[Tagging] Use of tag "import=yes" on objects, not changesets?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 15:46:16 UTC 2019

Well, I just realized that a number of Indonesian and Tanzanian HOT
mappers worked on my area of Indonesia this month. I haven't found out
if they used facebook's new software, but I'm a little annoyed at how
many footpaths they changed to highway=track. In a few cases there
actually was a newly-built road that replaced a footpath, but several
times the old footpath way was reused, even though the road takes a
rather different route around hills and streams (gentler curves, etc)
and needed to be remapped. It's hours of work to improve. Perhaps this
is just the standard for the HDM / HOT work when it's done by mappers
from across the country, or some from across the Indian Ocean, in this

In areas where I don't map as actively, they did add a number of new
roads that were built in the last couple of years. I'll have to get
more involved with their planning to avoid problems in the future.

On 8/11/19, Dave Swarthout <daveswarthout at gmail.com> wrote:
> The Facebook team did employ some sort of AI to assist in the
> identification of highways but it wasn't always right. And the mappers they
> employed didn't know OSM very well. We met with them several times to offer
> advice and hints but some of the more active mappers in Thailand are still
> railing about the failure of the team to come up to speed. They joined OSM,
> they mapped, they departed. Next up, Grab. Another huge imbroglio resulted.
> Same issues. Inaccurate mapping, broken routes, especially in Bangkok.
> The horse has definitely left the barn. We're left with what remains a very
> large task of cleaning up and verifying. On a positive note, they added
> thousands of highways for us and made their high-quality DigitalGlobe
> imagery available to ordinary OSMers. That, to me anyway, was well worth
> the trade-off.
> On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 9:43 AM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, 10 Aug 2019 at 17:27, Dave Swarthout <daveswarthout at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> The decision to use the import=yes tag wasn't mine nor that of other
>>> experienced Thailand mappers. The Facebook crew "invented" this use, for
>>> whatever internal reason(s)of their own and we local mappers simply went
>>> along with it because we were desperate for a method with which to check
>>> their work.
>> If Joseph was right that Facebook used AI on the aerial imagery then I'd
>> say it does meet some
>> of the criteria for an import unless the results were first verified by
>> humans.  And since it
>> sounds like Facebook dumped the unverified AI output into OSM for humans
>> to check, then
>> import=yes doesn't sound unreasonable (although it might have been better
>> as a changeset
>> tag rather than an object tag).  Would something like AI_assisted have
>> been better?  Maybe.
>> Would a changeset tag have been better?  Maybe.  Is there any point
>> locking the stable door
>> now the horse has bolted?  No.  Can we persuade Facebook to do it any
>> differently in the
>> future?  I have my doubts, and I expect Facebook horses will keep bolting
>> because they
>> never lock the stable doors.
>> --
>> Paul
> --
> Dave Swarthout
> Homer, Alaska
> Chiang Mai, Thailand
> Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com

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