Please keep this thread strictly about Facebook edits. Please comment in detail at changesets what they did wrong. refer to the OSM id of the elements in question. Maybe even take a screenshot (snipping tool in windows). postimages.org allows hosting of them.
I’ve just reviewed Yasothon province where I worked for 2 months. FB has changed many of my unclassified roads to tracks. Some are 8-9 meters wide, connect villages, nothing about them is agricultural. Then never contacted me before changing, something I would have done.
I wrote comments, and will change them back if FB doesn’t.
Changing community data like this was completely against our editing policies and the editor should not have done it. I believe I have reverted most of the tag changes and will continue to clean up anything else I find. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Hi all. I completed a small software to collect statistical data regarding FB edits quality by sampling random edits. As software would need a bit more work to be suitable for open public access, I just sent out the link to the participants of our meeting as we there also discussed about the specific problems. Directly contact me if you are also interested.
Hope we can come up in a week or two with some statistics about how frequently bad tagging is.
Side-note: we said to focus on ways created by Facebook. Falsely changing existing tags as outlined above by Tom would not be caught.
I am looking forward to Stephan’s software, thanks. But I do have to gripe about his unfair choice of words.
No where in my post do I advocate doing anything ‘falsely’. I have fixed lots of FB roads for as long as they have been around. Usually I remove the tag ‘import’, as Stephan said to do. This is called ‘editing’.
The point of my post seems clear to me. I ask FB if they will consider doing some QA by reviewing their imports (just like we are planning with Stephan’s software). And it in fact is easier to fix a problem than to write a comment.
I have been fairly uninvolved with mapping in Thailand since the FB team began their work so I’ve tended to minimize the bad and accentuate the positive up to now. In checking out some of the areas Stephan had outlined for use with his FB-checking tool, I stumbled into a whole nest of awful mapping done by FB. I commented on three changesets and took screenshots to include with this post. The issue of road classification is separate from these observations. This is just about slipshod work, sloppy mapping.
I was appalled to see how many ways simply end and were left “dangling” even though it’s glaringly obvious that they continue and eventually intersect with another way. How a team whose implicit concern is to make routing easier, to make connections, as opposed to adding water features or landcover, could consider their work finished in this area is both puzzling and disturbing.
The screenshots use Stephan’s mappaint JOSM addon so the FB imports are clearly shown. I would be embarrassed to have mapped this area and left it in the condition you see in the screenshots. The approximate coordinates of the center of the photos are also given so you can navigate to the area yourself.
I left changeset comments asking about a few of the dangling ways in the screenshots. There were simply too many to enumerate and comment about individually.
Holy moly, what a mess! While I still don’t think reverting their work is the best way to resolve this problem, it’s going to take quite a while to fix all the loose ends they’ve left lying around.
I can give some context on what you are seeing here. We cut Thailand into squares for the import process so you will sometimes see hard edges like this. It can look ugly and incomplete but it is a temporary artifact of the process. We are two projects away from filling in this spot so you will see this resolved shortly.
Oh yes, Facebook is guilty as charged of sloppy, lazy, tardy mapping … as I said before, the old “bang it in, and move on” attitude, Its bad enough when see a simple “three sides of a square” driveway existing as 3 ways, because I guess the user gets to claim more “additions” that way, but what infuriates, is when they dont give a damn about making minor adjustments to improve the existing map.
Just happen to stumble across an an example in Phayao, where the existing tertiary พย.2015 was put in many years ago from a poor GPS trace. Yes the corners are rather squared off, and not many adjacent roads were added.
Then along comes Facebook…
Put in a residential road that connects on one these squared bends … bang it in … why bother to add a few nodes on the tertiary to smooth the corner out…
Connect a residential, don’t use the existing node, use the new one a few mts away that our AI suggests. Oh, then move the road (presumably for alignment). Wait, the tertiary now has a vicious Z-bend in it … shall I delete the existing node to make it correct … ah, bang it in, move on … gotta get my import quota up for the day …
All over the map, where Facebook has joined onto existing roads, a good mapper would connect to an existing node (if near), and move it for precision if necessary. Not Facebook, they seem to just miss the existing nodes by a couple of mts, which should not matter until one gets dragged.
And sat at my screen, its annoying … but when hurtling down a straight road on my motorbike … and my GPS suddenly screams “turn left, then immediate right”, then it really pisses me off … and Mr. Lazy VLD003, I’m talking to you.
And while I’m in moaning mood … this changeset comment I made today, to a through road FB inputted as unclassified, with no unpaved tag, really applies to the whole of Thailand.
I have reproduced it here, in the hope it gets a wider audience:
This original import was over 12 months old … and since then we have been told FB has revised earlier data … so I’m guessing they have revised SOME earlier imports. Just how much was actually looked at ? 5% 10%, or less ?
And if you were heading from Hwy 1 to Dok Kham Tai, your GPS really would take you down this road if set to shortest distance, so I’m not just having a go at arbitrary roads. This is the real life cock-ups from FB I’m correcting on a daily basis, instead of using my time spent on OSM in a more productive manner.
I have - literally - spent months mapping this area on motorbike and bicycle. There weren’t many paved roads left that I had not covered. I can now pick almost any FB road and say that it’s wrong. We are talking > 90%. Like Russ says, set your nav to shortest route and you are guaranteed to end up in the dirt. It’s especially fun in the rainy season, when some of these tracks turn to mud.
I repeat: it’s time for a mass-retag as tracks. It will be a hell of a lot less work to fix like that.
Having said all that, I have seen some really good work from FB lately and I have said so in a comment. Call a temporary halt to more data importing and get the mappers to go over all the work done so far.
I strongly oppose mass re-tagging everything as a track. Changing something wrong into something wrong makes no sense.
