[Talk-us] MapRoulette new challenge: connectivity

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Oct 29 20:33:52 GMT 2012


On 29.10.2012 21:06, Martijn van Exel wrote:
> MapRoulette (http://maproulette.org) is back with a new challenge:
> ~68,000 connectivity bugs in the US to be fixed. These are ways ending
> very close (<5m) to another way, which means they should likely be
> connected, although there are of course exceptions. Which makes it an
> ideal MapRoulette challenge!

If I may add a word auf caution.

I think that tools like this are a nice way to bring a bit if fun to 
otherwise rather tedious mapping tasks, and I have often talked of the 
"gamification" of such things myself.

Recently, there was a rather unfortunate incident involving such a tool 
in Thailand, where a contributor unfamiliar with the local language, 
community, or customs "fixed" a large number of "bugs" that a 
roulette-like tool had sent him to. Mistakes were made (because part of 
the "play" aspect was also to get a good "score" and be quick), an email 
standoff between a local mapper and the remote "fixer" ensued, and the 
local guy reverted the edits, DWG was drawn into the issue and didn't 
make any friends on either side either (of course everyone believed that 
they were doing the right thing) and now it looks like we might be 
losing a long-time community member with thousands of good, 
sweat-of-the-brow, old-style survey local edits.

What do I want to say by that: Playful armchair bugfixing is nice and 
may often be helpful, but we must not forget that local knowledge trumps 
anything you can fix in a roulette. If one road ends near another road, 
that might actually be for a reason, and what looks like a shadow on the 
aerial image is in fact a fence - or the aerial image is outdated...

So I would appeal to every writer of "roulette" type tools: Educate your 
users; don't put too much "fixing pressure" on them (give them a chance 
to back out and tell them that when in doubt, don't fix something). 
Always make sure that you don't air-drop your users into countries 
they're not familiar with or even worse, where they don't speak the 
language. When in doubt, let someone draw a rectangle on the map first 
and say "this is my area of interest" or so. (I know this doesn't apply 
to your particular tool, Martijn, since the US is probably coherent 
enough for someone from Florida to make a good edit in Colorado... or is 

> So if you have a few minutes to spare, help fix those bugs - spin the
> MapRoulette wheel and see where it takes you ;) And don't be afraid to
> do some TIGER or other cleanup while you're editing.

In the case I mentioned above, the situation was worsened by the "fixer" 
happily tracing a few buildings whereever he went, but the changeset 
comment was always "fixing bugs" - also a detail that people should be 
made aware of.

Again, I applaud this new method of OSM editing and I think it can help 
us a lot, but we must use it carefully.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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