a
cost of growing the project. Nevertheless, I think that there are ways to
keep that cost lower.

First, and most important, I believe that quality control should not be
relegated to "done afterwards" - especially with less proficient
contributors who are most likely to make mistakes, and especially if they
are enthusiastic (it pains me to see incredible dedication in go to
waste). Quality control must be an integral part of the contribution and
that must be drilled into new contributors as early as possible. Insist on
using the JOSM Validator, have the users look at their own contributions
on Osmose... Show them how to be more responsible of their own work ! Or
course, having experienced users supervise is valuable but they are a
scarce resource and most importantly they risk infantilizing less
experienced contributors. Most of my own contributions start with looking
at Osmose, seeing a bunch of errors and I start editing there... Quality
control is a core skill for everyone, at every level of proficiency.

Second, have users. Creating data costs, maintaining it costs... Why are
we doing it ? We are doing it for users. How do we judge quality ? I am as
fond of the map as an aesthetic object as anyone here but we all agree
that we want to put our efforts to good uses - so we judge quality by the
fitness of the product for a particular use. If the data has no users, it
is dead data.  For example, as a user, I am a walker and a cyclist - I
enjoy buildings on the map as landmarks to help me navigate... That is my
personal way of judging quality - but other users may have other ways: to
some users the purpose of having buildings in Openstreetmap may just be
"there is a building here and its shape is not that important" - and maybe
those users are the majority, who knows ? So, as a producer of data, be
aware of how the data is used - that is the key to rational quality
control. That remains true if you just chose the buildings as a new
contributor training object.

Third, make sure that the most recent imagery of decent quality is used.
For the specific case of Bamako and at the current time, ESRI World is
better than Bing: https://i.imgur.com/w6YBG70.jpg - of course, this is
subject to change over time. In understand that, for lack of available
properly surveyed geodesic reference points, large numbers of users
working with multiple sources of imagery generates its own challenges (I
found that particularly frustrating in Dakar's suburbs).

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