Is Kartaview Dead?

So… I’ve been checking out Mapillary and Kartaview to gauge their usefulness as a tool for what I may want to do. I came across a Github post that suggested traffic sign detection is no longer available in the U.S…

https://github.com/kartaview/openstreetcam.org/issues/259

That thread spans June 2020 to March 2022. Is this the current state of affairs? Or is it outdated information?

Overall, just playing around with Kartaview… It has the feel of an abandoned project. No forum or support that I can find. No built in way to upload sequences taken from other devices (i.e. GoPro). Etc., Etc. Anybody have any information on Kartaview’s current state of affairs or insight into whether it’s worth one’s time contributing to it?

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Good question.

The latest KartaView Android app and iOS app releases are both from May this year. The KartaView GitHub projects haven’t been updated in quite some time (GitHub - kartaview/android: Android app for collecting KartaView imagery, GitHub - kartaview/ios: iOS app for collecting KartaView data, GitHub - kartaview/upload-scripts: Uploader tools for KartaView). So either development is really slow or has halted completely.

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Kartaview has some issues like - it only shows images snapped to a road. If you are going by bike or on a track, the image is there but its not visible on the main page.

I am generating images with a Action cam like setup and then use linux command line tools to upload the images to both e.g. mapillary AND Kartaview.

Example:

https://kartaview.org/map/@51.93914691347652,8.481456535091183,14z

Karta sometimes looks pretty empty but when you open it in the josm plugin all the images are there.

Flo

Concerning the upload scripts - Look here:

Yes. I’ve seen that. Seems a simple web interface or a simple desktop tool (similar to Mapillary) for this function would be preferable to asking users to deal with running python scripts.

My 2 cents anyway…

How much interest would there be in something like this?
Is there any way to determine roughly how many people upload images from their desktop (as opposed to the mobile phone)?
Is uploading to both platforms actually useful or would it be better to choose one of the two and stick with it; or in other terms: is one of the two objectively better as to make the other one useless?

I compared mapillary and kartaview here:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Langläufer/Straßenfotos

The main reason for me to upload to both platforms is that kartaview will display the images a few minutes after uploading.

(edit phrase)

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Hello all,
I have been interested to know what are the plans for future for Kartaview, in order to know if teaching its use, and giving an alternative to Mapillay with new mappers. I have started a direct conversation with Kartaview people at Grab, and will submit the questions that the community has (specifically LATAM OSM communities but please, ask all your questions here).
Thanks!

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You could ask them when street/traffic sign detection/identification is going to be reenable for places like the U.S…

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So, any updates from people at Grab?

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Hi, I’ve communicated the questions to them, and they said they would prepare answers collectively in the team. We are waiting for the final answer :slight_smile:

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While waiting for the official team response, I’ve a feeling that the KartaView team might have been heavily involved in GrabMaps + KartaCam: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/grab-launches-grabmaps-as-a-new-enterprise-service

May not be surprising if the team is too preoccupied to closely monitor and improve KartaView nowadays, but it kinda feels a shame if the KV team are unable to further give back to OSM and are instead stuck on the proprietary / commercial GrabMaps

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Hello all,
Here are the answers of Kartaview s team:

"Q: What is the vision for the functionality to build a 360-degree panoramic photo, from taking several pictures in the same point? What is the plan for the iOS version?

A: We are not planning to have this functionality in the near future, but we are supporting uploading 360 images captured by other apps/cameras via scripts.

Q: Is/will it possible to edit the location of the photos once uploaded? A functionality planned to fix manually the outlayer images in sequences.

A: We do not currently support this capability, but we are looking at adding this functionality.

Q: Is it planned to make an upload platform for images taken from sports cameras, user-friendly and multiplatform?
A: We are supporting this via scripts (GitHub - kartaview/upload-scripts: Uploader tools for KartaView). We have not planned for GUI yet, but if there is interest from the community side to improve this, we are willing to support it.

Q: GitHub suggests that traffic sign detection is no longer available in the U.S. (Traffic sign detection is not yet available for this track · Issue #259 · kartaview/openstreetcam.org · GitHub) What is the status of these features across countries?

We are looking to re-starting detectors for the US, but can not promise due to budget constraints. Cloud cost is the main limiting factor.

Q: It hasn’t been communicated at all for a while - what is the medium-term plan to collaborate with communities?

We can allocate support toward community initiatives if needed.

Q: Is there a plan like in the past for Grant Cameras?

There isn’t a plan in place for this aspect at the moment, however, depending on the magnitude of the project you’re planning on running, we can discuss certain options.

Q: What is the medium and long-term plan for maintenance?

We will update our repository with the most recent features, as well as track, respond to and fix the reported issues on GitHub. On kartaview.org we will keep improving our training sets for Traffic signs, Personally identifiable info, and POIs.

Q: What is the current and future use of the photos by KartaView (train algorithms that recognize objects)?

KartaView images serve as a ground-truthing mechanism to improve OpenStreetMap by editing new features (e.g. lanes, turn restrictions, road name) in the map or validating the existing ones, especially while doing armchair mapping. Once recordings reach our server, they will go through a complex procedure that involves snapping photos to the roads, removing Personal Identifiable Information (faces and license plates), and preparing them to be published to kartaview.org. After publishing images on kartaview.org users can edit OSM from KartaView imagery and detections. They can also tag traffic signs and check automatic detections to improve KartaView’s training sets. KartaView runs three types of object detections on uploaded images: Traffic signs, Personally identifiable info, and POIs.

Q: What part of the code is open? Where is the (updated) code made available?

iOS, mobile application code is open. To be more precise, the iOS repo has the latest features but overall it is missing our latest releases that were focused on bug fixing.
The Android repo is behind in terms of features, so we’ll have some work to do before we can post updates to this repository. Aside from the code, we try to have the most recent APKs available for download from our repo. The upload scripts repo is now open; we’ve noticed a lot of interest in this area over the years, and we aim to be as responsive as possible given our engineering capabilities."

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Well, finally! I am just hoping that they replaced their script (prone to be broken, at least mine didn’t work anymore somehow) with a fuss free app image like Mapillary’s.

Anybody know what’s their requirement for 360deg photos (for manual stitching ones)? XMP tag? 2:1 default ratio?

I believe that this will could be a long term solution Provide a federated street level imagery substitute for OpenStreetMap contributors · Issue #885 · nextcloud/maps · GitHub

Are there issues with the Kartaview servers today? I was not able to see any images anonymously and I was not able to register neither. Trying for several hours using Firefox and Chrome to no avail.

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Last time I looked, my uploaded sequences even from months ago were still not processed for traffic signs and poi. Did they mention what the current status is?

Today everything works as expected at least from the viewing perspective.

Thanks for getting these response.

I’ll be honest - these don’t inspire confidence that anything major is coming to town. I contributed a lot to Mapillary back before it was bought by Facebook and I stopped doing so afterwards for similar reasons to others (not wanting to contribute to a large global corporation). Kartaview presents the only alternative at the moment, which I would like to contribute images to, but they don’t seem to be doing very much - even simple things like a basic interface to upload images.

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I agree. My biggest issue is being
able to afford the space required to store all those images. It might be that a hosting sponsor like AWS has to provide a bottomless data bucket. That would be great but not likely. At least nor without some sort of string attached.