AI-Based Country Scale Road Import

First spotted this on Thailand’s forum. There’s a wiki associated with it - take some time to read.

In short, a Facebook engineering team has trained an AI to trace roads from satellite imagery based on recent DigitalGlobe’s Vivid+ imagery at zoom 18. They will provide the mappers with prediction results in an OSM file format and use their special iD editor or desktop editors to validate legit elements based on satellite imageries. Before finally uploading changes into OSM, mappers will need to some QA (JOSM-like validation) e.g. to connect seperated ways and so much more.

Of course, our country may be selected to be part of this process later this year:

Any thoughts?

[EDIT] last time they did this, the result was somewhat a disaster. Highways criss-crossing everywhere! They have decided to do this, probably to increase the quality of uploaded data. Probably they might want to switch to OSM (basemap) over here, who knows? As a bonus: here’s how OSM is rendered in Facebook (Places Editor).

I thought that most of the roads have been traced anywhere we have zoom 18 imagery available. Unless they have imagery from other inadequately covered places (like a lot of areas on the eastern coast), then their effort would be redundant IMO.

nice. hope they will do more to import building footprint, geographic features like lakes, contour lines, shoreline etc.
keep in mind, satellite photo cannot give you the attributes like road names, building names, road type, so ground work is still needed to improve the map. happy mapping!!! :slight_smile:

hahaha… ground work. Good luck with that. :smiley:

Densely populated areas here could probably reach >90% on OSM. My take is probably more outside the Klang Valley region, that is significant areas that may need some love. In fact, there are significant small towns in the Peninsular lack basic highway geometry. Don’t forget Sabah and Sarawak - I bet they might shift more focus there.

The best thing is that they will allow access to (some, if not all) recent, almost cloud-free satellite imagery from Digital Globe. I hope we are allowed to use it to potentially do a bit of armchair mapping while validating their AI outputs.

By the way, from what I know, the same Facebook engineering team is currently focussing on Egypt as well.

Even the Mapbox team - for example - rely on building footprint provided by (open) government data. The rest? Mapping party la - see Missing Maps, MapTime and so on. Imagine GIS clubs - okay, Geography or Computer club - in our local U doing that (meh better play DOTA competition, can get money or prizes or simply hall of fame entry. Me also too old to go U la).

Contour lines? OpenCycleMap has them, but don’t think OSM slippy map will include that in the near future.

JOSM has ScanAerial plugin but if you know how to charm them Pythons. And use Linux/*nix. That plugin can automatically detect (small?) water bodies. Run script, then check and lastly upload!