Strange boxes all over the map

Hi, does anybody know what’s going on here and explain it to us, please:

Img links are broken, it seems. Here is the URL:

Looks a little bit like village boundaries, except they left gaps, so some buildings are in nowhere land.

The same people seem to have mapped buildings all over the place, as usual, without correcting image offsets.

See description to the changeset

That’s only the latest edit.

In the same area I have now found villages, where all the houses were mapped as rectangles, but not aligned with the walls, rather roughly N-S.

Looks a bit like what Farcebook did. Vandalism.

There was a discussion in the German sub-forum at
They pointed at an update of the Carto style:
So just wait and try again, or try a different layer, e.g.

This is not about the slippy map, I’m talking about the data I see in JOSM. Does my image link not work for you?

I have had some correspondence with Elija… In essence, they were doing a project mapping malaria outbreaks, but using landuse=residential as a tag.
As the areas we poorly traced and way oversize for the villages in question, I complained this was not good for OSM.
They were helpful and offered to retag using the area tag instead, but apologised if they missed a few when reverting edits. While what you see may not be directly related to this, I suspect it is. Perhaps message Elijah directly as he seems quite responsive.

Thanks for your input, Russ. I will contact him/her.

What is our position as a community about mass-tagging buildings with copied and pasted rectangles? I propose to ask them to either map them properly or, failing that, to re-tag all of them as something renderers don’t use, like they did with the villages.

It worries me where this is heading: any organisation can put in any points and areas they like and I can foresee the time when the maps will be so full of spurious stuff that editing it will become a nightmare.

Perhaps we need filters in JOSM?

It doesn’t look like these areas are anything official. Probably something internal which should not be in the OSM database?

This is the task:

There is no contact person listed at all, but it states:
“Please only map this task as part of the Thailand NMCP training”.

This task and dozen others are created by HOT (a business making money in the humanitarian sector).
They claim it coming from “Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)”

The tasks seem to be about mapping buildings. So all the non-rectangular crap not much better than anything AI could produce comes from untrained humans in the belief doing something good.

Please comment on changesets, share the changeset numbers here for reference. If no response on bad mapping comments, feel free to simply delete badly mapped buildings. It the numbers of bad edits are too high (some tasks are nearly completed according to HOT), contact data working group and link to this thread. They might have some internal contacts to HOT and know how to contact the originator of the directed mapping project.

I don’t know how that NMCP is involved here. It stands for “The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP)”. Maybe HOT got money to run trainings.

Perhaps this subject needs a new thread, as without doing a load of digging, I dont know where the OSM community sits on this. However, my understanding is that we map real and identifiable items that exist on the ground. We dont add areas that appertain to individual projects. The HOT project encourages the tracing of buildings … what I spoke about recently involves areas being mapped out that seem to relate to a WHO related project. They criticized me for changing a badly traced rural residential area, into two areas that more closely followed the few houses contained within it.
Subsequent correspondence led to them agreeing to change landuse=residential tags, into area=yes.

As its pertinent, I will show my correspondence with them, starting with a message recieved after I made the change noted above :

My reply :

To which they closed with :

However, this does not answer Beddhists question … should we actively delete other peoples work because it doesn’t fit the scope of OSM ? Cud be a lot of unhappy bunnies about if we do :slight_smile:

Unless there is a way that the data entered can be verified with a reasonable effort by third parties I am in favor of removing it.

OSM is a community project. We can not improve a map if there is no way to verify that the data is correct. So adding closed source/fictional/arbitrary data into the map is not verifiable.

There exists data difficult to verify due to a lack of on the ground feature, like boundaries.
But boundaries can be looked up from various open sources, reimported and verified.

Where is the definition of the data used here? Is it really open? Or is a copyright infringement going on by this import?
Where was this import discussed? I found no reference in the forum or the wiki.

@Russ: As you seem to have a contact: Can you ask for the source of this area data and the license of it?

I would appreciate if the correct questions could be asked by someone such as yourself with a bit more knowledge of the issues. Elijah’s profile is :

… but he leaves absolutely nothing about his work on his profile, which does not bode well with other users, Im sure.