[Osmf-talk] Why not an OSMF Tasking Manager ? Was:Re: Humanitarian work

Augustin Doury xhemp at mykolab.com
Tue Dec 18 18:01:04 UTC 2018


Disclaimer : english is not my native language, please don't focus on
specific vocabulary choices 

Hi all, 

It's not necessarily linked to Humanitarian stuff, because the Tasking
Manager (TM) [1 [1]] software can be used for many other kinds of
projects, but historically the TM is about humanitarian activations.
That's why the idea of having an OSMF Humanitarian WG (which I find very
great) makes me think about an OSMF Tasking Manager, here are some
reasons : 

 	* Tasking Managers are used by thousands of mappers and concern
millions of edit, the software seems to be an INESCAPABLE WAY OF
CONTRIBUTION for many mappers.

IMO the Tasking Manager is a pretty good operational tool, I used it
personnaly a lot, as a mapper and as a project manager.
Running a TM instance could be considered as a coherent concern for OSMF
which is supposed to encourage the growth, development and distribution
of free geospatial data. 

 	* propose A TM INSTANCE WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY LINKED TO
HUMANITARIAN STUFF (but could be)

The most used TM is the HOT US Inc instance which is deeply linked to
humanitarian and development stuff. However the Tasking Manager, as a
way of contribution, is particularly suitable and widely used for/by
those who edit the map where OSM base features (buildings, roads,
landuses, naturals...) still have a huge progress potential and where a
lot of mappers practice distant mapping on satellite imagery (often in
so-called "developing countries"). 

IMO these projects must not be connotated as "humanitarian/developpment"
 (an example here for a road project harmonisation in Burkina Faso [2
[2]]), they are just OSM projects to improve the base map. They are
labeled this way just because their creators did not really have the
choice of another TM. 

 	* propose a TM INSTANCE WHICH IS STABLE and INDEPENDANT OF THE AREA OF
INTEREST

They are many existing instances [3 [3]], but most of them are "country
based", are not always up-to-date (the migration from v2 to v3 is not
easy), and do not necessarily offer a "guarantee of service". 

 	* propose a TM instance where OSM contributors can CONTRIBUTE
INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OFFICIAL ORGANISATION, especially HOT US Inc

Reading last Blake email and following his link to HOT US Inc Guidestare
page [4 [4]], we can see that, for the year 2016, HOT US Inc claims to
totals 182,000,000 edits in OSM & 31,000 volunteers around the world.
About the calculation method, the context note says "This is the number
of HOT volunteers registered on our HOT tasking manager which enables
them to contribute to HOT's mapping projects." The huge number of edits
claimed is computed in the same way. You can see also this map [5 [5]]
on the HOT US Inc website which shows how all the TM projects are
presented as HOT US Inc projects. 

The problem is that many people who contribute on the "HOT Tasking
Manager" don't know that it is the "HOT US Inc Tasking Manager" and that
their volunteer work will be presented as HOT US Inc volunteer work (and
used notably for story-telling and fund-raising). Or others, like me,
don't have the choice to contribute, in a pure OSM volunteer way, to the
tasks without being labeled as "hottie" and see their work reclaimed by
somebody else. 

It raises more generally the problem of distinction between HOT and HOT
US Inc, which has been raised for approximately 4 years in the HOT
membership and on this OSMF mailing list, and which is IMO the core
problem. Unfortunately it seems that considering this as an issue is
still not acceptable for the organisation.

Just to avoid any proposition to debate this topic internally within HOT
US Inc membership, as it has been proposed on other threads, I need to
remind some context just to explain that it had already been tried
before without success. > I've been a HOT volunteer contractor in
Senegal in 2012 and resigned from my membership in May 2016, already
explaining that "_The concept of attribution is essential in the OSM
project and I feel like HOT US Inc, by its communication hegemony,
benefits from the work of numerous volunteers from South and North who
give their time for the HOT/OSM project, not for a NGO (which is
nowadays in an active fundraising campain).[...] HOT US board rejected
this approach, saying that there is not HOT US Inc, there is just HOT
and HOT US Inc is HOT and should not be called « US Inc » because it
creates dividness within the HOT community._" Two years before, in 2014,
these issues were already raised through a HOT US Inc Manifesto of a
collective of 15 active hotties [6 [6]]. 

-- 

In my opinion OSMF should propose AN INDEPENDANT AND ROBUST TASKING
MANAGER ALTERNATIVE TO THE OSM COMMUNITY.
I don't have skills in Python but would be happy to help define such a
project and participate to it's implementation and maintenance.
If it makes sense, what would be the next steps to make this proposition
more officially to the OSMF ? 

Thanks in advance, have a good day, 

Augustin Doury 

[1] Tasking Manager - Github page
https://github.com/hotosm/tasking-manager 
[2] Tasking Manager - project #1245 - Burkina Faso, consolidated
mapping, Base Roads Check
https://tasks.hotosm.org/project/1245 
[3] Wiki OSM - Tasking Manager - Operational installations of the TM
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Tasking_Manager#Operational_installations_of_the_Tasking_Manager

[4] GuideStar (HOT US Inc profile)
https://www.guidestar.org/profile/27-3166713 
[5] HOT US Inc website
https://www.hotosm.org/our-work 
[6] 2014 HOT US Inc Manifesto of a collective of 15 active hotties
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MMaCNSEvblAgQtxFRCcw8hOnd9WpHJdC3eJXkJLql4I/edit#heading=h.213ghf9zd35p


Le 2018-12-17 16:47, Blake Girardot a écrit :

> On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 6:05 AM Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote: 
> 
>> One of the ways this could/could have been addressed would be do have a majority of the HOT board be nominated by the OSMF.
>> 
>> Further I don't believe HOT is a charity (in the sense of the UK legal construct), naturally to continue to benefit from their US special tax status business would need to be executed in an appropriate fashion.
>> 
>> Simon
> 
> You can believe it, HOT US Inc. is a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
> 
> https://www.hotosm.org/downloads/2017-Form-990.pdf
> 
> (our tax filings are available for the past 6 years as well)
> 
> And a highly rated one for transparency as well:
> 
> https://www.guidestar.org/profile/27-3166713
> 
> Cheers,
> Blake

 

Links:
------
[1] https://github.com/hotosm/tasking-manager
[2] https://tasks.hotosm.org/project/1245
[3]
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Tasking_Manager#Operational_installations_of_the_Tasking_Manager
[4] https://www.guidestar.org/profile/27-3166713
[5] https://www.hotosm.org/our-work
[6]
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MMaCNSEvblAgQtxFRCcw8hOnd9WpHJdC3eJXkJLql4I/edit#heading=h.213ghf9zd35p
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