Conference call with Facebook Maps on March 31st

Hi Everyone,

I have scheduled a call with Facebook Maps and their AI team on March 31st from 21:00 to 22:00 (ICT).

The plan is to provide constructive feedback to Facebook so they can improve their import.

Mappers in Chiang Mai will be meeting at The Golden Elephant at 20:00 to go over the feedback to Facebook:

Mappers in other locations may be able to join the conference call too, please let me know beforehand if you are interested in joining.

I apologize for the late announcement, but we wanted to provide feedback as quickly as possible.

You are welcome to reply to this post with topics we can bring to Facebook.

Thank you for organizing a conference call. I have different plans for that time already, so I won’t participate.

From my point of view, the tagging issues are no more such important. It is possible to show roads with tagging issues in a different style.
I tested that with Taiwan, where the data quality seems to be even lower than in Thailand: almost every road is tagged with “highway=service”, without a “service=something” tag. In villages/towns, they should be residential, but outside villages, they might be unclassified or tracks or hiking paths - mostly tracks. Some of them lead thru forest into high mountains, and cannot be seen on high resolution imagery … Note that they were NOT FB imports.

So I had to change my style file, as I previously suggested in
I am sure that this strategy will work for Thailand also.

Facebook could help us finding local people who’d join OpenStreetMap: currently, we are a group of “Farangs” who travel to Thailand during holidays, or moved there. Hardly any local people are participating. And worse yet, hardly anyone of us has a good command of Thai language, which would be required for supporting new local mappers who do not speak English either. And we cannot provide them with tutorials in their language yet.

So we need BILINGUAL people in the first place: who can communicate with us in English, and later will be able to support the local community in Thai language. And eventually take the leading role in mapping Thailand.

Facebook reaches tens of millions of people in Thailand. Only a minority of them has a good command of English language. But Facebook knows who they are. So they are able to target them with “ads” for OpenStreetMap. Later on, also people not knowing English can be targeted.

The contributions of local people will make the map much better than it is now. It will become usable by common people without a deep knowledge of maps. How should someone point to his home on the map, when he can find the Changwat, but the Amphoe / Tambon / Muban can hardly be identified (because of missing place names, road names, road refs, …) And those who’d say “my house is between the wat and the market” - how can they point to it when both the temple and the market are missing? I.e. there will be value for Facebook, too, when their users receive better maps.

With regret, I have some friends drop in from out of town so wont be able to attend in person.
I think you know my feelings towards the AI/FB team, and in a word - reckless.
Please try and convey the damage they have done here.
Rgds, Russ.

I am sorry to hear you wont be here, because you are the person with the strongest feelings.

Relaying your feelings correctly might be difficult, because I don’t entirely share them. Part of this meeting was to make sure I understood your position better - reading your opinions in a forum is very different from talking about them in person.

This day was specifically chosen because you were able to attend.

Johnny, could you give as some minutes of the conference call? What did you talk about? What did FB reply? What will be done next?

Yes, I began writing something just after the meeting, but never finished it. I’ll see if I can get it finished and posted here.

I will meet with Facebook people in person at State of the Map. So if anything comes up or there is an indication that our concerns are not being taken serious, please let me know ahead of the conference.