OK, provocative title aside for a moment—I love hotosm and understand many of its great benefits: mapping goals are divided up to be attainable, beginners are welcomed, bad edits are contained and caught in validation, plus so many more, and of course at the end a humanitarian good has been achieved.

But that organization itself come with costs and limits. For one, I often see problems in blocks I am not mapping. Sometimes those blocks are already awaiting validation (or are even finished!). I'm too new to do validation. Responses I've come up with:

  1. Ignore them forever. The goal is to vastly improve the map, not make it perfect.
  2. Just do my best to set others up for success, with e.g. stub-end ways sticking into other tasks (even if they're “done” and awaiting validation), and by mentioning problems in the notes when I mark my task block complete.
  3. Sidestep the hotosm locking system and make out-of-band edits. Even if I make any mistakes, they'll probably be caught in validation.
  4. Take notes, assume validators catch almost everything, and fix any remaining problems after the project concludes. There's no validation at that stage; but ehh, most of the world's edits aren't validated.

What's the right reaction to mapping mistakes encountered in others' hotosm tasks?

I'm leaning toward option 2; map well, communicate, let it be, and hope for the best. Maybe some option 4 for any clearly-helpful edits I can make after the project is over. Is there an option 5 that didn't occur to me? Is there any formal guidance on this already written out anywhere?

— — —

Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about.

  • The task north of mine has ways extending into mine that are consistently offset. The project instructions specify: which imagery, no offset, and correcting existing ways to match imagery.
  • A project requires HTA way tags, and the block next to mine is marked mapped, validated, and so finished; but has some clearly agricultural-only rows tagged as highway=unclassified with unconnected ends coming into my task for continuation.
  • I load data from an 'awaiting validation' area near my task to see where some roads go, but when I'm ready to upload, the other area is packed with errors & warnings caught by the editor. Maybe that's a bad example as I'd clearly ignore those in my upload and trust the eventual human validator of that other hotosm task.
  • A village four task-blocks SSW of mine is connected to a yet-unmapped settlement in my task-block. The project is using HTA and instructs to ignore any highway=track. Unfortunately, in the project's imagery, what is actually the connecting road is visually very similar to the many surrounding agricultural tracks. The task blocks between are mapped and awaiting validation, but are missing those connecting roads since such a broader view would have been needed to notice their non-agricultural use. In my task's imagery, it's clearly more well-traveled, as a route to that village.

asked 07 Jul '21, 20:59

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Joel D Reid
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question asked: 07 Jul '21, 20:59

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last updated: 07 Jul '21, 20:59

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