Potential contribution from ICT perspective

Posted by slayer@GeoThings on 14 March 2017 in English (English)

Hi Community,

It’s Kuo-Yu slayer Chuang from GeoThings, Taiwan. I am now working with a group of ICT specialist/developer. As a team, we sit in the middle of voluntary communities, government agencies, and NGOs (humanitarian organization or standardization organization), for the development of something called “Humanitarian ICT”.

We worked with OSM/HOT Mappers, where we see the power of volunteered geographic information. We worked with Crisis Mappers, where we see the energy of crowdsourcing. We worked as the assistant staff of central/local government, where we learned the work flow in response to disaster in different countries. We worked as the voluntary member of NGO, where we saw the needs of ICT tools to ease the complexity of handling paper works during emergency.

We also co-work with Asian Development Bank on OSM mapping, environment survey, and crisis mapping with the ICT tools for the capacity building to disaster resilience in some Asian countries. We found most of those stakeholders, responsible to disaster preparedness/response/relief, need the detailed basemap plus crowdsourced information for knowing the situation and response. With the detail tagged OSM data by community that including level, material, even the visual condition, warning and evacuation can be performed earlier, and that is just critical for emergency response. That’s the reason why we think HOT is essential, is important. This also made us feel like to contribute to HOT, even we are just some random ICT Geeks :-p

In this diary, I kept saying “we”, cause I’m not alone. There’s a great team who have got my back, and the lovely HOT community members to support the global humanitarian activities. However, it also about me and my personal commitment to HOT, for the further involvement/engagement with HOT, for my contribution to HOT. As a leader working between Humanitarian ICT, governments and communities, I have demonstrated the ability to negotiate change and support strategic planning. In this time, I have learned how to bridge the traditional humanitarian needs with those of the communities. I believe we definitely can deliver the further impact, together with the team and HOT. This is why I would like to run for the board :-)


Comment from Alan Bragg on 15 March 2017 at 00:29

Sounds great, but what is ICT?

Comment from slayer@GeoThings on 15 March 2017 at 04:20

ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology. I think the most known case will be our smart phone, which handles information (via app) and provides the voice/data communication with the technology that available to people. To build something that make this technology better leveraged for humanitarian activity, we call it “Humanitarian ICT” :-)

Comment from SomeoneElse on 17 March 2017 at 21:52

What’d be really helpful right now would be if you and the “great team who have got your back” could try and resolve some of the duplicates that are right now being added to the OSM database because of your buggy “geoMapTool” software.

It’s easy to spot. All of the data has mistaggings. Much of it is duplicated - the same building uploaded in the same are over and over again.

It’s not the fault of the users adding this data - they are presumably only doing what they were told to do, and are “trying to do the right thing” by adding valuable information in rural areas in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, the software that they have been given to use is letting them down.

Best Regards,


Comment from slayer@GeoThings on 18 March 2017 at 08:18

Dear Andy, indeed we appreciated your efforts and comments very much.

We are currently working in a capacity building project with local community. The idea is to start from mapping with iD, validation with geoMapTool in the field, collect environment capacity & vulnerability with crowdsource tool (geoBingAn), then perform the drill with local community/government. I am the one who should be responsible for this mess, my apologize for not planned well in advance and the bugs of our tool that generated duplications and mess up the OSM data.

Since it’s a capacity building project, we work with international disaster experts to train the local community as seed trainers for disaster resilience. Instead of the data clean up by experienced mappers, we are now arranging the data clean up event/webinar, so the local community (mappers) will know why it’s no good for OSM, and know how to clean it up. This might be the fundamental idea that we can share with local community, and prevent further mess up in that area.

For the geoMapTool, we’ve done the quick fix for the app. We see some of the local mappers didn’t update yet, that might cause the duplication issue again, yet we will still keep the conversation with them, to prevent the further issue, and will together do the data clean up asap.

My sincere apologize for the inconvenience we made, because the coming national level drill in Bangladesh, we can’t response and arrange well to this issue in the short time. We will certainly clean it up, and we thank you for your time and efforts on this.

Have a good day! slayer

Comment from SomeoneElse on 18 March 2017 at 10:06

Re “we’ve done the quick fix for the app” can you confirm what changes you have made?

There are a number of issues. One is that the only changeset tag is typically “created_by” and is set to the mapper name, which is useless.

Another is that often the geometry of objects is implausible. Apparently is a >3 storey building with a shed on the roof, with a footprint that is less than a meter wide. This seems unlikely.

Still another is that all edits from the last day or so seem to have added the building type (typically “house”) as either the name or the addr:housename or both.

Another is that some other tags seem to be unique within OSM. Where did you discuss the tagging scheme that you are using, and with whom? With imports there would be a step discussing the mapping of GIS attributes to OSM tags, and it seems only sensible to do the same here, especially where you are creating tags unique in OSM.

Comment from slayer@GeoThings on 18 March 2017 at 15:09

Dear Andy,

Thank you so much for listing the issues with details, we mark all of those as issue as our to-do and response in detail below:

(1) for the created_by, yes we know it should be geoMapTool. We missed this part in training material so the local mappers filled the tag according to the understanding of “created_by”. We will make geoMapTool to auto-complete this tag, and later clean it up on OSM with users.

(2) After several field mapping, we found that it’s not easy for unexperienced mapper to leverage polygon drawing. As we mentioned that we will have the data clean up event, we also thinking about to dismiss the polygon drawing feature in geoMapTool (or make it as the advance feature that need to be ON in menu/setting). And update the training material to focus on mapping with iD, and use geoMapTool only for updating detail tags.

(3) About the name of addr:housename is/are tagged as “house”, we will sync with our consultant and update the training material. Also will/should be clean up during the later event.

(4) We discussed with the disaster experts to know about what information should be provided for the disaster response and the evacuation planning. So we of course followed the tags that OSM community already had, then came up with the tags that are needed for the disaster scenario. After the drills with local community/government, we will know better about the work flow of response to disaster in those countries, and certainly will file/issue these tag as proposal to the OSM community.

Have a good day! slayer

Comment from slayer@GeoThings on 22 March 2017 at 07:53

Dear Andy and Community,

We know it’s very important about the data quality on OSM. We’ve done the following fixes. Due to the field drill that we currently working in Bangladesh, GeoThings will publish this update to Play Market next Monday.

  1. Added geoMapTool and its version into changeset created_by tag
  2. Fixed the timeout issue during OSM data submission in low-network scenario
  3. Disabled the new objects creating bar in UI

Will have further discussion with international consultant team for the data clean up event.

Have a good day! slayer

Login to leave a comment