How about mass-reverting everything into highway=road? Those ones will not be available for routing any more, but geometry will still be around waiting for proper tagging.
But: How will that be done? Another team of aerial mappers?
@Facebook: Please understand, that by trying to add everything you are adding a lot of corner-cases which should not be added without ground truth. Before we had a data-set which might have had a lot of gaps, but allowed you to do routing from village to village (not door to door), but you arrived. Now even the slightest mistake of either the driver or the data will lead to likely route you on a way better not be chosen, especially when driving a car. This extremely harms the reputation of OSM here and is shortly going to kill the project as we get the reputation of being dangerous.
I agree with all you said there. Tagging as ‘road’ is an option, but then these will not appear at all in most maps (Lambertus’ Garmin maps come to mind, I don’t know what Osmand does) and so they will be difficult to verify.
I propose instead to mass-tag at least the older FB contributions as unpaved. We can then see them on our devices as we travel and it will be relatively easy to fix up the few that are paved or a higher classification.
I want to end this on a positive note: I have seen some excellent mapping done recently. Perhaps the more experienced FB mappers could coach the junior ones and then go over all the old data, minus what had the import tag removed. I can see this as a win for everybody. But it will be a lot of work = $$$$$.
And reading about the possibility of a mass revert to highway=road, well if those are not seen as routable by the engines, then at least we may have found a way to reach a partial solution, and one I would support.
In my opinion, simple retagging to road or track is a wrong solution. Though that might look better for users of “standard” maps.
The correct way to handle this is the creation of a custom map showing the FB imports in a different style, and treating them differently.
I just created a new bicycle map of Thailand for my Oregon. Below is a screenshot taken for some where in the South between Chumphon and Surat:
As you can see, the FB roads (regardless of their highway tag) are shown as small brown lines different from “normal” roads. They are treated as routable unpaved toll roads. This means that I’ll avoid them by default, and could use them with low prioirity when I switch routing on toll roads on.
I prefer this situation over the previous situation, where I often ran into “white maps”:
I see what you mean. But in doing so you are moving the problem from the source (data) to the renderer, i.e. all the good folks who provide the community with usable things, like Garmin maps or Osmand, to name just two that I use. A lot of these projects cover the whole world and we would have to ask every one of them to temporarily modify their systems to account for a problem we are having with one or two countries. I think this is just not going to happen.
If we don’t want to make them all unpaved by itself then adding the toll road tag as well seems a brilliant idea. That way you can make your own maps and show them as small brown lines. Everybody else will not normally ever get routed thru them and adventurous types can set their routing to directest, unpaved and toll and they will get to see any problems and can report or correct them.
I remember the good old days when riding into white space was the default almost anywhere in Thailand. Mapping was a real adventure then!
I sure don’t want to see any mass revert to tracks (FB or others), there are way too many now.
Many people here just don’t accept what a track is, and what an unclassified road is. If some roads are bad, I think we have to also accept that there is no tag for ‘bad road’. If we find a trail that ends in the weeds, it just shouldn’t be mapped. Or marked with an end. Trails-to-weeds should be visible on the imagery. My bicycling experience in Thailand is that many roads tagged as tracks are huge and well used 8 meter wide roads. Unpaved does not equal track. Maybe the definitions should be changed in the Wiki (I don’t want this either).
I’ve reviewed about 100 ways on Stephan’s software. Most of them are reasonably good, and it would be a shame to waste them for the maybe 20% that are bad. Just to be honest here, imagine if Stephan had included user ways. What percentage would pass? I’m guessing about the same as FB. My complaint with them is that they claim to be professional mappers and have every mapping aid, and should be held to a high standard. That they haven’t met. And their haste to import so many roads so quickly without oversight. But they seem to have deleted a bunch of ways, maybe they are making some effort. Some feed back from their QA (Jeff? DrishT?) would be nice now. FB potentially faces the loss of a year or so of investment, they should pay attention. What is the experience in other countries FB is mapping in?
With apologies to Russ and Bernard, a few bad road you encountered are anecdotes, not data. I once got stuck in the mud in a 4WD truck on a road marked ‘rural road’ on the official Iowa State road map. Some roads everywhere are seasonal.
What about expanding Stephan’s program to something like Mapdust? You get 10 random ways to evaluate and correct. Participation by FB mappers is mandatory, or prohibited, not sure. :-). 5 years should do it. Maybe we should try to recruit new mappers from prisons where the 5 years is already figured in (another smiley face).
I fix a few areas most every day and consider it progress. All I can do.
Yesterday I spent an hour or so looking at and removing the import=yes tag in an area that had been mapped by the FB team. Most of the residential roads were correctly tagged. There were a few that were done too quickly, that is, ways that extended through 90-degree turns with no break. Some unclassified ways were not broken into residential where they passed through towns. I did that and broke the long residentials into separate ways.
Overall, the work was acceptable and accomplished something that would have taken us a long time to do without their help. Reverting the ways I checked yesterday, admittedly only a small fraction of the FB ways added over the past year, would have been a huge mistake.
There were a lot of tracks in the area that I might have tagged unclassified and perhaps unpaved, so their interpretation of track was slightly different from mine but the error was on the side of being conservative. No harm in that, IMO.
So, I’m not sure what else to say. We Thailand mappers have discussions and even disagreements about exactly what is and what is not a track so I have trouble pointing my finger at the FB additions as being horrible or haphazard, In some cases, the work appears sloppy as I’ve mentioned before. In others, it’s fairly good.
A mixed bag but overall worth keeping. I’m definitely against reverting their additions. We’ll just have to live with them as we do other mappers who aren’t quite as committed as some of us are. Hell, look at the awful additions done by Maps.me users. Pitiful.