[OSM-talk] Building Detection using Machine Learning

Oleksiy Muzalyev oleksiy.muzalyev at bluewin.ch
Sat Dec 24 18:57:23 UTC 2016

It reminds me how in 60s and 70s it was widely believed that the 
computers will be doing text translation instead of human translators. 
We realize now, fifty years later, that is actually a hard problem. And 
it is still impossible to translate a novel or a poem by a computer 
program alone.

I would be very surprised if digitizing landuse from satellite images 
could be done by a robot. Even an automatic extraction of an image from 
a background in the product photography does not work reliably. And it 
is an easier task as in product photography it is possible to control 
light, background color, etc. In fact it is mostly done manually even 
though there are numerous programs and Photoshop plugins for it, which 
kind of work in some circumstances.

New products for product photography & e-commerce will be appearing 
endlessly. But we do not have that much landuse. The Earth surface will 
not be growing, and there will be no other habitable planets in the near 
future. In my opinion, a human, especially who knows the land, should be 
participating in mapping landuse.

But certainly, if a breakthrough happens in a self-learning neural 
network technology then the situation will change, and not only in 
mapping and translation; it will be a new brave world.

What I would like to have however now is the better tools for landuse & 
natural. For example, I would like to be able to hide in the JOSM 
existing already power-lines, roads, paths, etc. in order to map 
farlmland, woods, grassland, etc. Perhaps, it is possible in JOSM, but I 
could not find it yet.

Best regards,

On 24.12.16 18:21, Christian Quest wrote:
> One example: OpenSolarMap...
> We first start by crowdsourcing building roof orientations using a 
> very simple webapp (no need to register, open to anybody).
> When enough contribution match they are considered OK (at least 3 more 
> than all other contributions).
> Then, these contributions were used to train a neural network.
> Then the nueral network was used to classify other roofs... and the 
> result has been put back as robot contribution to the crowdsourcing 
> webapp counting for 1 or 2 contributions depending on the level of 
> confidence (raw data is also available for download).
> In all cases, there is always at least one human contribution, before 
> putting anything back to OSM.
> It is also interesting to compare when human and robot do not agree ;)
> Links...
> http://opensolarmap.org/
> https://github.com/opensolarmap
> Next step is to use the same technique on other kind of challenges, like:
> - landuse boundaries (to speedup/simplify Corine Land cover import 
> improvements)
> - check road alignment with aerial imagery on "old" OSM traced 
> contributions
> etc...
> The potential of deep learning mixed with human contributions can give 
> very good things if done properly.
> -- 
> Christian Quest - OpenStreetMap France
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
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