I am a retired long time map user, occasional mapper (in QGIS, Mapinfo) and
supporter of the OSM mapping project. It seems to me that the issue of poor
mapping, especially for HOT projects, is coming up on such a regular basis that
it's time to consider some mandatory training for users before they get to map
under the HOT task manager. I don't think this would be too difficult for most
volunteers and it could ensure that at least a certain level of competency is
attained before being exposed to complex tasks. If people know that in the
first place then they can make a choice as to whether they commence or continue
I have no idea how this could be accomplished as I know little of the linkages
between OSM and the HOT Task Manager, but restricting HOT tasks to those with
some defined training could improve the results.
Let's say as a minimum you train folks on roads and residential area polygons -
that might be level 1 (ID Editor)
Level 2 could be after training for buildings, tracks, paths (ID or JOSM)
Level 3 for validation (JOSM)
In this way HOT tasks simply get assigned at each level and you know you have
the right people doing the tasks at hand. The task manager could also only
highlight jobs at their assigned level until they do the next level training.
You might even consider, as part of validation, dropping people from a higher
level to a lower level if they continually fail to produce results at the
Just my thoughts as a casual mapper.
Cheers - Phil
<http://www.thingreenline.org.au/> Thin Green Line Supporter, Volunteer Mapper
(GISMO) - <http://www.redcross.org.au/volunteering.aspx> Red Cross
From: Severin Menard [mailto:severin.men...@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:34 AM
Subject: [HOT] OSM humanitarian mapping and its learning curve
The edits on hotosm.org job #2228 <http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/2228> have
started and now happens what I feared. There is no mention of what are the
necessary skills and newbies are coming with a lot of enthusiasm but with
almost no OSM experience. A quick analysis of the first 29 contributors shows
that 20 of them have created their OSM account less than one month ago. Some
did it yesterday or today. Wow.
The result of that : obviously, crappy edits are coming, spoiling what we have
been doing over the last few days : now we have building as nodes where shapes
are totally visible, un-squared bad shaped buildings and the main landuse area
is self-cutting in various places (see there
Nothing new under the sun : it was already the case for Haiti EarthQuake 2010.
Quite a pity that six years after, despite the OSM tools have improved a lot,
it remains the same. It is though quite simple to fix the most part of it:
I guess some will argue that the OSM newcomers are people of good will and that
they just want to help and that they my feel offended/discouraged. Of course
their intentions are high and yes they may feel a bit hurt. But this is really
a classic in humanitarian response: people with the best intentions in the
world may not fit for it, just because they are not experienced yet.
Mapping in OSM in crisis response is not an exciting one-shot hobby : it does
have its learning curve and it is key to learn how to map correctly before
being dropped over complex humanitarian contexts. This is why I mentioned three
sets of necessary skills for the jobs I created these last days on
http://taches.francophonelibre.org. And the beginner mappers who joined the job
that fitted for beginners are people that already have a few months of OSM
experience, not newcomers. Newcomers should be driven over non urgent fields.
If someone is not interested to learn first in not a mass media covered crisis
context : this is not a problem, it is actually a good way to see real
motivations. I personally prefer to get one mapper that will become a huge,
excellent contributor, 3-4 more occasional but still producing neat data, than
to lose 10 that would create crappy objects and just leave forever afterwards
I guess the resulting need of duplicating the number of necessary edits (crappy
ones then corrections) to get a clean data is a rather a good way to grow the
number of total contributors and the number of total edits created through the
# of the HOT TM instance that seems to be so important for the board of HOT US
Inc (two current directors have contacted me for this purpose) to make
communication and raise funds from the figures. But what is at stake here is to
provide good baseline data for humanitarian response, not distorted metrics.
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