[Osmf-talk] Wrap-up email about an OSMF Tasking Manager Was:Re: Why not an OSMF Tasking Manager ?

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Sun Dec 23 12:51:42 UTC 2018

Augustin, while I can see the reasoning behind your proposal (and have
run an instance of the HOT tasking myself for many years, possibly as
one of the first to do so). I don't quite see the qualitative
improvement vs. independent instances if the OSMF would run simply yet
another one (note on the side: anybody is free to use the instance at
http://tasks.osm.ch/ ).

On the other hand having such functionality integrated (fsvo) in the
rails-port (the OSM website) directly at the "finger tips" of and easily
discoverable and shareable by OSM contributors could make a substantial

However such a project would be quite substantial (in more than one
aspect) and at least the EWG hasn't been very enthusiastic about the
idea the times I've proposed it.


On 23.12.2018 13:00, Augustin Doury wrote:
> Disclaimer: english is not my native language, please don't focus on
> specific vocabulary choices
> Hi all,
> Thanks for your different answers !
>   * *Quick remind*
> Firstly I would like to remind quickly the 4 reasons why I think "OSMF
> should propose an independant and robust Tasking Manager alternative
> to the OSM community".
> The detailed arguments are available in the first email of this thread.
>  1. 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
>  2. propose a TM instance which is not necessarily linked to
>     Humanitarian stuff (but could be)
>  3. propose a TM instance which is stable and independant of the Area
>     of Interest
>  4. propose a TM instance where OSM contributors can contribute
>     independently of any official organisation
>   * *About the issue around technical skills to run an instance*
> @Blake : thanks to propose your technical skills about TM install, as
> you said "under the auspices of the OSMF and appropriate Working
> Group". Happy to know that an OSMF TM instance could make sense for you !
>   * *About the counter-argument "there are plenty of examples out
>     there for running a TM outside the HOT domain".*
> Thanks Steven and Ralph for your answers. Despite all this instances,
> I'm still convinced of the initial proposition for an OSMF TM.
> => my initial email mentioned that : "/They are many existing
> instances [link
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Tasking_Manager#Operational_installations_of_the_Tasking_Manager>],
> 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"/.
> If needed, here are more details to illustrate that.
> 20 TM instances are "declared" on the Wiki:
>   * 9 instances are running TM version 3 while 8 are running TM version 2
>   * 3 doesn't seem to work
>   * 15 are country-based
>   * 5 focus on humanitarian&development or environment or historical map
>   * 0 propose an alternative which could be compatible with arguments
>     above (cf "Quick Remind" point) n°2, 3 and 4 in favor of "OSMF
>     should propose an independant and robust Tasking Manager
>     alternative to the OSM community". But it's always possible to
>     debate on arguments !
> I think it's interesting that there are at least 15 country-based TM
> (Canada, Colombie, Finlande, Portugal, Indonesia etc.) which could be
> interpreted as a wish by countries communities to have a local
> independent instance, and also probably an instance where people can
> "get creation rights (like software is not designed for anyone to
> create a project) [...] within a short time" as Severin explained.
> IMO these observations are in favour of an OSMF independant and
> up-to-date TM instance. As a matter of fact, a lot of mappers from
> local communities can't have access to a country-based local instance
> (because their country doesn't have one) and so don't have any other
> choice than choose an instance focused on thematics (hum/dev,
> environment etc.) and/or run by a specific organization for which TM
> users are indeed considers as official volunteers.
>   * *About  "TM technical limits and potential resolution" raised by
>     Severin*
> Thanks Severin to show your interest and to propose to participate in
> this topic. You accent on some issues which could not be ignored if
> OSMF decides to run a TM instance, particularly (as I understood):
>   * multiple instance implies : how to ensure a minimum coordination
>     between them ? (ex : avoid to create two similar projects on 2
>     different instances) *>>>* this problem already exists and would
>     not be specific to an OSMF TM instance.
>   * how to maintain a "generic" fork of the TM Github main repo ? that
>     should not be complicated if we just personalize main text areas.
>   * how to deal with the TM "project manager" status, given that TM
>     "is not designed for anyone to create a project" *>>>* IMO, the
>     must challenging point to discuss further
>   * how to deal with "organized edits" ? running an OSMF TM would be
>     an "an additional workload" for OSMF. We must think about a "test
>     period".
>   * *What's next ?*
> With Blake and Severin it's like at least 3 people are interested in
