[Osmf-talk] Mapping of inappropriate things as buildings by remote mappers (was: Re: google Open Buildings usage request)

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 30 11:10:15 UTC 2021

On 30/07/2021 11:24, dfjkman at gmail.com wrote:
> After a quick look at the data available for parts of Zambia I know 
> well I would suggest that caution is used. I had a look at areas in 
> the middle of Lake Kariba and there are buildings marked that are 
> obviously boats or what are known as Kapenta rigs used for netting 
> kapenta, a small sardine like fish. I also did a quick check in the 
> Kafue National Park where there should be very few buildings and I 
> suspect ant hills are being mapped here as buildings, something remote 
> mappers tend to do as well. Africa is already full of very poor data, 
> adding to it would not help in any way.
Apologies if I'm repeating myself to anyone here, but in cases such as 
this I'd suggest commenting politely on the changeset explaining why 
some things that have been added as buildings aren't in reality 
buildings.  Mappers taking part in remote mapping projects in Africa are 
often new to OSM, and in some cases haven't always been given given the 
assistance they need to tell if something really is a building, and if 
so how to map it well (for example, make it rectangular, if it's 
rectangular on the imagery, by pressing "q").

I'd always try and communicate in a language that the mapper is likely 
to understand - for example if you don't speak French but they're 
obviously from a francophone school or university, at the very least add 
a machine-translated version of your comment into French.  Machine 
translation quality various hugely but at the very least it'll be "some 
words in a language that they understand" rather than "a computer saying 
something that they can ignore".

You may also be able to fish something out of the "hashtag soup" of the 
changeset comment - for example looking at (very) recent edits I can see 
someone who's included "#hotosm-project-9842"* and if I needed to see 
what instructions had been given for that task I could look at 
https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9842 for more information.

If the edits were months or years ago the mappers concerned may have 
moved on and may not reply to changeset discussion comments. If things 
still need tidying up there then my first port of call would be the most 
relevant local mapper community (see https://openstreetmap.community/ 
for what is suggested).  You can also contact the DWG for advice and 
technical help about how best to proceed (email data at openstreetmap.org ).

Best Regards,

Andy (from the DWG)

* for the avoidance of any doubt this is just a random example - found 
by looking at the OSM history in roughly the middle of the continent, 
and it has no buildings in it at all (problematic or otherwise).

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