OpenStreetMap

Website for asking to improve just one area in OpenStreetMap (or paying for improvement)

Posted by karussell on 2 December 2014 in English (English)

I know that HOT and other community processes improve exactly one area and I also know that paying people for OSM could be seen strange under certain circumstances.

But sometimes there is a need for a company which wants to improve exactly one area. E.g. to make self driving cars less dangerous with OSM data in one area or showcasing an OSM based application in the companies its district or whatever.

So, is there a website, company or process where one could ask for such specific area improvements for OSM? And what problems you see if there would be such a solution?

Comment from Vincent de Phily on 2 December 2014 at 14:11

Mapbox and Telenav are two companies (out of the top of my head, maybe http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Companies lists others) that employ full-time mappers. You could try contacting them for a once-off single-area job.

Regarding the “maps for self-driving cars” idea, AFAIK those cars currently need very detailed maps. Armchair mapping certainly isn’t sufficient. OSM still has good but not stellar data for for the satnavs usecase (missing width, lanes, restrcitions), so I think than osm-based self-driving cars are a bit far off.

Comment from davespod on 2 December 2014 at 14:35

Most mapping aims to improve a specific geographic area. And quite a lot of it is aimed towards specific uses (which is why OSM probably has more complete cycle lane, but less complete speed limit data than other data sets in many areas). There is a website for doing this: http://www.osm.org !

In terms of asking for improvements, I think you have to take into account people’s motivations for working on OSM. Trying to co-ordinate mappers is like herding cats (actually more difficult than that), unless their motivation is the same as yours. HOT is probably the single example of successful co-ordination on a large scale, and that is surely precisely because HOT as a body, humanitarian mappers and humanitarian data consumers have the same motivation (or at least significant cross-over in motivation).

I am not convinced a web site where companies could ask for improvements would be very successful in most cases. If a company says: “we want to have great data for our self-driving cars”, what is the motivation for mappers to do less of the mapping they enjoy and focus more on what fits that requirement? It has been made argued again and again that OSM would be more useful for commerical uses with more complete address data, and yet so far no one has cracked how to motivate us all to do much of it. Motivation is the key.

I think the idea of paid contribution does make some people queasy. One debate on the topic is here:

https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2013-November/002352.html

Comment from karussell on 2 December 2014 at 15:09

@davespod the motivation would be money in the cases I mentioned. I don’t understand the link you are referring to as they don’t discuss paid contribution IMO

Comment from Alan Trick on 2 December 2014 at 16:11

Just hire an employee/contractor who’s job is to do mapping.

Comment from karussell on 2 December 2014 at 16:35

I mean more to hire several people like for taskrabbit but more for OSM explicitely

Comment from karussell on 2 December 2014 at 17:00

Sorry was just reading the wrong entry. Here is the root post: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2013-November/002344.html

Comment from lxbarth on 2 December 2014 at 18:31

I’d love to be able to put a bounty on notes I’d like to see addressed. Paying small bounties like this could be interesting to incentivize on the ground surveys where work can’t be done remotely.

Comment from karussell on 2 December 2014 at 19:59

Yeah, interesting idea. Maybe bountysource or flattr :)

Comment from Omnific on 2 December 2014 at 20:20

Yeah, I’ve thought about this too. Amazon Mechanical Turk might be another approach.

Comment from Hjart on 2 December 2014 at 21:10

I’ve considered making a profile on Fiverr offering to fix small areas for a small amount of money.

Comment from karussell on 2 December 2014 at 21:33

Yeah, I still think there is potential for a OSM specific site as you could put bounties on OSM notes, select an area and define specific tasks, select specific tags which should be improved or even just a kind of a commercial version of maproulette.

Still wondering why there isn’t one already :)

Comment from escada on 3 December 2014 at 07:07

I fear that some people will just put any data at that spot in order to cash the money. So you will need a team of reviewers to verify the data.

There is this OSM-game Kort, in which you only earn the money after the data has been reviewed by X other mappers.

Comment from karussell on 3 December 2014 at 07:51

That is true but normally if you pay for something you look at it even more closely (?)

Comment from rorym 🏳️‍🌈 on 9 December 2014 at 14:22

Sounds like it’s something you should start? :)

Comment from rorym 🏳️‍🌈 on 9 December 2014 at 14:25

Sounds like it’s something you should start? :)

Comment from karussell on 9 December 2014 at 14:29

Yeah, but I have already too many side projects where I’ll be billionaire afterwards ;)

Comment from SK53 on 9 December 2014 at 15:02

If I found people mapping from notes for a bounty in the local area I’d be pretty cross.

In general we have little evidence that remote mappers really improve places which are well mapped, by ground survey and the data available to them (mainly aerial imagery) is often out-of-date or inadequate to resolve issues. I have certainly noticed people have made decisions about how something is likely to be when local folk have already determined that a place requires a ground survey.

I have from time to time added extra detail because remote mappers have started fiddling with data which is reported through tools such as KeepRight. I have done this vaguely under duress so as to stop well-meaning, but usually pointless, tweaking of the map data.

If it was to happen on a regular on-going scale, I suspect it would deter me from continuing to contribute.

Comment from karussell on 9 December 2014 at 15:23

I would have no problems to limit the work to local mappers. Also I would like to see that those local mappers involved somehow. Be it via financial support and direct involvement or as a protection wall for those paid contributions.

Comment from Rps333 on 13 December 2014 at 12:48

What about paying locals (taxi drivers) to dive around with the Mapillary app on? http://www.mapillary.com/

Comment from karussell on 13 December 2014 at 12:59

Yeah, also a nice idea! Someone should make a company out of these all so that I can use it ;)

Comment from karussell on 16 December 2014 at 20:20

This is what I’ve found from HOTOSM http://www.missingmaps.org/ where there is e.g. this. So the infrastructure is already there and even nice&useful :)

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