[OSM-talk] problem with HOT mapping in Niger

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Sun May 9 21:10:19 UTC 2021

On 09/05/2021 18:08, John Whelan via talk wrote:
> On project 10645 the instructions are:
First things first - Have you tried contacting the organiser of that 

You might say "but it won't do any good".  However one thing that is 
certain is that if you don't try and contact the organiser, they won't 
know that there is a problem.

> The concerns are first older mapping which has followed the Highway 
> Tag Africa - OpenStreetMap Wiki 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highway_Tag_Africa> have been 
> retagged incorrectly.
There are a few things that you can do to investigate this.  You can try 
overpass queries with a date in an area to see if "highway=track" goes 
up and other highway tags go down.

Once you've identified a project giving poor advice, you can see who's 
contributed to it, download changeset XML and see how many 
"highway=track" there are in there.

I can see that you've commented at 
https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/10645 .  I'd also suggest sending the 
organiser an OSM message (or commenting on a changeset) so that they 
definitely get a notification about your comment.  If they ignore you, 
let the DWG know by email so that we can let them know that someone's 
trying to get in touch.

> Second how many other HOT projects have the same instructions?
I've no idea; have you tried asking HOT if project text is searchable?  
This text doesn't seem to be trivially externally searchable, though a 
quick sample does find more references to "please refer to Highway Tag 
Africa" than the text that you mentioned.
> Third how should it be cleaned up?
What would really help would be if you could do a bit of investigation 
of the scope of the problem, in terms of:

* Project creators that don't know that they should be saying "follow 
Highway Tag Africa"

* Projects with incorrect text in the instructions

* Incorrect data in OSM

Once the size of the problem has been identified it'll be a lot easier 
to decide the best way to fix it.  If it's just a few roads here and 
there, then a manual process following a todolist in JOSM or elsewhere 
will likely work fine.  If it's "everything by mapper X needs reverting" 
then there are tools to do that.

It may be that you don't currently know where to start with some of 
these "find out the scale of the problem" ideas.  If that's the case, 
please ask - perhaps on the help site.  Following a request from HOT, 
with a DWG hat on I've been going through a process of tidying up some 
overenthusiastic but undertrained corporate mappers over the last month 
or so.  None of the things that I've been doing for that needed access 
more than the same OSM API that everyone gets to use, though some of the 
tools may be unfamiliar.

It may well be that you'd like someone to help with data correction or 
reverts.  Someone from HOT may be able to help with that; the DWG also 
could.  However a request of the form "mappers A, B and C on projects X, 
Y and Z have incorrectly converted $number of non-track roads to 
highway-track in $country" is much more likely to be dealt with quickly 
than "some mappers in Africa might be using the wrong tags".

Best Regards,

Andy (from the DWG)

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