Hi, we are TomTom - let's exchange ideas

Gezien recentere edits met soortgelijke fouten levert dat niets op. Ze blijven komen …
En het antwoord van courtiney geeft me ook niet veel vertrouwen.

Er wordt door deze mapper nu wel e.e.a. verbeterd


Hi, again,

A few basics, to be followed by specific plan of action tomorrow, or, latest, Monday (I need to take enough time to ensure this doesn’t happen again.)

  1. Marjan reports to me. Please, out of consideration for another human being, I ask that you refrain from attributing harsh motives or behaviors to her. All criticism and frustration is valid. All feedback is welcome. But there are comments in this forum over time that are not respectful to Marjan as a person. Let’s keep community values in mind for all persons.

  2. I affirm your frustration and your concerns. In particular I affirm that turnaround time on solutions has been slow. We are not, actually, a very large, outsourced, corporate team, and we do have ordinary human limitations. This doesn’t excuse the inconvenience or issues, but it is hopefully useful context. I take every bit of feedback that we got today seriously and will make sure that the sincere, hardworking group of people with whom I work take the feedback and turn it into short term and long term solutions.

  3. Everyone who works on this team is committed to mapmaking as both an art and a science and does this work for the joy of it. Please give us time to learn and grow as I actually believe we have a very great deal in common. I will be in touch as soon as I can with specific answers and actions.

A quick additional question: re “heatmap tool.” Can you tell me what you mean? Do you mean MapMetrics? I want to get more information for you in any way that is relevant and useful, but I am not actually sure to what you refer here?

Dear Courtiney,

I do not like your ( teams ) behavior at all, and the way you formulate your answers. Despite your acclaimed backing by a major routing company the way you edit OSM is like any beginner. And it borders on vandalism when you behave like the well-known armchair mapper: changing classifications based on images without local knowledge.
But when confronted with criticism the response is slow and strange: it seems that your stand is that your team has something important to add to OSM and the world should be gratefull and accept your errors.
Let me bust your dream: you additions do not add to the value of OSM at all. Quite the opposite I’d say.

The fact that you seem ( or claim: no prove there ) to be employed by TomTom does not exempt you from the general rules and guidelines for OSM contribution. Nor does it make you an expert in mapping. Your disregard towards local mappers does evoke strong comments, and rightfully so.

In the end it boils down to this: you’re bashing in on a community of volunteers, behave like you know best, add error to error in editing and do not even apologize for your behavior/errors.

Take a look at your last point:

‘For the joy of it’ would imply you don’t get paid. I strongly doubt that. ‘time to learn and grow’ is something everyone is entitled to, but do that before you start editing on a large scale. ‘I will be in touch as soon as I can with specific answers and actions’ sounds like you feel somehow entitled to do what you do. You are not. Your position is no other than that of any other volunteer.

From my personal point of view: we do not need TT and I would advise DWG to block any of your edits.


De hyperlink naar dit losse draadje zet ik maar even bij https://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?pid=868859#p868859

Deze edits wellicht toch gerelateerd zijn aan Tomtom. Dan kan dat draadje afgesloten worden.

Hello, again,

Here, as promised are some actions that our team will take to be responsive to your feedback (as well as that of other OSM communities) so as to avoid causing any more issues.

  1. Community concerns about the “quality check” challenges had been relayed but had not been addressed in a timely manner. Now, they are being addressed. Actions include:
    a. Based on community feedback from OSM communities, we are pausing organised editing of most of our quality checks globally.
    b. We will be making improvements to our data analysis, editing and quality control processes for our quality checks based on community inputs. When we do resume, we will share a detailed description of our methods for community feedback before we initiate the regular organised editing cycle in any country.
    c. We will also improve the instructions that we give to mappers, with community inputs.
    d. We will add an additional quality control to the regular organised editing process. We will notify, as per the guidelines and then, after the two weeks have passed, we will do a “pilot” group of edits on which we will do 100% quality testing. At that time, we will notify the community of the results as a means to prompt any additional feedback and consultation.

  2. We do not use Cyient to do organised editing in OSM. Cyient editors work on TomTom’s map platform.

  3. To the concern about outsourced editing and whether or not TomTom is invested in the local community, I would like to propose an idea: Would members of the NL OSM community be willing to give an extra level of training to a small group of NL-based TomTom map editors? This would help us provide an additional level of skill and local knowledge to the supervision of TomTom organised editing. We are discussing projects like this in other countries, and since TomTom HQ is in NL I can’t think of a better location for such a pilot project. Please email the osm@tomtom.com address if this idea has appeal.

