I’d like to help to improve the OSM Thailand map. As I don’t want to do a whole lot of changes that need to be fixed afterwards I have some questions.
First: Doing “bigger” changes.
Is it desirable if I start tracing the streets of some rural area? I would start with that but not if GPS tracks are required. Also, there is a place where I know, that the district border follows a river (which is drawn in detail) but the border is very rough an a bit off. Should I fix that or is some official data needed for that?
Second: There are some very small temples in almost every village. Should a place of worship node placed at each of these? Often they are really small so I’m not sure if they qualify for a real temple. Same for the small medical stations that can be found in some villages. I don’t think it would be appropriate to label them as a hospital. Maybe a clinic node?
If there is someone willing to look at my changes afterwards and give some feedback that would be appreciated…
It’s usually easier to begin by making smaller edits, which should also help you familiarise with your editor of choice. Tracing unmapped streets is always desirable, and can be done using available satellite imagery, even if you don’t have access to a GPS. However, an issue with satellite imagery is that they may be misaligned (more info on the Wiki), so it’s preferable to do such maping where there are available GPS traces for alignment. It’s also a good idea to focus on places you’re familiar with or have been to. If you have local knowledge of a district boundary that isn’t properly mapped, please do correct it. (Though boundaries are usually represented by sometimes complicated relations, so you might want to ask for help if you run into problems.)
As for your second question, yes, optimally every point of interest should be mapped, including local temples. (assuming you’re talking of temples where monks live, and not spirit houses).
Regarding health stations (สถานีอนามัย, now called tambon health promoting hospitals), quite a few of them have been mapped, mostly in Chiang Mai. They’ve mostly been tagged as hospitals, though I agree that they aren’t really actual hospitals with patient-admission capacity and clinic might be a better tag. You might want to wait for others’ opinions on the matter.
Regarding the health stations: They are definitely a different category than full blown hospitals. But with the term clinic I associate a different kind of place.
Let me explain what I’ve been told about them.
Usually a clinic is a private-run healthcare place. You have to pay by yourself, government health care does not pay this. A doctor might run such a place in the evening, being daytime employed at a government run facility.
For the big hospitals I had been using emergency=yes if they offer emergency services. So there is always a doctor at duty and they have the equipment to deal also with more severe emergencies. I suggest to start a new thread to discuss the options we have to tag the various healthcare places.
For the original question: It’s usually a good idea to start slowly. By starting big, it’s easy to do a big mess. Paul already warned from mis-aligned aerials. Tracing a complete village from these results in a data-set which can hardly be merged later with proper GPS-coded POIs.
I would love to see the major highway network functional. So you could do more with OSM than just look at a raster map. A lot of these highways are now being able to complete with recent imagery updates from Bing and Mapbox. You could check loose ends an complete them. Check this page which detects such loos ends in areas
having imagery coverage (about 500 left in Thailand): http://compare.osm-tools.org/loose.html
You could also go for fixme tags on these highways. A lot of them are actually dual-carriage but are not yet mapped as such. This is also a job which can be done remotely. GPS/imagery coverage usually quite OK for this task.
Or have a look at the quality check tools like OSM-Inspector or Osmose. Last report lists about 500 of continuity problems. These had been introduced when people started to change highway classification and missed to change bridges or *_link segments for U-Tuns.
By fixing these relatively easy to fix problems you improve the quality of the data leaving the people on the ground the joy of discovering their own neighborhood and start becoming a contributor.