[Talk-ca] COMS2200 Ottawa, Carleton University

James james2432 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 11 12:30:26 UTC 2017

I think some people are missing the point of the class by saying: Go map an
african village.

The point was to have students go outside and take photos of real world
items(surveying) and upload them to mapillary
Then the students take the mapillary photo key and add it to the item in OSM
They are supposed to learn about deriving information from something(photo,

As I've said to Tracey, I welcome the project, maybe we will get some new
mappers out of it, but they are new mappers(we all started out new at one
point and we've made errors in the past) and if they can learn from the
feedback; all the better.

On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 8:22 AM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> This is primarily to Tracey ca-talk has been cced.
> There are a number of issues here.
> First OSM is growing up.  No longer is it a bunch of mappers who use the
> edit tools or web page to view the map.  The data is live and snapshots are
> taken by various players including OSMAND at points in time.  This can be
> once a month so if there are a small number of mistakes not a big deal.  If
> there are a large number in the snapshot then OSMAND users are stuck with
> them until the next off line map is made available.  Because of bandwidth
> costs both to the end user and to OSMAND it can be two or three months
> before the errors are cleared.
> Second the email over Frederick's signature is extremely polite for
> Frederick.  He wrote the book on OSM and is part of the group currently
> looking at whether we need a formal policy for handling edits by groups of
> organised mappers.  The DWG working group is the highest central authority
> within OSM and is concerned with data quality or vandalism.  I think the
> Carlton students edits show there is a very definite need.  A number of
> mappers including myself were hoping there wouldn't be a need for something
> quite so formal.  Note to Frederick if you read this change my response to
> the survey.
> Third OpenStreetMap is very rich in what can be mapped.  In an urban area
> it can be very complex to map.  For example currently there is a push
> within OpenStreetMap to add more information for the disabled.
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Disabilities but exactly how one adds
> tactile_paving = yes correctly is something I still have to work out.  The
> City of Ottawa is currently adding  tactile_paving at many road junctions
> and for blind people it is very useful as many junctions now have slopes
> rather than curb stones which makes it difficult to know where the edge of
> the sidewalk is for a blind person.
> In general I'd start students mapping either on a test server or on a HOT
> project but it would need thinking about which one to map.  Adding
> information for the disabled would also work in that it adds value and is a
> small subset of mapping.  The HOT projects have a validation process so the
> mapping can be verified and is used to large numbers of students mapping in
> a small area.  Typically they restrict what is requested to be mapped.
> http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/2657 is an example but it would not be
> ideal for 150 mappers at once.  I'd need to discuss with someone such as
> Pete Masters what would be ideal.  It's armchair mapping but that reduces
> the number of variables.  OSM can be edited in many ways.  Unfortunately
> some which use smartphones and GPS are not especially accurate and near
> tall buildings they can be a hundred meters out. I assume
> http://learnosm.org/ was brought to the attention of the students?
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features and taginfo.
> It's also interesting in the context of the Statistics Canada building
> project, data quality is important to Stats Canada and one reason I felt
> the original project was at risk of not being a success was the possibility
> that a large number of new mappers would be difficult to train.  Just
> adding tags onto imported buildings was much simpler and much less error
> prone.
> I can probably make myself available to brief the students about
> OpenStreetMap unfortunately I have some domestic issues at the moment which
> rules out the next couple of days.  Bug me if this would be of use.
> Cheerio John
> On 10 October 2017 at 23:08, Steve Singer <steve at ssinger.info> wrote:
>> On Tue, 10 Oct 2017, Tracey P. Lauriault wrote:
>> Greetings OSM mappers;
>> For the benefit of background to others on the list
>> http://www.openstreetmap.org/user_blocks/1560
>> Is an example of the block message that was sent to a bunch of users.
>> (I wasn't involved in asking for or implementing the blocks or have
>> anything to do with the assignment).
>> I haven't looked at the edits in any details but I will make a few
>> general comments
>> 1. If one user comes into OSM and makes a few changes with issues because
>> of misunderstandings or inexperience fixing those changes isn't a big deal.
>> Most of the time someone will just fix them without saying anything.
>> However if 30 or 300 users make lots of changes in a short amount of time
>> with the same types of errors the volume present challenges.  Large scale
>> edits by a bunch who are doing it as part of a course, or who are employed
>> by a company to make the changes, or who are doing so as part of a
>> coordinated humanitarian effort have the potential to cause problems if
>> they aren't coordinated  carefully.
>> 2. A big part of working in any open-source project particularly with OSM
>> is that you need to communicate with the other contributors. Communication
>> is a two way street, some people are better at it then others and it
>> doesn't come naturally to everyone.  I would hope that a course that
>> covered the contributing to open source projects (including open data
>> contributions) covered interacting with the community. If the course only
>> wanted to give students experience with the tools then editing against a
>> test or development instance of OSM would be better.
>> The advise I would give to people new to the open source communities(and
>> at times remind veterans) is believe that most people who are contributing
>> are coming from a place of good intentions and to give them the benefit of
>> the doubt and try to understand where they are coming from.
>> When contributing to an open sourced project you need to take
>> responsibility (as an individual) for your contributions but that doesn't
>> mean they need to be, or will be perfect. No edits are perfect but people
>> need to be willing to listen to and learn from feedback from other members
>> of the community.
>> Steve
>>> I understand that students for COMS2200 have been blocked from posting
>>> to OSM.
>>> There was also an unfortunate email sent to Carleton University by one
>>> of your members that is circulating
>>> through the administration from (james2432 at gmail.com).
>>> The data are being contributed as part of an assignment described here -
>>> https://github.com/TraceyLauriault/COMS2200A
>>> I understand that the students are making some small and some large
>>> mistakes that may not meet your OSM
>>> data quality standards.  The students are restricted to only be mapping
>>> the Carleton University Campus.
>>> I wonder if it might be possible to unlock the restriction to let them
>>> finish the assignment.  They should
>>> be done by next week. There are 150 students.  Once the assignment is
>>> complete I would gladly work with you
>>> to salvage the data, delete some data, repair some data or wipe all of
>>> the data.
>>> We apologize for this inconvenience and hope that you can be empathetic
>>> and allow for the assignment to be
>>> completed so that the students can be assessed.
>>> Also, perhaps there are a number of common errors and if you identify
>>> them we may be able to fix them.
>>> Sincerely
>>> Tracey
>>> --
>>> Tracey P. Lauriault
>>> Assistant Professor Critical Media Studies and Big Data
>>> Communication Studies
>>> School of Journalism and Communication
>>> Suite 4110, River Building
>>> Carleton University
>>> 1125 Colonel By Drive
>>> Ottawa (ON) K1S 5B6
>>> 1-613-520-2600 x7443
>>> Tracey.Lauriault at Carleton.ca
>>> @TraceyLauriault
>>> Skype: Tracey.P.Lauriault
>>> https://carleton.ca/sjc/people-archives/lauriault-tracey/
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