[Osmf-talk] google Open Buildings usage request

dfjkman at gmail.com dfjkman at gmail.com
Sat Jul 31 06:25:45 UTC 2021

Hi all,

I would just like to add that even if the AI was accurate there are a number
of problems as regards Africa that are missed by those sitting outside.
Parts of Africa are developing rapidly so the major cities and towns are
changing constantly expanding  as well as new buildings going up within the
cities as well. What you map today will be out of date within 6 months let
alone one year. The satellite imagery available is way out of date as it is
anyway. Lusaka has many new roads that do not appear in any imagery so using
Google Maps for navigation can lead to some interesting journeys especially
in the outskirts.

Another point is touched upon by Craig, 'If the same thing had happened in
Germany there would have been a riot on this channel'. Africa is treated as
the training ground for new mappers, this is all well and good, new mappers
are welcome and needed, but the large areas they map and errors introduced
are many and varied and can take considerable time and effort to correct and
as a result nobody bothers. Nobody actually asks the Africans what they want
or whether they mind this mess being created in their backyard, judging by
the response to this thread they don't want it. No wonder many in Africa
feel they are just the guineapigs for the rest of the world.


-----Original Message-----
b.kilhu+ytrwslnopdfujmrtjzkvsxweizfjncifmzdwwypiihjzdikulpnvql+- at gmail.com
<b.kilhu+ytrwslnopdfujmrtjzkvsxweizfjncifmzdwwypiihjzdikulpnvql+- at gmail.com>

Sent: 31 July 2021 00:52
Cc: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] google Open Buildings usage request

See The Machine Learning Enabler and MapWith AI (RapiD) road prediction from

On Sat, Jul 31, 2021 at 12:05 AM Craig Allan <allan at iafrica.com> wrote:
> Dear List,
> As an African mapper, working mainly in Chad, DRC and Kenya, I am 
> perpetually scared that some well-meaning AI professional in a far-off 
> wealthy country is going to proudly overwrite Africa with dirty data.
> In that regard I note that this latest 'Open Buildings' building 
> recognition project seems to be good work, at the current level of AI 
> image recognition. That is very cool and the field of work is 
> fascinating.  But the quality is not yet good enough for OSM purposes.
> The authors of the paper are open about this and are working hard to 
> improve their accuracy.
> One day, when AI image recognition consistently produces work that 
> cannot be distinguished from the work of an experienced human then we 
> should certainly look at using AI to classify features.  Until then I 
> vote *NO!!!!* to any overwrite.
> An African example of the worst case already happening is Cameroon, 
> where an AI enthusiast blanketed the country with bad vegetation 
> coverage data that nobody will ever bother to fix, because it looks 
> 'done', whereas it is not. It is dirty data, which far worse than
> blank.   If the same thing had happened in Germany there would have been
> a riot on this channel.
> I also find that if you politely write to mass editors to request 
> correction, there is no recourse. The mass editor can't fix the errors 
> because that involves hand editing millions of points and ways and 
> they don't have the resources to do that. The alternatives are to dump 
> the whole import, which is impossible, or fix it yourself.
> I would be quite happy with AI produced work being loaded up as a 
> digitising aid on another layer, like OpenTopo, and I expect that that 
> such limited use as reference-only material would probably be easier 
> to licence.
> Craig Allan
> osm: cRaIgalLAn
> On 2021/07/30 09:31, Enock Seth Nyamador wrote:
> > ...
> > In Ghana alone, there is enough of very bad mappings from remote 
> > mapping in recent years that we wouldn't want to see more added.
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

osmf-talk mailing list
osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org

More information about the osmf-talk mailing list