[Talk-asia] Grab’s GlobalLogic OSM team edits in Thailand

Erwin Olario govvin at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 08:07:30 UTC 2019

The original document (in original formatting) from which the following
text was copied is at: https://hackmd.io/s/HkZmHZ5z4

The following summary is a synthesis of the individual assessments made by
the volunteer mappers. I am responsible for any errors you may find in this
document. The invidual assessments are available through their respective

We are sharing these findings with the rest of the Asian OSM communities
with the hope of promoting open discussions, and constructive engagement
for all parties. We feel that many other (Asian) communities can  benefit
from the exchange.

Kind regards,

Link to Supaplex's review notes are unavailable as of this writing.


Grab operates in Southeast Asia, and their OpenStreetMap editing
operations are contracted to Global Logic. They have conducted editing
in several other countries in south-east Asia prior to their foray in
Thailand. These never came un-noticed by locals and didnt’t always have
a great start [0], but in time, developed into positive working relationship
with these communities.

In December 2018, an article was published in TechCrunch [1] that described
the edits made by Grab’s contractor, Global Logic, as “absolute
disaster.” This tickled the interest of some mappers from several Asian
communities, and they agreed to conduct their own assessments of said
edits in Thailand.

Changeset assessments by volunteers

The following volunteers agreed to conduct their own indpendent
assessments of the changesets made by acknowledged team members [2] of Grab
Logic. These volunteers have extensive experience in OpenStreetMap, and
are known to be active OSM advocates within their respective

Reviewer OSM username Assessments
-------------------- -------------- -------------
ABROKWA, Kelvin Muzirian [4] Notes [5]
CHEN, DennisChen Supaplex[6] Notes [7]
DWIJANANTO, Adityo Adityo[8] Notes [9]
OLARIO, Erwin GOwin[10] Notes[11]
SAMBALE, Maning Maning[12] Notes[13]

The instruction to volunteers was to randomly select changesets using an
OsmCha filter [3] of un-reviewed changeseets of Grab’s Global Logic team in
Thailand, numbering about 7,000 edits. And to use OsmCha to verify said
changesets, and leave comments on them to record observations, if


As with any other countries with active mapping volunteers, the Thai
mapping community is similarly lucky to have their very own active,
diligent, and prolific mappers who make time to map their favorite
neighbourhoods. We’ve frequently seen usernames which became familar
after several changeset validation, and we kept seeing the same names
again and again. Kudos to these contributors.

Overall, there is no substantive evidence to support the allegation of
massive detrimental edits, or systematic errors by Grab’s Global Logic
OpenStreetMap editing team. The errors found appear to be isolated, and
though there were unusual edits (that aren’t necessarily bad), there are
some bad edits that should have been caught by their internal Quality
Assurance (QA) team - the onus of primary validation of their team edits
should not be on the OSM community, but Grab’s Global Logic editing

A few changesets were marked as bad, but none were considered critical.
Those marked as bad should be immediately addressed by Grab’s OSM team.

Some unusual behaviors were noticed:
* deleting road segments and
re-adding them;
* redundantly adding oneway=yes to roundabouts;
* their JOSM settings appear some users use a different/edited source
for the same imagery, instead of what’s available by default from JOSM.

These are unusual, but nothing major or critical.

There are instances of inconsistencies with imagery interpretation:
tagging, use of various imagery and adjusting for offsets. The mappers’
training and on-boarding process can improve in these areas, and all
other mappers, ideally could have re-orientation to familiarize
themselves with the issues raised.

The Grab’s OSM team should look into supplementing their imagery source
with Mapillary/OpenStreetCam imagery collected by the local community.
They’ve been helpful to the validators in many instances during this
validation effort. Their QA team should take advantage of those, as

This is not to say that the complaints from the local community are
unsound - local knowledge trumps imagery interpretation - feedback from
the community should always be considered, and investigated closer.
Remote mapping, validation and on-the-ground validation play an
important role in the mapping process. Grab can do better with engaging
the local community, or communicating better whatever assistance or help
they might need. Although, they should be wary of imposing these needs
on the community.

Validating edits from organized editing activities is primarily a
responsibility of the project initiators, and Grab’s Global Logic OSM
data team (as with any other organized editing effort) should be more
mindful of edits made by mappers with local knowledge when the imagery
shows something else (especially from trusted and prolific contributors)
who have this advantage. If in doubt, communicate with the editors.


- The internal Quality Assurance team can do better catching the
issues we caught, and it may seem like a refresher course would be
very helpful.
- Give current mapping team members a briefing about the issues
identified by the individual assessors, and how to address them.
- Improve communications and engagement efforts with local mapping
communities, to avoid misunderstanding.

[0]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/harrymahar/diary/43671
[2]: https://github.com/GRABOSM/Grab-Data/blob/master/Grab%20Data%20Team
[4]: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?muzirian
[5]: https://gist.github.com/muzirian/04804d765968b0e5764eb0e1213ef51f
[6]: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?Supaplex
[7]: https://
[8]: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?adityo
[10]: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?GOwin
[11]: https://gist.github.com/govvin/6c8c9df8106c667b6c28823131419d1e
[12]: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?maning
[13]: https://gist.github.com/maning/61d9a1962454159b33ffa046bdeb092c

/Erwin Olario

e: erwin at ngnuity.xyz | v/m: https://t.me/GOwin | s: https://mstdn.io/@GOwin
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