In TomTom’s endeavor to improve OSM, we plan to conduct edits based on user input. This activity is the result of checking if feedback received for the TomTom map is also valid for OSM.
Note that, starting with a small number, we will only perform edits if they add value to the OSM map, do not conflict with any recent edits made by the community, and are supported by a local source. In the absence of credible source material, we will reach out to the local community for guidance.
We will start with editing POIs, land use, addresses, and highways during this activity. Over time, we will evaluate more feedback and expand to other features. You can refer to the GitHub issue for further details regarding the types of planned edits.
The MapRoulette challenge used for these edits will be accessible only for our editing team as it could contain confidential information. Along with the #tomtom hashtag that accompanies every TomTom edit in OSM, we will also add the #tt_mapfeedback hashtag to the changeset if it is an incidental edit resulting from user feedback.
We plan to start with Thailand in 2 weeks along with a selection of countries for which there is available user input, and then expand to other countries. Please reach out to me if you have any thoughts or questions about this upcoming activity.
Salim A. Baidoun / Community & Partnerships - Global
There had been attempts to incorporate user input. It was a while ago and I am not very certain which program it was. Maybe it was maps.me?
Their way was to forward the user input as “notes” having some preset text or free-form input. Result was a huge inflow of mostly worthless input. We could clearly see that a user had a problem. But both the notes and the feedback regarding the geography did for most of the time not allow any fix.
So if you are accepting user input, make sure that it contains enough details to actually take actions. Similar to vandalism, you have to filter out feedback which is fictional or even malicious.
You need some experts to design the feedback process on customer side to get the relevant details.
A feedback like “turn not allowed here” with a GPS marker is not enough.
It also needs the detail about the direction of travel. From where to where had they been instructed to turn and and why was it not allowed? Was the turn restriction based on the time of the day? I saw such restrictions in Thailand. Or based on vehicle class? Turn restrictions for cars, but motorcycles allowed?
All these details are needed to work with such feedback.
Needless to say that the position must be accurate. So just GPS alone won’t work, you might need some interfaces to guidance.
Also question on how the user selects the problematic area. Most likely it will happen after the fact. So there is a good chance that they no longer remember the exact location and might specify the wrong one.
You could support this, but this again would require to connect this to the guidance. You see where driver did not follow guidance. So you might want to ask for a “why” or offer such locations as a selection in the feedback dialog.
A failing turn might be the consequence of bad map data, but it could also be that there is a temporary change in traffic. Maybe a temporary one-way due to construction works. Again this is some feedback you have to get from the customer to work in a reasonable way with the report.
Not having all these details would just lead to the situation we had in the past. A long and growing list of markers for people to “check on the ground”, which is too large to work on.
So while user-input has the potential to get great up-to-date feedback, doing it right certainly has some challenges.
Thank you @stephankn
I appreciate your very objective analysis of this intended activity. TomTom will make every effort to review and verify every report/feedback manually, as not everyone provides accurate, complete feedback.