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.


Say what? I was not aware that we are supposed to do either of those. I thought an unclassified is a feeder road for residentials?

I realise that this is heading off-topic, but I feel that I may have mapped it all wrong for all these years.

Firstly, I’ll quickly mention I’m totally against treating the problem like Bernhard suggests … not all of us have the ability to play with the style & type files to create these custom workaround maps. And as Beddhist states, we should be fixing this issue for all who use OSM, not just the computer savvy amongst us.

And Tom, you may feel this is anecdotal complaining … I assure you when you look at the FB stuff in the field, the errors are everywhere. I honestly feel we are just beginning to realise how much bad data exists out there. In the early days, we were spotting bad inputs, complaining, and supposedly the FB team were going to fix. I think the reality was they did improve, eventually, but never got to grips with fixing the older bad edits.

Yes, I accept the line between track and road may be blurred to some, but one thing should be clear, and its the focus of my complaining …** is it Paved or Unpaved** ? I could live with these 10-15 km “residential roads” that wind their way through fields and woods BUT ONLY IF THEY HAD TAGGED THE RELEVANT SECTIONS AS UNPAVED. At least that way, most routing engines would avoid them.

Facebook have offered to review, but its not being done quickly, or thoroughly enough … I see some roads being changed to tracks (or having the unpaved tag added) but then adjacent roads are left unchanged. Its a sort of dirt-dobber dance approach, in old USA parlance.

You will have seen my earlier post on the overgrown lane … well as I was riding in Lampang province with some time on my hands, I thought I would stop at a few more… and believe me, it doesn’t take long…

Way 538858336 : Marked as residential by Zvone, with no unpaved tag. Just look at it !

So then moving down to Lampang, in faceless Michael’s hurry to bang in a residential road (Way 537269623), he doesn’t bother to look at the road close enough to realise its actually a path way, with a locked gate between two walls. And to add insult, the changeset tag reads “Modified existing ways for better connectivity”. Are you telling me Micheal, that you just started joining up roads that look they just might connect ?

And almost everywhere, you will find find examples of driveways to private houses being added to the map, often behind locked gates too. Just one example amongst many, Way: 537465133, tagged as residential, with no access restrictions…

OK, while the latter may not be a big issue, the first two are. Need I go on ?
Beddhist is right - change every imported road to highway=road while we sort this bloody mess out !

And off-topic … Beddist, I have been doing the same as you … the main road through a village stays as unclassified, which if nothing else, should make the routing better.

I’m just discovering Mapillary. You can add these pictures to it and people editing in josm can load them as an imagery layer. I’ve also started to add mapillary tags to ways or nodes, so people stumbling across these will have a hint on where to look for images.

I almost always do that when the unclassified way connects with an obviously, small soi lined with houses. I mean, the character of the road changes from open country (usually) to a narrow, often one-lane street with houses. An unclassified way is just that, not important enough to be a numbered (“classified”) route but not residential either. They are significant because they connect towns or population centers and as such I wish there were some other way to tag them but that’s another story.

I edited this to say " I almost always" do that. It depends on whether the small soi is really small and residential.

Russ said he thinks routing tools distinguish between unclassified and residential but I’m not sure that’s the case. I use maps I compile with mkgmap and I do not think the internals of Garmin’s routing algorithms are well enough understood to make a case either for or against Russ’s contention. Be that as it may, what are your opinions about such preferences in other software, e.g., OSMAnd? So, how do others map an unclassified way when it enters a small village?


You posted pictures of roads that ended in weeds or a barrier. If you can find these places again, could you post pictures of the imagery? It would be instructive to know if this was bad tagging or bad imagery that just could not show the difference.


Hi Tom,
I think in all cases, I mentioned the Way Number. it would be better if you viewed that in Potlatch, and took a look at the 3-4 aerials they presumably had to choose from, so as you can make a better opinion (and easier for me too :slight_smile: )
The vegetation may have grown a little being the end of rainy season, but the gist of the type of way should come from using the mappers initiative as to the surroundings as well as just the road surface.
The aerials would intimate dirt, whereas now, its more like grass … I don’t care, just make it unpaved if in doubt.
In the overgrown ways, the aerials do show more of a dirt road than would appear now, and with the locked gates, well as you know they are not easy to spot, but we are taught not to connect ways unless we are SURE they connect. If in doubt, leave it unconnected with a Fixme… which of course , takes too much time for the “bang it in team” to do.
Best, Russ.

Want a quick laugh before bedtime - guess who drew half of the Chiang Rai old airport runway as a residential road ?
Good old Zvone at FB. :laughing:
Changeset comment left to be ignored.
Road deleted.

While I want to acknowledge that FB mappers have come a long way, in ‘my area’ this picture of residential street 525947499 sums up their contributions nicely:

Don’t know about you all, but in line with the DWG advice, I have been relentlessly adding comments on FB changesets.
Guess how many replies ?
Yes, a sweet little note from California saying sorry, they are improving, mapper no longer with us, learned from their lessons, blah, blah, blah.
Now the rest of my comments to the FB mappers must seem to have been a waste of typing… I guess they getting fed up of us now, given their wonderful project is coming to and end. I suppose my question today as to why dear Zvone has removed the unpaved tag from a canal service road, when its clear the way is still unpaved, will go unanswered.
I’m guessing Zvone has probably left them now, given her last edit was 2 months ago ? Her wonderful Avatar of the Owl sums it up - she dont give a hoot any more.
OK chaps, we are on our own again … lets automatically retag EVERY road marked as a FB import as highway=road, and slowly edit every one to its correct tag.

