OpenStreetMap

App wanted: Collect opening hours by place automatically, and easier user notes

Posted by CloCkWeRX on 21 November 2016 in English (English)

Right now I am sitting very close to a place in Adelaide - San Churro. I know its mapped, at least with name.

However if I search for "openstreetmap san churro", I see:

  • Very rich data on opening hours (google), how long people spend at a location
  • A business listing and map (google)
  • A prompt to claim this business (google)

Contextually, my android phone already knows where I am so is potentially limiting the search to nearby businesses.

Previously I've been keen on a foursquare 'checkin' app to write to OSM and ask smart questions, as well as RDFa/schema.org markup to render useful results.

I'd like to go further and throw out a few feature requests with a bounty attached ($100 AUD each):

  • On android or ios, add a plugin to Owntracks to allow check-in to an Openstreetmap location, publishing Lat/Lon, OSM id or new place name(suitable for a note)
  • A way to connect to an Owntracks/Mqtt server and match user location/time to a 30 minute time slot (ie: indicating a likely valid opening hour)
  • A public owntracks server for interested OSM users (worldwide? Or just country based)?
  • An owntracks plugin for OSMand.

Comment from Zverik on 21 November 2016 at 07:26

Why not install maps.me and enter opening hours and missing businesses by hand?

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 23 November 2016 at 07:39

Active mapping is fine, but passive mapping is better quality and a lot easier for inexperienced contributors. For example, look at mapillary - turn on your phone and walk, and you capture a lot of data that is much more useful for experienced mappers to draw on. We get street signs from image recognition.

Another good example of passive mapping - strava users don't know a thing about how to upload a GPX track or OSM tagging schema in general, but generate great quality heatmaps that can be turned into mappable features.

You can do the same with opening hours based on user location. You can gather data by hooking into people sharing their location with friends, and opting to make that available to OSM for mapping purposes.

Is it going to be 100% accurate? Probably not - but we already see commercial vendors (foursquare, google, etc) taking user locations for these purposes - there is value there.

Would I prefer open tools that let me do the same as them, but with more control of the data I share? Absolutely.

Comment from Zverik on 23 November 2016 at 09:35

The one problem with passive mapping is that nobody does it. Many experienced mappers have tons of GPS traces and thousands of photos and some walking papers, just archived somewhere, unprocessed. Collecting data is fun, adding it to the map — not so.

And if the data is even slightly inaccurate, experienced mappers would not tolerate it. Just look at the response to small error maps.me users make.

Comment from Pierce on 5 January 2017 at 14:57

@CloCkWeRX: What schemas were you thinking of utilizing? Truthfully, I've had the "smart questions" web app idea too. It's on the back burner until .NET Core matures a bit. The idea was to add some gamification to it to entice users(/players) to contribute more data. I guess kinda like many of the leader boards out there for other osm enabled apps.

@Zverik: Don't count us armchair mappers out! I feel much more comfortable doing the mapping in iD than out and about! :)

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 5 January 2017 at 23:46

So, https://schema.org/openingHours for example combined with other business schema would work well.

https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/pull/173 is a probably quite stale PR that would have enabled this for "I look up a business via a popular search engine and OSM provided data improves the results".

For the 'smart questions' apps; there have been a few that made some progress (but then stalled). I think https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Kort_Game was one of the more sophisticated - I'm happy that things like MapSwype also got off the ground since I last looked.

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