This is not new, a lot have been said too -

Yes, several ##hashtags for Changest comments is very bad and not helping human.

Looking around Ghana and seeing especially new mappers whose first point of contact to OpenStreetMap is via some kind HOTOSM Tasking Manager instance activity / project, carry on this hashtag way of changeset comments to their individual contributions IMHO is not a good sign of building a good project, community and future.

It could be that some of them are not aware of it or think it’s cool to use ONLY hashtags as a changeset comment. Please, if you don’t know, It doesn’t tell anything useful.

This is why I now leave comments on such changesets in Ghana to draw mappers attention, I hope this little efforts convinces someone.

I recommend you read: and always use a descriptive text that can help yourself and everyone tell what actually happened in a changeset in the future.

If you are a trainer, catch them young!

Happy mapping!


Location: Wa East District, Upper West Region, Ghana


Comment from Glassman on 27 November 2021 at 00:53

I agree that hashtags alone don’t tell the what the user did. But the mapper isn’t adding the hashtags, the Tasking Manager is. I’d suggest working with the HOT team to discuss alternatives. For one I’d like to see a quick link from the changeset comment back to the project they worked.

I know that I don’t like unannounced mass imports or bot changes in my area. I suspect you might feel the same way about Tasking Manager projects in Ghana. Why don’t project managers have to discuss planned tasks with the local community?

I do believe hashtags can be useful. For one thing I discovered that so far this year over 50,000 new mappers contributed to HOT projects. That couldn’t be done without some sort of unique identifier in the changeset comment.



Comment from SK53 on 28 November 2021 at 15:31

Hi Clifford & Enock,

It’s a shame that the possibility to add both tags and hashtags to changeset comments is not more widely used: structured interactions such as those facilitated via TM lend themselves well to structured tags rather than hashtags (project-id, task-id, etc).

Both iD and JOSM provide explicit parameters to set hashtags as well as the comment value. iD even identifies words prefixed with “#” and adds them to the hashtags, but appears to keep them in the comment as well. Additionally JOSM allows direct setting of key-value pairs.

I presume at the moment there are no convenient ways to consume this data, whereas Pascal Neis’ site allows rapid search of comments.


Comment from PierZen on 1 December 2021 at 14:56

Hi all,

The absence of significant comments is part of a more general problem where we escalate in adding constantly new TM projects but do not closely manage them. We have inititors/promoters that create TM jobs and promote crowmapping but do not closely follow participants to TM projects. And most participants are newby with not sufficient training. It would be interesting to see if in-person mapathons let add more signficant hashtags and more data quality.

This TM structuration with Project managers / Validators is more in the description of projects but prove often to be quite inefficient. How can we explain that too often 100% validated projects contain so much bad quality buildings tracing ?

We need more accountabilty from Project managers, more monitoring tools to spot rapidly Incomplete metadata and bad quality data.

Comment from pedrito1414 on 4 December 2021 at 09:32

Hi @Glassman, totally see your point, but I don’t think it’s the tasking manager itself that adds the hashtags - whoever is the project manager decides what should go in there. We maybe need stronger guidance on this in the project manager onboarding.

The onboarding, by the way, does cover organised editing guidelines and outreach to local communities (and highlights OSM channels). Not true of Ghana, but there is also often no response to mailing lists etc even when this is done…

Comment from Glassman on 5 December 2021 at 21:50

Hey @pedrito1414, I fully agree with you that it’s the project manager who decides on the hashtags. I was just trying to point out that the mappers are just using the hashtags that TM provides regardless of how they got there. I’m more than happy with just the project id that can be looked up on TM to see what is supposed to be mapped. Same with imports - if they just entered the wiki import page then I’m happy. I do think some of the projects have too many hashtags. Like I said, I’m happy with just the project number better yet would be a link to the project but the hashtag makes searching easier.

I am glad to hear that the project managers are supposed to contact the community. Are there suggestions of where to post such as mailing lists, Telegram, Discord, HOT Slack, forums, etc?

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