[Talk-at] Missing Maps mapathon, November 7th at Austrian Red Cross!

Andreas a_voit at gmx.at
Wed Nov 9 10:55:03 UTC 2016

Am 2016-11-07 um 01:19 schrieb Frederik Ramm:
> Hi,
> On 11/04/2016 02:45 PM, Martin Noblecourt wrote:
>> Sorry for the late warning (and for posting in English!): the mapping
>> NGO CartONG, the Austrian Red Cross and Doctors without Borders-Austria
>> are organizing a *Missing Maps mapathon **next Monday from 3 to 6PM at
>> the ARC HQ in Vienna*.
>> The aim of the Missing Maps Project is to map the most crisis-prone
>> parts of the developing world. With your help we can directly improve
>> the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable people. Mapathons are
>> a great opportunity to get new people to discover OpenStreetMap, 
> I think Mapathons are a terrible way to introduce new people to
> OpenStreetMap. They don't help OpenStreetMap, and most importantly, they
> don't help the "vulnerable people" that the organizers keep banging on
> about.
> Quality mapping requires good on-the-ground knowledge, but these
> so-called "Mapathons" are mostly organised with armchair mapping in
> mind. Newcomers are given the impression that they can pick up the
> necessary training in a couple hours and already help save lives in
> areas they have never set foot in. This lead to poor results - as
> illustrated by Pierre Beland just a few minutes ago here
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/hot/2016-November/012673.html

In my opinion "Mapathons" are not the problem. The quality issues you
have mentioned depend on how they were organized. As in the linked post
described, there are too few validation processes.

But I guess, when the organisator of a mapathon is well prepared and the
volunteers are good trained by doing some tutorials and someone shows
them what are the common faults, it could improve OSM

But in my opinion data quality is a main issue in OSM. You also find bad
tagging or geometry faults in europe too.

> but still we hear of "Mapathons" all over the place where people are
> given an entirely wrong picture of what OpenStreetMap is about and are
> misled into thinking that you can do good with a couple hours of tracing
> buildings.
> This is not the kind outreach that will make OpenStreetMap a better map,
> this is just using OpenStreetMap for show.
> Bye
> Frederik


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