[OSM-talk] [HOT] Quality (was: The point on the OSM Response to the DR Congo Nord Kivu Ebola outbreak)

Pierre Béland pierzenh at yahoo.fr
Thu Dec 13 15:35:14 UTC 2018

Yes, Quality should be be integrated at all levels, from Documentation, Editing tools, Projects monitoring particularly in the context of Mapathons to catch problems rapidly and correct. And  yes validation is the last step, the last barrier to catch Quality problems and correct. 

After the experience with Mapathons in the last few years, we are surely at this point where we need to revise our global process and suggest where improvements would contribute to this Quality Quest.
Bjoern, in a HOT discussion about the Ebola Response  in Butembo, gave us a link to some Documentation used in the context of Mapathons.  It is  important to propose such documentation specific to Mapathons.https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/hot/2018-December/014667.html
Documentation easily accessible in iD with the ? shortcut is also a good point. Such easy access to documentatin should be part of the various OSM editors. But it should also focus on specific skills like Trace a building, Correct irregular geometry, Adjust the offset of imagery, Classify roads. Links to short videos would also greatly help the beginners.
There are projects more complex with aspects such as the density of urban areas, imagery quality and offset and it is important to restrict access based on OSM experience for more complex projects and this is now possible for the various Tasking Manager projects. Taking this step for the Butembo Ebola response this week dramatically improved the quality of the data produced. But still, I often observed that some occasionnal contributors to Mapathons continue to produce some Fantasy buildings more then a year after they started editing.
This is indication of how it is important not only to provide good documentation and tools to beginners, to restrict more complex jobs, but also to better accompany and motivate the OSM beginners. Let's be a community. Let's go back to our roots! We should stop to have thousand of one day contributors that produce inadequate data that often is not corrected afterward.

Irregular geometries in the OSM database are probably more then 90% of the time an indication of incorrect mapping. Highlighting Irregular geometries and overlaps in editors such as iD and JOSM would faciliate revision by beginners.  It could be integrated in the JOSM validation process.  iD could also have such a validation process.   

Monitoring of Quality and OSM edits need tools to quickly identify such problems. The Overpass and JOSM could provide the possibility to query for irregular geometries and overlaps.  Such addition in Overpass would offer to the Mapathons the possibility to visually monitor Quality of editing with the participants using for example a list of OSM user id's.  This could also be used for edition in JOSM.  And imagine the Mapathon participants that view the progress on a «Live Quality Map» plus «Quality statistics». This would be both motivating and pedagogic.

There were some regression with the Tasking Manager updates for the possibility to monitor the users. For example, the Activity and Stats section do not let see on the map the squares mapped by a particular contributor. It is then uneasy to revise the edits of a specific contributor that do not map appropriately. On the other hand, it is now possible to restrict the access to Validation.
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