[Talk-ca] BC2020i OSM Distributed Model and Education

Jonathan Brown jonabrow at gmail.com
Fri Feb 2 23:26:50 UTC 2018

Fair enough. It’s jargon from the “innovation, creativity and entreprenship” focus in many education sectors these days. Eduspeak, agreed. What I meant to say is that the workflow and the technology to support the teaching and learning environment for future “citizen scientists” needs to be piloted before we can expect students contribute to a well-planned flight plan. I can’t see teachers investing instructional time to enable the required training to happen unless it is connected to a cross-curricular activity as the Manitoba folks point out. 

In Ontario, school boards are licensed to use ArcGIS. This is what many municipal and regional GIS staff us. For the non-GIS experts it is not user-friendly. I saw this first hand with an outdoor education teacher I was observing as he tried to get his GPS data into the program. I also heard from a group of teachers I spoke to a professional development session in Toronto today that they would love to use GIS tools to teach problem-solving in their courses, but not if the technology is too complicated or unreliable to use in their classes. I know you’ll have an opinion about that, so fire away. I’m trying to figure out what Keith pointed out with his experience in Manitoba.  

So, I concur with the need for OSM project management. My guess is that might be the role of the Ministry of Infrastructure under the current SMART cities challenge they issued:  http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/cities-villes-eng.html
Also, the Canadian Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced $50 million funding to train 1 million K-12 teachers and students on how to use digital technology in the classroom. The CanCode federal program aims “to equip youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills and study incentives they need to be prepared for the jobs of today and the future.” The funding, however, is going to NGOs because our K-12 education sector in Canada is a provincial responsibility. Canada does not have a Ministry of Education or a federal department of education like in the US. 

That said, I think from my conversations with this community and phone calls with folks at Telenav and within the OSM community (a phone call with Clifford was most helpful for me). Telenav’s presentation at SOTM 2017 was also helpful. Telenav talked Maproulette.org, a gamified way to parse out small tasks for mappers to fix, and Improveosm.org, a big data resource where Telenav has collected billions of GPS traces that point our errors in OSM. A heatmap highlights the zones of errors that includes information and action items. Someone at the conference commented that, “historically OpenStreetMap was rather clunky and best for those with more patience than I. Thankfully useful apps like MAPS.ME & OSM.And have emerged. These apps use OpenStreetMap as a base map, but present it in an aesthetically appealing and more efficient way. They also allow you to download regions for offline use, an invaluable feature when you’re travelling.”  ,

As an example of a K-12 use case flight plan there is the Lifelong Learning Mapping Project, a European Comenius-funded project involving 5 different countries in 5 different languages. What was the quality of the data collected by those students? Who were the experienced flight crew that provided the schools with support? Do they have a flight plan that could be adapted to the BC2020 project? https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Life_Long_Learning_Mapping_Project
We have 13 pan-Canadian jurisdictions, so maybe start with some of those jurisdictions where OSM capacity already exists and start a wiki flight plan.  

Alessandro pointed us to the Philly Fresh Food Mapper https://www.geovista.psu.edu/phillyfood/
This is a good example of harnessing “crowdsourcing” and “citizen science” to solve a local problem. Sterling Quinn already shared with us the following in an email: “We also held a map-a-thon at a public library in North Philly where we got people from the food, tech, and education communities together. That was probably the most interesting thing to come out of the project. I also had a few discussions with people working with the city to make a similar database, but they had some of the usual concerns about using OSM as their main repository (e.g., liability, perceived lack of control).”


From: OSM Volunteer stevea
Sent: Friday, February 2, 2018 4:58 PM
To: Jonathan Brown; talk-ca
Subject: Re: [Talk-ca] BC2020i OSM Distributed Model and Education

On Jan 30, 2018, at 7:49 AM, Jonathan Brown <jonabrow at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don’t mind reviewing the OSM education wiki for lessons learned and “promising practices” and seeing how it might inform the design of a mapathon event aligned to the K-12 curricula and postsecondary capstone project model. It will be messy, but that’s the nature of the beast. To use the jargon, start small, fail fast and apply what you learn to the next event.

With all due respect to you, Johnathan, I don't know where you got that jargon, but it does not apply to OSM:  our worldwide mapping project is not a "dumping ground" to "fail fast" where poor quality data are entered and then corrected as a nationwide project finds its footing, lurching forward to apply newly discovered corrections to its past mistakes.  No, it must plan first.  Pilots file flight plans, and they stay in contact with control towers with status and progress reports.  A nationwide OSM project is no different if all passengers are expected to land safely, especially on a long flight!

Sure, mistakes happen and we learn from them, course-correcting along the way, that's simply human nature.  But as I have been exhorting for months, what will MAKE BC2020 a successful OSM project is this:  good planning NOW and project management along the way.  BOTH must be front-loaded into the nationwide OSM project that BC2020 is, not bolted on later as an afterthought.

> Jamie Boyd and Moses Iziomon at the Treasury Board’s Open Government branch may have some funding to support Alessandro’s group in helping to engage the OSM “crowdmappers” and citizen science practitioners. This could align to their 2 year open government plan http://open.canada.ca/en/4plan/creating-canadas-4th-plan-open-government-2018-20. They are looking for workshop ideas for early May.

If TB has funding, ask them to seek and pay for expertise in nationwide-scope OSM project management experience:  good planning, harmonizing vision/goals of BC2020 with the culture of OSM to be "OSM first" (it is), writing wiki, assuring that mapathons, meetups, university and K-12 events have structure, direction and a solid plan FIRST before entering vast building data.  Too many large-scale OSM projects fail due to poor planning, a lack of standardization as to what and how goals are to be achieved and hence suffer poor results.  The method by which this gets solved is with up-front planning, that means NOW or very soon.  Crowdsourcing is not a magic bullet that yields great results for free or without planning.  There are costs involved:  thought, discussion, consensus, documentation and those take time and effort.

BC2020 has had a recent "reality check" that is it more than BC2020i (the initiative), it is now a full-fledged BC2020 WikiProject (without the i, as an OSM project).  That means wikis, import plans, documenting the process that each city/event might and should take, etc. get adhered to and followed.  To keep this communication in the dark and out of a wider OSM view essentially dooms this project to failure.  Please:  plan now for superior data later.  It has gotten better in the last week or two, but the "messy nature of the beast" approach noted above is not acceptable to the greater OSM community.  Both wiki and talk-ca are important venues for this dialog, private email exchanges can supplement it, but a nationwide project deserves a nationwide discussion that is front-loaded and transparent, not (exclusively) "fail fast."  In fact, OSM insists upon this.

Please install pilots in your large, jet aircraft.  If it is to fly and land at its destination (years into the future), it not only deserves, it simply must have an experienced flight crew.

With respect to you, all OSM volunteers in Canada, and indeed the OSM community at large,

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