+1 !

I’ve had a little more feedback, but it looks like they are just reacting to the comments, fixing one item. I agree, this needs to be tackled at scale: either they go through all their edits, starting day one, or we need a scripted re-tag.

If the powers that be let this continue in the rest of the world, then OSM will have truly become FSM.

Just found a diary entry from Jeff Underwood, published yesterday: So how does the Facebook’s AI Assisted Road Import Process work?

I just read through the diary entry: “So how does the Facebook’s AI Assisted Road Import Process work?”

I must say, that methodology, while obviously not perfect, is still very impressive. I’m going to risk getting criticism from the dedicated mappers who have worked in Thailand for years and say that I think the FB team has made a huge contribution to our Thailand map. Yes, there have been problems and those will no doubt continue but overall they’ve added data that would have taken us years to do without their help. I have often passed over adding residentials to small towns just for lack of time and because there were always more important things to map. FB has added many, many uninteresting, boring-to-map sois to those towns. I wish there was a way to get them interested in mapping geographic features and aligning miserable PGS coastlines in Alaska!

My advice is to accept the fact that making mistakes is part of the learning process and to appreciate what Facebook has contributed to the overall project. You can all remember when the only satellite imagery we had was Bing’s. Because of FB’s deep pockets, we now we have several excellent overlays, some of which are so good that, with my experience with camping and fishing in Alaska, I can practically transport myself to the location.

Today I came across a node I had added to OSM in Alaska four years ago. I had named it and made a note but had forgotten to say what it was! Amenity, attraction, landuse? I would not make that same mistake today. FB mappers are paid to do a job. Some of those employees will rise to the occasion and do good work, others won’t — to those latter people, it’s just a job. But I’m in favor of following the old adage, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” To my mind, mass reverting all their edits would be doing just that. There’s definitely some bad stuff they added but there’s also an awful lot of good.


I agree with you insofar as recent edits are concerned. But the older stuff is largely pollution at this point. While I would not want it deleted outright, re-tagging it as road or track is appropriate. The question is: where do we draw the line?

Where I live, here in Central Thailand, the data is so bad I wish it wasn’t there.

Here are 3 tricky junctions. the top one in this picture (ignore the junction that needs fixing and the street on the left:

and just a few metres North two more

There is a median clearly visible on all imagery that I checked. R turns are impossible. We have two choices: either put in turn restrictions or draw a dual carriageway for the few 100 m. We can’t expect FB to do the former, but what about the latter? Do I write something in the changeset or should I just edit it?


Happy Xmas ! Since the DWG requested, I have been documenting the errors with Way numbers in all changesets. Apart from the first one, I have not had a single further reply from anyone at FB. This leads me to believe they are all blowing their own trumpets citing a successful project completed, and have simply abandoned OSM to move onto other new exciting things.
So, we are stuck with this crap now … one one will fix … and its just too late for reverts… so lets just bite the bullet and put every mistake right, one at at time. I see no point in continual changeset comments which end up in empty mailboxes.
Oh, and Yes, I would draw the short section of d/c, rather than a turn restriction, in order to solve the problem.

Hi Russ,

I’ve had another reply a few days ago. But, as I said, they need to go over the old stuff from the beginning and fix it, because only they have the manpower. And while it’s too late for a revert, it’s not too late for a mass re-tag, which is what I favour.

Anyway, this post was not meant to criticise their mapping in this instance. This is more advanced and I would not expect newbie mappers to get this right. I’m just wondering whether we should fix this kind of thing, or is it worth letting them know. I assume they are still mapping OSM?

Happy new year to you all,

Every day, I find another FB instance of lazy/bad mapping.
Todays popped up quite quickly… check out the two residential roads that have imaginary bridges to connect directly with Hwy 3412:

Before …

After my correction …

The irony is, there are 4 bridges on that road that clearly do make the connection, but yet none of these were added. I suppose if the AI Machine didn’t find it, then why would the FB mapper even bother to look. Yup, “bang it in and move on”.

But the point is, the nameless FB mapper, who I refer to as Wonder Woman from her Avatar, was quite active until 4 months ago when all edits stopped. This does add support for the assumption that FB has left us with a bunch of crap, and got rid of its mappers, leaving us to sort the mess. I see no more responses from them in this forum any more.

I left a changeset comment https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/62356072#map=14/14.3473/100.5379 but like all the others, I’m sure it will fall on deaf ears.

So for today’s episode of Facebook related comments, I present the following :
Changeset: 59408507 - Verifying connections, updates to classifications and simplifying roads - Closed 7 months ago by VLD042*

Way 559552127 - Dear Jon from Grand Junction. Ironic as junctions are just not your forte!
Anyway you have been pretty lazy plotting this junction. I mean, just look at the poor accuracy of the yellow tertiary ลย.3015 which we did many years ago when all we had was low res aerials.
So you come along with your fancy machine learning, plot the residential perfectly, but are just to damn lazy to give us a few minutes of your time to add a few extra nodes to the Tertiary road, and make the junction come a bit closer to looking like it does in real life.
I appreciate your brief might have been to leave existing OSM data alone, but c’mon, you could have used your discretion here.
However, with no edits for three months, I suppose my comments fall on stony ground?

Here is the pic before I revised the whole road :


Yuk. Just awful!