  4. To the concern about MapMetrics (ie the ‘heatmap’ tool.) We have done quite a bit of development on this tool, as well as our centerlines tool, RoadRunner. We would happily work with your community to train you on how to benefit from these tools. Here again, please email osm@tomtom.com if you are interested, and we will set something up.

I understand that you doubt the sincerity of my communications, but nonetheless it is real. Our team will continue to work to earn your trust for the good of the map and the mapmaking community.

Best wishes,


So let’s translate this manager-speak into real world language:

TomTom wants to use OSM data as a map source for their own commercial benefit, comes bashing in to the community, expects the community of volunteers to teach them how to do things without payment and than states we should be happy with such a great improvement. You must not only be living in another world but in a completely different universe. OSM volunteers are not unpayed software testers or teachers to a commercial party.

As for Cyient editors: you should tell them, because they do edit OSM directly, not only TomToms platform.

Now let’s at least give you a direction on how you should have approached this:

Thousands of dedicated volunteers have provided you with a dataset far superior to any dataset TT ever has been able to access.
The database is free for download. After downloading the database TomTom could have created their own environement to test and edit as much as they want. In fact: this is how other free and/or paid routing software works. No one edits the OSM database for their personal gain or use.

I’d not assume that, it’s not a good starting point for negotiating a fee :wink:
Let’s hope the attention that the DWG is giving to the work of TomTom now will provide the improvement so badly needed.

I think investing in editing skills of the Tomtom crew would prove very beneficial. In hindsight, this should have been the first step. This will prevent the volunteers from having to deal with extra work.

In theory, having extra manpower could be very helpful to the project and the community. Although it does feel a bit strange to have a voluntary group of mappers and those who do it for a paid job. I guess as long as it is not OpenStreetMap who pays the salaries that is still okay. But the problem to this point is that in practice this is not lowering the work load for volunteer but increasing it.

Assuming that Tomtom would gladly pay for the service (to either the community or the person(s) offering the training, I think it is a good idea. Similar to what we delivered to a few fire brigades.

Good that Tomtom takes things aboard.

Another suggestion would be to have the mappers based in the Netherlands join our Openstreetmaptreffen (the online get-together of the Dutch community), so that we could get to know each other a bit better.
A real-life meeting would even be better, I’d say. Things usually go better over a cup of coffee (or tea).

And the questionable TomTom Edits continue… Changing highways to unlogical values when looking at the context, like changing a footway to residential even when all connecting highways are footways



Wellicht heeft niet iedereen de instructies ontvangen? https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Chap_oga/history#map=3/27.15/16.03

Na een beperkte steekproef in de voorgeschiedenis van de betrokken wegen/paden heb ik de indruk dat hier juist eerdere bewerkingen teruggedraaid worden. De ‘schade’ van eerdere bewerkingen wordt juist hersteld. Daarbij worden ook correcties die mij terecht lijken teruggedraaid.

Mijn indruk niet dat er zonder besef van de kritiek op dezelfde manier doorgewerkt wordt, en nieuwe insctructies niet aangekomen zijn. De beschrijving van de wijzigingen had dit wel duidelijk mogen maken: “reverting earlier changes” oid.

Mogelijk dat eerdere zaken hersteld worden, maar dan nog blijft mijn twijfel over het resultaat staan.

Ahhh … oké… het zijn herstelacties. … zover had ik nog niet gekeken…

Het blijven natuurlijk edits van iemand die niet ter plaatse bekend is en dat ‘bruggetje’ zal in ieder geval geen residential zijn.
Er zitten uiteraard altijd wel fouten in de kaart, maar de ‘tool’ zet nog al eens mappers op het verkeerde been.

Ook voor herstelacties geldt natuurlijk dat ze evengoed doordacht moeten zijn als elke andere actie :wink:

Hello, everyone

The changesets you’re referring to are indeed reverts of earlier edits the community objected against, and other edits of the same type. I agree however that this is not clear from the changeset descriptions. We have instructed our editors to provide clearer descriptions.

With the exception of these reverts, l do want to affirm that, as I said before, we have paused **all **editing on our “quality check challenges” while we work on improving our processes. This includes making the challenges undiscoverable and improving our documentation (as outlined above.) I very much appreciate your suggestions and willingness to give feedback, and we hope that eventually we can contribute back, in ways that YOU want, to help compensate for your advice and effort toward the betterment of the map.

@Lachgast I will reach out to discuss how we can work together–thank you so much for offering.

And just so we’re clear about Cyient: it’s true that they have worked on the challenges we created (which are available to any user), but they are not making edits on our behalf or at our request. Organised edits made by TomTom can be recognized by the hashtag #tomtom or #tt.


New TomTom discussion on the new forum, see TomTom Maps Platform