> working/help on this subject, maybe the begining of a WG ?
> I think it could be so valuable to have:
>   * more inputs from people on this list
>   * an idea of what could be the conditions to realize this project
>     "under the auspices of the OSMF and appropriate Working Group"
> Have a good day !
> Augustin Doury
> PS : because my message was rejected by the list (too big), I've
> deleted thread's older emails from below 
> -----
> COPY/PAST from Severin email which is only readable outside the
> mailbox and I'm not sure everybody got it >> Le 2018-12-21 22:57,
> Severin Menard a écrit :
> (Original en français, automatic translation by Deepl with slight
> corrections below) :
> https://mail.protonmail.com/eo/message/jup9rQTLk_Fm56vD1vZoVILs1K-oN7h-B9BbEVMh6DKnJLjjrzTyVgmn5KfQGYHCJblrxMTIFPyuBZQdXIFoKg==
> I think Augustin is totally aware of the existence of different
> instances of the Tasking Manager (TM). In the past, he has even
> administered a server hosting a TM
> instance.                                 
> The creation of an OSMF instance of the Tasking Manager is an idea to
> be explored, but it is important to be aware that it will not de facto
> solve some of the concerns encountered in the implementation and
> coordination of the various projects present in the different TM
> instances.                                                              
> The main current limitation of the TM remains the lack of a clear
> vision of the projects created. True, version 3 of the TM includes a
> mapping in the form of punctuals categorized according to their degree
> of priority, but this is not enough to visualize the spatial extension
> of projects and only concerns those specific to each instance. There
> is currently no software development to recover the spatial extensions
> of each project (which the TM has long produced in GeoJSON format)
> from the various deployed instances of the TM (at least those known)
> in the form of a geographical layer that would replace the silo point
> mapping of version 3. It would show the spatial extensions and also
> share some information: host authority, date of creation, date of last
> contribution, % completeness, typology (e.g. buildings only, detailed
> baseline data, road network, residential areas, etc.) and a link to
> the project. This mash up of existing inter-instance projects would be
> integrated into the steps of creating a new project on each of the
> instances integrating this new software development, which would allow
> any creator to ensure that they do not duplicate an existing project
> in any part, or at least to be aware of it.
> This is a development that the Foundation could consider funding in
> case the NGO HOT US Inc, which has carried out the latest developments
> of the TM, does not wish to do so. 
> However, it would not prevent the implementation of a TM managed by
> the OSMF, if its members so wish. This body would de facto represent
> the most generic a priori body of the TM, but I do not believe that it
> would be more official than the existing bodies and even less that it
> could become the only available TM, because 1 basically a free service
> is more efficient when it is replicated, 2 this would go in the
> opposite direction of the decentralising will of the OSMF and 3 the
> groups or structures that implement their own TM are committed to
> it.                                                                                                                          
> In my own experience as administrator of users of an instance of the
> Tasking Manager, the problem for anyone who wants to be able to create
> a project is not to find an instance, but to get creation rights (like
> software is not designed for anyone to create a project) and often
> within a short time. These OSM contributors naturally go to the first
> instance they naturally think of (that of HOT US Inc or on a national,
> regional, thematic basis, etc.) and to a second instance if they could
> not have creative rights in the first. It would then be up to the OSMF
> to find a way to satisfy requests for additional fees in its proceedings.
> One solution could be that this instance could be open to any OSM
> contributor without specific rights for the creation of new projects,
> but this would also require a TM software development which currently,
> unless I am mistaken, does not allow this.
> This does not mean that the creation of a TM project via an open
> instance is not without constraints. Since the TM involves in the vast
> majority of its projects managed editions, for which a guideline was
> recently defined by the DWG and approved in November by the OSMF
> board, logically each project creator of the OSMF instance will have
> to create a wiki page explaining the modalities of the managed
> editions of the project. This instance of the OSMF would also
> necessarily constitute an additional workload for the DWG and
> therefore a possible brake. These questions and constraints would
> probably require starting with a time-limited test period followed by
> an evaluation. I would be happy to participate in this topic.
> Severin
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